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For the past 20 years, the last Wednesday of September has been recognized as National Women’s Health and Fitness Day.

When we think of health, we often focus on doctor visits, preventive care, lab tests and immunizations. Which are all important. But there are other factors that are under our own control, like improving our diets, reducing stress and adding fun to our lives. Exercise is one of these controllable factors, and it’s highly effective at improving health.  

Being active is one of the most important things you can do to improve your overall health. Physical activity is anything that gets your body moving. Each week adults need at least 150 minutes (about 2 and a half hours) of moderate-intensity physical activity and 2 days of muscle strengthening activity, according to the current Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans.  

Immediate Benefits. You know you need physical activity to stay healthy. But did you know it can help you feel better right away? Some benefits of physical activity happen right after a session.  

  • Sleep: Improves sleep quality 

  • Less Anxiety: Reduces feelings of stress and anxiety 

  • Increases Brain Power: Sharpens your focus  

  • Blood Pressure: Reduces blood pressure  

Long-Term Benefits. Regular physical activity provides important health benefits for our lifetime. Emerging research suggests physical activity may also help boost immune function. 

  • Brain Health: Reduces risk of developing depression 

  • Heart Health: Lowers risk of heart disease, stroke, and type 2 diabetes 

  • Cancer Prevention: Lowers risk of eight cancers: bladder, breast, colon, endometrium, esophagus, kidney, lung, and stomach  

  • Healthy Weight: Reduces risk of weight gain  

  • Bone Strength: Improves bone health  

  • Balance and Coordination: Reduces risk of falls  

Today more and more females are recognizing the benefits of spending time being active. Below are five ways that you can get the most out of celebrating National Women’s Health & Fitness Day. It’s your day. Make it count!  

  1. Try a new fitness class. Cardio Dance? Why not? Mixing up your workout can be good for your body and mind. 

  1. Take a nap. Research is shedding light on the health benefits of sleep, which is good for your heart, mind, weight, and more.  

  1. Eat for your bones. A healthy diet can go a long way toward helping you get enough calcium and vitamin D to keep your bones healthy and strong. 

  1. Ask a friend to work out. Not only will exercising be more fun, but research has shown that working out with a friend can help you stay motivated.  

  1. Moment of Mindfulness. Take time to relax, reenergize, and recharge through self-care and focusing on the present moment with a moment of mindfulness.  

Celebrate Your Health Ladies!  

 

Image Credit: Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans, 2nd edition 

Photo by Jonathan Borba on Unsplash