31 Instant Health Boosters
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- Tips 11-20: Control Cravings, Fight Off Illness, and Stand Taller
- Tips 21-31: Eat Better, Relax, and Get Your Game On
Tips 21-31: Eat Better, Relax, and Get Your Game On21. Run for your life.
Joggers have a 40 percent lower risk of dying than people who don't lace up their sneakers, according to Stanford University researchers. Runners are less likely to have cardiovascular problems or develop disabilities as they age. Motivate yourself to become fit by training for a 5K.
An oil high in fatty acids made from coconut oil has been shown to burn fat and promote weight loss, according to a study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. People who consumed four to five teaspoons of this type of oil (in baked goods and through cooking) every day for 16 weeks lost almost four pounds more than those who used olive oil.23. Get crackin'.
Adding one egg a day, yolk and all, to your diet can increase good HDL levels without increasing bad LDL cholesterol levels. Low levels of HDL have previously been linked to memory loss.24. Strike a pose.
Relaxation techniques like yoga or meditation help your body beat the symptoms of stress before they harm your health, according to researchers at the Benson-Henry Institute for Mind Body Medicine at Massachusetts General Hospital.25. Tap into the magic of mushrooms.
White button mushrooms can boost your immune system by improving how your T-cells work, according to recent preliminary studies. T-cells are the white blood cells that help protect your body from harmful intruders.26. Try the silent treatment.
Being exposed to just 35 decibels of noise (about the sound of people talking softly) while in bed could raise your blood pressure by six or seven points, according to a recent study. Snooze more peacefully by investing in a white-noise or sound machine like the Obus Forme Sound Therapy Relaxation System ($30, amazon.com).27. Get your game on.
Playing video games with a lot of action sequences can sharpen your visual skills by 20 percent, according to research from the University of Rochester in New York. A fun game to try: Lara Croft: Tomb Raider Anniversary for Wii ($30, amazon.com).28. Hit the sauce.
People who munch on apples, eat applesauce, or drink apple juice are 27 percent less likely to develop metabolic syndrome -- a combination of health problems, such as increased blood pressure and blood-sugar levels, that can lead to heart disease and diabetes, research shows. Other studies suggest that eating apples may reduce your risk of breast cancer.29. Take a nature break.
Heading outdoors for 30 minutes when the sun is shining can make you happier and improve your brain's ability to process new information, according to a study at the Virginia Institute for Psychiatric and Behavioral Genetics.30. Go, go, go!
If you feel the urge, race to the restroom. Having an overly full bladder can increase stress on the heart, upping the odds of a heart attack in those at risk, a study in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology shows.31. Fly away.
Women who take at least two vacations a year are more happily married than those who rarely get out of town, because they are less likely to be depressed, tense, or tired. Book your summer trip now.
Originally published in FITNESS magazine, May 2009.
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