Blog Posts by Health.com

  • The anatomy of a healthy office

    By Michele Bender

    These 13 must-haves will make you healthier-and your space work harder.

    A back-friendly seat
    Look for a chair with lower-back support and adjustable height and arm rests so you can sit up straight with your knees level. And lean back now and then: New research says it's good for you.

    Health.com: 12 ways to stop work-related back pain

    A well-placed monitor
    Your neck and eyes will thank you if the top of your screen is at eye level and about 18 to 28 inches away from you. To avoid fatigue-inducing glare, don't park your computer in front of a window.

    Calming color
    To lower your stress level, work cooler hues, such as aqua or lavender, into your office, says Leatrice Eiseman, executive director of the Pantone Color Institute and author of Color Messages and Meanings.

    Health.com: Boost your mood with color

    Typing tricks
    Prevent carpal tunnel syndrome with a cushioned wrist support (wrists should be in a straight, not bent, position).

    Soothing sounds
    Minimize

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  • Why gardening is good for your health

    IstockphotoIstockphotoBy Anne Harding

    Gillian Aldrich started growing vegetables in her backyard three years ago, and she's now working on planting a bed of hydrangeas, butterfly bushes, rose campion, and-her favorite-pale-pink hardy geraniums along one side of her property.

    As she digs in the garden, her 8-year-old daughter and 3-year-old son often play around her, sometimes taking a break to dig for worms or pick strawberries. Instead of watching them, Aldrich is playing, too-"my kind of play," she says.

    Health.com: Injury-proof your gardening

    "When you sit at a desk all day, there's something about literally putting your hands in the dirt, digging and actually creating something that's really beautiful," says Aldrich, 42, a magazine editor in Maplewood, N.J. "There's something about just being out there that feels kind of elemental."

    Aldrich isn't the only one who feels this way. Many gardeners view their hobby as the perfect antidote to the modern world, a way of reclaiming some of the intangible

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  • How your nutrition needs change in your 30s, 40s, 50s and beyond

    Getty ImagesGetty ImagesBy Lynne Peeples

    As we get older, nutrition rules change-or at least get stricter. Some vitamins, such as B12, become even more important with time. But at what age do we need to make changes?

    "These recommendations should be addressed at different stages of life, and it's probably safe to start thinking about them in your 30s," says Helen Rasmussen, PhD, a registered dietitian at the Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging at Tufts University, in Boston. "Why wait until it's too late?"

    Here's how-and what-to eat in your 30s, 40s, 50s, and beyond.

    Seek out vitamin B12
    Vitamin B12 is often overlooked. Needed to make blood cells and improve cognition, vitamin B12 gets into the body along with animal proteins like eggs or meat.

    Most young people who aren't vegetarians easily get it in their diet. But for the body to use B12, it needs to dissolve it away from the protein. This gets more challenging with age as the level of stomach acid decreases.

    B12 not bound to protein is found in

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  • 5 foods that are more fattening than you think

    Next time you're reaching for a snack, you may want to think twice. Sometimes the fattiest foods are the ones you'd least expect!

  • Eat this and burn more fat

    By Shaun Chavis

    You know how to eat healthy, but do you know how to blast fat while you're doing it? We've used emerging science about the foods that fight fat-ingredients with resistant starch, monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFAs), fiber, conjugated linoleic acid (CLA), and more-to create great-tasting combos that help flatten your belly...and trim the rest of your body, too!

    Healthy fro-yo
    Here's a healthier version of the classic Italian Café Affogato. Low-fat frozen yogurt gives you conjugated linoleic acid (CLA), a type of unsaturated fat in meat and dairy products that helps you lose abdominal fat. Pour on some coffee; it's got a tummy-flattening compound called mannooligosaccharides. And top it with grated dark chocolate for a treat that's good for your heart (and soul).

    Health.com: America's healthiest ice cream and yogurts

    Top your cereal with cherries

    The tart cherries have anthocyanins (an antioxidant in red, blue, and purple fruits and veggies) to help you lose belly

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  • Little ways to lose big pounds

    Getty ImagesGetty ImagesBy Jessica Girdwain

    It's a familiar story: You pledge to honor a daily elliptical routine and count every last calorie. But soon, you're eating cupcakes at the office and grabbing happy hour mojitos, thinking, Oops, diet over.

    There is a better way: Swap the all-or-nothing approach for one or two healthy switch-ups in your daily routine. "Doing this can lead to more weight loss than you ever imagined," says Marissa Lippert, R.D., author of The Cheater's Diet.

