7 health tips for middle-aged women


7 health tips for middle-aged women

All of us want to live long, healthy lives, which is why it’s so important to make the right decisions as we age.
Even if you got off track in your younger years, it’s never too late to take steps to improve your health.
Here are seven key health tips for middle-aged women:

Get Screened

Screenings play a vital role in catching health problems before they become major issues, says Tidelands Health OB/GYN Dr. Valerie Lasry, who practices at the Georgetown and Murrells Inlet locations of Tidelands Health OB/GYN. For women in middle age, the list includes pap smears, mammograms and bone density tests, along with screenings for colorectal cancer, diabetes, hearing and vision problems.

Eat the rainbow

Fill your diet with foods that cover the full spectrum of colors — red tomatoes, green beans, yellow squash, blueberries and the like — every day. The colors reflect different phytonutrients, vitamins and antioxidants the plants produce that our bodies can use to power and repair themselves. Heart-healthy meats such as tuna, salmon and chicken should also be on the menu for most women, along with healthy oils such as olive, avocado and canola.

Get plenty of calcium and vitamin D

Healthy bones help women avoid osteoporosis as they age. Foods such as dairy products are a great source of calcium, as are almonds and leafy greens such as kale and collards, which also provide plenty of fiber to help keep your gut healthy.

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Exercise your body

Staying physically active remains a crucial part of keeping our hearts, lungs, muscles, bones and even our brains healthy and functioning for the long haul. Women in middle age may need to trade high-impact exercise like running for low-impact options such as swimming to reduce wear and tear on joints.
“Exercise helps with a lot of things,” Dr. Lasry says. “If your muscles are strong, you’re going to be less likely to fall.”

Exercise your mind

Challenging your mind with puzzles, playing board games, reading or learning to play a musical instrument – these are forms of mental exercise that can keep your mind active and healthy.
“It’s important to stimulate your brain in as many ways as possible to stay as sharp as possible for as long as possible,” Dr. Lasry says.

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Quit smoking

Studies have shown that smoking is associated with a host of health problems. “Smoking is linked to cervical cancer, colon cancer and lung cancer, among other conditions” Dr. Lasry says.
The moment people quit smoking, lungs begin to repair themselves, so it’s never too late to kick the habit.

Maintaining a healthy weight

“Obesity is a significant health concern these days, potentially contributing to cardiovascular disease, diabetes and some cancers,” Dr. Lasry says. Maintaining a healthy weight can help fend off some of these conditions.
Dr. Lasry says most of her patients are interested in following these steps as they move through middle age, which bodes well for their health as they get older.
“Certainly, my patients seem to be pretty keen on doing these things,” she says. “I think, for the most part, people are becoming more health conscious, which is wonderful.”

Dr. Valerie Lasry is a board-certified obstetrician and gynecologist who provides care at Tidelands Health OB/GYN at Murrells Inlet and Georgetown. She specializes in gynecology and women’s health and is accepting new patients.

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