All Entries For women's health
Straightening your hair can be less of a hassle with these expert product picks.
Top Hair Tools to Achieve the Maximum Blowout
John Frieda Salon Shine Dryer, $40
Use a lightweight ionic dryer with at least 1,800 watts for a sleek style. This one fits the bill.
Goody TangleFix, $9
Gets rid of knots gently and has an easy-to-grip shape. Read More ›
I grew up playing school sports and taking phys ed class, so I've been in my share of locker rooms. But now that I'm an adult, the only locker room I encounter is at the gym. And to be perfectly honest, I'm really—I mean REALLY—uncomfortable changing in the women's locker room. I'm beginning to wonder if I'm the odd woman out or if I'm normal after all. Read More ›
Heart disease affects millions of women, including the five who follow. What sets them apart from the rest? These survivors have made it their mission to raise awareness of heart disease in women and are active with the following organizations.
Go Red For Women
The American Heart Association's GRFW movement offers heart health information and resources, as well as advice for women by age group.
The Heart Truth
Educate women in your own community about heart disease with the help of this campaign from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute.
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Editor's Note: February is Heart Health month, aimed at bringing awareness to the #1 killer in America. Today we're sharing an interview with Dr. Patrice Desvigne-Nickens on behalf of the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) and The Heart Truth®. Dr. Desvigne-Nickens answered our questions via email.
DailySpark: How early should women start to take steps to protect their heart health?
Dr. Desvigne-Nickens: Women need to take steps at every age to protect their heart health. Heart disease can begin early, even in the teen years, and it is important for women and girls at all ages to know about heart disease and follow a healthy lifestyle. Women in their 20s and 30s should take action to reduce their risk of developing heart disease.
DailySpark: What are the top lifestyle changes women can make to ensure their hearts stay healthy?
Dr. Desvigne-Nickens: Most heart disease risk factors are preventable or controllable by making healthy lifestyle changes, including: stopping smoking, being physically active, following a healthy diet, and maintaining a healthy weight. Additional risk factors that you can prevent and control include: high blood pressure, high blood cholesterol, and high blood sugar or diabetes. These conditions are silent (that is you don’t have any symptoms) so you must talk with your physician and know your numbers. High blood pressure, high blood cholesterol and high blood sugar are often treatable with healthy lifestyle but may require medical prescriptions.
DailySpark: Which habits harm our hearts the most?
Dr. Desvigne-Nickens: Smoking, letting high blood pressure and high cholesterol go untreated, being overweight or obese, not being physically active, and not managing diabetes all can contribute to increasing a person’s risk for heart disease.
It is especially important to understand that that having more than one risk factor or condition multiplies your risk of developing heart disease. Having one risk factor doubles your risk for disease; having two risks quadruples your risk for developing disease; having three risks increases risk by tenfold. Don’t choose among risk factors, take charge and control your risks. You can reduce your risk for heart disease by over 80% by controlling risk factors and a healthy lifestyle.
DailySpark: How much impact does weight have on heart health?
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Editor's Note: We're passionate about saving lives and preventing heart disease! Please share this blog post with other women in your life. Click the buttons above to share it on social media sites or send via email.
Happy American Heart Month!
February's best-known day is Valentine’s Day, and what with all the heart-shaped things associated with that occasion, it is the perfect month to highlight heart health and share with you what you can do to protect your most precious asset. Your heart will be there for you during all of your life’s adventures, but heart disease is a big threat to all of us! Heart disease is America’s number one cause of death.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:
- 1 in 3 deaths in the US is from heart disease and stroke
- That's equal to 2,200 deaths per day.
- 2 million heart attacks and strokes occur each year
- 80,000,000 adults are affected by heart disease
- Heart disease & stroke cost the nation $444 billion/year in health care costs and lost economic productivity.
In the not too distant past, heart disease was erroneously labeled as a "man’s" disease. The seemingly healthy father that suddenly dies of a heart attack leaving young children and a wife behind is a stereotypical nightmare scenario. Views like this have placed too much emphasis on men in heart-health research, and, as a result, both treatment guidelines and public health initiatives are skewed toward men.
But are you aware of the prevalence of heart disease in women? More than 42 million women are currently living with some form of cardiovascular disease. Heart disease is the leading cause of death in women in America!