    In fact, we talked to readers who knocked off 10, 25, even 60 pounds with some easy tweaks. Borrow their slim-down secrets to transform your body the real-world way.

    Swap your go-to order
    "I used to eat out at restaurants up to nine times a week! By cutting back to just once a week and ordering a grilled chicken salad instead of a large bowl of pasta, I've lost 20 pounds in one month." -Kerri Butler, Joplin, MO

    Health.com: 25 ways to cut 500 calories a day

    Skip the salty aisle
    "I reached my goal weight after I stopped

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  • Sweet benefits of basil

    CorbisCorbisBy Leslie Barrie

    From busting stress to clearing your skin, this herb has some serious mind-body benefits.

    Blemish eraser
    Clear up that breakout with basil! The herb's oil helps combat the bacteria that causes pimples, according to a study in the International Journal of Cosmetic Science.

    Try this blemish-fighting fix from aesthetician Rena Revivo, chief executive officer of Spa de Soleil: Boil a handful of fresh basil leaves in 1 cup of water for 10 minutes; let the liquid cool. Dip a cotton ball into the liquid, pat it on your breakout zones, wait 10 minutes, then splash with water; repeat once or twice a day.

    Note:
    If you're pregnant or breast-feeding, discuss basil usage with your doc.

    Health.com: How to treat (and avoid!) summer skin problems

    Stress stopper
    Feeling frazzled this summer? This herb can mellow you out. "Holy basil has antianxiety effects," explains botanist James Duke, PhD, author of The Green Pharmacy. It contains phytochemicals that studies suggest may lower

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  • Defy your age inside and out

    Getty ImagesGetty ImagesBy Sarah Jio

    You have no interest in being 21 again. (Neither do we.) But, oh, wouldn't it be nice to feel 21 again: The energy! The metabolism! The sense of I-can-accomplish-anything-I-set-my-mind-to!

    "It's totally possible to rediscover that zest and optimism you felt when you were younger," says Caroline Adams Miller, author of Creating Your Best Life. "In fact, recapturing those qualities is essential to leading a healthier, happier life in the long run."

    Take these simple measures to turn back your internal clock and make the date on your driver's license feel like a big fat lie.

    Turn in earlier
    Getting your zzz's is the simplest way to feel younger right now. "The only time your body can truly restore itself is when you're asleep," explains Henry Lodge, M.D., co-author of Younger Next Year for Women. "It helps build a more vibrant body and brain."

    Chances are, you're not getting as much as you need. Make up for your sleep debt by turning in early enough to get eight hours

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  • Burning question: Can you be fit and fat?

    Tooga/Getty ImagesTooga/Getty ImagesBeing fit is an essential part to staying healthy, but is it enough to avoid diabetes and heart disease?

    YES: In fact, it's a worthy goal.
    Steven Blair, PED, professor of exercise science, epidemiology and biostatistics at the University of South Carolina

    • It's better than being thin and unfit. Overweight people who exercise just 150 minutes a week have half the risk of mortality of normal-weight people who don't exercise at all, according to research I conducted. That's not true once you move from overweight (meaning a body mass index, or BMI, of 25 to 29.9) to obese (a BMI of 30 or more). But being fit and a little fat seems to be fine.
    • Weight alone doesn't raise disease risk-lack of fitness does. In one study, half of overweight adults and one-third of obese people who were active had normal blood pressure, cholesterol, triglycerides, and blood sugar, putting them at normal risk for heart disease and diabetes, which are both supposedly caused by weight.
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  • Top migraine triggers

    123rf123rfFor people who experience from migraines, certain foods, strong perfumes, flickering lights, and weather changes and other environmental factors can set off an attack. But not everyone has the same triggers, and not every time-and that makes the migraine trigger a frustrating prey to hunt down.

    Health.com: The 5 types of headaches

    There is, however, general agreement about the most common triggers. Here's how to spot them and reduce your headache frequency.

    Food triggers
    Here's a partial list of major food triggers, according to the National Headache Foundation:

    • Ripened cheeses (such as cheddar, Emmentaler, Stilton, Brie, and Camembert)
    • Chocolate
    • Marinated, pickled, or fermented food
    • Foods that contain nitrites or nitrates (bacon, hot dogs) or MSG (soy sauce, meat tenderizers, seasoned salt)
    • Sour cream
    • Nuts, peanut butter
    • Sourdough bread
    • Broad beans, lima beans, fava beans, snow peas
    • Figs, raisins, papayas, avocados, red plums
    • Citrus
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