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Women's Health Week 2017

sleepingWho doesn't love a good night's sleep or a weekend sleep in!?

Sleep actually plays a vital role in good health and wellbeing throughout our life.

Getting enough quality sleep

Getting enough quality sleep can help protect our mental health, physical health and quality of life.

During sleep, our brain is preparing for the next day by forming new pathways to help us learn and remember information.

Sleep helps improve our learning, helps us pay attention, make decisions and be creative. Sleep also plays a key role in our physical health through healing and repairing our heart and blood vessels; it helps balance our hormone levels and keeps our immune system healthy.

For optimal health, the average adult needs around 7-9 hours of sleep each night, do you get that much?

If you aren't getting enough sleep, over time this sleep deficiency can lead to a number of issues, such as:

  • Difficulty in problem solving or making decisions;
  • Difficulty in controlling emotions and behaviour;
  • Inability to cope with change;
  • Depression;
  • Increased risk of heart disease, kidney disease, high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes and stroke;
  • Can lead to an increase in food consumption due to hormone imbalance which may cause weight gain;
  • Difficulty in fighting infections.

Did you know that insomnia (the name given to the inability to go to sleep or stay asleep) affects twice as many women than men?

So how can we ensure that we get enough sleep each night?

Here are a few tips:

  • Get into a routine, try to go to bed at the same time each night;
  • Try not to have any nicotine or caffeine at night as they are stimulants which can interfere with sleep;
  • Try not to have a big meal just before going to bed;
  • The hour before bed should be a quiet time, turn off all sources of bright artificial light such as phones, computer screens and televisions;
  • Take a hot bath or shower before bed or practice some relaxation techniques such as meditation;
  • Try to be active during the day as this will help you sleep at night.

More information

Click here to learn about sleep and fatigue.

Other topics for this year's Women's Health Week

Click here to see all the topics for this year's Women's Health Week.


Physical activity

Women's Health Week 2017

people-exercisingDid you know that there are SO many benefits to being active every day?

There are far too many to actually list, but here are a few main ones:

  • Helps reduce stress and anxiety;
  • Helps with weight management;
  • Lowers your cardiovascular disease risk;
  • Increases muscle strength as well as improving your balance, posture and coordination;
  • Helps you sleep;
  • Improves your mood and helps fight depression;
  • Makes you feel GOOD!

Our body is designed to move, so we should move it every day

But how much should we move? The Australian National Physical Activity Guidelines for adults recommends a minimum of 30 minutes of moderate activity, five days a week; so at least 150 active minutes per week.

If you can do it every day, even better! The good thing is that you don't have to do it all at once; you can spread it out across the day in 3 x 10 minute blocks to get the same benefit.

Ideally we should aim to do 10,000 steps each day for good health

A great investment would be to pick up a pedometer or use your smart phone to monitor your steps through a tracking device you wear, such as a Fitbit. It is a great motivator to stay active!

Research shows that sitting for long periods of time is an independent risk factor for heart disease and you may have heard the slogan that 'sitting is the new smoking'... so make sure you move your body every hour!

Here are a few more ideas to help get you increasing your activity each day:

  • Instead of just sitting down to eat, why not go for a walk in your lunchbreak;
  • Park your car further away and walk the rest of the way;
  • Walk over to your colleague to have a chat rather than picking up the phone;
  • Move your body every hour, even if it is just to stand up and stretch;
  • If you catch public transport to work, why not get off one stop early and walk the rest of the way;
  • When catching up with a friend, instead of sitting down for a meal or coffee, why not go for a walk along the beach or try a walking trail you haven't been on before;
  • On weekends do something active – it could be a walk around your local neighbourhood, a bike ride or an activity you enjoy like yoga, Pilates, swimming or dancing.

Start today

So starting today, why not go for a walk in your lunchbreak?

Going for a walk can help clear away some of those cobwebs, make you feel refreshed and ready to combat the afternoon!

By starting small and making a few simple changes, over time it can really add up, plus it will help you feel good.

Plan your activity

If you think that an activity plan might be the best way to improve your daily activity, why not complete a Weekly Activity Diary to help get you started.

Click here to learn more about physical activity and exercise.

Related information sheets

Other topics for this year's Women's Health Week

Click here to see all the topics for this year's Women's Health Week.


Healthy eating & bone health

Women's Health Week 2017

breakfastLooking after our bones is super important, especially as we get a bit older. Our bones are made up of different minerals which helps keep them strong.

Our bones are constantly being broken down and renewed so it is essential that we get enough nutrients in our food each day to help keep our bones healthy and strong.

