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9 Tips Flat Abs

9 Tips for Flat Abs


How to Get Flat Abs

Like the quest for the Holy Grail, many people are on a mission to improve their abs. What does it take to get there? These 9 simple exercises and lifestyle tips can start you in the right direction.

 

 

No. 1: Improve Your Posture

Slouch and your stomach pooches. So straighten up, and you've done your abs a favor without breaking a sweat! For better posture while standing, align your ears over your shoulders, shoulders over hips, hips over knees, and knees over ankles. Keep the fronts of the shoulders open like a shirt on a hanger, instead of a shirt on a peg. Draw your navel to your spine and keep your weight even on the balls of your feet and your heels.

 

 

No. 2: Think Whole-Body Exercise

Don't get so into your abs that you overlook your other muscles. Your core muscles also include your glutes and back muscles, for instance. Pilates is one way to work all of the core muscles, plus the arms and legs, for a whole-body workout that does strengthens the abs -- and more. .

 

 

No. 3: Try the Canoe Twist

Stand upright, feet apart. Interlace your fingers to create a solid grip. Exhale, and sweep the interlocked hands, arms, shoulders, and chest to the left, as if "rowing a canoe." Simultaneously lift the left knee up and to the right. Inhale and return to the starting position. Exhale and perform the movement to the right. Alternate for 20 repetitions.

 

 

No. 4: Do the Cat Kick

Stand with feet together, arms extended like airplane wings. Exhale, and lift the right leg forward and up. At the same time, sweep the arms forward at shoulder level and round your spine, like a cat. The navel should feel as though it's pressing toward the spine. Inhale, and open back up and return to the starting position. Repeat with the left leg, alternating for 20 repetitions.

 

 

No. 5: Practice the Pilates Zip Up

Stand upright with heels together, toes slightly turned out. Bring your arms up, hands joined underneath the chin. Exhale, press your arms down, keeping hands and arms very close to the body. Simultaneously, lift your heels off the ground onto your tiptoes. Hold for two seconds at the "top," inhale and return to the starting position. The abs go "in and up" and the arms go down. Perform 20 repetitions.

 


No. 6: Examine Your Diet

You can do ab exercises until the cows come home, but if you've got extra belly fat, your strong abs won't show. To budge the belly fat, you have to look at what you eat and how active you are. In other words, eat less and move more, and spend your calorie budget wisely.

 


No. 7: Props Are Optional

Stability and Bosu balls, straps and bands, and gym memberships can be wonderful, but they aren't necessary for stronger abs. Even in your everyday life -- while taking a walk, standing in line at the grocery store, or socializing at a cocktail party -- you can engage your abs by standing straight and exhaling to draw the navel to the spine.

 


No. 8: Set Realistic Goals

Your genes may play a role in your body's shape, but don't make that an excuse to give up and head for the cookie jar. Your goals should be realistic and focused on your body, not on some idealized image. Beyonce's abs may motivate you, but you shouldn't expect to mimic them.

 

No. 9: Take Things Slow

There are no fast fixes. Even the promised quick fixes end up being temporary. Plan on slow and steady progression, and prepare for setbacks and even frustration. Rewards come with time and consistency.

ADHD: Tips for Parenting a Child With ADHD

What Is ADHD?

ADHD, or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, is a behavioral condition characterized by inattention, impulsiveness, and/or hyperactivity. It has been estimated that approximately 5% of U.S. children have ADHD, according to established diagnostic criteria.

 

What Are the Symptoms of ADHD?

The three key symptoms of ADHD are hyperactivity, impulsivity, and inattention. These symptoms typically interfere with the child's functioning in social and academic settings, such as paying attention to tasks at home or school, making careless errors, being easily distracted, not following through with tasks or completing instructions, being easily bored, losing things, being forgetful, having difficulty organizing tasks, being fidgety, having difficulty remaining seated, and talking excessively, to name a few.

Many children with ADHD will have symptoms that persist into adulthood. Effective treatments for ADHD include both medications and behavioral therapies. Not surprisingly, parenting a child with ADHD can pose special challenges.

 

How Do I Know if My Child Has ADHD?

Many of the symptoms of ADHD are also symptoms seen during normal childhood and development, and exhibiting one or more of the symptoms does not mean that a child has ADHD. It is also important to note that for a health-care professional to make a diagnosis of ADHD, the symptoms must have been present for at least six months in more than one setting (for example, home, school, and in the community), usually beginning before 7 years of age, and the symptoms must be inconsistent with the developmental level of the child and severe enough to interfere with the child's social or academic functioning.

 

What Should I Do if I Am Concerned That My Child Might Have ADHD?

If you are concerned about your child's behavior, it is appropriate to communicate this to your child's primary health-care provider. He or she can help you determine whether further evaluation may be necessary and whether your child's behavioral symptoms are suggestive of ADHD. If a formal evaluation is indicated, this evaluation will involve professionals from various disciplines to provide a comprehensive medical, developmental, educational, and psychosocial evaluation.

