31. My smear campaign. Have a pap smear once a year. Not on our list of favourite things, but it’s vital. Cervical cancer kills 200 000 women a year and it’s the most prevalent form of cancer among black women, affecting more than 30 percent.
But the chances of survival are nearly 100 percent if it’s detected early. Be particularly careful if you became sexually active at an early age, have had multiple sex partners or smoke.
32. Understand hormones. Recent research suggests that short-term (less than five years) use of HRT is not associated with an increase in the risk of breast cancer, but that using it for more than ten years might be. Breast cancer is detected earlier in women using HRT, as they are more alert to the disease than other women.
32. Beat the sneezes. There are more than 240 allergens, some rare and others very common. If you’re a sneezer due to pollen: close your car’s windows while driving, rather switch on the internal fan (drawing in air from the outside), and avoid being outdoors between 5am and 10 am when pollen counts are at their highest; stick to holidays in areas with low pollen counts, such as the seaside and stay away from freshly cut grass.
33. Doggone. If you’re allergic to your cat, dog, budgie or pet piglet, stop suffering the ravages of animal dander: Install an air filter in your home.
Keep your pet outside as much as possible and brush him outside of the home to remove loose hair and other allergens. Better yet, ask someone else to do so.
34. Asthma-friendly sports. Swimming is the most asthma-friendly sport of all, but cycling, canoeing, fishing, sailing and walking are also good, according to the experts.
Asthma need not hinder peak performance in sport. 1% of the US Olympic team were asthmatics – and between them they won 41 medals.
35. Deep heat. Sun rays can burn even through thick glass, and under water. Up to 35% of UVB rays and 85% of UVA rays penetrate thick glass, while 50% of UVB rays and 75% of UVA rays penetrate a meter of water and wet cotton clothing.
Which means you’ll need sunscreen while driving your car on holiday, and water resistant block if you’re swimming.
36. Fragrant ageing. Stay away from perfumed or flavoured suntan lotions which smell of coconut oil or orange if you want your skin to stay young. These lotions contain psoralen, which speeds up the ageing process. Rather use a fake-tan lotion. Avoid sun beds, which are as bad as the sun itself.
37. Sunscreen can be a smokescreen. Sunscreen is unlikely to stop you from being sunburned, or to reduce your risk of developing skin cancer. That’s because most people don’t apply it properly, and stay in the sun too long.
The solution? Slather on sunscreen daily and reapply it often, especially if you’ve been in the water. How much? At least enough to fill a shot glass.
38. Laugh and cry. Having a good sob is reputed to be good for you. So is laughter, which has been shown to help heal bodies, as well as broken hearts. Studies in Japan indicate that laughter boosts the immune system and helps the body shake off allergic reactions.
39. It ain’t over till it’s over. End relationships that no longer work for you, as you could be spending time in a dead end. Rather head for more meaningful things. You could be missing opportunities while you’re stuck in a meaningless rut, trying to breathe life into something that is long gone.
40. Strong people go for help. Ask for assistance. Gnashing your teeth in the dark will not get you extra brownie points. It is a sign of strength to ask for assistance and people will respect you for it. If there is a relationship problem, the one who refuses to go for help is usually the one with whom the problem lies to begin with.
41. Save steamy scenes for the bedroom. Showering or bathing in water that’s too hot will dry out your skin and cause it to age prematurely. Warm water is much better.
Apply moisturiser while your skin is still damp – it’ll be absorbed more easily. Adding a little olive oil to your bath with help keep your skin moisturised too.
42. Here’s the rub. Improve your circulation and help your lymph glands to drain by the way you towel off. Helping your lymph glands function can help prevent them becoming infected.
When drying off your limbs and torso, brush towards the groin on your legs and towards the armpits on your upper body. You can do the same during gentle massage with your partner.
43. Sugar-coated. More than three million South Africans suffer from type 2 diabetes, and the incidence is increasing – with new patients getting younger. New studies show this type of diabetes is often part of a metabolic syndrome (X Syndrome), which includes high blood pressure and other risk factors for heart disease.
44. Relax, it’s only sex. Stress and sex make bad bedfellows, it seems. A US survey showed that stress, kids and work are main factors to dampen libido. With the advent of technology that allows us to work from home, the lines between our jobs and our personal lives have become blurred.
People work longer hours, commutes are longer and work pervades all aspects of our lives, including our sexual relationships. Put nooky and intimacy on the agenda, just like everything else.
45. Good night, sweetheart. Rest heals the body and has been shown to lessen the risk of heart trouble and psychological problems.