National Women’s Health Week: Empowering Health at Every Age
Alicia Armeli

Happy National Women’s Health Week! From May 14-20, we’re celebrating health at every age. But being healthy starts with you!

You may be familiar with the wise adage: Prevention is better than cure.1 Research has shown that leading a healthy lifestyle can reduce the risk of chronic diseases, like type 2 diabetes and heart disease.2,3 By taking preventative steps—no matter your age—you’re also taking control of your health!

Here are some everyday tips to be healthy at any age:4

  • Eat a balanced, healthy whole foods diet
  • Exercise for at least 30 minutes
  • Sleep for 7-8 hours per night
  • Reach and maintain a healthy weight
  • Don’t smoke or get help quitting
  • Limit alcohol to one drink or less per day
  • Avoid illegal drug use or misuse of prescription medications
  • Wear a bike helmet/protective gear when participating in sports
  • Wear a seatbelt in cars and don’t text and drive
  • Pay attention to your mental health—including ways to manage stress

Vitamin and mineral requirements differ from one life stage to the next.

If you’re premenopausal…

The US Department of Health and Human Services Office on Women’s Health recommends taking 400-800 mcg of folic acid each day.4 A B-vitamin, folic acid (or folate found in food) has many health benefits. Especially if you’re considering becoming pregnant, folic acid plays an important role in healthy fetal nervous system development. Talk to your doctor about which supplements and dosages are right for you.

If you’re 65 and older…

Vitamin D supplementation is recommended to support bone health and prevent falls.4 Talk to your doctor about which supplements and dosages are right for you.

Don’t forget your yearly check-up!

It’s important to schedule a yearly preventative check-up appointment with your doctor called a well-woman visit. This gives you and your doctor the opportunity to check your health, discuss health goals, personal disease risk factors, and what positive lifestyle changes you can make. It’s also the perfect time to talk about any medical tests or vaccines you may need, health questions and concerns you may have, and symptoms of life changes seen with perimenopause and menopause.4

This is a week of female empowerment! It’s never too late to start taking charge of your health. Schedule a sit-down with your doctor today to discuss how you personally can take steps to become the healthiest version of you!

ABOUT THE AUTHOR   Alicia Armeli is a Freelance Writer and Editor, Registered Dietitian Nutritionist, and Certified Holistic Life Coach. She has master’s degrees in English Education and Nutrition. Through her writing, she empowers readers to live optimally by building awareness surrounding issues that impact health and wellbeing. In addition to writing, she enjoys singing, traveling abroad and volunteering in her community.

REFERENCES

  1. Erasmus, D. (n.d.). Desiderius Erasmus Quotes. Retrieved from https://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/d/desiderius148997.html
  2. American Diabetes Association. (n.d.). Prevention. Retrieved from http://www.diabetes.org/advocacy/advocacy-priorities/prevention/
  3. American Heart Association. (2016, Sept 16). Lifestyle Changes for Heart Attack Prevention. Retrieved from http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/Conditions/HeartAttack/LifeAfteraHeartAttack/Lifestyle-Changes-for-Heart-Attack-Prevention_UCM_303934_Article.jsp#.WRX3PFLMwhs
  4. US Department of Health and Human Services Office on Women’s Health. (2017, Mar 31). Your Health at Every Age. Retrieved from https://www.womenshealth.gov/nwhw/by-age