By Sarah Jio
Everyone dreads the S-word-and for good reason: Too much stress can have negative health consequences, like weight gain and depression. But, we're often so focused on battling stress at work, in our relationships and everywhere else that it can be surprising to hear that some of that anxiety may actually be natural and normal. Even more, it might even be there to help you be healthier, happier and your ultimate best self. Strange? We thought so too, until we talked to health experts and found out about the many ways that stress can actually help you. From boosting your immune system to helping you get fit, read on to learn about the benefits of having a little stress in your life.
1. It can help you be more creative. Ask any writer or artist about the creative process and she'll tell you that her best work often comes as a result of a lot of head-pounding frustration and borderline agony. There's a reason for that, says Larina Kase, PhD, a Pennsylvania-based psychologist
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By Sarah JioRead More »from 7 Ways Stress Can Actually Be Good for You
By Barbara Brody
11 Ways to Destress Before Bed
You're so exhausted your eyelids feel like lead, but you can't actually get yourself to drift off to dreamland. Instead, your mind is racing with everything that went wrong during the day-or that could go wrong tomorrow. Or maybe you're worrying about how to pay the bills this month or how your child is going to do on his math test, or even about a sick relative. No matter how serious or trivial your concerns may seem, one thing's for sure: If you're stressed out about them, they're keeping you awake. These 11 expert tips should help you clear your mind so you can get the rest you need.
1. Take time to wind down. "I suggest patients set aside at least 30 to 45 minutes-an hour is even better-to wind down before bed," says Shelby Freedman Harris, PsyD, director of the Sleep-Wake Disorders Center at Montefiore Medical Center and an assistant professor at Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York. During that window of time, you should ban yourself from anythingRead More »from 11 Ways to Destress Before Bed
By Barbara Brody
It's never too soon-or too late-to take steps to protect your health. But, of course, the sooner you start, the healthier you'll be. Here are the essentials to keep you on track in each decade of your life.
In Your 20s:
1. Schedule annual physicals. You're a grownup and no one is making you go for checkups regularly-so you need to take charge yourself. This is the time to find a primary care doc you like and trust, establish a relationship, and get checked out (ideally once a year), says Shantanu Nundy, MD, an internist at the University of Chicago Medical Center and author of the forthcoming book Stay Healthy at Every Age. Annual physicals are the best way to see where you stand and catch any emerging problems before they get out of hand. Your doctor should check your body mass index (BMI) and blood pressure as well as take blood to check your thyroid health and cholesterol levels.
2. Ditch unhealthy habits. OK, so maybe you did some stupid things inRead More »from Health Musts for Every Decade
By Nancy W. Hall
Will You Experience Menopause Like Your Mom?
My friend Susan recalls that during her high school years, her mother would quietly excuse herself from the dinner table, reappearing a few moments later wearing only her slip. "Nobody ever said a word about it, but in retrospect," Susan says, "I think it was a really classy way of handling her hot flashes." Her own approach? "I warn everyone within earshot by yelling, 'I'm flashing!'" Susan clearly inherited her mother's sense of humor, but are her own fiery hot flashes also a gift from her mom? Here's a guide to menopause across the generations.
Taking On the TabooRead More »from Will You Experience Menopause Like Your Mom?
For years, especially during the mid-1900s, menopausal women were treated as if they were losing both their desirability and their grip on reality. Ads for hormone treatments and "gentle daytime sedation" called middle-aged women names like "Unstable Mabel" and promised that drugs with a "low incidence of toxic reactions" would make them "pleasant to live with once again" and keep them "feminine
By Sarah Jio
When was the last time you went through a period of stress? Can you remember the way your body reacted? Chances are you didn't feel quite like yourself. Health experts say that stress can come with some pretty surprising symptoms-from forgetfulness to nausea to skin rashes. Is your body sending you an S.O.S. that you shouldn't ignore? Read on to find out if stress is taking a toll on you-and what you can do to reverse the effects.
1. Tweaked MusclesRead More »from 9 Surprising Symptoms of Stress
The pain in your neck that you attributed to long hours at the computer could actually be a symptom of stress. "Stress definitely affects our musculoskeletal system, resulting in tight, contracting muscles and/or spasms in muscles," explains Elizabeth Lombardo, PhD, MS, PT, a psychologist and physical therapist in Wexford, Pennsylvania, and author of A Happy You: Your Ultimate Prescription for Happiness. "It gets us ready for fight-or-flight, although unlike our cavewomen ancestors, we don't actually need our bodies
By Angela Ebron
6 Common Exercise Excuses—Busted
Whether you want to drop 15 pounds or just get healthier by exercising, your own excuses often get in the way. And while your reasons may seem perfectly justified, the truth is, they're a form of self-sabotage. The good news: You can lose the excuses and get fit for good. Here's how.
