National Women's Health Week
This year, give yourself a healthy makeover and enjoy the benefits for life. Women across the country are taking steps to live safer and healthier lives by making health a priority. You can too.
Give yourself a “mind-health” makeover
- Stay sharp. Physical activity is one of the most important things you can do for your health. Regular physical activity can help keep your thinking, learning, and judgment skills sharp as you age. It can also reduce your risk of depression and may help you sleep better. Research has shown that doing aerobic or a mix of aerobic and muscle-strengthening activities 3 to 5 times a week for 30 to 60 minutes can give you these mental health benefits.
- Improve sleep. Studies conducted in the community reveal an association between short sleep duration and excess body weight. Recent research has indicated that depressive symptoms may decrease once sleep apnea has been effectively treated and sufficient sleep restored. The recommended amount of sleep for adults is 7-8 hours a day.
- Use prescription drugs only as directed by a health care provider. Help prevent misuse and abuse by not selling or sharing prescription drugs. About 18 women die every day of a prescription painkiller overdose in the US.
Give yourself a "heart-healthy" makeover.
- Be a little fruity. Using more fruits and vegetables along with whole grains and lean meats, nuts, and beans is a safe and healthy way to lose or maintain a healthy weight.
- Have less stress about quitting. Smoking declined among all U.S. adults, from around 21% in 2005 to 18% in 2012. Eighty-four percent of adult women in the U.S. do not smoke. For support in quitting, including free quit coaching, a free quit plan, free educational materials, and referrals to local resources:
Give yourself a "healthy skin" makeover.
Keep your skin healthy and beautiful for life by protecting yourself from too much exposure to ultraviolet (UV) rays from the sun and tanning beds. UV rays can damage your skin, increasing your risk for skin cancer and premature skin aging. To protect your skin, CDC recommends these easy options—
- Stay in the shade, especially during midday hours.
- Wear clothing that covers your arms and legs.
- Wear a hat with a wide brim to shade your face, head, ears, and neck.
- Wear sunglasses that that wrap around and block both UVA and UVB rays.
- Use sunscreen with sun protection factor (SPF) 15 or higher and both UVA and UVB protection.
- Avoid indoor tanning.
Give yourself a "risk free" makeover.
- Here's a better way to say it. Lower your chances of getting certain diseases and conditions.
- Have a plan and take action, as needed. Whether or not you've written them down, you've probably thought about your goals for having or not having children and how to achieve those goals.
- Get the HPV vaccine. It is safe, effective, and recommended for girls 11 and 12 years of age with a catch-up through age 26 for those who have not yet been vaccinated or completed the vaccine series to protect against the types of HPV that cause most cervical cancers.
- Use a new condom every time you have anal, vaginal, or oral sex. Correct and consistent use of the male latex condom is highly effective in reducing transmission of sexually transmitted infections. The most reliable way to avoid infection is to not have sex (i.e., anal, vaginal or oral).Knowing your STD status is a critical step to stopping STD transmission. If you know you are infected you can take steps to protect yourself and your partners.
Every day you make decisions that impact your health. Being better informed on what you can do to stay healthy and safe is a makeover worth having.