5 Ways to Feel Great Fast
Feeling great starts here
Need to add a little pep to your step or a shortcut to your beauty routine? Check out these new ways to look and feel your best.
Surprise: It’s laughing!
When you crack up so hard that your abs hurt, you may literally be scoring gut-busting health benefits. "Laughing affects us in ways similar to exercise," says Lee Berk, DrPH, director of the molecular research lab in the School of Allied Health Professionals at Loma Linda University. "It reduces stress hormones and cholesterol, releases feel-good hormones, and amps up the immune system."
You can reap the benefits just by watching 20 minutes of a funny video, Berk's research found.
Sexy calves move
Say hello to sculpted stems with the Tap, Tap, Lift—a fast lower-leg toner from Tracy Effinger, creator of the Squeeze workouts and DVDs.
Stand up tall with your feet slightly wider than your hips and toes turned out 45 degrees. Keeping your legs straight, tap your heels on the floor twice, then raise yourself onto your tiptoes; repeat 25 times.
Finish up by doing a single heel-tap followed by a heel-lift 20 times, going as quickly as you can. Perform this whole routine three times a week, and you should have better-defined calves in just 4 weeks.
Dishing out dinner portions at the stove—instead of serving yourself right at the table—could help you eat 20 percent fewer calories per meal, Cornell University research shows.
When food's out of sight, you're not automatically tempted to refill your plate, says study author Brian Wansink, PhD, author of Mindless Eating: Why We Eat More Than We Think. Plus, Wansink adds, "You can pause and ask, 'Wait, how hungry am I?'"—which will keep you from going back for seconds (or thirds!) unless your body really needs them.
Minimize fall allergy symptoms by skipping certain foods and drinks, says Clifford Bassett, MD, of the American College of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology, because your body interprets chemicals in foods the way it would allergens.
- If you're allergic to:
- Ragweed: Avoid bananas, cantaloupes, chamomile tea, echinacea, honeydews, watermelons, zucchinis
- Tree pollen: Avoid almonds, apples, carrots, cherries, hazelnuts, peaches, pears, plums
- Grass: Avoid melons, oranges, tomatoes
- Any seasonal allergens: Avoid beer, liquor, wine (all three contain histamine, a compound that triggers itching and swelling)
Apply mascara first! This instantly gives your eyes a wide-awake look—brightening your entire face so you need less concealer, blush, shadow, or other added color, celebrity makeup artist Napoleon Perdis says.
Bonus: "If you run out of the house without anything but mascara on, you'll look refreshed," Perdis notes.