Avera Medical Minute: Embracing Women’s Health at different stages of life

Published: Apr. 25, 2022 at 10:30 PM CDT
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SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (Dakota News Now) - May is Women’s Health Awareness month, which focuses on what women can do to embrace health at different stages of their life.

Amanda Schaap, Mary Lou Lacey, and Trish Tulson Bearden are all in different stages of their lives and are all taking steps to live healthy lives.

Amanda is in her thirties, and expecting her third child. “I think for me, having two little guys I find that if I’m actually going to have the energy to keep up with them I need to do a little something for myself,” said Schaap. She’s found that hiring a personal trainer has given her the accountability she needs to get her body moving.

“I’m a better wife I’m a better mom when I take an hour a day or an even an hour a few times a week to have time by myself moving my body in a way that feels good,” she said. The gym is a common denominator among these three, healthy women. “The gym is almost my social hour, as well as it is my place to work out, so it takes a lot of things off the needs list,” said Lacey.

Another commonality is they all take time for themselves. “Taking my vitamins, go to the gym before the kids wake up, I have three teenagers, and if I can be resourced before I have to outsource. Because I feel the rest of my day is outsourcing to all of the rest of the things,” said Tulson Bearden.

They each understand that it is important to give themselves grace. “The word that comes to mind is gentleness,” said Tulson Bearden. “Just being gentle with yourself.”

Mary Lou Lacey is 65. And proud of it. “That can block you. If you’re just so frustrated with that concept of I’m getting older. Not feeling ashamed, I love it, I love my age,” she said.

Amanda, Mary Lou, and Trish are examples of women who have prioritized their health. That is something doctors say we can all do, we just have to start.

“Change doesn’t happen overnight,” said Dr. Kimberlee McKay, Clinical VP of Avera Women’s. “Incremental changes make a difference, and it happens slowly over time. Everybody has got a different journey, and the important thing is to have insight as to what your health journey has been and then to be able to take a moment and say, ‘What do I need to do differently so I can not just live longer, but I can live long and I can live well?”

More information on Women’s Health can be found at www.Avera.org/MedicalMinute

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