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12 Women’s Health Questions and Answers

1. Why are checkups important?

Checkups are vital to the early detection and prevention of health problems. Receiving proper treatments and screenings can lead a woman along the right path to a long and healthy life. The frequency of visits should depend on important lifestyle factors, such as diet, activity level, smoking habits and current health conditions.

www.cdc.gov/family/checkup/index.htm; retrieved Aug. 26, 2012.

2. How often does a woman in the United States suffer from a heart attack?

Every 90 seconds.

www.womenshealth.gov/heartattack/; retrieved Aug. 26, 2012.

3. What are the symptoms of a heart attack?

The symptoms of a heart attack include pressure or pain in the center or left side of the body, unusual discomfort in the upper body, shortness of breath, breaking into a cold sweat, unusual or unexplained fatigue, light-headedness or sudden dizziness, and nausea.

www.womenshealth.gov/heartattack/; retrieved Aug. 26, 2012.

4. How much physical activity should young girls get daily?

Girls (and boys) need 60 minutes of play at a moderate to vigorous activity level every day. Only one-third of high-school students get the recommended levels of physical activity.

www.letsmove.gov/get-active; retrieved Aug. 26, 2012.

5. What are five tips exercise professionals can give female clients to encourage them to become more physically active?

a. Choose physical activities you enjoy doing.

b. Use stairs instead of an elevator, and always walk up and down the escalator.

c. Create movement opportunities during the day—for example, by parking the car at a distance from your destination (back of the store parking lot, for instance); walking around the mall before beginning to shop; taking a walk break with every water, coffee and restroom break; and standing up every 30 minutes and moving when in a seated activity like watching TV.

d. If you have children or pets, make time to play with them.

e. Be physically active (e.g., take a walk) after lunch with co-workers, family or friends.

6. How often should a woman receive a breast cancer screening?

Every 3 years for women in their 20s and 30s and every year for women 40 and over.

www.cancer.org/Healthy/FindCancerEarly/CancerScreeningGuidelines/american-cancer-society-guidelines-for-the-early-detection-of-cancer; retrieved Aug. 26, 2012

7. What are a few ways to reduce the risk of breast cancer in women?

a. Control weight through diet and exercise.

b. Know your family history of breast cancer.

c. Limit alcohol intake to no more than one drink per day.

d. Discuss the risks and benefits of hormone replacement therapy with your health practitioner.

www.cdc.gov/cancer/breast/basic_info/prevention.htm; retrieved Aug. 26, 2012.

8. What are the symptoms of menopause?

They include night sweats, fatigue, hot flashes, vaginal changes and thinning of bones. While some women may have all of these symptoms, others may experience only some of them. Women are advised to consult their doctors to determine treatment options.

www.cdc.gov/reproductivehealth//WomensRH/Menopause.htm; retrieved Aug. 26, 2012.

9. Why is osteoporosis more common in women?

Women tend to have less bone density than men. Women also tend to lose bone density earlier, which puts them at a higher risk for osteoporosis. One in every two women over age 50 is likely to experience an osteoporosis-related fracture in her lifetime.

www.everydayhealth.com/osteoporosis/osteoporosis-and-gender.aspx; retrieved Aug. 26, 2012.

10. What is the prevalence of type 2 diabetes developing from gestational diabetes in the U.S.?

Approximately 5%–10% of women with gestational diabetes are diagnosed with type 2 diabetes soon after pregnancy. Of those women, 20%–50% will be diagnosed with type 2 diabetes in the 5–10 years after childbirth.

www.cdc.gov/diabetes/pubs/pdf/actionplan.pdf; retrieved Aug. 26, 2012.

11. What are the current recommendations for increasing bone mineral density and preventing fractures in women?

Key interventions include resistance exercise or other weight-bearing exercise, balance exercises and adequate calcium consumption. The National Osteoporosis Foundation estimates that more than 10 million people over the age of 50 in the U.S. have osteoporosis and another 34 million are at risk for the disease.

www.cdc.gov/HomeandRecreationalSafety/Falls/adulthipfx.html; retrieved Aug. 26, 2012.

12. What is the number-one cause of death in women?

According to the American Heart Association (AHA), more women die of cardiovascular disease than from the next four causes of death combined, including all forms of cancer. The AHA suggests that 80% of cardiac events in women could be prevented if women made heart-healthy choices in regard to diet, exercise and abstinence from smoking. The AHA recommends at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity or 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity cardiovascular physical activity each week; this can be accumulated in 10-minute intervals.

www.goredforwomen.org/about_heart_disease_and_stroke.aspx; retrieved Aug. 26, 2012.

To read the full article published in the 2012 November-December issue of the IDEA Fitness Journal click here.

Len Kravitz, PhD

Len Kravitz, PhD is a professor and program coordinator of exercise science at the University of New Mexico where he recently received the Presidential Award of Distinction and the Outstanding Teacher of the Year award. In addition to being a 2016 inductee into the National Fitness Hall of Fame, Dr. Kravitz was awarded the Fitness Educator of the Year by the American Council on Exercise. Just recently, ACSM honored him with writing the 'Paper of the Year' for the ACSM Health and Fitness Journal.

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