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Surviving the Juggling Act Tips for moms balancing a family and a full-time career

Professional Pointers Career advice for young women starting out

Change these bad beauty habits


ooking good and feeling healthy are top priorities for many women. In addition to spending hours researching the latest beauty regimens and spending thousands on products that promise everything from turning back the hands of time to making hair thicker and more resilient, women could be engaging in a few habits that may be doing more harm than good. As cosmetic procedures and beauty trends are passed down from generation to generation, some women may be unsure what is best for them and which habits need tweaking.

Washing your face too much can be counterproductive. Excessive washing can strip skin of necessary oils.

According to a recent survey from, a majority of women say they spend anywhere from $5 to $15 per month on beauty products, not including skincare products. But are those efforts fruitful? Here are some common beauty faux pas that women likely want to avoid.

• Scrubbing skin: Dermatologists say the skin naturally sheds dead cells, so for most people it is unnecessary to use harsh exfoliants or

scouring pads to rid the skin of dead cells. In fact, exfoliating the skin too much can cause irritation and excess dryness over time. Try to exfoliate your face and body no more than twice a week, advises the American Board of Dermatology. Even those with oily skin should scale back, as exfoliating too frequently can actually cause oil glands to produce more oil. Use an easy hand when exfoliating to avoid redness.

alopecia over time.

• Popping pimples: Both women and men are guilty of popping pimples. It can be quite difficult to resist popping a pimple that has sprouted in the middle of your face, but doing so can cause irritation and spread bacteria, and you may end up getting more blemishes as a result. If you cannot resist popping the pimple, cleanse the area first, use a warm cloth or steam to help bring the blemish to a head and use tissue-covered fingers to apply gentle pressure. Then use an antibacterial cleanser to clean the area again.

• Layering products: You may have a relative beauty arsenal tucked into your medicine cabinet, but while these products may work well on their own, there is no way to know how they will interact. Less is more when using different beauty serums. Experiment with each item separately to gauge skin reaction and if an allergy is present.

• Wrapping wet hair in a towel turban: Gathering wet locks together and twisting them into a towel is a recipe for damage and breakage. Wet hair is more delicate than dry hair, and it can stretch or break more easily. Gently squeeze hair dry with the towel and then use a detangling spray to make it easier to comb out knots. Putting hair too tightly in elastics and wearing them for long periods of time can result in thinning of the hair or a condition known as traction

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• Failing to clean makeup tools: All of those brushes, wands and applicators need to be routinely washed with a mild cleanser and allowed to air dry. Otherwise, they become harbingers of bacteria and even mold. You can risk infection if you are using a dirty brush near the eyes or nasal passages. Aim to wash cosmetic tools at least once a week if you wear makeup every day.

• Poor washing habits: Some women fall into bed at night without washing makeup from their faces. While this is alright once in a while, it may lead to irritation or blemishes over time. Surprisingly, too much washing of the face can be just as bad, especially if you are soaping up in the morning as well. You could be stripping your face of helpful oils at the start of the day, when skin needs added protection from the elements. Stick to washing your face at night so it can naturally restore itself while you sleep. Looking good requires effort, but some beauty habits popular among women might be doing more harm than good.

MOTHERS DA Y P P from Y HA 4 Time management tips for working moms 7 Fitness tips for women looking to be more active

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8 Calcium and vitamin D important throughout life 9 What’s behind female hair loss 10 Remain calm after mammogram callback 11 How women can reduce their risk of diabetes 12 Tips for women juggling a family and a career 13 Get the facts about fibromyalgia 14 Women must work harder to lose weight


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Time management tips for working moms


he responsibility of raising a family while maintaining a career is never easy. Working moms often wish there were more time in the day to spend with their families or get more done at the office. While there’s no way women can add a 25th hour to their days, there are ways to manage your time more effectively so you can get around to doing those things you never seem to have the time to do.

Effective time management can help working moms better handle the tall task of juggling a family and a successful career.

• Get a head start. Perhaps no time of day is more hectic for a working mother than the morning, when she must get ready for work while getting the kids ready for school and ensuring they have a good breakfast. Some moms even drop their youngsters off at school. That’s a lot of tasks to tackle before you even sit down in your office to answer the first e-mail or listen to the morning’s first voicemail. To make mornings less frantic, get a head start the night before by laying out the next day’s clothes for you and encouraging your kids to do the same. Preparing lunches, packing a gym bag

