Little Health Skills Every Woman Should Know

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Dharmesh Patel Stevens Point - For routine cleanings, go to a dental hygiene clinic, where students supervised by a dentist and hygienist train on patients. The Montgomery County Community College Dental Hygiene Clinic in Blue Bell, PA, for example, charges $15 for a cleaning and exam. Check colleges for clinics, or visit the American Dental Association's website for a national listing of dental schools.

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Little Health Skills Every Woman Should Know:

Little Health Skills Every Woman Should Know

Slash your health care bills:

Slash your health care bills For routine cleanings, go to a dental hygiene clinic, where students supervised by a dentist and hygienist train on patients. The Montgomery County Community College Dental Hygiene Clinic in Blue Bell, PA, for example, charges $15 for a cleaning and exam. Check colleges for clinics, or visit the American Dental Association's website for a national listing of dental schools.

Breathe away more fat:

Breathe away more fat Oxygen helps fuel your fat burn, so the more efficiently you breathe, the better your workout results. The trick: breathe in and out through both your mouth and nose.

Spot stealthy salt:

Spot stealthy salt Up to 75% of the salt in our diets comes from packaged foods. This simple trick can keep your sodium intake in check: “Look for a 1-to-1 ratio of calories to sodium or less,” says Prevention advisor David L. Katz, MD, MPH, director of the Yale Prevention Research Center. If a food has 150 calories per serving, it should have no more than 150 mg of sodium. Keep your intake below 1,500 mg a day.

Get a great workout in 10 minutes:

Get a great workout in 10 minutes Too busy for the gym? No problem. Just 10 minutes can burn nearly 100 calories and boost your energy level by up to 18%. Try this compressed routine from Jessica Dart, personal training manager at Equinox Soho in New York City:

Never forget a name:

Never forget a name Focus on the name as you hear it. People who are good at remembering names are interested in them, asking how they’re spelled or pronounced. Then repeat it not once but several times, says Cynthia R. green, PhD, coauthor of Prevention’s Brainpower Game Plan.

Test your posture:

Test your posture Stand up straight and count how long you can hold the pose at left before you have to put your foot down. Repeat on the other side. If you can’t balance on each leg for at least 20 seconds, you aren’t standing as straight as you think you are, or your muscles are too weak to hold you in place.

Scarproof your skin:

Scarproof your skin Scars fade faster if you keep cuts covered and moist, says Jeffrey Dover, MD, president of the American Society for Dermatologic Surgery. If you tend to develop raised scars, switch to scar-reducing bandages once skin heals; studies show that silicone sheets help by reducing collagen production.

Find the perfect doctor for you:

Find the perfect doctor for you The best way to find someone who has experience treating your particular condition is to call the physician referral service at a large university hospital, says Lauren Stretcher, MD, an assistant clinical professor of obstetrics and gynecology at Northwestern University.

Learn the art of label reading:

Learn the art of label reading Rule 1: Ignore all front-of-the-box health claims. “They’re about marketing, not health,” says Marion Nestle, PhD, MPH, professor of nutrition, food studies, and public health at New York University. A “low-fat” or “low-carb” claim tells you nothing about what else was added to compensate (think sugar or salt). Rule 2: Flip to the nutrition facts and scan the ingredient list. Look for a list that’s not straight out of a science lab. Rule 3: Remember that a daily value of 20% or or more for any nutrient is considered high (great for calcium, but a warning sign for saturated fats).

Make anyone laugh (including yourself):

Make anyone laugh (including yourself) Exaggerate the truth. Instead of complaining that you were stuck at the department of motor vehicles, say, “I just got back after lunch from the DMV. I got in line at 9 am...last Tuesday.” There’s a surprise element, but also recognition of a shared truth that makes people laugh. —Stephen Rosenfield , director of the American Comedy Institute in New York City Poke fun at yourself. Self-deprecation helps people let down their guard. (Abraham Lincoln: “If I had two faces, would I be wearing this one?”) Just list your faults and exaggerate them. —Mary Scruggs, head of writing and education programs at the Second City Training Center, Chicago

Resist menu words that pack pounds:

Resist menu words that pack pounds Grandma’s homemade apple pie: We have positive associations with certain means of preparation—think homemade or traditional—that encourage us to order them. Kansas City barbecue: We assume regional food tastes better, even if the restaurant isn’t in the referenced locale. Velvety chocolate mousse: Sensory words like creamy, juicy, and triple-rich induce cravings, even though items without such labels taste the same. Jack Daniels glazed ribs: If you like a specific brand, you think you’ll like menu items featuring its flavor.

