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This Mother's Day we kick off the first day of the 20th Annual National Women's Health Week.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' Office on Women’s Health encourages all women to make their health a priority. As women, we do so much for so many, it can be easy to put our health on the backburner, but during Women’s health week, we are reminded to get our regular checkups and preventive screenings such as mammograms, eat nutritiously and stay active. We also need to take care of our mental health and avoid unhealthy behaviors such as smoking, excessive alcohol, and distracted driving. One tip I always share - get your screenings and check-ups around your birthday, so you will not forget.

However, while physical and gynecological exams with a medical professional are crucial to keeping us healthy, they only occur once a year.  In addition to our annual screenings, we can do something today to focus on our health. When was the last time you did a self-check? They are also important in detecting health issues before they become more serious.  Here are six easy self-checks that you can do at home to keep your health on track. Ladies for ourselves and the people who love us, let’s take the time for our health.

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    Breast: Occasionally to Once a Month

    Women should be familiar with their breasts so they can notice if there are any changes and stay up to date with exams from their doctor as well as any recommended screening tests such as mammograms. Feeling around while taking off your bra or washing in the shower should suffice

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    Skin: Once a month

    Skin cancer may be the most common type of cancer in the U.S but it’s also one of the easiest to see and regular skin self-exams may actually save your life. If caught early, skin cancers are usually treatable and even curable.

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    Waist Circumference: Every Three to Four Months

    Your waistline may be a better gauge of your health and future risks than numbers on a scale or body mass index. Why? Fat around your belly is a bigger risk factor when it comes to heart disease, stroke, and diabetes than fat gathered other places in your body

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    Pulse: Once a Month

    A pulse or heart rate that is too fast can be a sign of an overactive thyroid, atrial fibrillation, or other heart issues.

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    Height: Once a Month

    Measuring your height at least once a year is a simple way to keep tabs on how healthy your bones are. A loss of height means that you are losing bone which could be an early sign of osteoporosis

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    Blood Pressure: Every One to Two Weeks If You’re At Risk

    Regular blood pressure readings can give you a window into your current and future health. Someone who is healthy but who has had occasionally elevated blood pressure readings but no diagnosis of hypertension, or who has hypertension risk factors, should do further monitoring.