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35 Ways to Be Healthier This Year

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Do These Once a Day
35 Ways to Be Healthier This Year
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Tom Corbett

Feel better from Sunday to Saturday with these simple tips.

7. Get Your Fiber Fix

Adding 10 grams of soluble fiber to your daily diet can reduce your visceral fat—the most dangerous type of body fat because it wraps around organs. Meeting this total is as simple as adding an apple to breakfast and a cup of carrots to your lunch, snacking on a pear, and having a cup of black beans with dinner.

8. Satisfy Cravings with Gum

"You'll be putting a food-like substance in your mouth, giving your jaws something to do and stimulating the production of serotonin," says Pamela Peeke, M.D., author of The Hunger Fix: The Three-Stage Detox and Recovery Plan for Overeating and Food Addiction. Look for gum sweetened with xylitol—this natural sugar substitute protects teeth from cavities.

9. Preserve Your Pearlies

Floss once a day—before you brush. It'll help the fluoride in your toothpaste get between your teeth.

10. Try a 4-Minute Workout

Twice a week, switch your regular workout to the high-intensity interval training known as Tabata. Sweat with our rapid plan from Jessica Smith, co-author of The Thin in 10 Weight-Loss Plan, at familycircle.com/tabata.

11. Tidy Up

Cleaning your place nightly can result in more than just sparkling floors: Researchers say well-kept homes house healthier people. It's unclear if the elevated heart rate and calorie burn from housekeeping is responsible for fitter occupants or if caring for your home is linked to caring for your body, but whatever the reason, get mopping—it's a win-win. Neaten up in a hurry with our tips at familycircle.com/quickclean.

12. Pack a Brown Bag

Women who ate lunch in a restaurant at least once a week lost 5 fewer pounds on average than those who ate out less often. The likely reason: You're more inclined to splurge when going out. Find seven from-your-fridge ideas that'll make it easy to pass on take-out at familycircle.com/baglunch.

13. Get in the Green

Just five minutes of activity in nature is enough to boost your mood, say researchers. Fit in a quick loop around a park or spend a few minutes tending to your garden.

14. Pause at the Watercooler

Chitchat may feel like idle talk, but making time for short conversations can improve your memory and focus. Social interactions—particularly ones that ask you to consider another person's perspective—stimulate the brain region responsible for these functions.

15. Fix Everyone a Plate

The easiest way to reduce calorie intake by up to a third? Keep serving dishes out of sight and your family will automatically skip second helpings, say researchers at Cornell University.

16. Sleep, Uninterrupted

Getting up in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom? Limit fluids two hours before bed, suggests Mark Liponis, M.D., author of UltraLongevity and corporate medical director of Canyon Ranch.

17. Shower Away Stress

"Let droplets flow over your head, close your eyes, and inhale slowly and deeply through your nose, holding it for a few seconds," suggests davidji, author of Secrets of Meditation. "Imagine a waterfall releasing tension as you exhale."

18. Shut Down Your Inbox

Reading and answering after-hours e-mails can throw a wrench in your work-life balance, spurring feelings of guilt. Establishing e-mail boundaries can help: Do a final check-in early enough that you have a couple of hours of continuous family time.

19. Skip Sick Days

Regular exercise may halve your risk of contracting a bug. Just fit in 30 minutes of moderate exercise daily, suggests the American College of Sports Medicine.

20. Wipe Out

It's not a wrong number: 92% of cell phones have bacteria on them and 16% have E. coli. Consult the manufacturer's guidelines for cleaning, and consider a microfiber cloth from goswype.com.

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