We'd all like to swear off white flour, take up Bikram yoga, or otherwise overhaul our habits. But you don’t need a total revamp to get healthier. Watch what happens when you make these little switches to your everyday routines.
Instead of: Editing yourself Start: Letting it out When you feel mistreated at work or irritated by an in-law, speak your mind. Stifling your anger increases your risk of a heart attack, a Swedish study suggests. Notice we didn’t say blow up—say what you must, as diplomatically as possible. Too angry for that? Find a quiet place and drop a few f-bombs first (a recent study from the United Kingdom found that swearing brings relief), and then have the talk.
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Instead of: Staring at the computer
Start: Enjoying the view Need an energy boost? Basking in natural light can lift your spirits and overall sense of well-being, a University of Washington study reports. Another perk: the rays will help your body make vitamin D, which may help prevent cancer, heart disease, diabetes, and osteoporosis.
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Instead of: Leaning on your dominant hand
Start: Switching it up Clicking the mouse or remote with your weaker hand strengthens your brain by forcing you to think about what you’re doing, explains Richard B. Lipton, MD, professor of neurology at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York City.
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Instead of: E-mailing late at night
Start: Going to bed earlier “You’re fooling yourself if you think that extra hour of work is better than sleep,” says Carl Bazil, MD, PhD, director of the Division of Sleep and Epilepsy at Columbia University. Just a smidge more shut-eye can boost your memory and your innovation skills at work, studies show.
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