Women: It's Your Week to Focus on Your Health

posted by Mindy Sylvester on Wednesday, May 16, 2018

The 19th annual National Women's Health Week kicked off on Mother's Day, May 13, and is celebrated through May 19, 2018. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' Office on Women’s Health leads National Women’s Health Week to encourage all women to be as healthy as possible.

During National Women's Health Week each year millions of women take steps to improve their health. We encourage you to be one of those millions. Make your health a priority and if you aren’t already, take steps to build positive health habits for life.

What steps can you take for better health?
  • To improve your physical and mental health, you can:
  • Visit a physician for a well-woman visit (checkup) and preventive screenings/immunizations.
  • Get active – with 30 minutes of exercise five days/week or more. Warmer temperatures have arrived which makes this a great time to start a walking or outdoor workout routine.
  • Eat healthy – getting plenty of fruits, vegetables, whole grains and healthy protein. If you drink alcohol, limit your drinks to no more than one a day.
  • Pay attention to your mental health, including getting enough sleep and managing stress.
  • Avoid unhealthy behaviors, such as smoking, drinking alcohol, texting while driving, and not wearing a seatbelt or bicycle helmet.
  • Wear sunscreen – at least SPF of 15.

Recommended Screening Tests

  • Dental Exam every 6 months
  • Diabetes/Prediabetes: fasting blood sugar every 3 years
  • Lipids (cholesterol & triglycerides) every 5 years
  • Pap & HPV (Human Papilloma Virus) test every 3 years for women under 40; every 5 years after age 40
  • HIV at least once as an adult
  • Breast screenings: monthly self exams, annual clinical exams, and yearly mammograms starting at age 40
  • Bone Mineral Density exam at age 65
  • Colonoscopy at age 50
  • Hepatitis C if born between years 1945-1965

Routine Immunizations

  • Influenza vaccine yearly
  • Varicella (Chicken Pox) Vaccine Individuals born in 1980 or later should receive a second vaccine.
  • A one-time dose of Tdap (Tetanus, Diphtheria, Pertussis) followed by Td booster every 10 years
  • HPV: Females age 9-26 and males age 11-21 should receive this vaccine series
  • Meningococcal vaccine: one dose for first-year
  • Zoster (Shingles) vaccine at age 50
  • Pneumococcal vaccines at age 65

Why should you take these steps?

These steps are the foundation for a lifetime of good health. They can help you be as healthy as possible, whether you’re 20 or over 100!

Thank you for giving our healthcare team the opportunity to take care of you and be a part of your healthy lifestyle!

About The Author

Mindy Sylvester

Mindy Sylvester is our Women’s Health Coordinator at the Spencer Hospital.  She has a Bachelor’s degree in Human Biology and Psychology from Buena Vista College and Nursing from ILCC and University of Iowa.  Mindy has been an RN for 20 years, working with women’s healt ... read more