It’s National Women’s Health Week! The week of May 9th -15th, 2021 serves as a reminder for women and girls, especially during the outbreak of COVID-19, to make their health a priority and take care of themselves.
It’s more important than ever for all women and girls, especially those with underlying health conditions, such as hypertension, diabetes, obesity, cardiovascular and respiratory conditions, and women 65 years and older, to take care of your health now.
While men and women alike should take care of their health, it’s important to recognize the differences in gender health. Because each genders’ body is structured differently, women tend to be more prone to several chronic illnesses and diseases. Here are just a few:
While osteoarthritis is the most common form of arthritis, resulting from wear and tear on the joints, studies show that women are three times more likely to develop osteoarthritis than men. The way a woman’s frame and hormones are structured may be to blame. Women have more elasticity in their joints, but this increases risk of strain and sprains. Hips are usually wider in women, which affects knee alignment and causes stress on the knees. Additionally, women over 50 experience loss of estrogen, which protects cartilage and joints from inflammation.
According to The American Heart Association, 50,000 more women than men have strokes per year, and more women pass away from them. Hormone fluctuations and therapy are just one of the contributing factors. Some hormones make blood clot more readily.
- Heart Disease
Heart disease is the leading cause of death in The United States. Studies show it’s responsible for 1 in 5 deaths in women.
Luckily, there are many ways to increase a woman’s overall well-being and reduce risks.
- Maintain healthy weight
Weight gain and obesity increase health risks. While healthy weight is different for everyone, it’s important to know what a healthy weight is for you. Talk to your health provider to determine your sweet spot.
- Be active
Spend time outdoors in the sunshine and be physically active for at least 30-minutes a day.
- Incorporate exercises that build and strengthen your muscles. This is important if you experienced reduced movement or physical activity or if you were hospitalized during the pandemic. All of these may contribute to muscle loss.
- There is not a one-size-fits-all approach to physical activity. Find a routine to fit your needs based on your age, stage of life, and abilities for women.
Heart-healthy eating involves choosing certain foods, such as fruits and vegetables, while limiting others, such as saturated and trans fats and added sugars. Maintain healthy levels of recommended vitamins and nutrients such as vitamin D and calcium. Good dietary sources of Vitamin D include fortified foods such as milk, yogurt, orange juice, and cereals; oily fish such as salmon, rainbow trout, canned tuna, and sardines.
When we feel stress, our immune system’s ability to fight off antigens is reduced and can make you more susceptible to infection. Good nutrition, exercise, sleep, and social activity will increase your overall mindset and ease stressors on your body.
Many women tend to sleep less than men. Be sure you are creating a good sleep environment so you are getting adequate rest. This is when your boy restores itself and boosts your immune system. If you’re having trouble sleeping, decrease your caffeine and screen time. Soothing music, reading, meditation, aromatherapy, and dim lighting helps as well.
Our caregivers and private duty nurses are available to help enhance the requirements needed to upgrade your health. From meal prep to going on walks, accompanying you to doctor appointments to compassionate comradery, we are here to take any stress out of your life, so you can enjoy it! Check-in with us today to see how we can work with you.