Our health is the most important thing in our life. Yet, we are too busy to take care of it. Being healthy involves good habits. In this article, we will review 15 essential health tips every woman needs to know.

1- Be physically active

Being physically active will help you lower your risk of cardiovascular disease and diabetes. It will also keep your bones, joints, and muscles healthy. You can stay active by simply walking often, taking the stairs instead of the elevator, and cleaning your house frequently. Consider physical activities you can do with a friend or your family. It will help you stay motivated. Regular exercise also reduces stress, anxiety, and improve mental health overall.

2- Healthy diet

A healthy diet has numerous benefits for your health. It helps protect the body against chronic diseases such as diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, bone conditions, and certain types of cancer. Our body needs proteins, fats, carbohydrates, fibers, vitamins, and minerals to function correctly. Instead of having strict limitations about what you eat, try to choose the best foods for each category. Eating healthy is a constant balance of quality and quantity. It means more fruits and veggies, fewer meats, less sugar drink, and more fresh-pressed fruit juice.
Try to cut down on sugar and processed foods. One of the best ways to start a healthy diet is to eat more home-cooked meals. You will know precisely what you are eating.

3- Improve your sleep

Good quality of sleep daily is vital for your physical and mental health. Sleeping plays an essential role in cardiovascular health. When you sleep, it helps your heart and vessels to relax. Adequate sleep also improves concentration and immune function. People who don’t get enough sleep have a higher risk of diabetes, obesity, heart diseases, and stroke. The American Academy of Sleep Medicine and the Sleep Research Society recommend at least 7 hours of sleep per day for adults (1).
To improve your sleep, try to :

  • set a sleeping routine by going to sleep and waking up at the same time
  • create a quiet and relaxing environment when you are ready to sleep
  • turn off your devices

4- Consider meditation

Meditation is a mental exercise used to increase your focus and aid you relax. It has been proven that meditation has several health benefits:

  • Increasing self-awareness
  • Reduction of anxiety and stress
  • Increasing the ability to maintain attention
  • Improvement of sleep and memory

A study from UCLA has found that meditation helps preserve the brain from aging. (2). Meditation is also helpful in many health conditions. It helps to cope with symptoms of diseases such as asthma, cancer, pain, post-traumatic stress disorder, heart disease, fibromyalgia, hypertension, irritable bowel syndrome, sleeping problems, headaches.
If you are new to meditation, this is an exciting meditation article for beginners.

5- Try relaxation

Relaxation protects the mind and your body against the effect of the stress. It has a good impact on the heart rate and the muscles. It also reduces fatigue and inflammation. These are some tips to help you relax:

  • try deep breathing exercises
  • spend some time in nature
  • listen to slow music
  • take a warm bath
  • get a massage
  • do some Yoga.

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6- Avoid drugs

Drug addiction has damaging effects on the body. When you have a drug addiction, you are likely to have other health issues such as mental health, cancer, heart disease, or lung disease. It also increases the risk of STDs. People with substance abuse have a higher risk of getting or transmitting HIV or Hepatite C. The use of the drug during pregnancy increases the risk of pregnancy complications. It can cause serious harm to your baby.

7- Protect yourself from UV rays

Too much exposure to the UltraViolet rays is a leading cause of skin cancer. UV comes mostly from the sun but also from tanning equipment. Avoid prolonged exposure to the sun, especially between 10 AM and 4 PM, when the sun’s rays are strongest. If you have to be out, use sunscreen, wear sun-protective clothes, UV-blocking sunglasses, and a hat.

Most people think that UVs coming from tannings beds are harmless, but they are wrong. No matter what the source of the UV is, it can cause damage to the skin.

8- Practice safe sex

STDs are at the top of women’s sexual health issues. STDs can have a severe effect on women’s health. Untreated Chlamydia and gonorrhea are most likely to cause infertility in women, while HPV is the first risk factor of cervical cancer.  By practicing safe sex, you can considerably reduce the risk of contracting an STD. Use a condom whenever you want to have sex or limit the number of the sexual partner to only one. Get often tested when you have multiples partners.

9- Take care of your mental health

Each year, more than 1 in 5 women experience mental disorders in the United States. (3)
Women are affected differently by mental health issues. For example, depression, anxiety, and eating disorders are more common in women. They can also experience mental disorders due to hormonal changes that happen throughout their lifetime. These disorders include postpartum depression, perimenopausal depression, premenstrual dysphoric disorder.

