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Mother’s Day is Sunday, take care of yourself this year

Mother’s day is this Sun., May 12.   

We would like to extend best wishes and a Happy Mother’s Day to all the special women in your life that have shown you some motherly love through the years. It could be your aunt, auntie, co worker, daughter, friend, grandma, granny, mama, mi mi, me maw, mommy, mother, nana, sister and sister in law.

It’s a time we recognize the importance of being a female and the beauty and responsibility that it entails. However, May is also a time for women to think about their health and what we can all do to make it better.

One action women can take is to join in with the celebration of National Women’s Health Week which begins on Mother’s Day each year. This year, we will celebrate May 12–17. It is a reminder to women to take care of themselves and to make their health a priority. Keep these steps I mind 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 health care 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 moving

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.

Women need folic acid every day for the healthy new cells the body makes daily. 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 eat a bowl of breakfast cereal that has 100 percent of the daily value of folic acid every day. Folic acid pills and most multivitamins sold in the United States have 100 percent 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.

A CDC study external icon shows that about one 1 out of 10 women in the U.S. experience symptoms of depression. Learn some of the symptoms of depression, which include a loss of energy, or a lasting sad, anxious or empty mood.

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.

Getting enough sleep is important for overall health. It impacts how you feel and perform during the day. Adults need at least 7 hours of sleep each night.

Avoid distracted driving, (no texting while 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 health care 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 Womenexternal (http://womensmokefree.gov/) for free resources, including quit coaching, a quit plan, educational materials, and referrals to other resources where you live. Get tips from former smokers.

Please try to practice these steps all year, not just this week, to enjoy a healthy journey throughout your life.  Source: CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention). MyPlate.gov.