New Years has come and gone. Did you make some lofty goals in terms of getting into better shape? Chances are if you're like most people you took on too much and are a bit frustrated by your lack of progress right now. Don't beat yourself up.
Here is a list of 10 small, easy health tips to help you get over the resolutions and start making some real progress.
1. Strength-train during commercials
A known metabolism jump-starter, resistance training just once a week can improve your ability to resolve conflicts and focus your attention, a Canadian study has found. Luckily, you don't need the gym; just use your own body weight. Do as many push-ups or crunches as you can during commercials while watching your favorite TV show, or lunge across your living room as you water your plants. (Source: Prevention.com)
2. Plan a weekend getaway
Stave off a heart attack When on a tight budget, it's easy to postpone vacations. But people with a higher risk of heart disease who take a trip every year are 32% less likely to die from their condition. Research a quick weekend getaway online, and consider it a health investment: Spending money on an experience actually makes you happier than splurging on a "thing" like a new flat-screen TV. Even better, these positive emotions prolong the heart-healthy effect. (Source: Prevention.com)
3. Get crackin'
Adding one egg a day, yolk and all, to your diet can increase good HDL levels without increasing bad LDL cholesterol levels. Low levels of HDL have previously been linked to memory loss. (Source: Fitnessmagazine.com)
4. Reboot your brain
Mundane tasks, such as entering data into a spreadsheet, can switch your mind into default mode, making you more likely to mess up within about 30 seconds, scientists say. Feel like you're operating on autopilot? Snap out of it by going for a quick walk down the hall. (Source: Fitnessmagazine.com)
5. Bare both arms
Don’t fight heart disease single-handedly. A new study from Boston University confirms that having a different blood pressure in each arm is associated with a higher risk of heart problems. Differences 10 points and up may indicate narrowing arteries. So always measure your BP in both arms. (Source: Menshealth.com)
6. Wash the linens
Dust mites, a major allergy trigger, love to hang out in your bed. Zap 'em by laundering sheets and pillowcases every week in hot water. Also smart: Use mattress and duvet covers designed to keep mites out. (Source: Health.com)
7. Crank down the volume
MP3 players can create sound up to 120 decibels—loud enough to cause hearing loss over time. "Follow the 60/60 rule: Keep volume coming through your headphones to no more than 60 percent of the max, for no more than 60 minutes a day," says James Foy, DO, an osteopathic physician in Vallejo, California. (Source: Health.com)
8. Take 6 little calming breaths
In 30 seconds: Lower your blood pressure Six calming breaths in 30 seconds can reduce your systolic blood pressure by nearly 10 mmHg, Japanese research has found. Even occasional blood pressure spikes—like those during an insanely nonstop day—might put you at increased risk of stroke, according to a study in the Lancet. (Source: Prevention.com)
9. Choose fruit
A cup of fruit juice offers vitamins, minerals and other phytochemicals, but if you’re watching your weight, whole fruits are smarter choices. They contain more fiber, which helps you feel full, and fewer calories. For example, one medium orange has 62 calories and 3 grams of fiber, whereas an eight-ounce glass of OJ has about 120 calories and no fiber. (Source: Eatingwell.com)
10. Try interval training
Busy schedules often mean working out gets left to the wayside. But you actually don’t need more than 20 minutes to get a great workout. In fact, short bursts of high-intensity exercises can actually be more effective. So instead of promising to hit the gym tomorrow, hop on the treadmill, do some sprints, and enjoy the post-workout energy boost. Bonus: Regular exercise even helps you sleep better. (Source: Greatist.com)