Tune in to Music Themes for Health Tips on Women's National Checkup Day May 14, Baylor Nutrition Expert Suggests

Jogging Woman
Busy women need to take time for preventive screenings by health professions and do-it-yourself check-ups for health. iStockphoto
May 10, 2012

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WACO, Texas (May 10, 2012) -- Women, listen up: "It's Your Time, " according to the 2012 theme of National Women's Checkup Day on Monday, May 14, part of National Women's Health Week.

But too many busy women don't find the time to care for themselves, says Suzy Weems, Ph.D., a registered dietitian, past president of Texas Dietetic Association and a former chair of the legislative and public policy committee of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.

While it's crucial to make appointments for preventive screenings, try borrowing from some music standards for do-it-yourself check-ups as well, suggests Weems, chair of family and consumer sciences in Baylor's College of Arts & Sciences.

Take a cue from the late great James Brown's hit "Get Up Offa That Thing," Weems said. A new study in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine finds that women who spend four to seven hours a day sitting are more likely to show early signs of Type 2 diabetes. (In nature's unfair way, no such link exists for men, researchers say.)

Brief activity breaks from the 8-to-5 computer can rev up the metabolism. At lunch, head to a nearby park or mall for a brisk 30-minute walk, then choose a parking space far away from your work building. And ditch the elevators and electronic messages --simply walk upstairs or down the hall to talk with colleagues instead of constantly using email and texting, Weems said.

Remember that prevention of diabetes also can lower risk of complications such as heart disease, stroke and nerve damage, she said.

Using Carly Simon's song "You're So Vain" (think "vein") for inspiration, remember that staying active can help prevent or stop the growth of varicose veins. That affects far more than how someone looks in a bathing suit. Extended sitting or standing on very hard, unforgiving floors can exert undue pressure on veins, bringing a risk of chronic venous disease.

On the nutrition front, check out www.eatright.org/womenshealth Then set aside a day each week to cook and freeze meals for the week ahead, the better to dodge fast-food temptations and promote quality family time.

Finally, hark back to Bobbie Gentry's "Ode to Billy Joe" -- and don't use that family's comfort food chow-down as your model.

Papa's penchant for biscuits? "Definitely without the gravy," Weems admonishes. Brother's craving for a second piece of apple pie? "Fine for heavily active folks but not as good as taking only one piece -- right size, of course," Weems says. To Papa's credit, though, he passed around the black-eyed peas. Praised Weems: "Good protein and fiber source."


Baylor University is a private Christian university and a nationally ranked research institution, characterized as having "high research activity" by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. The university provides a vibrant campus community for approximately 15,000 students by blending interdisciplinary research with an international reputation for educational excellence and a faculty commitment to teaching and scholarship. Chartered in 1845 by the Republic of Texas through efforts of Baptist pioneers, Baylor is the oldest continually operating university in Texas. Located in Waco, Baylor welcomes students from all states and more than 80 countries to study a broad range of degrees among its 11 nationally recognized academic divisions.


The College of Arts & Sciences is Baylor University's oldest and largest academic division, consisting of 27 academic departments and 13 academic centers and institutes. The more than 5,000 courses taught in the College span topics from art and theatre to religion, philosophy, sociology and the natural sciences. Faculty conduct research around the world, and research on the undergraduate and graduate level is prevalent throughout all disciplines.

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