Thursday, March 21, 2002
A WOMAN’S GUIDE TO EARLY
DETECTION OF COMMON
A WOMAN’S GUIDE TO
becoming happily fit
Prevention of diseases and ailments,
that occur only or mostly in women, starts at
a young age. Three common diseases and
ailments found in women include breast
cancer, osteoporosis, and hypertension.
According to the National Cancer
Institute, breast cancer is the second deadliest
cancer in the United States. Nevertheless,
there has been a decline in the number of
deaths in recent years, especially in younger
women. This decrease stresses the impor
tance of monthly breast self-exams. Women
over 40 should have an annual mammogram
and women 20-39 should have a mammo
gram every three years.
Self-breast exams should be done after
your period ends. During or just before you
have your period, your breasts are more
likely to be lumpy from natural fluids inside
of your breast. To perform a self-breast
exam, you should first lie on your back. Use
the tip of the first three fingers of the hand
opposite the breast that you are examining.
Gently press on your breast in a circular
Osteoporosis is a disease that thins and
weakens your bones gradually over a long
period of time. Prevention of this disease
starts during teenage years when adult bone
mass is forming. Approximately 99 percent
of the calcium in your body is stored in
Increasing your intake of calcium,
doing weight-bearing exercises regularly, and
giving up smoking are all ways to prevent
osteoporosis. Milk and green leafy veg
etables are excellent sources of calcium.
According to the American Heart
Association, 25 million American women
have hypertension, or high blood pressure,
which causes nearly 700,000 deaths a year.
Hypertension is more common in
adults, particularly African Americans,
overweight people, people who drink two
ounces or more of alcohol daily, and women
who are taking oral contraceptives.
There is no cure for hypertension, but
it can be controlled by reducing weight,
alcohol consumption, stress, and increasing
calcium intake and consumption of fruits
and vegetables. This disease left untreated
increases the risk of heart attack and stroke.
When women turn 18, or when sexual
activity begins, an annual Pap smear test
should be done by a gynecologist. Pap
smear is a method for the earlier detection of
uterine cancer. The test is painless and
involves taking a sample of cells, which are
scraped from the cervix, and having them
examined for abnormal cells that could
indicate uterine cancer.
For further information, students can
visit the campus infirmary and talk to one of
the nurses and/or pick up pamphlets, or visit
www.ivillage.com. a Web site directed
TO ALL WOMEN:
REMEMBER THAT YOU ARE
UNIQUELY BEAUTIFUL. YOU DO NOT
HAVE TO MEASURE YOUR LEVEL OF
WORTHINESS TO ANYBODY’S STAN
DARDS. “I WILL PRAISE YOU, FOR I AM
FEARFULLY AND WONDERFULLY
MADE....” PSALMS 139:14.
Lacey _cosmic @ yahoo.com
Adequate nutrition and exercise is
important for everyone, but are young
women meeting the standards set by health
officials? Chances are many are not, and this
can affect their health when they are older.
Proper nutrition is one key factor in
remaining healthy. If you stick to the
recommended servings from the five food
groups stated in the USDA Food Guide
Pyramid, you are almost guaranteed a
balanced diet with enough minerals and
Calcium is an important part of your
everyday diet. Young women should get at
least l,200mg of calcium a day. Many
women don’t drink milk because they don’t
like the taste or because it is fattening. Skim
milk has 0 fat and one cup equals 300mg of
calcium. Not too bad, huh?
Many young women have good inten
tions to eat well, but sometimes the Burger
King, Wendy’s, or McDonald’s down the
street from campus is too tempting. Well,
there’s good news. There is a way to still eat
healthy without sacrificing fast food.
Do not go for the double cheeseburger
or whopper. Instead, opt for a small ham
burger or roast beef sandwhich. The equiva
lent is three ounces of protein, which is the
perfect size for a meal.
Remember to add a salad. Most fast
food restaurants have side salads. If they do
not, ask for extra vegetables on your
Avoid fried foods. If you opt for fish or
fried chicken sandwiches, you will end up
with more fat and calories than a burger.
This is because these sandwiches have been
cooked in hot oil and soak up the extra
calories. If you absolutely have to have
french-fries, go for the smallest size avail
Stay away from soft drinks, which are
loaded with empty calories. Go for milk or
water instead. Skim milk is full of calcium,
riboflavin, and Vitamin D.
Exercise is on the mind of many female
students, but between classes and jobs, not
too many women have time to go to the
campus fitness center. For females that do
not live on campus, local health clubs and
gyms can be pricey.
Here are a few exercises women can do
in the comfort of their home or dorm room
that take little time and don’t cost a thing.
These exercises focus on three areas that give
many women trouble: the thighs, abs, and
Thighs; Lean head, shoulders, lower
back, and butt against a wall, with feet about
18 inches in front.
1) Keeping knees hip-width apart, slide
down the wall until you are in a chairlike
position. Your legs should not go any lower
than a right angle to the floor.
2) Hold position for 30 seconds; work
up to five minutes.
Abs: The basic crunch.
1) Lie on back with knees bent, feet
hip-width apart and pressed flat to the floor.
Place hands behind your head so that
thumbs are behind your ears (don t lace
fingers together). Hold elbows out wide and
tuck chin slightly toward chest.
2) Lift head, neck, and shoulder blades
up and off the floor. Hold for a moment at
the top, then slowly lower. Do one to three
sets, eight to 15 repetitions per set.
1) Get down on knees and forearms.
2) Starting with the left, bend leg at a
90-degree angle, then flex foot and lift
toward ceiling. Being careful not to move
pelvis, pulse foot three to four inches toward
the ceiling. After 15 reps, switch legs.
For an alternative choice in exercise,
many women are turning to yoga. Yoga is a
physical and spiritual practice with roots in
ancient India. The best way to try yoga
without taking expensive classes is to buy a
videotape and workout in your dorm room
or living room.
The campus also sponsors many
activities for young women to get involved
with, including walk-a-thons, golf, and
tennis. Students can contact the student
center for upcoming activities.
No matter how well you eat, or how fit
you are, the most important thing to keep in
mind is to be happy with yourself.
For more information on Health and
Fitness, visit www.ivillage.com.
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