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September 30th is National Women’s Health and Fitness Day. The day serves as a great reminder about how important it is for women to make their health a priority — perhaps more important this year than ever before.

Although that day has come to pass before this week’s Avenue News, women can practice healthy living habits and utilize local health programs every day of the year.

Most women spend a lot of time taking care of others in their family and community, putting their own needs on the back burner and can feel overwhelmed with the things they would need to do in order to get and maintain good health.

They envision hours of gym time and a huge salad at every meal. While that’s one way to do it, it’s not the way that works for most people. Women today are busy. They have a full schedule, stress, and a laundry list of daily tasks. They need simple ways to be healthy, or they won’t feel like it’s an effort they can engage in.

The good news is that there are simple things that people can do to get and maintain good health. And the good news it is that those simple things add up quickly to provide great results. Here are 5 simple ways every woman (and any person) can put her health first:

Sit less

A study published in the September 2020 issue of the journal Preventative Medicine reported that longer sitting time at work is associated with greater waist circumference in those with desk jobs. The researchers recommend interventions so that people are not sitting so long at work. Looking into desks that allow you to stand while working, or getting up for five minutes every hour can help. Even standing whenever you are on the phone can make a difference.

Move more

Engaging in regular exercise plays a big role in how healthy people are. A study in the September 2020 issue of the journal American Journal of Preventative Medicine reported that walking for exercise and engaging in vigorous exercise are both associated with a reduction in mortality, including from cardiovascular disease and cancer. Walking just 30 minutes per day can help keep you healthier.

De-Stress

When you feel stressed, you have an increase in hormones that can lead you to gaining weight, feeling depressed, having less energy, and more. Having healthy ways to address stress is crucial. Find something you enjoy and engage in it daily, even if it’s just for 10 minutes. You can do meditation or yoga, both of which will help. You can also take a supplement such as Serotonin Plus to help address the serotonin imbalances that lead to weight gain and the inability to lose weight.

Boost immunity

Having a healthy immune system is always important, but especially during a pandemic. Consider eating immune-boosting foods and taking a natural supplement to boost immunity, such as SeroImmune. Taking an immune-boosting supplement can help provide a layer of defense.

Commit to change

Don’t become overwhelmed with so many changes. Instead, opt for committing to some small changes. Those small changes can be simple, and they will add up. Soon you will see and feel the results of your efforts. You don’t have to spend hours in the gym in order to get results that make you healthier, as well as happier.

Women who are pregnant, postpartum and breast-feeding may have more specific health concerns that need to be addressed. Luckily there is a Baltimore County Program, Women, Infants and Children Program (WIC), that provides healthy supplemental foods and nutrition counseling for income eligible pregnant, postpartum and breast-feeding women, as well as children under age five with medical or nutritional risk factors.

To be eligible for WIC, a woman must be a resident of the State of Maryland, be pregnant or breastfeeding, a new mother, or have an infant or child up to age five, have a health or nutrition need and meet the income eligibility guidelines.

According the Maryland Department of Health, numerous studies have shown that pregnant women who participate in WIC have longer pregnancies leading to fewer premature births; have fewer low birth-weight babies; experience fewer fetal and infant deaths; seek prenatal care earlier in pregnancy and consume more of such key nutrients as iron, protein, calcium and vitamin C.

The state health department also found that low-income children enrolled in the WIC Program have a lower prevalence of anemia than those who are not enrolled.

One study found that the anemia rate among children at the six-month WIC recertification visit was lower than the rate at the initial WIC screening, indicating the positive effect of WIC participation. Other studies found that four and five-year-olds whose mothers participated in WIC during pregnancy had better vocabulary test scores than children whose mothers had not received WIC benefits.

There are several WIC brach locations throughout the county. The Essex branch is located at 201 Back River Neck Road and the Rosedale-White Marsh branch is located in the Eastern Family Resource Center, 9150 Franklin Square Drive.

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