1. "I don't have time."Read More »from 6 Common Exercise Excusesâ€”Busted
It could be your job, the kids or any number of other commitments-the bottom line is, you're just too busy. OK, stop right there. Fitness experts have heard this classic excuse far too often to fall for it. The truth is, you don't have to devote hours a day to get the most bang for your fitness buck. "Regular exercise requires only about 5 percent of your waking hours," says John P. Foreyt, PhD, director of the Behavioral Medicine Research Center at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston. If you're up for 16 hours, that's just 48 minutes of exercise a day! But even a half-hour is a good start. "Breaking it up into bite-size 'exersnacks' gives you just as good
By Andrea Atkins
Should you let your child play unsupervised? Allow her to walk to school alone? In this age of information overload, parenting advice is everywhere. Go online and you'll find a tidal wave of tips aimed at helping you raise your kids. But what is it that they really need?
Above all else, children need common sense from their parents. Childhood has become "a pressure-packed preadulthood," says Edward M. Hallowell, PhD, author of The Childhood Roots of Adult Happiness: Five Steps to Help Kids Create and Sustain Lifelong Joy. "Kids are trying to make partner in the first grade." It's not that their parents don't love them; they've just confused raising children with turning out perfect products. Instead, he says, parents should focus on making their children feel connected to their family and their community, and success (and everything else) will follow.
1. "I Love You"s
Of course you love your kids. But do you remember to tell them? "I never knew a kidRead More »from 6 Things Kids Really Need
By WomansDay.com Staff
Who Should File My Taxes?
April 15 is almost here, and you haven't even started your taxes! Dayana Yochim, consumer finance expert at Fool.com, breaks down your options, just in the nick of time.
1) Programs like TurboTax, TaxACT and TaxCut are sophisticated enough to handle most tax situations and will prompt you through the forms you need. Cost: $20 to $40 for the software.
2) Use a Chain Preparer like H&R Block or Jackson Hewitt if you need handholding-but only if your finances are uncomplicated. (These folks are trained to fill out tax forms, but many are not full-time tax pros.) Cost for a nonitemized Form 1040: $39 and up.
3) Hire a Full-Fledged Pro if you own a business, have gone through a major life change (marriage, divorce, children, caring for elderly parents), bought or sold a home, or keep horrible records. Cost: $100 or more an hour. Find one at NAEA.org, AICPA.org, or ACATCredentials.org and look for any of these initials after his or her name: EA (EnrolledRead More »from Who Should File My Taxes?
By Abigail Cuffey
5 Tips for Ache-Free Gardening
Gardening can be tough on your bones and muscles, what with all the bending, kneeling, digging and tugging. Follow these stretching and positioning tips that will help prevent your body from feeling strained.
1. Warm up. Before you get down and dirty, take a 10-minute walk followed by some stretching: Roll your shoulders back in a circular motion and slowly move your head from side to side a few times to limber up.
2. Change it up. Never stay in one position for more than 10 minutes to avoid cramping or overusing a muscle group.
3. Bend at the knees. Whenever you grab something or pull a weed, bend your knees and contract your abdominal muscles to avoid straining your back.
4. Don't kneel. At least, not on both knees. Keep one foot flat on the ground (in a "marriage proposal" stance) to give your back more stability.
5. Cool down. End your gardening session with a short walk and some light stretching. Then take a warm bath or shower to help preventRead More »from 5 Tips for Ache-Free Gardening
By Woman's Day Staff6 Must-Know Facts About Clogs
1. Clogs damage pipes. They solidify, become highly corrosive and thin the pipe. Damaged pipes can burst and cause serious home damage. So…
2. All clogs should be cleared immediately. Clogs are like traffic jams: More traffic only makes it worse. You need to address the cause.
3. Garbage disposals are a major cause. Disposals should only be used for plate scraps. Sink pipes are 1.5" wide-too small for solid items, which clog the pipe where all the household lines meet.
4. Don't flush tissue or paper towel. Their fibers are designed to cling together when they hit water. Toilet paper is designed to separate in water; that's why it's OK.
5. Toilets from the mid-'90s are big cloggers. When the government required 1.6 gallons per flush in 1995, some toilet manufacturers simply made the hole smaller. Newer toilets are better.
6. You can prevent most clogs. Use soap sparingly, and only allow water, natural waste and toilet paper to enter pipes.Read More »from 6 Must-Know Facts About Clogs