Mother’s Day is the kickoff to National Women’s Health Week each year. The initiative encourages women and girls to make their health a priority. The CDC has found that women make up two out of three caregivers in the United States. This means women who are caregivers provide daily or regular support to children, adults, or those with chronic illnesses or disabilities. Women who have a role as a caregiver are at a greater risk of developing poor physical and mental health. To reduce this risk, women can practice preventive care. Preventive care can minimize the risk of chronic diseases and help detect any issues early so that a treatment plan can be made.
Ways to Make Your Health a Priority
1. Talk with your Health Care Team
It is essential to schedule regular check-ups. Writing down any questions you may have and taking them to your appointments can help you have a guided conversation with your doctor. Lastly, find out when you need to schedule screenings and exams.
2. Have a Balanced, Healthy Diet
Create a healthy eating plan that includes whole grains, fruits, vegetables, fat-free/low-fat dairy products, lean proteins, and limited sodium. Folic acid is essential for women’s health and is needed daily. Folic acid promotes healthy new cells and prevents significant birth defects. Limiting alcohol can prevent the development of chronic disease. Drink alcohol in moderation. For women, this is one drink a day.
3. Move Your Body
We should shoot for 150 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity each week. Physical activity lowers the risk of heart disease. Physical activity improves our physical health, mental health, and sleep. Make simple changes to add physical activity into your day, like moving more and sitting less, and parking farther away while shopping. Remember, house and yard work count!
4. Don’t Forget Mental Health
Mental health is just as important as our physical health. Find practices that best work for you when coping with stress. Here are some stress management tips:
- Deep breathing exercises, stretching or meditating
- Make time for the activities that you enjoy
- Have a support system. This can be family, friends, or peers.
- If you would like more information on stress management, check out this factsheet.
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2021, May 5). Celebrating Women’s Health Week! Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Retrieved May 5, 2022, from https://www.cdc.gov/healthequity/features/nwhw/index.html