You are ultimately the best doctor you will ever have. No one else walks around in your body, diagnosing and treating minor aches and pains, deciding what requires further intervention and what will get better with time.

However, Mother Nature didn’t endow human beings with a pre-installed medical dictionary in their treatment cortex. You have to take the time to learn how to practice solid preventive care for yourself. Here are five easy ways for women to start improving their health today.

1. Investigate Treatment Advances

The surgery your mama may have had has probably come a long way since then. For instance, women everywhere rejoiced when research indicated that a hysterectomy can lead to improved recovery times and fewer complications than laparoscopic or abdominal procedures. There’s also less risk of damage to the surrounding organs. Bye-bye scars, hello bikini.

You might not even need to go under the knife for some improved procedures, at least not in the traditional sense. For example, doctors can now treat stress urinary incontinence (SUI) with an outpatient procedure that requires roughly 30 minutes at your doctor’s office. This technique reduces the risk of embarrassing leakage with minimal downtime.

Your best bet? Book an appointment with your primary care provider and write down questions about the issues plaguing you. You might be surprised at what they suggest. Ask them for information about the various available procedures.

2. Find Movement That You Love

Exercise is crucial to a healthy life. Your body was designed to move. Without it, you have a harder time maintaining your weight, increasing your Type 2 diabetes and heart disease risks. You also develop various aches and pains that a little activity could remedy.

The trick is finding something you love. According to the World Health Organization, women 18 to 64 need 150 to 300 minutes of moderate exercise – about 30 to 60 minutes a day – to maintain an optimal state of health. However, you don’t need to complete it in one fell swoop on a gym elliptical.

Use your work break to squeeze in a 10-minute walk. You’ll feel better and boost your productivity more than if you visit the smoker’s bench. Do another 10 minutes of yoga in the morning and again before bed, and voilà – you have 30 minutes. Make up the rest by playing an invigorating game of catch with your kids after dinner or taking a family trip to the playground.

3. Consider an Elimination Diet

Food allergies can wreak havoc on your body. They can cause symptoms eerily similar to many chronic diseases, yet physicians rarely test for them unless you, as a patient, specifically request it.

However, you can test for offensive substances on your own, later going in for lab work to confirm your results if a precise diagnosis matters to you. Try an elimination diet if you suspect an undiagnosed food allergy might lurk behind your symptoms – perhaps they come and go, appearing only after certain meals.

The process starts by identifying “safe” foods that cause you no adverse reactions. After two to three weeks of eating foods that don’t cause reactions, add in suspects one at a time over two to three days, assessing for symptoms like headaches, abdominal upset, brain fog, and fatigue. Remove the offending food from your diet but check with a nutritionist if you identify too many, lest you risk a nutrient deficiency.

4. Spend Time in the Great Outdoors

If you go from gig to gig and then home, the entire day can pass without your skin catching a single one of the sun’s rays. That’s not only depressing – it can have adverse health effects.

Getting outdoors prompts your body to manufacture natural vitamin D, which acts like a hormone in your body to promote bone health and immune function. Inhaling the rich aroma of freshly cut grass and various flowering plants also improves immunity. Researchers who investigated forest bathers discovered that the phytoncides plants emit for defense also benefit the human defense system when inhaled.

5. Take a Deep Breath and Smile

You cannot divorce your physical and mental health – they share an intricate link. Fortunately, using stress-busting techniques does double duty in terms of perks.

Deep breathing is something you can do anytime, anywhere, to reduce panicky feelings and clear your mind. Learn various techniques and choose the one that suits you best.

Smiling also helps – even if it’s fake. Participants in one study who used chopsticks to manipulate their face into a smile had a better heart rate recovery after stressful activity, even though they weren’t happy or even using their facial muscles much.

Ways for Women to Improve Their Health Today

You’re ultimately the best expert on your health. You know your body’s ins and outs, aches, and pains. However, a little education can help you practice better preventive maintenance and get to the doctor when necessary. Try these five easy ways to improve your health today.

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