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35 Ways to Be Healthier This Year

Do These Once a Week
35 Ways to Be Healthier This Year
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Karen Pearson

Every seven days make a move toward vitality.

21. Be a Pedal Pusher

Between running errands and meeting friends, the average woman drives 30 miles a day. Make one trip a week by bicycle and you'll improve your health, says Mia Birk, author of Joyride: Pedaling Toward a Healthier Planet. Don't forget your helmet!

22. Cut Out a Few White Lies

Next time you're tempted to tell a fib, fess up. Eliminating three lies in a week—even little ones—leads to fewer headaches, sore throats and other mental and physical complaints.

23. Watch a Rerun

It's not often that the boob tube is linked to health benefits, but this is one of the exceptions. Rewatching favorite episodes allows your brain to recharge, restoring levels of self-control and increasing willpower, say researchers at the University at Buffalo. This type of brain break may give you that extra oomph needed to finish a lengthy report or hit the gym.

24. Plan a Game Night

Play an active video game (read: one where you exercise more than your thumbs) and you'll burn more calories than you would watching a movie. Bonding bonus: Research shows that girls who do so with their parents report feeling more connected to their families and are less aggressive.

25. Exercise Your Memory

Always park in a different place at work or the mall. Regularly remembering new information—like where to find your car—can help your brain stay sharp, says Christine M. Gall, Ph.D., professor of anatomy and neurobiology at the University of California, Irvine.

26. Sniff Away Stress

Feeling frustrated? Reach for some jasmine essential oil. It stimulates the brain much like prescription anxiety medications, such as Valium.

27. Water Your Work Plants

Hazardous chemicals, like formaldehyde, are often the cause of that funny smell carpets, paint and cleaning agents give off. And particles can linger long after the scent disappears. To clean the air you breathe, add plants. Bamboo palms are particularly good filters.

28. Unplug

Researchers in Norway have developed a scale to measure Facebook addiction. If you have a feeling your score is off the charts, pick at least one day each week to avoid social media, suggests David Strayer, Ph.D., professor of cognition and neural science at the University of Utah. Limiting your access to Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and even e-mail rests your brain and weakens the urge to virtually connect.

29. Wear Flats

High heels add length to your legs, but the fancy footwear also increases pressure on your knees and ups your risk for osteoarthritis.

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