Many women spend their time caring for others while balancing education and career demands. With increasingly busy schedules, the concerns women have about their own health can fall by the wayside. May, Women’s Health Care month, is a great time for women to take stock of health goals, risk factors, family history and nutritional intake. This month, take time to evaluate all the ways you can experience the best that life has to offer by taking excellent care of your health.
Be sure you have a primary care physician that you trust, establish a relationship and visit yearly to get checked out, says Shantanu Nudy, MD, an internist at the University of Chicago Medical Center and author of Stay Healthy at Every Age. Blood work to check thyroid health and cholesterol will give you insight on your overall health and catch any emerging problems before they become serious concerns. Your doctor will check your body mass index and blood pressure as well.
Tip: Come to your appointment with a list of specific questions to ask. You can even request your blood work before the office visit so you’re reviewing the results with your doc and saving yourself a second appointment.
Make a yearly gynecologist checkup part of your health routine. Regular pap smears and pelvic exams save lives and can help catch problems while they are still treatable. Your doctor will also give you an overall checkup, which may include a general physical exam, review and update of your health history and medication refills. This is also a great opportunity to establish a routine of monthly breast self-exams. Your gynecologist can offer advice about family planning, menstrual issues and menopause. It is important to continue getting an annual exam even if you think you are past the age of having children or are sexually inactive.
While many women make time for yearly exams, mental and emotional health issues can go overlooked for years. Take time to evaluate your stress level and develop strategies for coping with temporary and long-term stressors. Don’t be afraid to ask for counseling if you feel that talking to someone would be helpful. Learn to recognize your reaction to mild, moderate and severe stress and react accordingly. You might benefit from keeping a journal, taking time to meditate or pray, conversing with a close friend or reaching out to a mental health professional. Your overall health can be affected by how you feel, so don’t be afraid to reach out if you need help coping.
“Studies have shown that 20 to 30 minutes of exercise most days will help you maintain your weight,” says Barb Dehn, RN, NP. By the time you reach your 40s, if you want to lose weight you’ll need to go a full hour, Dehn says. Include weight-bearing exercise (walking counts) and strength training (with light resistance or weight bands). These types of exercises will help you preserve muscle mass and bone density as you age. Spend your life feeling energized and invigorated by maintaining a healthy weight and making exercise part of your day.
Proper skin care is more than just washing and moisturizing, although these are two very important steps. If you’re not already doing so, start wearing a daily moisturizer with at least SPF 15 to protect your skin from harmful ultraviolet rays. Reliv’s r collection for women makes skin nutrition simple. Our r day balanced moisturizer + RA7 features peptides that help promote the synthesis of collagen and elastin, creating younger, healthier looking skin. It’s also colorant, fragrance and paraben-free.
Your physician may want to start checking the density of your bones in your 40s or 50s, but you should definitely start paying attention to it by your 60s. Osteoporosis might be a family concern or you might be at risk from taking certain medications, but by age 65, all women need a bone density test (DEXA scan) according to the National Osteoporosis Foundation. Make calcium a priority in your diet, and consult your physician to ensure that you’re getting enough. Reliv Classic® and Reliv Now® each contain 1,000 mg of calcium per serving, which is the daily amount recommended by the FDA.
A Note from Dr. Carl:
Take Good Care of Yourself
When considering the nutrition a woman’s body needs, special health concerns must be taken into consideration.
Healthy lifestyle choices – such as including SoySentials® with LunaRich® in your diet – can have a substantial impact on the reduction of a woman’s health risks. SoySentials contains a unique blend of soy protein, antioxidants, probiotics and herbs that give you an edge. These ingredients work together to promote bone health, support the immune system and ease the symptoms of menopause and PMS to keep you feeling great.
LunaRich soy powder and LunaRich X™ are the first products to fully harness the power of lunasin, a naturally occurring soy peptide. Because it works at the epigenetic level within your cells, lunasin provides multiple health benefits that support:
- Cholesterol management
- Inflammation reduction
- Antioxidant benefits
- Improved immunity
- Overall cellular health
Take control of your health and make SoySentials part of your daily healthy living strategy.
To your health,
Dr. Carl W. Hastings
Vice Chairman and Chief Scientific Officer