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Health by the Decade: Creating Health Habits for National Women’s Health Week

Each year during National Women’s Health Week, millions of women take steps to improve their health. The 19th annual National Women’s Health Week kicks off on May 13 and serves as a reminder for women to make our health a priority and to build positive health habits for life.

Our journey to create these health habits can include:
Why should we begin this journey toward improved health?

These steps are the foundation for a lifetime of good health. They can help us be as healthy as possible whether we’re 20 years old or 100 years old! Check out age-personalized tips for lifelong health habits below.

How can you participate in the 19th annual National Women’s Health Week?
  • Learn more about what steps to take for good health
  • Take the National Women’s Health Week quiz to test your knowledge about healthy living
  • Show your friends how you’re making your health a priority with these social media resources and use the #NWHW hashtag
  • Participate online or organize activities within your community or office

Whether you’re in your 20s or your 80s, you can take steps to put yourself on the path to better and long-lasting health. Check out steps we should all take as well as personalized steps for your decade below.

For Every Decade:

*A well-woman visit is a yearly preventive checkup with your doctor. It’s a time to check in on how you’re doing, how you’d like to be doing, and what changes you can make to reach your health goals.

In addition to talking with your doctor or nurse about your health, you may also need certain vaccines (shots) and medical tests.

 For Your 20s

 Talk to your doctor at least once a year about:

  • Whether you plan to have children in the next year or the right birth control
  • Your weight, diet, and physical activity level
  • Your tobacco and alcohol use
  • Any violence in your life
  • Depression and any other mental health concerns
  • Your family health history, especially of heart disease and cancer (these are the top two fatal diseases for women in the United States and are often linked to diet and lifestyle choices)
  • Protecting yourself from the sun and the hazards of tanning

Ask if you need these tests, medicines, or vaccines:

  • Blood pressure
  • Chickenpox
  • Cholesterol
  • Flu
  • Hepatitis B and C
  • HIV
  • HPV vaccine (26 and younger*)
  • Measles, mumps, and rubella
  • Pap (21 and older*)
  • Sexually transmitted infections (including chlamydia and gonorrhea tests for women 24 and younger*)
  • Tetanus, diphtheria, or whooping cough
  • Tuberculosis

If you are pregnant, prenatal care can also be a well-woman visit. There are also certain tests during pregnancy to check your and your baby’s health. Click here to learn more.

* Suggested by the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force recommendations and may not apply to every person

For Your 30s

Talk to your doctor at least once a year about:

  • Whether you plan to have children in the next year or the right birth control
  • Your weight, diet, and physical activity level
  • Your tobacco and alcohol use
  • Any violence in your life
  • Depression and any other mental health concerns
  • Your family health history, especially of heart disease and cancer (these are the top two fatal diseases for women in the United States and are often linked to diet and lifestyle choices)

Ask if you need these tests, medicines, or vaccines:

  • Blood pressure
  • Chickenpox
  • Cholesterol
  • Flu
  • Hepatitis B and C
  • HIV
  • Measles, mumps, and rubella
  • Pap and HPV
  • Sexually transmitted infections
  • Tetanus, diphtheria, or whooping cough
  • Tuberculosis

If you are pregnant, prenatal care can also be a well-woman visit. There are also certain tests during pregnancy to check your and your baby’s health. Click here to learn more.

For Your 40s

Talk to your doctor at least once a year about:

  •  Whether you plan to have children in the next year or the right birth control (for premenopausal women)
  • Perimenopause symptoms
  • Your weight, diet, and physical activity level
  • Your tobacco and alcohol use
  • Any violence in your life
  • Depression and any other mental health concerns
  • Your family health history, especially of heart disease and cancer (these are the top two fatal diseases for women in the United States and are often linked to diet and lifestyle choices)

Ask if you need these tests, medicines, or vaccines:

  • Blood pressure
  • Chickenpox
  • Cholesterol
  • Diabetes
  • Flu
  • Hepatitis B and C
  • HIV
  • Mammogram
  • Measles, mumps, and rubella
  • Pap and HPV
  • Sexually transmitted infections
  • Tetanus, diphtheria, or whooping cough
  • Tuberculosis

If you are pregnant, prenatal care can also be a well-woman visit. There are also certain tests during pregnancy to check your and your baby’s health. Click here to learn more.

