National Women’s Health Week is just a few days away from May 11-May 17, 2014. I want to encourage all AMWA members and branches to make this week special for yourself, your mothers, sisters, daughters, friends, and patients. Women offer so much to their family and friends, and unfortunately that means they sometimes forget to take care of themselves – healthcare providers are no exception. It’s crucial for women of all ages to maintain a healthy lifestyle so that they can enjoy the different aspects of their lives and be appreciated by their loved ones. So for National Women’s Health Week start by celebrating you (if you’re a woman) and all the wonderful women in your life.
Don’t be afraid to add a little exercise into the week. Depending on your fitness level, you may want to start small with a short walk or finally take on that hiking path you’ve always wanted to try. Once you start forming the habit of getting active, aim for 30 minutes of moderate physical activity at least 5 days a week.
In addition to staying fit, you can also start eating better. Start the day off right with a nutritious breakfast, focus on getting plenty of fruits and vegetables throughout the day, and don’t forget the low-fat dairy, whole grains, and lean meats and other healthy protein sources. Minimize processed and junk food, but it’s okay to indulge in a guilty pleasure every once in a while.
Most importantly, make time for yourself. Do things you enjoy to help manage stress and improve mental health. Schedule regular appointments with your doctor and stay up-to-date with preventative screenings and immunizations.
Lastly, as health care providers, remind your patients to do all of the above. The best way to get patients to make healthy lifestyle choices is by setting a good example. We must practice what we preach to achieve and maintain a better, healthier state of being for ourselves, our loved ones, and our patients.