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As December 2011 winds down to a close, it’s that time of year to start thinking of your New Year’s resolution. Every January 1st, millions of women watch the ball drop and vow to commit themselves to the success of at least one goal in their life.
Perhaps it’s about their health, or maybe their finances, some choose wellbeing, while others involve their family or friends. Whatever your choice, here are five resolutions you can make in addition to the "big one" you hope to maintain throughout the year.
1. Take care of yourself by making your health appointments. When was the last time you saw an eye doctor, dermatologist or dentist let alone had your yearly physical?
Most women’s health groups recommend your Pap smear every 1-3 years (depending on age and history), mammogram every 1-2 years at 40 years old and yearly at 50 years old. You need to see your dentist at least yearly (they would prefer a cleaning every 6 months) and a skin check by your dermatologist yearly as well. A colonoscopy starts at 50 years old (usually) and eye exams are typically every 1-2 years depending on your needs.
2. Do monthly breast exams just after your period ends. Some big advisory groups have said the self-breast exam is not effective however many women (your friends and family included) have probably found a lump on their own and brought it to the attention of their healthcare provider.
Many lumps are not cancer, such as a cyst or fibroadenoma, however breast cancer should not be ruled out. By doing a monthly breast exam, you will become familiar with the skin and tissue within your breasts and be aware of any changes immediately.
3. Don’t avoid your numbers. It is important to know your blood pressure (ideal is under 120/80), your cholesterol (ideal total cholesterol under 200, HDL above 40 and LDL under 100), your blood sugar (non diabetic under 100 but ideal under 90), your waist circumference (for women it should be under 35 inches and under 40 inches for a man) and your weight compared to your height. Go for the ideal numbers!
4. Drink your water.