According to the 2011 10Q Report: Advancing Women’s Heart Health Through Improved Research, Diagnosis and Treatment, heart disease causes an estimated 8.6 million deaths among American women annually and is the leading cause of death for women in the United States. Nearly 50% of women are expected to die from heart disease or stroke.newsletter_teaser: According to the 2011 10Q Report: Advancing Women’s Heart Health Through Improved Research, Diagnosis and Treatment, heart disease causes an estimated 8.6 million deaths among American women annually and is the leading cause of death for women in the United States. Nearly 50% of women are expected to die from heart disease or stroke.
I vividly remember the day, 4½ years ago, when my best friend learned she had breast cancer. It seemed completely unbelievable—she was only 36 and still nursing her 7-month-old baby! The subsequent weeks and months were a labyrinth of doctors’ visits, tests, treatment decisions, surgery, chemotherapy, radiation and ongoing drug therapies to prevent recurrence. I had heard much about breast cancer, but watching someone close to me undergo aggressive cancer treatment made me wonder if anything could be done to mitigate the challenging side effects. newsletter_teaser: Check out this great article from the IDEA Online Library, and learn how exercise results can be improved with proper use of a heart rate monitor. As an IDEA member, all of the articles in our library are free to you.
Having mom stay active while pregnant can be good for both mom and baby. A recent study suggests that a mom’s fitness endeavors can have a positive impact on her baby’s heart health. The goal of the study was to determine whether a mom’s physical activity during pregnancy would have lasting positive effects on her child. According to the data, a newborn whose mother was physically active during pregnancy would reap rewards from that activity for up to 1 month after birth.
Women who joined a mind-body stress management program had better success becoming pregnant with in vitro fertilization (IVF) than those who did not join the program, according to a study published in Fertility and Sterility (2011; 95, 2269–73). Reduced fertility is associated with stress; however, it is unclear whether infertility causes stress or whether stress causes infertility.
What is sexual health? One definition includes the phrase “a capacity to enjoy and control sexual behavior without fear, shame or guilt” (Mosby’s Medical Dictionary 2009). The World Health Organization (WHO) defines the term in part as “a state of physical, mental and social well-being in relation to sexuality” (WHO 2011). Sexual dysfunction is broadly defined as “disorders that interfere with a full sexual response cycle. These disorders make it difficult for a person to enjoy or to have sexual intercourse” (Gale Encyclopedia of Medicine 2008).
Consistent practice of an Iyengar yoga routine helped breast cancer survivors reduce fatigue and improve mood and quality of life in a pilot study published in Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine (2011;doi:10.1155/2011/623168). Persistent fatigue that includes physical, mental and emotional exhaustion is an ongoing challenge for up to one-third of breast cancer survivors for months or even years after medical treatment is over.
Relaxation exercises such as guided imagery [GI] may help both the expectant mother and the growing fetus to relax, according to a study published in Early Human Development (2011; 87, 121–27). Pregnancy-associated stress can influence fetal growth and gestation length, and can promote prematurity and low birth weight. This study’s purpose was to investigate whether a fetus could participate momentarily in maternal relaxation and, if so, to determine the underlying mechanisms responsible for the transferral.
It’s well known that female athletes appear predisposed to catastrophic knee injuries. A recent study suggests that a 4-week jump-training program may ward off such injuries. The study, published in the Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research (2010; 24 , 3427–32), included 15 women basketball players whose knee valgus angle was analyzed during two landing tasks: drop jump landing and a crossover hop during a jump shot. The players then completed a 4-week jump-training program in which they received guidance on landing technique.