6 Ways to Celebrate Women’s Health & Fitness Day
August 24, 2018 | Category: Articles
As a busy woman, you’ve got a lot on your plate. You’re juggling the demands of school, work, and your family. It can be difficult to set time aside for yourself and to focus on your health and fitness needs. The Centers for Disease Control reports that most women in the US don’t get the recommended amount of physical activity1.
If you are looking for a way to jumpstart your fitness goals or to get an exercise routine back on track, mark your calendars. National Women’s Health & Fitness Day is set for September 26, 2018.
Described as the “largest annual health promotion event for women of all ages” in the US, Women’s Health & Fitness Day aims to raise awareness of the importance of health and physical activity for women. On that day, more than 500 organizations in the US will host events such as walks, health screenings, and exercise demonstrations at community centers, churches, and health centers nationwide2. Here’s what you can do to participate in National Women’s Health and Fitness Day and to commit to putting your health first going forward.
1. Find an Event Near You
With more than 500 organizations expected to put together events on Women’s Health & Fitness Day and more than 50,000 women expected to participate, there’s bound to be an event scheduled near you2. Pick a topic you’re interested in, whether it’s learning more about nutrition, exercise, or other healthcare concerns, then find a program near your home.
2. Schedule a Check-Up
If you can’t make it out to a Women’s Health & Fitness Day event, no worries. Use the day as a reminder to schedule a preventative physical exam with your primary care doctor or with your OB/GYN, especially if it’s been awhile. The following health screenings are recommended for women between the ages of 18 and 393:
- Blood pressure screening – Every three to five years if within the normal range
- Cholesterol screening – Every five years if within the normal range
- Diabetes screening – If blood pressure is above 135/80 mm Hg or body mass index is above 25
- Eye exam – Every two years
- Pap smear – Every three years starting at age 21, every five years after age 30 (if previous results were normal)
The following health screenings are recommended for women over the age of 404:
- Blood pressure screening – Every year
- Cholesterol screening – Every five years
- Diabetes screening – Every three years starting at age 44
- Colonoscopy – Every 10 years starting at age 50 if there’s no history of colon cancer in your family
- Eye exam – Every two to four years between ages 40 and 54 and every year starting at age 55
- Mammograms – Every one to two years
- Osteoporosis screening – Women under age 65 who have risk factors should be screened
- Pap smear – Every three to five years
3. Get Your Flu Shot
Along with calling up your primary care provider or OB/GYN to schedule an exam, take a few minutes to visit your local pharmacy and get your flu shot for the year. Flu shots are recommended every year3,4.
4. Find 20 Minutes in Your Day for Exercise
At first glance, the recommended physical activity levels per week can look daunting — where are you going to find two and a half hours in your crammed schedule to work out? But, those two and a half hours equal about 20 minutes a day. If you participate in a more vigorous activity, such as running, the recommended amount falls to just 75 minutes a week, or 10 minutes a day5.
You can find 10 or 20 minutes a day for exercise! Try going for a walk on your lunch break or taking your dog for a brisk run around your neighborhood after work. You can try commuting to work by bike or setting up a treadmill in front of the TV so that you can run or jog while catching up on your shows.
5. Get Your Friends Together for a Workout
Another way to find time to exercise is to make your workouts a social event. Get your friends together and try out an exercise class, such as ballet barre, yoga, or Pilates. You can check Groupon out to see what studios are offering discounts to new students. Another option is ClassPass, which lets you try a variety of different fitness programs, so that you and your friends aren’t stuck going to the same class or getting stuck in a rut. Taking a walk in the park or going for a run together is a great way to get some exercise while enjoying quality social time.
6. Try a New-to-You Healthy Food
There’s more to health than just fitness. If you’re looking to eat better, but aren’t sure where to start or don’t have the time to jump into a complicated new diet routine, try adding a new and different healthy food to your meal rotation each week. For example, you can make a dish with quinoa one week then try cauliflower rice the next. Prep to-go veggies by prewashing and precutting your favorite vegetables and leaving them at eye level in the fridge. This allows you to easily grab for a healthy alternative instead of the convenient bag of chips. Introducing new foods to your diet can help you vary what you eat, which can help you eat more healthfully overall.
- “Women’s Health,” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, last modified May 3, 2017, https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/fastats/womens-health.htm
- “2018 National Women’s Health & Fitness Day,” Fitness Day, retrieved August 17, 2018, http://www.fitnessday.com/women/
- “Health screenings for women ages 18 to 39,” Medline Plus, last modified August 14, 2018, https://medlineplus.gov/ency/article/007462.htm
- “Health screenings for women ages 40 to 64,” Medline Plus, last modified August 14, 2018, https://medlineplus.gov/ency/article/007467.htm
- “How Much Physical Activity Do Adults Need?,” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, last modified August 13, 2018, https://www.cdc.gov/physicalactivity/basics/adults/index.htm