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and even setting the coffee maker can all be done the night before to save you time and make mornings more relaxing. • Take public transportation to work. Public transportation may not be available to all working mothers, but those with access to a train, subway or bus might want to take advantage of that opportunity. If you do, you can spend your daily commute catching up with work instead of sitting in traffic behind the wheel of your car. Even if public transportation takes a little more time to get you to work than driving yourself, that extra time can be spent preparing for the day ahead. • Catch up on work over the weekend. The weekends are a time when many working mothers look to unwind, but spending an hour or two catching up on work on a Saturday or Sunday morning is a great way to make the week a little less hectic. As the week progresses toward the weekend, set aside certain tasks that aren’t urgent but can be easily addressed in an hour or so over the weekend. This frees up time during the week to tackle larger projects and might even allow you to leave your office earlier on weekdays. • Prepare or even cook meals in

advance. The days of yore when mom cooked all the meals are largely a thing of the past, as nowadays both parents tend to share cooking duties. Moms can cut down on the time it takes to serve up family meals on weeknights by cooking meals in advance. Think of dishes you can prepare on the weekends and then freeze until you’re ready to serve. Or purchase a slow cooker that slowly cooks your meal all day while you’re out and about. By the time you and your family arrive home at night, dinner will be ready and you will have more time to relax after a long day. • Share the work. Sharing your workload pertains to both home and the office. At home, don’t feel like you have to be a superhero capable of handling all of the household tasks like cooking, cleaning and walking the dog on your own. Share these responsibilities with your spouse and even your children when they’re old enough. At the office, don’t be afraid to delegate tasks to your coworkers or ask for favors from coworkers who might be able to help. Managing time effectively is of paramount importance for working mothers. Learning to do so effectively can make for a better personal as well as professional life.

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Working out with a spouse, friend or coworker can help motivate women attempting to adopt a more active lifestyle.

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Fitness tips for women looking to be more active


odern women have a lot on their plates. Women with families often must balance the considerable responsibilities of life at home with the demands of a full-time career. Women’s health is too often sacrificed at the expense of their dueling responsibilities to work and family, and that can lead to numerous problems down the road. Women who want to get healthier need not fear that their new devotion to a healthier lifestyle will take some of their focus away from their families or their careers. In fact, women who feel better physically often find it easier to juggle family and career than those who don’t make time for exercise. The following are a few tips to help women become more active so they can better handle the increasingly difficult balance of work and family life. • Don’t go it alone. The buddy system can be employed in many avenues of life, but it is perhaps most effective with regard to adopting an exercise regimen. Exercising with friends or even your spouse can motivate you to commit to exercise, as you won’t want to let your exercise partner down. Your buddy also can help motivate you on those days when you really don’t feel like exercising. • Embrace daily activity. When you’re becoming active again after a long hiatus from physical activity, you don’t want to dive in too heavily and risk injury, but you do want to commit to being active on a daily basis. Being active every day does not necessarily mean you have to spend 60 minutes on the treadmill every morning, but stay active even when you aren’t necessarily exercising. Go for a walk after dinner or take the stairs up to your office instead of the elevator. Take periodic breaks from your desk, walking to get a glass of water or walking just to stretch your legs. Even if it’s minor, such activity can help you avoid falling back into bad habits on those days when you aren’t embracing more strenuous physical activity.

• Find exercise you will enjoy. Far too many people have attempted to become more active only to ultimately abandon such efforts because their exercise regimens bored them. Women who have never before embraced lifting weights or enjoyed jogging on the treadmill likely won’t find those activities agreeable now, either. Finding physical activity you enjoy is a recipe for success, whereas you’re far less likely to embrace a fitness regimen if you find it boring or repetitive. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend adults get at least two hours and 30 minutes of moderateintensity aerobic activity, such as brisk walking, every week and some musclestrengthening activities that focus on all the major muscle groups on two or more days per week. Those guidelines are not very restrictive, allowing women to tailor their workouts around activities they enjoy. For example, if you don’t like lifting weights, you don’t have to spend much time focused on muscle-strengthening exercises. Devote some time to such exercises, but leave the bulk of your time for activities you truly enjoy. • Stay on top of your progress. If you are used to balancing work and family, then chances are you are adept at monitoring various things all at once. Your physical fitness is no different. While many women equate daily weigh-ins with their fitness progress, avoid using your scale as the way to monitor your progress, as scales can be misleading. Instead, keep a diary of your workouts and your diet, and write in how you felt each day. This diary can help you find out what works for you and what might not be working. Give yourself time each week to monitor this progress and make adjustments as needed. Embracing a physically active lifestyle after a long hiatus from exercise can be challenging, especially for women juggling the responsibilities of a family and career. But women who try a more physically active lifestyle often find this has a positive impact on their family and professional life.