Your mental health is as important as your physical health.  Mental health issues like depression increase the risk of physical health problems such as stroke, type 2 diabetes, and cardiovascular diseases. Taking care of your mental health should be a priority.
Learn more about the warning signs of mental illness on the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH).

If you are struggling emotionally:

  • try to reach out to people that can provide you emotional support
  • talk to your family doctor
  • visit NIMH’s Help for Mental Illnesses for more resources on mental health

10- Stay hydrated

Adequate hydration is crucial for our well being. Water has many roles in the body. It helps to eliminate the wastes from our body through urination, perspiration, and bowel movements. Water also affects the brain function and spinal cord. It plays an essential role in calories and body temperature regulation. To help you stay hydrated, keep a bottle of water with you, and drink gradually throughout the day. You can add some lemon wedges or cucumber to improve the taste.

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11- Lose weight

Moderate weight loss will improve your heart and cardiovascular health and metabolism. It also reduces your risk of chronic disease. Healthy eating with a consistent physical activity is the best way to have a healthy weight loss. Talk to a healthcare provider before starting your weight-loss journey. He or She can give you the proper guidance to lose weight.
Read more about what you need to know when you want to lose weight.

12- Quit smoking

Smoking can cause a lot of damage to the body. It affects your lung, heart, bones, and immune system. Tobacco smoke is a leading cause of cancer anywhere in the body. Women smokers have a higher risk of cervical cancer. Smoking also has adverse effects on reproductive health. It can lead to infertility, ectopic pregnancy, miscarriage. Smoking during pregnancy puts your baby at risk of complications such as preterm birth, low birth weight, birth defects, Sudden Infant Death Syndrome(SIDS). Quitting smoking is not easy, but there is a lot of resources available for you.

  • You can join a support group.
  • Your family doctor can also assist you.
  • The quitSTART app of smokefree.gov is an app that can help you quit with tips, information, inspirations, and challenges.

13- Limit your alcohol intake

Excessive alcohol use can harm your body. It puts you at risk of chronic diseases. Drinking too much alcohol can also lead to many types of cancers. Women’s bodies are more likely to absorb more alcohol and need more extended periods to break it down, so alcohol abuse causes more damage to women’s health. (4)
Drinking during pregnancy puts your baby at risk of physical, behavioral, and intellectual disabilities known as fetal alcohol spectrum disorders. (5)

If you are worried that you are drinking too much and want to control your alcohol intake:

14- Take a break from social media

Social media platforms are now present in every aspect of our lives. They have changed the way we communicate with our friends and family. The use of social media has many advantages, like empowering women’s business. Unfortunately, it is also associated with many negative impacts on our mental health. Social can be a source of loss of self-esteem. Many people fake having perfect bodies and better life on social media. This is a source of unnecessary pressure that can harm our mental health.

Learn to take a break from social media whenever you can. You can start by :

  • setting daily limits
  • Turning off your notifications
  • Deleting your app(s)
  • Don’t forget to tell people you interact with that you’ll be offline

Taking a break from social media will also help you have more in-person activities with your loved ones.

15- Get screened

Screening tests help to detect hidden disease in apparently healthy people. Everyone women should frequently get screened for the most common conditions that affect their health. These tests include a Pap test or breast exam, blood pressure screening, depression screening, diabetes test, STDs screening.
Screening won’t always prevent a disease, but it can often detect problems early enough to give you the best chance to recover. If you want to know which tests and vaccines you need, you can visit MyHealthfinder of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. You will get a personalized recommendation for screenings, vaccines, and other preventive services.

 

References

  1. https://www.cdc.gov/sleep/features/getting-enough-sleep.html
  2. https://www.uclahealth.org/evidence-builds-that-meditation-strengthens-the-brain
  3. https://www.womenshealth.gov/mental-health
  4. https://www.cdc.gov/alcohol/fact-sheets/womens-health.htm
  5. https://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/fasd/alcohol-use.html#:~:text=Drinking%20alcohol%20during%20pregnancy%20can,alcohol%20spectrum%20disorders%20(FASDs).
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About the Author

Hermione M.

My name is Hermione. I am the founder of WomenH and I write about women's health, wellness, mental health, and personal growth. I created this platform to inspire women to take care of themselves mentally, physically, and emotionally to become their best selves. Thank you for stopping by.

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