5 of the best exercises you'll ever do

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. (Locked) More »

Ask the doctor: Can a light box for SAD damage my eyes?

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. (Locked) More »

Depression: Early warning of dementia?

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. More »

When headaches won't go away

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. (Locked) More »

Making smart screening decisions: Part 2: Breast cancer

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. (Locked) More »

Job stress? It could strain your heart

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. (Locked) More »

Hormone therapy: A new consensus

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.   (Locked) More »

Diary, home meals keys to weight loss

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. (Locked) More »

Women need reading glasses for different reasons than men

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.   (Locked) More »