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of strong, new bone. Women who may have been deficient in vitamin D and calcium can develop osteoporosis and other bone-loss conditions as they age. Thanks to osteoporosis, half of all women over the age of 50 will have a fracture of the hip, wrist, or vertebra during their lifetime, according to the U.S. National Library of Medicine. A drop in estrogen at the time of menopause can contribute to bone loss. Drinking large amounts of alcohol, maintaining a low body weight and smoking can each cause osteoporosis.

Calcium and vitamin D important throughout life


alcium and vitamin D are frequently touted for their ability to improve bone health. While consuming foods rich in vitamin D and calcium is especially important for aging women, both vitamin D and calcium also help to keep the body strong and vital at any age.

Calcium and vitamin D help fight bone loss, and not just in older women. Younger, active women need it to prevent stress fractures and other bone injuries. A 2008 study reviewed the health of 5,000 female U.S. Navy recruits, and those who did not take additional calcium and vitamin D were 25 percent more likely to suffer a stress fracture. A stress fracture is a small fracture of a bone caused by repeated physical strain. Gymnasts, runners and even marching soldiers can suffer such fractures even if they are otherwise healthy.

Calcium is also needed for other parts of the body. The National Institutes of Health

In order to maintain bone and body health, there are certain dietary intake recommendations regarding calcium and vitamin D. Adults under age

Osteoporosis and Related Bone Diseases National Resource Center says calcium is necessary for the heart, muscles and nerves to function properly. It also helps blood to clot. Furthermore, pregnant women need ample calcium in their diets in order to supply calcium to a growing fetus. If a pregnant woman does not get enough calcium through diet, the baby will draw it from Mom’s own bones, threatening the mother’s health while leading to bone fragility and increasing her risk of fractures. Calcium and vitamin D work in conjunction. Although a balanced diet may provide enough calcium, many times high levels of salt and protein in one’s diet can increase calcium excretion through the kidneys. Also, people who have an intolerance to lactose may not be getting the calcium they need. Vitamin D is necessary for the body to absorb calcium.

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50 should consume between 1,000 and 1,300 milligrams of calcium and roughly 600 IU of vitamin D daily. Calcium can be found

Without vitamin D, a woman cannot produce enough calcitriol, impairing calcium absorption from her diet. In turn, the body will take calcium from stores in existing bone, weakening them and preventing the formation

in dairy products as well as in salmon, shellfish, brazil nuts, dried beans, and green, leafy vegetables. Vitamin D is found in fish, eggs and fortified milk. Vitamin D can also form when the body is exposed to sunlight. Even as few as 10 minutes of daily exposure to sunlight can produce vitamin D. Consuming enough calcium and vitamin D can help a woman’s body stay healthy as she ages.

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What’s behind female hair loss

by iron deficiency and results in insufficient numbers of red blood cells to transport oxygen through the body. Iron deficiency anemia can cause weakness, pale skin, fatigue, headaches, and hair loss. Increasing iron in the diet through leafy greens, fortified cereals and beans can help. • Poor scalp health: Skin conditions present on the scalp may be the culprit behind hair loss. Psoriasis, seborrheic dermitis (dandruff) and even fungal infections can affect the skin on the scalp, and, in turn, affect the hair follicles. A physical exam of the scalp can determine scalp health.


hile baldness is an issue most often associated with men, women can suffer from hair loss as well, and you may be surprised to learn just how prevalent the condition is. Hair loss, or alopecia, can affect the entire body and may be a hereditary condition or a side effect of medications or physical or psychological ailments. Just about anyone can experience hair loss. Research indicates as many as twothirds of all women experience hair loss at some point. You may notice strands of hair in the trap at the bottom of the shower drain or caught in your hairbrush. It’s normal to lose 50 to 100 hairs a day. But when hair loss is pronounced, either by falling out in clumps or thinning conspicuously, it may be indicative of a more serious medical condition. Hair production occurs in cycles. The scalp and hair can be compared to a garden. When the soil condition is not perfect, a garden will not grow properly. The same can be said for the scalp. Medications, illnesses, infections, or chemicals used on the head or body can disrupt the cycle and cause hair to stop growing properly. This can eventually lead to hair loss. Most women who experience hair loss notice it in their 50s or 60s, but doctors note it can happen at any age. Here are some of the primary causes of hair loss.

• Telogen effluvium: This is a

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condition that takes place after pregnancy, major surgeries or even after drastic weight loss. When a woman is experiencing telogen effluvium, her hair shifts more quickly from the growing stage (anagen) to the transition stage (catagen) to the shedding stage (telogen). Typically, women experiencing telogen effluvium will notice hair loss between six weeks and three months after a stressful event, and women may have to be patient and wait for hair loss to slow down. If you’ve determined the hair loss is from medication, your doctor may be able to lower the dosage or switch drugs. • Hypothyroidism: Hair loss can be a byproduct of an underactive thyroid. That’s because, in addition to regulating your basal metabolic rate, the thyroid also is responsible for the growth of hair, skin and nails. If you don’t have enough of the thyroid hormone, you may notice changes in the body, such as hair loss. Blood tests can be given to test for hypothyroidism.

