5 things women should do to stay healthy

May 02, 2016 | by Jacqueline Ross, M.D.

Moms really are superheroines, aren’t they?

They shuttle kids to activities and cheer from the sidelines, cook dinner, plant flowers in the yard, feed the pets and make sure necessities like toilet paper and soap are stocked — often while also working a full-time job.

They sew on loose buttons, tie shoes and read bedtime stories. Do they give their own wellness as much attention?

Often the answer is no. Moms will take care of everyone else before they get to themselves, and by then they’re usually too tired to deal with much self-care.

This is a good time to remind mom that her health should be a personal priority.

These easy tips will help her — and any woman you love — stay healthy:

  • Find workouts you like and make them part of your weekly routine. Strive for 30 minutes, five days a week, but every little bit helps if you don't have time to do the full 30 minutes. Take the stairs instead of the elevator. Also, try to schedule out when you will exercise each week ahead of time. The key is finding an activity you enjoy, so it doesn’t feel like a WORKout. If you like biking, you’ll look forward to that evening ride. Enjoy nature? Walk through a forest preserve.
  • Get screened regularly for disease. This is essential. Screenings can find potential problems before they become problems. Regular screenings don’t take much time to accomplish and are worth the effort. Edward-Elmhurst Health even offers a free, online screening tool called Health Aware. You can gauge your health from your smartphone! If you’ve got a few minutes, you can check your risk for things like breast cancer, heart disease, anxiety, depression, stroke and diabetes.
  • Get enough sleep. This is a tough one. There aren’t enough hours in the day, I get that. But sacrificing your mental and physical health to get things done is going to come back to bite you. You can’t take care of your family or yourself as well when you’re tired or if you get sick from lack of sleep. (Do you think you might have a sleep disorder? There’s a Health Aware test for that!)
  • Make time for YOU. Relaxation is crucial for stress relief. Are you most relaxed with your friends? Schedule regular girls’ nights out. Get a massage. Take an afternoon off. Work out. See a movie. The lower your stress, the better you feel both mentally and physically. Some time off will recharge your batteries.
  • Pay attention to what you’re eating. There are things you can eat that will give you energy, and there are things you can eat that will sap it. Processed food and sugary treats may be convenient and taste good, but they will result in a complete energy crash, leaving you hungry for more. Don’t get slogged down by sugar. Take the time to put healthy snacks in your cabinet or car – like whole grains, fibrous fruit and veggies.

Be Health Aware! Take a free, five-minute test that could save your life.

Moms, what do you do to stay healthy? Share with us in the comments below!

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