Tips on easy solutions to build healthy habits for girls and girls


Tips on easy solutions to build healthy habits for girls and girls

today is International Day of the girl a day to empower girls all around the world but also bring attention to some of the challenges they face so in our checklist today today's checklist we're going to go through the numbers that women need to know to take care of their physical and their mental health and.

Here to help is NBC News medical contributor Dr Tara narula Dr narula good morning good morning I think it's so important you know especially with young girls to establish habits early absolutely yes I have two young girls 11 and seven so this is personal um and Adolescence can be a really tough time for a lot of young women but it's also a.

Time to lay that foundation for healthy habits that are going to make you a healthy and adult um so I think the first thing to remember and this is right in my area is that cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death for women so how do we start those healthy habits early well first of all exercise we all know is important so.

Young girls should be getting about 60 minutes of cardio on a daily basis and work some muscle and strength training yeah we're starting like young like five six I mean you should be getting your kids out there and doing activities um and you know have them walk instead of being pushed in the stroller if they can um also you want to think about healthy.

Body image it's a time where a lot of young girls pay attention to that and so you know I'm a cardiologist my husband's a plastic surgeon we're very careful about how we talk about that with our daughters and we focus on a healthy strong body and that means a body mass index a height weight ratio that falls between the fifth as you can see there.

And 85th percentile that's how we grade it for girls as adults we talk about BMI with numbers like 25 or less is healthy um also about stress habits you want to talk about mindfulness meditation yoga breathing exercises and then avoiding substances we know that tobacco marijuana vaping alcohol all of these things are important most kids will.

Start using tobacco uh most adults use tobacco started before the age of 18 so really healthy habits to set you up for heart success down the road you know yesterday it was World mental health day and and me we know mental health can affect your physical uh well-being uh how do we start early on helping our girls manage that stress and from.

Whether it's social media or or peer pressure as they go forward yeah Alan it's so important that we talk about this because half of all mental health disorders really start before the age of of 14 and many of them go undiagnosed they fly under the radar and they're undertreated and so has to be on our radar as parents as teachers and peers.

And one of the important ways to help is to keep girls connected so they don't feel isolated and lonely and that can be through peer groups leadership organizations finding Role Models at schools teachers parents need to really pay attention to warning signs be plugged into what's going on with your kids talk to them ask them how they feel.

Therapy I mean I'm a huge advocate for therapy for adults and kids if necessary um and also we want to think about social media so you know Surgeon General put out a report I know he was here yesterday talking about the dangers of social media and so many of our kids are using them if you use social media as a young kid Studies have shown for more.

Than three hours you're at a 50% increased risk for things like depression and anxiety you mentioned warning signs what are some of the warning signs you should be looking so clearly if kids are kind of pulling away they're they're more isolated um they're not engaging in their daily activities they're sleeping more they're they're.

Basically losing interest in a lot of things that maybe gave them pleasure um there those can be warning signs but sometimes Al it's just as easy as sitting down and talking to your kids and letting them know that it's okay to talk about anxiety that they feel nervous about things or that they feel sad real quickly on reproductive health.

For young women at what age are they supposed to start getting their first Well Woman visit that's a great question we all think about that first uan visit as women and you know paps mirors are not recommended until 21 or or after but the American College of OBGYN actually suggests that girls start to see an OBGYN between the ages of of 13 and kind.

Of 18 and that is really to build that trusted relationship it's not about a popsar or pelvic exam it's about talking about menstration for example what's normal what to do if they have pain most girls will start menstrating between 12 and 14 to talk about gender issues safe sexual practices STDs one important conversation is around the HPV vaccine.

We know that HPV is a preventable if we treat it with a vaccine we can prevent oringal cancer cervical cancers um 85% of us will get infected with HPV and so the recommendation is that starting at ages 11 to 12 girls can get their first dose followed 6 months later with a second dose if you start after age 15 it's about three doses but these are.

Really important conversations to have and a GYN is a safe place for a lot of girls to have those conversations that they may not feel comfortable talking to parents about that's right okay Dr Nilla that was just so helpful thank you so much cover a lot of ground there thank you D hey thanks for watching don't miss the Today's Show every weekday at 11:00.

A.m. eastern 8 Pacific on our streaming Channel today all day to watch head to allay or click the link right here

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