Women’s Health Checklist: Annual Tips for Health & Wellness

May is Women’s Health Month!  Women are often caretakers of others and it is critical to care for yourself too. It is common for women to put their needs behind the needs of other family members.  It is important to prioritize women’s health which encompasses physical, mental, and emotional wellbeing.   May is a great reminder that women need to check in with themselves and make sure they are receiving the needed physical, mental, and emotional health care for their wellbeing.  Having a checklist to work off of can help you make sure you are giving enough attention to the many areas that are critical to your health. Check out Freedom PT Services’s Women’s Health checklist of annual tips for health & wellness.

Use a checklist like the one below to check in with your health:

1. Routine Health Screenings and Exams- routine preventative care reduces your risk of major disease

  • Pap smears: Recommended every three years for women ages 20–65
  • An annual exam with ob-gyn
  • Mammogram: Recommended annually for women ages 45–54. You may begin at 40
  • Colonoscopy: Recommended for women 45 and older, this screening test detects colon cancer.
  • Bone density test: Helps identify osteoporosis, an age-related disease that weakens the bones. Usually recommended for women at age 65
  • Blood pressure screening: Recommended every 3-5 years for 18-40 years old, after age 40 schedule yearly screenings
  • Lung cancer: Recommended annually for regular smokers between 50–80 years old.
  • Blood work: Yearly blood tests can help detect serious conditions.  Cholesterol, blood sugar, iron, and other readings may be done.
  • Skin checks: Recommended for women yearly.
  • Dental exams: Recommended every six months, or every three months for those who get cavities or gum disease despite having regular cleanings.
  • Eye exam: should be done yearly.

2. Nutrition and Diet

  • When possible, eat whole foods and limit processed snacks and alcohol
  • Drink half of your body weight in ounces of water
  • Consult a dietician to create a customized plan aligned with your health goals

3. Exercises and Physical Activity

  • It is recommended for women to get 75 minutes of high-intensity or 150 minutes of moderate-intensity cardiovascular activity weekly
  • It is recommended for women to lift weights at least two days per week
  • Maintaining flexibility is vital, especially following a bout of cardiovascular exercise
  • Deep core strength is essential, especially after pregnancy. Consult a pelvic floor therapist to improve core weakness. 
  • Some women select their workouts based on the current phase of their menstrual cycle. This is called “Cycle Syncing

4. Sleep and Rest

  • Sleep is essential to reduce cortisol levels
  • Women should strive for 7-9 hours of sleep each night
  • Black-out curtains may help if you struggle to fall asleep or stay asleep
  • Keep your phone away from your bed or even outside of your bedroom to limit distractions and scrolling overnight

5. Stress Management

  • Prioritize self-care routines such as exercise, eating whole foods, skin care, being in nature, reading a good book, enjoying a delicious beverage, etc. 
  • Lean into your support network. Women sometimes struggle to receive help. Be honest and vulnerable with trusted friends and family when you are experiencing high stress
  • Practice mindfulness such as deep breathing, meditation, and prayer

6. Mental Health Screenings

  • Depression and anxiety can interfere with daily living. If you suspect you struggle with either of these conditions or other mental health issues, contact your doctor or a psychologist to receive support
  • Post-partum depression (PPD) affects 1 in 8 women who have given birth recently. Check in on the women in your life who have babies, even if it seems like they are doing great. 

7. Brain Health and Lifelong Learning

  • It’s never too late to learn something new. Take a class at your local community center, read a non-fiction book, work on a puzzle, or learn a new craft to stimulate your brain

8. Building and Maintaining Relationships- check in with other women to support and encourage them

  • Women are inherently wired to thrive in community with others. Take time to reach out to friends you haven’t spoken with recently
  • If you have recently moved to a new city and want to make new friends, join a local running club, church group, or mom group, or volunteer to meet new people

9. Self-care strategies

  • Self-care isn’t selfish! You have to fill your cup to be able to fill others’. 
  • Try to do at least one thing daily to nurture yourself physically, emotionally, or socially. This could include taking a bath, journaling, or walking with a friend. 

10. Emotional Expression and Processing

  • Emotions are natural and should not be suppressed. There are healthy ways to process grief, sadness, anger, and worry. Some ideas include externally processing with a therapist, journaling, creative expression, and constructively problem-solving

11. Set Health Goals

  • Follow the SMART acronym when creating goals- make them specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound
  • Identify an accountability partner who can check in as you’re working towards your goals


Time for yourself can be hard to come by, and your friends here at Freedom PT Services are here to help.  Start trying to commit to 3 things to start.  Making time for your health is important and we are here to support you!

Physical Therapist at Freedom Physical Therapy Services
Nina Olson graduated with honors from Marquette as a Doctor of Physical Therapy. She specializes in women’s health services and uses a variety of manual techniques to effectively treat each person as a whole. Nina incorporates the Pilates Method into the rehabilitation of her orthopedic and spine patients as this method as proven to be a fun and effective treatment modality.