8 Health Tips Every Woman Should Know
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Everyone should take accountability for their health care needs. However, it’s even more critical for women to adopt healthier habits and seek regular screenings to boost longevity and prevent the onset of disease and chronic conditions.
Your health is the most critical thing you have, and it’s never too late to start caring for yourself. Here are eight health tips every woman should know at any age.
1. Reduce Your Stress
Women are superheroes, juggling busy lives at home and the workplace. However, with the world’s weight on their shoulders, too many responsibilities induce immense stress.
Stress bears severe consequences for a woman’s health and well-being. For instance, women have higher rates of anxiety and depression and are more susceptible to panic attacks than men. Chronic stress also leads to increased blood pressure, migraines, obesity, menstrual irregularities and digestive problems.
Practicing self-care and coping strategies — meditation, exercise, nutrition, therapy — is essential to reducing stress in women.
2. Visit Your Doctor Regularly
If it’s been a while since your last wellness check or Pap smear, then it’s time you made an appointment.
The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) recommends women between 21 and 29 have a Pap smear every three years to screen for cervical cancer. Additionally, those between 30 and 65 can have a Pap smear and HPV test simultaneously every five years.
Annual checkups allow you to discuss health concerns with your doctor and monitor for potential infections and conditions with regular bloodwork.
3. Stop Dieting
Skip the next fad diet and opt for healthier eating habits instead. Restricting calorie intake is bound to backfire, leading to binges and other health problems.
Rather than turn down a glass of wine with friends or not order dessert at a restaurant, enjoy indulgences in moderation.
Eating lean meats, non-saturated fats, simple carbohydrates and fiber is better for maintaining a healthy weight and body function.
4. Exercise More
Experts recommend that women get 150 minutes of moderate aerobic exercise weekly, such as walking for 30 minutes five days a week. They should also get at least two days’ worth of strength training exercises.
Exercise is critical for women to prevent cardiovascular disease, diabetes, cancer and osteoporosis. As women reach menopause, their estrogen levels begin declining, causing bone loss. Women account for 80% of the 10 million Americans with osteoporosis.
5. Consider Fertility
Not every woman wants to be a mother — but those who do should consider their options regarding fertility.
Some women can get pregnant in their late 30s and early 40s, but their fertility declines by age 32 dramatically. If you hope to have children, discuss your options with your doctor. You might consider freezing your eggs or starting in-vitro fertilization (IVF) to get pregnant.
Conversely, sexually-active women who don’t want to conceive should inquire about contraceptive medications and other birth control methods.
6. Wear Sunscreen
Skin cancer is the most common cancer in the United States, with melanoma the fifth most prevalent cancer in women in 2022 — so taking extra precautions while basking in the sun is critical for your health.
Only five sunburns can double one’s risk of developing skin cancer. In fact, aside from breast and thyroid cancers, women under 49 are more likely to get melanoma than any other cancer.
Women should apply an SPF 15 sunscreen or higher daily, delivering a 40% reduced risk of developing squamous cell carcinoma.
Exposure to ultraviolet rays also occurs when it’s overcast, so you should protect your skin with sunscreen regardless of the weather.
7. Get to Know Your Breasts
Breast cancer mortality rates are about 2.6%, making it the second leading cause of cancer mortality in women. Women are more likely to be diagnosed with breast cancer after 50, especially if they meet the following risk factors:
- Genetics, such as the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes
- Early menstruation before age 12 and late menopause after 55
- Dense breast tissue
- Family history of breast or ovarian cancer
- Obesity or being overweight
- Poor nutrition
- Late pregnancies after 30
Familiarize yourself with your breasts by regularly checking for unusual lumps while lying down or showering. Experts recommend that women begin breast cancer screenings between 40 and 44, with annual mammograms occurring between 45 and 54 years old. Those 55 and older should screen for breast cancer every two years.
Of course, you should advocate your cancer concerns to your doctor and demand earlier mammograms and genetics screenings if necessary. Women in their 20s and 30s still have a 5% chance of developing breast cancer. Following these health tips that every woman should know helps catch dangerous developments like cancer.
8. Improve Your Sleep
Hormonal changes, menstruation, stress and weight gain can hinder quality sleep and lead to insomnia in women. Yet, sleep becomes even more vital with age to prevent heart disease, diabetes and high blood pressure.
Studies show those with sleep disorders have a 54% increased risk of heart disease than those who get a good night’s rest.
Improve Your Health With Lifestyle Changes
With these health tips every woman should know, you can prioritize your health. Women do their bodies and well-being a favor when they take charge of their health care needs and adopt a more nourishing lifestyle.