Friday, May 6, 2011

National Women's Health Week

Sunday, May 8th, starts the beginning of Women's Health Week. Being a woman myself, I take a strong interest in participating in this special week of  tasks.  The Office of Women's Health in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services started the Woman Challenge in 2001 as a part of National Women's Health Week to encourage women across the country to get active. I'm sure we all know that eating right and getting the right amount of exercise can lead to a longer healthy life where we feel so much better about ourselves. The problem us women have is finding the time to make this all happen. Planning out healthy meals for ourselves is hard enough (I often find that in order to really stick to eating healthy, planning ahead is a must), let alone when we have a family to care for as well. On top of that add a full day of work, school for those like myself who don't have children to care for yet, and then you're telling me I need to find time to exercise a certain amount too?! Sounds like mission impossible right? WRONG!

Eating healthy foods takes time to get used to. Instead of that bag of chips, you may opt to snack on celery or fruit. Instead of greasy bacon and eggs for breakfast, you may opt for oatmeal with cinnamon. These are things that take getting used to, but can certainly be done. Don't beat yourself up for not being able to do it cold turkey, IT'S OK to take your time with this, I for one definitely do. Another great tip would be to make sure that when skimming the grocery circular, skip the snack section completely. The minute you lay your eyes on those chips and cookies, you will see how fast they make their way to your shopping list. Remember, you can only eat what you buy, so purchase with the health of your body in mind and you will find yourself on the road to a healthier you who feels so much better about yourself :)

High blood pressure is also known as the silent killer. There may be no signs at all of having high blood pressure and this can be extremely dangerous. Your blood pressure indicates the pressure of blood against the wall of your arteries.  High blood pressure, untreated, can lead to severe damage to the heart, brain, kidneys and even your eyes! As a women, be sure to request a blood pressure reading during your routine check ups, it can save your life!

To maintain a healthy heart and ultimately a healthy you, proper exercise is a must. You can have the highest cholesterol in the world and be a size 0.  The US Department of Health and Women's Services states that women should get at least 2 hours and 30 minutes of moderate physical activity, 1 hour and 15 mins of vigorous physical activity, or a combination of both, each week. Do you think your daily exercise adds up? I find that as a girl, could just be me, but I find that I get so much more dedicated when I have a walking partner (Yes walking counts too! haha). I often ask my boyfriend to come with me, and when he is unable to, I will grab my dog. When I do my jogs around the park, I find that I do many more laps with a companion at my side haha So there is no excuse ladies, the weather is just about warming up here in the US and that means spending more time outdoors (or indoors if you have the equipment) should become more of a priority.  Grab the stroller (if you have a child), a friend, or a pet and get to it!

Women's Health should indeed exist everyday, but this coming week in May is just a designated week where the government attempts to raise awareness about maintaining a healthy lifestyle as a woman, I feel super special that they care about us this much haha During this week, there are events in your area that allow you to check your blood pressure for free, meet other women who are trying to get on the path to a healthier life just like you, and there are different activities to promote staying healthy. Hey, who knows maybe you will meet your running/walking partner at one of these events! :)

It is a privilege to be a woman in my eyes, yes child birth hurts, we have those few days a month where we are "out of commission", we have the hardest job in the world, raising our children, but being a woman is the most rewarding thing ever. Women are overcoming new obstacles every day making us that much stronger,  and I'm proud to be one!

For more incredible information on Women's Health Week Check out the links below! :

Events in your area: click here
The Women's Challenge 2011: click here
National Women's Health Website: click here

Happy & Healthy Women are the most beautiful ones :) <3 xox

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