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It's Your Turn!

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Joan Lunden

Women's Health / / May 09, 2011

On Monday I tweeted that it was "National Women's Check Up Day" and I heard back from several women that they were putting off going to a doctor because they didn’t have health insurance. It really concerned me to hear this, for no disease will wait for your insurance to kick in. And getting regular check-ups, mammograms, colonoscopies, and heart and blood pressure checks is crucial in staying ahead of disease. I will never forget the day when my good friend and Good Morning America colleague, Joel Siegal, told me that he was dying of colon cancer. His doctor had told him to get a colonoscopy but he had put it off, you know how life get busy and we don’t think it could happen to us. By the time the cancer was detected, it was too late. They told him that if he had been screened when the doctor had recommended, he would have lived.

So I feel compelled to reach out to every woman who told me this week that they would go to a doctor for a checkup when they got a different job that had health insurance, to say "skip the next pair of stilettos, or that cashmere sweater or the expensive jar of night cream, and spend that money on a trip to a doctor". When it comes to your health, knowledge of your risk factors and knowledge of your current state of health is your only power over your future. Don't get caught short when it comes to a disease free healthy future! Figure out a way to pay for it, and call and make an appointment today to have a health checkup and any screenings that are advised for your age.

As for the rest of us, this entire week has been deemed National Women's Health Week. Why? Well I think it's fair tosay that all of us "care-taking multi-tasking women could use a friendly reminder that we must make our health and well-being a top priority. Women often serve as caregivers for their families, putting the needs of their spouses, children, and parents before their own. As a result, women's health and wellbeing sadly becomes secondary. So today I want to join in support of this initiative to help women do everything they can to take steps for longer, healthier, and happier lives.

So to improve our physical and mental health and lower our risks of certain diseases there are some basic health guidelines that we should all understand and embrace. Here are the recommendation:

  • Get at least 2 1/2 hours of moderate physical activity, 1 hour and 15 minutes of vigorous physical activity, or a combination of both, each week
  • Eat a balanced and a nutritious diet - cutting down on fats and trans fats, sugar and salt, and adding green and colorful fruits and vegetables
  • Visit a health care professional to receive regular checkups and preventive screenings
  • Avoid risky behaviors, such as smoking and not wearing suntan lotion, or a seatbelt
  • Get enough sleep and manage stress

For more information on what screenings you should have at different ages and stages of life, you can check with the web site below.

http://www.womenshealth.gov/whw/health-resources/screening-tool/index.cfm

Categories: Women's Health
About The Author
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Joan Lunden truly exemplifies today’s modern working woman. An award-winning journalist, bestselling author, motivational speaker, successful entrepreneur, one of America’s most recognized and trusted television personalities, this mom of seven continues to do it all. As host of Good Morning America for nearly two decades, Lunden brought insight to top issues for millions of Americans each day. The longest running host ever on early morning television, Lunden reported from 26 countries, covered 4 presidents and 5 Olympics and kept Americans up to date on how to care for their homes, their families and themselves.

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