 

Think Positively

While ADHD can certainly present unique and sometimes what can seem to be daunting challenges, being able to sincerely know and have confidence in your child's strengths can go a long way toward helping him or her be the very best person he or she can be. Many famous, accomplished, and indeed brilliant people of the past and present have ADHD. An outstanding example of learning to have a positive outlook about ADHD is demonstrated in the children's book and movie called, Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Lightning Thief.

Another benefit to thinking positively about your child with ADHD is its infectious nature. It is much easier for the child's teacher, coaches, peers, and in fact, the child him- or herself to accept and harness strengths when the parent communicates and emphasizes those strengths. The challenge for parenting a child with ADHD is to be able to use the child's unique gifts and address his or her challenges to work toward achieving the child's fullest potential.

 

Define Schedules and Routines

Clearly defined schedules and routines are essential for children (as well as for teens and adults) with ADHD. Having an established, while not inflexible, pattern for getting ready in the mornings, preparing for bedtime, and managing after-school homework and activities provides a sense of consistency and allows the child to know what to expect. It can be helpful for older children to have plenty of conspicuous clocks to use as cues for time management. Some parents find that the use of timers (for homework time, time to finish up play, etc.) helps for younger children.

To make the process more enjoyable or easier to remember, charts and checklists can be used that list the steps or tasks required for each time of day. For example, the "morning checklist" can include items like making the bed, brushing their teeth, and helping to prepare school lunch. Hang the checklists in a conspicuous place and allow your child to check off completed items as they are done, if he/she wishes.

 

Set Clear Rules and Expectations

As with clearly defined schedules, attainable, clearly defined rules and expectations are also essential for kids with ADHD. In both school and at home, children with ADHD need a consistent and clearly defined set of rules. It can be helpful to create a list of rules for the home and post them in a place where the child can easily see them. It's very important to stick to the rules and provide fair and consistent rewards and consequences when the household rules are not followed.

 

Give Clear Instructions

Avoid vague or open-ended instructions such as "clean up your mess" or "play nicely" that do not accurately convey the specific tasks that you want to be done. Instead, use clear language and specific instructions such as "please put all the dirty clothes in the hamper," "please put all the toys back on the shelves," or "let's allow your friend to have a turn playing with the toy." Speak in a calm and clear voice, and be sure to establish kind eye contact with your child when you give instructions so it is more likely he or she is focused on what you are saying. It can be helpful to have your child repeat the instructions back to you. Breaking down instructions for larger tasks into simple steps can also be helpful.

 

Discipline, Rewards, and Consequences

Children with ADHD respond very well to a defined and predictable system of rewards and consequences to manage behavior and discipline. Reward positive behaviors with praise or with small rewards that cost little or no money, such as special time with a parent or participating in an outing or favorite activity. Focus on praise or privileges as rewards rather than offering foods or toys as prizes.

It's always best to give more rewards and positive praise than negative comments or consequences. For example, smile and say, "I like the way you're working on your homework" or "you're doing a great job clearing the table." Ask your child to say what he or she did well during an activity and help him or her to come up with something if he or she cannot.

 

Discipline, Rewards, and Consequences (continued)

Likewise, consequences for negative behaviors should be fair, appropriate, consistent, predictable, and swiftly implemented and completed. Major events like holidays or the child's birthday should never be completely withdrawn or uncelebrated because of something the child did. Consequences ideally should be explained in advance and should occur immediately following the negative behavior. Delayed consequences (such as not participating in an event or outing in the following week) are not as effective as immediate consequences. Consequences can include time-outs, removal from the situation or setting, or restriction of privileges. It is very important that the consequence occur after every instance of negative behavior.

 

Use Time-Out Effectively

Particularly for younger children, time-outs can be an effective consequence for negative behaviors that serve the additional purpose of removing the child from an overstimulating or stressful environment. A time-out is also an immediate consequence that is likely to be more effective than a delayed consequence. Many experts recommend that time-outs not last longer in minutes than the child's age in years (for example, a five-minute time out for a 5-year-old). Longer than that may be too difficult for the child to complete, leading him or her to be more likely to defy doing the time-out at all.


Alcohol Abuse : 12 Health Risks of Chronic Heavy Drinking


Alcohol and Health Risks

It's no secret that alcohol consumption can cause major health problems, including cirrhosis of the liver and injuries sustained in automobile accidents. But if you think liver disease and car crashes are the only health risks posed by drinking, think again: Researchers have linked alcohol consumption to more than 60 diseases.

This pictures looks at 12 conditions linked to chronic heavy drinking.

 


1. Anemia

Heavy drinking can cause the number of oxygen-carrying red blood cells to be abnormally low. This condition, known as anemia, can trigger a host of symptoms, including fatigue, shortness of breath, and lightheadedness.

 


2. Cancer

"Habitual drinking increases the risk of cancer," says Jurgen Rehm, PhD, chairman of the University of Toronto's department of addiction policy and a senior scientist at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, also in Toronto. Scientists believe the increased risk comes when the body converts alcohol into acetaldehyde, a potent carcinogen. Cancer sites linked to alcohol use include the mouth, pharynx (throat), larynx (voice box), esophagus, liver, breast, and colorectal region. Cancer risk rises even higher in heavy drinkers who also use tobacco.

