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Women Should Keep Moving to Stay Healthy

September 25, 2012

Washington Women's Center "Think Pink" Event Supports Women's Health

Today, most women's lives are busier and more stress-filled than ever. Their "to-do" list of work obligations and household chores, as well as family and other commitments, never ends. This includes looking after the well-being of spouses or partners, children, grandchildren, elderly relatives and friends. As a result, many women neglect their own health and well-being. There just doesn't seem to be enough time.

Women's Health and Fitness Day is celebrated on September 26 to remind women about the importance of keeping themselves healthy and fit - not only for their own well-being, but because so many others depend on them. This event is our nation's largest health promotional observance for women of all ages.

"It's interesting that women are so busy we need a national day to remind us to take care of ourselves," observed Paulette Grilli, RN, health promotions manager at Washington Hospital. "On September 26, local, grass roots women's organizations will join others across the nation to hold activities and workshops that raise women's awareness about the importance of walking, exercise and health screenings. At Washington Hospital, we offer many of these types of events throughout the year."

The theme for this year's Women's Health and Fitness Day is staying in motion. Organizers want women to understand they can help themselves to stay healthy or improve their health simply by increasing their level and frequency of regular movement and activity.

"You need to ask yourself what kind of movement you like to engage in and that raises your level of joy," added Grilli. "It could be hiking, walking, playing a sport, or playing with the kids. If you love to shop, then park further away from the mall and walk. The whole idea is to keep your mind and body in motion and in sync."

Women's Center Offers Variety of Programs

In addition to advanced diagnostic services, Washington Women's Center offers a host of wellness, education and support activities for local women, ranging from yoga and tai chi classes and massage to noontime and evening seminars and lectures.

"Studies show that movement, exercise, calming the mind, and attention to breathing can improve a woman's mental and physical health," said Laura Constantine, RN, the Center's clinical coordinator. "We hold many of these types of events to meet the needs of women in our community, and we are always open to learning about and planning others."

Think Pink!

On Tuesday, October 16 from 5 p.m. to 7:30 p.m., the Washington Women's Center will hold its annual, free breast health awareness "Think Pink" event. Located in the tent atrium adjacent to the Washington West building at 2500 Mowry Ave. in Fremont, the activity will include interactive health booths and informative mini-lectures on related topics, such as the importance of movement.

Besides enabling women to keep up with their busy schedules, staying active and in motion is a great preventative strategy.

"It's like taking care of your car," explained Constantine. "As much as possible, we need to keep our bodies in tune to help avoid problems."

Washington Hospital supports prevention through its Ladies' Choice program of individualized exercise in a comfortable, friendly environment. Washington Women's Center offers traditional yoga classes, along with specialized yoga for the neck and back to help women who spend long hours in front of a computer monitor. A falls prevention and balance class is also planned.

The Center works with registered dietitians who teach a 12-week "The Right Way" nutrition program for women, as well as other classes on planning and cooking healthful meals. Upcoming offerings include healthy holiday appetizers and healing winter soups.

Another important preventive concept for women is to take time out for themselves on a regular basis.

"Whatever feeds your soul and brings you happiness - that's what you need to do," recommends Constantine. "It doesn't have to take a long time, but you should set aside at least 20 minutes a day to do something that gives you pleasure. It could be taking a walk outside, or reading a book or meditating."

This coming winter, to help women take time for themselves, the Women's Center is planning to start a book club and a walking program.

"Women are such doers, but many of us don't know how to get off the merry-go-round," commented Constantine. "At the Women's Center, we want to help women care for themselves and others from a wholeness state, rather than a frantic state of mind. It's all about supporting women their journey."

Learn more, register for classes

To register for classes or events, or to learn more about the Washington Women's Center, call (510) 608-1301, or visit www.whhs.com/womenscenter.

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