Women’s Health–A Common Sense Approach!
I love the latest ad campaign for Walgreens Drug Stores:
When the lighthearted announcer tells us that feeling good is “at the corner of happy and healthy” –at the very least, it serves as a reminder that a big part of our happiness really does rely on being healthy! As a nurse, I have never met anyone who likes being sick–this especially seems to hold true for busy women who often have the added responsibility of overseeing their family’s health too! Since October is National Breast Cancer Awareness month–I figure it’s also as good a time as any to take inventory of our general, overall health, as well.
“Life is not merely to be alive, but to be well!” Marcus V. Martial
A Sensible Wellness Checklist!
Since I’ve been a nurse on a women’s and newborn unit for several years and have the privilege of working with many amazing physicians, here’s the common sense approach I’ve learned to take when it comes to living healthy!
- Take a good vitamin. This seems simple enough….and it is, but you’d be very surprised to find out that even in my line of work on a hospital maternity floor, how many expectant mom’s don’t take their prenatal vitamins consistently. Companies today even go so far as to make vitamins that are specific for particular age groups. As women, we usually need ones with added iron and calcium to protect against anemia and osteoporosis. At regular check-ups with your doctor, he can inform you when to add fish oil tablets for your heart health and perhaps glucosamine for your joints. Also, be sure and take any prescribed medications as directed too.
- Keep track of yourself! You might be thinking that this sounds like some sort of preventative program against Alzheimer’s disease, and perhaps in a round about way, it is. We should all be in tune with our bodies enough to have a basic knowledge of how we feel when we’re enjoying optimal health, then if there is ever the feeling that something isn’t quite right, we can then make notes of concerns we have, along with changes in diet or activity that have occurred. It is also a good idea to write down any questions we might want to ask our doctor if we decide that the symptoms warrant closer inspection. Keep track of the dates when blood tests and exams like mammograms, pap smears, etc. were done so they can be rescheduled each year as needed. Recording exercise regimens or keeping a food diary can be of great value as we strive to live healthier too.
“Take care of your body. It’s the only place you have to live!”
You are what you eat. This phrase is often uttered with a bit of jest, but in reality, a good gauge of what we see in ourselves on the outside is determined, in large part, by what we put inside our bodies! Drats! There is no lack of information available for what comprises a healthy diet–in fact, researching the topic can definitely prove to be information overload. Most nutritionists recommend the updated version of the food pyramid called the My Plate approach to eating healthy–it’s an easy way to determine a good balance in the foods we should be eating. The bottom line is…we all know that by eating healthy servings of fruits and vegetable, along with proteins, whole grains and dairy products, we just feel better. Eating a good balanced diet also seems to go hand in hand with maintaining a healthy weight. This doesn’t mean I won’t be having dessert or a few sweets on occasion.
As I’ve gotten older, I have seen the humor in this quote by Mark Twain that my dad often repeated.
“The only way to keep your health is to eat what you don’t want, drink what you don’t like, and do what you’d rather not!”
- Smile for your health! It seems rather simplistic to say that by being happy we’ll surely experience better health, but I think we can all agree, it’s usually true! Jullian Michaels of the TV show “Biggest Loser” fame, goes so far as to say, “Good health and fitness create an entry point that leads to helping you build a happier life. When your health is strong, you’re capable of taking risks. You will feel much more confident to go the extra mile. You will have the energy to be a better person. You will feel more deserving of love!” This being said, there are sure to be those days that require us to muster up all the strength we can to put on a happy face and brave through them….but that’s OK!
What I’m learning now is…
My father recorded in his life history that his good health was one of his greatest possessions and made for better contentment in his life. What I’m learning now is that good health and the ability to be content and enjoy life are two of the ultimate sources of happiness!
Also, here is a reprint of my “Think Pink” acronym to help us all remember to be proactive when it comes to our breast health.
Here’s to good health and happy, happy times!!
What are some fun things you do to stay healthy?