Feminine health is a serious issue in the United States. According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), about 18 percent of American women are in fair to poor health as determined by federal guidelines, and women are much more likely to develop physical disabilities, eating disorders, vitamin deficiencies and several other serious health conditions conditions than men.

While several of these tips might seem like common sense, most American women don’t fully understand the benefits of a healthy lifestyle and end up suffering from various health conditions and diseases as a result. For good feminine health, it’s important to follow these tips.

1. Exercise regularly. Regular exercise keeps bones and joints healthy while promoting muscle growth and releasing stress. Keeping a consistent workout regimen is one of the best ways to stay mentally and physically healthy.

Even so, many women avoid working out because they don’t want to get bulky or they feel that they don’t have the time. A standard cardiovascular exercise plan won’t lead to big muscles, however, and 20 minutes of exercise per day is enough to reap serious health benefits.

2. Diet carefully. Women are seven times more likely to develop eating disorders than men. Eating disorders have the highest mortality rate of any mental illness and can develop practically unnoticed.

Even if you don’t have an eating disorder, fad diets can have a negative effect on your overall health. Many women suffer from vitamin deficiencies. Vitamin D deficiency is a particularly notable problem for women and can lead to osteoporosis, muscle weakness and various other potentially serious issues, so a balanced diet is absolutely key to staying healthy.

3. Monitor your health through regular checkups. Regular checkups can help spot vitamin deficiencies and other serious issues before they have time to develop, potentially saving your life. Most health insurance plans cover preventative care testing and many states have special programs set up to provide women with easy, low-cost access to many common medical tests.

Reproductive testing is particularly important. Women should have a Pap test according to the CDC. Women should speak with their physicians regarding mammograms, blood work and other essential tests as they get older and especially after age 40.