Your cat, dog or goldfish can improve your mood

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Crazy cat ladies – and crazy cat dudes – may just be crazy happy. Because pet ownership has been linked to less stress, lower blood pressure, and better heart health. In fact, according to the Human-Animal Bond Research Initiative, 87% of doctors say their patients’ moods improved as a result of owning a pet.

Breathing hazards at the gym!

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It’s not the stinky locker room you need to worry about at the gym – it’s the indoor air pollution! University of Lisbon research shows the air in weight rooms and studio spaces can be teeming with illness-causing pollutants. In fact, researchers found that 82% of the fitness centers tested had high levels of volatile organic compounds – or V‑O‑Cs. Which are released from the rubber mats, medicine balls, plastic-coated barbells, yoga blocks, and foam pilates noodles. They’re compounds that can irritate your airways, and even cause cancer. And since most of us breathe heavily at the gym, we’re more likely to breathe IN those contaminants.

Want extra skin protection?

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Eat more watermelon!  It contains a tissue-healing antioxidant that acts like sunscreen. And eating two cups a day can cut your risk of sunburn by 26% – and cut your recovery time in half if you do get burned.

Anger isn’t worth the stress you put your body through!

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If you’ve just had a screaming match with someone – be careful for the next 2 hours. Because your heart attack risk will be over 8 times higher than normal. That’s due to the stress hormones flooding your body – and the rise in blood pressure and heart rate. So the next time you get riled up by a fight – or you get angry at trafficask yourself if it’s worth a medical emergency. Then, take slow, deep breaths. That’ll help relax your blood vessels and slow your heart rate, so you can get out of the anger-induced danger zone.

Easy to eat some foods and difficult eating others.

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Why is it so easy to polish off a sleeve of Oreos – while we struggle to eat a big salad? Because the amount of food we need to feel satisfied – also known as our satiety threshold – is higher for sugary treats than it is for other foods. That’s according to Dr. David Katz from the Yale Prevention Research Center. He says the sugar goes right through us, instead of lingering in our stomach. So to feel full on fewer calories, have protein before dessert. Protein takes longer to digest, so you’ll feel too full to eat the entire ice cream sundae.

Seeing your dentist can save your life.

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Dr. Steven Offenbacher heads the Department of Periodontology at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He says that teeth and gums are good indicators of our overall health. Which is why, in addition to spotting oral cancers, dentists are often the first to spot symptoms of heart disease, diabetes, and chronic stress.

How to achieve & maintain your weight-loss goals

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If you want to stay slim, commit these two numbers to memory: 10,000 and 5. According to the journal Appetite, the only two weight-loss-maintenance methods that consistently work are taking 10,000 steps a day – and eating 5 servings of fruits and vegetables a day. Doing those 2 things helped women maintain their weight loss for 2 years. So if you’ve reached your goal weight, remember 10,000 steps a day and 5 servings of fruits and vegetables to keep the pounds off.

If you’re in pain, listening to music can help!

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A study at the University of Utah measured the effect of music on pain perception – while people were having their fingertips jolted by electricity. And the more people became absorbed in the music, the less pain they felt.

Want to keep your brain cells young?

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Eat eggs! They contain D‑H‑A – the fatty-acid that makes up 40% of our brain – which helps prevent the buildup of plaque linked to Alzheimer’s.
Your best bet: Have an omelet with onions and bell peppersvegetables that are loaded with stress-reducing antioxidants.

Get motivated by thinking competitively

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Need motivation to finish your workout – or your next 5K – with an extra burst of energy? Pay attention to the people around you. According to the Journal of Experimental Psychology, when we see or hear someone running faster or working out harder than we are, we subconsciously try to keep up. We’re competitive by nature – so use that to your advantage. Looking at the runner next to you can motivate you to go faster and farther.

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