What triples the risk of a heart attack?

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Having a knockdown, drag-out fight with someone, and then trying to blow off steam by going for a run or punching a heavy bag. New research from McMaster University shows, intense anger coupled with heavy physical exertion can be what triggers a first heart attack. The new research looked at more than 12,000 people, and intense activity and intense emotions each double the odds of having a heart attack within an hour. But if you’re really ticked off AND you exert yourself, your risk triples.

And if you’re thinking – “Well, I’m not a smoker, I don’t have high blood pressure and I’m not overweight” – it doesn’t matter; the risk is the same regardless. So, if you go mental on someone, don’t try to burn off your excess energy by mountain biking. Take calming breaths and do some yoga instead. You’ll increase your chances of settling whatever argument you had, instead of meeting your maker.

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Want to boost your brainpower?

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Take a brisk 30-minute walk every day. The reason? Because the connectivity between brain circuits diminishes as we age – which tends to slow our thinking and muddle our memories. But researchers from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign found that exercise helps revive those flagging circuits – and helps keep your thinking sharp.

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Want a better sounding voice? Sing!

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If you don’t want to sound like a stereotypical granny or grandpa, with a creaky voice, sing more! According to the British Voice Association, people who sang once a week had voices that sounded steadier and smoother as they aged. Ear, nose and throat surgeon, Dr. John Rubin says a-third of people over 65 suffer from voice problems, including hoarseness and weakness. And we have less lung capacity as we age – so by age 80, our voice may be half the volume it was at age 20. But singing is like CrossFit for your voice. It helps you control air pressure and the movement of your vocal folds. And that can preserve your voice as you age.

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Working out at lunchtime helps increase energy and productivity.

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But who wants to come back to work dripping with sweat? The best move is to cool down quickly with cold waterinside and out. We continue to sweat after a workout because our core body temperature is still above normal. If we lower our core temperature, we’ll stop sweating. So after your workout, drink 12 ounces of cold water slowly – so you don’t get brain freeze. Then, take a shower that’s as cold as you can stand. If you’re still sweating when you get out of the shower, drink more cold water. That comes from Dr. David Nielson, who specializes in treating people for excessive sweating.

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Don’t share your deodorant or antiperspirant with anyone else!

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According to a study by the University of Kansas, bacteria survive and even thrive on the surface of solid and gel deodorants and antiperspirants. And that could lead to a staph infection. Microbiologist Dr. Jack Brown analyzed 20 different perspiration products, and the bacteria managed to thrive on half the samples. That may not sound bad, but Dr. Brown points out that bacteria that’s harmless for one person can be hazardous to another – especially if one of the users has under-arm skin that’s either broken or irritated.

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Get rid of mold with this plant!

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If your home is prone to mold, put English ivy plants in several rooms. According to research from NASA, English ivy is particularly efficient when it comes to removing mold spores from the air. And inhaling mold can lead to headaches, nausea and breathing problems like asthma. But in a study, when English ivy was placed in a container with moldy bread, it destroyed 60% of the mold spores in 6 hours! And ALL the spores in 12 hours.

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What can a museum do for you?

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Sure, it can expose you to fine art – but it can also slash your stress by 60%! That’s according to IULM University in Milan, Italy. The researchers measured people’s levels of the stress hormone cortisol, before and after they visited a museum. And they found just spending a few minutes admiring paintings or sculpture dramatically reduced stress. Their cortisol dropped 60%! Plus, the study participants said they felt happier and calmer. It works because, when we’re looking at art, we’re in the moment. And Stanford psychologists say that looking at something awe-inspiring makes us more patient and unselfish, and it makes time seem to slow down. Art also fills us with positive emotions, which lower levels of inflammatory proteins, reducing stress and lowering our heart rate.

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Do you have a hard time falling asleep at night?

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Then start getting ready for bed about 30 minutes before you plan to turn in.
Psychologists say that creating a soothing bedtime routine will help your body associate these actions with impending sleep… and will help trigger your brain’s production of the sleep hormone, melatonin. So, whatever helps you slow down and relax, do it. Whether you meditate, take a warm bath, or curl up with a good book.

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Feeling stressed?

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Look out a window. Researchers at the University of Washington found the view outside is far more soothing – and lowers a person’s heart rate further than plopping in front of the TV. But there’s a catch: It has to be a view of nature. If you’re looking at a cityscape of buildings, traffic, and crowds of pedestrians, instead of flowers, trees or a burbling fountain, it’s not going to lower your stress.

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New moms have a tough time sleeping…

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…and not just due to late-night feedings. A study in the journal Sleep shows 75% of new moms suffer from “infant in distress” nightmares. The most common one: That their infant is lost somewhere in the bed and can’t be found. Lead researcher Tore Nielson from the Sacred Heart Hospital in Montreal calls this “Baby in Bed” or B-I-B nightmares. They’re reportedly a common result from the pressure new mothers face, their lack of sleep, and hormonal changes.

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