National Women’s Health Week starts each year on Mother’s Day to encourage women to make their health a priority. Take these steps to live a safer and healthier life!
Get Recommended Screenings and Preventive Care
Protect your health by getting the care you need to prevent disease, disability, and injuries. Regular check-ups are important. Preventive care can keep disease away or detect problems early when treatment is more effective. Talk to your healthcare provider to learn more about what screenings and exams you need and when.
- Many health insurance plans offer preventive services for women available at no cost.
- Learn what you can do before your next appointment, like review your family health history and write down any questions or issues you may have, and take it with you.
Get out and about and enjoy the spring and summer weather. Physical activity is one of the most important things you can do for your health and has many benefits, including lowering your risk for heart disease—the leading cause of death for women.
- Adults should do at least 2 hours and 30 minutes each week of aerobic physical activity that requires moderate effort. You don’t have to do it all at once, but get at least 10 minutes of exercise at a time.
- Adults should do strengthening activities at least 2 days a week that include all major muscle groups.
- More than one out of four older people falls each year and women fall more often than men. Strength and balance training can help reduce falls.
Enjoy a Healthy and Balanced Diet
Nutrition is an essential part of a healthy lifestyle. Learn the basics and move toward a lifestyle of healthier eating habits.
- A healthy eating plan includes fruits, vegetables, whole grains, fat-free and low-fat milk and other dairy products, lean meats, and is low in salt, saturated and trans fats, and added sugars.
- Folic acid is a B vitamin. Our bodies use it to make new cells. Everyone needs folic acid. It’s also important to help prevent major birth defects when pregnant. Women who could become pregnant need 400 micrograms (400 mcg) of folic acid each day. Two easy ways you can get enough folic acid are to take a vitamin that has folic acid in it every day or eats a bowl of breakfast cereal that has 100% of the daily value of folic acid every day. Folic acid pills and most multivitamins sold in the United States have 100% of the daily value (DV) of folic acid; check the label to be sure.
- Avoid drinking too much alcohol. Excessive alcohol use has immediate effects that increase the risk of many harmful health conditions and can lead to the development of chronic diseases. If you choose to drink, do so in moderation, which is up to 1 drink a day for women.
- Get started with a step-by-step guide to weight loss and better health.
Prioritize Mental Health
Keep your mind and body healthy. Research shows that positive mental health is associated with improved health.
- Everyone experiences stress at times. Find healthy ways to cope with stress.
- Learn some of the symptoms of depression, which include a loss of energy, or a lasting sad, anxious, or “empty” mood. See CDC’s depression treatment to learn about seeking treatment for depression.
Practice Healthy Behaviors
Daily decisions influence overall health. Small actions can help keep you safe and healthy and set a good example for others.
- Stay up-to-date on cancer screening tests and protect your skin from the sun when outdoors. Visit Cancer and Women for more tips for lowering your cancer risk.
- Getting enough sleep is important for overall health. It impacts how you feel and performs during the day. Adults need at least 7 hours of sleep each night.
- Avoid distracted driving, which is driving while doing another activity that takes your attention away from the road. Each day in the U.S., approximately nine people are killed and more than 1,000 injured in crashes that are reported to involve a distracted driver.
- Only take prescription medicine as directed by a healthcare provider. More than 7,000 women died from overdose of prescription opioids in 2016.
- Be smoke-free. Smoking harms nearly every organ of the body and affects a person’s overall health. If you are ready to quit, call 1-800-QUIT-NOW (1-800-784-8669) or 1-855-DÉJELO-YA (1-855-335-3569 for Spanish speakers) or visit Smokefree Women for free resources, including quit coaching, a quit plan, educational materials, and referrals to other resources where you live. Get tips from former smokers.
Healthy Lives for Everyone
In 2018 CDC celebrates 30 years having an office dedicated to reducing health disparities and pursuing health equity. We believe this mission is possible and that we can achieve healthy lives for everyone. Learn more about healthy equity and public health agents of change.