Health Checklist for Women

Health is the most important resource, yet we rarely think about it until we get sick! Summer is almost over and as we move closer to the end of the year, flu season is coming up on us. No one wants to get sick, so here are several things to remember so that you can make better health choices and stay healthy year round. Take care of your body and it will take care of you!  

Hydrate 

We’ve all heard it said that our bodies are mostly water, and it’s true! We need a lot of water to for our bodies to stay healthy and for our skin and hair to be beautiful. Water is one of the best health AND beauty tricks available! Most of us need eight cups of water a day, but you can meet that goal by eating fruits and veggies, or having a popsicle. That being said, it’s still very important to drink a couple of glasses of water each day. Try to have a tall glass in the morning to wake up, or fill up a water bottle and sip it all day long. With so many options for different types of water bottles these days, it’s easy to find one you’ll love to keep close at hand!  

Eat properly 

We all have to eat, and have several meals a day. With all of the fad diets going around, it can be difficult to find the right one for you. Fad diets have been around as long as there have been magazines. Just because they are trendy or have a lot of anecdotal evidence doesn’t mean you have to jump on the bandwagon! Some diets may even seem logical at face value, and there are certainly diets that work for certain people, but the most important thing to consider when choosing a diet for you is sustainability. The ideal diet would be nutritious, balanced, and easy to do for a long time. Instead of worrying about sticking to a difficult, unsustainable diet, what’s most important is to fill your plate with fruits, veggies, and healthy fats and proteins on a regular basis. Figure out what kind of foods you like, and how you can add more plants into your diet.  

Exercise  

Staying active can be difficult, especially with an office job or similar work where you find yourself sitting for most of the day. Lots of people plan to go to the gym and start and exercise routine, but overburden themselves with plans they can’s keep up or agonize over the way to get the most out of their workout. Instead of stressing over the perfect workout for you, try to find an activity that you enjoy! Maybe you like to unwind with some yoga, or get your heart pumping with a dance class! You don’t have to shell out big bucks to get a lot out of the half hour you have available to you. There are lots of quick work out videos available on youtube. You can find all kinds of different workout videos for free, from yoga to barre, or even something like latin dance! Give yourself 10 minutes and give it a try. It will help you stay healthy and you might really enjoy it! 

Hygiene  

One of the most common ways we get sick is through poor hygiene. Washing your hands after a trip to the grocery store, or before you prepare a meal is a good way to avoid common colds and other illnesses. Also, avoiding touching your face or biting your nails will help you keep a lot of germs away from your mouth and keep you from getting sick.  

Give Up Bad Habits  

Do you have bad habits? Things like smoking and drinking can seem very common place and even important socially, but most of us are aware of their negative effects on our health. Things that seem innocent enough, like biting your nails can be a huge detriment to your health should you wind up getting sick. It’s important to take stock of your habits, and make informed decisions on what is good for you and what isn’t, and how to stop doing a bad habit or else reduce the amount of harm you’re doing. No one likes to talk about our own bad habits, but it’s important to know if you have any and what you should do about them.  

Everyday Health Dangers to Avoid

As much as we like to believe the things we buy and bring into our home are perfectly safe and healthy, new research and findings are always being conducted that may make you want to throw things out! This is especially true when it comes to food, beauty, and how we get around. Below is a list of three simple ingredients to be aware of so that you can make the best decisions for your health.  

Talc 

Talc has been widely used for generations of women of all ages. But recently, has been found to be potentially dangerous, and a possible cause for ovarian cancer, but most women still use it every day in their cosmetics and personal care, sometimes without even realizing it. Check your powdery cosmetics like eye shadows and powders, and read the ingredients list for talc. It’s usually the first ingredient! Although talc is usually linked to ovarian cancer, women need to be careful about applying a carcinogen no matter where on the body. 

A lot of studies are linking the health concerns surrounding talc with asbestos. These two materials are usually mined in the same places and look very similar.  No matter the exact cause, as long as we don’t know which talc is contaminated with asbestos and which isn’t, it’s best to throw away the makeup and seek out alternatives.  

