Healthy for Life

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healthyLive Healthy! Even small changes can make a big difference.

 Ask yourself:

Am I active enough?

To get the most out of exercise, be active 30 minutes a day, 5 days a week. Everyday activities such as brisk walking are effective and free. At least twice a week, try to do muscle strengthening exercises such as yoga, hand weights, sit-ups, or push-ups. Exercise will help you maintain a healthy weight, sleep better, reduce stress, and lower your risk of heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and cancer. Learn more.

Could I be eating better?

Build your meals around fresh vegetables, fruits, and other foods high in calcium and fiber, such as leafy greens, whole grains, and low-fat or fat-free dairy products. Craving fat, salt, sugar, or caffeine? Try to avoid too much of them and remember that those foods only make you feel good for a short time. Focus on healthier foods and you will not only feel better, you will reduce your risk of heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and cancer. Learn more.

Why do I need a daily vitamin?

Your body needs vitamins to function and you don’t always get enough through meals. Two important ones for women are folic acid and vitamin D. Folic acid is a B vitamin that your body needs daily to make healthy new cells and prevent birth defects. Vitamin D helps your body build healthy bones. One way to get the recommended amount is to take a daily multivitamin. Make sure the label says 400 mcg or 100% next to folic acid and includes at least 600 IU of vitamin D3. Learn more.

How are my teeth?

Oral health is an essential part of general health. Problems with teeth, gums, or other parts of the mouth can be related to other serious illnesses-like diabetes, heart disease, and cancer. Brush your teeth twice a day with fluoride toothpaste and floss daily. Learn more.

Does it run in the family?

Some diseases, like diabetes, heart disease, and osteoporosis, may run in your family. Ask your family about their health. Keep a record of your family’s health history and share it with your doctor. It’s good to know now what your risks are and what you can do about them. Let your doctor know if you are adopted or do not know your family’s health history. Learn more.

How often should I see my doctor?

You should try to see your doctor every year or two for a check-up and to get the immunizations and tests you need, such as regular Pap and STD tests. Your doctor can help you stay healthy through prevention, screening, and treatment. Screening offers lifesaving opportunities to prevent health problems or catch them at an early stage, when they can be treated most easily. Learn more.

Am I getting enough sleep?

With your busy life, it is sometimes difficult to find the time to get enough sleep but you should be getting at least 7-9 hours of sleep every night. Not getting enough sleep may increase your risk of depression, obesity, diabetes, and heart disease. Learn more.

Could my sadness actually be depression?

Everybody feels sad sometimes, but sadness that goes on for more than 2 weeks can affect your relationships, your work, and your life. It may be a sign of depression. Talk to someone you trust if you feel sad. Your mental health is essential to your overall health. If you or someone you know is thinking about suicide, call the 24-hour National Suicide Prevention Lifeline for help: 1-800-273-8255. Learn more.

Are my relationships safe?

Women who have trusting, honest, and respectful relationships are healthier. Relationships won’t always be free of anger or hurt, but you should not feel scared, humiliated, or controlled. Examine your relationships. If you feel you are in an abusive relationship of any kind, call the National Domestic Violence Hotline for help: 1-800-799-7233. Learn more.

Am I protecting myself?

If you are sexually active, take charge and prevent unintentional pregnancy, STDs, and HIV. Protect yourself and choose birth control that’s right for you. If your birth control method fails, know your options, including emergency contraception. Learn more.

How can I get help to quit smoking?

Quitting smoking isn’t easy but it is one of the best things you can do for your health. There are effective and free resources, such as the Quit Line, available to help you quit. Being around a smoker is also harmful to your health. Avoid secondhand smoke. To get help for you or a friend, call Washington’s confidential Tobacco Quit Line for support: 1-800-QUIT-NOW (1-800-784-8669). Learn more.

How much is too much to drink?

Drinking too much alcohol can lead to serious injuries or health problems. Women should limit their use to 1 drink per day. One drink equals: 1 beer (12 oz), or 1 glass of wine (5 oz), or 1 shot of 80-proof hard liquor (1.5 oz) in a mixed drink. If you are concerned about your drinking, call Washington Recovery Help Line: 866-789-1511. Learn more.

Am I abusing drugs?

Sometimes drug abuse is not obvious. You may have started a medication, like pain killers, and now you cannot stop. If you are misusing over-the- counter or prescription medications or using illegal drugs, help is available for you. Call Washington Recovery Help Line: 866-789-1511. Learn more.