Do a proper push-up:

Do a proper push-up Push-ups are hands down one of the best full-body toners—the basic move works your abs, arms, and chest. (Just ask First Lady Michelle Obama.) To easily master full push-ups, start in a more vertical position, working your way down to doing them on the floor as you master the form. Start standing up, leaning against a high counter. Lean against a desk. Lean against the stationary seat of a stable chair. Lean against the second step of a staircase. Do them on the floor. When you can do 5 reps with good form (body in line from head to feet), move to the next step.

Reboot your love life:

Reboot your love life For lustier sex, experts have a word of advice: novelty. New experiences heighten levels of the brain chemical dopamine, which can send sexual desire soaring, says Susan Kellogg- Spadt , PhD, cofounder of the Pelvic & Sexual Health Institute in Philadelphia. (We're thinking one of our 8 all-natural sex products can help, too.)

Buy the best catch:

Buy the best catch Here’s a “super green” list of fish that’s not only high in heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids but also low in contaminants (such as mercury and PCBs) and sustainably raised and caught. Among the best choices: rainbow trout (farmed), oysters (farmed), and wild caught Alaskan salmon.

Get age-erasing brows:

Get age-erasing brows Step 1: Trim the excess. Brush brows straight up, then carefully snip hairs that extend above the top of your natural brow line. Step 2: Tweeze between brows. The inner edge of your brow should line up with the inner corner of your eye. Step 3: Define the shape. To accent your arch, which should line up near the outer edge of your iris, tweeze two rows of hair from beneath it. Let the brow’s tail extend slightly past the eye’s outer corner.

Heal common aches at home:

Heal common aches at home For heartburn: Take deglycyrrhizinated licorice (DGL) as a chewable tablet 20 minutes before eating to soothe mucous membranes in the digestive tract and prevent reflux, says Tirana Low Dog, MD, director of the fellowship at the Arizona Center for Integrative Medicine.

Spot hidden sugars:

Spot hidden sugars Avoid products with any form of sugar in the first five ingredients. If the word is a “syrup” or ends in - ose , it’s an added sweetener. (Up to snuff on where the sweet stuff lurls ? See 20 Sugar Shockers.)

Get the sleep you crave:

Get the sleep you crave A good cardio workout, such as a 30-minute jog, can help you snag more slow-wave sleep, the deep restorative kind you need to feel refreshed, according to sleep expert Michael J. Breus , PhD.

Heal cracked cuticles:

Heal cracked cuticles If your cuticles are bleeding, apply Super Glue for a few days to seal skin, suggests Mary Lupo , MD, a dermatologist in New Orleans. To prevent damage in the first place, use an ultrahydrating hand cream (tip-off ingredients include petrolatum, shea butter, and linoleic acid); it keeps fragile skin soft and pliable—and more resistant to wear and tear. Little-known fact: Digging in your purse is the number one cause of traumatized cuticles, says Lupo .

Master an indoor cycling class:

Master an indoor cycling class Don’t be intimidated! Indoor cycling is super-popular even among gym class newbies, and with good reason: The right technique can blast more than 500 calories in 45 minutes. Kate Hickl , master instructor at Flywheel Sports, an indoor cycling studio in New York City, shares her top riding tips: Adjust seat height so knee is only slightly bent at bottom of the stroke for more power and comfort. Draw abs in to take weight off hands and avoid bouncing up and down. Pedal in “circles” using the same resistance as you push the pedal forward and down and as you pull the pedal back and up.

Stop a craving right now:

Stop a craving right now Name 5 things you see in front of you. ID 4 colors you see. Describe 3 things your body is feeling (such as temperature or a texture, like your shirt fabric). Identify 2 sounds. State 1 thing that you can smell. Why it works: “Focusing on your senses quiets the chatter in your mind so you can tune in to your body’s signals better—and decide whether you’re really hungry,” says psychologist Susan Albers, PsyD , author of 50 Ways to Soothe Yourself Without Food.