Parabens   

This word has seemed to crop up a lot more recently, especially on makeup and personal care things. A lot of women have been asking “What are these?” Basically, a paraben is a preservative, and these ingredients can cause disfunction in the hormonal systems of the body, especially with estrogen. This is especially concerning to women because estrogen is a major hormone in our bodies. These days, most labels will proudly say if they do not contain parabens, so it’s good to check the labels. 

BPA  

BPA compound usually found in plastics. BPA was thought to be harmless for many years, but. recently, BPA has been been linked to fertility problems and other health conditions. Because it is an ingredient in many hard plastics, it’s been used in close proximity to foods for many years, especially in reusable containers and water bottles. Although some studies report that BPA is harmless, many people are choosing to limit their exposure. To decrease exposure, it’s important to be sure that the reusable materials you buy don’t have BPA in them. Most labels will say if the item does not contain BPA, and if you can’t find that on the label, it’s best to find a different product. 

Bad Health Habits to Avoid

Everyone is very busy in this day and age, especially women. It can be difficult to stay on top of your health all of the time, and very easy to slip on taking care of your health without even realizing it. We all have bad habits that get worse with the stress and hassle of everyday life. Don’t wait until you get sick to start taking care of your health! Here’s a list of common bad habits and how to avoid them for better health!  

Smoking  

Smoking can cause many negative side effects to your health and environment. Some effects might seem more superficial, like a dull smile. Other effects can seriously impact your health. Smoking makes it harder to breath, and can increase your chances of developing many different diseases. Second-hand smoke can also affect the people and pets around you. For more information about the dangers of smoking and for ways to help you quit, visit WebMD’s page for women wanting to give up smoking

Drinking Alcohol to excess  

A cocktail at a party can be the perfect way to start a girls night, and lots of people have fun pairing wine and food to make a meal taste even better! But did you know that lots of women are drinking excess these days without even realizing it? Lots of people know the risks of overdoing it, but it’s possible to drink too much too often without developing an addiction or dependence. This is on the rise in America, especially in young women ages 26-35. You might be among them and not even know it. Even if you don’t form a dependence on alcohol, you could still be damaging your health and increasing your likelihood of developing certain types fo cancer or heart disease. Being more thoughtful with how much we drink and how often could benefit us all.  

Not Taking Proper Care of Your Skin  

We are all guilty of not giving our skin the TLC it needs. Do you sleep in your makeup? Forego the sunscreen? You may be seriously neglecting your skin! Aside from the beauty benefits, there are a lot of health benefits as well! When you apply a sunscreen, you lower your chance for skin damage and even some cancers like melanoma. Keeping your face clean and moisturized at night is also a boost to your immune system. Plus, a nice facemask is a great way to relax and unwind to lower the effects of stress. Taking care of yourself goes a long way for health and beauty too!   

Not Drinking Enough Water  

If you have constant headaches throughout the day, or find yourself groggy mid-afternoon, you may be dehydrated. With something as simple as drinking more water throughout your day, you could be more on top of things and even feel better. If you don’t like to drink just plain water, then don’t worry! You can also drink tea or milk. Prefer to get your hydration through foods? Frozen berries are perfect for the summertime, and a hearty bowl of oatmeal in the morning is a surprising way to reach your water goals. 

Not dealing with stress  

Stress kills! Heachaes, digestive problems, and even heart attacks can come from unmanaged stress. It is vitally important to take care of yourself, but sometimes life can get out of hand and run away from us. For those reasons, it’s important to have something specific that you can rely on in times of stress, whether it’s meditation, drawing, resting, or talking it out. Making art or working with your hands can be a good way to de-stress, and it feels good to improve a little each day and have something to show for it! 

Not staying up to date with your health 

We’ve all heard that it’s important to get our flu shot, and we’ve also heard the concerns that for some years the flu shot isn’t as effective as it is others. The fact is, there are many different diseases that we group up under the name “flu” and just because a shot is effective in protecting you against one doesn’t mean it will keep you from catching something else. Although no one expects to die from the flu, these diseases kill people every year, many of them very young or very old, and for that reason alone it’s important to keep yourself properly innoculated against common diseases. When you have a vaccine, you’re not only protecting yourself, but the people around you like infants that can’t get shots yet. If fewer people are catching the flu, then fewer people are spreading the flu as well, and that keeps everyone safer and healthier.  

