How To Prepare for a Doctor’s Visit

Taking care of your health is important, but whether it’s a routine checkup with the family practitioner or a visit with a specialist, an appointment to see the doctor can sometimes be nerve-wracking. It can be especially helpful for people with anxiety to prepare for their visit, so that they can take care of their health with confidence and avoid unnecessary stress. Below is a list of 5 simple things to do to prepare for a doctor’s visit and make the trip easier.  

#1 Plan how you will get there 

No one likes it when the doctor is late to your appointment, but many people forget that the reason why your appointment is delayed is likely because someone showed up late before you! Don’t be the reason someone else’s appointment is behind schedule. Take the proper measures to show up on time for your appointment, and check in on time. If you don’t mind the wait, it might be a good idea to show up a little early so that they can see you as soon as they can! Remember to bring a book!  

#2 Have a list of questions or symptoms to discuss  

The doctor probably won’t have much time to visit with you. She has to see a lot of patients in one day, and usually has no control over how long she spends with patients. To make the most of your visit, have a written list of questions you need to ask or symptoms you would like to discuss. You may forget once you’re in the office, and you want to avoid coming back in later. The doctor will be happy to discuss with you, and probably grateful that you’re being proactive!  

#3 Try not to be self conscious 

No one likes the feeling of being on display or being examined, but when you go in for a checkup, it is important that you are honest and upfront about your symptoms and habits. A good doctor will not bat an eye at a symptom that really grosses you out, and she actually needs you to let her know how she can help you best. Additionally, answer all of the questions that your doctor or nurse asks you honestly. Good health professionals will not judge you.  

#4 Avoid Catching A Bug  

Lots of people avoid going to the doctors because they don’t want to catch anything that might be going around. It’s important to guard your own health when you go. Put your mind at ease by remembering that you can avoid a lot of germs by wash your hands after you touch common surfaces. Bring some hand sanitizer for a quick douse if you can’t excuse yourself. Avoid touching your face and mouth, or doing things like biting your nails. Although it can be nerve-racking to be in a room potentially full of sick people, many doctors offices are aware of this and want to avoid spreading diseases, especially in their offices. Remember that every room is cleaned between occupants, and most of the sicker people are brought to the back to wait in a private exam room for their appointment.  

#5 Don’t Avoid Going 

As we get older, we often become eligible for new tests and exams that come with age. Having these exams preformed and then waiting for results can be uncomfortable and even anxiety inducing. It’s important not to put off routine physical exams, or avoid getting important seasonal inoculations like the flu vaccine because you don’t want to be told it’s time to have a mammogram. Prioritizing your health isn’t always easy, but it’s worth it to know you’re doing everything you can to keep your body healthy and strong!  

Bonus: After the Visit  

Follow up with any specialists or lab tests your doctor recommends. She doctor can’t make a better plan to treat you if she is still lacking important information. Follow her recommendations so that your appointment was worth the time it took, and so that you can get to feeling better.  

Think about how the visit made you feel. Did your doctor make you unnecessarily self conscious or nervous? Did your doctor not take your symptoms or pain seriously? Don’t assume this is the norm! Just because you have a bad doctor, doesn’t mean doctors are bad. If possible, look for other offices you can visit, and ask around your community for a doctor that treats you well and takes you seriously. 

How to Begin an Exercise Habit

Lots of women plan to get to the gym, but get so caught up in trying to plan the perfect workout that they never end up lacing up their shoes and working up a sweat! Naturally, you don’t want to waste your time or even hurt yourself by not being informed. Don’t let this be a cause of unneeded stress! These are valid concerns, but there are ways to get active without getting anxious. trying to find the perfect routine, the perfect number of sets and reps, and the perfect active wardrobe will only end up becoming too daunting that you stay at home on the couch. If you’ve been in that mindset before, you’re in good company!  

Start Small  

Like clockwork, every year as soon as the holiday decorations are removed from the store, in come the workout gear. If you like to dress up and look the part for your new active life, you’re in good company, and advertisers know this! When you decide to hit the gym, odds are you already have a tee shirt and sweatpants on hand at home, and you don’t need to shell out a lot of money for new gear. Instead, set a goal for yourself or join a challenge group on Facebook. Let your reward fro reaching the goal be those sleek new leggings or the high tech sports bra.  

Set realistic expectations of yourself.  

If you are more sedentary, it’s OK if you can’t make time or aren’t willing to spend all of your down time at the gym. What’s important is to recognize that there are other things you can do. Maybe you walk to work or ride your bike on day of the week. Maybe you do a fifteen minute workout at home before dinner. Don’t buy into the idea that a small effort is a wasted effort. Just do what you can as reliably as you can!  

Have something to Work towards  

When you start to work out, it can seem like you’re moving but you’re not sure where. Lots of people workout with a goal weight in mind, and for some reasons this is an easy goal because you can quantify the work you’ve been doing with the weight dropping on the scale. However, this isn’t the only or the most noble goal. Maybe you want to feel more energetic, or sleep better. Maybe you want stronger muscles or longer endurance. Whatever your goal is, create milestones for yourself, and celebrate when you make that progress!  

Here are a few quick ways to get started.  

Watch a YouTube tutorial  

The fastest way to get started is to start! Find a video for a stretching routine or someone preforming light cardio and give it a try. You don’t have to be perfect, you just need to do something to get your body moving. next, Lots of personal trainers post helpful youtube videos online of their daily workouts. If you find yourself at the gym with no clue what to do Pick a trainer and give her workout a try! You don’t have to be on her level yet, and you shouldn’t push yourself to be wonder woman! Just start and see how you feel.  

Join a class  

Lots of community centers offer classes, and there are even libraries that have weekly yoga or zumba meetups. Finding low cost classes in your community is a great way to meet new people and engage with your town. A class also usually has a set number of sessions, so you are more inclined to go and get your money or time’s worth before the class ends. If it’s an activity you really enjoy, having it to look forward to throughout the week can be very uplifting and rewarding. Classes are also run by an experienced or certified person, so you can be sure they will help you put your health first and motivate you along with the rest of the class.  

As you get better at working your body, you’ll feel better but you’ll also learn more! Don’t put pressure on yourself to know how all of the muscles fit together, or what the best workout for your body type is. Usually, the best workout is ANY workout that you can preform regularly to feel great and stay in shape. What is your favorite way to exercise this season?  

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.