Taking Care of Ourselves


By: Beth von Behren on May 14, 2012 Print This Post

TODAY (May 14) is National Women’s Checkup Day.  It’s actually the TENTH annual NWCD and it kicks off National Women’s Health Week.  If you’re a mother, you’ve likely made sure that everybody in your family gets annual check-ups with the doctor and dentist, am I right?  Unfortunately, we women are notorious for not doing the same for ourselves.  We’re fabulous multi-taskers – we’re busy working, raising kids, cleaning the house, going to meetings, taking the dog to the vet, taking classes, exercising, taking care of aging parents, shopping, cooking –  the list is endless.  There’s so much to do and only so many hours in the day.  It is EASY to let our own needs slip.

So while this week is dedicated to encouraging women to take care of themselves (see below), today is dedicated to encouraging women to visit their healthcare professionals. Regular checkups are vital to the early detection of heart disease, diabetes, cancer, mental health illnesses, sexually transmitted infections, and other conditions.

It’s Your Time:  This whole week, on the other hand, has been designated by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services as National Women’s Health Week. The theme for 2012 is IT’S YOUR TIME.  The goal of this week’s designation is to empower women to make their health a top priority.  There are five easy and basic steps you can take to improve your physical and mental health and lower your risk of certain diseases:

1) Visit a healthcare professional to receive regular checkups and preventive screenings, such as blood pressure testing or mammograms (depending on your age).
2) Get active – and stay that way!
3) Eat healthy.  There are lots of online tools out there to help you with this.  If you are a regular reader of this Blog, you may have heard me mention Calorie-Count.com, which has an easy-to-use (FREE) calorie counter that also grades you on nutrients, fat, and sodium.  The Presidents’ 2012 WOMAN Challenge also provides a free health and wellness tracker here.
4) Don’t neglect your mental health – get enough sleep and manage stress.
5) Avoid unhealthy behaviors, such as smoking and not wearing a seatbelt or bicycle helmet.

Now that Mother’s Day is over, the brunch dishes are cleared away, the candy eaten, and the flowers safely in water, take a few minutes this week to think about – and act on – what’s really important:  Your health.




Written by Beth

Beth von Behren is the Public Information Officer for the City of Kirkwood. She manages the City Website (KirkwoodMO.org) and writes/edits both the monthly "Eye on Kirkwood" (published on the last Friday of the month inside the "Webster-Kirkwood Times") and the every-other-weekly e-newsletter "Kirkwood Happenings." To sign up for the e-newsletter, send an email to Info@KirkwoodMO.org.

Website: http://www.kirkwoodmo.org