Getty ImagesBy Nicole DeCoursy
Staying loyal to a great doctor or a genius hairdresser-that's just smart. But when it comes to birth control, sticking with the same method throughout the years isn't always the right move.
"Your contraceptive should fit your health, lifestyle, and values," says Michele Curtis, MD, a professor of obstetrics and gynecology at the University of Texas Medical School at Houston.
That's because the more comfortable you are with your birth control, the more likely you are to use it consistently-meaning less risk of an unintended pregnancy.
You are: Dating but not with a long-term partner
Your best bet: Condoms plus a backup method
Whether you're 25 or 45, condoms are a must to guard against sexually transmitted diseases. But since condoms also have a higher failure rate than other forms of birth control, it's wise to double up.
Hormonal contraceptives-the Pill, patch, or vaginal ring-are highly effective. As a bonus, they can also help regulate periods, reduce PMS
Blog Posts by Health.com
Getty ImagesBy Nicole DeCoursyRead More »from The best birth control for you now
- Health.com | Healthy Living – Wed, Apr 6, 2011 8:24 PM EDT
By Tammy Worth
When it comes to the history of vaccines, it's been a long, bumpy ride. Once hailed as lifesaving wonders of modern technology, vaccines are now more likely to be a source of suspicion and angry playground debate.
Will we ever agree on the risk and benefits of vaccines? Probably not.
But to sort out fact from fiction, Health.com took a look at the scientific research to date on vaccines.Read More »from Do vaccines cause autism? 12 myths and facts about vaccines
CorbisBy Su Reid-St. JohnRead More »from How to stop hating exercise
OK, I'm just going to say this: If you think you hate exercise, you haven't tried the right kind.
It's like saying you hate vegetables: Surely you don't hate them all! If Brussels sprouts make you gag, you don't stop eating veggies altogether. You try carrots or spinach or bok choy until you find something you like.
Or think about when you're trying on new bathing suits. If the first one makes your body look like a sausage in a too-small casing, do you stalk out of the dressing room and head for the beach naked (or not at all)? No, you try other suits.
Health.com: 30 flattering bathing suits for every body type
So why should it be any different with working out? If you hate walking or running or going to the gym, fine. Don't walk or run or go to the gym! Try swimming or tennis or qigong-and if you don't like those, try paddleboarding or kickball or Zumba.
Health.com: Get toned with tennis
Here's why it's worth it to put in the effort: Exercise has been shown
Mikel HealeyAs told to Ashlee DavisRead More »from Candace Cameron Bure's struggle to get healthy
Candace Cameron Bure, 34, best known for her role as DJ Tanner on the sitcom Full House, struggled with bulimia after the show's eight-year run ended. Moving from California to Montreal to live with her husband, hockey player Valeri Bure, was a life-altering experience, and she sought comfort and fulfillment in food. Now, 15 years later, Cameron Bure has a healthy relationship with food and fitness, and has never felt better.
Her story and inspirational strategies from her new book, Reshaping It All: Motivation for Physical and Spiritual Fitness, stress the importance of spirituality and understanding to living a well-rounded, healthy life. Today she lives in Los Angeles with Valeri and their three children, Natasha, Lev, and Maksim. She stars in Make It or Break It, whose third season premiered March 28. She also appears alongside David James Elliott in the upcoming TV film Truth Be Told, premiering April 16 on Fox.
Struggling with bulimia
I didn't have an
Getty ImagesBy Matt McMillenRead More »from Addiction to food, drugs similar in the brain
Ice cream and other tasty, high-calorie foods would seem to have little in common with cocaine, but in some people's brains they can elicit cravings and trigger responses similar to those caused by addictive drugs, a new study suggests.
Women whose relationship to food resembles dependence or addiction-those who often lose control and eat more than they'd planned, for example-appear to anticipate food in much the same way that drug addicts anticipate a fix, according to the study, which used functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) brain scans.
When these women saw pictures of a chocolate milk shake made with Häagen-Dazs ice cream, they displayed increased activity in the same regions of the brain that fire when people who are dependent on drugs or alcohol experience cravings. When presented with the same milk shake, women who don't feel addicted to food showed comparatively less activity in those regions.
Health.com: 25 diet-busting foods you should never eat
IstockphotoBy Allison AveryRead More »from How to survive getting lost in the woods
You know the trail was right there. But it's gone now, and what started as a relaxing day hike now looks like a potentially serious situation. Do you know what to do? Les Stroud of Survivorman, the Discovery Channel hit show, helps us prepare for the worst.
