Women’s Health Facts
The CDC states that a women’s involvement in various modes of physical activity can help improve day to day function, especially women with heart disease or arthritis. Here are some tips on how to start to become involved in more physical activity:
Start to fit health and wellness it into you busy schedule
- If you can’t set aside one block of time, do short activities throughout the day, such as three 10-minute walks.
- Create opportunities for activity. Try parking your car farther away from where you are headed. If you ride the bus or train, get off one or two stops early and walk.
- Walk or bike to work or to the store.
- Use stairs instead of the elevator or escalator.
- Take breaks at work to stretch or take quick walks, or do something active with coworkers at lunch.
- Walk while you talk, if you’re using a cell phone or cordless phone.
- Doing yard work or household chores counts as physical activity. Turn on some upbeat music to help you do chores faster and speed up your heart rate.
Make health and wellness fun
- Choose activities that you enjoy.
- Vary your activities, so you don’t get bored. For instance, use different jogging, walking, or biking paths. Or bike one day, and jog the next.
- Reward yourself when you achieve your weekly goals. For instance, reward yourself by going to a movie.
- If you have children, make time to play with them outside. Set a good example!
- Plan active vacations that will keep you moving, such as taking tours and sightseeing on foot.
Make health and wellness social
- Join a hiking or running club.
- Go dancing with your partner or friends.
- Turn activities into social occasions — for example, go to a movie after you and a friend work out.
- Don’t let cold weather keep you on the couch. You can find activities to do in the winter, such as indoor fitness classes or exercising to a workout video.
- If you live in a neighborhood where it is unsafe to be active outdoors, contact your local recreational center or church to see if they have indoor activity programs that you can join. You can also find ways to be active at home. For instance, you can do push-ups or lift hand weights. If you don’t have hand weights, you can use canned foods or bottles filled with water or sand.
Know your numbers
High cholesterol increases your risk for heart disease. People at any age can take steps to keep cholesterol levels normal, like eating a healthy diet, maintaining a healthy weight, and exercising regularly. (http://www.cdc.gov/cholesterol/
Desirable Cholesterol Levels:
- Total cholesterol Less than 200 mg/dL
- LDL (“bad” cholesterol) Less than 100 mg/dL
- HDL (“good” cholesterol)40 mg/dL or higher
- Triglycerides Less than 150 mg/dL
Get screened regularly
Breast cancer is the most common cancer among American women. Having regular mammograms can lower the risk of dying from breast cancer. If you are 50 to 74 years old, be sure to have a screening mammogram every two years. If you are 40 to 49 years old, talk to your doctor about when to start and how often to get a screening mammogram. (http://www.cdc.gov/cancer
Every year in the United States, about 12,000 women get cervical cancer and almost 4,000 women die from it. But it is the most preventable female cancer with regular screening tests and early treatment. (http://www.cdc.gov/cancer/hpv/)
By Fitness Intern Kathleen Reno