31 Ways to Better Health
A simple day-by-day plan to help you crush the month.
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What can you do to improve your life in a day? An hour? A minute? Even if you get enough sleep and work too hard, you still have more than enough time to make small but significant changes. They might seem inconsequential at the time, but given a month, you'll be surprised how quickly little shifts like parking farther from your office or adding one more cup of coffee add up. Get ready to feel awesome.
Drink up! Alcohol (about a drink a day) lessens the risk of sudden cardiac death.
Get a flu shot. You've got one day until you're back in your germ-infested office.
Bring a bag of walnuts to work for snack time. They reduce blood pressure and smooth the body's stress response.
Park your car farther from the office. Walking at least six miles a week protects the brain against shrinking with age.
And today, bring a reusable water bottle. Fill it regularly. More bathroom breaks can help you earn those miles.
You're almost to the weekend. Turn out the lights at ten. Men getting less than six hours of shut-eye a night are more likely to die at a younger age.
TGIF! Set your computer screen to a Caribbean beach. Looking at pictures of tranquil scenes stimulates your brain to create new neural connections.
Kick off your Saturday morning with a crossword puzzle. Using your brain in different ways may help stave off Alzheimer's.
Go for a Sunday run—but don't stretch beforehand. Static stretching before exercise actually reduces endurance; do it afterwards.
Monday-morning java! Drinking a cup or more a day may reduce your risk of a brain tumor.
Don't stress about making six digits. The happiest people, according to a 2010 survey, make about $75,000 a year, no more.
Instead of e-mailing, get up and walk to see your colleagues in person.
Sometime today, drop and give us 20. Try to work up to two sets of 25 by month's end. More muscle mass increases your metabolism.
Book yourself a massage for Saturday. Even one session can lower your risk of high blood pressure.
Install some blackout shades on your bedroom windows. Exposure to light at night increases the risk of weight gain.
At the grocery store, buy two pounds of black rice. It contains more antioxidants than blueberries, at a fraction of the price.
Also pick up some supplements. (Sorry for the extra trip!) Most people need vitamin B-6, vitamin D, folic acid, and a multivitamin.
Ask someone out. In a new study, unmarried, long-term partners enjoyed the same reductions in stress hormones as the legally wed.
Take a 20-minute break today to get some sun. Low vitamin D levels, common in athletes, have been linked to memory problems.
Buy a juicer (try the Breville JE900 Juice Fountain, from $100). A juice made from kale, spinach, pineapple, lemon, and ginger is liquid gold in a glass.
After work tonight, meditate. Set a timer for 15 minutes. Doing this regularly can decrease your chances of a heart attack or stroke.
It's Saturday night. Have some dessert—but make it chocolate. Chocolate milk is almost as effective as red wine at reducing bodily inflammation and cardiac-disease risk.
Don't check your e-mail. Those who unplug and relax on occasion live longer.
Invite a friend to go for a run or hike. Having a workout buddy increases your chances of compliance.
Sign up for a twice-a-week yoga class. An hour of yoga produces more neural chemicals associated with good mood than an hour of walking.
Clean out your junk drawer. Doing housework reduces melancholy in white-collar workers.
Take a day off. Most employees have “personal days” and never use them.
Drink some black cherry juice. Swilling the juice after a tough workout lessens inflammation and aids in recovery.
Plan a poker night with the boys. A new study found that a stimulating environment, including toys and exercise wheels, dramatically reduced lab mice's risk of developing any cancer.
Volunteer at a local charity. Volunteering can boost your happiness by 10 percent and improves overall health.