From mental health, to sports specific screening, to the latest research in exercise for Cancer our goal is to give our readers an overview of not just research in various areas of health and rehabilitation but to offer our opinion from years of experience in working in these areas.
This catalogue will to continue to grow over time, so ensure that you check back regularly to see what's new, and if there is something that you would like us to write about please contact Nicole as she'd love to hear to from you.
Our practice is all about empowering everyone that comes through the door to achieve greatness!
This week in particular, we are recognising Women’s Health Week and opening up discussion around some of the things we tend to not spend enough time on. As some perspective, The Women’s Health Survey was completed by over 15,000 Australian Women this year, and these statistics can give us some great insight into the health concerns of our female population:
50.8% described themselves as overweight or obese
46.1% have been diagnosed with depression or anxiety by a doctor or psychologist
66.9% reported feelings of nervousness or anxiousness nearly every day in the past few weeks
82.4% of women report not completing their pelvic floor exercises daily
As part of our daily lives, we can tend to push concerns about our mental and physical health to the side in order to be mothers, carers, businesswomen, friends and working women. So, consider some of the following over the next week and decide on how you can best help yourself and the people around you.
It’s nothing too concerning; it will get better in time
Sound familiar? While sometimes we can get away with saying this for a slight cold, it is important to think about health in the long term. Continual delay in treatment for many conditions results in reduced outcomes. If you can’t shake the feeling that something is wrong, take a moment to consider the following:
How long have I noticed this?
Does it impact the way that I do things?
Do I feel like myself?
Can I continue feeling like this without any assistance or respite?
Sometimes asking for help can be the hardest step, but you should consider your health as a long term investment, because it is!
What area’s need more notice – Women’s health concerns
While there is an abundance of advice and knowledge out there, most women have reported wanting greater amounts of information for weight management, menopause and mental health. Over half of us have searched the internet for answers as our first port of call when we are concerned about our health, while just under one in four have initially sought the skills of a doctor. So is this a good or bad thing? I’ll let you make your decision, but in my opinion doctors and health professionals have a huge wealth in knowledge and would always have my trust over Googling my symptoms.
Weight management for women can sometimes seem like a daunting task, but it is one worth considering. Having a waist circumference greater than 88cm puts us at a much greatest risk of developing chronic health conditions inclusive of Type Two Diabetes Mellitus, Arthritis, Cancer, and Heart Disease. In 2014-15, one in two women identified as having a chronic disease, and 25% were found to have two or more at any one time. Weight can be addressed with reviews of your diet and physical activity, but should be done so by health professionals when considering chronic conditions or health concerns. Just remember that everyone is different and that small lifestyle modifications make the largest impact on your long-term overall health.
I’m tired and unmotivated
I hear this regularly from many of the women around me. Mental health can be a particularly challenging area to recognise and seek assistance with. Given that nearly 1 in 2 females have experienced some degree of poor mental health such as anxiety and depression, it seems silly to have such large stigma still lingering around it. Our physical health plays a huge role on our mental health, but it goes both ways. When we are tired or anxious, we tend to avoid additional tasks such as exercise or socialising as they can increase fatigue and stress. Increasing time outside walking allows us to naturally increase our heartrate, achieve greater hormonal balance and endorphin release. Keep yourself moving and have a discussion with a health professional you trust early to give yourself the best help you can.
Let’s talk about Pelvic Health
Another area which we do not consider enough is our pelvic health, particularly pelvic floor support and incontinence. Almost one in three women over the age of 65 discussed incontinence with their doctor in the past 12 months. Often following pregnancies and birth, we can be left with some degree of incontinence. Menopause can also bring a change in bladder control and continence, and this can have a significant impact on sexuality and intercourse. While it is a hassle, it is something that can be supported with assistance from health professionals. Many women have been taught pelvic floor exercises, but only two in ten perform them every day. Through education and training we can re-engage our pelvic muscles and improve our control, but it is something we definitely cannot take for granted!
What can I do?
Find a great network to support you; seek advice from doctors and allied health professionals. We are here to support you and find a way to make the little things better. Try not to feel shy about discussing these or any other topics with your doctor or health professional because they will know where to send you to get the support you need. Remember, health is for life so it is worth investing in you!
Australian Institute of Health and Welfare. (2017). The health of Australia’s females. Retrieved from https://www.aihw.gov.au/reports/men-women/female-health/contents/how-healthy
Continence Australia. (2018). Women. Retrieved from https://www.continence.org.au/pages/women.html
Jean Hailes for Women’s Health. (2018). Women’s health survey 2018. Retrieved from https://jeanhailes.org.au/contents/documents/News/Womens-Health-Survey-Report-web.pdf