Even if it’s gray outside, wear your sunglasses.

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Because UV rays go right through clouds, according to the American Academy of Ophthalmology. And with snow and ice, 80% of those UV rays can be reflected back up at you. By comparison, grass only reflects 10% of UV rays. And all that ultraviolet light can damage your retinas and lead to issues like cataracts. So wear sunglasses, even in winter, and make sure they block 99% of UV radiation.

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On your worst day at work…

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…make sure you end the day with some exercise. Most adults say one of their biggest sources of stress is their job. But according to a study in the journal Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, a workout after work is the best antidote. Because job stress is linked to heart problems – and the stress from a bad day at work can linger for 48 hours. Work stress can also lead to high cholesterol and depression. But even a small burst of exercise on the day you’re experiencing the stress can reduce those risk factors. So when things get tough, get going and break a sweat.

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Do you need an energy boost?

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Watch one of your favorite movies or reruns of your favorite TV show. Research at the University of Buffalo found that familiar storylines create a so-called “restorative effect” by relaxing our brain. Providing an instant energy boost, improving our willpower, self-control and problem-solving skills – while new shows have no effect. The reason? Because familiar stories – just like familiar places, people and foodscan be incredibly comforting.

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Drinking alcohol isn’t necessarily going to make you gain weight…

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…as long as you drink in moderation. That’s according to Harvard University researchers. They found that study participants were only likely to gain weight if they consumed more than 3 drinks a day. And those who drank liquor were more likely to gain weight than those who preferred wine. Even though a serving of wine has about the same number of calories as a serving of liquor. The reason? Because most people drink hard liquor with mixers and flavored syrups – which are packed with sugar and calories. And that can turn a 100-calorie shot into a 500-plus calorie margarita or mai-tai.

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Blood clots don’t just happen on long airplane flights.

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They can happen if you spend a lazy afternoon on the couch, binge-watching your favorite show! That’s the conclusion of a new study in the journal Circulation. The researchers found people who watched more than five hours of TV a day were two-and-a-half times more likely to have died from a pulmonary embolism. But even watching two-hours of TV a day raised the risk of a pulmonary embolism by 70%. That’s a clot that breaks free, travels to the lungs and causes a heart attack or sudden death. Basically, any time spent sedentary can slow your blood flow way down – leading to clots.

Dr. Elain Hylek is an expert in blood clots – and she says anyone who watches a lot of TV should take steps to reduce their risk.

Like after every half-hour of watching, stand up, stretch, walk around. Or while you’re watching, tense and relax your leg muscles for 5 minutes. Also, drink water while you’re watching, which helps blood flow more smoothly. Dr. Hylek says even if that extra water makes you want to get up and go to the bathroom, THAT alone could reduce your risk.

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Do you know a man with a cat?

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You’ve heard women referred to as “Cat Ladies.” Well, there are a lot of “Cat Gentlemen” out there, too. According to a recent survey, 53% of men who own cats say their cat is the most important thing in their life! And that’s a good thing. Pet ownership has been linked to less stress, lower blood pressure, and better heart health. And 87% of doctors say their patients’ moods improved as a result of owning a pet.

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Has anyone ever said something rude or offensive to you…

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…leaving you stressed and tongue-tied, and wishing you had the perfect comeback? Well, here’s your comeback. It comes from psychologist Dr. Darlene Mininni. Simply say, “Everybody’s entitled to their opinion.” And walk away. When you have something prepared for those little verbal landmines, you’ll feel more in control. That’ll reduce the stress of a hurtful comment and it won’t affect you as much emotionally.

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Here are some sleep facts:

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You need sleep more than you need food. You can survive two weeks without food, but 10 days without sleep will kill you.

Next: All-nighters make you feel drunk. Going 16 hours without sleep makes you feel as loopy and out of it as if you’d had a couple beers.

Finally: Messing with your sleep cycle can cause cancer. The evidence is so strong that the World Health Organization considers poor sleep quality and a lack of sleep carcinogens.

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We yawn more in winter…

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Not because we’re more exhausted – it’s because the air is cooler. According to the journal Frontiers in Evolutionary Neuroscience, we yawn to keep our brain at the top of its game. Because when we inhale deeply, we’re replacing the hot, stagnant air in our lungs with the cool, fresh air around us. And the brain operates best when it’s cool – so yawning draws in cool air, and makes us more alert and quicker thinkers. So we yawn more in winter than summer because the air is cooler.

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Got a cough?

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Eat some dark chocolate! Research from the UK’s University of Hull shows it quells coughs better than over-the-counter syrups… and dark chocolate suppresses coughs better than codeine!

Lead researcher Dr. Alyn Morice says patients given cocoa-infused meds saw their cough significantly improve in 2 days. Because chocolate is stickier than cough syrup, so it’s better at coating the nerve endings that trigger a cough. Plus, the theobromine in dark chocolate cuts brain activity linked to the cough reflex. And 2 squares of dark, bittersweet chocolate will do the trick.

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