Stay active. Eat healthy. And get some sleep! Most important? Start today. The federal government’s Office on Women’s Health created National Women’s Health Week as a way to encourage all women to make the choices which are right for them.
Women have unique health issues such as pregnancy and menopause. And some of the health issues that affect both men and women can touch women differently. Examples include osteoarthritis and urinary tract problems — both of which tend to affect women more.
The observance, which begins each Mother’s Day, runs from May 12 to 18, 2019. National Women’s Health Week also encourages women to consider the factors that influence their mental health, such as managing stress, in order to ward off anxiety and depression. This year marks the 20th annual event.
Read on for much more — including a look at how to improve your overall wellbeing — and learn five valuable women’s health tips along the way.
National Women's Health Week timeline
New research shows premenstrual dysphoric disorder, a more serious form of PMS, affects up to five percent of women of childbearing age.
PMDD may also cause at least one of these symptoms: sadness or hopelessness; anxiety or tension; extreme moodiness; as well as irritability or anger.
This groundbreaking med, otherwise known as the "morning-after pill," received approval for over-the-counter sales.
Low-level radiation mammograms gave birth to the modern era of mammography.
The FDA approved pharmaceutical company G. D. Searle's oral contraceptive. Over 1.2 million would go on "the Pill" within two years. Gaining control of reproductive health was crucial for the women's health movement.
How Planned Parenthood began
Margaret Sanger opened America's first birth control clinic in Brooklyn. This led to an arrest and conviction. Although she lost on appeal, the courts ruled that physicians could prescribe contraceptives to women for medical reasons. Her efforts led to the Planned Parenthood Federation of America.
How to Observe National Women's Health Week
Visit your doctor
Annual checkups are an absolute must for maintaining good health. If you haven't had a physical in a while, contact your doctor and book an appointment. Yes, even if you're feeling great.
Analyze your diet
Check your eating habits to make sure you're getting the recommended daily allotment of nutrients. It's easy to slip into an unhealthy eating routine. Make National Women's Health Week a time to adjust your diet.
Join the gym
Join your local gym and establish a regular workout routine. Better yet, if you have the resources, hire a personal trainer who will keep you honest.
Health & Happiness: 5 Strategies For Women
Lose the stress
Long-term stress can lead to serious health problems. Women are also more likely to develop depression and anxiety
Put a cap on calcium
There's a limit. If you're under 50, try for 1,000 mg per day. Over 50? Push it up to 1,200 mg. Calcium-rich foods include milk, salmon, and almonds.
Check for cervical cancer every three years if you're over 21. If you are 30-65, you can get both Pap and HPV tests every five years.
Birth control benefits
Studies show the Pill can lower the risk of uterine and ovarian cancer as well as regulate your cycle.
Stop fearing (all) fats
Fats aren't necessarily detrimental to your health. Those that come from avocados, nuts, seeds, and fatty fish are generally ok.
Why National Women's Health Week is Important
Happiness starts with good health
Healthy women have more energy to get through the day and approach life with more hope and optimism. They are less stressed and experience lower levels of anxiety. Use National Women's Health Week as a reminder to breathe.
Kids need their moms
For moms, living a healthier lifestyle and taking preventative measures means they'll be around longer for their kids. Also, kids tend to adopt their parents' habits; healthy moms are likely to have healthier kids.
Good health is infectious
When friends and family see how happy you are by living a healthier lifestyle, they'll want a piece of that happiness pie. Living and eating well shows others that they can do it too.