Drink purer water:

Drink purer water At home: First, assess the quality of your tap water. If you’re on a municipal system, your utility should mail you an annual Consumer Confidence Report; you could also test your water through a certified lab (find one at epa.gov). If you have good-quality water, a simple carafe filter can improve taste and remove lead. Consumer Reports named the Tersano Lotus, Clear20, and Brita Smart Pitcher as its top three picks for 2010. If your H20 requires more filtration, try a faucet-mounted filter, which removes additional contaminants such as arsenic. CR’s top picks: Culligan , Pur Vertical, and the Brita OPFF-100. On the go: Tote filtered tap water in a reusable stainless steel (not plastic-lined) bottle that’s BPA free. The chemical, found in certain plastics, can pose health problems.

Know your survival dish:

Know your survival dish When you’re too exhausted to think about dinner, it helps to have a fallback recipe that requires minimal effort and is made with ingredients you keep on hand. Find ideas in our recipe channel.

Rewire your brain for happiness:

Rewire your brain for happiness Mathieu Ricard, PhD, a scientist, humanitarian, and Buddhist monk, is often referred to as “the happiest man in the world.” His secret: meditation. Try this 10-minute exercise adapted from his new book Why Meditate? Work up to 20 minutes or more daily. Find a balanced position sitting cross-legged or on a chair. Breathe calmly and naturally. Concentrate on the passage of air through your nostrils. When you’re clearly aware of your breath, imagine an innocent, joyous young child approaching. In your mind’s eye, look at him with tenderness and feel unconditional benevolence and love.

Trim your own bangs like a pro:

Trim your own bangs like a pro Step 1: Style hair normally. Wet hair is longer, so cutting bangs dry keeps you from going too short. Use sharp, straight-edged scissors; utility ones are usually too dull for cutting hair. Try Tweeze man Styling Shears ($15; tweezerman.com). Step 2: Snip vertically, starting at the center. Slightly lift a 1-inch section of hair and hold it loosely between your index and middle fingers. Hold scissors with the ends pointing up and chip into hair upward on an angle to create a soft fringe—never straight across. Step 3: Be conservative. Snip about 1/4 inch at a time. You can always go shorter, but growing out hair takes weeks.

Keep your laces snug:

Keep your laces snug Try this simple trick for a more secure bow: Reverse the very first step in tying your shoe, then make your bow as usual. If you typically cross the right lace over the left one, now tie left over right, for instance. Experts say this method results in more tension in the knot—regardless of how you start the process—so it gets tighter, not looser, over time. 30 . Whiten teeth by tonight

Whiten teeth by tonight:

Whiten teeth by tonight Try aqua fresh white trays ($34; drugstores). Wearing them for 45 minutes in the morning and then again at night (instead of the recommended once a day) can noticeably whiten your teeth, says NYC cosmetic dentist Gregg Litchi, DDS. (Avoid these 6 teeth-whitening mistakes.)

Boost antioxidants at any meal:

Boost antioxidants at any meal Tarragon, fresh: Add to scrambled eggs Score*: 155 Oregano, dried: Add to tomato bruschetta or chicken breast marinated in olive oil and garlic. Score: 1,753 Cloves, ground: Add to mashed sweet potatoes or acorn squash. Score: 2,903 Cinnamon, ground: Add to oatmeal, French toast, or applesauce. Score: 1,752 Thyme, fresh: Add to fresh orange slices with black pepper and olive oil. Score: 137 Sage, fresh: Add to cornbread and stuffings . Score: 320 Turmeric: Add to curries and bulgur salad with chickpeas and currants. Score: 1,271 *Scores, per 1/2 teaspoon, are in ORAC points, a measure of antioxidants in food. As a comparison, a 1/2-cup serving of blueberries has an ORAC score of 3,502.

Beat a workout rut:

Beat a workout rut When you’re bored, so is your body—and your fitness level can reflect that mental ennui. To keep things fresh, create a Wildcard Workout Jar: Jot down 20 different routines on scraps of paper—from skipping rope with your kids to a specific interval walk. Pull one from the jar each time your workout starts to feel ho-hum. (See even more signs you need to mix up your workout.)

Never skip flossing:

Never skip flossing You know flossing is important—it helps remove bacteria from under the gum line that can contribute to heart disease—but it’s easy to forget. Keep it top of mind by stashing Y-shaped floss holders or any other flossing aides near your TV remote and get the job done during a commercial break, suggests Lynn M. Ramer, LDH, president of the American Dental Hygienists’ Association.

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