9 Simple Ways to Ensure A Healthy Life:
June, 2012 – It’s important to keep up with the health news that affects your well-being. Every day, new findings are changing the way medical conditions are treated for women. We believe it’s important you stay well informed about the issues that impact women the most. This month, Better Health for Women covered a range of important health topics that make all the difference in your life. National Women’s Health Week passed a few weeks ago, but a healthy lifestyle is all too important to dedicate just one week out of the year. Why not treat every week like Women’s Health Week? Here are 9 simple ways to help you improve your health and live life to its fullest, healthiest potential.
1. Schedule Regular Doctor Visits
We understand that finding time in your busy life to see the doctor can be a hassle, especially when you don’t need immediate care. But staying on top of your health by receiving the recommended medical tests can help you maintain good health. If there is a minor change in your health, the sooner you and your doctor catch and start treating it, the less likely you are to have a similar, but more serious problem later on.
2. Blood Pressure and Cholesterol Tests
Maintaining your blood pressure and cholesterol are two simple things that can make a huge difference in your health. High blood pressure and cholesterol can lead to heart disease and other major illnesses. Doctors suggest that women ages 45-65 should have their blood pressure checked at least every two years. You can kill two birds with one stone by having both your blood pressure and cholesterol checked in the same visit.
Mammograms help define breast cancer early. If you are between the ages of 50 and 74 years, it is recommended to get a screening mammogram every 2 years. If you are in the 40-49 age bracket, consult with your physician about when to start getting mammograms.
4. BMD (Bone Mass Density) Tests
Not a typical test you’d think of, but loss of bone mass is a condition most commonly associated with postmenopausal women. What most women don’t realize is that frail bones can affect them at any age. Millions of women are already at risk for osteoporosis or are currently suffering from it. Your doctor can help you prevent, recognize and treat osteoporosis so that you are less likely to suffer from an osteoporosis related fracture. But until you see your doctor, try eating more foods with calcium and Vitamin D and less foods with caffeine. Calcium is crucial for healthy cells and Vitamin D is necessary for your cells to absorb the calcium. Coffee, tea, soda and energy drinks contain caffeine, which robs your body of calcium.
5. Managing Menopause
Hot flashes, night sweats, mood swings and hair loss are symptoms of menopause, just to name a few. However, these symptoms do vary from woman to woman. Some may not notice a change in their bodies while others may experience substantial discomfort. If you identify with the latter, talking to your doctor early on about treatment options may make the transition much more tolerable. But regardless of your symptoms, it is a good idea to see your doctor to discuss ways to prevent heart disease and osteoporosis, which are diseases related to postmenopausal women.
6. Getting Rest and Relaxation
The times have changed and now they’re changing faster than ever. The modern woman is living an often non-stop schedule, beginning with early-to-rise workdays and ending with the high demands of parenting. We’re running on empty, and we feel it. Even though work and family are very important, so are you. It’s hard to give 100% at work and to your family when you’re tired and stressed. Here are some simple ways to manage stress:
7. Getting Enough Sleep
Losing sleep can have a big effect on your body both physically and emotionally. Frequent loss of sleep can affect your immune system and lead to symptoms of depression. If you ever find yourself quickly losing your temper, consider that all you need is a few more hours of sleep every night. Try making it a goal to get seven to nine hours. It’s easier said than done, but it could have a huge effect on your energy level and general outlook.
8. Monitor Your Morning Diet
One of the reasons breakfast is such an important meal is because it will affect how tired you are later in the day. Sugary breakfast cereals taste great, but can leave you feeling sluggish later on. Substituting some of that sugar for protein can help keep you going throughout the day. Yogurt, peanut butter, and eggs are all great choices. Remember, you don’t need to drink a lot of coffee to get a little pep in your step.
9. Getting Active
Too much sitting can lead to health complications, including Type 2 Diabetes. It’s been a recent hot button issue in the news that women who spend most of their day sitting down are more prone to Type 2 diabetes. This can be a pretty hard pill to swallow considering that most of our jobs require us to stay seated for more than five hours. Take a few minutes when you can to keep your body moving by finding an excuse to get out of your chair every hour. It could just be to go to the bathroom, or you could grab some water or a small snack from the kitchen. Even standing while you work can make a difference.
This article is not intended to replace a discussion with your health care provider about any aspect of your health.
Better Health for Women, June 2012