Blog Posts by Healthy SELF, SELF Magazine

  • What Every Woman Needs to Know About Heart Disease

    Courtesy of hearttruth.gov Courtesy of hearttruth.gov April Daniels Hussar, SELF magazine

    The cure for a broken heart varies (sometimes it's a few scoops of Ben & Jerry's ice cream!) -- but the formula for a healthy heart is one that's easy to understand.

    Tomorrow is World Heart Day, and the The Heart Truth, a heart health awareness campaign for women developed by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI), part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), wants you to start taking better care of that life-giving organ TODAY. Because what you do right now can help keep you healthy and strong your whole life.

    "Women are developing heart disease risk factors at younger ages that ever before," cardiologist Nakela Cook, M.D., M.P.H., a medical officer with the NHLBI, tells HealthySELF. This is something that most young women don't realize, she says.

    Related: 20 Superfoods for Weight Loss

    Some scary stats: heart disease is the number ONE killer of women in the U.S. -- more than all the cancers combined, according

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  • Watching Reruns is Good for You!

    April Daniels Hussar, SELF magazine

    Feeling guilty for Netflixing old Gossip Girl episodes? Can't tear yourself away when a Sex and the City marathon comes on? Rejoice! Two recent studies show that re-watching episodes of your favorite shows is a good way to get yourself motivated and energized.


    The studies, both published in the journal Social Psychological and Personality Science, found that watching a rerun of your favorite TV show (or favorite movie, or even re-reading a beloved book), can re-energize you when your stores of motivation and drive have been sapped.

    Related: 20 Superfoods for Weight Loss

    In her first study, Jaye Derrick, Ph.D., a research scientist at the University at Buffalo's Research Institute on Addictions, found that participants who spent some time writing about their fave TV shows between tasks did better at subsequent tasks and had more motivation and energy than people who didn't.

    For the second study, participants kept a daily diary to

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  • 4 Reasons Why Having a Dog is Good for Your Health

    April Daniels Hussar, SELF magazine

    Happy National Dog Week! Whether you've already got a furry BFF or are thinking about making the leap to pet owner, we've got some great reasons why bringing a pup into your life is a healthy move to make.

    "There are so many reasons to bring a dog into your life, and the joy that comes along with that decision is a big part of it," Wayne Pacelle, President and Chief Executive Officer, Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) and author of The Bond: Our Kinship with Animals, Our Call to Defend Them, tells HealthySELF. "Our connection with dogs and other animals is part of our emotional make-up as a species."

    Related: 20 Superfoods for Weight Loss

    Here are four of those reasons...

    1) They make you feel good.
    "There's actually a biochemical basis for our connection with animals," explains Pacelle. "We have social bonding hormones, such as oxytocin, that are activated when we interact with dogs."

    Related: Yoga Moves for Flat Abs

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  • 15-Minute Boot Camp (in Your Living Room!)

    Dana Meltzer Zepeda, SELF magazine

    We all know boot camp workouts are a great way to whip your body into shape -- and you don't need to set foot outside your living room to get a fat-blasting, boot camp-style workout.

    Boot Camp L.A. instructor Jay Kerwin created this 15-minute routine exclusively for SELF readers to try in their own homes.

    "Boot camps are so effective because of the natural camaraderie that develops when friends work out together and [are] getting yelled at," says Kerwin. "You get the same training you would get if you hired a personal trainer coupled with the 'I feel like I'm a kid again' feeling."

    Related: 20 Superfoods for Weight Loss

    Even better? You won't waste a single second on filler exercises. "We only do exercises that get results," says Kerwin. "We go out there and have fun and get the job done, but we don't waste time doing meaningless things like balancing on a ball or lifting 2 pound dumbbells."

    Ready to get started? Incorporate

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  • Are 8 Hours of Sleep Really Necessary?

    SELF magazine

    You know you should be getting 7-9 hours of sleep every day -- but who says it has to happen during one marathon snoozing session?

    Related: 20 Superfoods for Weight Loss

    David K. Randall, author of Dreamland: Adventures in the Strange Science of Sleep, points to a growing body of evidence suggesting that getting enough "deep" sleep during the course of the day -- rather than in one eight-hour chunk -- might be just as beneficial from a performance point of view. For example, taking a "power nap" at work (if it's OK with your boss!) might be just as restorative as sleeping peacefully all night long.

