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    Forward Focus: Achieving Healthier Futures Together

    by Ngozi Osuagwu, MD | May 8th, 2022

    Forward Focus: Achieving Healthier Futures Together

    I have been wondering why there are so many college graduation ceremonies on Mother’s Day. I guess it is a reminder of one of many possibilities when we invest the time and energy in a child’s future – they graduate as an adult. March 8th is the beginning of National Women’s Health Week. This year’s theme is Forward Focus: Achieving Healthier Futures Together. What can happen if we all invest in ourselves today? We have the ability to achieve a healthier future.

    During the National Women’s Health Week (NWHW), the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Office on Women’s Health (OWH) is encouraging women and girls to reflect on their individual health needs and takes steps to improve overall health. This is a great time for family, friends, and the greater community to take action to support women and help them achieve the best health possible.

    OWH has listed several ways to achieve better health this week. You can click here for the full list. Below is a quick summary.

    1. Continue to take steps to protect yourself against COVID -19. Get vaccinated and stay up to date with a COVID-19- booster. You can click here to find out what is happening in your local community. Social distancing and wearing masks are still important to decrease the risk of getting COVID-19.
    2. Schedule your annual physical. Please remember as a woman, you can have two physicians –your obstetrician/gynecologist and your primary care physician. Click on the age categories to know what health screening you need – 18 – 39, 40 -64, 65 and older.
    3. Maintain a healthy weight. A healthy weight is different for everyone. Remember that not gaining any weight especially when you are over 50 years old is a success. Talk with your doctor to establish reasonable goals.
    4. Get moving and stay active. Remember the four components of exercise – aerobics, strength training, flexibility, and balance.
    5. Nourish from the Inside Out. Eat well-balanced meals and snacks. Eating healthy includes eating less saturated fat, cutting down on sodium (salt), and getting more fiber. Eat a variety of vegetables and fruits. Stop the soda and drink water. Click here for tips on healthy eating.
    6. Practice Self-care for your Mental Health. Make time to unwind and focus on activities you enjoy.  Consider meditation. Stay connected with family and friends.  If you or anyone you know is experiencing changes in thinking, mood, behavior, and/or thoughts of self-harm, reach out for help – SAMHSA’s National Helpline – 1-800-662-HELP (4357). This helpline is free, confidential, and available 24/7, 365-days a year. For other numbers to call, please click here.
    7. Create good sleep habits. Try to get at least 7 hours of sleep.
    8. Incorporate safe behaviors into you’re your daily routine. Monitor alcohol intake and avoid illicit drugs, including drugs that are not prescribed to you. Quit smoking and vaping.

    We have the ability for a healthy future. It is time to Forward Focus: Achieving Healthier Futures Together.

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    Secure Your Copy of Letters to My Sisters by Dr. Ngozi Osuagwu.
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    The book discusses common gynecological and women’s health issues in a series of witty and entertaining letters. These letters, all educational, offer suggestions on what approaches to take in tackling the medical problems that typically bring women to an ob/gynecologist. The letters are spiced with art, a poem and quotes. Although its emphasis is on gynecology and women’s health, it touches on some other medical issues that make women visit their doctors.

    The second half of the book briefly discusses the most common gynecological conditions and also provides an overview of sexually transmitted infections. A list of annotated websites dealing with the different topics in the book is provided for the reader who wants to pursue each subject in depth.




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