• Alopecia areata: This is an immune disease that affects roughly 2 percent of the American population and is characterized by small, round patches of hair loss. • Genetics: Take a look at the women in your family. Do they have thinning hair, most pronounced at the crown of the head? Hair loss may be in your genes, and you may have a higher risk than other women for losing hair. Hair follicles that vary in size, with some thin and others thick, are telltale signs of female pattern hair loss known as androgenetic alopecia. • Beauty styling: Self-inflicted damage also may lead to hair loss. Dyes, chemical treatments, styling tools and aides, and rough or aggressive brushing can damage hair and cause breakage. Taking it easy when toweling or styling hair can help minimize hair loss. Women experiencing hair loss can speak to a doctor, who may suggest visiting a dermatologist who specializes in hair loss. Women can use wigs, hair extensions and other styling tricks to minimize the appearance of hair loss while they explore options in treatment.

• Anemia: Anemia is caused


ge-related macular degeneration, or AMD, is a disease that affects the part of the back of the eye called the macula. This may cause the center part of a person’s vision to become blurry or wavy. It also can cause a blind spot in the center of vision, according to Prevent Blindness America. More than two million Americans ages 50 and over have AMD, a 25 percent increase from the previous decade, according to Prevent Blindness America. AMD is also one of the leading causes of blindness in Canada. Although anyone can experience AMD, and it’s most prevalent in people ages 65 and older. Gender also plays a key role in a person’s risk for AMD. According to the National Eye Institute, women have a higher risk for AMD, and it may be traced to a reduction in estrogen production after menopause. In a study titled, “Menopausal and Reproductive Factors

and Risk of Age-Related Macular Degeneration” by Diane Feskanish of Brigham and Women’s Hospital that was published in the April 2008 issue of Archives of Ophthalmology, researchers found that women who used oral contraceptives before menopause and received hormone replacement therapy after menopause had the lowest risk for wet, or advanced, AMD. But these results came at a price. The same women who had lower incidences of wet AMD saw increased incidences of early, or dry, AMD when taking hormones. Although more research needs to be done, estrogen seems to play some type of role in the formation of AMD. An eye doctor can assess visual acuity at routine visits. You can also test your eyes daily by using the Amsler Grid, an AMD detection tool, and reporting any anomalies to your eye doctor.

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Remain calm after mammogram callback


oing for a mammogram can induce anxiety and raise questions before, during and after the procedure. Receiving a callback for further views or testing can put women even more on edge. But very often, these procedures are nothing to worry about.

needs to be thinned out considerably in a mammogram, and this can be uncomfortable for women, particularly those with large breasts. Some doctors recommend scheduling a mammogram after your menstrual period has ended, and you can take a painkiller to minimize pain.

When a doctor requests additional mammogram views or even a biopsy, this doesn’t necessarily mean he or she has found cancer. It just means the doctor needs further clarification of an abnormality seen on the mammogram. Breast tissue is dense, and sometimes mammograms do not provide adequate views of all areas of the breast. An anomaly on a mammogram might be a benign calcification in the breast, a shadow or a noncancerous lump.

A doctor may order an ultrasound as well. A technician will apply a clear gel to your skin and ask you to lie back on a table. The technician will then pass a transducer on the breast. This device sends out high-frequency sound waves and maps the echoes it receives to form a picture. This ultrasound is the same type of procedure used to check a fetus during pregnancy. An ultrasound may diagnose an abnormality that a doctor cannot see well on a mammogram.

Getting called back for another look is quite common. The American Cancer Society says about 10 percent of women who have had a mammogram will be called back for more tests. Only about 10 percent of those women will require a biopsy. And among those who do, 80 percent of the biopsies turn out to be benign.

A doctor might resort to an MRI if ultrasound or a traditional mammogram prove inconclusive. MRI scans use magnets and radio waves to produce detailed images. There are now open MRI machines that minimize feelings of claustrophobia for those who have an aversion to the closed tubes of traditional machines.

In general, most doctors will receive results of follow-up mammograms and biopsies within one to two weeks.

If you need a biopsy, a needle may be pushed into the breast to capture fluid or tissue from the suspicious area. Some doctors make a small surgical incision to remove abnormal tissue. The sample will be examined under a microscope to determine the types of cells.

