3 ways to get the most out of your doctor visit
“Know what you want out of your next M.D. visit: a diagnosis, a referral to a specialist? Keep your focus and you’ll be more likely to get what you need.” —Doctor/patient relations expert Vicki Rackner, M.D.
“Don’t be scared or embarrassed to talk to your doctor—about anything. Of course my patients are reluctant to bring up complaints about things like butt pimples, excessive sweating and body odor, but unless you speak up, you’ll only continue to suffer.” —Dermatologist David E. Bank, M.D., author of Beautiful Skin
“Tell your doctor about any supplements you take. Some can have dangerous interactions with prescription drugs.”—Gastroenterologist Brian E. Lacy, Ph.D., M.D.
2 health reasons to have sex
“Schedule weekly orgasms; I call it getting your ‘vitamin O.’ Orgasms release hormones that boost emotional well-being and your immune system—and may even prolong life. If you don’t have a partner, for health’s sake, get a toy!”—Ob-gyn Hilda Hutcherson, M.D.
“Few things in life are fun, free and healthy, but sex is one of them. Do it!”—Gynecologist Michael P. Goodman, M.D.
Slash your cancer risk
“Know your family history of cancer. If parents, siblings, grandparents, aunts or uncles were diagnosed before 50, you may be at an especially high risk.” —Oncologist Leslie R. DeMars, M.D.
“Aim for 800 to 1,000 IUs of vitamin D a day from a D3 pill. It’s often hard to get enough from sunlight in winter—and mounting evidence shows D is not only important for bones, but may also help prevent cancer and heart disease.” —Harvard University professor JoAnn E. Manson, M.D.
Easy weight loss tips
“Think percentages, not pounds; they’re less scary. If you’re overweight, losing just 5 to 10 percent of your body weight can slash health risks.” —Physician nutrition specialist Melina B. Jampolis, M.D.
“If you want to feel full on fewer calories, stick to foods that are high in water, like fruits, vegetables and healthy proteins. Feeling full is based on volume, not calories.” —Obesity and nutrition expert William Dietz, M.D., Ph.D.
Sexy Abdominal Workout at Home
Exercises to Lift and Tone Your Butt and Thighs
3 things healthy women do
“If you want to start a healthy habit, make your intention very concrete and specific, like, ‘put on sneakers as soon as I get home and walk 10 blocks’ instead of just ‘exercise more often.’” —Psychologist John A. Bargh, Ph.D.
“Be future-focused. Most young women are pretty healthy—the problem isn’t their current situation, but where their lifestyle will lead them when they get older. Making changes now, like exercising more and eating better, is like putting money into a bank account.” —Internist Robert Lamberts, M.D.
Adopt a positive body image
“If you think you look fat one day but were fine the day before, remember that your reaction to what you see in the mirror may be about emotions, not reality.” —Eating disorders expert Kevin R. Wandler, M.D.
2 heart health tips
“Eat less salt. You may be a healthy young thing now, but half of women over 45 have high blood pressure, and a lot of that is due to sodium.” —Cardiologist Nieca Goldberg, M.D.
“Every night before going to sleep, lie on your back and hang your head and shoulders off the bed for up to two minutes. This opens up your chest, increasing blood supply to your lungs and heart, and can help prevent bad posture from hours of hunching over a desk at work.” —Ob-gyn Christiane Northrup, M.D., author of Women’s Bodies, Women’s Wisdom
Reduce your risk of skin cancer
“Do a skin check once a month when you’re getting out of the shower. While you put on your moisturizer, look for any striking, dark or changing spots or moles.” —Dermatologic surgeon Ellen Marmur, M.D.
“Wear a hat when you’re in the sun. I had a patient who always wore sunblock on her face and body but assumed her scalp was fine. One day she found an itchy spot on her head that turned out to be cancer.” —Plastic surgeon Michael E. Jones, M.D.
Keep your mouth healthy
“If you don’t floss, at least use an electric toothbrush to get into crannies and fight gum disease.” —Dentist Michael Kosdon, D.D.S.
“Rinse your mouth out after drinking a soda. Doing so will help wash its enamel-eroding acids off your teeth.” —Dentist Kenneth Magid, D.D.S.
4 healthy eating habits
“Everything you eat should make you stronger, like whole grains for your heart or veggies for immunity. Make 85 percent of your choices this way and you’ll be healthier and thinner.” —Steven Lamm, M.D., author of Stronger
“Switch from olive oil to canola oil for cooking. Canola has less saturated fat and a lot more omega-3 fatty acids, which have been shown to do everything from lift mood to fight heart disease.” —Cardiologist Robert Vogel, M.D., coauthor of The Pritikin Edge
“Have a vegetable or fruit at every meal. Boom, healthier.”—Eating behaviors researcher Brian Wansink, Ph.D.
“Eat global. Spices like cinnamon and turmeric in Indian and Thai cuisines add flavor and have health benefits, like fighting cancer.” —Andrew Weil, M.D., director of the University of Arizona Center for Integrative Medicine
2 ways to boost your immune system
“If you’re truly sick, don’t go to work! You’ll just prolong your own illness.” —Family doctor Zach Rosen, M.D.
