Holiday headaches; healthy cities

December 14, 2008 10:22:27 AM PST
Don't let headaches stop your holiday fun.... and how does Philadelphia stack up as a healthy place for women?

When a headache crims your holiday fun

The holidays are supposed to be fun.

But experts say this is also a common time for headaches.

Kathy Mazzola says headaches often derail her plans.

She recalls, "We would be ready to go out to dinner, and I would say - I can't go."

Neurologist Dr. Susan Broner says, "There's a lot of increased stress and people are exposed to all sorts of things that are common migraine triggers."

Bright lights, staying up late, and lots of fragrances can combine to create stress headaches and migraines.

Eating patterns also change at holiday time.

Dr. Broner says, "They may be skipping meals and then eating more at other times. And then they're eating foods that they're not used to eating at other times of the year."

Dr. Broner says to stop headaches before they start, plan ahead, and don't worry about creating the "perfect holiday."

If you do get a headache, treat it quickly.

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Healthiest Cities for Women

The scores are in for America's healthiest cities for women.

For the 9th year in a row, SELF magazine crunched the numbers, looking at surveys related to exercise, smoking rates, eating habits, crime, and more.

America's healthiest cities were Bethesda, Maryland.... San Francisco, and Honolulu..

The unhealthiest cities were Detroit... Gary, Indiana... and St. Louis.

Philadelphia was in the middle.

Sara Austin, SELF's features director, says. "The environment was an issue. A lot of toxic sites in the area, and then there are problems with the quality of the water. Also, higher rates of cancer deaths for women in the area."

SELF editors say whatever your zip code, you can make it healthier by improving your own habits, and getting involved in making your community cleaner and safer.


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