It’s National Women’s Health Week, but women’s health is vital every week. Indeed, women often keep track of their families’ health needs in addition to their own. Women also have to contend with health risks and issues that affect them differently. As Missouri’s Department of Health and Senior Services notes:
- Many conditions are more common in women than men,
- Women have very different warning signs for heart attacks,
- And with greater average body weight than men, women are at higher risk of illness from exposure to hazardous environmental substances
Being raised by a single woman, I can attest to the responsibilities she took on. In addition to her job selling ads on radio, she was bookkeeper, social coordinator, cook, cleaner, single parent, and breast cancer survivor. Where did taking care of herself fit in? Usually somewhere in-between taking care of me and everything else.
What you find time to do for yourself really matters, both for long-term health and day-to-day wellness. To call this “self care” doesn’t do it justice. Personal health is a sacrifice made out of social necessity, one you take on (hopefully) with the support of family and friends.
Preventive health care is an especially effective approach and much less invasive and costly than alternative treatments. Your community gym likely already has workout classes and groups you can join, but finding one that fits in your schedule can be a challenge.
MO Arthritis offers a variety of classes throughout the state. Here are a couple to get you started:
- Living a Healthy Life teaches skills to manage common problems related to having a chronic condition. Classes meet 2 ½ hours once a week for 6 weeks. To find a class near you, just click on your region on the Regional Arthritis Center map or contact us for help finding one. Once you find a class, you can register right here or through the ‘Register here’ button on your region’s page (right-side).
- Arthritis Toolkit includes the basic building blocks to create a personal approach for managing arthritis and related conditions (including osteoporosis and fibromyalgia) at home. You can check out a toolkit for 6 weeks through your local Regional Arthritis Center.
Women’s health is critical, for family and loved ones, but especially for yourself. It shouldn’t have to fall all on you! Just by considering yourself, you’ve already taken the first step to better health. However you decide to take the next one, through one of our programs or elsewhere, it’s a solid start.
This article was contributed by Nathan Ferguson, Office Support for the MAOP