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Make your health a priority on Mother’s Day

5/9/2014, 1 p.m.
May 11 is Mother’s Day and the start of National Women’s Health Week, and the CDC is encouraging women to ...
Moderate physical activity such as brisk walking can help you live a safer and healthier life.

May 11 is Mother’s Day and the start of National Women’s Health Week, and the CDC is encouraging women to make their health a priority and take simple steps to live a safer and healthier life.

It offers these guidelines:

Eat healthy.

Whether you’re enjoying breakfast in bed or going out for a special meal in a restaurant, remember to eat healthy. Healthy diets rich in fruits and vegetables may reduce the risk of cancer and other chronic diseases. Also, most fruits and vegetables are naturally low in fat and calories and are filling. Limit foods and drinks high in calories, sugar, salt, fat, and alcohol. For more tips visit http://www.cdc.gov/nutrition/everyone/fruitsvegetables/index.html and http://www.cdc.gov/family/tips/index.htm.

Move more.

Shake things up with physical activity – whether brisk walking, running, dancing, biking, swimming, gardening, or something else that will help you get the recommended minimum 2½ hours of moderate physical activity each week. You also should do muscle strengthening activities at least two days a week. For more information, visit http://www.cdc.gov/physicalactivity/everyone/guidelines/index.html.

Sleep well.

You need your rest – and for more reasons than beauty. Insufficient sleep is connected to a number of chronic diseases and conditions such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease, obesity, and depression. How we feel and perform during the day is related to how much sleep we got the night before. How much is enough? Adults need seven to nine hours, according to sleep guidelines for different age groups. Visit http://www.cdc.gov/sleep and http://www.cdc.gov/Features/Sleep for more information.

Share history.

Connecting socially is sometimes a part of Mother’s Day activities. A family get-together is a chance for you to reconnect, have fun, and share memories. Take the opportunity to learn and pass on your family health history. Family members share genes, behaviors, lifestyles, and environments that together may influence their health and their risk of chronic disease. Knowledge is power. Visit http://www.cdc.gov/genomics/famhistory

/index.htm.

Enjoy outdoors.

Are you passionate about the outdoors? Gardening, enjoying the sun, and walking can be great ways to enjoy the outdoors, get physical activity, and beautify the community. Learn ways to enjoy yourself in the great outdoors and stay healthy and safe. For more information, visit http://www.cdc.gov/features/movingoutdoors.

Schedule your preventive services.

Make sure to get your checkups and screenings. The Affordable Care Act includes preventive services for women without charging a co-payment or co-insurance. Preventive services for women include but are not limited to breast cancer screening (mammography), cervical cancer screening (Pap test), contraception, HIV and STD screening and counseling, osteoporosis screening (bone density), and well-woman visits.

Women’s preventive services are covered even if you haven’t met your yearly deductible. To learn more, visit https://www.healthcare.gov/what-are-my-preventive-care-benefits/#part=2.