What to Expect at a Follow-up Exam There are different steps doctors can take to further clarify an anomaly in breast tissue. One of the first procedures is another mammogram, typically called a diagnostic mammogram. The breasts will be imaged, but this time it may take longer because more images may be ordered of particular areas of the breast or breasts. The breast tissue


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Learning about tests that are conducted for breast health can put women’s minds at ease while waiting for follow-up appointments and results. Discuss any questions you may have with your doctor and rest assured that a follow-up test is not indicative of a cancer diagnosis.

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How women can reduce their risk of diabetes


illions of people across the globe are living with diabetes, a chronic disease in which sugar levels in the blood are high. The side effects of diabetes can be serious, and some people might become very sick even before they are diagnosed, while others may need to make drastic lifestyle changes upon diagnosis in order to avoid more dire consequences, including death. Though diabetes does not discriminate based on race or gender, women should know that certain things can elevate their risks. Birth control pills, for example, can increase a woman’s blood glucose, or blood sugar, levels. Elevated blood sugar levels are a symptom of diabetes or prediabetes, a condition when blood sugar levels are high but not high enough to indicate diabetes. Prediabetes can eventually develop into type 2 diabetes, and recent studies have shown that prediabetes increases a person’s risk of heart disease. According to the American Diabetes Association, women going through menopause may also have elevated blood sugar levels thanks to hormonal changes.

So what are women concerned about diabetes to do? Though there’s no

way to prevent type 1 diabetes, which is most often diagnosed in children, teens or young adults, women can take steps to reduce their risk of type 2 diabetes.

• Increase your lean muscle mass. A study published in The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism found that increasing muscle mass can reduce people’s risk of developing prediabetes. This is significant for women who may avoid lifting weights in favor of cardiovascular equipment like the treadmill or elliptical machine. Though cardiovascular exercise can burn glucose as well, it’s still important to build lean muscle by including some strength and resistance training in a workout regimen. • Don’t carry extra weight. According to a 2001 study from researchers at the Harvard School of Public Health, overweight people are 20 to 40 times more likely to develop type 2 diabetes than people with healthy weights. If you are carrying extra weight, a combination of diet and exercise should help you shed pounds and lower your risk for type 2 diabetes as a result.

• Embrace whole grains. In a separate study from researchers at the Harvard School of Public Health, whole grains were found to protect women against diabetes. Women who ate two to three servings of whole grains per day were 30 percent less likely to have developed type 2 diabetes than women who rarely ate whole grains. Whole grains should be consumed in place of refined carbohydrates, which can cause blood sugar levels to swing rapidly. Carbohydrates are refined to increase the shelf life of certain products and improve taste. During the refining process, nutrients needed to utilize the sugar are removed. Foods that contain refined carbohydrates include white bread, white rice and pretzels. And as noted by the United States Department of Agriculture, it’s safe to assume grain products are made with refined grains unless the packaging notes they are made with whole grains or whole wheat. • Get a good night’s sleep. People who fail to consistently get a good night’s sleep may be increasing their risk of developing type 2 diabetes because a lack of sleep can make them more resistant to insulin. A 2012 study from researchers at the University of Chicago published in the Annals of Internal Medicine found that sleep deprivation hinders the ability of fat cells to respond to insulin. The fat cells of study participants after they were deprived of sleep needed nearly three times as much insulin to regulate blood sugar as the cells needed on a typical night’s rest. That dogged resistance to insulin over time can allow sugar and cholesterol to accumulate in the blood, increasing a person’s risk of diabetes and heart disease as a result. Though the National Sleep Foundation admits sleep needs vary depending on a person’s age and those needs are impacted by an individual’s health and lifestyle, many experts agree adults need somewhere between seven to nine hours of sleep per night. Diabetes is a potentially deadly disease that can negatively impact a woman’s life in a variety of ways. But there are many methods for proactive women to reduce their risk of developing type 2 diabetes so they can live fuller, healthier and happier lives.

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thing of the past, many of the conventions of those days remain. Women may still feel the responsibility to cook family meals, clean up after the children and make it to all of their children’s sporting events or other schoolrelated events. But those responsibilities should be shared so women can ensure they’re giving both their careers and families the attention each deserves. Devise a schedule where both parents tackle such responsibilities equally so each parent knows when they have some wiggle room. For example, if your husband routinely cooks on Tuesdays, then you know you won’t need to rush home on Tuesday night and you might be able to stay at the office a little later to work on a project or catch up on work. Such sharing and scheduling can considerably reduce the stress of juggling a family and a career.

