Perfect timing. Just last week I was complaining to my husband about a little ache I was experiencing that quickly turned into pain that I hadn’t felt before. For a short time, I thought I was going to go to the ER but then, just as quickly, I began to feel normal again and that was the end of the story.
It’s ironic how I schedule my son’s doctors and dental appointments over six months in advance, but when it comes to me, and my health, I put it last on my priority list and don’t think of going to the doctor until I have pains, unusual symptoms or discomfort. Even then, I wait until it passes before ever making an appointment for myself. I’m pretty sure I’m not alone in this.
National Women’s Health Week is a much-needed reminder that scheduling an annual check- up is just as important as making our children’s preventative appointments with their doctors and dentists. It may even be more important as, the older we get, the more serious those unusual symptoms can be, especially when we continue to ignore them.
For myself, and for my family, I’m using this week to remind myself how important it is to take the following steps to improve my physical and mental health and lower my risk of certain diseases:
- Visit a health care professional to receive regular checkups and preventive screenings.
- Get active.
- Eat healthy.
- Pay attention to mental health, including getting enough sleep and managing stress.
- Avoid unhealthy behaviors, such as smoking and not wearing a seatbelt or bicycle helmet.
Investing in your health is vital for your overall well-being. I know that when I pay attention to the symptoms and make positive changes to eat healthier, exercise and make a conscious effort to not look at my phone at the red lights, I feel better and am much less stressed. That should be reason enough to make these healthy habits a daily ritual rather than a turn around to my typical routine.
What changes will you make to improve your overall health?
You can follow the conversation on Twitter about this blog challenge with #NWHWblog and learn more about National Women’s Health Week by following @WomensHealth.