Take Good Care of Yourself – Top Health Tips for Women
Did you know that women are at greater risk than men for developing chronic health conditions as they age? Not only are more women more likely to develop arthritis, high blood pressure, and osteoporosis than are men, women are also at greater risk to suffer problems with memory and self-care like bathing and dressing.
Aging is a given, but aging well is up to you
The American Geriatrics Society’s Health in Aging Foundation suggests that you can improve your odds by taking good care of yourself and following these practical guidelines for your best health.
Be sure to visit your doctor for an annual checkup
Most women only see a healthcare provider when they’re sick or hurt, but prevention is key, and your doctor may find an issue you haven’t yet noticed.
Eat your veggies (and your fruits, and your fish!)
Very few older adults – less than 30% – eat the five daily recommended servings of fruits and vegetables. Make sure you’re getting enough healthful, colorful vegetables like spinach, carrots, kale and squash. Shop for whole-grain bread for your morning toast, low-fat dairy products for calcium and protein, heart-healthy salmon or tuna twice weekly, and fruit for dessert rather than a gooey pastry.
Be sure to take your prescriptions as directed
And let your healthcare provider know about any other vitamins or supplements you take on a regular basis, as some may cause your medications to be less effective.
Get your eyes and ears checked annually, and visit your dentist twice a year
Most healthcare providers will check your blood pressure when you visit, too.
Keep your vaccinations up to date
It’s smart to get a flu shot every fall, and most healthcare providers recommend that you be vaccinated against pneumonia annually as well. Ask your doctor if you’re due for a tetanus shot, and if it’s time to consider getting vaccinated against shingles.
Loneliness and isolation can take a toll on your overall health. Stay active and engaged with friends and family to avoid feeling sad or depressed. Consider an easy volunteer activity to fuel your sense of purpose while you make a difference in your neighborhood, church, or a local school.
Exercise your brain as well as your body
We all know the importance of exercise, especially walking for cardio, yoga for flexibility, and strength training to stay fit. Brain fitness is just as important, and brain teasers like Sudoku, or exercising your brain by playing bridge with friends are fun, easy ways to stay mentally sharp.
Three more common sense ways to stay healthy
Doctors have been telling us for years to stop smoking, drink in moderation, and to wear sunscreen, so we would be remiss if they weren’t included here.
No matter your age, there’s always time to be a little kinder to yourself and take good care of the one and only you.