7 Simple Things ANY Guy Can Do To Look BETTER!
14 Small Things You Can Do to Be Healthier in 2019
1. Update your playlist to increase productivity.
Music can help you concentrate, and it doesn't matter what genre you prefer—rock or country can be just as effective as classical. One study, published in the journalPsychology of Music, found that workers who listened to the music of their choosing completed tasks more quickly and came up with better ideas than when they didn't turn on the tunes.
2. Measure out breakfast cereal to cut calories.
Cereal is one of those foods that's easy to overeat because standard bowls hold a lot more than one serving, leading you to pour two or three times too much. Plus, if your favorite variety has smaller flakes, you'll likely consume more without realizing it, according to a Penn State study. Researchers found that participants ate up to one-third more calories when the flakes were small and crushed compared with large intact ones. Pay close attention to serving sizes, and measure out your go-to picks every few weeks to remind yourself what a proper portion looks like.
3. Stand like a superhero to boost confidence.
Go ahead and try it before a nerve-racking situation: Stand with your hands firmly on your hips, chest pushed out and head held high. Harvard researchers found that people who held a "high-power pose" for as little as 2 minutes felt more self-assured and in control compared with people who folded their arms or slumped over.
4. Try the 10- 20- 30 fitness method to strengthen your heart.
This new, doable version of interval training is great for beginner exercisers and preliminary Danish research suggests it may be just as good for your heart as vigorous activity. Follow this simple pattern on your next walk: Do 30 seconds of easy walking, then 20 seconds at a moderate intensity (brisk pace) and end with 10 seconds at a high intensity (talking should be very difficult). Experts found that people who did this for 3-, 4- or 5-minute blocks (with a 2-minute rest in between) lowered their blood pressure and cholesterol levels.
5. Chat with a stranger to feel happier.
It may sound like the last thing you want to do when you're in a rush, but spending an extra minute talking to the grocery clerk is worth it. Scientists have shown that these little exchanges—no matter how brief—can result in a positive experience and leave you with a lifted mood.
6. Change your phone position to ease pain.
Sixty pounds is roughly the weight of 15 textbooks—or an 8-year-old. It's also the same amount of weight exerted on your neck when you look down at your smartphone, according to research in the journalSurgical Technology International. Your head weighs between 10 and 12 pounds when it's in neutral position with ears over your shoulders. As you tilt it forward to text or email, the force on your spine increases. Over time, this posture can lead to wear and tear and pain. Instead, lift the phone up to your sight line when you use it.
7. Eat nuts and berries to tame your tummy.
The healthy bacteria that already live in your digestive system benefit from the type of soluble fiber found in foods like nuts and berries. In fact, that fiber may help the good microbes survive. Boosting the friendly bacteria can help keep your brain and heart healthy while also controlling your weight, so make a handful of nuts or fresh berries your go-to afternoon treat.
8. Watch the salty meals.
Just one heavy, high-sodium meal can elevate blood pressure. To enjoy the spread without hurting your heart, pile your plate with salad and vegetables first, and stick to two bite-size spoonfuls of stuffing and other less virtuous dishes.
9. Bundle up.
When skin is exposed to the cold, your blood vessels constrict to keep
you warm. This can cause blood pressure to spike, potentially leading to a stroke. Dress for the weather and avoid excess time outdoors if you already have high blood pressure and the mercury dips below zero.
10. Take some "me" time.
How To Calm Your Mind
One of the fastest ways to cool down, reduce stress and help yourself fall asleep is meditation. Try this quickie plan that's perfect for newbies.
- Sit in a quiet, comfortable place on a chair or floor cushion. (Don't lie down.)
- Select a syllable, phrase or word, such asloveorpeace, to focus on.
- Close your eyes and repeat your word, either silently or aloud, as you slowly breathe in and out.
- If you notice your thoughts wandering, repeat your word to refocus.
- Continue for a few minutes, then open your eyes.
Once you're done, notice how you feel. Better? Less anxious? More clearheaded? Remember that sensation, and use this strategy whenever you need to reset.
11. Be honest with yourself.
Your brain tends to remember good behaviors while blocking out the less virtuous ones. Researchers believe this is because we are apt to see our actions in an optimistic light, which can give you a skewed view of your progress when you're trying to slim down. To take a realistic look at your habits, track diet and exercise in a journal, highlighting the positives ("Ordered fish instead of a hamburger") as well as the negatives ("Skipped my walk today").
12. Identify fake hunger.
The next time you reach for the chips, ask yourself: Would I dig into a bag of baby carrots right now? If the answer is no, chances are you're eating out of habit rather than need. Instead of munching, have some water or herbal tea (thirst often disguises itself as hunger). But if the vegetables do sound appealing, it's time to refuel. Choose a snack that combines protein and fiber, such as pairing the carrots with hummus.
13. Start slow.
Taking on too much too soon will leave you burnt out and ready to throw in the towel. Instead, add more functional movement throughout the day (shoveling the walkway or walking up an escalator). Then set a goal, like finishing a 5K. Pick a comfortable distance and pace at first and use this simple rule: Once the activity no longer feels challenging, gradually push yourself to kick it up a notch, strolling farther and faster.
14. Restock your kitchen.
If nutritious foods are in highly visible places, hungry grazers will grab them. Move soda, chips, snack cakes and cookies to the upper pantry shelves, then put portion-controlled snacks, such as nuts and granola bars, at eye level. Also put precut fruits and veggies right up front in the fridge.
SOURCES: Teresa Lesiuk, PhD, director and associate professor, music therapy, Frost School of Music, University of Miami. Gerard E. Mullin, MD, associate professor, medicine, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, and author, The Gut Balance Revolution. Steve Portenga, PhD, psychologist, sports and performance specialist, and CEO, iPerformance Psychology. Barbara Rolls, professor, nutritional sciences, Penn State University, and Helen A. Guthrie Chair in Nutrition. Margaret C. Campbell, PhD, Professor of Marketing, University of Colorado Boulder. Michelle Dudash, RDN, author, Clean Eating for Busy Families.
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