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5 Healthy Aging Tips Every Woman Should Know

Women are often the first line of defense when protecting their family’s health, but in doing so tend to put their concerns on the back burner. Planning for health and wellness checks as well as adopting key behaviors can help ensure optimal health.

1. Get breast cancer screenings every 1–2 years

1 in 8 women in the United States will be diagnosed with breast cancer, making it the most commonly diagnosed cancer in women and this risk increases with age. Mammograms are the best way to screen for breast cancer, especially during the early stages. The good news is that breast cancer can usually be treated successfully when found early. Medicare covers a free yearly screening. Learn more about how to prepare and what to expect during the exam.

2. Routine Pap exams are the best way to detect cervical cancer

Known as the “silent killer,” cervical cancer is one of the most common types of cancer for American women, but thanks to the widespread use of Pap test, early detection has significantly improved and boosted U.S. survival rates. Cervical cancer may not have any signs or symptoms, so it is recommended women ages 21 to 65 get routine tests about every 3 years. Medicare covers cervical and vaginal cancer screenings once every 24 months or every 12 months if high risk.

3. Exercise improves overall health

150 minutes (2.5 hours) of moderate exercise a week could improve not only your physical but also mental health. Being active helps improve moods and reduce feelings of depression. It can also help manage diabetes, heart disease and osteoporosis.

4. Focus on mental health

Approximately 15% of adults aged 60 and over suffer from a mental illness, depression being one of the most common. There can be confusion around what exactly depression is, especially since many older adults experience major changes in their life (like the death of loved ones or medical problems) that could cause sadness. If feelings of sadness begin to interfere with daily life and normal functioning, you may be experiencing depression. Start by speaking with your doctor and consider a Medicare depression screening.

5. Healthy eating can prevent serious health conditions

Proper nutrition is essential for the body. Aging causes the loss of muscle mass, a lower bone density and the overall burning of fewer calories. It takes extra effort to make up for the natural changes of the body which is why eating high nutrient foods makes a big difference. Decreased bone density can result in osteoporosis – a major health concern affecting over 8 million women, due to calcium deficiencies in the diet.

Women need to place health as a top priority. Learn more about screenings and treatments offered for free or reduced costs through Medicare.

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Age Well Planner is an educational website created by nonprofit the National Council on Aging (NCOA). We provide information, resources, and referrals on topics such as: Benefits, Income, and Medicare.

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