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resolutionsIt's that time when many women consider making a list of resolutions for the New Year. If that's you, here are a handful of suggestions for pledges that could make 2017 a healthier year.

Stretch Yourself For Better Health
Resistance exercise has many benefits. It can build stronger bones, which is important as women age, and it can increase muscle mass to make it easier to burn more calories. If lifting weights isn't your style, stretching exercises with an inexpensive set of resistance bands can offer the same benefits.

Don't Become a Calorie Monk
Resolve to eat better but don't take a vow to swear-off sweets completely because most people can't do it. Give yourself permission to have an occasional dessert and keep the portion smaller. And try eating only when you're truly hungry. Don't eat until you “feel full” –  stop when your appetite is satisfied

Put Bedtime in Your Planner
Many people don't think of sleep as an activity, but it's something that accounts for about one-third of every day. Make a standing appointment for sleep at the same time every night. If you need help remembering this try setting a daily reminder alarm on your phone to go off 30 minutes before bedtime.

Say “No” More Often
This might seem harsh but most of us agree to do more things than we can accomplish just to satisfy family, friends, or co-workers. A simple "I can't, sorry" can keep you from regularly overextending yourself and help you avoid the health problems that come with too much stress in your life.

Get an “A” on Your Health Tests
Resolve to get all of the tests your doctor recommends for you in 2017. This could include blood testing for cholesterol, a mammogram, a pap test, a colorectal screening, testing for STDs or Hepatitis-C, or a screening test for osteoporosis.

 


test sheet smEven with all the world's information seemingly as close as our smartphones, many of us can't separate myth from fact when it comes to pregnancy. Let's test for your pregnancy IQ; give yourself one point for each correct answer in this “true or false” quiz. Eight or more correct makes you a pregnancy genius. Six or seven right gives you a seat near the front of the class. Three to five correct means you need to study more, and two or less calls for a remedial course in how babies are made!


holiday stress smWe all dread the rush and chaos that can rule our lives during the holidays. Surveys show that 40 percent of people find work-life balance to be impossible this time of year and say they end up missing the chance to spend time with family and friends during the holidays. Often the job of making it all come together perfectly falls on women.

So how do you survive a whirlwind month of office parties, family get-togethers and gift giving and still find the time to truly enjoy the holidays? Here's a game plan in five steps:

1. Create a firewall between work and personal time. Being focused throughout the day will help you accomplish more. That means no online shopping when you're at the office and shutting off the work email or phone when you should be spending time with your family. You might even specify times each day or days of the week when you'll focus solely on work or family life.

2. Consider alternatives to those traditions.  Can your sister-in-law or your adult children take over hosting the family holiday meal? Maybe you can order parts of the meal for restaurant carryout or from the grocery store deli. And reconsider those annual plans for long-distance travel during the holiday season. The technology that's built into your smart phone can create a free virtual get-together with faraway family. You can plan a visit when it's not the busiest travel time of the year.

3. Find ways to scale back some of your holiday. If you want to keep your sanity until the new year, ask yourself if you need to attend every party, wrap every gift and prepare every holiday dish like you've always done. Explain the changes to others and don't worry about disappointing people. Your family will appreciate you being fully present more than any meal you cook or party you plan.

4. Get the rest you need.  You need adequate sleep to deal with the extra physical and psychological stress of the holidays. If that means leaving the festivities early, then do it. Burning the midnight oil to accomplish everything will only leave you exhausted when you should be enjoying time with friends and loved ones.

5. Practice saying “No.” This is good advice all year long, but it's even more important in the next few weeks. Taking on more tasks or accepting every invitation simply because someone has asked is unfair to you and to the people who want to spend quality time with you during the holidays. Be generous with your time when you can, but keep enough of it for yourself, too.

 

drynessIt's something that affects four out of five women during and after menopause and might put the brakes on your sex life. It's also a taboo subject for many women who think that vaginal dryness is just part of getting older, but it doesn't have to be.


fact versus mythIt seems like everyone is aware of breast cancer in the month of October, with waves of marchers, many of your favorite products and even NFL players all awash in pink. But awareness isn't  knowledge, and there are some important things you should know about breast cancer. Let's start by debunking a few popular myths.

Using deodorant or antiperspirant doesn't cause breast cancer. This myth is fueled by claims that specific chemicals found in these products mimic estrogen and raise a woman’s breast cancer risk. But there's no evidence that antiperspirants and deodorants can cause breast cancer or make it return.

Wearing an underwire bra (or any bra) doesn't cause breast cancer. Studies have found no association between wearing a bra and an increased breast cancer risk among post-menopausal women, regardless of how long a woman wore a bra each day, what type of bra she wore, or at what age she started wearing a bra.

Exposing breast cancer to air will not make it spread. This old myth suggests that surgery allows cancer to spread throughout the body. Surgery may uncover a more aggressive case of cancer, but it cannot cause it to spread.  

A double mastectomy won't necessarily save your life if you have cancer in one breast.  More women diagnosed with breast cancer are now choosing to undergo a higher-risk double mastectomy, but a long-term study of 200,000 women showed that the 10-year survival rate for women who had a double mastectomy was just a few percentage points higher than those who chose a less-invasive lumpectomy followed by radiation.

These are some of the myths, but what are some truths that can help you in the fight against breast cancer?

Trying to lose some weight can help reduce the risk of breast cancer. Estrogen is found in fatty tissue and post-menopausal women may have excess estrogen being made in these fatty tissues. Losing weight lowers your breast cancer risk and can benefit your health in many other ways.

Regular exercise can help reduce the risk of breast cancer. And you don't have to head to the gym. Experts say 30 minutes of brisk walking five days a week may be enough, but more exercise will work even better.

Limiting alcohol can help reduce the risk of breast cancer. Studies have shown that women who drink two or more alcoholic drinks per day have a 50-percent higher risk of breast cancer compared to those who don't drink.

They say knowledge is power, and with more knowledge about what does and doesn't cause breast cancer and by taking some simple steps to protect yourself, you'll have more power in the fight against this deadly disease.

 

Northline Women's Health Center Locations:

15675 Northline Road

Southgate, MI 48195

(734) 282-3600
(734) 282-3603 - Fax

23050 West Road, Suite 210

Brownstown Twp., MI 48183

(734) 362-7000
(734) 362-7077 - Fax