Sure, May is all about Mother’s Day. But if you really care about the woman in your life, mark your calendar for Women's Health Month in May, and Women’s Health Week, May 8-14, 2022. National Women’s Health Week starts each year on Mother’s Day to encourage women and girls to make their health a priority.
Protecting women’s health can have a healthy ripple effect for all of us. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), two out of every three caregivers in the United States are women. That means they provide daily or regular support to children, adults, or people with chronic illnesses or disabilities.
Caregiving isn’t for sissies. The CDC says that women who are caregivers have a greater risk for poor physical and mental health. To help lower that risk, women are encouraged to practice preventive care that can keep disease away or detect problems early so that treatment is more effective. Here are some tips from the CDC:
Talk with your health provider – Learn what screenings and exams you need and when. The State Health Plan covers preventive services for women and other preventive care (such as preventive mammograms) at no cost.
Enjoy a healthy and balanced diet – a healthy eating plan includes fruits, vegetables, whole grains, fat free and low-fat milk and other dairy products, lean meats, and is low in salt, saturated and trans fats, and added sugars.
Get active – Physical activity is one of the most important things you can do for your health. It lowers your risk of heart disease, which is the leading cause of death for women. You don’t even need special equipment. Stretch with a towel. Work out with items you have around the house, like full water bottles, canned goods, or other items if you don’t have weights available for strength training. Or just take a relaxing walk in the spring air!
Need more free support from the State Health Plan? We’ve got it! The Plan offers Blue365 programs to enjoy a healthier life, find family activities and great discounts. Visit the Plan website at www.shpnc.org and log into BlueConnect via eBenefits. From there, click on the Wellness link in the dropdown menu and look for Blue365!
Prioritize your mental health – Research shows that positive mental health is associated with improved overall health and well-being, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic. If you need support, you’re not alone. To help you get started, visit the State Health Plan’s Behavioral Health Resource Center.
Remember, under the Plan’s Clear Pricing Project (CPP), visiting a CPP behavioral health provider has a $0 copay. To learn more, visit www.shpnc.org and look for the Clear Pricing Project green banner! In the Find a Doctor tool, CPP providers are noted.
So if you’re a woman – or care about a woman in your life – remember the importance of protecting women’s health this week and all year round.
Love you, Mom!