- National Women’s Health and Fitness Day
- History of Women’s Health
- Fun Facts
- Final Thoughts
National Women’s Health and Fitness Day
National Women’s Health and Fitness Day is celebrated on the last Wednesday of September every year, this year it falls on September 28th. This day was established in 2002 in order to promote physical fitness and health awareness for women of all ages by the Health Information Resource Center. Even though health and fitness are important for all genders, this day specifically focuses on women because their needs can vary from other genders.
History of Women’s Health
Women’s health has changed immensely over time. From women being told not to do physical exercises like weightlifting because they would develop “masculine” muscles, to women encouraging each other to work out at home and then taking over gyms all over the world. We have let go of all the taboos surrounding periods and childbirth and we can talk more openly about women’s bodies and health. With the current movements about body positivity and women’s rights, we have made progress to become even more accurate and inclusive.
Making time to do physical activities every day is essential for women’s health. Whether it is walking for a few minutes a day, or hitting personal records weightlifting at the gym, it all contributes to our health. Many women also prefer to exercise at home with such busy schedules. Here are some exercises you could try at home:
- Jumping Jacks: Basic exercise to start warming up, helps with flexibility and increase stamina.
- Push-ups: Strengthens the upper body, including the chest, shoulder, and triceps.
- Squats: Helps tone thighs, hips, and butts.
- Single Leg Stand: Enhances flexibility and balance.
- Planks: Vital for abdominals but it is a whole-body workout.
- Crunches: Traditional exercise for stronger abdomen muscles.
- Leg Raises: Helps strengthen abdominal muscles.
There are many myths surrounding women’s health, especially since not much research has been done until recent years. The best way to keep healthy is for women to get regular checkups at their primary care physicians office. Every woman’s body is different and changes throughout their life based on age and risk factors. Women should start seeing a gynecologist at 18 or when they start being sexually active and make regular yearly appoints. This is especially important for pregnant women or women who are trying to get pregnant. Apart from this, women also need to see a primary care physician for physicals every year and inform them of past family history that could be concerning, such as breast cancer and cervical cancer. Lastly, there are a few exams that women should get to make sure that they are healthy:
- Pap Smear: This test takes place between the ages of 20 to 30 to check for cervical cancer and HPV.
- Pregnancy Test: If you suspect you might be pregnant, getting tested early can make all the difference and gives you time to explore your options.
- Mammogram: This starts at age 40 and should be taken annually after that.
- Colonoscopy: Recommended to get tested between 45 to 50 to reduce the chance of colon cancer by 60%.
- Blood Pressure Screening: Should be regularly checked, especially if there is a history of diabetes, heart disease, and high cholesterol since this can result in heart attacks and strokes.
- STD Testing: Should be tested regularly, especially when having new sexual partners.
- Even though women have always had periods, the first commercial sanitary napkin didn’t come out until 1896 in America.
- Women weren’t allowed to participate in gymnastics at the Olympics until 1928, not even 100 years from today.
- The first woman to run the Boston Marathon was Katherine Switzer in 1967.
- Sports bras, which are used by women everywhere when exercising, weren’t invented until 1977.
Have you ever heard of Women’s Health and Fitness Day? How do you keep yourself healthy and fit? Let us know what you think in the comments below!