National Women’s Health Week: Take Care of Yourself

by Char Brooks, J.D.

Couple RunningCelebrating its sixteenth year, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office on Women’s Health kicks off another year of National Women’s Health Week, which runs May 10th through 16th. The purpose of National Women’s Health Week is to encourage women of all ages to see their healthcare provider for routine screenings as well as take the steps needed to support a healthy lifestyle.

Dear Abby, one of the many Ambassadors for National Women’s Health Week says:

Without our health, we have nothing. As an advice columnist I never “preach”, but I do advise readers to adopt a healthy lifestyle. This includes eating a sensible diet, setting time aside for moderate exercise, and scheduling regular medical checkups. It’s what I do for myself and what I suggest for those I care about.

With the Affordable Care Act, it’s even easier to have regular checkups and screenings as many of these appointments are covered benefits. Under the Act, most annual wellness visits, along with other preventive benefits are free regardless of whether your yearly deductible has been met. These tests are also free even if your plan is offered through Medicare. If you don’t have health insurance, you may be able to find a health center that bases their charges on your income.

Being healthy, strong and happy are so important to enjoying your life. Talking to your doctor about osteoporosis screenings and getting screened for Hepatitis B, colorectal cancer, and cholesterol are just some of the routine tests that are recommended depending on your age. The National Women’s Health Week website breaks down which subjects to cover with your doctor based on your age, allowing you to focus on the issues most important to your well-being at your particular stage of life.

There are many healthy activities that we can only do for ourselves. For example, eating healthy, being physically active, managing stress, and getting enough sleep are important activities of daily life. National Women’s Health Week raises our awareness of the importance of taking care of ourselves by completing these simple daily actions. The combination of age appropriate medical screenings, receiving information that is relevant to your health, and simple activities like getting enough sleep, exercise, and good food are your prescription for enjoying your life more fully.

Take the National Women’s Health Pledge with other women. Before you know it, you’ll be eating better, sleeping well, and enjoying a more active lifestyle!

5144274Char is a Project Healthy Living Coach and Attorney with Elder Law of Michigan. In January 2013, Char became employed at ELM as an attorney focusing her efforts on writing articles for the blog as well as working on internal communications.

Char holds a Bachelor of Arts in Communications from Michigan State University, and graduated with her Juris Doctor from Thomas M. Cooley Law School over 30 years ago. Prior to joining ELM, Char worked for Michigan Health and Hospital Association as an attorney representing 140 hospitals throughout the state of Michigan in unemployment compensation cases. Char has also received her certification as a Life Coach in 2004. Char is now teaching Project Healthy Living Classes in mid-Michigan and continues writing in various capacities for Elder Law of Michigan.

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