 


3. Cardiovascular Disease

Heavy drinking, especially bingeing, makes platelets more likely to clump together into blood clots, which can lead to heart attack or stroke. In a landmark study published in 2005, Harvard researchers found that binge drinking doubled the risk of death among people who initially survived a heart attack.

Heavy drinking can also cause cardiomyopathy, a potentially deadly condition in which the heart muscle weakens and eventually fails, as well as the heart-rhythm abnormalities atrial and ventricular fibrillation. Atrial fibrillation, in which the heart's upper chambers (atria) twitch chaotically rather than constrict rhythmically, can cause blood clots that can trigger a stroke. Ventricular fibrillation causes chaotic twitching in the heart's main pumping chambers (ventricles). It causes rapid loss of consciousness and, in the absence of immediate treatment, sudden death.

 


4. Cirrhosis

Alcohol is toxic to liver cells, and many heavy drinkers develop cirrhosis, a sometimes-lethal condition in which the liver is so heavily scarred that it is unable to function. But it's hard to predict which drinkers will develop cirrhosis. For some unknown reason, women seem to be especially vulnerable.

 


5. Dementia

As people age, their brains shrink, on average, at a rate of about 1.9% per decade. That's considered normal. But heavy drinking speeds the shrinkage of certain key regions in the brain, resulting in memory loss and other symptoms of dementia.

Heavy drinking can also lead to subtle but potentially debilitating deficits in the ability to plan, make judgments, solve problems, and other aspects of "executive function," which are "the higher-order abilities that allow us to maximize our function as human beings," says James C. Garbutt, MD, professor of psychiatry at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Medicine.

In addition to the "nonspecific" dementia that stems from brain atrophy, heavy drinking can cause nutritional deficiencies so severe that they trigger other forms of dementia.

 


6. Depression

It's long been known that heavy drinking often goes hand in hand with depression, but there has been debate about which came first -- the drinking or the depression. One theory is that depressed people turned to alcohol in an attempt to "self-medicate" to ease their emotional pain. But in 2010, a large study from New Zealand showed that it was probably the other way around -- that is, heavy drinking led to depression.

 


7. Seizures

Heavy drinking can be a cause of epilepsy and can trigger seizures even in people who don't have epilepsy. It can also interfere with the action of the medications used to treat the disorder.

 


8. Gout

A painful condition, gout is caused by the formation of uric-acid crystals in the joints. Although some cases are largely hereditary, alcohol and other dietary factors seem to play a role. Alcohol also seems to aggravate existing cases of gout.

 


9. High Blood Pressure

Alcohol can disrupt the sympathetic nervous system, which, among other things, controls the constriction and dilation of blood vessels in response to stress, temperature, exertion, etc. Heavy drinking -- and bingeing, in particular -- can cause blood pressure to rise. Over time, this effect can become chronic. High blood pressure can lead to many other health problems, including kidney disease, heart disease, and stroke.

 


10. Infectious Diseases

Heavy drinking suppresses the immune system, providing a toehold for infections, including tuberculosis, pneumonia, HIV/AIDS, and other sexually transmitted diseases (including some that cause infertility). People who drink heavily also are more likely to engage in risky sex. "Heavy drinking is associated with a threefold increase in the risk of contracting a sexually transmitted disease," Rehm says.

 


11. Nerve Damage

Heavy drinking can cause a form of nerve damage known as alcoholic neuropathy, which can produce a painful pins-and-needles feeling in the extremities, as well as muscle weakness, incontinence, constipation, erectile dysfunction, and other problems. Alcoholic neuropathy may arise because alcohol is toxic to nerve cells or because nutritional deficiencies attributable to heavy drinking compromise nerve function.

 


12. Pancreatitis

In addition to causing stomach irritation (gastritis), drinking can inflame the pancreas. Chronic pancreatitis interferes with the digestive process, causing abdominal pain and persistent diarrhea. Some cases of chronic pancreatitis are triggered by gallstones, but up to 60% stem from alcohol consumption.

 


Summary

Be aware of the health problems associated with chronic heavy drinking. "Alcohol does all kinds of things in the body, and we're not fully aware of all its effects," says Garbutt. "It's a pretty complicated little molecule."

Asthma : 10 Worst Cities for Asthma, 2011

Asthma : 10 Worst Cities for Asthma, 2011

 

Did Your City Make the List?

Asthma is a chronic disease of the airways that makes breathing difficult for 1 in 15 Americans. Air pollution, secondhand smoke, and pollen are common triggers of an asthma attack. While there are no asthma-free cities, some are more challenging than others for people living with asthma. The Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA) has released their “2011 Asthma Capitals.” Here are the top 10.

 


No. 10: Nashville, Tenn.

