Do you know that the last Wednesday of September is celebrated as National Women’s Health and Fitness Day!
It is the largest national annual event to promote women’s health. The event makes a chance for all – both and women – to direct focus on issues and ideas related to improving women’s overall health – both mind and body.
Women constitute 50.5% of US population and 34% of practicing physicians in the country. With that figure, if we don’t talk address women-centric health issues not now then, when will we do it? In fact, we should shed all our inhibitions and talk about these more openly and frequently. Not all health issues are gender-specific but some of them are definitely so. And when it comes to women’s health, ignorance, negligence and inhibitions are the barriers on their way to a visit to a doctor’s chamber.
All women, irrespective of their age, should reflect on their health encourage their mothers, sisters, daughters and neighbours; after all, women are pivot of our family, society and country.
Women are often projected as the epitome of love, care and sacrifice. And it is not an exaggeration. Women often take care of the needs of their family and friends at the expense of their own comfort and happiness. But as a woman, you should remember that if you are not in fine fettle, you will never be able to keep your near and dear ones in high care.
The easiest way to stay on top of your health is to visit your doctor for regular check-ups. Even if you feel fine and show no symptom of disease, you should undergo annual screenings to be sure if ALL is WELL inside.
Followings are some useful recommendation for your physical health:
- Most female-related physical disorders and diseases don’t show symptoms earlier. That is why, it is most important for them to undergo regular check-ups for early diagnosis and recovery
- Women aged 20 years or more should go for a medical check-up every two to three years. Those with a medical condition or a family history of heart attack, stroke, diabetes, kidney failure or cancer should go for annual screening.
- Women aged 40 years or more should undergo a mammogram annually. Women with a family history of breast cancer should undergo mammogram earlier. Breast cancer is very common in women and one of the leading causes of death for them. Younger women should ask their physicians about cervical cancer screening and vaccines.
- Women aged 50 years or more should not skip in their annual check-ups as they are at the higher risk for several diseases. At this age, women should talk to their doctors about pneumonia vaccines, influenza vaccines, colonoscopies etc.
- Heart disease, stroke, breast cancer, ovary cancer and cervical cancer are the leading causes of deaths in women. Women, after menopause, are at a higher risk for obesity, heart attack, stroke and osteoporosis. Vision loss, hearing loss, balance issues and cognitive impairment are common problems in both men and women.
Women should follow some simple guidelines to reduce the risk of several diseases and enhance the likelihood of living a healthy life:
Control Your BP
High blood pressure is one of the largest factors for heart attack and stroke in both men and women. However, it is a modifiable factor and that gives some relief. For anyone, the ideal blood pressure should be 120/80 mm Hg. Avoid the following things to control your BP:
- Too much salt
- Foods rich in high LDL (Bad Cholesterol) and triglycerides
- Smoking and alcohol
- Not doing enough physical activities and exercises
Count Your Pounds and Exercise More
If you are overweight or obese, don’t take it lightly. Carry extra pounds, especially around your middle, as it is one of the major health risks for heart attack, stroke, osteoarthritis and cancer. Though the ideal BMI is 25 or less, it is important to talk to your doctor to figure out a healthy BMI that is right and realistic for you.
Exercises help you lower your blood pressure and lose weight. It also helps curb the risk of heart attack and stroke. Manage time to do moderately intense exercises for half an hour 4-5 times a week. If you cannot commit yourself to 30-mintue exercises at a stretch, break it into 10-15 minute short-time workouts a few times a day.
Incorporate the followings into your daily workout routine:
- Walking or running
- Bodyweight exercises
- Outdoor sports such as, golf, tennis etc
Physical health and mental health complete the equation of women’s health and wellness. They create a circle of health and happiness and so are equally important. In the USA, more than 1 in every 5 women suffer mental health condition and the number is on an alarming rise.
Women are more vulnerable to anxiety, depression and mood swings after menopause. In fact, all these mental health issues affect women more than men. Unfortunately, people still hesitate to talk openly when it comes to mental illness. It is important for us to normalize the talks about women’s mental struggles.