Social Networks May Be Good for Your Waistline, New Study Reveals

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Published: April 21, 2017


RH Weekly News Roundup – 21 April 2017

Who Uses Female Condoms in Nigeria?

It doesn’t look like there are that many women in Nigeria that use, know how to use, or perhaps have ever heard of female condoms. According to Dr. Sekina Bello of Pathfinder International, less than one percent of Nigerian women use female condoms – despite the benefits offered by this contraceptive.

The latest versions of female condoms are thin, comfortable, and noiseless. But, the bigger benefit is the protection they offer women. Unlike oral or implanted contraceptives, female condoms prevent sexually transmitted diseases as well as pregnancy. And, as Dr. Bello points out, they’re available, free of charge, in public health facilities. Want to learn more? The Association for Reproductive and Family Health is a Nigerian NGO committed to educating women on the female condom.

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Social Networks May be Good for Your Waistline 

Have you motivated your friends to push their fitness boundaries without even knowing it? Perhaps. A new study published in the Nature Communications journal has revealed that a little post about your workout may just push your friends to do a bit more themselves. Apparently, we hate to feel bested and will work out a little longer or run a little further just because someone else in our network is doing that.

Okay, the study is rather vague, but women are definitely inspired by other women; when those we perceive as less active suddenly become more active, we tend to get out there and do a little more than usual. What’s the lesson? Not only should you join social networks dedicated to fitness and healthy lifestyles, you should be sure to post about your successes – even if they seem small to you.

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Meningitis Is Becoming Very Scary, Very Fast 

At least another two million vaccines are needed to counter the current outbreak of meningitis in Nigeria – and they’re not coming fast enough. The Nigerian Centre for Disease Control claims there were more than 8000 suspected cases by 17 April and that number reflects a rapid week-on-week growth. The same can be said for the number of meningitis deaths; currently, the number is roughly 750. Last week, the number was under 500, and the week before, 330 deaths had been confirmed.

Without sufficient preventative care and emergency treatment after infection, this meningitis outbreak is set to become one of the worst in history. Be aware of your physical well-being, take time to review the symptoms (including fever, vomiting, extreme headaches, and stiff necks), and keep yourself informed on the current #meningitis outbreak. And, remember, if you can contribute to a solution – do so.

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Nigerian Development Continues to Lag

The good news is that Nigeria’s Human Development Index increased over 13 percent since 2005. The bad news is that it means nothing in relativity to the rest of the world. Nigeria’s position as 152 of 188 countries on the United Nations Development Programme’s Human Development Report remains unchanged. And, indeed, the country is down a spot from 2014.

Things are being done; for example, life expectancy grew from 46.1 years in 1990 to 53.1 years today. But, not enough is done – clearly. Countries like Gabon, Zambia, and Equatorial Guinea all hold spots above Nigeria on the ranking. As you might imagine, indices such as gender equality tend to hold the country back. So, what can be done? Take a look at any of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals that strike your fancy, and get to work.

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Kick Your Buti into Gear with This Yoga Workout

There are plenty of benefits to strength training – and you don’t need to walk to the testosterone-side of the gym to lift weights to achieve them. (Though, let’s be clear, incorporating weights into your fitness routine is often a good idea.) A new version of yoga has hit the market – and this one was designed exclusively for women.

Buti yoga mixes traditional poses with tribal dance and body sculpting exercises; it’s a strength workout blended with aerobic exercise for an awesome fitness experience. Sure, it may take some time to become popular in African gyms, but you can always learn more about the moves through the official website or take a look at this video. We think you’ll be hooked.

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Be Careful of Your Contraceptives

Women have been taking the pill for decades; for many, it’s the only birth control they’ve ever used. But, it appears they may actually change the way we see the world. Thankfully, the combination of ethinylestradiol and levonorgestrel (which is perhaps the most common mix) doesn’t appear to make women depressed, but they may affect energy levels and a perception of the quality of life.

A recent cross-border study published in Fertility and Sterility demonstrates that mood may indeed be impacted, even if further testing is required before you panic about your birth control. That said, if you’re experiencing depressive symptoms, low energy levels, or an unexplained negative outlook on life, it may be time to consult your doctor; there are other birth control methods available.

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About Radiant Health

Radiant Health is a print and digital health magazine for the discerning African woman who wants to look good, feel good and live well. Subscribe to our newsletter and get a free digital copy of issue No.06.

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