Nashville jumped up 10 spots this year to land on this dubious top 10 list of the worst cities for people with asthma. Twelve factors are used to formulate the list, including air pollution, pollen scores, asthma prevalence, use of "rescue inhalers," and poverty. Nashville fares worse than many other cities in air quality and smoke-free laws -- though its pollen score is better than average.

 


No. 9: Philadelphia

Philly remains one of the 10 worst asthma cities in the U.S. again this year. It scores worse than many others in air quality and pollen. There's also a high prevalence of asthma and high use of asthma medicine among residents -- though there not enough asthma specialists for all those struggling to breathe.

 


No. 8: Virginia Beach, Va.

Summer visitors know Virginia Beach for its beautiful, sandy beaches, but residents with asthma know a different side. Air quality, smoke-free laws, and the pollen score are all worse than many other cities. Asthma rates are higher than average here, while the number of medical specialists is too low, according to the AAFA.

 


No. 7: Augusta, Ga.

Golf lovers see endless rows of blooming flowers during the Master's tournament here each April, yet flowers, grasses, and their pollen are only a minor player in Augusta's asthma ranking. Poverty, poor air quality, high asthma death rates, and incomplete smoke-free laws make this city one of the 10 worst asthma cities again this year, despite its relatively small size.

 


No. 6: St. Louis

The Gateway Arch is not the only thing in the air in St. Louis. High pollen counts, poor air quality, and the lack of a comprehensive smoking ban in all public places contribute to big asthma issues here, according to the AAFA. St. Louis fares a little better this year, compared to previous rankings as the worst city, and the runner-up worst city for people with asthma.

 


No. 5: Tulsa, Okla.

Dry, dusty Oklahoma can have a surprising amount of pollen, and that's one reason Tulsa remains in the top 10 worst asthma cities. Residents' use of asthma "quick relief" medicine is higher than average, while the number of asthma specialists is too low, according to the AAFA. And smoke-free laws in Tulsa haven't caught up with many other cities.

 


No. 4: Chattanooga, Tenn.

A beautiful riverfront park and nearby mountains make this a tourist destination for outdoor enthusiasts, but asthma sufferers might bring along their medicine. Poor air quality and an above-average asthma death rate help keep Chattanooga near the top of the worst asthma cities list. Like many Southern cities, Chattanooga lags behind in implementing smoke-free laws that help clear the air of secondhand smoke in public places.

 


No. 3: Memphis, Tenn.

This Mississippi river town has many asthma sufferers singing the blues. Memphis moves up to No. 3 this year. Weak public smoking restrictions, poor air quality, and high poverty rates continue to be problematic. While asthma doesn't discriminate based on socio-economic status, people living in poverty often have less access to the health care and medications needed to manage their condition.

 


No. 2: Knoxville, Tenn.

Knoxville moves up to No. 2 from No. 4 last year. It has ranked in the top 10 worst asthma cities year after year, like other cities in Tennessee and across the South. Knoxville does have a better-than-average number of specialists to treat people with asthma. But the city is still vexed by poor air quality, incomplete smoke-free laws, and above-average use of asthma medications.

 


No. 1: Richmond, Va.

This historic city on the James River is the AAFA's top "Asthma Capital" for the second year in a row. Richmond earned this unhealthy title with a high pollen score, high poverty rate, and poor air quality. Fourteen of the 25 worst cities this year are in the South, largely because Southern tobacco-producing areas have been slow to adopt smoke-free laws -- and they continue to have frequent ozone days and high overall levels of air pollution.

 


10 Best Cities for Asthma

This year's best asthma cities tend to have air quality that is much better than average. Here are the best cities for 2011 -- with the No. 1 city shown on the next slide.

10. Omaha, Neb.
9. Sarasota, Fla.
8. Cape Coral, Fla.
7. Austin, Texas
6. Kansas City, Mo.
5. Minneapolis
4. Des Moines, Iowa
3. Colorado Springs, Co.
2. San Francisco

 


Breathe Better: Portland, Ore.

This Northwest city known for roses, microbreweries, and coffee took top honors in this year's asthma cities ranking. Better-than-average air quality and a low pollen score helped it beat 99 other U.S. cities in the AAFA ranking. While cleaner air helps asthmatics breathe easier, experts say there's really no "best" place to live because each person's triggers are different.

Children's Health

Introduction

Creating a nutritional home is one of the most important steps you can take to ensure the health of your child. To start, make smart food choices, and help your child develop a positive relationship with healthy food. Your children will learn their food smarts from your example.

Here are the top 10 tips for getting children to eat healthy food, offered by Melinda Sothern, PhD, coauthor of Trim Kids and director of the childhood obesity prevention laboratory at Louisiana State University.

 


1. Do Not Restrict Food

Restricting food increases the risk your child may develop eating disorders such as anorexia or bulimia later in life. It can also have a negative effect on growth and development.

 


2. Keep Healthy Food at Hand

Children will eat what's readily available. Keep fruit in a bowl on the counter, not buried in the crisper section of your fridge. And have an apple for your own snack. "Your actions scream louder than anything you will ever tell them," says Sothern. Remember, your child can only choose foods that you stock in the house.