Healthy eating for good bone health

Healthy eating for good bone health means ensuring we have a good intake of nutrients like calcium (found in dairy products, beans, almonds, broccoli and salmon), vitamin D (found in mushrooms, fish, liver and egg yolks), protein (found in beef, chicken, pork, turkey, tuna, soy beans) and phosphorus (found in milk, grains, seeds and protein rich foods). It is also important to limit caffeine and salt consumption as they can reduce calcium absorption.

Enjoy a variety of nutritious foods every day

To ensure we get all of these nutrients (and more) the Australian Dietary Guidelines encourage all Australians to enjoy a variety of nutritious foods every day from the five key food groups consisting of:

  • Plenty of vegetables, including different types and colours and also including legumes / beans;
  • Fruit including fresh, frozen, dried or tinned;
  • Grain foods, mostly wholegrain and / or high fibre varieties, such as breads, cereals, rice, pasta, noodles, polenta, couscous, oats, quinoa and barley;
  • Lean meats, poultry, eggs, fish, tofu, nuts, seeds and legumes;
  • Dairy foods such as milk, yoghurt, cheese and/or their alternatives, mostly reduced fat;
  • Plus drink plenty of water and have a small amount of healthy fats.

We reach our peak bone mass at about the age of 30, so after this age it is imperative that we ensure we are looking after our bones.

Along with healthy eating, there are other things you can do to ensure that your bones remain strong

Regular weight bearing exercise is very important for bone health, limiting your alcohol consumption and quitting smoking.

If you are concerned about your bone health, seek advice from your doctor.

Healthy eating made easy

Are you stuck for ideas on what you can make tonight for dinner that is healthy and full of the nutrients previously mentioned?

Click here to see our recipe collection.

More information

Click here to find out more about bone health.

Click here to find out more about healthy eating.

Related information sheets

Other topics for this year's Women's Health Week

Click here to see all the topics for this year's Women's Health Week.


Mental and emotional wellbeing

Women's Health Week 2017

depressedDepression, anxiety, stress, poor body image, grief and loss can all affect our mental and emotional health every day.

So it is important to talk about it with those you care about or with a qualified health professional; remember ladies we are putting ourselves first this week!

In Australia, 1 in 5 women experience depression and 1 in 4 women experience anxiety

It is important to understand how we are feeling and seek help when things get tough.

The way we physically feel can have a big impact on our current state of mind and emotional wellbeing

Here are a few things that we can do to ensure we are feeling physically well each day:

  • Start your day right by enjoying a nutritious breakfast! A healthy breakfast will provide you with the energy, fibre, vitamins and minerals to give you the best start to each day. Why not try some of these tasty breakfast ideas: banana and coconut porridge, scrambled eggs, berry, muesli and yoghurt parfait, pumpkin pikelets, Mexican baked eggs, French toast or mushroom, spinach and herb omelette.
  • Do things that make you feel good each day, it could be listening to music, reading a book, catching up with friends or even just sitting quietly.
  • Listen to how you are feeling and try not to worry about the future. Take things one hour, one day at a time.
  • Be mindful. Mindfulness is when we are fully present, aware of where we are, what we are doing, how we are feeling and not overly reactive to what is going on around us.
  • Set some small achievable goals that you can accomplish to make you feel good.
  • Be social and spend time with those you care about.
  • Move your body! Exercising regularly has been linked to improved mental and emotional wellbeing as it can lead to a 50% reduction in depression and anxiety symptoms in women. Being active can help block negative thoughts and distracts us from our daily stresses. Exercise is a natural antidepressant – so get moving!
  • Seek help. Make an appointment with your doctor and / or psychologist who can discuss possible treatments for you and your individual situation.

For more information and support contact your health care team or these helpful services and resources:

Click here to find out more about mental and emotional health.

Related information sheets

Other topics for this year's Women's Health Week

Click here to see all the topics for this year's Women's Health Week.


New easy-to-use directory of Adelaide's after-hours medical services launched

Adelaide PHN has created a new web directory – called Adelaide After Hours – which provides information about all of the after-hours medical services across the metropolitan area including GPs, dentists, pharmacies, hospitals & helplines. This is the first time all this information has been brought together in one place.

GPS technology means the directory can highlight the services that are open within a selected radius of user's current location, it can be used to predict what services will be available at a specified time (i.e. after work next Wednesday), and is available in over 15 languages. The directory also integrates with a user's mobile map applications.

Click here to find out more.


Dexcom G5 Product Notice

29 August 2017

Diabetes Australia has issued a letter to all Dexcom G5 users regarding a product notification. This letter includes information on a changes to the G5 Mobile User's Guide.

This is not a product recall.

Dexcom has made clarifications to the Dexcom G5 Mobile User's Guide to emphasise that the app may shut off if it's being used with a smart device and the memory or storage of that device is full.

Click here to see the updated version of the User's Guide.


The National Diabetes Services Scheme (NDSS) is an initiative of the Australian Government administered with the assistance of Diabetes Australia.


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