For Your 50s

Talk to your doctor at least once a year about:

  •  Menopause symptoms
  • Your weight, diet, and physical activity level
  • Your tobacco and alcohol use
  • Any violence in your life
  • Depression and any other mental health concerns
  • Your family health history, especially of heart disease and cancer (these are the top two fatal diseases for women in the United States and are often linked to diet and lifestyle choices)

Ask if you need these tests, medicines, or vaccines:

  • Low-dose aspirin
  • Blood pressure
  • Chickenpox
  • Cholesterol
  • Colorectal cancer
  • Diabetes
  • Flu
  • Hepatitis B and C
  • HIV
  • Lung cancer (55 and older*)
  • Mammogram
  • Measles, mumps, and rubella
  • Pap and HPV
  • Sexually transmitted infections
  • Tetanus, diphtheria, or whooping cough
  • Tuberculosis

* Suggested by the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force recommendations and may not apply to every person

 For Your 60s

Talk to your doctor at least once a year about:

  •  Your weight, diet, and physical activity level
  • Your tobacco and alcohol use
  • Any violence in your life
  • Depression and any other mental health concerns
  • Who will make healthcare decisions for you if you are unable to

Ask if you need these tests, medicines, or vaccines:

  • Low-dose aspirin
  • Blood pressure
  • Chickenpox
  • Cholesterol
  • Colorectal cancer
  • Diabetes
  • Flu
  • Hepatitis B and C
  • HIV
  • Lung cancer
  • Mammogram
  • Osteoporosis (65 and older*)
  • Pap and HPV (65 and younger*)
  • Pneumonia
  • Shingles
  • Sexually transmitted infections
  • Tetanus, diphtheria, or whooping cough
  • Tuberculosis

* Suggested by the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force recommendations and may not apply to every person

For Your 70s

Talk to your doctor at least once a year about:

  • Your weight, diet, and physical activity level
  • Your tobacco and alcohol use
  • Any violence in your life
  • Depression and any other mental health concerns
  • Who will make healthcare decisions for you if you are unable to

Ask if you need these tests, medicines, or vaccines:

  • Blood pressure
  • Chickenpox
  • Cholesterol (75 and younger*)
  • Colorectal cancer (75 and younger*)
  • Diabetes (70 and younger*)
  • Flu
  • Hepatitis B and C
  • HIV
  • Lung cancer
  • Mammogram (74 and younger*)
  • Osteoporosis
  • Pneumonia
  • Shingles
  • Sexually transmitted infections
  • Tetanus, diphtheria, or whooping cough
  • Tuberculosis

* Suggested by the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force recommendations and may not apply to every person

For Your 80s

Talk to your doctor at least once a year about:

  • Your weight, diet, and physical activity level
  • Your tobacco and alcohol use
  • Any violence in your life
  • Depression and any other mental health concerns
  • Who will make healthcare decisions for you if you are unable to

Ask if you need these tests, medicines, or vaccines:

  • Blood pressure
  • Chickenpox
  • Flu
  • Hepatitis B and C
  • HIV
  • Lung cancer (80 and younger*)
  • Osteoporosis
  • Pneumonia
  • Shingles
  • Sexually transmitted infections
  • Tetanus, diphtheria, or whooping cough
  • Tuberculosis

* Suggested by the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force recommendations and may not apply to every person

Many thanks to the Office of Women’s Health for this information and their work on behalf of women.

For more information on National Women’s Health Week as well as resources on a variety of trending topics in women’s health, wellness, and medical conditions, please click here.

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