Dr. Carolyn's Corner
LET'S GET ACTIVE!
Happy Mother's Day! I salute each and every one of you who has always done your best to care for your family. Along the way you may have put your own needs aside while making sure that those of everyone else were met. Now is a great time to start thinking about your own health and well-being. If you don't, how can you expect to be able to continue taking care of all those others that you always put first?
The fact is that with a little organization and effort you can take care of yourself AND your family. Start by learning about National Women's Health Week, which begins on Mother's Day, May 12th. This is a week-long observance led by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Service's Office on Women's Health. It is a national effort to promote women's health in general and to encourage women to make their health a priority.
The movement encourages women to take five simple steps:
1) Get regular check-ups and regular screenings
2) Get active
3) Eat healthy
4) Get enough sleep and manage stress
5) Avoid unhealthy behaviors
These are all important, but I think #2--getting (and staying) active --may be the one step that demands the most encouragement and effort. There is no question that physical activity can improve our health, not only by making us feel better about ourselves, but by lowering our risk of many disorders, including heart disease, diabetes, breast and colon cancer, and depression. It's also no secret that physical activity is a vital part of any reasonable weight loss program.
If you want to start a fitness program, remember it needs to be something you enjoy and something that you can fit into your busy schedule. Otherwise, odds are you won't continue your efforts for very long. Also, pick an activity that won't overwhelm you. The goal is not to cause pain or excessive tiredness!
If you're the typical woman who has good intentions and starts a program but soon stops, one thing that may help is to join a group activity. Many people say that exercising with others is a lot more enjoyable than alone and it doesn't seem so much like work. Besides that, it's a great way to meet new friends with common interests.
Talk to your doctor about what would be a good type of activity that would fit your own personal needs. You may have some health concerns that would be important to take care of and might play a role in determining what is safe and reasonable for you.
Let's get active! No excuses. You owe it to yourself and your family.