May is women’s health month. This month brings more awareness to the importance of health for women and girls and encourages actionable ways to make it a top priority. Our plates are constantly full as women. We care for other people and things daily, while our own needs often slip to the bottom of the to-do list. Let this time be your reminder to take stock of your health and learn to prioritize your care.


Regular preventive physicals and screenings are a necessary part of healthcare. They help establish baselines, acknowledge family history, and monitor any changes in health that could become more serious. While preventive health is equally important for men and women, there are a handful of conditions that are more prevalent in women, including Breast Cancer, Irritable Bowel Syndrome, Osteoporosis, and Stroke (Advent Health1). For many years, heart disease has had a reputation for being a men’s health issue. However, it is the leading cause of death for women, with a higher mortality rate than all types of cancer combined. The American Heart Association2 states, “Among females 20 years and older, nearly 45% are living with some form of cardiovascular disease and less than 50% of women entering pregnancy in the United States have good heart health.” Talk with your doctor to decide what screenings are encouraged for your age and personal health history.

Balanced Nutrition

Think about food and nutrition as the fuel your body needs. Rather than spending tedious amounts of time trying to decide what to exclude from your diet, allow the focus to be on nutritious foods to incorporate regularly. Women need an assortment of nutrients such as iron, folate, magnesium, calcium, and various vitamins. Adding a variety of fruits and vegetables ensures you’re including many nutrients. Different colors mean different nutrients, so make your plate colorful. Choose whole grain options that are nutrient and fiber-rich. Aim to incorporate leaner protein options. For more information on the basics for healthy eating and women, visit the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office on Women’s Health3. Nutrition doesn’t need to be complicated. Paying attention to what, how much, when, and why you’re eating can bring more mindfulness to your eating habits and create more balanced nutrition.

Staying Active

Physical activity helps lower the risk for many health conditions, including hypertension, diabetes, heart disease, and more. It helps build and maintain endurance, strength, and power. As we age, we lose muscle mass. This loss makes daily tasks harder to accomplish and weakens the support system for our bones and joints. Exercise is proven to slow down and even prevent bone loss. Women make up 80% of Americans who have been diagnosed with osteoporosis, which highlights the importance of maintaining bone mass and strength even more (UC San Diego Health4). Always talk with your doctor before starting or resuming an exercise routine.

Mental Health

Busy schedules and constant demands make it easy to brush off mental healthcare. But mental health is a crucial part of wellness. Women are two times more likely to be diagnosed with anxiety or depression than men (Advent Health1). Acknowledge your stressors and practice good management techniques. Allow yourself relaxing moments in your day, even if it’s five minutes of stretching or listening to a favorite song. If your stressful or anxious feelings become overwhelming, take a mindful break to practice deep breathing or guided meditation. Talk with trusted friends or family members and allow them to be a support system. When mental health is taking a toll on your daily life, talk with your doctor or a licensed therapist for additional support.

Be a Role Model

One of the greatest responsibilities we have as women is to be a significant role model for our children, family, and loved ones. We don’t need to feel guilty about prioritizing our health because it teaches those around us the importance of caring for ourselves. When we lead by example, we not only create healthier lives for ourselves, but we also build the foundation of a healthier future for the ones we love most.

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