Few things are as terrifying as healthcare: while it’s easy to dismiss a runny nose as a cold, a quick trip to the doctor may reveal it to be something more serious. With an infinite amount of diseases, illnesses, and conditions waiting to impact your lifestyle, it’s important that your health takes a front row seat.
As a woman, there is a myriad of conditions that naturally affect you: menopause, menstrual cycles, and age-related osteoporosis are just a few. Healthcare for women is a bit more extensive than simply receiving regular check-ups and taking vitamins: it’s important to understand what you are at risk for and how to combat it. Depending on a long list of circumstances and family history, the answer may vary, although a few things remain the same:
- Eating Right: This is the same bit you hear on talk shows and read in magazines: you have to eat a proper diet. But how many of us actually know what that means, aside from some vague idea on portion sizes and the food pyramid? For some conditions, like menopause, a great diet filled with the right vitamins and minerals can mean the difference between relatively painless symptoms and an excruciating transition process. Healthcare for women doesn’t need to entail lengthy doctors’ visits or a drawer of prescriptions: it can start in your kitchen.
So what does that mean? First, you’ll need to familiarize yourself with your eating habits: do you prefer several small meals, or a few larger ones; or is there a specific time you enjoy eating? You don’t necessarily need to alter what you’re comfortable with already: eating late doesn’t necessarily impact your weight negatively, as long as you choose what you eat carefully. Women lose calcium daily, so daily doses of dairy products are recommended. Vitamin D helps you absorb the calcium, and can be found in most fish. Try balancing each meal: a protein, a vegetable and/or fruit, and cut back on heavily processed foods. Alcohol and caffeine are okay—in moderation. If you’re having trouble finding a diet that can help you replenish your vitamins and minerals, visit with your doctor about creating a meal plan that works best for you!
- Exercising: This is another tip that likely isn’t anything new to you: exercising. But what if the right amount—and right style—of exercise is what’s standing between you and a diagnosis of osteoporosis? Exercising is an integral part of healthcare for women, and it’s one that isn’t hard: simply find something that gets you moving, and go for it!
So what does that mean? Depending on what the goal of exercising is for you, your exercise routine may vary. Typically, exercising 3 times per week for up to an hour is enough to keep your body healthy and strong. Weight-bearing and muscle-strengthening exercises, for example, will help build up your body’s strength, while core exercises improve your balance and overall ability. Combining multiple types of exercise—like yoga and boxing—can have you getting the best of both words. Before you begin a new form of exercise, visit with your doctor and make sure it’s right for you.
- Other good ideas are likely one’s you’ve heard before: but that’s just because they actually work. Getting a good night’s rest means sleeping restfully for eight hours per night. If you’re waking up after that period of time and still feel exhausted, you may need to consult your doctor for a potential sleeping disorder. Laughter really is the best medicine for relieving stress and releasing feel-good endorphins: don’t be afraid to belly-chuckle multiple times per day. Flossing also can help your overall health; dental bacteria can increase your risk of heart disease, so why not invest in some floss?
Healthcare for women doesn’t have to be difficult, despite the variety of medical conditions that can occur. Often, the best tips are the ones that you hear most often: they are tried and true, and repeated for just that reason. Instead of waiting for a life-changing diagnosis, alter your lifestyle now and prevent a serious condition later!