Topic updated: March 2013

Women's Health

Girlfriends' Health & Safety Tips

Being girlfriends is a choice. Being healthy is a lifestyle.

You’ve been through it all, and your girlfriends have traveled the journey with you. Continue the journey, and make health and safety that “other” supportive friend that helps you stay on top of things.

Be a healthy girlfriend, and help a girlfriend live a safer and healthier life. Below are a few tips to help you stay focused on being the best you can be for yourself and your girlfriends.

Eat healthy at your gatherings.

Whether you’re gathered at home, book club, a birthday celebration, or a girls’ night out, make healthy choices in what you eat and drink. Keep the conversation going and the food rich in fruits and vegetables. Eating fruits and vegetables may reduce the risk of cancer and other chronic diseases. Eat less junk food (i.e. foods high in calories, with saturated fat, or with added sugars), and don’t crash diet. Choose drinks with no calories, such as water, sparkling water, or unsweetened iced tea. A healthy weight contributes to good health now and as you age.

Be active while having fun.

Regular physical activity is important for good health, and it's especially important if you're trying to lose weight or to maintain a healthy weight. Adults should be active for at least 2 and 1/2 hours a week. Kids and teens should be active for at least 1 hour a day. Talk and enjoy each others company while you walk, bowl, swim, dance, play tennis, and more. If your fun activity is outdoors, don’t forget to protect yourself from the sun.

Be supportive when the going gets tough.

A friend with a chronic illness, abusive relationship, mental illness, or caregiving issues may lead a complicated life for a period of time. Do what you can to be supportive, and recognize that it may be challenging for you and your friend. If your friend is fearful about getting health care, offer to go with her. Be informed, and understand how these issues impact your friend. Advocate for her when appropriate. Maintain your own mental and physical health.

Face the facts, and tell it like it is.

If your girlfriend is not taking care of her or her family’s health, is being careless, or is putting herself or others at risk, let her know, or tell someone who can help. Realize that she may need professional help; don’t try to be something you’re not. Help her get the help she needs when appropriate.

Don’t let alcohol or tobacco come between you.

Drinking excessive alcohol and smoking can hurt you and others. Drinking alcohol can increase the risk for unintentional injury and other problems. Both smoking and inhaling secondhand smoke are harmful. For help to quit smoking, call 1-800-QUIT-NOW (1-800-784-8669); TTY 1-800-332-8615.

Be a great role model.

Get exams and screenings, vaccinations, and other health care you need. Manage stress from work, children, marriage, commuting, and life! Get enough sleep. Lower your risk for injury and disease. Take steps to live a healthier life.

Read more from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

mom and daughter looking in the vanity mirror together

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