BOSTON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Dr. Machelle Seibel, America’s most innovative health educator and Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology at the University of Massachusetts, offers women creative approaches to help stay well by using the latest information, tips and techniques about stress management, sleep, weight control, food and personal health.
“It’s better to stay well than to get well,” says Dr. Seibel. “Little differences like healthy eating and stress reduction can make a big difference in how you feel.”
Here are Dr. Seibel’s 7 tips:
1. Manage stress
Stress causes 85% of all primary care office visits. Baby boomers in particular are super-stressed as they deal with elderly parents, financial concerns due to the economy and impending retirement. Stress directly impacts inflammation, which contributes to a number of chronic diseases. Women who are stressed often feel tired, worried, depressed or anxious. Here is a link to a free stress eBook and some simple tips that can help reduce your stress:
- Be sure to get a good night’s sleep: 70 million American adults get too little sleep, which contributes to the greater incidence of high blood pressure, diabetes, heart disease and obesity.
- Find a quiet place and do some slow deep breathing for one to three minutes.
- Take a brief walk (15 to 20 minutes) during the day.
- Take a hot bath or shower to relax your muscles.
- Spend five minutes and do some simple stretching exercises as you practice deep breathing to slow your heart rate and reduce anxiety.
- Listen to relaxing music.
- Do yoga or meditation.
- Get a massage.
- Make social time for interacting with others during part of your day.
- Cross things off your "to do" list so that your mind is free to focus on the tasks ahead.
- Spend an hour before bed winding down with a cup of calming decaf tea like green or chamomile.
2. Weight Control: Not too fat, not too thin
Weight has a lot to do with your health. Either obesity or being too thin can both shorten your life. Optimum health comes by keeping your weight in a safe middle range. Doctors determine who is too fat or too thin by using the Body Mass Index or BMI. Check out online BMI calculators to plug in your height and weight and find out how you are doing. Once you know where you stand, here are a few weight control tips everyone can try:
- Drink one less soda a day and lose 10 pounds in a year.
- Throw out the “white” foods and replace them with “brown” like brown rice and whole wheat bread.
- Fast food. Not so fast. Take fast food out of your diet completely. It’s full of sugar and trans fats or Rancid Omega 6 fats that clog your cell walls, not allowing you to detox your body properly, and contains toxins that are bad for the heart and arteries. Most fast food also contains chemicals like MSG that should be avoided. Dr. Seibel’s music video explains it in musical terms.
- Eat to defeat menopause by making recipes for a healthy midlife. Dr. Seibel and co-author, Karen Giblin, Founder and President of Red Hot Mamas, the nation's largest menopause education program offer practical advice and essential information to women on how to choose and make meals to optimize their health during menopause.
3. Optimize vitamin D
Optimize your vitamin D levels. Safe sun exposure is a powerful and inexpensive intervention that can have profound benefits on your health. Enjoy approximately 15 minutes of exposure to natural sunlight daily. This is important for nutrition and essential for mental health, bone density, vitamin D production and other health benefits. Ask your doctor to check your vitamin D level and take a vitamin D3 supplement if it’s too low.
4. pH Balance
Controlling pH is important to maintain vaginal health. By keeping the vaginal environment balanced to a pH of 4.3 during trigger times, women can reduce the risk of infection. pH triggers include menstruation, intercourse, douching with fragrances or without balancing pH afterwards. Certain medications from birth control pills to antihistamines, can alter hormone levels, dry out the body, or change the pH of the body’s most sensitive tissues. Hormonal changes like pregnancy, menopause and your normal monthly cycle can also alter vaginal pH. Any time the body experiences hormonal changes, the vaginal environment changes and susceptibility to infection increases. pH imbalance can also cause an unpleasant odor and itch.
For example, blood has a pH of 7.4, so during menstruation, vaginal pH becomes elevated. Tampons can contribute to elevated pH as they retain the fluids that cause pH to increase. It’s important to use a tampon with the minimum absorbency required and to change it at least every four to eight hours. Try RepHresh Brilliant pH Tampons to keep the pH balanced to its optimum 4.3 and keep unwanted or pathogenic bacteria from overpopulating.
5. Exercise regularly and correctly
Regular, moderate-to-vigorous exercise can help prevent or delay the onset of heart disease, hypertension, obesity and osteoporosis. A lifetime of regular exercise is ideal, and it’s never too late to start. Too often people do not exercise because they believe they are so overweight or out of shape that it is too late for them. Many exercises can be done when standing or when sitting in a chair, and are gentle enough for even the most limited of us. Over time, regular exercising can help to increase motion in joints, reduce weight, and give you a better sense of self esteem. Download my interview with Suzanne Andrews about her new PBS show for more info: http://www.doctorseibel.com/videos-audios/your-health-rocks/. The goal of the exercises on this show is to keep people functional. That includes getting up out of chairs, going shopping and unloading groceries and many other things like standing while on the phone or walking that we may not think about as exercise, but are an important part of our daily lives.
6. Probiotics for feminine health
Millions of women suffer from yeast and bacterial infections annually, so, balancing yeast and bacteria in the vagina can be a daily struggle. One probiotic supplement called RepHresh Pro-B balances yeast and bacteria and supports vaginal health. Dr. Oz recently included RepHresh Pro-B on his “Libido Boosters” episode. As discussed on the program, women have trouble feeling sexy when they are experiencing basic feminine health issues. Probiotic lactobacilli and their benefits have been documented in multiple clinical and laboratory studies. This probiotic is specifically designed to maintain vaginal health and can be found in the feminine care aisle of most drug stores.
7. Bone Health
You’ve probably had a mammogram to test for breast cancer, but have you had a bone density test? Consider the fact that a healthy 50 year old woman is just as likely to die of a complication from osteoporosis as she is of breast cancer. These risks are relatively high and life-threatening. Regular exercise, no smoking and a healthy diet help support bone health. Problems can be detected early with annual bone density tests.
“It is now possible for women to achieve a new level of health and wellness previously not attainable by making necessary modifications to optimize their health and extend their lives,” concludes Dr. Seibel. “To end as I began, it’s better to stay well than to get well!”