It's National Women's Health Week! Did you know that? I didn't until yesterday, which is why I didn't put this up earlier this week. Better late then never, though, right?
As women, we tend to try to do it all, don't we? Especially if we have kids. We are not just mom but also perhaps wife, housekeeper, teacher, nurse, chef, taxi driver, boo-boo kisser, etc. And many of us have jobs outside of the home too! Where does that leave time for us?? I know I am guilty of putting myself last more then once. But it is so important that we make our health a priority.
I found some wonderful information on women's health through the womenshealth.gov website. I would encourage you to check it out and will share some highlights here. I also am taking some of my information from Dr. Jaime McManus, M.D., chair of medical affairs, health sciences and education, with Shaklee. Shaklee is the #1 natural nutrition company in the US and if you have followed my blog at all, you know I LOVE my Shaklee!! :)
It is important to visit your doctor regularly. Mamograms should start at age 40 and pap smears annually.
Physical activity lowers your risk of heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, type 2 diabetes, certain cancers, depression, arthritis and the list goes on! It is a great way to manage stress and control your weight.
Walking is a simple way to get some exercise in. I also enjoy yoga and kickboxing when I really need to de-stress! lol
I know this isn't always easy to do. At least not for me, the queen of sugar cravings! It is important though, to get our daily allowance (7-9) servings of fruits and veggies daily. A serving really isn't that big - 1/2 and apple, 1/2 cup of blueberries, etc. Try for the most fresh and whole food that you can.
It is also important to eat whole grain food (look for 100% whole wheat and nothing enriched). Low fat dairy options are great along with fish (wild caught is best), eggs, nuts.
Poly and Mono saturated fats are good. Limit your intake of saturated and trans fats. Those are not so good!
Also limit cholesterol, sodium and added sugar. Be sure to steer clear of artificial sweeteners, like in sugar-free items and in diet soda. Studies have been showing those linked to cancer and weight GAIN! Soda in general is not good as the carbonation has been seen to leach calcium from bone.
Water, water, water! Always the best choice. If you aren't used to drinking water, start slowly. You may be surprised at how you begin to crave it over time and really enjoy it more then soda, juice or coffee.
Nowadays, we get our food from all over the world. Produce can be harvested earlier, which limits the nutrients that it provides. Even if you are eating well, chances are you may still need a good quality multivitamin to fill in the gaps in your nutrition. Not all vitamins are created equal. Some are made from synthetic ingredients that do not break down in the body. Be sure to research the one you choose. You already know that I love my Shaklee so you can guess which one my family takes. But this was after my research-scientist husband put Shaklee through the ringer and was so impressed by the science backing their products.
In addition to a multivitamin, it is important to get enough calcium and vitamin D3 for bone health. Bone loss begins at a very early age.
Omega 3 Fatty Acids (DHA, EPA) are also so important to our health in many ways. Fish and olive oil have this. But most people need to supplement as well. A good supplement will not have any contamination of lead, etc. that fish may have. And recent studies show that mother's who took a DHA supplement in pregnancy have smarter kids with better brain development!
Supplementing can also help with digestive health. Digestive health issues can lead to infertility problems. Sometimes just adding a probiotic to a women's diet can assist with pregnancy.
Don't Smoke!! We know this leads to all sorts of health issues including cancer and heart disease.
Be sure to get enough sleep. 7-8 hours a night is ideal. It also helps with stress management.
Women's heart attack symptoms are different then men! Some include feeling anxious, shortness of breath, odd pain in the arm. Women who have a heart attack in their 40s are 8xs more likely to die from it then men!
Be proactive about your health! Your family will thank you for it!
I hope this information is beneficial to you. Please share with the women in your life.
How do you take care of yourself?
Thanks for reading and have a wonderful weekend!