After having kids, going to the doctor regularly became one of the top priorities in my life. Sure, I am busy trying to help make sure my family is maintaining good healthy habits, but it is hard to watch-over them if I am not taking care of myself and my own needs. I also pride myself in looking young and healthy, so I want to make sure that my inside matches my outside. As females, we are usually the nurturers and care-givers of the home, so it is important for us to do our best health-wise, so we can be at our best. As our bodies grow older we should pay attention to the changes, I even recommend keeping a “me” journal that chronicles what we like about our bodies, what we want to work on, how we plan to take care of ourselves, and whenever we notice changes taking place.
Here are some areas that we should keep a close eye on as we grow older.
According to a Harvard medical study done by Kessler RC “Depression is the leading cause of disease-related disability among women in the world today.” Learn the risk factors of Depression.
Some ways to prevent depression include:
- Exercise regularly
- Be positive (interact with positive people)
- Eat veggies, fruits, nuts, whole grains, and fish. These foods are low in fat and/ a good source of Omega 3 fatty acids ( Recorded in a 2009 study in the Archives of General Psychiatry) Source
- Balance your work load
- Plan to manage your stress (Make informed non-impulsive decisions)
- See a therapist (Nobody has a perfect life, so it is OK to talk things over with a health professional)
- Help others (Often when we give to others we help ourselves out as well)
- Be healthy (Don’t smoke, drink, or do other harmful drugs)
- Rest when needed. (balance is key and knowing when your body needs to sleep to recoup is important too.
If you notice changes in your menstrual cycle, take note of the symptoms and tell your doctor.
REGULAR CHECK UPS
Women should see their gynecologist annually, or more often depending on what their medical issues are. Most visits to a gynecologist should include a routine pelvic, breast examination, and sometimes a rectal examination as well. The best time to perform a self-breast examination is immediately after your menstrual cycle. Make sure that you do your examinations regularly so you are familiar with your body and are able to recognize when something is not normal. For instance, women have found masses in their breast while conducting self breast examinations, which in some cases saved their lives. Usually the masses found are benign and can range in size from pea size to grape size view this resource from the show The Doctors to learn more.
When doing a breast exam look out for the following: (source)
- Difference in shape – flattening or bulging in one breast
- Puckering in the skin or nipple
- Changes in the nipple, such as a discharge of fluid, scaly crusts, reddening of the nipple, and/or nipples pointing in different directions
Consider getting an exercise partner that is motivated and committed to exercising so that you can encourage each other to be consistent and maintain a regular routine.
In this video “Fitness expert Missy Kane explains why women need to exercise. For more health tips and information visit http://www.DrBobShow.com.”
Our bodies are mostly made up of water. Water intake is important because it helps us lose weight, provides fluid for our blood to cushion our joints, and can help us feel less fatigued. According to the Maya Clinics website Our body’s principal chemical component is water, which “makes up about 60 percent of your body weight. Every system in [our] body depends on water. For example, water flushes toxins out of vital organs, carries nutrients to your cells and provides a moist environment for ear, nose and throat tissues…[We] lose water through [our] breath, perspiration, urine and bowel movements” (source). Therefore, it is vitally important for us to replace the water that our bodies release.
Check out Madame Noire’s “8 Reasons Why Water is So Important”
As an African-American mom there are some risk factors that I have to keep in mind because genetically black women face greater health risks than other females. Because of this, it is imperative that I get regularly check ups and develop a good relationship with my healthcare professions because I need to trust their opinions and diagnosis. My main methods to help me stay on top of my health is to eat healthy. Diet is my #1 focus to keep me on the right track. My #2 focus is exercise. The saying goes “garbage in, garbage out,” but if people are living sedentary lives it is almost as if they are turning everything they put into their bodies into garbage. Exercise helps us manage our mood, cycles, weight, and metabolism.
- How to talk to your doctor or nurse
- Minority Women’s Health
- Havard’s Health Blog
- How to Perform Breast Self – Examinations
- Facts about Women and Water
- Three Free Healthcare Apps that empower patients
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