Having friends is an important part of life and contributes to your overall health and wellness in more ways than you can imagine. On National Girlfriends Day this August 1 – and throughout the year – celebrate female friendship and support your girlfriends by helping them stay safe and live well.

Eat healthy when hanging out.
Whether you’re gathered at home, a birthday celebration, or a girls’ night out, make healthy choices in what you eat and drink. Eat less junk food and foods high in calories, saturated fat, or added sugars or salt. Beverages can be high in calories too. 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 exercise can help improve your health. Exercising with friends can be fun. Adults should be active for at least 2½ hours a week. Talk and enjoy each other’s company while you walk, bowl, swim, dance, play tennis, and more. If your fun activity is outdoors, be safe and remember to protect yourself from the harmful rays of the sun’s radiation.

Help your girlfriends through hard times.
A friend with a chronic or mental illness, abusive relationship, or caregiving issues may lead a complicated life for a period of time. Do what you can to be supportive and encouraging, and recognize that it may be challenging for you and your friend. Be informed. Maintain your own mental and physical health.

Empower each other to take control.
If your girlfriend is not taking care of her 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.

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.

 

For more tips and links to useful resources, visit the CDC’s Girlfriends’ Health and Safety Tips.