Latino culture has been known to be very matriarchal. From roses to Mariachis playing, to celebrations across the board, Mother’s Day in Latin America is a day to honor the woman who brought you into the world.
As our parents and mothers age, it is good to keep them up-to-date on issues concerning their health and well-being. Especially because our mothers do so much to keep us on track and in line, repaying them by taking care of them as we all get older is the least that we can do.
As the heads of households and wisdom holders for the family, keeping healthy is important to keep them going. As a woman, making sure that you are able to continue with force moving forward is important to get everything you need done, done.
Aside from being the heads of our homes, mothers make up over 80 percent of the single parents in the United States, especially since having children outside of marriage is the new normal, according to the Single Mother Guide.
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About 25 percent of those single mothers are Latina, are more likely to have a smaller income and encounter more hardships than a dual-parent home. Keeping healthy to prevent unnecessary medical bills and to continue working for the family is of utmost importance.
Mother’s Day each year, begins Women’s Health Week; a time to raise awareness and support the need for women’s health and well-being. Each year, the same five steps are promoted to remind women to take precautions on preventative care.
- Visit a health care professional to receive regular checkups and preventive screenings.
- Get active.
- Eat healthy.
- Pay attention to mental health, including getting enough sleep and managing stress.
- Avoid unhealthy behaviors, such as smoking, not wearing a seatbelt or bicycle helmet, and texting while driving.
Of the top preventative screenings and health checkups, the following categories should be taken into consideration depending on age.
- Bone Health: Typically recommended by a doctor
- Breast Health: Mammograms for those over 35
- Colorectal Health: Colorectal cancer screening for those over 50
- Diabetes: Starting at 18, screenings should be taking place
- Heart Health: Cholesterol testing and blood pressure tests
- Reproductive Health: A pap smear, usually done when visiting the gynecologist
- Sexual Health: HIV tests, sexually transmitted infections test (gonorrhea, chlamydia, syphilis)
Getting active and moving at least 30 minutes every day can cut your risk for serious health issues in half. Below are a list of diseases and health issues you can avoid just by talking a walk, dancing or cleaning the house.
- Heart disease
- High blood pressure
- Unhealthy cholesterol levels
- Type 2 diabetes
- Metabolic syndrome
- Colon cancer
- Breast cancer
While the media, especially LatinoDr.org, continues to discuss healthy eating habits, we are still going to tell you to watch what you eat, especially since the saying “You are what you eat” applies more as we age.
- Fruits and vegetables
- Grains (at least half of your grains should be whole grains, such as whole wheat, oatmeal, and brown rice)
- Fat-free or low-fat versions of milk, cheese, yogurt, and other milk products
- Fish, skinless poultry, lean red meats, dry beans, eggs, and nuts
- Polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats
As a care giver or a child, keeping your mother’s health under control is beneficial for the whole family. So whether you celebrate your mom on May 10 or on Sunday, letting her know that you love her by helping her to say healthy is the best gift you could give.