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Staying fit doesn’t require an expensive gym membership or an
overabundance of sweat. Five simple exercises—swimming, tai chi,
strength training, walking, and Kegels—can help keep your weight
under control, improve your balance and range of motion,
strengthen your bones, protect your joints, prevent bladder
control problems, and even ward off memory loss. Learn how to do
all of these exercises, and how to safely get started in an
exercise program. If you have no time for exercise, you can find
some simple ways to sneak activity into your daily routine.
Bladder training is an easy way to help women deal with
incontinence. During bladder training, you learn to urinate on a
schedule and do pelvic muscle exercises.
Although damage to the eye’s retina is a theoretical risk of
light therapy for SAD, it has not been found to be a problem thus
far. To protect your eyes during treatment, do not stare at the
light source, and use fluorescent light rather than incandescent.
Researchers have discovered that older people who are depressed
are more likely to develop dementia. The two conditions appear to
share common causes. Many older adults miss the signs of
depression, believing it to be an inevitable consequence of
aging. It’s important for older adults who are depressed to get
treated with antidepressant medicines, talk therapy, and
cognitive behavioral therapy, and to get evaluated for dementia.
Migraines are a particularly disabling form of headache because
they launch a four-tiered attack—the prodrome (or preheadache),
aura (flashing lights or other visual phenomena), actual
migraine, and “headache hangover.” Researchers still aren’t sure
exactly what causes migraines, but women are three times more
likely to get migraine headaches than men, in part because of the
hormone estrogen. Treatments such as triptans, blood pressure
drugs, and antidepressants, as well as newer therapies like Botox
and alternative remedies, can help with chronic migraines.
It’s important for women to have annual mammograms starting at
age 40, to catch breast cancer early, when it’s most treatable.
The benefits of regular mammograms exceed the risks, which
include minimal exposure to radiation. Women who are at high risk
for breast cancer, or who have a lump, may also have additional
screening with an ultrasound or MRI. Women who are comfortable
doing breast self-exams should do them to look for changes in the
breasts, or should at least see their doctor for an annual
clinical breast exam.
Too much on-the-job stress could put women at increased risk for a heart attack or stroke, according to a new study from researchers at Harvard Medical School. The authors say stressful jobs might contribute to heart problems by leading women into unhealthy behaviors such as smoking, or by contributing to physiological changes, including depression or high blood pressure.
Fifteen medical organizations have jointly released a statement reinforcing the benefits of hormone therapy for menopause symptoms. The organizations jointly conclude that hormone therapy is still safe—provided that women take it early in menopause and use it for the shortest possible period of time.
A new study finds that skipping meals and eating in restaurants are counterproductive to women who are trying to lose weight. On the other hand, keeping a food journal can help women shed pounds because it helps them pay closer attention to the foods they’re eating.
A study finds that the reason women need reading glasses sooner than men could have more to do with their preferred reading distance or arm length than with their focusing power. The authors say their study highlights the need for doctors to carefully tailor vision correction for their female patients.