Four simple steps towards optimal health
Small efforts can have a big impact on your health—setting you up to be your best, for work and for play.
These four quick tips are a great place to start:
Tip #1: Add a vitamin D and calcium supplement to your daily routine.
Why? Now is the time to start taking care of your bones. Getting enough calcium and vitamin D early on will help reduce your risk of fractures due to osteoporosis. You can talk to your pharmacist about the recommended needs for your age group.
The big picture: It’s easy to think of osteoporosis as a geriatric issue, but it’s more helpful to look at it from a longer-term perspective. Women can begin to lose bone density as early as thirty. As you approach menopause the process accelerates, from 2-3 per cent each year. So, while you might not be worried about falling down and fracturing a hip at this stage in your life, a small change now can have a big impact further down the road. Learn more at osteoporosis.ca
Tip #2: Take the stairs instead of the escalator.
Why? Studies have shown that even ten minutes a day of physical activity can reduce your heart disease risk.
The big picture: Heart disease is the second leading cause of death for women in Canada, so it’s an issue that shouldn’t be ignored. Fortunately, many of the risk factors are related to lifestyle, such as smoking and physical inactivity, which means you can control them. If you aren’t able to commit to an exercise regimen, you can still make a difference with smaller heart-healthy habits, like taking the stairs, choosing to walk instead of drive, or slipping in a ten-minute workout routine each day. For more information visit heartandstroke.com
Tip #3: Be aware of your family health history.
Why? Communicating your full health history to your health care provider can impact their suggested preventative treatments for diseases like breast and cervical cancer.
The big picture: Breast cancer is the most common cancer among Canadian women (excluding non-melanoma skin cancer), and cervical cancer is a uniquely female issue. Learning about these and other diseases in your family enables your health care provider to identify your own risk factors, suggest lifestyle changes, and properly schedule screening tests—pap smears and pelvic exams for cervical cancer, and mammograms for breast cancer—that can all add up to a lifesaving impact. Visit myhealthmatters.ca for customized content on prevention for your life stage.
Tip #4: Try a five-minute meditation session.
Why? It’s a fast and free way to reduce stress, and can be as simple as focusing on your breathing. Plus, studies show that the benefits last well beyond your five-minute effort.
The big picture: If you think stress is an issue you can ignore, think again: it can impact your ability to sleep, lead to general fatigue, and cause acute symptoms like chest pain, heart palpitations, and upset stomach—to name just a few of the physical manifestations. Incorporating meditation into your life is proven to alleviate stress, whether it’s for a half hour as part of your morning routine, or sitting in your office when you happen to find a spare five minutes in your day. For more on reducing your stress visit womenshealthmatters.ca
This information is not intended to replace the medical advice of your doctor or healthcare provider. Please consult your healthcare provider for advice about a specific medical condition.