Joined: 13 October 2008
The holidays are over, every last crumb of pie is long gone, and it's time to focus on your health. For 2008, WebMD asked leading U.S. physicians and medical experts for their top health to-dos. Read on for the resolutions they recommend we have on our lists all year long.
What's the best way to reduce your risk of breast cancer? "Buy a pair of sneakers," says Susan Love, MD, president of the Susan Love Research Foundation. "Cardio exercise, even more so than diet, has been shown in multiple studies to reduce the risk of breast cancer by 20%, on average, in both pre- and postmenopausal women."
Brisk walking, biking, swimming, or jogging -- all will raise your heart rate for your long-term breast health. And for women over 40, a yearly mammogram is also a must.
Between 16% and 33% of children and adolescents in the United States are overweight or obese -- all the more reason you need to raise kids to be physically fit in the new year.
"Make it a family affair," says WebMD's pediatric expert Steven J. Parker, MD, co-author of the 7th edition of Dr. Spock's Baby and Child Care guide. "Set a good example for your kids by eating healthy and exercising yourself, and they'll follow your lead."
Where should you start? Walk to the park or store instead of hopping in your car, and enforce a no-TV rule in your house after school and before homework to make sure your kids are outside playing instead of sitting on the couch, suggests Parker. And if you're the head chef in the house, plan nutritious, low-fat, low-junk-food meals served up in moderate portion sizes for the kids -- and you.
When the going gets tough in your relationship with your significant other in 2008, take a break to temper your anger or anxiety.
"Time-outs aren't just for kids," says Jenn Berman, PhD, author of The A to Z Guide to Raising Happy, Confident Kids. "Adults in romantic relationships can get into intense discussions, and as they progress, we tend to say things we regret."
Rather than letting a discussion spiral out of control into a full-blown fight, suggests Berman, step away for a breather when your emotions start to turn a darker shade of negative, and then pick up where you left off when you've both cooled down.
"More than 40% of Americans avoid the dentist at all costs," says Michael Kahn, DDS, chair of the department of oral and maxillofacial pathology at Tufts University School of Dental Medicine in Boston.
The cost could be your teeth. You should have a professional cleaning, have your dentist check for and treat tooth decay and gum disease, and be screened by a dentist for oral cancer -- especially if you're a guy; men face twice the risk of oral cancer as women -- at least once a year.
"If you refuse to go the dentist, then at the very least screen yourself for oral cancer," says Kahn. "Check your mouth once a month for bright white or red patches. If the spots won't rub off and they are still there after about a week, see your doctor right away."
Joined: 05 January 2009
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