National Women's Health Week

May 12–18, 2019


Are you ready to find your health?

The steps that build a foundation of good health are the same for everyone:

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    Visit a health care provider for a well-woman visit (checkup), preventive screenings, and vaccines.
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    Get active.
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    Eat healthy.
  • Brain icon
    Pay attention to mental health, including getting enough sleep and managing stress.
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    Practice safe behaviors, such as quitting smoking, not texting while driving, and taking steps to protect yourself from sexually transmitted infections.

But health isn’t one-size-fits-all. We’re all unique! We all have our own reasons for wanting to be healthy and ways of going about it. It can be hard to take steps for good health. But discovering what works best for you can help you build healthy habits — habits you’ll be more likely to stick to for a healthier, happier you.

Are you ready to find your health?

My health inspiration:

What’s your health inspiration?

Why do you want to be healthy? Do you have one reason or many? Take a minute to think about why being healthy is important and what keeps you motivated.

Choose all the reasons that apply to you or write in your own answer.

  • Enter your own.
I'm already leading a healthy life in the following ways:

How are you already leading a healthy life?

When it comes to your health, what steps are you already making part of your life?

Choose all that apply to you.

To be healthier, I want to work on:

Do you want to take simple steps for a healthier life?

You make decisions about what to eat and how much to move every day. These two areas of your health are critical to your overall well-being. In fact, research shows that making healthy food choices and getting regular physical activity are two of the best actions you can take for good health. These steps also can lower your risk of chronic conditions throughout your life.

If you could work on one of these areas, which would it be?

To be healthier, I want to work on:

What's holding you back?

There are many reasons why it might be hard to be active. Take a moment to consider all the benefits of physical activity. Then think about what’s getting in your way. Figuring out what’s holding you back is the first step toward finding your health.

From the list below, please choose the top three reasons it’s been difficult for you to be active.

To be healthier, I want to work on:

What’s holding you back?

Eating healthy means choosing different types of healthy food from all of the food groups (fruits, vegetables, grains, dairy, proteins, and oils), most of the time, in the correct amounts for you. It also means not eating a lot of foods with added sugar, sodium (salt), and saturated and trans fats. But there are many reasons why it might be hard to eat healthy. Take a moment to consider what’s getting in your way. Figuring out what’s holding you back is the first step toward finding your health.

From the list below, please choose the top three reasons it’s been difficult for you to eat healthy.

Are you ready to find your health?

My Results

Thinking about where you are on your health journey and where you want to go is an important step toward meeting your goals. We know it’s not always easy to take steps for better health, but based on your responses, these customized tips can help. Try one today! Remember to find what works for your lifestyle and your abilities and to be patient with yourself. Small changes can add up to big rewards. You’ve got this!

My health inspiration:

  • I want to feel and look my best.
  • I need to manage a health condition.
  • I want to be there for my family.
  • I want to be a role model for my kids.
  • I want to lower my risk of certain diseases and conditions.
  • I want to age well.

I'm already leading a healthy life in the following ways:

  • I get routine checkups and any screenings and vaccines I need.
  • I get regular physical activity.
  • I eat healthy.
  • I talk to a health care provider about any mental health symptoms I’m experiencing.
  • I manage my stress in healthy ways.
  • I get at least 7 hours of sleep each night.
  • I don’t text and drive.
  • I don’t smoke.
  • I’m not doing a great job prioritizing my health right now, but I want to work on taking steps for better health.

To be healthier, I want to work on:

  • Getting regular physical activity
  • Eating healthy

I’m worried I’ll hurt myself.
Tip: Just about everyone, including older people or people living with chronic conditions and disabilities, gains benefits from exercise.

Consider activities like walking or stretching. Remember to start slowly and set short-term goals. You may even want to talk to a health care provider about an exercise plan that’s right for you based on your abilities.

I don’t know where to start or what to do.
Tip: Anything that gets you moving counts!

Start with activities you already know, like walking, climbing stairs, and stretching. You can even look online for free workouts. Start slowly and set realistic short-term goals, like aiming to walk three times a week. You can build up how often or long you walk over time.

I don’t enjoy it.
Tip: Try a new activity or invite a friend to get moving with you!

If running isn’t your thing, find a free dance workout online or visit your local library to find a fitness routine book or DVD. Another idea — if you and a friend normally catch up over brunch, invite them to go for a walk with you instead.

I don’t feel comfortable getting active in front of other people.
Tip: Get active at home.

Find a free workout online or get a DVD from your local library. Try dancing or walking in place. Remember to start slowly and be patient with yourself. Another option — invite a friend to get moving with you. Try going for a walk together.

I don’t have anyone to encourage me.
Tip: We all need someone to cheer us on!

Look outside your current social network by finding a fitness group or club, like a walking group, in your area. Visit your local community center to see if it offers group fitness classes. You might find a fitness buddy who needs a little encouragement, too.

I have no friends or family who will get active with me.
Tip: Getting active with others can help hold us accountable.

Find a workout buddy by joining a group or club, like a walking or running club, in your area. You can also try group fitness classes — check out the schedule at your local community center.

