Stretch for energy!

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Try this to start your day with more energy. Before you get out of bed, lie on your back, and stretch out your arms and legs as if you’re making the letter “X.” It’s called the “starfish pose,” and a Harvard study found that holding that posture for 2 minutes raises testosterone levels, while lowering stress levels. So you’ll feel confident and energized, but not anxious, and start your day out right.

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Use your brainpower!

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You know playing games, anything from Scrabble to chess, can boost brainpower. Well, neurologist Dr. Kenneth Kosik, who wrote “Outsmarting Alzheimer’s,” says games of skill strengthen memory, and sharpen our ability to strategize and predict what an opponent may do. And that’s the type of strenuous brain exercise that can keep a brain healthy by growing new cells and neural pathways.

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There’s a reason your face is breaking out.

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It’s Winter. Dermatologist Dr. Ellen Marmur says acne gets worse in Winter – and it’s down to the dry weather. She says cold outside air has significantly less moisture than the warm or hot air from Spring and Summer. Combine that with windy conditions, and your skin is stripped of natural fats and oils. Those oils usually act as a barrier, keeping bacteria out – and holding moisture in. So without them, it’s a lot easier for dirtpollution and bacteria to access our pores. The next thing you know: Hello, zits! Another problem in winter are the hot showers we love. They also strip skin of its natural moisture. Add to all of that a dirty scarf rubbing against your chin – and it’s a recipe for skin flare-ups. So wash your scarf once a week, try to take lukewarm showers, and moisturize your skin more in winter than any other season to avoid breakouts.

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Want to fall asleep faster?

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Try this acupressure technique to help you wind down at the end of the day:
Massage your eyebrows!
According to University of Miami researchers, rubbing your eyebrows for 2 minutes once you’re tucked into bed helps stimulate the brain to release calming theta waves. And that can help you drift off 54% faster!

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Not sure what to have for breakfast? How about…

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slightly under-ripe, green banana. They’re loaded with resistant starch, a type of carbohydrate that passes through the small intestine without being digested. That encourages the population of healthy gut bacteria, and makes us feel full for an extended period of time. It also makes us more efficient at burning fat.

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Don’t blow your nose too hard!

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If you blow your nose with the force of a typhoon, you may be making yourself sicker in the process. That’s according to Dr. Neil Schachter, medical director of the Respiratory Care Department at New York’s Mount Sinai Hospital. He says, typically when we blow our nose, we produce 10 times as much pressure as when we sneeze or cough. And the more pressure, the more likely it is that mucus will shoot into our sinusesspreading the infection. So how hard is too hard when blowing your nose?

Dr. Schachter says, if you don’t feel any pressure in your sinuses before you blow, but then feel it afterwardyou’ve blown too hard. And beware of a crackling sound in your ears. That’s excess mucus being blown back into the middle ear – hello, ear infection. So if you’re completely congested, the best thing to do is to loosen mucus before you blow. You can do that by spraying a saline mist into your nose – give it a minute to settle in and work – then blow gentlyone nostril at a time.

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When was the last time you replaced your toothbrush?

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Experts say it should be every 3 months… Because when the bristles start to fray, they leave plaque behind, which can lead to infectedbleeding gums. And you’ll brush too hard to compensate for those frayed bristles… Which can easily lead to mega-sensitive gums and teethV‑shaped notches near your gum-line, and even tooth loss. So get a new toothbrush every season, and you’ll get to keep all your teeth.
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Attention migraine sufferers!

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A study has found that half of all migraines start in the morning – unlike other head pain, like tension headaches. And it’s often strong enough to wake us up from sleep. That’s why migraines are even nicknamed “alarm clock” headaches. Internist Dr. Richard Liebowitz from Duke University says, between 4 and 8AM, our natural painkillers reach rock bottom levels. Meanwhile, we have sky-high adrenaline levels, which help us wake up. But they also shrink blood vessels and create the perfect recipe for severe head pain.

So, talk to your doctor about taking headache meds as soon as you wake up, so you can nip the pain in the bud.

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To look and feel more powerful – assume the Gorilla pose!

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According to Harvard researcher, Amy Cuddy, “posing” in a powerful way – as gorillas do – can influence the way we’re perceived by others. Cuddy says that adopting a high power pose two minutes prior to a meeting will help you exude confidence and you’ll also feel more confident. So here’s the gorilla power pose: Open your armsclench your fistspush your chest forward and lift up your chinHold that for 2 minutes. Cuddy says those two minutes will temporarily change your hormone levels of testosterone and cortisol, making you look and feel more powerful.

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Here’s a good reason to take the stairs instead of the elevator:

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Germs. Dr. Donald Redelmeier is a clinical epidemiologist at the University of Toronto. And he says elevator buttons are 50% dirtier than public toilet flushers and bathroom door handles. So what can you do if you can’t find the stairs – or you’re in a hurry – or you’re on crutchesUse your elbow to press the buttons – or a pencil eraser.

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