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31 Days to a Healthier You

Days 19-24

Day 19: Wear Flats More Often
You'll take an average of 491 more steps a day than your high-heeled colleagues. While this might not sound like much, 500 additional steps can help you drop a few pounds by the end of the year.

Day 20: Drive the Scenic Route
It may be a little slower, but traveling on suburban streets instead of jam-packed freeways will expose you to fewer cancer-causing toxins, according to a new study from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor.

Day 21: Protect Your Peepers
Even on partly cloudy days in the dead of winter, exposing your eyes to sunlight without protection increases your risk of developing macular degeneration—a condition that results in loss of vision in the center of the visual field, due to damage to the retina. So treat yourself to a new pair of sunglasses to filter out harmful rays.

Day 22: Reach for the Sky
Every two to three hours throughout the day, stop and stretch. You'll reduce pain and prevent headaches, reports a new study out of the University of Turin in Italy. Try this move from the researchers: Cup your hands behind your neck. Stretch your head backward so you're looking up at the ceiling. Relax after two to three seconds.

Day 23: Fill Up at Lunch
You've seen the headlines about how important it is to eat breakfast, but that doesn't mean you should be skimping at lunch. A recent study from Sam Houston State University in Huntsville, Texas, finds that we often make dinner our most caloric meal and then follow it up with dessert and late-night snacking—behavior that increases your risk for obesity and type 2 diabetes. "Eat more in the morning and afternoon and you'll consume less at night," says lead study author John M. de Castro, Ph.D.

Day 24: Prevent Sneezes and Sniffles with a Walk
In a new study researchers found that women who never exercised had triple the number of colds and respiratory infections compared to those who worked out at moderate intensity for 45 minutes, five days a week. A brisk walk raises white blood cell counts, boosting your immune system.

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