top of page

Physicians at Atrium Health Navicent Offer Tips to Improve Women’s Health

Woman on a weight scale.

The community is invited to join Atrium Health Navicent in recognizing May as National Women’s Health Month. In the same month that we honor all the moms in our lives with Mother’s Day, this month serves as a reminder for women to take care of themselves and to make their health a priority.

 

Doctors at Atrium Health Navicent encourage women to use this week to reflect on their individual health needs and take steps to improve their overall health. Whether you continue current activities or find new ones, now is a great time to focus on better health, especially for individuals with underlying health conditions such as hypertension, diabetes, obesity, and cardiovascular and respiratory conditions. Women are urged to ensure they are current on well-woman visits and recommended screenings such as mammograms.

 

“Prioritizing your health should remain at the top of every woman’s to-do list. Taking a few small steps in preventative care, like eating right and seeing your doctor regularly, can ensure that you live your best life and are happy and healthy for decades to come. Making time for self-care also serves as a great example for all the young women in your life, encouraging them to start healthy habits now,” said Dr. Vincent Fang, an Atrium Health Navicent OB-GYN.

 

For middle-aged women in particular, Atrium Health Navicent offers the following eight tips to decrease the risk of cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure, obesity and more.

  1. Know your numbers. Knowledge is power. That’s why knowing your numbers — blood pressure, BMI, triglycerides and cholesterol, just to name a few — is a valuable insight into the current state of your health. If it’s been a while since you’ve had these tests, reach out to your doctor to get started.

  2. Review family health history. Family health history is important in helping your doctor to determine your own health needs, especially as you enter midlife. If a first-degree relative has battled breast cancer, for example, your risk doubles. Other health problems may be genetic, like cardiovascular disease, thyroid problems and issues with the colon, so now is a good time to reach out to family members to reassess your family health history and share it with your doctor.

  3. Kick bad habits. If you haven’t already, take steps to let go of poor habits that can be detrimental to your health as you age. This includes smoking, excessive alcohol use, recreational drug use and a sedentary lifestyle. Smoking is linked to a myriad of health concerns including an increased risk of developing lung and heart disease, and drinking even small amounts of alcohol is linked to an increased risk of breast cancer in women. Talk to your doctor about smoking cessation options that may be right for you and aim to cut back alcohol a few nights a week.

  4. Fine-tune your diet. While the right diet for you may depend on your specific restrictions or health needs, most people benefit from a diet rich in fruits and vegetables, whole grains, plant-based or lean animal protein and heart-healthy fats. Cut down on processed foods, sugar, salt and saturated fat. Your doctor will be able to recommend a plan that is right for you based on your current health status.

  5. Take a vitamin. Nothing replaces a healthy, well-balanced diet. But a daily multivitamin can help fill in the gaps in the areas where your diet may be lacking. Women of childbearing age need folic acid to help prevent birth defects. For women who have gone through menopause, it’s recommended that you increase your intake of calcium and Vitamin D in order to prevent bone disease. Talk to your doctor about vitamins or supplements that may be right for you and ask for blood work if you have specific concerns about deficiencies.

  6. Exercise regularly. Exercise boosts your heart health, builds muscle, strengthens your bones and helps to ward off health problems. Taking small steps toward a more active lifestyle, like taking the stairs instead of the elevator, will benefit your body. Aim for at least 30 minutes of exercise per day and work your way up. Even those who have health- or age-related limitations, such as arthritis or osteoporosis, can benefit from modified, low-impact exercise. Talk to your doctor about activities that are appropriate for you.

  7. Visit the doctor. Regular exams and screenings can increase the chances of early detection of disease or chronic conditions. Prior to midlife, see your doctor annually for routine blood work and a pelvic exam. As you enter midlife, additional health screenings like mammograms, colonoscopies and bone density screenings might be on your radar. Your doctor can recommend when and how often you’ll need them based on your personal medical and family history.

  8. Manage your stress. Chronic stress wreaks havoc on a person’s physical and emotional well-being. Take time to relax and unwind, whether that means indulging in a good book, enjoying a workout or meditating. A good night’s sleep helps fight the signs of aging and is important for stress management. Sleep disturbances are a common complaint in midlife, so be sure to mention this to your doctor to discuss management options. If you are experiencing stress not managed with lifestyle changes, don’t be afraid to reach out for professional help.


In addition to offering OB/GYN services, Atrium Health Navicent offers primary care with convenient locations in Baldwin, Bibb, Monroe and Peach counties. To find a doctor, visit www.NavicentHealth.org and click “Find A Doctor.”

Comments


bottom of page