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National Women's Health Week

Mature woman with motherNational Women's Health Week starts each year on Mother's Day and encourages women across the country to make their health a priority. Take these steps to live a safer and healthier life!

Get recommended screenings and preventive care

Take steps to 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.

Keep moving

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. Get it in for at least 10 minutes at a time.
  • Adults should do strengthening activities at least 2 days a week that include all major muscle groups.
  • Strength training can help reduce the chances for falls which means fewer fractures. Fall-related fractures among older women are more than twice those for men.

Enjoy healthy foods

Enjoy the taste, nutrients, bounty, and colors of fruits, vegetables, and other healthy foods. With all of the information about nutrition, food choices, and recipes out there, it's easy to have a healthy eating plan. Learn the basics and move toward a lifestyle of healthier eating habits.

  • Every woman needs 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.
  • Almost everyone needs to eat more fruits and vegetables. Find out the amount that is right for you.
  • 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 outcomes.

  • 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.
  • Learn about coping after disasters while pregnant.

Practice healthy behaviors

Daily decisions influence overall health. Small actions like washing your hands, and wearing a seat belt 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 die every day of a prescription painkiller overdose in the US.
  • 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 free quit coaching, a free quit plan, free educational materials, and referrals to other resources where you live. Get tips from former smokers.
  • Page last reviewed: May 8, 2015
  • Page last updated: May 8, 2015
  • 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
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