Skip the fried and fatty foods, and strive for at least half an hour of exercise daily. Eating right and keeping active are the gifts that keep on giving. If you establish these habits now, the benefits will last a lifetime. And if you plan on having children someday, it's a good idea to take a multivitamin that gives you plenty of folic acid now. Research shows that taking 400 micrograms of folic acid daily for a year before becoming pregnant reduces the risk of premature delivery and neural tube defects.
By Melissa Kirsch6 ways to outsmart your paralysis and actually get something done
I procrastinate horribly — not about everything, just about phone calls.
Sometimes I put off making dinner reservations until all I can get is a 10 p.m.
slot at my third-favorite restaurant. I regularly run out of prescriptions
because I can't manage to phone the pharmacy for refills. I dial my mother so
rarely that, when I do, she thinks someone died. For no reason I can
understand, the prospect of making even...
2. Work on your relationship -- with your doctor, that is.
"People really delay getting a primary care doctor once they're past having a pediatrician," says JoAnn Manson, chief of the division of preventive medicine at Boston's Brigham and Women's Hospital. So, locate a healthcare provider you trust. Develop a list of questions: What contraceptive method is right for you? What is the best way to prevent STDs? What vaccines do I need?
3. Know your family health history.
Did your sister, mother or grandmother die of breast cancer or heart disease at or prior to 50? Does early-onset diabetes run in the family? These are important questions to ask your parents and grandparents while you still can. "Construct a family medical history tree," Manson says.
4. Don't forget key screening tests.
Make sure you get your annual Pap smears and regular breast exams by a health professional. Monthly breast self-exams or "breast self-awareness" is important. Check out the Susan G. Komen Foundation's Breast Self-Awareness tools for the instructional techniques. Some doctors also recommend thyroid screenings for pregnant women or women thinking about becoming pregnant.