National Women’s Health Week (NWHW) is just around the corner, running this year from May 9th to the 15th. It is a chance for women to learn more about being healthy and the world to understand women’s health issues better.
Sponsored by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, National Women’s Health Week begins each year on Mother’s Day and serves as a reminder to women that their health is important. What can you do this year to recognize National Women’s Health Week?
How to Observe National Women’s Health Week
NWHW empowers women to make health a priority in their lives. The best way to observe it is to talk about women’s health issues and to take steps to improve your physical and mental health.
It is also a good time to share information and resources online and off that encourage others to think about their health. For example, the Office of Women’s Health has an online tool to help women assess their health and make changes. The “Are You Ready to Find Your Health?” tool is an online survey and assessment that helps women pinpoint areas they can improve on, such as physical activity or diet. In the end, the program offers you advice on meeting your personal health goals and a list of resources to help get you there.
5 Health Strategies for Women
Women can focus on five elements of their health each year during National Women’s Health Week. Use this annual celebration as a reminder to assess and improve in these areas:
- Regular well-woman visits with your primary care provider. During a well-woman visit, you can discuss what screenings you need this year, such as a PAP smear and pelvic exam, plus colorectal cancer, breast cancer, osteoporosis, and hypertension screenings. Also, check to make sure your vaccinations are up-to-date.
- Get physically active. If you are already active, make sure you meet the recommended levels of 150 hours of moderate exercise a week or 75 minutes of vigorous activity. Now is a good time to consider new ways to stay active, too, so it doesn’t get boring. Try one new activity this year just to see if you enjoy it, like bike riding, swimming, or hiking.
- Eat healthily. National Women’s Health Week is a great time to evaluate your weight and diet. Have you gained weight over the last year or lost it? What can you do to improve your diet?
- Think about your mental health. If you have not done a depression screening, talk to your primary care doctor about completing one. Also, evaluate how you are managing stress and whether you are getting enough sleep.
- Evaluate your personal habits to see if they are safe. For example, do you always wear your seatbelt? How about sunscreen when outside? Do you smoke or text while driving? These are behaviors that you can change to improve your overall safety.
Women’s health is important all year long, but it is easy to forget to do even the simple things to stay well. National Women’s Health Week is a friendly reminder to women throughout the country that their health matters. It’s about empowering them to take care of themselves and be proactive about their health.
NWHW also helps to educate young women about caring for their bodies. The better they understand what impacts their health, the more likely they are to develop good habits that will last a lifetime.
Just as importantly, National Women’s Health Week gives women a chance to set a good example. When women live healthier lives, it shows others what is possible.