8 Ways Women Can Stay Healthy

8 Ways Women Can Stay Healthy

Life changes with every decade, from graduating college to raising a family to planning for retirement. Regardless of age, all women should make a commitment to embrace a healthy lifestyle. In recognition of National Women’s Health Month, Dr. Laurie Birkholz, Lakeshore Health Partners – Women’s Health, offers eight tips to help you feel and live your best.

  1. Kick those butts. Did you know that more women die every year from lung cancer than breast cancer? Quitting smoking is one of the best ways you can stay healthy, as well as feel young and young at heart. If you’re having trouble kicking the habit, support is available.
  2. Exercise. Regular exercise is a must for anybody hoping to slow the aging process. Exercise combats the loss of stamina, muscle strength, balance and bone density as we grow older. Try to get 30 minutes of physical activity per day on most days of the week. With that in mind, remember some movement is always better than none.
  3. Eat more fish, especially salmon, mackerel, herring and tuna. All are ideal sources of omega-3 fatty acids and shown to protect against cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes and rheumatoid arthritis. Omega-3 is also believed to help the skin stay elastic and hydrated (meaning less wrinkles).
  4. Give your brain a workout. Regular participation in mentally stimulating activities can reduce your risk of Alzheimer’s disease. Whether it’s doing crossword puzzles, reading or taking an online class, challenge your brain every day.
  5. Keep your weight in check. As we age, metabolism naturally slows down. This is particularly true for women after age 40. Making healthy food choices (more fruits and vegetables, and less saturated fat, processed foods and salt) and staying physically active can help boost your metabolism and stave off unwanted pounds.
  6. Get your zz’s. People who get less than six hours of sleep a night have a greater risk of having a heart attack or stroke. Lack of sleep also promotes overall mental decline. Regular, quality shuteye is essential for your physical wellness, as well as your mood and longevity.
  7. Shun the sun, especially artificial sunlight from tanning beds. Tanning bed use significantly increases your chances of getting melanoma, the deadliest type of skin cancer. Sunlight can also speed aging of the skin. Avoid direct sun exposure between 10 am and 4 pm and wear your sunscreen when outside.
  8. Visit the doctor. Making your health a top priority at any age is essential. Yearly checkups with your primary care provider should be considered a must for women, whether they are in their 20s or 60s. With help from your provider, you can create a personalized health plan, including recommended screenings by age, to help ensure your wellness for years to come.

Together with Lakeshore Health Partners — Women’s Health and Holland Hospital provide the expertise, personalized care and advanced technology to meet a woman’s needs at every age and stage of life.

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  • Laurie Birkholz, MD

    Laurie Birkholz, MD

    When Laurie Birkholz, MD, isn’t providing women’s health care at Lakeshore Health Partners, she enjoys the hiking trails and beaches in our community with husband, Eric, and their two daughters. Dr. Birkholz has a special interest in holistic health – focusing on all aspects of health-mind, body and spirit and their roles in continuing good health or returning to previous levels of health. From sexual health and cancer survivorship to nutrition and fitness counseling, Dr. Laurie helps women of all ages make their life a great life!

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    All blogs by Laurie Birkholz, MD

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