Taking Charge Of Your Health At Any Age
We all know women are often so busy juggling life’s demands and caring for others, that they can sometimes put their personal health on the back burner. Taking the time to care for your health is important so you can be there for the ones you love. We spoke with Dr. Christian Dawes of Axia Women’s Health – OB/GYN of Indiana to learn his top tips to ensure optimal wellness at any age.
- Keep up with regular preventive screenings. Your annual GYN exam is an opportunity to stay on top of crucial screening tests like your Pap smear, breast cancer screening, and bone density scan. A routine pap test is recommended to begin at age 21 to help with early detection of cervical cancer. Baseline mammograms are recommended starting at age 40 to screen for breast cancer. After age 40, mammograms can be done every 1-2 years from ages 40-50 and then annually at age 50. A bone density screening for osteoporosis is recommended at age 65 for average-risk women.
- Take steps to lower your risk of heart disease. Sadly, heart disease remains the leading cause of death among women in the U.S and can happen at any age. Fortunately, it is also highly preventable. Eating a heart-healthy diet that’s rich in lean meats and fish, whole grains, healthy fats (such as olive oil), and fruits and veggies is key. It’s important to work with your provider and stay on top of regular screenings for blood pressure and cholesterol.
- Focus on getting quality sleep. In many ways, sleep is the foundation for a healthy lifestyle. But with all the distractions and stressors coming at us each day, achieving a restful night’s sleep is not always easy. Some tips to practice better sleep hygiene include setting a consistent sleep/wake schedule, engaging in 30 minutes of moderate exercise a day, and limiting the use of smartphones or other blue-light emitting technology an hour before bed.
- Don’t forget about your mental health. It’s been proven that chronic stress can lead to high cortisol levels that can trigger fatigue, weight gain, hair and skin problems, and more. Stress-relief techniques can look different for each person. For example, some women may find physical activity helpful, while others may find peace in a calming activity like reading or journaling. If you’re experiencing more severe symptoms of anxiety or depression, it’s important to know you’re not alone. Don’t be afraid to speak up and seek help from a licensed mental health professional.
It’s never too late to start investing in your health! Axia Women’s Health – OB/GYN of Indiana is here to help and located at 6866 West Stonegate Drive, Suite 102 in Zionsville. To learn more about their services, call (317) 415-1000 or visit axiawh.com.