I don’t have enough time.
Tip: Some physical activity is better than none!

Look for times during the day where you can integrate exercise into other activities. Try getting active for just a few minutes at a time, several times a day. For example, get off the bus one stop earlier on your commute to work, walk around while you’re on the phone, or dance while you’re making dinner.

It costs too much.
Tip: You don’t need fancy clothes, equipment, or a gym membership to get moving!

Try free activities, like walking around your neighborhood or a nearby mall. You can even work out in your home. Find a space (or make some space) where you can walk in place, do jumping jacks, and try strength-training activities, like sit-ups and push-ups.

There’s nowhere for me to get active in my neighborhood.
Tip: Get moving at home!

You don’t need a lot of room or fancy equipment. It’s as easy as walking in place and doing some push-ups and sit-ups in front of the TV. You also can find free workouts online.

I don’t want to sweat out my hair and have to redo it.
Tip: Try a new protective or natural hair style like braids or a ponytail that’s easier to restyle after getting active, or try new products that help with restyling.

Wear a wrap or hat so you don’t feel like you have to immediately restyle your hair. Look for low-impact ways to get moving during the day so you don’t sweat. Walk around the block during a break or the house while talking on the phone. Try exercises like squats and wall push-ups.

I have limited mobility and am not sure how to be active.
Tip: Talk to a health care provider about making a physical activity plan that’s right for you.

A health care provider can offer advice on how to get moving and for how long. For example, if you need low-impact activities that aren’t painful and have a low risk of joint injury, you might try water aerobics, tai chi, or strengthening exercises. If you use a wheelchair, you might try hand-crank bicycling, wheeling yourself around the block, or wheelchair basketball.

I don’t like the way some healthier foods, like grilled chicken or vegetables, taste.
Tip: Make tweaks to your favorite meals to make them healthier.

For example, add veggies to pasta, soup, or pizza recipes. Or, swap in a healthier side dish. If you’re making pasta, serve a side salad instead of garlic bread. Use herbs, spices, lemon, low-fat or fat-free yogurt, hot sauce, or salsa to add flavor. You also can grill meat and veggies to bring out flavor.

I don’t want to give up the foods I love.
Tip: Add fruits and vegetables to your favorite meals and look for ways to make your current habits healthier.

For example, serve yourself a smaller portion and add a side salad. If you’re dining out, ask for brown rice instead of white rice or put half your meal in a to-go box right away.

My family won’t eat healthy foods.
Tip: Ask your family to help you pick out some healthy foods and recipes they’re interested in trying.

Start with small tweaks. Use low-fat options, like low-fat cheese in pasta dishes, or add a vegetable. You can even blend up the vegetables and add them to casseroles or sauces.

My family and friends regularly encourage me to eat more.
Tip: Tell people why healthy eating is important to you.

You can say it helps you feel better and helps lower your risk of diseases, like heart disease and diabetes. You also can practice saying, “No, thank you,” when someone offers you more food.

Healthy foods cost too much.
Tip: To cut costs, look for weekly coupons and choose items that are on sale.

If fresh fruits and vegetables cost too much, look for frozen or canned options that are low in salt and added sugar. For example, pick fruit packed in water instead of syrup. Another option is to buy healthy foods in bulk.

I don’t have time to go grocery shopping for healthy foods.
Tip: Use your days off from work to get your shopping done and bring a list to the store to help you buy exactly what you need.

Try buying food in bulk so you don’t have to go shopping as often. You also can explore online ordering and food delivery options to save time. Don’t forget to ask for help from family and friends.

I don’t have time to cook healthy meals.
Tip: Start by cooking just one — or maybe two — healthy meals per week.

Look online for fast and healthy recipe ideas. Double your recipes so you have extra for the week or enough to freeze for later. Use your days off to prep meals for the week. Pick up pre-washed salads, pre-cut fruit, and microwaveable veggies at the store to save time on busy nights.

I don’t know how to eat healthy.
Tip: Healthy eating means choosing different types of healthy food from all the food groups (fruits, vegetables, grains, dairy, proteins, and oils), most of the time, in the correct amounts for you.

It also means not eating a lot of foods with added sugar, salt, and saturated and trans fats. When making a change, start small. Set one goal, like adding one vegetable to a meal per day.

It’s hard to avoid unhealthy foods when I’m eating out with others.
Tip: If you’re going to a gathering, have a healthy snack before you go so you’re not hungry, bring a healthy option to share, and fill up on fruits and veggies.

If you’re dining out, choose healthier menu options. Ask for sauces and dressings on the side. Order a salad instead of fries. Split a meal with a friend or pack half your meal in a to-go box right away.

I make unhealthy choices when I’m feeling sad, stressed, or anxious.
Tip: Consider healthier ways of coping with these feelings.

For example, call a family member or friend, go for a walk, or meditate. If these feelings are affecting your day-to-day life, talk to a health care provider about ways to feel better.


Find more information

Visit the physical activity and healthy eating sections on womenshealth.gov, or check out the following resources: