Pack your calendar with these 20 fast and fun ways to see your health and spirits soar.
- Join a running club
Being more social can help people shape up faster.
- Give in to pressure
An easy way to work the kinks out of your back: Place a tennis ball between your shoulder blades and the wall and do a few deep knee bends. Ahh!
- Make more whoopee
People who have sex once or twice a week have 30 percent more infection-fighting antibodies in their saliva than those who get busy less often.
- Chat up a stranger
Make the most of waiting in long lines by talking to someone. Wake Forest University researchers found that acting extroverted makes people feel happier.
- Wash your hands
In a recent analysis of 390 cellphones, 16 percent were contaminated with E.coli—likely transferred from germy hands.
- Take a deep breath
To subdue stress, inhale deeply so that your belly balloons but your chest stays still. Slowly exhale through your mouth until your stomach empties, and repeat.
- Sip wine with dinner
New research shows that moderate drinking (one glass per day) ups your chances of living a longer, healthier life.
- Start glowing
Place a milk-soaked washcloth over your face for 10 minutes.
- Fight right
Are you and your spouse at odds about what to bring the in-laws? Avoid making your case with sarcasm, insults, or put-downs, which research suggests may weaken your immune system.
- Go out
Attending cultural events—the cinema, concerts, or art exhibits—is significantly associated with good health and life satisfaction.
- Celebrate your cravings
Enjoy some dark chocolate–covered cherries.
- Put flowers on your wish list
No matter the variety or color, a few blooms always brighten the mood. The positive effect of receiving a bouquet lasts three full days, according to a Rutgers University study.
- Get moving!
Start your morning by marching in place while doing the “YMCA” dance with your arms, suggests Scott Danberg of Pritikin Longevity Center + Spa in Miami.
- Keep your (tight) pants on
To avoid return trips to the buffet (and packing on extra pounds), wear a belt or a pair of skinny jeans as a reminder to keep yourself in check.
- Cool your heels
Pep up tired peds with a peppermint-based foot cream that also smoothes rough patches.
Sleep-deprived people are perceived to be less attractive in photos than those who got a good night’s rest.
- Hit the sales
Buy yourself a brightly coloured fruit bowl. New research conducted by Cornell University’s Brian Wansink, Ph.D., shows people are more likely to eat fruit if it’s in a vibrant dish.
- Create a family health tree
Ensure better medical care in the future by keeping important detail at hand.
- Sing your heart out
Singing causes a dip in stress hormones, says Graham Welch, Ph.D., chair of music education at the Institute of Education in London. “It can also promote a greater sense of self-worth.”
- Join a gym
Health clubs are eager to hit their numbers by the end of the year, so you’re likely to get a great deal now.