The 5 biggest health mistakes women make that last a lifetime
With a long list of competing priorities on your plate like relationships, a career, motherhood — the list goes on and on— somewhere in between the diaper changes, dates, and night class for your master’s degree your health falls to the wayside. But, do you realize your health is the one thing that is guaranteed to stay with you all of your life — good or bad?
Dr. Kara Vormittag, a sport medicine physician at Advocate Lutheran General Hospital in Park Ridge, Ill. shares five things every woman should do to take care of their body before their 40th birthday.
- Everything that happens to you in adolescence and when you are young feeds into the problems you have in the later in life. It is important for women even at a young age to nurture their bodies and not restrict their caloric intake to unsafe measures. If you are not feeding your body the nutrients it needs, it will begin to take it from your bones and other viable options in your body. This can cause precursors of osteoporosis like osteopenia. If you are not a fan of milk, there are other ways to add calcium into your diet for bone health like lattes or juices with calcium in them.
One good way to know if your body is in balance are indicators from your period. If you have a regular period flow each month this likely means that your body it getting the nutrition it needs. (However, if you are on hormonal contraception this is not the best method for gaging your health because these are “forced” periods.)
- It is import for you to take care of your pelvic floor at any age. It is considered part of your lower core. If you don’t focus on this area in your workouts it can lead to hip problems and pain, urination issues, and sexual dysfunction. Pelvic floor dysfunction is highly unreported in young women. It can be caused by constipation, genetics, bad toileting habits, pregnancy, etc. Not sharing these problems with your physician can lead to painful sexual intercourse and other symptoms.
- The frequency of pap smears has changed in recent years, but that does not negate the need for a yearly physical. As you grow older, it is important to monitor other signs your body may be sending you.
- Over scheduling. So many women are on the brink of burn out juggling their relationships, career, motherhood and more, that they put themselves last and their health suffers because of it. It is important to have the right mix and prioritize, but don’t forget the other two pillars which are sleep and stress management.
- Nutrition and exercise are two wellness pillars on most people’s minds. However, sleep and stress management are coming to the forefront and are crucial when it comes to heart health.
“Overall it is important for women to keep the four wellness pillars — sleep, exercise, nutrition, and stress management— in mind to live a healthy life,” she says.
About the Author
Marrison Worthington, health enews contributor, is a public affairs and marketing manager at Advocate Christ Medical Center in Oak Lawn, Illinois. She is a graduate of Illinois State University and has several years of global corporate communications experience under her belt. Marrison loves spending her free time traveling, reading organizational development blogs, trying new cooking recipes, and playing with her golden retriever, Ari.