How to take charge of your health: 9 tips to try

(BPT) - Women have the power to proactively take control of their feminine health during all stages of life from the first period through post-partum, during perimenopause and beyond.

Maria Sophocles, MD, OB/GYN, the Medical Director of Women’s Healthcare of Princeton, offers these tips to help change your health for the better.

Tips to keep healthy include:

  1. Eat right: Drink one less soda a day and lose 15 pounds in a year, and replace the “white” foods with “brown” like brown rice and whole wheat bread. Take fast food out of your diet completely – it’s full of sugar and trans fats that clog your cell walls and contains toxins that are bad for the heart and arteries. Most fast food also contains chemicals like MSG that should be avoided.
  2. Freshen up by balancing pH: Vaginal pH can be offset by menstruation, sex and hormone fluctuations during menopause and pregnancy. An imbalance in pH can often lead to a UTI or other infection like bacterial vaginosis, causing uncomfortable itching, burning and smell. A pH-balancing gel like RepHresh normalizes pH and eliminates odor. Many women mistake BV for yeast infections and are prescribed antibiotics, which can throw off the normal pH.
  3. Optimize vitamin D levels: Safe sun exposure is a powerful and inexpensive intervention that can have profound benefits on your health. Enjoy 10-15 minutes of exposure to natural sunlight daily for good nutrition, mental health and bone density. Supplement a balanced diet with essential nutrients to promote healthy teeth and bones, support the immune system and benefit cardiovascular health.
  4. Consider a vaginal probiotic: Millions of women suffer from recurrent vaginal infections. Sex and antibiotics can be the reason why. RepHresh Pro-B provides two strains of vaginal lactobacilli to maintain vaginal health by keeping yeast and bacteria balanced every day.
  5. Fast fix to eliminate painful sex: Stress and decreased estrogen levels during menopause can cause uncomfortable dryness and irritation. Replens Vaginal Moisturizer provides relief from internal dryness for three days and Replens Silky Smooth is a preservative-free silicone lube that should be used just before sex to avoid abrasion and increase comfort.
  6. Exercise: Regular exercise decreases chances of developing cardiovascular diseases, diabetes and obesity. Try ending the day with a personal dance party, watch YouTube videos or get a subscription to a virtual exercise class.
  7. Track your menstrual cycle: Stress and other factors can affect the menstrual cycle, so it’s important to stay on top of your cycle whether or not you’re planning on getting pregnant. Make sure to have a pregnancy test like First Response on hand to find out six days sooner than your missed period. If you are trying to conceive, make sure to use a personal lubricant that won’t harm sperm, like Pre-Seed.
  8. Decrease stress: Don’t feel guilty taking time to clear your mind. Plan quiet times and activities like reading a book, starting a garden or even meditating. Listening to relaxing music or taking a bath helps to slow heart rate and breathing. The better you feel mentally can improve how you feel physically.
  9. Prioritize sleep: Sleep is like a reset button for the body and mind. Prioritize getting at least seven to eight hours of uninterrupted sleep and try to stay off technology at least an hour before bed to avoid blue light keeping you awake. If you have trouble sleeping, try a vitafusion Max Strength Melatonin gummy before bed.

There’s no better time than now to change your health for the better. Eat right, prioritize health, fitness, etc. and remember, you are your biggest health advocate.

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