By: Red Hot Mamas
Published: May 26, 2010
May 10, 2010 kicked off National Women’s Health Week (NWHW) with this year’s theme of, “It’s Your Time”. Designated by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office on Women’s Health, NWHW is a week set aside to empower women to make their health a top priority. For those who participated in NWHW, keep your momentum going; commit to a yearlong pledge for your health! For those of you who missed NWHW, it’s not too late to start working toward your health goals. Your job is to improve your physical and mental health and lower your risk of certain diseases. Some key steps include:
- Getting at least 2 hours and 30 minutes of moderate physical activity, 1 hour and 15 minutes of vigorous physical activity, or a combination of both each week
- Eating a nutritious diet
- Visiting a health care professional to receive regular checkups and preventive screenings
- Avoiding risky behaviors, such as smoking and not wearing a seatbelt
- Paying attention to mental health, including getting enough sleep and managing stress
It is important to celebrate National Women’s Health Week to remind women that taking care of themselves is essential to living longer, healthier, and happier lives. Women are often the caregivers for their spouses, children, and parents and forget to focus on their own health. But research shows that when women take care of themselves, the health of their family improves. During National Women’s Health Week it is important to educate our wives, mothers, grandmothers, daughters, sisters, aunts, and girlfriends about the steps they can take to improve their health and prevent disease. After all, when women take even the simplest steps to improve their health, the results can be significant and everyone can benefit.
Just because the eight week Woman Challenge, an online physical activity program began on May 9th, 2010, it doesn’t mean you can’t be physically active all year long! The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office on Women’s Health developed a great tool you can use to track your physical activity all year long. The Women’s Activity Tracker is a log that helps get organized, set personal goals, earn virtual awards and interact with a community of women. Use it yourself and print it out to motivate other women in your life to get active as a gift to themselves with the Woman Challenge.
Another extremely useful tool developed for National Women’s Health Week is the Interactive Screening Chart and Immunization Tool. Use this as a guideline for the timing of each test and immunization you need to meet your health care needs. Curious what tests you need next time you go to the doctor? Print out a copy for reference.
It’s your time! Make a pledge to better your health today. Include the usual; take time to exercise, manage stress, eat nutritious foods, schedule regular health checkups and seek treatment when necessary. In our 40s, 50s and 60s, maintaining our health requires a little more attention as cancer, osteoporosis and hormonal changes pose greater challenges. Keep in touch with your body and make time for yourself; you deserve it!
For more information about Women’s Health Week, visit: womenshealth.gov