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10 Simple Things Women Can Do To Improve Their Health In 2018

A few small changes can have a big impact.

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1. Replace sugary drinks with infused water.


By now, you probably know that sugary drinks aren’t great for your health. But did you know that the relationship between sugary drinks and increased caloric intake appears to be stronger in women? Ditching sodas, sports drinks, and the like for infused water is a super-easy way to improve your health. You’ll consume fewer calories and reap the benefits of proper hydration. Win-win!

2. Invite friends to fitness classes instead of dinner. / Via

Catching up with friends over dinner is fun — but it can also lead to overeating. A recent study found that 92% of restaurant meals have more calories than is recommended for the average person to consume in a single sitting. Create a healthy new habit by bonding with your besties at the gym, instead of over apps. Studies have shown that exercising with a friend can lead to more enjoyable workouts that burn more calories.

3. Learn your family's health history.


While filling out a family health history form might seem like a hassle, it provides your doctor with crucial insight into your health. The information you provide about your parents, siblings, and grandparents helps your doctor assess your risk of disease, determine what types of treatment to prescribe, and more. So, this year, help your doctor help you by asking your family members about their health.

4. Get serious about sunscreen. / Via

Real talk: You should be wearing sunscreen every day — not just at the beach. Daily SPF protects your skin from the sun's harmful ultraviolet rays, which prevents sunburn, reduces your risk of skin cancer, and helps prevent early signs of skin aging.

5. Try to make one meal a day at home.


If you want to eat healthier, consider learning to cook! A recent study found that people who cook their own foods eat healthier and consume fewer calories than those who don’t.

6. Move more at work.


Sit at work all day? Studies have found that people who sit for eight or nine hours (AKA the length of the standard workday) are at heightened risk for diabetes, depression, and obesity compared to people who move more. The good news is a recent study found that walking for just five minutes an hour helps combat some of these effects.

7. Set a bedtime and stick to it.

Disney Channel / Via

Regular bedtimes aren’t just for kids! If you struggle to get to sleep, setting a bedtime can help. Establishing a sleep schedule maintains your body’s internal clock, which can help you fall asleep and wake up more easily.

8. Eat one extra serving of fruit or vegetables a day.


You don’t have to overhaul your diet to eat better! A study found that just one extra serving of produce per day may help lower your risk of head and neck cancer. Remember: A modest start is better than not starting at all!

9. Practice deep breathing.

20th Century Fox / Via

If you're struggling with stress, make time to just breathe. Studies show that breathing deeply can slow the heartbeat, help lower or stabilize blood pressure, and promote relaxation.

10. Make the most of your annual Well-Woman Exam.


Your annual Well-Woman Exam isn’t just a chore to check off your list — it’s an opportunity to talk with your doctor about your questions, concerns, and goals. Instead of going through the motions, be proactive this year: Write up a list of questions and set some health goals to talk about with your doctor. They’ll be able to give you personalized answers and advice that’s much better than anything you’ll find on the internet.

Making your health a bigger priority in 2018? Allegheny Health Network wants to help.

From prevention and wellness to advanced gynecologic surgeries, Allegheny Health Network offers compassionate and comprehensive care for women at every life stage.