Here's a list of 12 little tips to instantly improve your health. Do one. Do all of them. Do three of them. Whatever. Do whatever it takes to be even a little bit healthier!
Laugh: Improve blood flow by 21%
You can't really force yourself to laugh, but you can surround yourself with funny, positive people. Or go to a comedy club!
One recent study from the University of Texas at Austin found that those who chuckled while watching a comedy increased the dilation of blood vessels by one-fifth for up to 24 hours; when they watched a serious documentary, the arteries actually constricted by 18%.
Brush and Floss: Reduce risk of head and neck cancer by 400%
You should be brushing and flossing regardless of the health benefit (yes, we did mean to put 400%), because bad breath and bad teeth are gross.
New research from Roswell Park Cancer Institute in Buffalo, NY, shows that people with the chronic gum disease periodontitis have a fourfold risk of developing a type of head or neck cancer (which makes up about 5% of all malignancies in the United States), especially in the mouth and throat.
Tea: Reduce the risk of stroke by 21%
Brew it up, it only takes a few minutes. Plus it tastes great.
Researchers there examined data from nine studies detailing almost 4,400 strokes among 195,000 people and found that those who drank at least three cups a day had one-fifth the risk of stroke, compared with those who drank less than one cup. It doesn’t matter if you prefer green or black tea—both are made from the same plant, Camellia sinensis, whose powerful antioxidant EGCG (epigallocatechin gallate) and amino acid theanine may protect vessels and arteries.
Write A Thank You Note: Feel happier by 20%
Take the time. Everyone appreciates it! But you gotta mean it.
Students who wrote letters expressing gratitude to someone special were happier and more satisfied with their lives, researchers at Kent State University found. Other research has shown that expressive writing may improve immune, lung, and liver function; reduce blood pressure; and provide a greater sense of well-being.
Hide The TV Remote: Take 2 inches from your belly
Though, if you're the one hiding it, don't you know where it is?
When switching TV stations, put down the remote, get up, and do it manually. An Australian study found that people who did the greatest amount of light activity during otherwise sedentary behavior, such as watching TV, had 16% smaller waist circumferences than those who were inclined to stay put. Even the simple act of getting up and walking around for a minute or so was enough to make a difference, regardless of whether they had a regular workout schedule.
Doodle During Meetings: Improve memory by 29%
Draw a cat. Or shapes. Whatever, it doesn't matter. Just draw!
People who doodled while listening to a recorded message had nearly one-third better recall of the details than those who didn’t draw, according to a study published in the journal Applied Cognitive Psychology.
Keep Your Doctor On Speed Dial: Reduce Medical Mistakes By 25%
If you aren't hearing from your doctor, call them. Especially when you're waiting for results.
Physicians fail to inform 1 out of every 14 patients whose abnormal test results are clinically significant, according to a recent study published in the Archives of Internal Medicine; among some doctors, the number of no-calls was as high as 1 in 4. Delayed diagnoses can be linked to thousands of serious injuries and health crises—and even deaths—each year.
Hug And Hold Hands: Cut stress by 200%
No, we don't mean "hug a hand." That'd be weird.
A brief hug and a few minutes of holding your hubby’s hand can fend off stress, according to a study reported at the American Psychosomatic Society. Researchers asked two groups of participants to speak about a stressful event, an exercise that typically causes a spike in blood pressure. BP readings of those who did so without holding their spouse’s hand before speaking were more than double those of people who held hands; their heart rates also rose twice as much.
Yoga: Cut Back Pain By 56%
Yoga. YOGA. It's beneficial in so many ways!
Researchers asked 45 people whose back pain caused mild to moderate disability to do a 90-minute yoga workout twice a week for 6 months. Compared with patients who only continued whatever therapy they’d already been doing, the new yogis reported significantly less pain and better function and fewer symptoms of depression (down almost 60%). They also continued to see these benefits even 6 months later.
Eat Fish: Lower dementia risk by 19%
How many health improvement lists have you seen on FitPerez.com that DIDN'T include fish??
A study of nearly 15,000 adults worldwide found that regular fish eaters (those who have it more than once a week) were just one-fifth as likely to have dementia as those who never ate the food. It also found that those whose diets contained the most meat were slightly more likely to have dementia than non–meat eaters. Omega-3 fatty acids (found in oily fish like salmon, mackerel, and tuna) may help protect nerve cells in the human brain and are known to limit inflammation, which is associated with dementia.
Milk For Breakfast: Shed 5 pounds
Mmmm, milk! And we aren't talking in your cereal. Just straight up drank that stuff, yo.
Women who consumed a large (20-ounce) glass of fat-free milk in the morning ate, on average, 50 fewer calories at lunch, compared with days when they drank fruit juice with the same number of calories, according to a study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. Researchers say the milk drinkers felt more satisfied and were less likely to overeat at their next meal. Over a year, that translates to a 5-pound loss.
Drink Some Vino: Live 5 More Years
Unless it's some sort of post-apocalyptic world, chances are you want 5 more years to live.
A Dutch study following 1,300 men for 40 years found that those who regularly drank up to a half glass of wine each day boosted their life expectancy by half a decade, compared with teetotalers. Study authors say the polyphenolic compounds in wine (especially red) may have heart-healthy effects that are probably seen in women as well.
Well. There you go, guys!
Now it's up to you to cut out the bullshizz excuses and get on that list! Do it! Start doing one RIGHT NOW!!
[Image via AP Images.]