During May, we focus our attention on women’s health, specifically on how women can identify areas where they can improve their health. There are things we should all be doing to keep healthy–eating the right foods, maintaining a healthy weight, exercising regularly and seeing our doctor for routine exams. However, there are certain areas that impact women more frequently than men and these are the topics I’d like to mention in this week’s blog.
Let’s begin with calcium levels and osteoporosis. I’m sure you’ve seen a commercial for one of the many medications available for women who have already developed the bone disease that causes weak, brittle bones, which break easily. May is also National Osteoporosis Month and the National Osteoporosis Foundation includes in their recommendations of ways to avoid osteoporosis, to eat a well-balanced diet that is good for bone health. They specifically indicate this includes fruit and vegetables. They also suggest engaging in regular excercise. Fruits & Veggies–More Matters has a list of fruit and veggies that are good sources of calcium which is important for bone health, like collard greens and spinach. Of course, consuming low-fat dairy will also provide you with calcium as well.
As women, we are all too familiar with the pink ribbon and what it stands for. Breast cancer has impacted almost everyone–either one of us are a survivor or know of someone who is. While there are certain risk factors we cannot control, the good news is there are some we can! According to the American Cancer Society, moderate to vigorous physical activity has been linked with a lower risk of breast cancer. In addition, a healthy diet has been linked with a lower risk of breast cancer. This includes lowering your fat intake, eating a diet rich in fruit and vegetables, poultry, fish and low-fat dairy products.
Finally, I realize both men and women are guilty of this, but I tend to see women do this more frequently (I’ve been guilty of this many times myself in the past). Summer is right around the corner and it’s so important to protect your skin! I am always reminding my teens about putting on the sunscreen before going outside. Ladies, trust me–you will still get a “summer glow” if you protect your skin and you won’t sacrifice yourself to do it. I wish I had taken this advice back when I was a teen and used sunscreen the way I should have and I wouldn’t now be seeing sun spots on my own skin. Even more importantly, you run the risk of developing skin cancer.
Actually, this leads me into one last thought–if you haven’t paid your doctor a visit in a while, stop in and see him/her. So many illnesses/diseases can be cured if they are caught early, which is why it’s so important to keep up-to-date with regular doctor visits. You know if you’re not feeling well or something isn’t right. Don’t ignore a symptom! Remember, if you take care of your body, it will take care of you for many years to come.