Do you plan to get some exercise in? What about meals? Treats are good now and then but are you trying to eat healthy, starting with breakfast, the food foundation of the day?
Today is Women’s Health & Fitness Day—a day to jump for joy. Or just jump. Or if you have knee issues like me, walking is good. Or swimming. There are so many options. How do you get your steps in?
The goal of this national event is to encourage women to take control of their health, according to the Health Information Resource Center, the organizer of the event. It’s also designed to showcase women’s health resources available.
In Morgantown, of course, we have a bounty of health care options—two hospitals, many specialists and primary care physicians and physician assistants, some of whom are available into the evening on a walk-in basis.
And of course, there is Monongalia County Health Department. Our Clinical Services program offer immunizations, breast exams and pap smears, pregnancy testing, low-cost and free birth control, free STD testing and treatment and colposcopy.
It might be time to take stock. When was your last Pap smear? Mammogram? MCHD Clinical Services can refer patients for those. What about a blood panel? Prevention is key to catching any issues early and can make treatment a lot quicker and easier.
We also offer a few clinics, and two of them can help people with ongoing health issues. People with diabetes can visit the Friday Diabetes Clinic to learn tips on how to deal with their condition better. There even is a meeting on the first Tuesday of every month that participants can attend for free.
Then there is the Hepatitis Clinic, which is also held on Fridays. Hepatitis rates are on the rise: There is an outbreak of Hepatitis A in southern West Virginia, and the state has the highest rates of Hepatitis B and Hepatitis C in the country. Everyone born between 1945 and 1965 should be tested for Hepatitis C. There are guidelines to determine which other risk factors individuals might have that would necessitate a test.
If you would like to make an appointment for either clinic, or for any other MCHD Clinical Services treatments, call 304-598-5119.
Then there is exercise. Do you get at least 10,000 steps a day? A fitness tracker will not only count your steps for you, but it also can be very motivating. A few short walks a day can really improve your step count.
What about other forms of exercise? There are a plethora of gyms and classes in Morgantown. There is yoga, Pilates, cycling classes and the regimen known as CrossFit. There is a river where you can kayak—and West Virginia University’s Student Rec Center offers affordable rentals. And while Morgantown might not be the most walkable city, the rail-trail system greatly helps on that front and provides a handy bicycling path too.
If you want to work out at home, that’s totally understandable. Earlier this year, I set up a workout space in my basement. A stationary bicycle, a TV, a Blu-ray play and streaming devices can really let you mix it up. And if you want to skip the Blu-ray player, YouTube offers a ton of exercise videos that are tailored to your needs. Yoga for bad knees? Low-impact cardio? High-intensity workout? You can find just about everything and get a great workout without leaving the comfort of your home.
Eating right also contributes to your health goals. If this area needs improvement, don’t get overwhelmed trying to make too many changes at once. Maybe try to go a week without soda and see how that goes. Add more fruits and vegetables into your diet. Practice portion control. If you don’t finish your entire meal and then you get hungry later, eat a healthy snack.
Are you a pregnant, postpartum or breastfeeding mother? MCHD’s Women, Infants & Children (WIC) program targets women and their children up to the age of 5 who qualify. Clients get nutritional counseling as well as help at the supermarket to buy specific healthy food items. Want to learn more? Call 304-598-5181.
Making a few changes here and there can add up. In fact, if you’ve tried some methods of improving your health and want to share, we’d love to hear it.