Various issues affect women’s health and wellness. Certain conditions are unique to women, while others are more likely to affect women than men. The following are eight facts about women’s health and fitness that any woman can utilize to improve her overall health.
1. Women bear a physical and
emotional burden of care giving
Women primarily are tasked with being caregivers to their own families and potentially elder parents or other relatives, and that takes a toll. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, women who are caregivers are at greater risk for poor physical and mental health, including anxiety and depression. Women may have to work a little harder to maintain healthy behaviors that can curtail stress, including good sleep habits and regular exercise.
2. Heart disease is a
significant women’s health issue
Even though heart disease and heart attacks are thought to be primarily men’s health issues, heart disease is the leading cause of death for women, according to the American Heart Association. Shortness of breath, pain or discomfort in the chest, fullness or pressure in the center of the chest that lasts or goes away and returns, and nausea or lightheadedness all may be symptoms of a heart attack in women.
3. Women are vulnerable
to eating disorders
Teenage girls and young women are more likely than teenage boys and young men to have anorexia or bulimia, according to the Mayo Clinic. Eating disorders tend to develop in people in their early 20s. Family history, other mental health disorders, dieting/starvation, and stress all contribute to the formation of an eating disorder.
4. Menstrual bleeding
is a common health concern
Many women do not openly discuss menstrual issues with others, but they should. The CDC says menorrhagia, or heavy menstrual bleeding, affects more than 10 million American women each year. This condition may be the first indication of an overall bleeding disorder.
5. Intimate partner violence
includes various forms of abuse
Intimate partner violence can include one episode or repeated episodes. The Office on Women’s Health reports that IPV can include physical, sexual or emotional abuse, as well as sexual coercion and stalking. It affects millions of women each year.
6. The majority of Alzheimer’s
patients are women
Almost two-thirds of Americans with Alzheimer’s disease are women, says the Alzheimer’s Association. Women in their 60s are more than twice as likely to develop Alzheimer’s over the rest of their lives than they are to develop breast cancer.
7. Young women are
vulnerable to HIV infection
The World Health Organization reports that women now bear the brunt of new HIV infections. A large number of young women struggle to protect themselves and receive required treatment.
8. Women need to
exercise with greater frequency
Mana Health Associates says fewer than half of all women over age 18 meet the federal physical activity guidelines for aerobic exercise, which is 150 to 300 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity, like brisk walking or fast dancing, each week.