The guidelines in this post about preventive health care were provided by UnitedHealthcare, the sponsor of this post.
I’m two weeks away from my 31st birthday. Just a year ago, I was still a spring chicken in my twenties. I don’t mind aging, just as long as I don’t feel (or start looking) older. Making my health a priority is one way I take care of myself, in an effort to stay healthy. Here are some preventive care guidelines for women in their thirties from UnitedHealthcare that I do my best to follow.
Make time for YOU. If you’ve been on a plane, you’ve probably heard a flight attendant say “put your oxygen mask on before assisting others.” This holds true for multiple situations. Before you can care for others, you have to care for yourself. I get it – life is busy, and even busier if you have young kiddos at home. It’s hard to find time for exercise, but your 30s is when weight gain and depression can start to rear their ugly heads. This is also the time when women can start developing risk factors that could cause serious diseases later in life (e.g., high blood pressure, high cholesterol), so it’s important to remember to take time for YOU.
Eat healthy. Fruits, vegetables, whole grains, fat-free or low-fat milk products – all great options for mealtime and snacks. If you eat meat, keep it lean, such as fish, chicken and turkey that is grilled, baked or broiled. Surprisingly, some oils are needed for good health such as the oils found in fish, nuts and olives.
Ramp up the exercise. This is probably my least favorite thing to do, but 45-60 minutes of moderate cardio 5-7 days a week and 10-15 minutes of strength training exercises using heavier weights at least twice a week is recommended. If you’re like me, exercising is more of a chore than enjoyment. Try and find something you enjoy doing like jogging, briskly walking through the mall (no, not a “mall walker,” but more of a “fast shopper”), join a dance class or go on a bike ride with your kids. Be sure to consult your doctor before beginning any new exercise routine.
Live tobacco free. If you haven’t quit yet, there’s no time like the present. Get help quitting and reduce your risk of just about every health condition.
Think about starting self-breast exams. In addition to a preventive Breast Clinical Exam and mammogram, you may want to talk with your doctor to determine if performing breast self-exams on a regular basis are right for you. Most doctors recommend that a woman perform a breast self-exam starting in her 20s to help detect any breast changes. I have a guideline in the shower that reminds my when and how to do this.
Learn more and enter to WIN a $400 Visa Gift Card
Learn more about preventive care for your chance to win a $400 Visa gift card (weekly $25 gift cards will be given out as well!). By completing each of the following engagements, you will be entered for a chance to win (so that’s three chances to win!):
- Take the Preventive Care Quiz
- Play the Basic Coverage Terms Concentration game
- Watch the Using My Benefits Video and answer a poll question
Preventive Care: What 30-Something Women Need to Know
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IMPORTANT INFORMATION ABOUT THE GUIDELINES IN THIS POST:
- These are general health screening guidelines for commonly used preventive tests and services.
- They may not reflect the specific services or all of the health screenings you may require based on your individual health risks as recommended by your doctor.
- Scheduling a preventive health visit and talking with your doctor will provide the most effective source of information about your health.
- More info: Additional preventive care information just for women [download]
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