How are you feeling today? What do you need to improve your health, both mentally and physically? What actions will you take today to better your health for tomorrow?
These are a few questions that women are encouraged to ask themselves every day, but especially during National Women’s Health Week.
Running from May 10 - May 16, National Women’s Health Week is a national effort led by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Office on Women’s Health. The week-long awareness campaign encourages women to take better care of their bodies and minds by adopting daily positive health habits.
In light of the week-long health observance, we’ve put together the ultimate Women’s Health Toolkit, giving you a roadmap to being your healthiest self!
Women’s Health Toolkit
During the age of COVID-19, social-distancing, and an unprecedented amount of time spent at home, National Women’s Health Week has emphasized both physical and mental wellbeing.
Wellness is all about achieving balance, which is necessary for our minds and bodies. When both of these aspects of self are aligned, it’s wonderful how comfortable and confident we feel.
So, let’s break down actionable steps to better your health in both categories.
Enhancing physical wellness
Physical wellness isn’t solely about looking lean and toned. While that may be a fitness goal for some, maintaining physical health is about movement, nutrition, and implementing healthy behaviors.
To feel your best physically:
Move for at least one hour every day, even if broken up into smaller time increments. If you’re new to working out, then take it slow. Exercise for 30 minutes, then take a 30-minute sunset stroll later in the afternoon.
Eat nutritiously, meaning avoiding processed foods, sugar, and refined carbohydrates. Think lean protein, fish, vegetables, fruit, superfoods, and dietary supplements when needed.
Get a full night’s sleep, which means having a consistent sleep schedule that allows for seven to eight hours of sleep every night.
Maintain a healthy weight, as obesity is related to a higher incidence of other diseases.
Monitor alcohol intake, limiting yourself to one drink per day.
Quit smoking and vaping, as it causes irreversible damage to the lungs.
Talk to your health provider if you are feeling sick, stressed, or need help maintaining a health plan.
Enhancing mental wellness
Since our minds and bodies are interconnected, there’s no surprise that some steps for physical wellbeing overlap with the steps for better mental health. Let’s take a look:
Commit to movement every day, as exercising releases endorphins, increases mental positivity, and uplifts mood.
Find healthy ways to relieve stress, which includes a variety of stress management behaviors, including:
Get a full night’s sleep of at least 7 hours for your mind to reset and feel refreshed.
Limit alcohol intake and talk to your health provider if struggling with addiction.
Using the Women’s Health Toolkit for Success
Maintaining both physical and mental health is all about creating good habits in your life. At first, cleaning up your diet and moving every day may feel challenging, but eventually, it will become integrated into your routine.
By sharing manageable and actionable steps for better health, National Women’s Health Week promotes ways for women to be their healthiest selves. If implementing these healthy behaviors in your life seems daunting, then start with one step at a time. If you ever feel like you need additional help, aren’t feeling well or need guidance, be sure to speak with your doctor.