5 Things You Need to Know About Women’s Health

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Ladies, it’s all about you this week!

From diet to pregnancy to oral and mental health, the Office of Women’s Health hosts a week filled with events and education initiatives to get women proactive about their well-being.

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There are many aspects of health to consider when working towards optimal living.  Daily pressures coupled with busy schedules often means that we’re putting our health last on the priority list.

This week offers the perfect opportunity to put a spotlight on your health and well-being, to hopefully learn something new that will inspire you to embrace a healthier lifestyle.

Here are 5 things you need to know about women’s health to start:

  • Nearly 2 out of 3 women 20yrs and older are overweight or obese. Studies with Mexican-American women show that they are 40% more likely to be obese than their white counterparts.
  • Less than half of US women are getting enough aerobic exercise and only 20% are doing muscle-strengthening activity, making women more likely to develop heart disease and cancer (along with contributing to obesity and diabetes). Latinos are 30% less likely to engage in exercise than their white counterparts.
  • Smoking causes 80% of lung cancer deaths among women in the US. On the plus side, Latinas have lower smoking rates comparably, and they’re less likely to smoke during pregnancy.
  • Women are much more likely than men to be diagnosed with anxiety, depression, PTSD, and other mental illnesses. According to the CDC, Latina teens are the most likely group to consider suicide.
  • Heart disease is the #1 killer of women in the US, with over 75% of women 40-60 yrs old having at least one risk factor. On average, Latinas are more likely to develop heart disease 10 years earlier than their white counterparts.

Did any of these facts surprise you?  What will you change to lead a healthier life?

The Office of Women’s Health also put together these great infographics with helpful tips on how to take care of yourself in all aspects of health.

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 Cited:

As always, keep paying it forward. Stay healthy! 🙂

 

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Thankful Thursday: Anger Isn’t Always Bad

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“Criticism always seems to add inspiration to your pursuit of success. Strip away the anger and bias. And use the rest as fuel.”
-Dan Waldschmidt

 

 

 

I’m grateful for the anger this week. That statement might leave some of you confused.

How can she be happy that she was angry?  Isn’t anger bad?

You’re not wrong. Anger isn’t an emotion anyone should go for especially if your true intention is to live in harmony with yourself and the world around you.

But it’d be false to say that feeling anger doesn’t creep up from time to time. Life doesn’t always work out the way we want it to and our response to stressful situations really breaks down to biology: we go into survival mode, our bodies react by producing more cortisol, and our adrenaline picks up. In short, we become physically tense and that inevitably bleeds into our mental and emotional state. Anger is a natural byproduct of stress.

So why am I grateful for being angry this week?

There are times when we need a jolt to break us out of a monotony. Sometimes it’s a check in the ‘win’ column, with a promotion or a chance meeting with a new friend or partner that you truly click with. Other times it’s changing old habits and finding new hobbies or exploring interests so that you feel energized and motivated to meet challenges with optimism.

Then there are those times that you really just need a kick in the pants. Where the cycle you find your life in is so destructive and soul-crushing that you’re numb day in and day out.

I’ve been there for longer than I care to say, and for the first time in a very long time, I felt real anger. I allowed that emotion, all white-hot and fiery, to consume me for a little while this week as I metaphorically shook my fist at the world (really, I just turned my phone off and avoided people for a few days while I mentally cursed the universe).

Then the tide shifted and I found energy underneath all of that frustration. The intensity of my anger has dissipated to a simmer, but what I feel more than anything is a fierce need to change my circumstances. My drive has doubled and I’m attacking each day as an opportunity.

I’m not saying that anger is the answer. At its core, anger does more to limit us if you hold onto the grudge for too long. It’s also self-indulgent. We’re so focused on being pissed off at what’s going on within our heads, that we neglect to see the upsides happening all around us, all the time.

What’s important to realize is that we need to allow ourselves to experience what we’re going through from top to bottom. Do not dismiss any part of that because you think you should be more forgiving or that you should be positive always. Those are lofty goals and at the end of the day, we’re all human. Admit to yourself that you’re angry, and then ask yourself, why?

Being self-aware and honest opens so many doors down the road. I was honestly angry for so many reasons this week, but the great thing is that I was able to apply that constructively to resolve some of the conflicts I mentioned last week, in a way that was positive. How could I not be grateful for that?

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How do you experience anger?

Does anger help you or harm you?

What are you thankful for this week?

Please feel free to share in the comments below or on Facebook or Twitter.

As always, keep paying it forward. Stay healthy! 🙂
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Thankful Thursdays: No (Wo)Man is an Island

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Courage does not always roar. Sometimes courage is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying,

“I will try again tomorrow.”

– Mary Anne Radmacher

 

 

It’s impossible to go through life without taking others into consideration. In the wise words of John Donne, ‘no man is an island.’ As much as I’d like to consider myself a trailblazer, walking down the road of life alone, without stopping to muse on what others might think about me, I’m human. I can’t help but wonder how the world perceives me.

Don’t compromise who you are and what you’re doing for the sake of others. That’s usually the advice I get when I start to get bogged down by negative thoughts. My confidence takes a nosedive and I find myself frozen, too scared to move forward or back because I worry about what my peers might think.

I’m a failure. My writing is terrible. I’m lazy. If I gain weight, I’ll be alone. Wasted potential. No substance….Loser.

Terrible line of thinking, isn’t it?

The reality is that when we preoccupy ourselves with what we think others are thinking about us, what we’re really doing is cutting ourselves down all on our own. We allow our fears to bully us into dark corners where we’re left powerless and immobilized. And the worst part is that it’s all our own doing.

I realize how depressing this sounds. Trust me, my goal is not to come here each week and be a downer for all of you. But it was important for me to reflect on some of the challenges I still experience  on my journey to wellness. It was a particularly dark week for me as I struggled past some of my deepest insecurities. 2014 hasn’t been very kind to me so far, and I’m often choosing between two difficult and unsavory options on an ongoing basis. And I imagine that many of you are in similar struggles.

We can be independent and driven as we strive to reach our goals, but it’s naive to think that we can block out the world in the process. Everything we do ripples out and affects those around us whether we realize it or not. Even when I’m feeling at my lowest and I’ve hidden myself away, I’m putting out an energy and that impacts my environment, for better or worse.

I’m grateful that when I have those days when all I’m doing is questioning all that I am, I can manage to look out and see love around me. Those moments offer an extraordinary opportunity to recalibrate. It’s a sucky process, no doubt about it. But a necessary one.

Take it one step at a time and forgive yourself for the little stumbles along the way. Don’t be scared to ask the hard questions and don’t be discouraged if you don’t have the answers right away. I know I forget that sometimes and that’s alright. We’ve all been there.

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What do you do to get yourself out of a funk?

What are you grateful for this week? Please feel free to share!

As always, keep paying it forward. Stay healthy! 🙂

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