A special guest post from FMH Women’s Health Navigator Trish Reggio, MSN, RN.
As a woman, taking care of your own health needs is vital if you want to be able to care for all of the other special people in your life. May 12 – 18, 2013 is National Women’s Health Week, sponsored by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Office on Women’s Health. As part of the celebration, the Women’s Center at FMH Crestwood is hosting a free Women’s Health Fair (PDF) on Saturday, May 18 from 10 a.m. – 3 p.m.
The health fair will feature presentations from local women’s health experts on topics ranging from urinary incontinence to gluten free diets and flashes versus flushes. We’ll also offer seated yoga, Reiki and reflexology demonstrations, plus more than 45 informational booths from community organizations and health-related companies.
This week is a good time to reflect on your own health and determine if you are following the five steps to health improvement as recommended by the Office on Women’s Health:
- Regular Check Ups and Health Screenings
Depending on your age and risk factors, you may want to schedule screenings for ovarian, breast, colon-rectal and skin cancers, as well as for osteoporosis, heart disease and diabetes. Don’t forget to assess your levels of sexual and mental health, too.
- Be active
As we age, the importance of exercise increases as our lifestyles can become more sedentary. Research has shown that daily physical activity of all types can significantly decrease the risk of many diseases and their co-morbidities (diseases related to a primary disease; can be one or several).
- Eat Healthy
Being conscious of your eating habits can be of great benefit to overall health. Eat fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, lean meat, fish and poultry, unsaturated fats, and limit the amount of processed foods. Fresh is best. For women, alcohol consumption should be one drink per day.
- Take care of your Mental Health
For women, mental health is affected by hormones, stressors, sleep patterns and family history – just to name a few key factors. Getting enough sleep and meeting the needs of our own life stressors are essential to overall good health.
- Avoid Unhealthy Behaviors
Smoking, texting while driving, and not using a seat belt are some examples of unhealthy behaviors. Women are strong role models for healthy family life, be sure you’re sending the right messages to your loved ones.