Be Aware

December 21, 2012 § Leave a comment

October is gone and the New Year is upon us, but that doesn’t mean that we ladies can forget something very important: breast cancer. Throughout the month of October I see ribbons and advertisements about breast cancer prevention, symptoms, and the like. And though yes I still may see the occasional commercial or campaign they are too few and far between. We as women need to make sure that we are always aware. Breast cancer is the second most common form of cancer in American women. I find that as a cause to be sure and go see a doctor at least once a year.

There have been many studies that help with prevention of breast cancer. Some risk factors that women should look out for are:

  • Estrogen levels
  • Hormone replacement therapy
  • Exposure to radiation
  • Obesity
  • Alcohol
  • Inherited risk

Please remember that these are only risk factors. I realize as you probably did that some of these risk factors is out of your hands. Inherited risk means that it may run in the family. Ask some of your relatives to see if there is a history of it in the family. For the estrogen levels there is also not much that you can do about it. Women are born with estrogen. It’s part of our make-up as a female. However for both these cases, you can be aware. It is very important to know what’s going on with your body. Even when we’re full grown women we still have to go through changes. It’s the way life. Nonetheless we can be prepared for our future. Just remember to take caution.

There are also some preventive measures that you can take. For one, you can exercise. When you exercise you are not just taking care of your physique. You are taking care of every component of your body. Exercise is very important. In addition, women who are 40 and over should get a mammogram at least every one to two years.

As I researched this topic I stumbled across a very interesting article about how breast cancer is different in younger women than it is in older women. Particularly women 35 and younger have a biologically different form of breast cancer than women who get the disease at an older age.

But no matter what age you are it can develop, so I implore you to be aware. Do your own research on breast cancer. You can ask your doctor, look online (but be sure it’s a credible site), and ask your family.

“Breast Cancer ‘Different’ in Younger Women”

http://www.medpagetoday.com/MeetingCoverage/SABCS/36324

“Breast Cancer Prevention”

http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/pdq/prevention/breast/Patient

– Erika K.

Girls Breaking the Status Quo

December 18, 2012 § Leave a comment

So I may seem to be sounding a little repetitive with my blogs having to do with sports, but I just couldn’t stop reading articles about this little girl. Sam Gordon is your typical nine year old girl except for one incredible trait. Rather than join a cheerleading squad or take ballet lessons, Sam Gordon began to play for an all-boys football league. Although this is her first season playing, she has been dominating in every single game scoring a total of 35 touchdowns and having 1,900 yards this season alone.

She instantly became an overnight sensation when her father posted a video on Youtube highlighting her amazing feats in her games this season. Since then, she has been on Good Morning America, appeared on the set of the NFL Network where she tackled Marshall Faulk, and has even had the opportunity to huddle up with the 49ers at practice. The moment I saw her video on Youtube, I couldn’t help but smile. She is so tiny yet extremely talented and what makes it all so heartwarming to watch is that the boys on her team are okay with her incredible talent. She was even able to lead them to their championship game.

Now, I’m really not one to follow sports but upon finding this story, I couldn’t just let it go like I do most other sports articles that show up on my Yahoo feed. I became inspired through this story because Sam isn’t just making a name for herself, but for thousands of other little girls across the country who aspire to be in sports that are for the most part—dominated by the male gender. Of course, like with every other video or story posted on the internet, there will be those who demean the courageous acts that this little girl has shown over the past couple of weeks. It’s hard to believe that there are people out there who truly believe that girls don’t possess the same capabilities as boys. Furthermore, I think it’s time that our society to see past gender issues and begin to teach children that they can do whatever they set their mind regardless of what gender they are. This doesn’t have to do with just sports, but with anything in general.

Having always liked engineering and computer programming, I would enroll myself in those types of classes in high school and would almost always be the only girl in the classroom. It never bothered me and I never really felt inferior to all of the 24 boys in the classroom mainly because I would have the same grades if not higher as they did and because they would treat me like any other student. Despite this, I remember many of my friends would be afraid to take those classes because of the fact that they were depicted as mainly for boys. I think this was where I truly began to desire to work at bringing about gender equality wherever I could.

When reading about stories like Sam Gordon’s or Sarah Baxter’s (11-year old who finished a 3-mile run in 16 minutes), it brings a sense of pride and satisfaction to me in knowing that the future will only bring greater gender equality because our younger generations are able to see past sports or careers being boy only or girl only. I have a feeling that we will only be seeing even more examples of women breaking the status quo and making a name for themselves in places that would normally be dominated by men.  So to those that still believe that girls can’t beat the boys, I believe Sam Gordon is a great example that those claims simply aren’t true and I believe we need to push little girls and women as well to believe in their dreams and their aspirations no matter how difficult they may seem.

– Jennifer C.

Saying No To Holiday Stress and Weight

December 14, 2012 § Leave a comment

As the holidays roll in, we are overcome with several emotions, such as joy and laughter. We are able to connect with family and friends. And we celebrate the end of one year and the beginning of a new one. Finally after a hard year of school and work, you are able to go home and get a home cooked meal. It’s time for some rest and relaxation. But how can you even get the chance to relax. There are parties to go to and people to see. And if you are a procrastinator like me, then it’s also time to get some shopping done. The holiday season can be a stressful one, especially for the women.

Not only is there gift shopping to do, but there is also grocery shopping that has to get done. Then there’s all the cooking that has to be done. It can be very stressful especially if your family is coming to town AND they’re staying with you. It doesn’t matter whether you are the laid back type or if you are a perfectionist, trying to accommodate everyone gets to be very frustrating. In addition, you may have children in the house (which can be even more exasperating if you don’t have any of your own) screaming and yelling. Your elder family members, the older women especially, might always be looking over your shoulder the entire time telling you what to do and how to do it. The holiday season doesn’t only bring good will and tidings; it can also bring stress.

Studies have shown that women on average get more stressed out than men. Several surveys taken have shown that women get stressed more easily than men, married women are more stressed than single women, and that stress for women seems to have increased over the past few years. Symptoms from stress can include headaches, fatigue, and indigestion.

Then we have everyone’s favorite activity. And no I am not talking about receiving presents from good ole Saint Nick. I’m talking about eating. Sometimes it feels like that all you do during the holiday season is eat. Family members come into town wanting you to try their new recipes. Friends who want you to come over to their house and eat. And throughout this time of year, you may make several appearances at different gathering, possibly saying that you’re only going to stay for a minute, but then you end up staying and having a bite to eat anyway. And what’s more are all the deserts. From pies to cobblers and cookies to cakes, there is no shortage of sweets during the holidays.

So you may be wondering “where she is going with all of this?” Well this is just a reminder to be careful. When surrounded by the family and all the craziness that comes with it, remember to relax. This is your holiday, too. As women we need to remember that we need some tender loving care too. Don’t let the stress ruin your season of joy and laughter.

Also be careful where that delicious food is concerned. Try not to overeat/stuff yourself to the max. In addition, don’t stay cooped up inside all day. Go out with the family. Play a sport, walk around the neighborhood (and maybe sing some carols), and remember to stay active!

Some tips to stay in shape can be found at:

http://www.womenshealthmag.com/fitness/holiday-weight-loss

And some tips to stay stress free can be found at:

http://health.tcpalm.com/healthfeature/1357/Stay%20stressfree%20this%20holiday%20season.aspx

– Erika K.

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