National Women's Health Week
National Women's Health Week starts each year on Mother's Day to encourage women to make their health a priority. Take these steps to live a safer and healthier life!
Get Recommended Screenings and Preventive Care
Protect your health by getting the care you need to prevent disease, disability, and injuries. Regular check-ups are important. Preventive care can keep disease away or detect problems early, when treatment is more effective. Talk to your health care provider to learn more about what screenings and exams you need and when.
- Many health insurance plans now offer preventive services for women available at no cost.
- Learn what you can do before your next appointment, like review your family health history and write down any questions or issues you may have, and take it with you.
Get out and about and enjoy the spring and summer weather. Physical activity is one of the most important things you can do for your health and has many benefits including lowering your risk for heart disease—the leading cause of death for women.
- Adults should do at least 2 hours and 30 minutes each week of aerobic physical activity that requires moderate effort. You don’t have to do it all at once, but get at least 10 minutes of exercise at a time.
- Adults should do strengthening activities at least 2 days a week that include all major muscle groups.
- One out of three older people falls each year and women fall more often than men. Strength and balance training can help reduce the chances for falls.
Enjoy Healthy Foods
Nutrition is an essential part of a healthy lifestyle. Learn the basics and move toward a lifestyle of healthier eating habits.
- A healthy eating plan includes fruits, vegetables, whole grains, fat free and low-fat milk and other dairy products, lean meats, and is low in salt, saturated and trans fats, and added sugars.
- Women need folic acid every day for the healthy new cells the body makes daily – like skin, hair, and nails. It's also important to help prevent major birth defects when pregnant. Women need 400 micrograms (400 mcg) of folic acid each day. Two easy ways a woman can be sure she is getting enough folic acid is to take a vitamin that has folic acid in it every day or eat a bowl of breakfast cereal that has 100% of the daily value of folic acid every day. Folic acid pills and most multivitamins sold in the United States have 100% of the daily value (DV) of folic acid; check the label to be sure.
- Avoid drinking too much alcohol . Binge drinking for women is 4 or more drinks in a single occasion.
- Get started with a step-by-step guide to weight loss and better health.
Prioritize Mental Health
Keep your mind and body healthy. There is emerging evidence that positive mental health is associated with improved health.
- Getting enough sleep is important for overall health, including mental health. It impacts how you feel and perform during the day. Adults need 7-8 hours of sleep each night.
- Everyone experiences stress at times. Find healthy ways to cope with stress.
Practice Healthy Behaviors
Daily decisions influence overall health. Small actions can help keep you safe and healthy and set a good example for others.
- Wear sunscreen and take steps to keep your skin beautiful. Ultraviolet rays can damage your skin, increasing your risk for skin cancer and premature skin aging.
- Use prescription drugs only as directed by a health care provider. About 18 women in the U.S. die every day of a prescription painkiller overdose.
- Be smokefree. More than 170,000 American women [745 KB] die of diseases caused by smoking each year. If you are ready to quit, call 1-800-QUIT-NOW (1-800-784-8669) or 1-855-DÉJELO-YA (1-855-335-3569 for Spanish speakers) or visit Smokefree Women for free resources, including quit coaching, a quit plan, educational materials, and referrals to other resources where you live. Get tips from former smokers.
- Page last reviewed: May 5, 2016
- Page last updated: May 5, 2016
- Content source:
- CDC Office of Women's Health
- Page maintained by: Office of the Associate Director for Communication, Digital Media Branch, Division of Public Affairs