Women make up 50 per cent of our population, yet rarely is the spotlight on female health. National Women’s Health Week changes that. JCU student Katherine Oakland explains why it’s time to focus on women’s health and why this is incredibly important to the future of our society.
Why should you care? If you feel fine, or better yet, you’re not a woman, why should women’s health risks bother you?
Do you know 10 women? Well then, chances are, you know someone with endometriosis, who’s spent time with a mental disorder or who suffers from obesity-related illnesses. The leading cause of death in Australia is cardiovascular disease, something that almost a third of Australian women are at risk of. Women’s Health Week (4-8 September) focused on raising awareness of women’s health, shone a light on women’s issues and helped women to create healthy lifestyles.
Each day of the event was devoted to a different facet of women’s health and lifestyle, and promoted ideas and techniques to help you live a happier, longer life.
Monday was dedicated to heart health. One in two women will be affected by heart disease in their lifetime and that is a fact that Women’s Health Week wanted to change. Monday was about a healthy diet and physical exercise: eating five serves of vegetables and two serves of fruit every day can reduce your risk of heart disease by up to 30 per cent.
The idea for Tuesday was mindfulness. Fifty per cent of people today will suffer from symptoms of mental disorders such as depression or anxiety. Tuesday’s program sought to help women “declutter” their minds, so they can work through obstacles, emotions and stress. Mindfulness and meditation is about training yourself to be in the present and to view your problems and worries in a logical list and not letting them overtake you. Taking some time for yourself to de-stress once a day can extend your life up to four years.
Wednesday was devoted to bone health, battling diseases like osteoporosis and advocating for the consumption of dairy and calcium rich food, encouraging women to spend a healthy amount of time outside every day and to participate in weight bearing physical activity once a week. Following these tips helps women to remain strong and keeps your bones and joints healthy well into your later life.
Thursday was focused on living an active lifestyle and encouraged women to get moving, to join gyms and fitness classes, to go jogging or to do some yoga in your living room at the end of the day. Being active, and partaking in just half an hour of activity every day drastically reduces women’s chances of getting cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure and anxiety.
Friday was dedicated to something that all of us could pay more attention to, our sleep. Sleep is our time for recharging, it helps everything from our thoughts to our metabolism to the way we handle ourselves in our work and study.
So take this special event as a call to arms — now is the time to get healthy. Women across Australia have a lot to learn about their health, so why not take this time to start?
Get a kick-start to a healthier life with information and tips from Women’s Health Week.
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