 


3. Don't Label Foods as "Good" or "Bad"

Instead tie foods to the things your child cares about, such as sports or appearance. Let your child know that lean protein such as turkey and calcium in dairy products give strength to their sports performance. The antioxidants in fruits and vegetables add luster to skin and hair.

 


4. Praise Healthy Choices

Give your children a proud smile and tell them how smart they are when they choose healthy foods.

 


5. Don't Nag About Unhealthy Choices

When children choose unhealthy food, ignore it. Or if your child always wants fatty, fried food, redirect the choice. You might try roasting potato sticks in the oven (tossed in just a bit of oil) instead of buying french fries. Or, if your child wants candy, you might make fresh strawberries dipped in a little chocolate sauce. Too busy? Then keep naturally sweet dried fruit at home for quick snacks.

 


6. Never Use Food as a Reward

This could create weight problems in later life. Instead, reward your children with something physical and fun -- perhaps a trip to the park or a quick game of catch.

 


7. Sit Down to Family Dinners at Night

If this isn't a tradition in your home, it should be. Research shows that children who eat dinners at the table with their parents have better nutrition and are less likely to get in serious trouble as teenagers. Start with one night a week, and then work up to three or four, to gradually build the habit.

 


8. Prepare Plates in the Kitchen

There you can put healthy portions of each item on everyone's dinner plate. Your children will learn to recognize correct portion sizes. And you may find your slacks fit better as well!

 


9. Give the Kids Some Control

Ask your children to take three bites of all the foods on their plate and give it a grade, such as A, B, C, D, or F. When healthy foods -- especially certain vegetables -- get high marks, serve them more often. Offer the items your children don't like less frequently. This lets your children participate in decision making. After all, dining is a family affair.

 


10. Consult Your Pediatrician

Always talk with your child's doctor before putting your child on a diet, trying to help your child gain weight, or making any significant changes in the type of foods your child eats. Never diagnose your child as too heavy, or too thin, by yourself.

 


Conclusion

"It's all about gradual changes, it's not overnight, and it's an uphill battle for parents," Sothern tells WebMD. "Everything outside of the home is trying to make kids overweight. The minute they walk out of the home, there are people trying to make them eat too much and serving them too much."

But the food smarts your children will learn from you can protect them for a lifetime.

endometriosis - Panduan, Tahapan & Perawatan

Artikel Gambar Endometriosis: Sebuah Panduan visual untuk Gejala, Tahapan dan Perawatan


What is Endometriosis?

Endometriosis occurs when tissue normally found inside the uterus grows in other parts of the body. It may attach to the ovaries, fallopian tubes, the exterior of the uterus, the bowel, or other internal structures. As hormones change during the menstrual cycle, this tissue breaks down and may cause painful adhesions, or scar tissue. More than 5.5 million American women have symptoms of endometriosis.

 

Endometriosis Symptoms

Pain just before, during, or after menstruation is the most common symptom of endometriosis. For some women, this pain may be disabling and may occur during or after sex, or during bowel movements or urination. It sometimes causes chronic pain in the pelvis and lower back. However, many women with endometriosis have mild or no symptoms. The symptoms may be related to the location of the growths.

 

Just Cramps or Endometriosis?

Most women have some mild pain with their menstrual periods. They may get relief from over-the-counter pain medications. If your pain lasts more than two days, keeps you from doing normal activities, or remains after your period is over, you should consult your doctor. Endometriosis also may cause pain in the lower back.


Endometriosis and Teens

Endometriosis pain can begin with the first menstrual period. If your menstrual pain is strong enough to interfere with activities, you should consult your physician. The first step may be tracking the symptoms and taking pain medication, but ultimately the treatment options for teens are the same as for adults.

 

Endometriosis and Infertility

Sometimes the first -- or only -- sign of endometriosis is trouble getting pregnant. Infertility affects about a third of women with the condition, for reasons that are not yet well understood. Scarring may be to blame. The good news is that medical treatments are effective to overcome infertility -- and pregnancy itself can relieve some symptoms of endometriosis.


 

Endometriosis or Fibroids?

Endometriosis is one cause of severe menstrual pain. But the pain can be caused by another condition, such as fibroids, which are noncancerous growths of the muscle tissue of the uterus. Fibroids can cause severe cramps and heavier bleeding during your period. The pain of endometriosis or fibroids can also occur at other times of the month.

 

What Causes Endometriosis?

Doctors don't know why endometrial tissue grows outside of the uterus, but there are several theories. Heredity plays a role, and some endometrial cells may be present from birth. The cells also might migrate to the pelvic area during menstruation, through the bloodstream, or during surgery such as caesarian delivery. A faulty immune system may fail to eliminate the misplaced cells.

The brown cells seen here are endometrial cells removed from an abnormal growth on an ovary.

 


Endometriosis: Who Is at Risk?

