For Women Only: Tips for Healthy Living

Whatever your age may be, staying healthy always begins with having a balanced diet, maintaining your ideal weight, and taking the time to exercise regularly. A Harvard Center for Cancer Prevention report concluded that half of all cancer risks can actually be reduced by healthy living. The diet must contain high fiber, low fat, and little or no red meat. Exercise must be done regularly, and alcohol should be eliminated or reduced significantly. Of course, smoking must also be stopped. For women in particular, studies show that healthy living can reduce the risk of heart disease significantly.

Visit the doctor.

Though often neglected, a very important thing that all women should do in order to keep themselves healthy is to visit their gynaecologist regularly. Their annual physical examination should include a Pap smear (for those who are 18 years old and above, or even younger if the woman is already sexually active). The Pap smear is a very reliable screening tool for cancer that has been shown to result in a decrease in the rate of cervical cancer.

As for annual mammograms, there is a debate about the ideal age when this should be taken. In general though, doctors agree that mammograms are recommended for those from forty to fifty years old. However, as soon as girls reach puberty, they should learn how to do breast self-exam until that it becomes a regular monthly habit.

Annual physical examinations that check basics such as weight and blood pressure should be done for women between the ages of 25 and 64. However, after hitting the 50-year-old mark, all women should ask to be tested for colon cancer.

Women should also take the time for a regular dental visit. This will ensure that your smile (and your teeth) will remain healthy.

Pay attention to nutrition.

Calcium is very important for all women, from babies to old ladies. Recent studies show that taking calcium supplements may help prevent up to half of all PMS (pre-menstrual syndrome) symptoms such as cramps. Taking daily calcium supplements is required after menopause to prevent the onslaught of osteoporosis.

Taking vitamin E supplements (about 400-800 mg per day) is recommended for menopausal women. The additional vitamin E is said to reduce night sweats and hot flashes and night sweats, which are typical complaints of those experiencing menopause.

Pregnant women should take folic acid supplements to significantly reduce the risk of your child having birth defects.

Drink at least eight glasses of water everyday in order to flush the impurities from the body and to be able to maintain proper hydration.

Get moving

Women are more prone to be sedate, so you must really find ways to incorporate exercise into the daily schedule. If you don’t have time to hit the gym, take a walk around the block to get your heart pumping. Do some gardening or yard work to keep your body moving. Take the stairs instead of the elevator to get your legs working. Get involved in a regular sport with your other girl friends to make exercise more fun.

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