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National Women's Health Week

May 8–14, 2022

About National Women's Health Week

 

A woman swimming

 

Forward Focus: Achieving Healthier Futures Together 

Prioritizing your health – both physical and mental – has never been more important. Over the past few years, many women have put off taking care of their general health and wellness needs. They have adjusted their daily routines, including the way they connect with family and friends. The combination has led to serious health problems for some women.

During National Women’s Health Week (NWHW), the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Office on Women’s Health (OWH) is encouraging women and girls to reflect on their individual health needs and take steps to improve their overall health. Whether you continue your current activities or find news ones, now is a great time for all women and girls to focus on better health, especially those with underlying health conditions, such as hypertension, diabetes, obesity, cardiovascular and respiratory conditions, and women 65 years and older. National Women’s Health Week is also a great time for family, friends, and the greater community to take actions to support women and help them achieve the best health possible.

How Can We Achieve Better Health During NWHW?

  • Continue to Take Steps to Protect Yourself against COVID-19

 

 

  • Schedule your Annual Physical and other Health Appointments
    Talk to your doctor, nurse, nurse practitioner, and/or physician assistant about the following.
    • The COVID-19 vaccine and any vaccines that you may have missed during the pandemic.
    • Preventive care such as PAP smears, mammograms, bone density scans, stress tests, cholesterol screenings, blood pressure screenings, physical exams, and other preventive health screenings that you may have missed during the pandemic. Not sure what they are? Click here:
    • If you have missed any recommended check-ups or vaccinations during COVID-19. Learn more about the vaccine schedule for adults.
    • If stress, anxiety, or depression is getting in the way of your daily activities.
    • If you are feeling sad, overwhelmed, or are unable to eat or sleep for longer than two weeks after the birth your baby. You may be experiencing postpartum depression.
  • Maintain a Healthy Weight
    • Maintaining a healthy weight can lower the risk of heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and high blood pressure. It can also lower the risk of many different cancers.
    • Healthy weight is different for everyone, but it’s important to know what a healthy weight is for you.
    • Talk to your doctor or nurse about your health goals and create a plan specific for you.
  • Get Moving and Stay Active
    Being physically active is one of the most important actions you can take at any age to improve your health. Did you know? The HHS  Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans defines physical activity generally as any movement that enhances health. That means you activities such as gardening and cleaning can count as physical activity.
    • Create a weekly activity plan through Move Your Way. The goal: Get your heart beating faster through 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic exercise each week.
    • Break your activity into small sessions. Go for a 15- or 30-Minute walk during your breaks. Daily exercise improves cardiovascular health, and Vitamin D provided by the sun will help boost your immune system.
       
       
    • Incorporate muscle-strengthening activity, including lifting weights or using resistance bands, will help prevent sarcopenia, or muscle loss due to aging and immobility.
    • Find a routine to fit your needs based on your age, stage of life, and abilities. If you are pregnant, there are ways that you can exercise safely but it is important to talk to your doctor before starting or changing your physical activity.
  • Nourish from the Inside Out
    Eat well-balanced meals and snacks.
    • Heart-healthy eating involves choosing certain foods, such as fruits and vegetables, while limiting others, such as saturated and trans fats and added sugars.
    • Explore tips at nutrition.gov for eating at home and in restaurants to ensure balanced, weight-healthy meals.
    • It’s important to ensure you are getting enough vitamins in your diet. Not sure what that is? Visit: Click here.
    • Vitamin D is a nutrient your body needs for building and maintaining healthy bones. The body can only absorb calcium when vitamin D is present. Vitamin D’s anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and neuroprotective properties support immune health, muscle function and brain cell activity. Foods such as milk, yogurt, orange juice, cereals, oily fish such as salmon, rainbow trout, canned tuna, and sardines are all great sources of Vitamin D.
    • Calcium is also important, especially for bone health across the lifespan. The best sources of calcium are dairy products, including milk, yogurt, cheese, and calcium-fortified beverages such as almond and soy milk. Calcium is also found in dark-green leafy vegetables, dried peas and beans, fish with bones, and calcium-fortified juices and cereals.
  • Practice Self-Care for your Mental Health

Find healthy ways to manage stress

Create good sleep habits

  • About 1 in 3 adults do not regularly get the recommended amount of sleep they need to protect their health, and about 50 to 70 million Americans have a sleep disorder.
  • Sleep deficiency can lead to physical and mental health problems, including heart disease and depression, as well as injuries, loss of productivity, and even a greater likelihood of death.
  • Follow a routine for going to sleep and going to bed and waking up at the same time each day – even on weekends – to improve your sleep habits.
  • Try to get at least 7 hours of sleep.
  • If you think you may have a sleep problem, track your sleep in a sleep diary. Sharing the diary with your health care provider can help him or her diagnose a potential sleep problem. 
  • Seek Help if You or Someone You Know is Experiencing Domestic Violence
    • Violence has long-term effects on health outcomes for women and their families, including emotional trauma, lasting physical impairment, and chronic health problems. In addition, violence is a significant, and often overlooked, contributor to maternal mortality.
    • Recognize the symptoms of abuse.
    • Get help and support.
      National Domestic Violence Hotline is a 24/7 confidential service that  supports victims and survivors of domestic violence.
      The hotline can be reached:

      By phone: 1-800-799-7233(SAFE)

      By text: Text LOVEIS to 22522

      Online chat: https://www.thehotline.org and select “Chat Now”

      Highly trained, experienced advocates offer support, crisis intervention information, educational services and referral services in more than 200 languages. The website provides information about domestic violence, online instructional materials, safety planning, and local resources.

 

  • Incorporate Safe Behaviors into Your Daily Routine
    • Monitor alcohol intake and avoid illicit drugs, including drugs that are not prescribed to you.
    • Look out for your lungs
      • Quit smoking and vaping.
        • Smoking weakens your lungs and puts you at a much higher risk of having serious health complications, especially if you have COVID-19.
        • Smoking weakens your lungs and puts you at a much higher risk of having serious health complications, especially if you have COVID-19.
  • How can I participate in National Women's Health Week?
    • The Office on Women's Health invites you to:
      • Continue to take steps to protect yourself from COVID by social distancing, wearing masks, and getting your COVID vaccine.
      • Share what actions you are taking for good health such as getting active and managing stress.
      • Use our NWHW promotional tools and share on social media. Use #NWHW in any social media messages you share.
      • Organize virtual events or activities in your community.
      • Use our online tool for customized tips to improve your healthy eating and physical activity habits.
      • Share the tool with your friends and family to help them take the next step on their journeys to better health.