Endometriosis is more common in women who:

  • Are in their 30s and 40s
  • Have not had children
  • Have periods longer than 7 days
  • Have cycles shorter than 28 days
  • Started their period before age 12
  • Have a mother or sister who had endometriosis

 


Diagnosis: Tracking Symptoms

Your pattern of symptoms can help to identify endometriosis, including:

  • When the pain occurs
  • How bad it is
  • How long it lasts
  • A change or worsening of pain
  • Pain that limits your activities
  • Pain during intercourse, bowel movements, or urination

 


Diagnosis: Pelvic Exam

Your doctor will perform a pelvic exam to check the ovaries, uterus, and cervix for anything unusual. An exam can sometimes reveal an ovarian cyst or internal scarring that may be due to endometriosis. The doctor also looks for other pelvic conditions that could cause symptoms similar to endometriosis.


Exercise and Fitness: 10 Budget-Friendly Exercise Gadgets


Exercise Within Your Budget

Tight budgets are no excuse to let yourself get flabby. Sure, a pricey gym membership may be something you don't want to spring for right now. And home exercise equipment with all the bells and whistles may be out of the question. Luckily, there are plenty of inexpensive ways to exercise. Some won't even cost you a thin dime.

Three respected exercise experts: Steven Blair, PhD, at the University of South Carolina, Jennifer Huberty, PhD, at the University of Nebraska, and Andrea Dunn, PhD, at Klein Buendal in Colorado, recommend 10 budget-friendly exercise gadgets through this slideshow of pictures

Jump Rope (Less Than $10)

It may be child's play, but jumping rope offers an unusually complete workout. It improves aerobic fitness at the same time that it strengthens legs, buttocks, arms, and shoulders. No wonder many boxers, wrestlers, and other athletes use jump ropes to train. Jump ropes are easy to pack. Basic jump rope: under $10.

Resistance Bands (Start Around $10)

They're cheap, portable, and can be used to give virtually every muscle in your body an intense workout. A vigorous workout also burns calories, which can help with weight loss. A good set of bands starts at about $10. Most come with a basic set of instructions.

Pedometer ($20-$30)

Having trouble motivating yourself to take a brisk walk every day? Studies show that step counters, or pedometers, help inspire people to be more active. Many versions are available, from basic ones that simply tally up steps to fancier models you can hook up to your computer to keep track of your progress over time. Basic step counter: $20 to $30.

Hand Weights ($15)

A pair of hand weights -- also known as dumbbells -- offers a great upper-body strengthening workout. Another option: Use everyday weighted objects you can easily grasp in each hand, such as a water bottle, socks filled with dried beans or sand, or a bag of rice. Basic hand weights: $15.

Yoga Mat ($15-$20)

If you do yoga at home, you probably already own a yoga mat. Even if yoga isn't your thing, mats still come in handy for doing basic calisthenics such as sit-ups, push-ups, deep knee bends, and other exercises that use body weight -- and gravity -- to strengthen muscles. Jogging in place or doing jumping jacks add aerobics to your routine and burn calories. (For example, 10 minutes of vigorous jumping jacks burns about 100 calories, assuming a body weight of about 155 pounds.) Yoga mat: $15-$20.

Medicine Ball (About $20)

About the size of basketballs, medicine balls are weighted and can be used to add intensity to a basic set of floor exercises. You can squeeze a medicine ball between your knees while doing reverse curls to strengthen abdominal muscless, for example, or hold it above your head while doing lateral flexes to tighten up oblique muscles. Most come with instructions for a set of basic exercises. Medicine ball: About about $20.

Stability Ball ($10-$20)

Big enough to sit on, stability balls offer another great way to add intensity to floor workouts. Because the ball is wobbly, your core muscles have to work to help you keep your balance. The more muscles are activated, the more complete your workout. Stability balls are especially good for working out abdominal and back muscles. Stability ball: $10-$20.

Walking or Running Shoes ($40-$120)

If you love to walk or jog, decent shoes are critical. Comfort is the most important criterion. When you shop for shoes, try the pair on and take the time to walk around the store a few times to make sure you get plenty of foot support. Shoes should be snug without rubbing your feet the wrong way. Shoes: typically $40-$120.

Fitness DVDs ($10-$20)

Fitness is big business these days. That means celebrities, exercise gurus, and former athletes are all churning out exercise DVDs -- everything from George Foreman's “Walk It Off, George!” to “Box Out -- the New Way to Exercise With Sugar Ray Robinson.” Fitness DVDs cost $10-$20 retail. Used exercise DVDs and videos show up in plenty of yard sales and flea markets for a fraction of that. Many are also available at local libraries or from Netflix.

A Stairstep (Step Platform: $100, Staircase: Free)

Walking up and down stairs offers as good a workout as a fancy stair machine -- at no cost. If you live or work in a building with stairs between floors, use them for your gym. Or find a building or park nearby with steps you can use. Another option if you'd rather not exercise in public: Buy a step platform, just like the ones used in step classes at the gym. Exercise videos featuring step platforms are available. Cost of a step platform: $100. Cost of a staircase: free.

