Did you celebrate Mother’s Day with a big brunch? Take in a little too much vino, BBQ ribs, Mimosa’s, chocolate candy? I will admit that I certainly did and ate leftovers for lunch today too. Then I took the dog on a 3 mile walk.
Big celebrations and the special meals that accompanying them are all right-some of the time, but unless we stick to ‘sometimes,’ we may be headed for some health problems.
I know we don’t like to talk about women’s health, much less hear about it-especially if we’re still full from yesterday’s celebration. But we’re going to talk about it especially today because this is the start of National Women’s Health Week. The theme for 2012 is “It’s Our Time.”
Women often serve as caregivers for their families, putting the needs of their spouses, partners, children, and parents before their own. It’s our time to remind our friends, sisters, aunts, mother, daughters-every woman-that we have the power to improve our physical and mental health. I know I heard an “Amen” from one of you. If not, say it now.
As a result, women’s health and well-being becomes secondary. As a community, we have a
responsibility to support the important women we know and do everything we can to help them take steps for longer, healthier, and happier lives.
I know that sometimes we just don’t want to hear it,
or we hear it and don’t stop to do anything about it, or
we jot down a reminder to schedule an exam and lose the paper we jotted the reminder on, in our ever growing To Do list.
So for the next 7 days commit to yourself. That’s right, it’s all about you.
This is what we can do to get physically and mentally healthier and lower our risks of certain diseases:
- Visit a health care professional to receive regular checkups and preventive screenings:
Pick up the phone to make an appointment for your annual preventive services. Thanks to the Affordable Care Act of 2010 we have a greater choice and better control over our own health care. New plans cover vital preventive services, including mammograms, colon cancer screenings, and well-woman visits with no out-of-pocket costs. It also ensures women can see an OB-GYN without a referral.*
2. Get active:
Find your tennis shoes, put on comfortable pants, grab the dog and/or your iPod, and walk around the block for 15 minutes. Stop and return home. While you walk take in the scenery, clear your mind, breath and relax. You can do this during lunch break too.
3. Eat healthy:
Try vegetarian meals three times this week. Eat more berries, apples, oranges. Drink a couple of glasses of water or green tea in place of your second or third cup of coffee.See here or visit here for cheap and easy ways to eat better.
4. Pay attention to mental health, including getting enough sleep and managing stress:
Number #2 is worth another look for this area. Watch a comedy for some laughs. Look into low cost Yoga or mediation dvd’s. If you need professional help, talk to someone. Improve your sleep by listening to mellow music half hour before bed, or light a scented candle and shower before you sink into bed. Visit here for more information.
5. Avoid unhealthy behaviors, such as smoking and not wearing a seat belt or bicycle helmet.
Add, “NO TEXTING” in your car, to this list.
Now, go out for a walk, have a healthy dinner or snack, phone a friend, and have a great sleep.
If you have any ideas to share, please use the comment section.
I’m committed to post my own progress on Twitter, under the hashtag #NWHW
*To learn more about the law, your health insurance options, and what services are listed as ‘preventive,’ visit this site.