Every May, we celebrate Mother’s Day to take a moment to appreciate the mother figure in our lives; to give thanks to the women who bore us, raised us and supported us. So, it is only fitting that Mother’s Day is at the start of National Women’s Health Week, where millions of women take steps to improve their health and build positive and healthy habits in their lives. What better gift, than the gift of health?
National Women’s Health Week is led by The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Office on Women’s Health and focuses on reminding women to carve out the “me time” they need to eat healthy, practice self-care, and make those necessary doctor’s appointments.
So, what steps can you take to kick-off National Women’s Health Week and build towards a safer and healthier life?
- Get recommended screenings and preventive care. Regular check-ups are important. Preventive care can keep diseases away or detect problems early, when treatment is more effective.
- Get Up and Moving. Get out and enjoy the spring and summer weather. Physical activity is one of the most important things you can do for your health and has many benefits, including lowering your risk for heart disease.
- Adults need at least 2 hours and 30 minutes each week of moderate aerobic physical activity.
- Eat Healthy. Nutrition is an essential part of a healthy lifestyle. According to our DASH page, a healthy eating plan includes fruits, vegetables, whole grains, fat free and low-fat milk and other dairy products, lean meats, and is low in salt, saturated and trans fats, and added sugars.
- Pay attention to mental health. We know motherhood often goes hand in hand with stress. Moreover, a CDC study finds that 1 out of 10 women experience symptoms of depression. This week, focus on your healthy mental health habits and find ways to cope with stress.
- Practice safe and healthy behaviors. Small actions can help keep you safe and healthy. Some things you can do are:
- Stay up-to-date on your cancer screening tests.
- Get enough sleep! Adults need at least 7 hours of sleep each night.
- Be smoke free. Smoking harms nearly every organ of the body. Visit Smokefree Women for free resources, including quit coaching, a quit plan and referrals to other resources where you live.
It’s important to find what motivates you to get healthy and to figure out what your health goals are. So, take time to reflect on your health and think on how you can be the healthiest you. And be sure to check out our SOMOS site to find ways you can take the next step on your health journey.