Health and wellness aren’t things that weigh heavily on a woman’s mind – that is…until a tragedy strikes. As the old adage goes, prevention is better than cure so arm yourself with the right tools to fend off and fight diseases with our essential guide to the health checks you should be doing every month:
Check your breasts for lumps, abnormalities in shape, size, or nipple colour. If you’re not sure how to check them yourself (we’ve got a simple infographic that shows you how to right here), ask your doctor to advise you.
Go for a cervical cancer smear. If you haven’t had one or if the last time you got one done was more than three years ago, don’t put it off any longer. This is the one test that can save your life by detecting pre-cancerous changes before they spread.
If you smoke, consider giving it up for Lent. It’s the best time to motivate yourself to kick a habit and according to researchers, the best way to give up smoking is to stop altogether and not gradually. For more advice, visit the Health Promotion Board.
Become your own stress buster. Find a phrase you can repeat to yourself, such as “I can cope” or “I feel good”. Whenever you feel you can’t manage, repeat your phrase and find your calm.
Drink more water. We should all aim to drink up to two litres of water a day as it has great health benefits. Not only does it quench your thirst and rehydrate your body, water also maintains the health of your kidneys by flushing toxins and body waste through them.
Leave your car behind or ditch that public transport to your nearest lunch stop and walk to the shops or if you live close enough, even to work. Make the most of our glorious warm weather in Singapore to ease yourself into getting a bit more exercise than usual.
Take up a weight-bearing exercise to protect against osteoporosis. Jogging, aerobics and brisk walking are the best type for this. Aim for at least three sessions a week and 20 minutes per session.
Cut down on caffeine in tea, coffee, chocolate and fizzy drinks. You’ll soon feel far less stressed as the levels of addictive dopamine start to drain from our bodies as a result of cutting back.
Resolve to take control of your cholesterol levels by eating less fat. Use more olive oil and less butter. Eat fish three times a week, have a vegetarian day every week and cut down on red meat.
Get plenty of calcium to protect your bones – around 1000 mg a day is good. That’s equivalent to 570 ml of milk and 55 g of cheese. YUM!
Cut down on alcohol intake before the party season starts. Alcohol causes ill health and aggravates stress-related problems. Women should drink no more than 14 small glasses of wine a week.
Eat more fruit and vegetables, and more carbohydrates, such as pasta, rice and pulses. People often shun carbs when trying to lose weight but our bodies need it to function optimally. Just remember that one’s daily calorie intake should be 45 to 65 per cent carbs.