Women’s Health

Everywhere we turn, we’re faced with get-healthy guidelines. Exercise an hour daily! Eat tons of vegetables! Meditate! But who has the time (or money or energy) to do all this? Fortunately, it turns out that perfection is overrated and there is a way to strike a smart yet realistic balance. Here’s how.

YOU HEAR


don’t leave home without slathering yourself in sunscreen


good enough – Make sure your face is covered, then assess your daytime plan.

If you’re just driving to work or taking a short walk (20 minutes or less) outside where there’s some shade, it’s fine to skip the sunscreen except on your face, says Eric Schweiger, MD, a dermatologist in New York City. The skin on your face is more sensitive and exposed to more direct sunlight than other body parts. It’s also worth nothing that some rays can penetrate windows and your car’s windshield, but again, those are most apt to reach only your face.

When you’re heading outdoors for the day, however, all-over sunscreen is a must, says Dr. Schweiger. He recommends sunscreens with Helioplex since they last longer (you can reapply about every 4 hours instead of every 2 hours).
Read more: The Good-Enough Guide to staying healthy

Osteoporosis, a condition in which your bones become thin and weak, usually happens after menopause, when levels of estrogen – which has a protective effect – drop. But about 15 percent of college-age women have osteopenia (below-average bone mass), a precursor to osteoporosis. Need-to-know facts to keep you and your family strong:

50% of women will suffer an osteoporosis-related fracture at some point.
Read more: Bone up - What is better for bones?

menopauseHot Flashes? Mood Swings? Weight Gain?

You’ve heard about the symptoms, but the truth is, menopause doesn’t have to be miserable. Suprisingly easy ways you can take charge of the change.

It seems as if our lives revolve around our period. When you’re 13, it’s a big deal to get it. When you’re 23, you wish you didn’t have to deal with it, And when you’re 43, you start to wonder about what happens when it goes away.

Heading toward menopause can mean hot flashes, weight gain and a higher risk of certain conditions such as heart disease, but it turns out your attitude toward “the change” can make a big difference in how you weather it.

“Women who know what to expect and have a positive outlook often have an easier time; a negative attitude can be a self-fulfilling prophecy,” says Karen Deighan, MD, chair of obstetrics and gynecology at Loyola University Health System at Gottlieb Memorial Hospital in Illinois. “Being prepared gives you a sense of control, and having the facts puts your concerns in perspective. That may lead you to make healthier choices, which will help you feel better overall.”

Read more: Easy ways to take charge about Menopause symptoms.

heart-burnWhat you should know about acid reflux


1 Heartburn isn't the only symptom. That uncomfortable burning sensation in your chest is the most common sign of acid reflux, but some people don't experience it. Instead, thay may have trouble swallowing or even cough up blood. Acid reflux happens when your sphincter muscle (which connects the esophagus to the stomach) relaxes at the wrong time and stays open too long (it normally only opens for a few seconds when you swallow), allowing stomach acid to flow back up into the esophagus, explains Lauren Gerson, MD, associate professor of medicine and gastroenterology at Stanford University.

2 Antacids may not be enough. For occasional heartburn, antacids like Maalox or Tms work well. But if you're experiencing symptoms at least twice a week, or if it's so bad that it's interfering with your daily life (it's keeping you up at night, for example), see your doctor. you might be one of the 10 percent of Americans who have chronic acid reflux, which is known as GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease).

Read more: Feeling the Heart Burn - Know about acid reflux