Stories from the NFCCA Newsletter, the “Northwood News”

Northwood News ♦ June 2012

Fitness Fun

Women:  3 Reasons to Take Better Care of You!

By Valerie Merriweather

National Women’s Health Week is typically celebrated in the month of May.  If you didn’t know, it’s okay.  It’s very likely you know a woman who goes the extra mile in every area, except taking care of herself.  If this describes you or a loved one, here’s a sobering reality:  women are known to be under a tremendous amount of stress and research continues to prove that stress kills — literally!

Are you too busy to get your annual check-up?  Have you justified missing your doctor’s appointment because you feel fine?  It has been a year since the passing of Elizabeth Edwards; however, a statement shortly before her death had a profound impact on me.  She shared how she missed her annual check-ups — including her mammograms — because she was too busy.  She thought she had time and for her, three years of missed appointments cost her.  Needless to say, after I read her heart-wrenching story, I made my mammogram appointment — two years late due to my busy schedule.  Below are three reasons to take better care of you.

Reason #1:  You’re the role model

Studies confirm that women are the primary influencers when it comes to healthy eating and scheduling well-check appointments.  From now on, schedule your appointments along with your family members.  Whether you need to see the dentist, podiatrist, or physical therapist, get that time on your calendar no matter what!  As you age, small issues like pain, past injuries, or toxic stress can set you up for ongoing problems.  If you have folks depending on you (Lord knows I’ve got a crew!), taking care of them means taking good care of you.

Reason #2:  Everything you do health-wise makes a difference

The time you take to exercise regularly, eat well, and get plenty of sleep pays dividends to you and those you care about.  Set a schedule and stick to it.  Of course, there will be some off days, but make it your mission to get back on track right away; the key here is to have a long-term maintenance plan.  Avoid doing things that can derail you in these basic areas.  Cut back on some activities especially if they’re pulling you away from these three important areas.

Reason #3:  You need YOU time

Whether it’s taking a weekend morning bike ride, journaling at the park, or taking a photography class, taking better care of you means better quality you time.  There’s no need to wait until the kids move out to take up an activity that inspires and stretches you, do it today!

If a lot of people depend on you, make it your mission to take better care of yourself now.  Don’t wait until there’s a crisis or injury.  As a result, your overall outlook and quality of life will improve.  Plus, the health of your family will flourish too!

[Valerie Merriweather, MHA, ACE, NASM is Chief Executive Officer of Fitwell Training Solutions, a personal training and wellness company specializing in the health and fitness needs of families.  She leads Fitwell Personal Boot Camp at Forest Knolls Elementary from April-September.  She lives with her family on Playford Lane in the Forest Knolls community.  Valerie can be reached at for more information.]   ■

   © 2012 NFCCA  [Source:]