Tips for women juggling a family and a career More and more women are finding ways to successfully juggle a family and a career.


he days when single income households were the norm are long gone, as nowadays both Mom and Dad must work in order to make ends meet. That reality has left many women juggling the obligations of motherhood with the obligations of a successful career. Such a juggling act is seldom easy, and many mothers find themselves neglecting one obligation for the benefit of another. The following are a few tips to make balancing work and family a little easier. • Share the responsibilities. While the days of the single-income household may be a

• Exercise daily. Juggling a family and a career is often stressful, and stress can have a very adverse effect on your health. Women with high stress levels are more likely to suffer from depression, anxiety and cardiovascular disease. But the American Psychological Association notes the positive impact of exercise as a means to alleviating stress, citing studies that have shown that physically active people have lower rates of anxiety and depression than people who are sedentary. It’s easy to become irritable when stressed, and no mother wants to be irritable in the presence of her children. Incorporating exercise into your daily routine is a great way to alleviate the stress of juggling a family and a career, and you can even incorporate your family into your exercise routine, going for nightly walks after dinner or playing with your children in the yard.


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• Take advantage of work-from-home policies. As technology has advanced, many companies have become much more lenient with regard to employees working from home. If your company allows you to work from home, even if it’s only once per week, then take advantage of that offer. This can provide more time with your kids, it will likely save you money on childcare, and you are certain to appreciate the opportunity to skip your daily commute, even if it is only once a week or a couple of times per month. • Plan ahead. Looking ahead is another way to make juggling a family and a career easier. Plan meals in advance to cut down on preparation time when it’s your night to cook. This can involve placing foods in a slow cooker in the morning or preparing part of the meal in advance so it’s ready to go in the oven the moment you arrive home. Another way to plan ahead is to look at kids’ school schedules and plan trips during the school year when school won’t be in session. A three-day weekend is a perfect opportunity to plan a getaway to a nearby locale where the whole family can relax and reconnect without the pressures of daily life. Juggling a family and career is not always easy, but there are ways that today’s mothers can raise a happy family and still have a successful career.

• Stay involved with your child’s school. Many mothers find staying active with their children’s school is a great opportunity for them to bond with their kids and keep abreast of developments at their school. Such involvement can be minimal, such as attending a monthly luncheon with kids or agreeing to be a chaperone on one or two class trips per year. Such events are typically scheduled months in advance, so you should have ample time to arrange a break from the


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Get the facts about fibromyalgia


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haracterized by widespread pain with no apparent cause, fibromyalgia is a condition that has had many people scratching their heads and desperate for answers.

Fibromyalgia is a common syndrome where a person has long-term bodily pain, particularly tenderness in the muscles, tendons and other soft tissues. The cause of fibromyalgia is unknown, but some theories suggest it may stem from physical or emotional trauma or abnormal pain responses in the central nervous system. The U.S. Library of Medicine states fibromyalgia is most common among women ages 20 to 50, although it can be present in men as well. AfricanAmerican women are more likely to suffer from fibromyalgia than Caucasians and other races. However, Caucasian women report significantly more pain over sufferers of different ethnicities. Doctors are unsure why this is the case. Symptoms of fibromyalgia are largely painful “tender points” over the body. Painful areas generally occur in the soft tissue on the back of the neck, shoulders, chest, and lower back. Pain may radiate out from these areas and can be a deep ache or a shooting, burning pain. Depending on the individual, pain may begin in the morning and ease up with daily activity. It may worsen at night. The pain may escalate when the weather is cold or damp or the person feels anxious and stressed. In addition to pain, fatigue and depression are associated with fibromyalgia, and these symptoms may stem from interrupted sleep patterns due to the pain. Other symptoms can include migraine headaches, difficulty concentrating, irritable bowel syndrome, and reduced ability to exercise. Sexually active women may experience pain during intercourse, and menstrual cramping may be more intense.

WebMD says roughly 5.8 million Americans are affected by fibromyalgia, while approximately 443,000 Canadians are believed to have fibromyalgia. Treatment options vary with symptom severity.