To change America’s perception that heart disease is a "man’s disease," the American Heart Association in 2004 created the campaign Go Red for Women to bring awareness to this largely preventative disease. Efforts such as Go Red for Women Day work because studies show that when women are aware of their risk for heart disease they are much more likely to make the effort to make the necessary lifestyle changes.
The same simple, lasting changes you're implementing as a way to lose weight will also help you keep your heart healthy: eat a healthy diet, maintain a healthy weight, exercise regularly, don't smoke (or quit if you do), and limit your alcohol intake.
So, as women, what can we do specifically to improve our heart health? What should we be doing to keep our ticker ticking?
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Find Reasons to Move
Sharonne Hayes, M.D., has a demanding schedule as director of the Mayo Clinic Women's Heart Clinic, in Rochester, Minnesota, which leaves scant time for hourlong workouts. So she makes an effort to get her physical activity in shorter increments throughout the day. "Studies show you reap the same health benefits in 10-minute bursts of activity," she says. She shuns the elevator for stairs, and you won't find her cruising the mall parking lot looking for a spot close to the entrance. "I'm an opportunistic exerciser. I fit it in whenever and wherever I can," she says—and so do her kids. This summer Dr. Hayes' 13-year-old son skipped the carpool and rode his bike to swim team practices. In the evening the entire family catches up on favorite TV shows while lifting weights or using cardio machines in their exercise room. "When the kids see my husband and me being active, it inspires them to join in," says Dr. Hayes. "Plus, it's a great way to spend time together as a family." Read More ›
Jennifer Hodges, 41
Before: 369 lb
Now: 157 lb
I began gaining weight in sixth grade soon after my parents opened a pizza place. I wasn't active and ate poorly. To deal with being heavy, I was the "funny fat girl" in high school and made jokes about my weight. At 23, I was 250 pounds. People always said, "You have such a pretty face, if you'd just lose weight, you'd be a knockout."
In October of 2008, I fell in the yard and twisted my ankle while playing with my three kids (who were all under the age of 4). At 350 pounds, I was too big for my husband to lift, so he had to get a blanket, roll me onto it and drag me inside. I was humiliated and terrified. What if I had been home alone? I knew I had to make big changes. Read More ›
Dr. David Bank, dermatologist in Mount Kisco, New York
Dr. Doris Day, dermatologist in New York City
Dr. Howard Murad, dermatologist in Los Angeles and founder of Murad, Inc.
1. Skip the bubbles. Foamy lather feels luxurious but tends to strip away natural oils. Opt for a mild, fragrance-free cream cleanser with less than 1% sodium lauryl sulfate.
2. Exfoliate gently. Use a facial wash with no more than 5% salicylic or 10% glycolic acid two to three times weekly. For sensitive skin, dilute with an equal amount of water.
3. Soothe your scalp. Banish dryness and prevent irritation with a five-ingredients-or-less hydrating shampoo and conditioner. Fewer ingredients means less chance of inflammation. If dandruff is an issue, switch to a shampoo containing either zinc
pyrithione or selium sulfide. Read More ›
Just like booking an Eat-Pray-Love solo trip abroad or visiting a plastic surgeon, bringing up the (formerly) "silent passage" is no longer taboo. Experts and real women revealed all about "second springs" for our by-the-decades survival guide. Read on to find out how to outwit, outplay and outlast the next chapter in your life. In Your 30s: What's Happening to Me? "By the time you reach 35, your fertility starts to gradually decline and it may become more challenging to get pregnant," says Alyssa Dweck, M.D., Family Circle Health Advisory Board Member and co-author of V Is for Vagina (Ulysses). Levels of the hormones estrogen and progesterone slowly decrease, as do the number and quality of eggs your ovaries release. Read More ›
From spotting false negative results to getting coverage from your insurance company, experts answer your most pressing questions (from Facebook, Twitter and e-mail) about this scary disease.
