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Women need to make time for their health

Air Force Airman 1st Class Nicole Rent, 703rd Aircraft Maintenance Squadron aerospace maintenance apprentice, stretches at the Elmendorf Fitness Center, Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, Alaska. Experts recommend exercise for at least 30 minutes a day, five days a week. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Christopher R. Morales) Air Force Airman 1st Class Nicole Rent, 703rd Aircraft Maintenance Squadron aerospace maintenance apprentice, stretches at the Elmendorf Fitness Center, Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, Alaska. Experts recommend exercise for at least 30 minutes a day, five days a week. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Christopher R. Morales)

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Each October, women are reminded to put themselves first and make time for their health. Making your health a priority helps you stay in optimum shape and keeps illnesses and disease at bay.

Women often put their families’ needs ahead of their own, ignoring minor symptoms year after year until they affect their health.  Using preventive care is one of the best ways to stay healthy, allowing you to give your all in everything you do for your family and yourself.

Each year, get a well-woman exam. At this exam, you should have your blood pressure checked and talk to your health care provider about what other screenings, immunizations or family planning you might need based on your age, health habits, family and medical history.

The American Cancer Society recommends all women should begin cervical cancer screening at age 21. Women aged 21 to 29, should have a Pap test every 3 years. Thanks to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, most private health plans must cover this and other preventive care services at no cost. TRICARE also covers annual preventive women’s health services that may include a Pap smear, pelvic and breast exam and mammogram at no cost.

There are other actions you can take to live a healthy life:

  • Maintain a healthy weight
  • Exercise for a least 30 minutes at least five days a week
  • Limit alcohol use
  • Quit smoking
  • Practice safe sex
  • Get 7-8 hours of sleep per night
  • See your health care provider every year
  • Get appropriate screenings as recommended by your health care provider

It’s important to get screenings, especially if you are at a higher risk for certain diseases like breast cancer or diabetes. Talk to your health care provider about family, emotions, stress and non-physical concerns as well. Life events can bring higher stress with symptoms of anxiety, depression, and sleep difficulties. These concerns are just as important to discuss as your physical health in order to stay or become more healthy.

For more information about TRICARE, visit Is It Covered? on the TRICARE website.

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During the 5-year surveillance period, 105 cold weather injuries were diagnosed and treated in service members deployed outside the U.S. of these, 39 (37%) were immersion injuries; 33 (31%) were frostbite; 16 (15%) were hypothermia; and 17 (16%) were “unspecified” cold weather injuries. Pie chart for cold weather injuries during deployments displays depicting the information above. Number of cold weather injuries bar chart: Of all 105 cold weather injuries during the surveillance period, 68% occurred during the first two cold seasons. Bar chart shows the number of cold weather injuries by year: •	2012-2013 cold season had 35 cold weather injuries •	2013-2014 cold season had 100 cold weather injuries •	2014 -2015 cold season had 13 cold weather injuries •	2015-2016 cold season had 11 cold weather injuries •	2016 – 2017 had 10 cold weather injuries Access the full report in the October 2017 MSMR (Vol. 24, No. 10). Go to: www.Health.mil/MSMR  #ColdReadiness

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