Fibromyalgia treatments vary depending on the individual. Treatments for the condition typically involve medications and self-care. Exercise and alternative treatments also may be tried. Here is a look at some of the more common fibromyalgia treatments. • Analgesics: Pain relievers are the first line of defense against fibromyalgia. Reducing pain can make activities tolerable. If over-the-counter pain relievers are ineffective, a doctor may prescribe a stronger medicine. • Antidepressants: Certain antidepressants like duloxetine (Cymbalta®) have been approved for use in relieving pain and fatigue. Doctors may use a combination of antidepressants to help promote sleep and take away the pain of fibromyalgia. • Anti-seizure medications: In some cases, drugs that are used to treat seizure disorders have been effective at relieving pain caused by fibromyalgia. • Pregabalin: This drug, marketed under the name Lyrica®, is the first drug approved by the FDA to treat fibromyalgia. • Lifestyle changes: Reducing stress, getting enough sleep and exercising regularly can help alleviate symptoms of fibromyalgia. Also, consuming a healthy diet and reducing caffeine intake may help. • Alternative therapies: Some people find that massage therapy, tai chi, yoga, and acupuncture promote relaxation and can relieve symptoms. A 2010 report from CNN says fibromyalgia is notoriously difficult to treat and only 35 to 40 percent of people with the chronic pain condition get relief from the available medications. Some have requested prescriptions from their doctors for medical marijuana to ease symptoms. Historically, marijuana has been used as a painkiller and to relax the body. While some doctors prescribe it where it is legal, many others prefer to wait for synthetic cannabis compounds to be studied and produced. Fibromyalgia is a painful condition that affects millions of people, a majority of which are women. Those with widespread pain should visit a doctor to develop a course of treatment.

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Women must work harder to lose weight

Women must blend diet and exercise to successfully lose weight.


t’s widely assumed that men and women lose weight differently. Diet product advertisements tend to suggest that all men have to do is give up sugary drinks or bread and the pounds will fall off. Women, however, do not see such immediate results. But is there any truth to the assumption that women have a harder time losing weight? That depends on who you ask. In his book, “The Complete Guide to Walking,” Mark Fenton quotes a study that found women who tried to lose weight by cutting their caloric intake by 500 calories per day didn’t lose as much weight as women who dieted away 250 calories and walked away 250 calories. That’s because the walking toned and built muscles. Muscles, it seems, are the key to more efficient weight loss.

body fat and about half the amount of muscle mass than a man of the same size. The higher fat percentage plays a role in pregnancy and nursing, and tends to be concentrated for women in the hips and thighs. Experts say it is more difficult to lose fat from these areas than the stomach, an area where men tend to gain weight.

Men tend to have more muscle mass than women, who have a greater percentage of

Information found in the study, “Sex

Differences in Exercise Metabolism and the Role of 17-Beta Estradiol,” by Mark A. Tarnopolsky, as published in Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, says that the estrogen in a woman’s body predisposes her to store and retain fat more readily than a man. Women also oxidize more lipids rather than carbohydrates and protein during exercise. As a result, women will have to work harder to lose weight at the same rate as men. Even when exercise is factored in, a woman’s body may still store fat and attempt to slow metabolism in an effort to preserve body fat for reproduction. The way the female body is programmed to hold on to fat and the fact that women have less testosterone and do not produce the same level of muscle mass as men (muscles help to increase metabolic rate) are the main reasons why women may have a harder time losing weight than men. There is another factor that may play a role

in weight loss as well. Men have a 25 to 30 percent greater lung capacity than women because males are taller and more broadchested than females. This means that when women and men are exercising side-by-side, men may have an endurance advantage because they are breathing in more oxygen. Women may feel more winded and tire more easily when exercising, particularly if they are not conditioned for it. This may shorten workouts for women. Just because there are physical differences between men and women that can affect the rate by which both sexes shed pounds, that doesn’t mean women are incapable of losing weight. Increasing exercise in addition to cutting calories will help speed up metabolism. By building lean muscle, women can help their bodies more actively shed pounds.


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Just as a rose symbolizes beauty, love and compassion, so does a mother. Bland Enterprises Inc. wishes all Mothers a very happy Mother’s Day. We especially salute all of the Mothers who’s life journey has ended. We know firsthand that Mother’s Day can be especially difficult for those, who have loss, “Mom.” We salute our very own special mother, Doris B. Bland, who made her transition into heaven on January 17, 2013. In memory of all the Mother’s who are no longer here, we invite you to visit our Petersburg location at 137 Harrison Street, Petersburg, to pick up a complimentary rose in memory of your mom to keep or to lay upon her grave from our family to yours.

Pick up your complimentary rose in memory of your mother from our Petersburg location this Friday thru Sunday for Mother’s Day In Loving Memory Of the Beautiful Mothers We Have Laid to Rest Thus Far in 2013 Annie R. Calvin

Emma J. Tolbert

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Building a business wardrobe


he transition from college student or stay-at-home mom to full-time professional requires a number of changes. Those changes include updating your wardrobe to give it a more professional feel. Clothing that’s acceptable for a jaunt to the store or a night out may not be appropriate for the office. Just what constitutes a professional wardrobe has changed over the years, and the guidelines for such attire are no longer as firm as they once were. But it still behooves a woman to add some classic, professional pieces to her closet. While skirts and pantyhose may no longer be mandatory, dressing conservatively and cleanly in an office environment is always a safe bet.

