Keep your family close!

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As you get older, keep your family close, because they’ll help you live longer. Research from the University of Toronto found senior citizens who were extremely close to family – not including their spouses – had about an 8% lower risk of dying within the next 5 years, compared to those who didn’t have close family.

And according to the study, family is more important than friends as we get up in years. Because family is EXPECTED to take care of you, especially if your health is bad. Friends, on the other hand, come and go… and we don’t expect them to help us shower, or spoon-feed us when we can’t feed ourselves. Something your kids can look forward to, later in life.

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Guys, you may think you smell awesome…

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…but the woman in your life may think otherwise. George Preti is an organic chemist with the Monell Chemical Sciences Center. He says, a woman’s hormones give her a sharper sense of smell – and biologists think it’s because women need it to subconsciously sniff out a mate’s genes, so they can produce healthy offspring. But on a day-to-day basis, it means a little bit of B.O. will be noticed by a woman faster than a man. And a woman may pick up on odors a man doesn’t even detect. And don’t bother trying to body spray your way out of it! Dr. Preti says, when they tested 32 different fragrances in an effort to mask odor – only 2 of them fooled women. The men who were tested? They were fooled by 19 of the scents! So, guys, if you’re deciding whether or not to shower before your date – shower. A woman can smell body odor a mile away.

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If your asthma gets worse every fall, try this:

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Stop raking leaves! That’s because mold grows on fallen leaves, and stirring them up can release spores into the air you’re breathing – which can trigger an asthma attack. If you absolutely have to rake: Wear a surgical mask while you’re doing yard work.

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Having a hard time falling asleep?

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Get a whiff of lemongrass! According to Stanford University, the scent of lemongrass boosts the brain’s production of sleep-inducing alpha waves within 5 minutes. That’s because the scent dampens activity in the part of the brain that controls tension and emotional outbursts. So, mix 3 drops of lemongrass essential oil with a little unscented lotion – and rub it into your neck and shoulders. It’ll help you drift off in no time.

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Want to cut your risk of developing age-related dementia?

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Hang out in a sauna at least 4 times a week! Finnish researchers analyzed 20 years’ worth of data from the Heart Disease Risk Factor Study. And they found people who spent 20-minutes in a sauna on most days were 66% less likely to be diagnosed with any form of dementia, including Alzheimer’s. The researchers aren’t sure WHY sweating in a 170-degree sauna lowers dementia risk… but they believe it’s partly because heat increases the resting heart rate, which sends more oxygen-rich blood to the brain.

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Are you getting a ‘computer face’?

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Did you know that staring down at your computer all day could give you “computer face?” That’s a new term cosmetic surgeons use to describe the sagging jowls and eye wrinkles common in people who spend their days hunched over computers. The sagging jowls are caused by constantly looking down, which shortens the neck muscles and makes the neck baggy. And the wrinkles are caused by squinting and frowning while concentrating on the screen. And doing it for long enough, or frequently enough, will make those wrinkles and lines permanent. To save your face: Set your computer at eye level, and hold your smartphone at eye level, too. And if you find yourself squinting at the screen, go into settings and increase the size of the typeface. By simply increasing the size of the font, we may be able to hold off on the Botox a little bit longer.

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Here’s why you should be handwriting more!

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Did you know that the average person hasn’t written by hand for over 40 days? And according to a new survey, most of us say that when we DO write by hand, it’s just a sloppy note to ourselves – like a grocery list. Experts say we’re writing less because we’re sending more messages by text. But know this: Studies show that writing by hand is one of the easiest ways to boost memory and creativity. That’s because it reinforces information we’ve learned, and stimulates the part of our brain that processes thoughts.

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Going outside in cold weather won’t cause colds and flu.

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Viruses are much more likely to multiply in warm climates – like indoors. In fact, a study published by the Army Research Institute of Environmental Medicine found that cold weather may actually stimulate your immune system. So, grab your scarf, coat, and mittens – and enjoy the chilly air.

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Are your anxieties keeping you awake at night?

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You might sleep better under a blanket with weights sewn inside it. Kind of like a comforter, but with weights and polyfill stuffing in every square. Several studies have shown that weighted blankets feel like you’re being hugged – which helps calm people with ADHD and autism. So, researchers at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst decided to try it on people with garden-variety anxieties. The result: When anxious people slept under weighted blankets, 75% of them fell asleep easily and stayed asleep.

Want to try it? Just Google the phrase “weighted blanket.” You’ll find a variety of fabrics and weights between 10 and 30 pounds. And they start at about $100 dollars.

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Wipe down those machines at the gym the right way!

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So you bring a towel to the gym and use it to wipe down machines before you use them. Well, if it’s a plain ol’ cotton towel, it’s not doing much good! Microbiologists from the University of Arizona found that a cotton towel just moves MRSA from one spot to another. It hitchhikes on your towel. And if you use it to wipe off sweat, too, you’re transferring the bacteria to your skin. A better bet is to bring a microfiber towel to the gym. It’s less likely to transfer germs and bacteria from one surface to the next because the tighter weave traps germs in the fibers. Just make sure you toss it in a hot-water wash after every gym visit.

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