“Wash your hands. Period.” —Ear, nose and throat specialist Ralph B. Metson, M.D.
3 keys to happiness
“Get a pet! People with them tend to have better physical health, partly because you have to do active things to maintain them—walk the dog, play with the cat or clean a birdcage. Interacting with pets may also lower blood pressure, decrease anxiety and improve your mood.”
—Family medicine specialist Jane Sadler, M.D.“Unplug and talk to someone face-to-face. Facebook, IM and e-mail are all great ways to stay in touch, but actually seeing people and interacting with them is key for mental health.” —Family medicine specialist Wilson Pace, M.D.
“Don’t be with someone who makes you miserable! When women say a relationship is a huge head-ache, there could be literal truth to that. Emotions can lead to very real pain.”—Psychiatrist Charles Sophy, D.O.
1 more reason to stop smoking: fertility
“No cigarettes! Smoking is a killer for your fertility. Women who smoke lose their eggs faster than women who don’t.”—Ob-gyn Carolyn Westhoff, M.D.
Sleep better: here’s how
“Set your alarm for the time you actually have to get up.Interrupting a sleep cycle to hit snooze will leave you groggy despite the ‘extra’ rest.” —Sleep specialist Michael Breus, Ph.D.
“Keep things dark if you want a good night’s sleep. Leaving the TV or your reading light on lowers melatonin production, which, in turn, disrupts your sleep cycle.” —Mark Liponis, M.D., corporate medical director for Canyon Ranch Health Resorts
“Rid your bedroom of anything that distracts you from sleep or sex. More of both will help keep you healthy and happy.” —Michael F. Roizen, M.D., coauthor of You: Being Beautiful
2 things to know about drugs
“Don’t borrow Rx drugs. It’s a top reason for E.R. visits. Your friend’s pain pills won’t make your night out more fun.” —Substance abuse expert H. Westley Clark, M.D.
“Before you take a pill to get rid of a symptom, ask yourself, ‘Is my body trying to tell me something?’ If I can’t sleep, I know I’m overloaded. For other women, stomachaches or headaches may be signs of stress.” —Alice Domar, Ph.D., author of Be Happy Without Being Perfect
1 way to keep your brain smart
“Read something exciting, start a puzzle habit, exercise—‘use it or lose it’ applies to both physical and mental health.” —Neurologist Kenneth Heilman, M.D.
3 suggestions from sex health experts
“Don’t self-diagnose. I’ve had women in my classes mistake itching for a yeast infection and wetness for arousal when they really had chlamydia! If you have symptoms, check with a doctor, not the Internet.” —Sex healthhttp://beautyglife.com/taking-care-of-your-sexual-health-2/ educator Debby Herbenick, Ph.D.
“Keep emergency contraception handy. And remember, any guy 18 or older can buy it over the counter too, so send him to get it!” —Young men’s health specialist David Bell, M.D.
“If you’re not 110% monogamous, please use condoms!They don’t completely protect against all STDs, but they’re the best act in town.” —Ob-gyn Adelaide Nardone, M.D.
3 diet tips
“Never crash diet. Research shows it can make you depressed. Nourishing your body also nourishes your mind.” —Psychiatrist David Herzog, M.D.
“Remember that every meal is not your last. There will be another turkey dinner, another plate of spaghetti, another brownie. If you keep in mind that this is not your last chance to eat a food you love, it will be easier for you to put down your fork when you’ve had enough.” —Barbara Rolls, Ph.D., author of The Volumetrics Eating Plan
1 health treat for your feet
“Go ahead, buy new shoes. Fortunately, platform heels made a huge comeback. You get the height of a stiletto without the arch-busting 45-degree angle that puts so much pressure on the balls of your feet. And the wider heels provide much better support and stability than regular pumps.” —Orthopedic surgeon Johnny Benjamin, M.D
3 more keys to happiness
“Get happy. In one study, positive people injected with the cold virus were less likely to get sick than their less happy peers. Happier types live longer too.” —Sonja Lyubomirsky, Ph.D., author of The How of Happiness
“Help someone. You can exercise like a maniac and still not feel truly healthy and alive. But stepping beyond yourself makes you realize that you’re part of something bigger and more profound. My experience and research show that it leads to better health.” —Integrative medicine expert Woodson Merrell, M.D.
“Make sure your needs count. As a woman, you have a breathtaking ability to care for others, but don’t relinquish your own health.” —Internist Drew Pinsky, M.D.
Easy exercise advice
“Lose unhealthy extra weight now. It’ll be much easier to do it in your twenties and thirties than later, when metabolism slows down.” —Cardiologist Lori Mosca, M.D., Ph.D., author of Heart to Heart
“I subscribe to the elevator diet: I don’t use them! Any activity helps your heart and waistline.” —Pamela Peeke, M.D., author of Body for Life for Women
“Consider exercise an everyday thing, like brushing your teeth. It’s the best thing you can do for your whole body.”—Sports medicine specialist Robert Sallis, M.D.
Protect yourself against breast cancer
“Take every chance to get to know your breasts—it’s easier to recognize changes if you regularly feel your body, like in the shower and when you’re dressing.” —Ob-gyn Katharine O’Connell, M.D