Add just a few of these simple healthy habits to your daily routine, and see how much better you’ll feel about your energy, weight, mood, and more.One of our biggest stressors is not finances or marriage but the lack of a regular routine, says oncologist David B. Agus, MD, in his book The End of Illness. Even simply eating lunch an hour later than usual can spike levels of the stress hormone cortisol and disrupt your body’s ideal state. Try to eat, sleep, and exercise at the same time every day, 365 days a year.Don’t fill your luggage on the floor. Leaning down puts stress on your back, notes spine orthopedic surgeon Gerard J. Girasole, coauthor with Cara Hartman of the book The 7-Minute Back Pain Solution.
A good read can lower levels of unhealthy stress hormones such as cortisol. Participants in a British study engaged in an anxiety-provoking activity and then either read for a few minutes, listened to music, or played video games. Readers’ stress levels dropped 67 percent, a more significant drop than that of the other groups.
You’ll feel better if you let loose with some profanity after you whack your funny bone. U.K. researchers found that participants who repeated a swear word could keep their hands in freezing water longer than those who repeated a non-curse word. One caveat: the trick works better if you’re not a regular potty mouth. Here are more proven ways to relieve chronic pain without medication.
Research links tea to lower risks of heart attack, certain cancers, type 2 diabetes, and Parkinson’s disease. More antioxidants were unleashed in tea steeped for five minutes than for just one or two, according to a British study.
When you sit for long stretches, triglycerides increase, good cholesterol drops, and your body becomes inflamed, which creates a perfect storm for a heart attack or stroke. These 32 everyday habits can also reduce your risk of headaches.
Is meat good or bad for you? While the debate rages on, steak lovers can indulge with less guilt simply by eating a more reasonable helping. The perfect meat portion is three ounces (about the size of a deck of cards), which is A LOT smaller than many restaurant portions. Learn 11 things that could happen if you stop eating red meat.
Research in the journal Public Health Nutrition that found that people who cooked at home five times a week were nearly 50 percent more likely to be alive after ten years than those who steered clear of the kitchen. The benefits aren’t just from eating healthier but also from grocery shopping, following a recipe, and preparing food, which help your brain develop new connections. Swap out one night of takeout for an easy go-to recipe, then gradually add more recipes/meals to your repertoire over time.
“Most germs are spread by droplets; talking and sneezing produce droplets that fall within a six-foot range,” says Michael Pentella, PhD, clinical associate professor at the University of Iowa College of Public Health. During cold and flu season, he tries to stay three feet away from people who are visibly ill. Did you know that the summer season is secretly making you sick? Here’s how to stay healthy during the summer.
Mild dehydration may increase driver inattention and compromise safety as much as alcohol does. A small Loughborough University study tracked men during two simulated driving tests. In one test, they drank large amounts of water the day before and the day of the test. In another, they had limited water both days. When dehydrated, the men made 101 minor driving errors (comparable to a blood-alcohol level of 0.08 percent) but only 47 errors when hydrated.
There may be something to that “doctor a day” adage: Middle-aged participants who started eating an apple a day saw a dramatic 40 percent drop in their oxidized LDL, which is a particularly dangerous, artery-hardening form of “bad” cholesterol. In the small, month-long study, participants who took pills containing the same amount of polyphenol antioxidants contained in apples also saw a decrease, though significantly smaller. Further studies are needed to discover why eating whole apples maximizes the heart-happy benefits. Check out these other everyday and drug-free ways to lower your cholesterol.
One third of patients surveyed at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center said they didn’t see doctors wash their hands, even though the practice is a major way to control infections in health-care settings. But nearly two thirds of those patients didn’t challenge the doctor about it. Too shy to speak up? Say something like “I’m embarrassed to ask you this, but would you mind cleaning your hands before you begin?”
Next time you’re facing a stressful situation that requires physical accuracy (such as walking on a treacherous path), squeeze your left hand into a fist. This simple trick helped athletes keep their cool during a game’s high-pressure moments in a recent study. Choking under pressure seems to be caused by brain activity in the nondominant hemisphere, and distracting that side of the brain (by clenching your left hand if you’re right-handed) can stop the overthinking that leads to error.
Betcha didn’t know there’s a good and a bad way to get rid of that mucus-y stuffiness. Turns out, honking both nostrils at the same time can create too much pressure in your nasal cavities and can push mucus deeper into your sinuses, prolonging symptoms, says Woman’s Day. instead, blow slowly, one nostril at a time. Don’t miss these other 32 everyday mistakes that raise your risk of catching a cold.
It’s OK to get sucked into a few minutes of piano-playing kittens, says Psychology Today. Watching a funny video restores depleted willpower, research shows, and can help you get back on track with difficult tasks.