Women should all take gender-specific health threats seriously and establish habits that can contribute to a long and healthy life.
Step 1: Maintain a healthy diet Maintain a healthy diet to control your weight and blood sugar levels to combat heart disease, which afflicts one in 10 women between 45 and 65.
Step 2: Monitor signs Monitor signs of breast cancer, especially if there's a family history of cancer. A poor diet, obesity, and alcohol abuse can also contribute. Be sure to get regular exams.
Step 3: Limit fats Limit saturated and trans fat consumption to guard against strokes. Sticking to fresh, natural foods in moderation, and exercising regularly, is always good advice. Use alcohol, if at all, only in moderation.
Step 4: Preserve your breath Fight the threat of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, or COPD, particularly bronchitis and emphysema, by avoiding exposure to chemicals and air pollution, and by quitting smoking.
Step 5: Lose weight Slim down if you're overweight. Eat lots of fruit and vegetables and exercise regularly to lower your chances of contracting diabetes and to control your blood sugar and blood pressure. Limit your salt intake to prevent kidney disease that can evolve from a diabetic condition.
Step 6: Build bones Build bone strength through adequate calcium consumption and solid physical activity. Nearly 70 percent of Americans with osteoporosis are women, according to the National Osteoporosis Foundation.
FACT: The Centers for Disease Control report that 35 percent of women in the U.S. over the age of 20 are obese.