National Women’s Health Week Starts May 8th: Here’s What You Should Know
National Women’s Health Week is an important observance led by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office on Women’s Health, and this year it kicks off on Mother’s Day: Sunday May, 8. For Dr. David Ghozland, a Los Angeles-based gynecologist, the annual observance affords a prime opportunity to speak to his patients about making personal health a high priority.
The week also serves as a time to help women understand what specific steps they can take to improve their health. Dr. Ghozland says improving your health need not be an overwhelming or daunting task. Small, positive improvements in diet, exercise and attitude can all add up over time, to an improved physical fitness and a more positive outlook on life. To get started:
- Schedule your annual well-woman exam. Annual visits to your gynecologist and primary care physician can ensure all of your preventive screenings and vaccines are up-to-date. If recommended, now is a good time to schedule that mammogram, too.
- Get moving. There is strong evidence that regular physical activity can lower your risk of heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure, Type 2 diabetes, colon and breast cancer, and even depression.
- Eat healthy. Many diets are overly complex with lots of rules about what not to eat. Instead, think about choosing wholesome natural foods during each meal, including plenty of fruits, vegetables and lean proteins. Limit sugar, alcohol and saturated fats. And, consider a quality multivitamin/mineral to fill in the gaps.
- Minimize stress. Sure it’s easier said than done, but even going to bed an hour earlier can work wonders when it comes to your mental health. Many community centers now offer stress reduction workshops too; consider a yoga class, or try a new hobby like painting or photography to help you de-stress and relax.
No matter what your age or current physical condition, taking good care of yourself is a year-round priority. With that in mind, National Women’s Health Week is a great time to recommit to the kinds of healthy lifestyle habits that can ensure you look and feel your best now and well into the future.