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Girlfriends' Health and Safety Tips

Three women enjoying time togetherBeing girlfriends is a choice. Being healthy is a lifestyle.

You’ve been through it all, and your girlfriends have traveled the journey with you. Continue the journey, and make health and safety that “other” supportive friend that helps you stay on top of things.

Eat healthy at your gatherings.

Whether you’re gathered at home, book club, a birthday celebration, or a girls’ night out, make healthy choices in what you eat and drink. Keep the conversation going and the food rich in fruits and vegetables. Eating fruits and vegetables may reduce the risk of cancer and other chronic diseases. Eat less junk food and foods high in calories, saturated fat, or added sugars or salt, and don’t crash diet. Choose drinks with no calories, such as water, sparkling water, or unsweetened iced tea. A healthy weight contributes to good health now and as you age.

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Be active while having fun.

3 women in sports attireRegular physical activity is important for good health, and it's especially important if you're trying to lose weight or maintain a healthy weight. Adults should be active for at least 2½ hours a week. Kids and teens should be active for at least 1 hour a day. Talk and enjoy each other’s company while you walk, bowl, swim, dance, play tennis, and more. If your fun activity is outdoors, don’t forget to protect yourself from the harmful rays of the sun.

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Be supportive when the going gets tough.

A friend with a chronic illness, abusive relationship, mental illness, or caregiving issues may lead a complicated life for a period of time. Do what you can to be supportive, and recognize that it may be challenging for you and your friend. Be informed, and understand how these issues affect your friend. Advocate for her when appropriate. Maintain your own mental and physical health.

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Help her take baby steps.

You can help your girlfriend take steps to have a healthy pregnancy and a healthy baby.

She can sign up for text4baby. Text4baby is a free text messaging service for moms with a child up to 1 year of age and moms-to-be, that texts health information to your cell phone about having a healthy pregnancy and baby.

States have different programs to help women have healthy babies. For information on prenatal services in your community, call 1-800-311-BABY (1-800-311-2229). Para obtener información en español llame 1-800-504-7081.

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Face the facts, and tell it like it is.

If your girlfriend is not taking care of her or her family’s health, is being careless, or is putting herself or others at risk, let her know, or tell someone who can help. Realize that she may need professional help; don’t try to be something you’re not. Help her get the help she needs when appropriate.

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Don’t let alcohol or tobacco come between you.

Two smiling women playing guitarDrinking excessive alcohol and smoking can hurt you and others. Drinking alcohol can increase the risk for unintentional injury and other problems. Both smoking and inhaling secondhand smoke are harmful. The National Drug and Alcohol Treatment Referral Routing Service, 1-800-662-HELP (1-800-662-4357), can provide you with information about treatment programs in your local community and allow you to speak with someone about alcohol problems. For help to quit smoking, call 1-800-QUIT-NOW (1-800-784-8669); TTY 1-855-855-7081; relay service 1-800-833-6384.

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Be a great role model.

Get exams and screenings, vaccinations, and other health care you need. Manage stress from work, children, marriage, commuting, and life! Get enough sleep. Lower your risk for injury and disease. Take steps to live a healthier life.

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To My Girlfriends
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