Healthy Life  |  Published February 10, 2023

A Woman’s Health: Choices for a Healthy Mind and Body

While there’s no guarantee making smart choices will extend your life, the odds are in your favor if you follow the basics.

As a woman, you have constant demands on your time. So, you must make your own health and well-being priorities. That means smart choices about your body and your mind.

The Body

Did you know the leading cause of death among U.S. women is heart disease? It kills five times more women than breast cancer. The No. 3 cause is stroke. And the No. 6 cause is unintentional injury. Most of those deaths can be traced back to poor choices. That includes things like a poor diet, alcohol and tobacco use, or not wearing a seatbelt.
 
While there’s no guarantee making smart choices will extend your life, or even improve your quality of life, odds are in your favor. You know most of these options already:

  • Maintain a healthy weight.
  • Don’t smoke.
  • Get regular screenings.
  • Stay active.
  • Wear sunscreen.
  • Limit alcohol consumption.

The basics of good health are the same no matter your age. But sometimes things like “staying active” seem too hard.

You don’t have to exercise. Consider creative alternatives. Gardening is a great low-intensity workout. It strengthens your grip and your hands. The bending and twisting work your core and improve flexibility. Standing and squatting work your legs. You also get the benefits of being in nature. Or, how about window shopping or sightseeing in your hometown? Just make sure you have comfortable shoes. (Hint: Don’t buy according to size. Buy according to fit.)

The Mind

Don’t ignore your behavioral health. Don’t be embarrassed to ask for help. The stigma is gone. Each year, 1 in 3 U.S. adults report a diagnosable behavioral health problem. Depression is the most common behavioral health problem for women. Women are also twice as likely as men to have panic disorders, general anxiety and phobias. They are also more likely to develop post-traumatic stress disorder after an upsetting event.
 
If you’re feeling stressed, make time for yourself:

  • Read a book.
  • Soak in a tub.
  • Meditate.
  • Have a cup of tea.
  • Hang out with friends.

Exercise can relieve symptoms of some conditions, such as depression.
 
Remember two things: Stay active. Make smart choices.


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