Fat-Fighting Foods


Greek Yogurt

What makes Greek yogurt a delicious tool for weight loss is its protein content. It has twice as much as other yogurts. "Protein takes longer to leave the stomach," says sports nutritionist Leslie Bonci, MPH, RD. "That keeps you satisfied longer." As a bonus, Bonci tells WebMD, the body burns more calories digesting protein than carbs. Non-fat, low-fat, and low-sugar types keep a slim profile.

 


Quinoa

Quinoa (pronounced keen-wa) is a nutritional all-star that belongs in your weight loss plan. This whole grain has 8 grams of hunger-busting protein and 5 grams of fiber in one cup, plus it's as easy to cook as rice. It's also packed with nutrients such as iron, zinc, selenium, and vitamin E. For a quick and interesting dinner, mix in some vegetables, nuts, or lean protein.

 


Cinnamon

Studies suggest cinnamon may have a stabilizing effect on blood sugar levels. This could curtail appetite, particularly in people with type 2 diabetes, Bonci says. Nearly everyone can benefit from cinnamon in its traditional role. Stir some into your coffee, tea, or yogurt to add sweetness without adding calories.

 


Hot Peppers

Hot peppers contain a flavorless compound called capsaicin. It's more plentiful in spicy habaneros, but also occurs in jalapeños. This compound appears to curb appetite and speed up the metabolism slightly, but only for a short time. Bonci doubts that this has a significant impact on weight loss. But, she says, people tend to eat less when their food is spicy.

 


Green Tea

Several studies suggest green tea may promote weight loss by stimulating the body to burn abdominal fat. Green tea contains catechins, a type of phytochemical that may briefly affect the metabolism. To get the most benefit, you may need to drink green tea several times a day. Bonci recommends taking your tea hot, because it takes longer to drink, slowing your calorie intake and providing a soothing, mindful experience.

 


Grapefruit

While grapefruit doesn't have any magical fat-burning properties, it can help dieters feel full with fewer calories. Bonci attributes this to the plentiful amounts of soluble fiber, which take longer to digest. Having half a grapefruit or a glass of grapefruit juice before a meal may help fill you up, so you eat fewer calories during the meal.

 


Watermelon

Foods that are high in water content take up more room in the gut, Bonci says. This signals the body that you've had enough to eat and leaves less room for other foods. Many raw fruits and vegetables are chock-full of water and nutrients, but low in calories. Watermelon is a great example. It's a rich source of the antioxidant lycopene and adds some vitamins A and C to your day, too.

 

 

Pears and Apples

Pears and apples are also high in water content. Eat them with the peels for extra fiber, which will keep you full longer. Bonci recommends whole fruits rather than fruit juice. Not only do you get more fiber, you have to chew the fruits. This takes longer and requires some exertion. You actually burn a few calories chewing, as opposed to gulping down a smoothie.

 

Grapes vs. Raisins

The value of water content becomes clear when you look at two cups of grapes vs. ¼ cup of raisins. Either choice has a little more than 100 calories, but the larger portion of grapes is likely to feel more satisfying. Still, Bonci says, dried fruit has an interesting texture. When used sparingly, a few raisins or dried cranberries can make a salad more appealing.

 

Berries

Like other fruits, berries are high in water and fiber, which can keep you full longer. But they have another benefit -- they're very sweet. This means berries can satisfy your sweet tooth for a fraction of the calories you would take in gobbling cookies or brownies. Blueberries stand out because they're easy to find and loaded with antioxidants.

 


Raw Vegetables

Raw vegetables make an outstanding snack. They satisfy the desire to crunch, they're full of water to help you feel full, and they're low in calories. Half a cup of diced celery has just eight calories. Bonci suggests coating celery with a little peanut butter or dunking carrots in salsa. When you're in the mood for chips and dip, try replacing the chips with raw veggies.

 


Sweet Potatoes

Think of the typical toppings on your baked potato -- butter, sour cream, maybe cheese and bacon bits. If you substitute a sweet potato, you might not need any of that. Baked sweet potatoes are so full of flavor, they require very little embellishment. This can save you loads of calories. As a bonus, sweet potatoes are packed with potassium, beta carotene, vitamin C, and fiber.


Head Lice What Parents Should Know

 

Head Lice: What Parents Should Know

Spotting a tiny, white speck in your child's hair is enough to make many parents panic. Sure, head lice score high on the yuck factor, but they usually aren't harmful. Here, you'll find all the information you need to get a lice infestation under control.

 


What Are Head Lice?

Head lice are tiny six-legged insects that cling to the scalp and neck and feed on human blood. Each louse is about the size of a sesame seed and can be hard to spot. Lice eggs, called nits, are glued onto hairs near the scalp and can be even more difficult to see. When a large number of lice live in a person's hair, it is called an infestation.

 


Who Gets Head Lice?

Head lice are most common in young children attending day care, preschool, or elementary school. Children of this age often play together closely and may share brushes, hats, hair clips, and the like. Adults who live with children also have a higher risk of exposure to head lice.

