Ladies — This One’s For You!

As I mentioned previously, we are celebrating women of all ages this week. And, as women, we have our health needs and requirements that are different than men. One of the big pushes of the new Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA or ACA) is a focus on whole body wellness through annual check-ups and preventive screenings (mammograms, pap tests, immunizations, etc.). We know for a fact that heart disease is one of the leading causes of death in women. Yes, that’s right, it’s not breast cancer that will likely get us but heart disease. (Note, February is Women’s Heart Health month.) Couple that with being overweight, stressed out, out of shape and you area a health disaster waiting to happen. National Women’s Health week, sponsored by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), is designed to get women to take an active role in caring for their health now. Because if you “Ms. Superwoman” doesn’t…who is going to do it for you? Plus, we have an obligation to be role-models to the younger, female generation. So, add that to your already full, multi-tasking duties as well.

Steps to a better you –

Eat well: We all know eating a balanced diet of fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, fish rich in Omega-3s, and poultry is good for our bodies. Lean red meat is still good for you but eat it in moderation. I’m not about to give up my grilled steak but I do limit it to now and then.

Exercise: Exercising has been proven to not only help you get into shape, and strengthen bones and muscles, but it also serves as a stress reliever. As we get older, our bones and muscles weaken and women are prone to osteoporosis. Strength training will keep your bones stronger well into your older years thereby reducing the risk of brittle, easily broken bones. As you exercise, endorphins are also released from your brain lifting your spirits and relieving you of some of your pent up stress. Added bonus — they also help in suppressing your appetite…EVERY woman likes the sound of that!

Mental Health: For as much as we believe that we need to be superwoman, doing it all – career/family/taxi driver/event planner/time manager/peace maker, etc., etc., etc., we need to understand that we don’t have to be all encompassing. Just do the best you can. Find ways to alleviate or reduce your stress. It could be in the form of exercising, yoga, meditation, 30 minutes of quiet time with a cup of tea…whatever it takes for YOU to decompress. And make sure you get enough sleep.

Smoking: STOP! Need I say more?

Dig deep. Be honest with yourself and acknowledge what is important in YOUR life. You need to put yourself first. When you do then everything else falls into place. And, don’t you think we deserve more than one day a year, Mother’s day, to celebrate our goddess-ness? So, take the pledge today to commit to a better and healthier you! And whatever you do know that it’s all good.

For more information on women’s health please visit the following websites:

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