10 health tips for women
Posted on 5 August 2015
Most women take better care of others than they do of themselves. Take some time to focus on yourself and follow these easy tips.
Your cat has the right idea: a good stretch first thing in the morning will ease back pain and should help boost your circulation and digestion. But why stop there? Consider joining a yoga class to ease stress, lower blood pressure and increase flexibility. So make like a cat, and do the… erm… downward dog!
2. Get meaningful exercise
Stretching is just the start. A solid workout on most days of the week will help to lower your BP and reduce your risk of heart disease. Work up a sweat, but don’t limit yourself to fat-blasting cardio work. Mix it up with resistance or weight exercises to help build strength and prevent osteoporosis.
3. Manage your stress
Manage your stress with exercise or meditation… or simply by making time to relax (easier said than done!).
4. Mind the sun
Protect yourself by using sunscreen (SPF15+), and check yourself regularly for weird moles or freckles. If you notice any marks that change shape or colour, speak to your doctor or dermatologist immediately. Skin cancer is treatable, especially if you catch it early.
5. Check for lumps
While you’re checking for skin cancer, check yourself for breast cancer too. Do self-exams for lumps every month or so, and if you’re over 40 go for a mammogram once a year. A mammogram is nobody’s idea of a good time, but it’s the most effective way of detecting breast cancer early – and it could save your life.
6. Eat well
A healthy, balanced diet is absolutely crucial in the life of a modern woman. Avoid food and drink that’s processed or high in kilojoules, sugar and salt – and go for fresh fruits and vegetables, and leaner cuts of meat. Consider supplementing your diet with a multivitamin – but check with your doctor first.
7. Go for an annual Pap smear
Most sexually active women (and men) will be infected with some strains of the human papilloma virus (HPV) which could lead to cervical cancer (and other forms of cancer). All sexually-active women, even if they’ve had the HPV vaccine before becoming sexually active, should have regular Pap smears for the early detection of abnormal cells that could progress to cervical cancer. In South Africa, all gynaecologists and GPs offer Pap smears, as well as some clinics and pharmacies.
8. Get plenty of sleep
A solid seven hours of shut-eye every night will lower stress, reduce hunger, keep your mind sharp, and even help you live longer according to research.
9. See your doctor once a year
Chances are you’re so busy looking after other people (children, partners, parents, friends), that you’re forgetting to look after yourself. Getting a once-over from your doc will ensure you get the proper tests, check-ups and screenings.
10. Monitor yourself
Your GP will help (a lot!) but ultimately you’re in charge of your own health and wellbeing. Go for regular check-ups at the clinic (or become a blood donor: they’ll check your blood pressure for free), and make an appointment with your GP if your blood pressure, blood sugar or cholesterol readings are high.
The information provided in this article was correct at the time of publishing. At Mediclinic we endeavour to provide our patients and readers with accurate and reliable information, which is why we continually review and update our content. However, due to the dynamic nature of clinical information and medicine, some information may from time to time become outdated prior to revision.