This week-long observance was initiated by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office on Women’s Health.
It encourages and empowers women to put their health as their top priority.
The Office on Women’s Health provides women of all ages with information on relevant topics for their age, such as important preventative check-ups with appropriate doctors and info on health conditions that may arise. Additionally, Women’s Health Week focuses on breaking destructive habits such as smoking, texting while driving, and not wearing a seatbelt.
Areas of great importance to focus on this week include nutritious eating, daily exercise, and improving your sleep habits. As you’ve heard before, choosing lean meats, fruits, vegetables, grains that are mostly unrefined, fat-free or low-fat dairy is recommended. Rest assured, these recommendations do not mean that you cannot enjoy the occasional treat. It is simply a reminder that you should focus on fueling your body with wholesome, nourishing foods.
Along with healthy eating, exercise is key to maintaining health at all ages. Regular physical activity can help lower your risk of developing disease such as obesity, heart disease, high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, osteoporosis, certain types of cancer, and even depression. Not only will exercise benefit your physical well-being but also your mental well-being.
Mental health is commonly overlooked but is no less important than physical health. Mental health can be impacted by lack of sleep and stress levels. Part of the mission of Women’s Health week is to remind women that self-care is an important part of maintaining overall health and well-being. This means that you cannot always put all your energy into caring for others without taking time out for yourself. Without being of sound body and mind, how can you expect to give your all to everyone else? Part of this self-care is getting enough rest. Sleep deprivation can increase stress and make it difficult to focus on important tasks.
Healthy ways to reduce stress include regulating your sleep cycle, exercising regularly, and eating well. Although it may be challenging, stress or emotional eating is never recommended because the truth is you’re hurting yourself more than you are helping yourself. Focusing on your own well-being and releasing stress daily through exercise and personal time will contribute to your overall health.
All of these suggestions boil down to the same key point: good health comes with caring for yourself, loving yourself, and accepting yourself. Strive to better yourself and the women around you!
Your turn to take action: Spread the word about National Women’s Health Week and encourage women to care for and love themselves! What will you do for yourself this week?