What I Wish I’d Known About Being Healthy

Health and wellness is a journey. No matter where we are in the process, we can always learn news ways to reach our health goals. In fact, we can inspire each other! This National Women’s Health Week (May 13–19), join us by sharing some health advice you would give your younger self. We’re calling it the #WhatIWishIdKnown challenge, and we’re asking women to share their #WhatIWishIdKnown stories online and through social media. Our hope is that by talking about what we’ve learned over the years, we can encourage each other to take steps for better health now — and in the future.

Four women smilingAs we prepare to kick off the week, my team and I want to share with you our #WhatIWishIdKnown stories: 

  1. Brittany says: If there’s one thing I wish I had known going into college and starting my career, it would be how important sleep is to my health. After years of depriving myself of sleep so that I could focus on work, I realized that not getting enough sleep was actually hurting me. The latest sleep research shows that sufficient sleep is essential to keeping my brain healthy so that I can continue to perform at my best.
  2. Candace says: There is no one-size-fits-all exercise routine. I used to think the best exercises had to involve running or lifting weights, but as I’ve gotten older, I’ve realized that the key is to MOVE. Activities like dancing can be great for cardio and muscle strengthening, too. My advice is to figure out what you enjoy and works for you.
  3. Stephanie says: I would tell my younger self to take care of my health in my early years, as it would help to take care of me in my senior years.
  4. Valerie says: I wish I’d known about the dangers of sun exposure when I was younger. My skin tans easily, and I often got compliments on my “healthy” glow. I didn’t think I needed sunscreen because I didn’t burn. Fortunately, I learned about the importance of skin protection — before it was too late. Now I wear sunscreen every day, avoid the sun during peak hours, and wear a hat and glasses to protect my eyes.
  5. Ann says: I wish someone had found a way to convince me that staying active as I aged was important. I’ve learned that it only gets harder to build an exercise routine as you get older.
  6. Gustavo says: I wish I had known to take better care of my teeth to avoid cavities in my mid- to late-20s.

Finally, here’s what I would tell my younger self: Eat breakfast every day. I don’t know when I stopped — must have been in my early 20’s. Life just got busy, and I have a running to-do list in my mind before I even get out of bed. As a result, I start my day on autopilot, which is a bad habit. When I take 10 minutes to make myself something to eat in the morning, even if it’s as simple as a boiled egg chopped up with fresh spinach, my mind and body feel so much better. It’s a small change, but it makes a big difference!

I hope our #WhatIWishIdKnown stories will inspire you to take steps for a healthier you this National Women’s Health Week and beyond. Join the conversation and share your health lessons on social media. Use #WhatIWishIdKnown and #NWHW in your posts, and ask your friends and family to do the same. Together, we can build each other up and take steps to be as healthy as possible.