Q: What's the first piece of advice you would give someone in this situation?
A: I always tell women that they need to have their own pack with their own supplies. When I'm doing trainings and a couple is there, I'll pull the woman away from the man and ask, "Can you get to whatever he's carrying right now?" Too often women rely on the men to carry items they could both need.
Q: So what does she need in that pack she's carrying?
A: Something that could provide shelter like a garbage bag, matches, a multitool-and make sure it has a knife with a sawblade on it-a small tin pot for collecting or boiling water, a compass, a watch, rope or cord, and a LUNA bar or something else to eat. And depending on how much weight
In What the Yuck?! Dr. Roshini Raj fields your most personal and provocative questions-about your body, sex, even celeb health fads.Read More »from Can wearing thongs be unhealthy?
Q: What's the worst thing you can catch from your thong?
A: In theory, since your thong is just touching your body, you won't catch anything you don't already have. In fact, studies have never been able to find a link between thongs and infections. But some women do notice an increase in UTIs and yeast infections when they wear these undies, so you'll have to decide if it's worth the risk to avoid visible panty lines.
Health.com: Top 10 myths about sexual health
The potential problem with these undergarments is that fecal bacteria can move more easily from the rectum to your vagina, and then work their way into your urinary tract, possibly causing a UTI. Also, tight thongs may irritate the vagina and surrounding skin, which opens you up to infection.
Health.com: Everything you ever wanted to know about your vagina
No need to switch to granny panties:
Getty ImagesIn her book What the Yuck?! Dr. Roshini Raj fields your most personal and provocative questions-about your body, sex, even celeb health fads.Read More »from Do I have to stop wearing my high heels?
Q: I've developed some ugly, painful bunions. Do I have to stop wearing my high heels?
A: Any shoe that pinches your feet could aggravate a bunion, so you need to be sure you're giving your feet the room they need. Bunions form when bone grows abnormally at the base of the big toe in the joint between your toe and foot. As they develop, they turn the big toe inward toward the smaller toes, and the enlarged joint can become inflamed, red, and painful. Though most bunions are inherited, a narrow shoe with a small toe box can sometimes cause them.
Health.com: Find the perfect shoe
Make sure any style that you wear provides at least a half-inch of space between the end of your longest toe and the shoe tip. The shoe should conform to the shape of your foot and be comfortable across the widest part. (A recent study said most of us wear shoes a size
IstockphotoIt's critical to identify which type of headache you suffer from-tension, cluster, sinus, rebound, or migraine-so that the correct treatment can be prescribed. In one 2004 study, 80% of patients with a recent history of self-described or doctor-diagnosed sinus headache-but none of the signs of sinus infection-actually met the criteria for migraine. And two-thirds of those patients expressed dissatisfaction with the medications they were using to treat their headaches. Here's a cheat sheet to help you put a name to your pain.Read More »from The 5 kinds of headaches
Health.com: 11 surprising headache triggers
Tension headaches, the most common type, feel like a constant ache or pressure around the head, especially at the temples or back of the head and neck. Not as severe as migraines, they are not usually accompanied by nausea and vomiting, and they rarely stop someone from continuing their regular activities. Over-the-counter treatments, such as aspirin, ibuprofen, or acetaminophen (Tylenol), are usually
By Su Reid-St. JohnRead More »from Walk off fat faster
We set out to find the ultimate ditch-the-flab walking routine-the one that will help you get the most body-slimming oomph out of every step. So we tapped top Los Angeles-based trainer and star of more than 40 fitness DVDs, Keli Roberts, to create the ultimate ditch-the-flab walking routine that gives big results in little time. "It's the most effective way to train because it targets your whole body," Roberts says. "To get the most out of the plan walk tall with your shoulders down and back, and keep some tightness in your core."
Aim for a total of five workouts per week: Do the Strength-Cardio Circuit two times (but not on consecutive days), Speed-Burst Intervals one to two times, and Long-Hill Intervals one to two times.
Give your healthy-body makeover an extra boost by pairing our walking plan with a 1,300-calories-per-day diet. Allot 300 calories for breakfast, 400 calories for lunch, 500 calories for dinner, plus have one 100-calorie snack. You'll dump up