Chances are at some point you've worried about breast cancer. After all, one in eight American women will face a diagnosis in their lifetime, and this year a quarter-million women can expect to learn they have the disease, according to National Cancer Institute statistics. Still, there is some good news: The overall death rate for breast cancer declined by 30% between 1990 and 2007, due to earlier detection as well as improved treatments. "Fewer women are dying of breast cancer," says Margaret I. Cuomo, M.D., author of A World Without Cancer: The Making of a New Cure and the Real Promise of Prevention (Rodale Books), published this month. "But that's fewer white women. More African American women die of breast cancer than white women, which is unacceptable." To help you make sense of all the breast cancer-related information that's out there, we asked the nation's best experts to answer your top five questions and concerns. We think you'll be heartened by their wise advice. Read More ›
If you're a post-menopausal woman, you might have noticed that your forehead has grown higher all of a sudden. Or maybe the part in your hair has gotten wider, and you can see your scalp when the light hits it just right. But don't worry; you're not alone. Up to 10% of pre-menopausal women experience some androgenetic alopecia (decreased hair diameter with a normal growth pattern), and the rate jumps considerably to 50-75% of women 65 and older.
The cause of this type of hair loss isn't fully understood, but some studies point to factors such as hormonal imbalances, iron deficiency, rapid weight loss, medication side-effects and some disease states. For any woman who is experiencing hair loss, the first step is to consult with a healthcare professional who can rule out any physical conditions that may be contributing to the hair loss, followed by a proper treatment plan. Read More ›
Let's face it: Nobody wants to talk about incontinence. However, many women have some degree of it. There is no reason why anyone should have to feel embarrassed about or continue to suffer from this problem, but it continues to be a common chronic health condition that diminishes quality of life.
Many women experience urinary incontinence for the first time during or after pregnancy. The physical changes of pregnancy, along with the stresses put on the pelvic floor, can cause urine leakage with exertion, coughing or sneezing. For many women, this problem resolves within several months postpartum. However, without treatment, some women may continue to have a chronic incontinence issues for life.
There are two main types of urinary incontinence, listed below. Some women develop a mix of the two. Read More ›
Want to make your workouts even better? Get a sports bra that'll keep you comfortable, cool, and dry. Here, Maureen Stabnau, senior vice president of merchandising at barenecessities.com, shares tips for finding a perfect-fitting bra, plus our favorite styles.
What Makes a Good Sports Bra?
Choose a sports bra that says "Moisture Wicking" on its tag. This lets you know that the fabric will remove sweat from your skin, keeping you cool and dry.
A sports bra with a hook and eye closure offers two big advantages: It adjusts to your size, and it's easier to undo post-workout—no more pulling hot, sweaty bras over your head!
Bras with U-backs, T-backs, and crisscross straps offer the most comfort and will help keep straps from slipping when you're working out.
June 23, 2012 marked the 40th anniversary of the signing of national legislation known as Title IX that sought to create equal rights for boys and girls. Because of this legislation, countless women including myself have taken advantage of the ability to participate in a myriad of athletic opportunities that extend to all levels of competition and have reached far beyond the United States.
The proof of Title IX's impact lies far beyond any statistics regarding the number of girls that have participated in organizes athletics. Several weeks ago, the Ohio High School Athletic Association State Track and Field Championships took place at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium at The Ohio State University in Columbus Ohio. You may have heard about the teen runner that helped carry her competitor as she struggled to finish the long race. As a four-time competitor in that state meet (as a high jumper), I loved reading about the great example of sportsmanship at such a high level of competition. Watching it was even better!
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Being healthy is about far more than the number on your scale. Just because you lost weight and look fabulous does not guarantee you're healthy on the inside. As a physician, I have seen many people who are thin and look healthy, but are actually sicker than many overweight and obese people.
The best way to stay healthy for years to come is to prevent illness. Focusing on diet and exercise is an important part of being healthy and preventing illness, but there are other aspects of your health that can't be managed with diet and exercise alone. Some areas of your health require regular visits to a qualified medical professional, especially for women.
So, women of SparkPeople, when was the last time you visited your gynecologist?
Can I see a show of hands? Do you know how often you are supposed to get a Pap smear? How about a mammogram? You are probably thinking I’m trying to trap you into the wrong answer.
Of course, I am! Most of you probably said you need to get an annual Pap smear and an annual mammogram starting at age 40. Right? Not anymore.
The rules we've all heard have changed, and I'm here to explain the new recommendations for Pap smears, mammograms, and more.
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