Need to de-stress at work?

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Do it in 2 or 3-minute increments called micro-rejuvenation. According to Dartmouth College, all you need to do is step away from whatever you’re focused on at least once an hour, and give your brain a break. You can take a brisk walk, or scroll through happy photos on your phone. Because spending even a few moments changing up your mindset can make you feel relaxed, re-focused and re-energized.

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As any athlete knows, our most injury-prone body parts are our ankles.

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But kinesiologist Dr. Luke Donovan says you can make them less injury-prone: Just alternate standing on one foot for 2 minutes, at least 3 times a day. The reason? A lot of ankle injuries occur when our muscles and nerves don’t send messages fast enough, making it harder for our brain to keep our feet and ankles properly aligned while running, for example. So, when our foot lands on, say, unstable gravel, or an uneven curb, our body may not be able to react in time to avoid a twisted ankle!

But standing on one foot forces your nervous system to respond to keep you balanced. And the more you do it, the stronger the nerves in your legs and feet get. The result? Dr. Donovan says you’ll hone your neuromuscular control in a way that helps keep your ankles stable AND sprain-free.

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Want to cut your risk of Type 2 diabetes and heart disease?

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Stand up for TWO of the hours you usually spend sitting. Researchers at the University of Queensland found 2 extra hours of standing reduces blood sugar levels by 2%, and drops triglycerides by 11%. That can help you avoid blood sugar dips and spikes, and boost your heart health.

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How to maintain a healthy trifecta:

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When it comes to keeping your mind sharp, our ancient ancestors were on to something. Florida State psychology professor, Dr. Thomas Joiner says they thrived thanks to a healthy trifecta: They interacted a lot with nature, and with others, and maintained a high level of physical activity. Put all of that together, and it can be calming and invigorating at the same time. And you don’t have to do all 3 separately. For example, invite a friend hiking, fishing, or for a round of golf. You’ll knock out all 3 at once, and be thinking more clearly as a result.

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Getting 6 hours of sleep a night is as bad as not sleeping at all!

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So, if you regularly get 6 hours – listen up. Researchers found people who slept 6 hours a night for 2 weeks functioned as poorly as people who stayed awake for two days straight. And the sleep-deprived people had NO IDEA they weren’t functioning properly. They thought they were perfectly fine. Basically, our sleepy brain is in denial! But that lack of sleep makes us eat more, act more emotionally, worry more, drive poorly, make more mistakes at work, and makes us 400% more likely to get sick! So don’t trust yourself to know whether you’re sleep-deprived, trust the clock. And if you’re getting only 6 hours, find a way to get more.

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Is your neck looking 10 years older than your face?

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Your smartphone addiction could be to blame! Dermatologist Dr. Mitchel Goldman says constantly lowering your head to look at your phone can cause the skin on your neck to sag – and horizontal lines to form. That’s because the skin on the neck is thinner than on other parts of the body. It also has relatively few oil glands – unlike the face. Put all that together and your neck can become as wrinkly as a turtle. So, to prevent premature neck wrinkles, moisturize it daily, wear sunscreen, and hold your phone at eye level.

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If you’re going to watch a horror movie…

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keep the candy and snacks out of arm’s reach! Or you could end up pigging out. Researchers at Arizona State University say watching a gory movie or crime thriller makes us think about death, which can trigger stress eating, even when we’re not hungry. And when we’re riveted to the screen, we’re not paying attention to how much food we’re shoving in our mouth.

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Having trouble sleeping?

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Skip the sleeping pills, and take a walk instead! The American Academy of Sleep Medicine says over-the-counter sleep aids can make you feel even MORE tired because they contain antihistamines, which can trigger daytime drowsiness. But the Journal of Sleep Research found insomniacs who got 30 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise on most days fell asleep faster and slept longer than those who didn’t exercise. Because exercise helps regulate your internal clock, leaving you feeling drowsy at bedtime, and reduces the stress and anxiety that can keep you awake.

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Want to make sure you’re still following your exercise plan 3 months from now?

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Take it outside! Research shows people who exercise outdoors are far more likely to still be at it after 3 months, compared to those who exercise exclusively indoors. The reason? Because you’re not as likely to get bored with the great outdoors, compared to the same ole treadmill. Plus, getting out in nature, and seeing trees, grass, and even dirt is a proven happiness-booster, which makes you much more likely to stick with your fitness program.

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Has your dog been farting up a storm?

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Mix some plain, unsweetened yogurt into her food for a couple days. One tablespoon for dogs under 25 pounds2 tablespoons for larger dogs. The probiotic bacteria in the yogurt will crowd out the bad, gas-forming bacteria in her gut, and help you breathe easier.

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