Whether you’re starting a new job and living on your own for the first time or considering getting married and starting a family, this phase of life includes big transitions and new responsibilities. You may be tempted to let your health slide in this busy time, but taking steps to take care of yourself now can lay the foundation for a healthier future.
Establish Healthy Habits
Consider adopting the following habits to keep you feeling your best through the years:
- Eat a healthy, well-rounded diet
- Maintain a healthy weight
- Aim for 30 minutes of daily physical activity
- Try to sleep at least 7-8 hours a night
- Take 400 to 800 mcg of folic acid daily
- Don’t start smoking or look for help quitting if you already do
- Limit alcohol to one drink or less a day
- Don’t use illegal drugs or misuse prescription drugs
- Wear a helmet when riding a bike
- Wear a seatbelt in cars
- Don’t text and drive
- Protect yourself from the sun
- See a dentist twice a year for an exam and cleaning
While these habits aren’t always easy to stick with, your care team at SSM Health will support you every step of the way. Talk to your doctor about how we can help if you’re struggling to make these habits routine.
Make Time for Regular Wellness Visits
Annual well-woman exams provide you an opportunity to check in on your health and set goals for the year. Because these exams focus on prevention - taking care of your health now to avoid illness later - they are key to your long-term wellness. You may wish to discuss the following topics with your doctor at your annual exam:
- Whether you plan to have children in the next year
- Your weight, diet and physical activity level
- Your tobacco and alcohol use
- Any violence in your life
- Any mental health concerns, like depression or anxiety
- Your family health history
To get the most out of your well-woman exams, find an SSM Health provider with whom you feel comfortable asking questions and sharing your concerns. Our women’s health team offers expertise and compassion, so you can be confident that you’re getting the care you deserve. And with many convenient locations, we’ll make this important check-up as easy as possible.
Focus on Prevention
Preventive health care aims to help you maintain your health in the years to come and to catch any problems early, when they’re easier to treat. Talk to your doctor at your annual exam about what immunizations, tests and health screenings you need. These may include:
- Flu vaccine
- Hepatitis B and Hepatitis C
- HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases (STDs)
- Pap test and HPV
- Sexually transmitted infections
- Blood pressure and cholesterol
You may not need every test or vaccine every year, so talk to your doctor about what’s right for you based on your age, your health history and any symptoms or concerns you may have.
While your priorities may change through the years, taking care of your health should always be your first concern.
Schedule an appointment with SSM Health Women’s Health to get started.