Healthy Women: Staying Healthy as You Age
Healthy women can stay that way even after menopause. In many cases, healthy women often attribute their healthy aging to things like eating a diet rich in calcium and whole grains, as well as participating in weight-bearing exercises at least three days a week and having regular health checkups. Staying healthy as you age may also involve such lifestyle changes as quitting smoking and limiting alcohol consumption.
If you are going through menopause, or if you are post menopause, there are steps that you can take to stay healthy during this time in your life:
- Be active. Try to get at least 30 minutes of physical activity on most days of the week. Try weight-bearing exercises, like walking, running, or dancing.
- If you smoke, quit. You can ask your doctor for help with this.
- Eat healthy foods. Eat a variety of fruits and dark-green veggies, such as broccoli, kale, and other dark leafy greens. Also try to eat calcium-rich foods and whole-grain cereals, breads, crackers, rice, or pasta. Choose lean meats and poultry, and limit saturated fats and salt.
- Limit alcohol. If you drink alcohol, limit your consumption to no more than one drink per day.
- Control your weight. Ask your doctor what a healthy weight is for you, and then take the steps necessary to achieve or maintain that weight.
- Ask your doctor what tests you need. Have your blood pressure, cholesterol, and blood sugar checked regularly. Get a breast exam and a breast x-ray (mammogram) according to the schedule your doctor recommends.
- Talk to your doctor about bone health. Ask your doctor if you're getting enough calcium and vitamin D. Get a bone density test if you're over 65 or if your doctor says you have a high chance of developing osteoporosis. Ask about taking medicine to help preserve bone and slow down bone loss. It's important to get enough calcium to keep your bones strong. Before menopause, you need about 1,000 mg of calcium per day. After menopause, you need about 1,500 mg per day.