National Women's Health Week

Beginning on Mother's Day, May 12th through May 18th, millions of women will take steps in improving their physical, mental and emotional health and well-being during the 20th annual National Women's Health Week.

On weeks like this, we are reminded of how we as women tend to put our own health and well-being on the back burner to take care of those we love. Did you know? If you are not being the healthiest version of yourself, it's very hard to be the best version of yourself for those you care about or care for. Another fun fact: 'health' doesn't strictly mean physical. In fact- physical, mental and emotional health all go hand in hand. 

Poor physical health can lead directly to an increased risk of developing mental health problems. Likewise, poor mental health can also negatively impact physical health and can also lead to an increased risk of some conditions. According to the Mental Health Foundation, "People with the highest levels of self-rated distress (compared to lowest rates of distress) were 32% more likely to have died from cancer. Depression has been found to be associated with an increased risk of coronary heart disease."

What can you do to actively combat stress and mental strain in your life? Two words: get active. "Research shows that doing exercise influences the release and uptake of feel-good chemicals called endorphins in the brain. Even a short burst of 10 minutes of brisk walking increases our mental alertness, energy and positive mood." Moral of the story: exercise and getting healthy physically can greatly impact your mental health in a positive way.

What else can you take to better your overall health? Here are some recommendations from the Office on Women's Health

  • Visit a doctor or nurse for a well-woman visit (checkup), preventive screenings and vaccines.
  • Get Active (We have 13 central Ohio branch locations, plus FREE group fitness classes!).
  • Eat Healthy.
  • Pay attention to mental health, including getting enough sleep and managing stress. 
  • Practice safe behaviors such as quitting smoking, not texting while driving and limiting drinking. 

This week- make sure to take some extra time to do something (or a lot of things!) for yourself, you deserve it! 

Show us how you're taking care of yourself by tagging YCBus on Twitter or Instagram, or YMCA of Central Ohio on Facebook and use the hashtags #ycbus #NWHW #womenshealthweek #gethealthY