mother daughter smWomen's health is about more than just childbearing or menopause; it's a lifelong journey with distinctive needs and challenges that begin in the teenaged years and continue until you're a senior citizen. Wherever you fall on that timeline, here are some tips for better health at any age. Remember that every woman should have a wellness checkup with her health provider each year.

In your 20s –  Begin annual pap tests at age 21. Talk with us about whether you plan to have children in the next year or choose the right birth control if you're sexually active. Discuss your risk for sexually transmitted infections and the need for screening.

In your 30s –  Incorporate strength training into your exercise plan to help keep your bones and muscles strong. Your metabolism is beginning to slow down and your eating habits may need to change to avoid weight gain. Talk with us about any family history of heart problems or cancer.

In your 40s – Know your numbers, including blood pressure, cholesterol levels, blood sugar and body weight because these can indicate your risk for serious conditions such as heart disease, type 2 diabetes or stroke. Ask about having a screening mammogram and talk with us about perimenopause symptoms.

In your 50s – Get tested for diabetes if you're overweight or obese and talk with us about screening for hepatitis B and hepatitis C. Ask about daily aspirin use and get screened for colorectal cancer. And if you're a current or former smoker, ask about lung cancer screening.

In your 60s –  Continue with regular Pap tests and mammograms as recommended by your doctor. Ask about bone density testing to help determine your risk for osteoporosis and get vaccinations for shingles and pneumonia.

In your 70s -  Use strength training or Tai Chi to help maintain better balance and avoid the risk of falls. Talk to your doctor about a screening for hearing loss because this can worsen any effects of memory loss or dementia.


stop cervical cancerIt's a grim statistic -- about 11,000 women in the United States are diagnosed with cervical cancer each year and more than 4,000 of them will die from it. But a few simple steps could save the lives of thousands of women and prevent many new cases from occurring.

Why is cervical cancer easy to beat? Because we have the tools to detect it earlier and a vaccine to stop one of the main causes of cervical cancer. That's why it's important for all women to know how to protect themselves and their children.

resolutionsIt's that time when many women consider making a list of resolutions for the New Year. If that's you, here are a handful of suggestions for pledges that could make 2017 a healthier year.

Stretch Yourself For Better Health
Resistance exercise has many benefits. It can build stronger bones, which is important as women age, and it can increase muscle mass to make it easier to burn more calories. If lifting weights isn't your style, stretching exercises with an inexpensive set of resistance bands can offer the same benefits.

Don't Become a Calorie Monk
Resolve to eat better but don't take a vow to swear-off sweets completely because most people can't do it. Give yourself permission to have an occasional dessert and keep the portion smaller. And try eating only when you're truly hungry. Don't eat until you “feel full” –  stop when your appetite is satisfied

Put Bedtime in Your Planner
Many people don't think of sleep as an activity, but it's something that accounts for about one-third of every day. Make a standing appointment for sleep at the same time every night. If you need help remembering this try setting a daily reminder alarm on your phone to go off 30 minutes before bedtime.

Say “No” More Often
This might seem harsh but most of us agree to do more things than we can accomplish just to satisfy family, friends, or co-workers. A simple "I can't, sorry" can keep you from regularly overextending yourself and help you avoid the health problems that come with too much stress in your life.

Get an “A” on Your Health Tests
Resolve to get all of the tests your doctor recommends for you in 2017. This could include blood testing for cholesterol, a mammogram, a pap test, a colorectal screening, testing for STDs or Hepatitis-C, or a screening test for osteoporosis.


test sheet smEven with all the world's information seemingly as close as our smartphones, many of us can't separate myth from fact when it comes to pregnancy. Let's test for your pregnancy IQ; give yourself one point for each correct answer in this “true or false” quiz. Eight or more correct makes you a pregnancy genius. Six or seven right gives you a seat near the front of the class. Three to five correct means you need to study more, and two or less calls for a remedial course in how babies are made!

holiday stress smWe all dread the rush and chaos that can rule our lives during the holidays. Surveys show that 40 percent of people find work-life balance to be impossible this time of year and say they end up missing the chance to spend time with family and friends during the holidays. Often the job of making it all come together perfectly falls on women.

So how do you survive a whirlwind month of office parties, family get-togethers and gift giving and still find the time to truly enjoy the holidays? Here's a game plan in five steps:

1. Create a firewall between work and personal time. Being focused throughout the day will help you accomplish more. That means no online shopping when you're at the office and shutting off the work email or phone when you should be spending time with your family. You might even specify times each day or days of the week when you'll focus solely on work or family life.

2. Consider alternatives to those traditions.  Can your sister-in-law or your adult children take over hosting the family holiday meal? Maybe you can order parts of the meal for restaurant carryout or from the grocery store deli. And reconsider those annual plans for long-distance travel during the holiday season. The technology that's built into your smart phone can create a free virtual get-together with faraway family. You can plan a visit when it's not the busiest travel time of the year.

3. Find ways to scale back some of your holiday. If you want to keep your sanity until the new year, ask yourself if you need to attend every party, wrap every gift and prepare every holiday dish like you've always done. Explain the changes to others and don't worry about disappointing people. Your family will appreciate you being fully present more than any meal you cook or party you plan.

4. Get the rest you need.  You need adequate sleep to deal with the extra physical and psychological stress of the holidays. If that means leaving the festivities early, then do it. Burning the midnight oil to accomplish everything will only leave you exhausted when you should be enjoying time with friends and loved ones.

5. Practice saying “No.” This is good advice all year long, but it's even more important in the next few weeks. Taking on more tasks or accepting every invitation simply because someone has asked is unfair to you and to the people who want to spend quality time with you during the holidays. Be generous with your time when you can, but keep enough of it for yourself, too.


Northline Women's Health Center Locations:

15675 Northline Road

Southgate, MI 48195

(734) 282-3600
(734) 282-3603 - Fax

23050 West Road, Suite 210

Brownstown Twp., MI 48183

(734) 362-7000
(734) 362-7077 - Fax