 


How Head Lice Spread

Lice usually spread through direct head-to-head contact that allows the pests to crawl from one person's hair into another's. Lice can also survive for a short period on clothing or other personal items, so a shared hairbrush can help a louse find a new host. Lice cannot jump or fly from one person to another.

 


How to Spot Head Lice

Although lice and their nits are small, they are visible to the naked eye. Head lice can be white, brown, or dark gray. They are most often found in the hair at the back of the neck or behind the ears. The nits are round or oval specks that are tightly glued to hairs near the scalp. If you try to slide the nits off, they won't budge. Recent research suggests combing through wet hair is the best way to spot an active infestation.

 


Symptoms of Head Lice

Spotting a louse or nit is often the only sign of an infestation. In many children, head lice don't cause any discomfort. When symptoms do occur, the most common problem is itching that may start weeks or even months after the lice move in.

 


Head Lice Allergies

The itching associated with lice is caused by an allergic reaction to the bug bites. Frequent scratching may lead to sores or raw skin on the scalp. Call a doctor promptly if: the skin becomes red, swollen, or painful; the lymph nodes in the neck become tender; or if there is a fever of 100 degrees Fahrenheit or higher. These are signs of a skin infection.

 


If You Suspect Head Lice

Head lice will not go away on their own. If you suspect your child has an infestation, there are several steps you should take right away. Call your health care provider to confirm the diagnosis. Notify your child's day care provider or school so other students can be checked. Examine all other members of the household for signs of lice. Finally, treat everyone who's infected at the same time.


Pregnancy : What Not to Eat When Pregnant


So Long, Soft Cheeses

Eating Mexican queso blanco or other soft cheeses during pregnancy can be risky. Those made with unpasteurized milk can harbor Listeria bacteria, which has been linked to miscarriage, premature delivery, and death. It's best to avoid brie, camembert, feta, blue cheese, queso blanco, queso fresco, and Panela – unless the label says it's pasteurized. When in doubt or dining out, ask before you eat.

 


Skip Undercooked Meat

You might like your filet mignon rare, but pregnancy is a time to order all steaks and burgers well done. Raw or undercooked meat can harbor toxoplasma and a variety of bacteria. When dining out, make sure your meat is steaming hot and thoroughly cooked. At home, the temperature should reach at least 145° F for whole cuts, 160° F for ground meats like hamburger, and 165°F for chicken breasts.

 


Beware Fresh Juice

Fresh-squeezed juice in restaurants, juice bars, or farm stands may not be pasteurized to protect against harmful bacteria, including salmonella and E. coli. Some markets also sell raw, unpasteurized juice in the refrigerated case – look for the required warning label and steer clear. Pregnant women should opt for juice that is pasteurized. Shelf stable juice in boxes and bottles is also safe.

 


Sayonara, Sushi

Sorry, sushi fans, but it's time for a 9-month hiatus from this treat. Although seafood is a great source of protein, raw seafood can be a source of harmful parasites and bacteria. The FDA recommends pregnant women only eat fish and other seafood that has been cooked thoroughly.

 


Raw Cookie Dough

When you're baking cookies, you may be tempted to pop a bit of raw dough in your mouth. But even a taste can be risky if the dough contains raw eggs. The CDC estimates one in 20,000 eggs is tainted with salmonella bacteria. To be safe, resist tasting unbaked cookie dough, batter, or filling made with raw eggs. The good news is store-bought cookie dough ice cream is safe.

 


Homemade Caesar Dressing

Raw eggs are also used in many homemade dressings and sauces, such as:

  • Caesar salad dressing
  • Béarnaise sauce
  • Hollandaise sauce
  • Mayonnaise

Pregnant women should opt for store-bought versions, which are made with pasteurized eggs.



Homemade Tiramisu

Many homemade desserts, including mousse, meringue, and tiramisu, also contain raw eggs. If a store-bought version won't do, there is a safe way to prepare your favorite recipe. Some supermarkets sell pasteurized eggs, which are OK to eat raw. Make sure the label on the eggs specifically states "pasteurized."

 


Fresh Pre-Stuffed Poultry

A pre-stuffed turkey or chicken offers a short-cut to a guest-worthy meal. But the juice from fresh, raw poultry can mix with the stuffing and promote bacterial growth. Cooking protects most people, but pregnancy makes it harder to fight off infections. A safe alternative is buying frozen pre-stuffed poultry. Be sure to cook it directly from frozen – don't let it defrost first. The thigh meat should hit 180 F.

 


Fish With Mercury

Swordfish, tilefish, king mackerel, and shark contain high levels of methylmercury. This metal can harm an unborn baby's development. Pregnant women should choose fish that are low in mercury, such as catfish, salmon, and canned light tuna. If you prefer albacore (white) tuna, limit yourself to 6 ounces per week. Check with your doctor before taking fish oil or any other supplements while pregnant.

 


Deli Meats

Unlike many other foodborne germs, listeria can grow at the temperatures inside your fridge. For this reason, pregnant women should avoid perishable, ready-to-eat meats, such as cold cuts and hot dogs. You can make these foods safe by heating them until they are steaming hot and eating them promptly.


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