    Related: Yoga Moves for Flat Abs

    Here's something else to sleep on: In today's 24-7 work environment, with phones and various other gadgets beeping at all hours, this advice might be more realistic for many of us. In fact, according to a recent report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about 41 million people in the United States get six hours or fewer of

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  • Study: 30 Minutes of Daily Exercise Best for Weight Loss

    CN Digital StudioApril Daniels Hussar, SELF magazine

    Think spending an hour at the gym every day is going to get you to your weight-loss goals? According to a new study, less might be more! But is that really the case?

    To conduct their study, researchers at the University of Copenhagen divided a group of sedentary, overweight men into three groups, asking them all to keep food diaries. The first group didn't exercise at all, the second group exercised daily for 30 minutes (at a moderate pace that caused them to burn 300 calories) and the third group worked out daily for 60 minutes, at the same intensity as the other group (burning 600 calories per workout).

    Related: 20 Superfoods for Weight Loss

    Guess who lost the most weight after 13 weeks? The men in the middle! The men in the 30-minute group lost about seven pounds each, which is about 80 percent MORE than what the researchers were expecting. Meanwhile, the men in the 60-minute group lost an average of five pounds each, which was

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  • New IUD Guidelines You Need to Know

    Jennifer D'Angelo Friedman, SELF magazine

    Implants and intrauterine devices (IUDs) are the "most effective reversible contraceptives" for preventing unplanned pregnancy and abortion in teens and adult women, The American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) said in a statement on Thursday. That's right -- even better than birth control pills and condoms.

    Plus, contraceptive implants (rods implanted in your upper arm that release a steady stream of progestin to prevent ovulation) and IUDs (T-shaped pieces of plastic inserted in the uterus to prevent fertilization) should be offered as "first-line contraceptive options for sexually active adolescents," according to the leading ob-gyn group's new guidelines.

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    Of course, women and teens using IUDs or implants for contraception should also use condoms to decrease the risk of acquiring sexually transmitted infections, the groups adds.

    But the new guidelines may be eye-opening to women

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  • Sofia Vergara's Stay-Fit Secret

    April Daniels Hussar, SELF magazine

    It's almost Emmy night! All over Hollywood, celebs are surely trying on Spanx and making spray-tan appointments -- not to mention hitting the gym extra hard. But is it really possible to shape up at the last minute? We asked celebrity trainer-to-the-stars Gunnar Peterson -- who happens to work with Emmy nominee Sofia Vergara!

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    "You can cram for the exam, but you probably won't get an A!", Peterson tells HealthySELF. In other words, Peterson, who has sculpted sexy stars like Kim Kardashian, Jennifer Lopez and Tom Brady, says it's not possible to make a major, magical transformation in a matter of days.

    Here's the good news: If you have a big event on the horizon and need to shape up as much as possible -- quickly! -- Peterson did share a few A-list tricks you can steal from celebs.

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    Watch what you eat.
    Don't eat TOO many carbs (except the kind you get with

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  • The Simple Secret to Improving Your Sex Life

    April Daniels Hussar, SELF magazine

    Let's talk about sex, baby! Why? Because communication just might be the difference between a good night and an AMAZING night, according to a new study.

    "Individuals who are more comfortable communicating about sex are both more likely to communicate pleasure during sexual encounters and experience greater sexual satisfaction," study researcher Elizabeth Babin, Ph.D., an expert on health communication at Cleveland State University in Ohio, tells HealthySELF.

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    In other words, according to the study, published in August in the Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, people who are comfortable talking and communicating about sex are likely to do so during the act, AND they're more likely to enjoy sex more than those who aren't comfortable talking about sex.

    Babin explains that if you're shy or uncomfortable communicating about sexual issues, not only will that (obviously) reduce your

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  • What the 'End of Men' Means for Women

    Courtesy of amazon.comCourtesy of amazon.comApril Daniels Hussar, SELF magazine

    Is it really the end of men? That's the title of Hanna Rosin's buzzy new book, The End of Men: And the Rise of Women. But of course, she doesn't mean it literally ...

    "It's a provocative title, it gets people debating -- but it actually means the end of a certain kind of man," Rosin, senior editor at The Atlantic, tells HealthySELF. "The End of Macho would be a more accurate title; it's not as if I literally mean that men as an entire species will become obsolete!"

    Nor does Rosin mean to imply that men are no longer necessary, or even not wanted. "It's that men have to be more adaptable than they are," Rosin says, in order to be able to make their way in a world that has drastically changed. "They don't have to become women -- or even not men -- but they have to find slightly new ways of being."

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    Just what does Rosin mean when she talks about a changed world? In her 2010 Atlantic article of

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