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In order to achieve a wardrobe transformation without breaking the bank, the fashion experts at Marie Claire advise adding separates to build around a base suit. Find a suit that is flattering to your figure and make it a workplace staple. Then purchase coordinating pants, sweater sets, shirts, another skirt, and accessories that can be mixed and matched with elements from the suit to create different looks. If your budget allows, purchase another suit in a different color so you can continue to build wardrobe possibilities. When selecting base pieces, opt for neutral colors of tan, gray, black, and blue so that these items can be worn repeatedly without being noticed. Accessories and blouses can offer pops of color when necessary. A nice handbag or pair of shoes can quite easily add color to an otherwise monotone ensemble.

Women who are adding to their wardrobes can include these all-time business staples. • Classic black pump shoes • Crisp, button-down white shirt • Fine-knit sweater in a bright color • Camisole or shell in a neutral color to wear under blazers • Cardigan in black or white that can be worn over tops or dresses • Fitted, sleeveless dress that can be paired with a suit jacket or cardigan • Straight-hemmed skirt in a neutral color • Flat-front black, gray and tan pants • Neutral-colored wool coat and a rain jacket Over time, women can add to their wardrobes as budgets allow and they learn more about what is acceptable at their places of hire.


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When selecting items from the rack, look for those that fit well but aren’t too constrictive or racy. Inquire with your new employer’s hiring manager or human resources department to find out if the workplace has any restrictions on wardrobe. There may be employee guidelines, particularly in certain industries, such as law or education. If no such restrictions are in place, keep skirts to knee-length and avoid particularly low-cut tops. Save more revealing items for nights out with friends. Many employers have adopted dressdown days as perks for their employees. Although you may be invited to dress more casually, avoid dressing for a day at the beach or hanging around the house. Opt for trouser-style jeans that are free of rips and embellishments. If athletic shoes are allowed, make sure they are clean and not the pair you wear while tending to your garden. Avoid graphic T-shirts that feature potentially offensive or suggestive messages. In more conservative companies, dressing down may be opting for khakis instead of suits. It is important to know the difference.

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hile the job market appears to be on the mend, recent college graduates know they need to go the extra mile in order to get a foot in the door of their desired profession. And according to a Legal Momentum analysis of data from the U.S. Census Bureau, young women with college degrees may face an even more difficult battle than their male counterparts.

Career pointers for young women starting out

The earnings disparity between men and women of similar qualifications has long been known and can be traced to a host of factors (for example, men tend to earn degrees in more lucrative fields than women), but women are also facing lower employment rates than men, despite holding an advantage in educational attainment. In analyzing data on women between the ages of 21 and 30, Legal Momentum found that 30 percent had a bachelor’s degree, while just 23 percent of men in the same age bracket had a bachelor’s degree. Young women aware of such figures should rightfully be concerned. While there may be little recent female college graduates can do to address those concerns, there are steps they can take to improve their chances of landing a job in their chosen fields. • Get experience. Any experience in

your chosen field, regardless of how small your role might be, is potentially valuable experience. A willingness to tackle any task and get a better grasp of the industry will stand out to a prospective employer, especially if you are currently working as an intern with no promise of a full-time position come the end of your internship. The more you can learn about the industry you hope to work in, the more attractive you become to prospective employers. • Don’t be afraid to take an internship after graduation. Many young people think internships are only valuable while they are in college. But an internship after you have graduated can be just as valuable, especially in an ultra-competitive job market like the one today’s graduates have found themselves in. Even if the internship won’t earn you a dime, it’s a chance to get your foot in the door and gain experience. Many companies are more inclined to consider past or current interns for full-time entry level positions than they are outside candidates. Don’t be afraid to expand your job search to internships even if you already earned a college degree. Such opportunities might just prove your best chance to get your foot in the door.

• Volunteer. Volunteering is a great way to give back, avoid the stir craziness that can accompany unemployment and put something positive on your resume rather than a big gap. In addition, volunteering can be a great opportunity to meet people and do some networking. A fellow volunteer might work in your field or know someone who does, and this person or persons can prove an invaluable resource for a young person just starting out. • Stay focused. A job hunt can be exhausting, and it’s easy for a young unemployed person to grow disillusioned about a process that seems to rely so heavily on randomness. But studies show that young women are already facing an uphill battle when looking for a job, and losing focus or allowing yourself to be discouraged will only make that hill more steep. If you are truly passionate about your field of study and devoted to finding a job within that field, then your chance will come if you remain patient and continue to focus on your job hunt.

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Women Today 2013  

women today 2013

Women Today 2013  

women today 2013