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Women's Health and Wellness: Everything You Need to Know


Ladies, we all want to live long, happy lives without the burden of diseases. However, with our daily routines packed with household chores, work, and various other commitments, it's easy for healthy habits to take a backseat.


Don't worry, though! By taking a few simple steps, we can prioritize our well-being and live healthier lives for longer.


Fuel Your Body with Healthy Foods


To achieve a balanced diet, it's important to steer clear of unhealthy food choices. Highly processed and packaged foods are often packed with sugars, salts, unhealthy fats, and excessive calories. Say no to the artificial stuff and choose wholesome, nutritious foods like:

  • Fruits and Vegetables

  • Low-fat dairy

  • Lean meats and poultry

  • Fiber-rich foods

  • Fresh fish

  • Whole grains

A healthy lifestyle begins with a nourishing diet, which is more than just managing weight. As a woman, a balanced diet is vital for your overall well-being, as it provides essential vitamins, minerals, and nutrients crucial for growth, development, and a healthy body.


Sexual Wellness


For us ladies, sexual health is an ongoing concern that encompasses various aspects of your life. From preventing unintended pregnancy to improving low libido, it's essential to prioritize your sexual health throughout all stages of life.


When you first become sexually active, it's important to focus on these key areas of sexual health:


1. Staying safe from sexually transmitted infections (STIs)


Having other sexually transmitted infections like chlamydia, herpes, gonorrhea, or syphilis can increase your risk of getting HIV. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention states that people with STIs are at least 2 to 5 times more likely to contract HIV through sexual activity.


2. Choosing a birth control or family planning method that suits your needs


Some contraceptives offer more than just pregnancy prevention. They can also provide benefits like lighter, more predictable menstrual cycles, lower risk of sexually transmitted infections, and reduced risk of certain cancers. These advantages may influence your decision when choosing a birth control method.


3. Getting regular STI screenings, Pap smears, and pelvic exams


Regular testing for cervical HPV can help identify patients who may be at risk for cervical cancer. If a potential risk is detected, it is important to seek further evaluation and management from a gynecology specialist.


As you move forward in life, your needs may shift and transform along with the other physical changes that you might be going through. Some of these changes can include:

  • A low desire for sexual activity or a decreased interest in sex in a way that is more comfortable and respectful for women.

  • Having difficulty achieving orgasm or experiencing the peak of sexual pleasure in a way that is more comfortable and respectful for women.

  • Feeling less sensitive to sexual touch or stimulation in a way that is more comfortable and respectful for women.

  • Experiencing insufficient vaginal wetness or lubrication during sexual activity in a way that is more comfortable and respectful for women.

  • Experiencing discomfort or pain during sexual activity in a way that is more comfortable and respectful for women.

Hormones play a major role in how you experience and manage the symptoms above. Take this short quiz to learn more about your hormones!


Embracing a Healthy Lifestyle is Key!


Taking care of our health is crucial and one simple way to prevent diseases and infections is by avoiding smoking. It's also important to stay away from those who smoke because secondhand smoke can be just as harmful as smoking itself.


Drinking alcohol can also be harmful to your health, especially when consumed in large amounts. For us women, it's recommended to have no more than one five-ounce glass of wine per day to help lower the risk of heart disease. However, drinking more than that can increase the risk of cancer and other health problems. Remember to drink in moderation to keep yourself healthy.


Taking care of your teeth and mouth is also important for more than just having a bright smile. Brushing and flossing every day helps prevent cavities and gum disease, and it may also help reduce your risk of heart disease. So, don't forget to keep up with your daily dental care routine to keep your teeth and gums healthy!


Let's Get Moving!


If you want to feel and look great at any age, exercise might just be the answer. It's the simplest and most effective solution that works for everyone. So, let's get moving to feel our best and stay healthy through all the seasons of life!


Regular exercise has numerous health benefits, including reducing blood pressure, preventing heart disease, and improving mood and cognitive function. Women, in particular, can benefit from exercise due to their unique combination of hormones and health risks.


Here are four ways in which exercise can specifically benefit women's health:


1. It helps prevent mood swings

Exercise can help reduce mood swings triggered by hormones by releasing endorphins, which act as mood regulators. Endorphins are sometimes referred to as the "runner's high" and can leave you feeling happy and relaxed after exercising.


2. It helps you get a better night's rest!

Getting enough sleep is crucial for good mental health, and research from the University of Bern shows that when we dream, our brain reinforces positive emotions and reduces the impact of negative or traumatic ones. So, getting a good night's sleep not only helps us feel more refreshed and energized, but it can also improve our emotional well-being.


3. It helps maintain a healthy weight

Incorporating exercise into your routine can help you build and maintain lean muscle mass, giving you a toned and slender appearance while boosting your confidence. Plus, exercise is a great way to burn those extra calories and prevent them from turning into unwanted fat.


Aim to move for 30 minutes a day, at least four days a week. The optimum form of exercise is aerobic or cardio. This includes:

  • Jogging

  • Walking

  • Swimming

  • dancing

It's never too late to start exercising! Research has found that even if you're older, just two to three months of regular physical activity can lead to noticeable improvements in your health. And the good news is, if you stick with it, your body will continue to benefit from exercise well into your 80s.


Support Your Emotional Well-being


By gaining clarity on your purpose and identifying what truly matters to you, you can declutter and eliminate non-essentials from your life. This streamlined approach will help you stay focused and on track towards achieving your goals.


To improve your overall well-being, it's important to cultivate a positive mindset to help manage any situation, make time for yourself, prioritize a healthy lifestyle, and learn emotion-regulation skills to navigate life's ups and downs with greater ease.


Get Professional Help


In addition to breast exams and gynecological checkups, it's important to regularly visit your doctor for overall health checkups and screenings. This may include blood work, biometric measurements like blood pressure and weight, and other preventive tests to detect and address any health concerns early.


If you’re experiencing symptoms that are affecting your quality of life, don't hesitate to talk to your healthcare provider or schedule a menopause consultation with Delayna.




References


The Healthline Editorial Team. (2020, February 5). What Do You Want to Know About Women’s Health? Healthline. https://www.healthline.com/health/womens-health#see-a-doctor

Jayapalan, S., & Bindu, R. S. (2020). Papanicolaou smear: A diagnostic aid in sexually

transmitted infections. Indian Journal of Sexually Transmitted Diseases and AIDS, 41(2), 143. https://doi.org/10.4103/ijstd.ijstd_114_16

Health Benefits of Exercise for Women | Sutter Health. (n.d.). https://www.sutterhealth.org/health/womens-health/health-benefits-of-exercise-for-women

The Skill Collective- Women’s Wellbeing + Mental Health. (n.d.). The Skill Collective.https://theskillcollective.com/womens-health


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