Touching Your Face and Mouth  

Our hands are the way we pick up and touch the world, and for that reason they come into contact with a lot of dirt and gross germs throughout the day. One of the reasons we wash our hands after using the restroom and before we cook or eat a meal is to make sure that we’re not carrying the germs with us and getting ourselves or other people sick. Additionally, touching your face can cause acne or excess oil buildup. Also, lots of people bite their nails, and can get themselves very sick because of that. Washing your hands regularly can prevent so much sickness and promote health and cleanliness. Don’t just get your hands wet after the bathroom, and don’t assume that hand sanitizer can solve the issue! Soap your hands up and wash the dirt away with warm water whenever you have the chance, but especially before meals!  

Self-care is important now more than ever, and prioritizing your health is a must, especially if you are busy! 

6 Helpful Ways to Deal with Stress

We’ve all been there. Sometimes things pile up, and there seems to be an endless list of things to do, and only so much time to do them. This can be especially true for women, because we often find ourselves taking care of others. Even when things get tough, it’s important to take care of yourself, as well as those around you. These stress relief techniques for women are perfect for the busy lady, and can take as little as two minutes.  

#1 Meditate  

Maybe meditation is your thing. If it isn’t, try not to write it off right away! There are lots of ways to meditate that you might not have ever imagined. Do you get lost in the task of washing the dishes or folding the laundry? Do you find it easy to draw or take a bath, and let the day fall away? Devote some time to those activities, and let your thoughts fade away as you do them. If you like that, you may also want to try the more traditional way to meditate. Set a timer and practice for just two minutes, breathing in and out deeply, and letting your thoughts pass you by. Increase the amount of time whenever you feel you need to take a break.  

#2 Sleep  

No one every said you’d have to pull all-nighters after college! Sometimes when you have a project for work or a paper for school, you’ll put off sleeping to squeeze in some extra time working. This may be OK every now and then, but not getting enough sleep can be super detrimental in the long run. It’s important to prioritize rest, and not to feel like you need to “earn” your rest by working extra hard. Sleeping better will help you feel better, and deal with stress. Ever heard of “sleeping on it”? Getting some sleep may help you work through a problem. Sleeping is never wasting time, and you might even wake up with more clarity! 

#3 Talk to a friend  

Our friends are our support system. If you want your friends to come to you in stressful times, you can bet they want you to come to them as well! Women are usually very social, and if we’re stressed out for something we can’t put a finger on, we might just be missing our friends! Schedule a lunch or a movie night with your friends and remember to engage with your community!  

#4 Call a loved one  

With such busy times, it’s hard to keep in touch with the people we love but don’t get to see as often. Is there someone in your life who you miss? Giving them a call is a great way to show your love and make everyone’s day a little brighter. Talking to loved ones about the stress in your life, or asking a person that you trust for their wisdom and advice can make all of the difference. Schedule a call in advance so you both have something to look forward to.  

#5 Keep a gratitude journal  

Studies show that writing down the things that make you happy or thankful means you carry it with you even longer. If someone does something nice for you, take a second to jot down what happened and how it made you feel. Seeing all of the events that made you happy or proud, or inspired gratitude in you will make you happier because you’re remembering all of the good things better than the things that might have gone wrong.  

#6 Plan ahead  

Does one part of your day set the tone for stress? If mornings get you down, put your nighttime routine to good use and get yourself ready for the day ahead. If you can lay out your clothes in advance, or pack your lunch the night before, you’ll save yourself a lot of time and hassle. You can be out the door with no worries, and have a better day because of it. What can you do to help yourself through stressful mornings?  

Keep in mind that managing stress, as with anything else, consistency is key. You might not feel like having a nap or letting a loved one in, but it’s important that we prioritize our health even when it’s hard. Did you find something you think you could give a try? 

Welcome to the New National Women’s Health Organization

The National Women’s Health Organization was originally founded in 1976 with the goal of providing exceptional reproductive medical services to women in a safe and comfortable environment. These original NWHO clinics provided a reliable alternative to the high cost of inpatient care for women at the time. At the time, their clinics were among the most progressive and cost effective in the United States.

These providers knew that your emotional health and safety were as important as your physical well being. We wanted to resurrect this organization with the more modest goal of promoting women’s health organizatons and medical providers in your community and around the country. Stay tuned while we figure out exactly how to go about doing this.