It’s National Women’s Health Week ladies! The goal of this week is to empower women to make their health a priority and serves as an opportunity to educate women on the steps they can take to improve their health. Having just recently received my Master of Public Health concentrating on women’s health it is only fitting that I share some of this information with y’all since it’s my life’s work! (If you can’t tell, I’m really nerding out right now, I LOVE this stuff)
In your 20s, what steps can you take to improve your health? Glad you asked! Here are some suggestions:
- Eat healthy. Have your tried some of my healthy recipes yet? White bean turkey chili is probably my favorite one.
- Maintain a healthy weight.
- Get at least 30 minutes of physical activity most days. Physical activity is important to heart health but it is also a great stress reliever! Try adding a walk/jog/run to your day or a HIIT workout if you prefer.
- Get an annual well-woman visit. This is just a checkup with your doctor. It’s a time to check in on how you’re doing, how you’d like to be doing and what changes you can make to reach your health goals. Under the Affordable Care Act, most health plans have to cover this visit which means it will be FREE for you (Thank you President Obama!). Schedule yours today!
- Talk to your doctor about when you need a Pap test. Spoiler alert: you don’t need one every year! Depending on your health history, women between the ages of 21 and 29 should get a Pap test every 3 years. You can find out more information about the Pap test and recommended frequency here.
- Choose the right birth control if you are sexually active. This is another point to bring up in your well-woman visit. There are plenty of options and it may take some time to find one that works for you but your doctor is your greatest resource in this area!
- Get tested for HIV and other STIs. It is really important to get routine screenings for sexually transmitted infections if you are sexually active. HIV, HPV, chlamydia and gonorrhea are the major ones that twentysomethings should be tested for. Talk to your doctor at your well-woman or visit the CDC’s website to find out what tests you should be getting and testing locations near you.
Visit the National Women’s Health Week website to learn more about the week and what steps you can be taking to improve your health. While you’re there, take the pledge to take at least one step for better health! I did! Your health is a priority!