Even if you feel healthy, it is still necessary to visit your primary care physician regularly to catch any irregularities in their earliest, most treatable stages.
Researchers at Brown University Medical School found that many women, including most young women ages 20-35, eat more fast food than they did in their teens, and therefore are missing out on key nutrients in their diets. In addition to eating a variety of nutrient-rich foods, women should make sure to get enough:
In combination with maintaining a balanced diet, staying active is key to keeping a healthy weight and preventing a number of chronic health conditions from occurring on down the line. Studies show women who are active may reduce their risk of breast cancer by 37 percent, osteoporosis by 45 percent and heart disease by 14 percent. For optimal health, strive to engage in at least 2.5 hours of moderate-intensity aerobic activity each week. Include a variety of workouts to exercise a full range of muscles, such as yoga, walking, running, high-impact weight-bearing exercises and resistance exercises.
Did you know more women die from lung cancer than breast cancer? Smoking is the main cause of lung cancer, and nearly 20 percent of women age 25 to 44 smoke. Smoking raises risk for heart disease and stroke, and can even negatively affect your reproductive health and the safety of your pregnancy. If you don’t already smoke, don’t start. If you do smoke, you aren’t alone. In fact, 70 percent of women who smoke want to quit. Talk to your physician about smoking cessation aids and support groups.
While it may feel unavoidable at times, lack of sleep can affect a woman’s health and wellness in the short- and long-term. There are many complex factors that affect how women sleep, such as life events, bad sleep habits and hormonal changes. Sleep deprivation is linked to a number of chronic health conditions, including hypertension, cardiovascular disease, depression, diabetes, obesity and cancer. Set yourself up for a healthier future by striving to get the National Health Institute of Health’s suggested 7 to 8 hours of sleep for adults each night.
While these women all had a massive impact on medicine around the world, there are plenty of other female scientists, activists, and doctors who have made strong contributions to the medical field. While breaking societal and gender expectations for their era, these women have paved the way for others to follow and continue leaving their mark on medicine. Thousands of lives have been saved and will continue to be saved as a result of the dedication and hard work of these women. Today, America remains a leader in medical research thanks to their dedication to innovation. Therefore, this National Women’s History Month we honor their multiple accomplishments and contributions.