September 4th – 8th 2017 is Women’s Health Week! This Week encourages women to put themselves first, and make positive changes to their health and well-being. There are five different focus topics over the course of the week, one for each day, and they all give us a great opportunity to reflect on some of the major health factors affecting women. These topics include:
To celebrate Women’s Health Week, and help women become aware of these areas of their lives, we’ve put together some information to outline where to start.
Women’s Health Week has also prompted us at Move to take the opportunity to support women who may be less fortunate – but more on that later.
If you were to guess the leading cause of death for Australian women, it’s unlikely that you would’ve guessed heart disease. Heart health is really important for women as well as men, but unfortunately heart disease is vastly under-recognised in women. As a result, heart health is the first topic of Women’s Health Week.
The Heart Foundation recently ran a campaign aiming to raise awareness of heart disease in women, which you can find out more about here. This campaign highlighted the fact that 90% of Australian women have one risk factor for heart disease and half have 2-3 risk factors. Learn more about your risk factors here.
One of the unexpected healthy heart tips listed in this campaign was the benefit of looking after your mental health. Mindfulness is one great way to do this, and involves being more present in the here and now, rather than continuously ruminating about past events or worrying what might happen in the future.
Getting enough sleep is another important factor in both our mental and physical health. Both mindfulness and sleep and fatigue are focus topics in Women’s Health week. If you’d like to know more about this, Marelle Wilson runs numerous courses and 1:1 sessions on mindfulness and meditation here at Move. If you are suffering from fatigue or having trouble getting enough sleep, then you may find the information here useful as well.
Many women are aware that as they age, their bone health may decline, due to the increased rate of bone loss following menopause. However, many women are unaware of their risk factors, or that they need to start looking after their bone health early in life to protect against future problems. Osteoporosis Australia has a lot of fabulous information on bone health including risk factors for osteoporosis, and steps you can take to prevent problems or improve bone density if it is low.
The linking topic throughout Women’s Health Week is something we love here at Move – physical activity. Being physically active is important for a healthy heart, can help improve bone health and can assist with improving mental health and sleep.
There are so many ways for everyone to be physically active, so it’s a matter of finding something that you enjoy, and then getting out there and doing it! We have a number of suggestions for different exercise options at Move or you can come and speak with one of our Physiotherapists if you need help returning to your favourite exercise, or maybe some tips on how to optimize your performance.
Finally, I would love it if you could be involved with us in helping women who are less fortunate. Last year I heard about a great group providing handbags filled with essential toiletries to women in need. Can you imagine being homeless or living in a shelter, and not being able to afford things like shampoo, toothpaste and sanitary products? It must be awful.
This year, Move will be a collection point to drop off your handbags filled with goodies for the #itsinthebag Christmas collection. Please see details for recommended items to include (and things you cannot include) at this link.
I really hope you can help us to make Christmas better for many women in Adelaide.
Yours in great health,