August 1st NOU introduced you to National Girlfriends Day with some great information from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.  Here is more great health information as a follow-up to our August 1st. post.  Let’s celebrate our girlfriends ALL month long!

Having friends is an important part of life. Celebrate female friendship and support your girlfriends by helping them stay safe and live well.

Eat healthy when hanging out.

Image from pexels.com, courtesy of Lisa Davies

Image from pexels.com, courtesy of Lisa Davies

Whether you’re gathered at home, a birthday celebration, or a girls’ night out, make healthy choices in what you eat and drink. Eat less junk food and foods high in calories, saturated fat, or added sugars or salt. Beverages can be high in calories too.  Choose drinks with no calories, such as water, sparkling water, or unsweetened iced tea. A healthy weight contributes to good health now and as you age.

Be active while having fun.

Women exercising

Image from cdc.gov

Regular exercise can help improve your health. Exercising with friends can be fun. Adults should be active for at least 2½ hours a week. Kids and teens should be active for at least 1 hour a day. Talk and enjoy each other’s company while you walk, bowl, swim, dance, play tennis, and more. If your fun activity is outdoors, be safe and remember to protect yourself from the harmful rays of the sun’s radiation.

Help your girlfriends through hard times.

Image from pexels.com, courtesy of KDBishopPhotography

Image from pexels.com, courtesy of KDBishopPhotography

A friend with a chronic or mental illness, abusive relationship, or caregiving issues may lead a complicated life for a period of time. Do what you can to be supportive and encouraging, and recognize that it may be challenging for you and your friend. Be informed. Maintain your own mental and physical health.

Help before, during, and after pregnancy.

If you or your friends don’t intend to get pregnant, there are safe and effective methods of birth control. It is important to use birth control correctly and consistently.

Are you or a friend thinking about having a baby?  Prepare by taking care of your own health before you get pregnant to make sure that whenever you’re ready to have a baby, you’ll be healthy for yourself and your future child.

You can also help your girlfriend prepare for after the baby arrives. She can sign up for Text4baby, which provides free text messages with health information for mothers about having a healthy pregnancy and baby.  States have different programs to help women have healthy babies. For information on prenatal services in your community, call 1-800-311-BABY (1-800-311-2229). Para obtener información en español llame 1-800-504-7081.

Image from www.pexels.com, courtesy of pexabay.com

Image from www.pexels.com, courtesy of pexabay.com

Empower each other to take control.

If your girlfriend is not taking care of her health, is being careless, or is putting herself or others at risk, let her know, or tell someone who can help. Realize that she may need professional help.

Don’t let alcohol, tobacco, or prescription drugs come between you.

two women laughing

Image from cdc.gov

Binge drinking results in around 23,000 deaths in women and girls each year. For women, binge drinking is 4 or more drinks on one occasion. Prescription painkiller overdoses are a growing problem among women as 18 women die every day of overdoses in the U.S. Drinking excessive alcohol, smoking, and abusing prescription drugs are bad for your health and can be very dangerous. Call 1-800-662-HELP (1-800-662-4357), and get information about drug and alcohol treatment programs in your local community and speak with someone about alcohol problems. For help to quit smoking, call 1-800-QUIT-NOW (1-800-784-8669); TTY 1-855-855-7081; relay service 1-800-833-6384.

Be a great role model.

Image shared by NOU contributor Jean Criss.

Image shared by NOU contributor Jean Criss.

Get exams and screenings, vaccinations, and other health care you need.

Manage stress from work, children, marriage, commuting, and life! Get enough sleep. Lower your risk for injury and disease. Take steps to live a healthier life.

 

 

 

 

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The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is one of the major operating components of the Department of Health and Human Services. From the food you eat, to the air you breathe, to staying safe wherever you are, CDC′s mission touches all aspects of daily life. CDC researchers, scientists, doctors, nurses, economists, communicators, educators, technologists, epidemiologists and many other professionals all contribute their expertise to improving public health. Visit www.cdc.gov to learn more.