To be happier, find a ‘hands-on’ hobby.

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Neuroscientist Dr. Kelly Lambert says that baking, gardening, woodworking and other manual activities release the natural antidepressants serotonin and dopamine. This ‘effort-driven’ reward circuit is a holdover from the days when our ancestors had to use their hands to fill their stomachs. And even though it’s a lot easier to buy bread, you can’t buy that awesome feeling of pulling your own homemade loaves out of the oven.

And that’s why a ‘hands-on’ hobby will make you feel awesome.

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When is the best time to apply skin cream? 11pm!

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Make sure you wash your face and put on your skin cream before 11pm at night! Because research shows, between 11pm and midnight is the peak hour for your skin to repair and renew itself. And that’s true whether you’re asleep – or just about to start watching Jimmy Fallon. Because it’s about the cycle of natural lightnot your sleep cycles. So says the Journal Of Drugs in Dermatology. So wash your face and slather it with your skin cream by 11pm.

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When you gotta go… you gotta go!

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Were you too busy, or too far from a bathroom, and had to hold it for what seemed like forever? But once you were able to “go,” you couldn’t STOP running to the bathroom multiple times? Urologist Dr. Elizabeth Kevaler says that’s common. Because the longer you wait to pee, the harder the deep pelvic muscles clamp down on your bladder. And once you open the floodgates, so to speak, those stressed-out muscles repeatedly spasm – sending you down the hall again and again. Bottom line: You’ll run to the bathroom less if you go when you get the urge.

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Does your baby really need a playdate with another baby?

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The experts say yes! Researchers at McGill University say 6-month old babies are more interested in listening to the babbling of other babies than adults. They’re basically speaking the same language – and that helps them communicate better with others starting at an early age… even if you don’t understand what they’re saying.

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Are you a hugger?

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Do you know someone who says, “I’m a hugger!” – maybe it’s you? Well,
even if you’re not a hugger – follow their lead… because according to the
Touch Research Institute, regular physical contact with loved ones – whether
it’s a huga snuggle in bed, or a backrub – is a proven way to lower blood pressureease migrainessoothe asthma symptoms, and even recover from being sick faster! And all it takes is about 10 minutes of touch daily to get the benefits. It works because hugging – or touch – reduces levels of the stress hormone cortisol.

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The trick to eating less is to make meals a no-brainer.

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Because the more we wonder, “Hmmmm, what am I gonna have?…” the more we tend to indulge.

So says Dr. Mehmet Oz. He says, even a couple seconds of decision-making can override our willpower. That’s why he says it’s best to stick to a set breakfast and lunch – and eat the same thing day in and day out. And if you can stick to that, you can have more leeway with dinner.

But even with dinner, it’s best to have a rotation of three or four ideas. That’ll keep you from getting bored and provide a wider range of nutrients – but you won’t have SO MUCH choice that your diet goes off the rails.

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To get your probiotic fix…

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…just eat cheese. Gouda, feta and blue cheese are fermented – so they’re loaded with good-for-you bacteria. It can regulate your gut health, help you lose weight, and strengthen your immune system. So add some cheese to your favorite snack or top off a salad.

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If there’s a loofah in your shower, toss it.

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Because it’s a germophobe’s nightmare. Here’s how bad it is, according to dermatologist Dr. Dendy Engelman. She says, with every use, you’re transferring the bacteria from your skin to the loofah. And because the scrubber has so many nooks and crannies, your dead skin cells get trapped, and bacteria starts multiplying, thanks to the moisture and a lack of air circulation. That means, every time you scrub with a loofah, you’re just spreading around the bacteria you washed off yesterday.
Plus, scrubbing too hard can literally make tiny scratches in your skin, forcing the bacteria through the wounds, which can make you sick or give you an infection. If you can’t give up your loofah – make sure you use a natural one… and sanitize it the same way you would your kitchen sponge. Zap it in the microwave while it’s wet for 20 seconds once a day.

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Here’s how to burn more calories on the treadmill!

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Next time you hit the treadmill, raise the incline. Exercise physiologist Tom Holland says the “zero setting” on most machines is actually slightly downhill. He says a 1-point-zero incline will be flatter, and help you burn more calories.

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Does avoiding coffee make you grumpy or depressed?

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It makes sense. Harvard School of Public Health researchers found drinking 4 cups of regular coffee a day can reduce our risk of depression by 20%. That’s compared to people consuming caffeinated tea, soft drinks, energy drinks, or chocolate. Researchers aren’t exactly sure why caffeinated coffee is the best mood booster. But the Mayo Clinic says 400 milligrams of caffeine – about what’s in 4 cups of brewed coffee – is considered safe for most adults.

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