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By: Alison Jacobson
Posted on: Sep 24, 2020

5 Health and Wellness Tips for Women

Since the pandemic began people are thinking more about preventative measures to stay healthy. We’re washing our hands more, wiping down high-touch surfaces and staying away from others when we’re not feeling well.

If there’s any upshot to COVID hopefully it’s that we’re taking our health a bit more seriously. Women especially tend to think about everyone else’s health before their own. We’ll cancel our own doctor’s appointments if we’re busy but will always find the time to take our kids or aging parents for a check-up.

As we head into the fall it’s more important than ever to take care of ourselves. Women don’t have time to be sick and honestly our family members aren’t the best at taking care of us when we are!

Start checking off some of these health and wellness to-do items today.

Book your screenings

When you get the reminder in the mail about booking your mammogram and pap smear do it immediately. It’s easy to put it off until you’re done with work but literally it takes minutes to book the appointment. Also, if you’re over 50 years of age you should schedule a colonoscopy.

Think about your bones

50 percent of women in the U.S. age 50 or older will break a bone due to osteoporosis. Women’s bone density starts out lower than men’s and with the loss of estrogen as we get older our bones become even more brittle. Getting enough calcium and Vitamin D is critical for helping keep our bones strong. Women under 50 should get 1000 mg of calcium per day and women over 50 - 1200 mg. Vitamin D helps your body absorb calcium and use it to strengthen your bones. When your skin is exposed to sunlight, your liver and kidneys are responsible for making vitamin D but usually that isn’t enough. Your goal should be 600 international units (IU) of vitamin D per day if you are 70 or younger and 800 IU if you are 71 or older.

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Get moving

Even if your gym is closed right now you can get out and walk, which is one of the best forms of exercise you can do. It can improve cholesterol levels, strengthen bones, keep blood pressure in check, lift your mood, and lower your risk for a number of diseases (diabetes and heart disease, for example). Several studies have shown that walking and other physical activities can even improve memory and resist age-related memory loss.

Get vaccinated

This year especially it’s important to get a flu shot. Doctors recommend getting it in early October. If you’re over 50 years-old you should also consider getting a shingles vaccine. Talk to your doctor if this is right for you.

Cut back on alcohol

Not only can drinking too much lead to long term health issues such as high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, liver disease, and digestive problems, but it also increases the likelihood of depression and anxiety. According to a recent poll by the Kaiser Family Foundation nearly half of Americans report the coronavirus crisis is harming their mental health. And in the timeframe between February and June the purchase of alcohol has increased 26%. If you’re anxious or depressed ramp up your endorphins by exercising and relax by meditating.