Keeping Yourself Healthy

Prevention pays off!

The following tests and exams are basic steps you can take to prevent problems by detecting early signs of disease.  A simple test like a cholesterol screen or a blood pressure check can reveal a need to adjust your diet or lifestyle to help avoid serious problems developing.

Review our brochure on common screening tests for women and talk with your GP to find out if, when and how often you should have the following screening tests:

Lifestyle recommendations for all women

You probably have a list of health issues you'd like to do something about, actually taking the first step is another matter. These suggestions can help you get started.

  • Smoking. If you smoke, quitting is one of the best things you can do to improve your health and the health of those you care about.  Contact the National QuitLine on 131848 to help you quit smoking.  You may also want to learn about how nicotine replacement therapycan help you quit.
  • Exercise! Learn about the many health benefitsyou get from being physically active for 30 minutes or more on most days.
  • Good Nutrition.  Good nutrition underpins healthy growth and development. It contributes to your general health and wellbeing and plays a key role in preventing disease and disability.  Eating well can help prevent heart disease, diabetes, colon cancer, obesity and other health conditions. Visit our Nutrition page for more information.
  • Weight Management.  If you're overweight, even a small amount of weight loss can make a big difference in how healthy you are and how you feel. See: weight management.
  • Relaxation.  Women with busy lives may feel pulled in different directions and experience stress from dealing with work, family and other matters. Meeting different people and forming new friendships can help you feel good and improve your health & wellbeing.
  • Calcium counts. Calcium and vitamin D can help reduce the risk of osteoporosis, a disease that causes bones to become weak and brittle. Find out how to keep your bones strong and prevent falls.
  • Safe Sex.  Practice safe sex to avoid HIV and other sexually transmitted infections.

Alcohol—the amount matters.  If a man and a woman drink exactly the same amount, the woman will almost always have a higher blood alcohol concentration.  A woman's body contains more fatty tissue and less water than a man's body and women are often smaller than men.  As a result, the alcohol will be more concentrated in a woman's body, producing a higher Blood Alcohol Content.  In addition, women break down alcohol more slowly than men do because they have less of a particular enzyme in the lining of their stomach.

Women should limit alcohol consumption to two standard drinks a day or less.  A standard drink is 100 mL of wine (an average restaurant wine glass contains 1.8 standard drinks), one middy or pot (285 mL) of full-strength (4.9 per cent) beer or one nip (30 mL) of spirits.)  To see how much you are drinking, try this great link to the alcohol calculator.

If drinking is causing problems for you or others, use the above link to find out more.