September 25th is National Women’s Health and Fitness Day, which celebrates the importance of healthy living for women of all ages. Today, we’re sharing our five favorite tips to boost women’s health, no matter their age!
1. Don't Skip your Annual Wellness Checks
Even if you’re feeling healthy, make sure you see your doctor every year. Regular wellness visits increase the chances of early detection of diseases or chronic conditions, which will give you more time to figure out how to treat them. Wondering what should be on your list of things to check on? All women over 40 should check with their physician about getting a mammogram, which is the most effective way to diagnose breast cancer in its earliest stages. Your doctor should also check on your cholesterol, blood pressure, heart and respiration rate, and conduct a pelvic exam/pap test.
2. Eat the Rainbow
Forget the myth that you have to eat a salad at every meal to be considered “healthy.” Instead, try to eat the rainbow. According to the American Heart Association, fruits and vegetables with bright, rich colors are full of vitamins, minerals, calcium, antioxidants, and more. Plus, given their lower calorie count, you can fill up on these colorful goodies without worrying about your waistline. Check out this guide to eating the rainbow to see where you can add more color to your diet.
3. Make Physical Activity Part of Your Day
Heart disease is the leading cause of death for women in America, but plenty of exercise can help strengthen your heart and keep it healthy. You should get about 150 minutes of moderate exercise or 75 minutes of vigorous exercise each week. That boils down to about 30 minutes of exercise a day, 5 days a week.
Nowadays, there’s a class for just about anything, including dancing, cycling, swimming, and even aerial yoga. Take advantage of local classes near you to give yourself some variety and help you choose a workout you love. And, don’t forget about strength training! Mix in a session or two each week to prevent loss of bone density and muscle mass, especially as you age. Learn more about women’s bone health and how to protect your bones at every age.
4. Sun Safely
As much as we love the sun, its harmful rays can cause skin cancer. To lessen your chances of developing skin cancer, always wear sunscreen with an SPF of 15 or higher and reapply every two hours. To double up your protection, wear hats, sunglasses, and clothing that offers sun-protection. And, even if you faithfully follow these tips, you should regularly check for signs of skin cancer.
5. Exercise your Brain
Exercising your brain is just as important to your overall health than having an active body. Just watching TV or playing on your phone for hours isn’t healthy and doesn’t stimulate your brain. Instead, read a good book, do a puzzle, practice sudoku, or try another activity that makes you think. Not only will you feel less bored - a study has shown that learning a new skill or engaging in mentally stimulating activities may contribute to improve cognitive functioning!
Looking for more ways to live an active, heart-healthy lifestyle? Check out more heart-health articles just like this one!
This article is for general educational purposes only and is not intended to be used as or substituted for medical advice. Always seek the advice of your physician or qualified health care provider with any questions about your health or a medical condition. Never disregard or delay seeking medical advice because of something you have read on the internet.