Celebrate National Women’s Health Week

This week is National Women’s Health Week! Participate by celebrating your healthy habits, recognizing areas where you might be able to improve, and making a plan to keep yourself accountable. This brief {and fun} quiz from The Office of Women’s Health is a great tool to help you assess where you’re at today. From there, it can only get better.
As you work to make positive changes towards a healthier life try not to get overwhelmed by all of the information, opinions, and {ahem} gimmicks that are out there these days. Instead, focus on the big picture – the way you move, the amount you rest, what you consume, and how regularly you check in.
The Way You Move
When it comes to exercise the bottom line is that we keep our bodies moving. After all, that is what they are designed to do! The secret is not to overcomplicate it. Pick activities that are appropriate for your current physical condition, and why not do something that you enjoy?! Explore the great outdoors, pop into that yoga studio that you’ve always wondered about, or spend an afternoon chasing your kids or grandkids around the park. When you think about it, the options are endless.

As far as “sticking with it”, I find that I always do better when I have a goal in sight. Blame it on my inner Type A. That’s why you’ll find me running 5K’s on the weekends or at the CrossFit studio trying to check off the latest challenge. While my former marathon-running-self was always focused on strong, faster, harder … these days I just appreciate the ability to move. It’s like giving my body a gift. One that it so deserves.
The Amount You Rest
Let me tell you from experience, an inconsistent sleep schedule will really mess you up. Back when I used to deliver babies I was working around the clock and constantly pumping my body full of caffeine to keep up. When I would finally return home my body would ache with exhaustion, yet no matter what I tried I could not fall asleep. My body had lost all sense of a schedule and quickly it grew angry. I was irritable. I was depressed. I couldn’t stop gaining weight. When I looked in the mirror, the face I saw … it wasn’t mine. All because I didn’t sleep.

Nowadays I am grateful to have a more regular schedule. One that allows me to sleep seven to eight hours a night {mostly} and one that allows me to nurture myself. While I still play musical beds from time to time, when those nights do come along it’s usually nothing more than a hormonal imbalance. With a little progesterone, hormone pellets, and some magnesium this body is easily brought back up to speed. Phew.
What You Consume
There is no “one size fits all” when it comes to nutrition. We all have different bodies, metabolisms, and food sensitivities so our diets need to reflect that. The most important thing is to eat consciously. Even when you’re on vacation, or in a hurry, try to think about what you are putting in your body. A good visual cue is to opt for foods that have more color. And, no I’m not talking about ketchup or Gatorade {wink}. Think rich leafy greens, colorful vegetables, and vibrant fruits.

Personally, I’ll say that I do good 90 …. okay, 80% of the time. When I’m met with temptation I think to myself, “how will it make you feel?” That works in most cases, but there are a few things in life that I can’t pass up. Nor do I want to. Like that weekend glass of wine, a Moscow mule with a girl friend, or those fried Oreos from Embers. You know what I’m talking about.
How Regularly You Check In
As a doctor I have the difficult job of diagnosing patients with life threatening diseases, such as cervical cancer. It’s always a heart wrenching and frustrating experience for me because in many cases, had the patient kept up with their annual exams and health screenings, they wouldn’t have to fight such a large battle.
Please, I’m begging you; don’t let fear or embarrassment stop you from visiting your doctor. Those annual appointments are so important for early detection, especially as we age. Plus, it’s one of the only things that insurance companies cover in full anymore. And while you’re there, take what you can get from the appointment! Get a Pap, even if you had one last year. Discuss any symptoms your having, acute or severe. Outside of your physical body, address your mental health as well. Your time with your doctor is valuable and you deserve to get the most out o it!
In summary, I’m wishing you all health and happiness this week, and beyond! If you need support achieving your health goals, rely on Dr. Amy Brenner & Associates. Our team offers tailored wellness programs, nutritional counseling, and more. Whether you’re hoping to get down to a healthier weight, or just want help being more conscious, our team is here so that you don’t have to do it alone.