Women’s Health Week… Just in Time for Mother’s Day

National Women’s Health Week begins on Mother’s Day, May 9th, and lasts until May 15th. This weeklong health observance is coordinated by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Office on Women’s Health (OWH). National Women’s Health Week empowers women to make their health a top priority. With the theme “It’s Your Time,” the nationwide initiative encourages women to take simple steps for a longer, healthier, and happier life. Be sure to encourage your mom to do the same this Mother’s Day. Important steps include:

· Getting at least 2 and ½ hours of moderate physical activity, 1 hour & 15 minutes of vigorous physical activity, or a combination of both each week.

· Eating a nutritious diet, including the 5 food groups: milk, meat, fruit, vegetables & grain.

· Visiting a health care professional for regular checkups & preventive screenings.

· Avoiding risky behaviors like smoking, drinking alcohol, not wearing a seatbelt and talking on a cell phone while driving.

· Paying attention to mental health, including getting enough sleep and managing stress.

It is important to celebrate National Women’s Health Week to remind women that taking care of themselves is essential to living longer, healthier, and happier lives. Women are often the caregivers for their spouses, children, and parents and forget to focus on their own health. But research shows that when women take care of themselves, the health of their family improves. During National Women’s Health Week it is important to educate our wives, mothers, grandmothers, daughters, sisters, aunts, and girlfriends about the steps they can take to improve their health and prevent disease. After all, when women take even the simplest steps to improve their health, the results can be significant and everyone can benefit.  A good example is if mothers drink milk, their children will drink milk which of course, benefits bone health.  Most bone building occurs during adolescence until 20 years of age so making sure teens get 3 cups of milk, cheese or yogurt is of high importance.  Then, continuing to consume dairy products keeps bone breakdown to a minimum.

Additional information to help keep your mom and the other women in your life healthy this Mother’s Day, National Women’s Health Week, and beyond can be found www.NationalDairyCouncil.org, www.WomensHealth.gov, and www.MyPyramid.gov.