Blog Posts by The Editors of Prevention

  • 7 Weird Ways to Lower Blood Pressure

    Slashing salt is a start--but to truly take control, try these surprising science-backed tricksSlashing salt is a start--but to truly take control, try these surprising science-backed tricksWhen your blood pressure creeps into the danger zone, how do you deal? Let us guess: You start with dietary tweaks, like cutting back on sodium, and if that doesn't work, you add another med to your morning routine. If that sounds familiar, you may be setting your heart up for trouble: It's tough to stick to diet-based strategies for BP control, and drugs are a pricey back-up plan, according to a new American Heart Association study review.

    The good news: There are plenty of out-of-the-box ways to bring your numbers down. While these aren't giving you license to abandon your healthy eating habits or doctor-prescribed meds, these tips are license to enjoy life--and lower your BP while doing it.

    Seek the sun
    Doesn't a sunny day just warm your heart? Turns out, it may keep it healthy, too. In a new study, researchers at the University of Edinburgh found that people exposed to UV rays experienced a significant drop in blood pressure--even before their vitamin D production kicked in. The

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  • 4 Ways to Help Your Aging Pet Living Longer

    Habits that help Mr. Whiskers stay lively and healthyHabits that help Mr. Whiskers stay lively and healthyWrinkles. Gray hair. A tendency to randomly yell, "Get off my lawn!" It's obvious when your human friends start aging, but signs are subtler for your dog or cat--and often can be easily missed.

    First, forget this: "Animals age 7 years for each human year." Larger dogs reach seniorhood when they're just 6; most dogs and cats are there by age 10. After that, older dogs and cats age 4 to 8 years for every year that humans age. "Many senior dogs and cats silently suffer painful osteoarthritis or have diabetes, failing kidneys, or cognitive decline," says Robin Downing, DVM, hospital director of the Downing Center for Animal Pain Management in Windsor, CO. Here's help for your aging pet:

    More from Prevention: Who Needs Pet Health Insurance?

    Be alert to aging clues. Excessive thirst or unexpected weight gain or loss can signal age-related disease, says Mark Epstein, DVM, medical director of the TotalBond Veterinary Hospital in Gastonia, NC. Check weekly for other clues: Sniff your pet's

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  • When Dieting and Exercise Hurt You

    8 healthy habits that start with good intentions--but can end in disaster8 healthy habits that start with good intentions--but can end in disasterMistakes that set you back
    It's hard not to get excited when you finally make the decision to get in shape. And who wouldn't be tempted to speed things up with an extra workout here, eliminating certain foods there? Understandable, sure, but definitely not wise: Overdoing exercise, especially after a hiatus, can cause serious injuries, and drastically cutting calories can make you irritable, forgetful, and may even age you.

    Here's why too much of a good thing can be a bad thing--and how to strike a healthy balance to still get the results you want.

    Mistake: You drastically cut fat, carbs, or calories
    Why it's bad:
    Your skin, hair, and nails will suffer--and so will your mood.
    When you cut calories, you deprive yourself of certain nutrients that promote healthy cell division, cell regeneration, and overall skin tone and texture, explains David E. Bank, MD, FAAD, director of the Center for Dermatology, Cosmetic and Laser Surgery in Mount Kisco, NY. "The skin also requires essential fatty

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  • 25 Snacks that Kill Cravings

    Smarter ways to keep you satisfiedSmarter ways to keep you satisfiedSalty. Crunchy. Savory. Creamy. Sweet. No matter what kind of tooth you've got, we've got a snack that's guaranteed to hit the spot. Bonus: All of our delicious options are full of filling protein or fiber, under 200 calories, and GMO-free!

    Curry Roasted Chickpeas
    Heat 1½ tsp olive oil in saucepan over medium-high heat. Add ½ c rinsed, drained, and dried Eden Organic No Salt Added Chickpeas (thumbs-up for their BPA-free cans). Cook 5 to 7 minutes, flipping frequently. Toss with ½ tsp curry powder and a generous pinch each of cumin, paprika, garlic powder, and sea salt.
    WHY IT'S SMART: A combo of 7 g protein and 6 g fiber spells serious staying power, keeping you fuller longer.

    Peanut-Pretzel Trail Mix
    Combine 8 broken mini pretzel twists and 1 Tbsp each peanuts, pumpkin seeds, and dried currants.

    Can't get enough peanut butter? Here are 8 simple smoothies featuring the good stuff.

    Crackers With Black Olive Tapenade
    Pulse 8 pitted kalamata olives, 1 tsp fresh lemon juice, ½ tsp

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  • 6 Quick Posture Fixes

    Easy adjustments to stay pain free--and look 5 pounds thinnerEasy adjustments to stay pain free--and look 5 pounds thinnerIf your back aches after a long commute or you get a stiff neck from working at the computer, bad posture may be to blame. "Unfortunately, people ignore proper posture until they have some pain," says Gregory Thielman, PT, an assistant professor of physical therapy at University of the Sciences in Philadelphia.

    Good posture isn't about keeping your spine ramrod straight--no one can do that 100% of the time. Instead, it's important to know what proper alignment (of your head, shoulders, hips, and knees) feels like so you can self-correct when your body starts getting out of whack.

    Make these quick posture fixes to stop slouching and prevent pain. (Bonus: Proper posture can make you look 5 pounds slimmer!)

    PLUS: 6 Health Problems You Should Never Ignore

    When you stand

    Do: Check your stance by standing in front of a mirror. Facing sideways, line up your ears, shoulders, hips, knees, and ankles. Notice how your body feels when it's aligned correctly.
    Don't: Round your shoulders, arch

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  • 10 Ways to Stop Breast Cancer

    Here's how to beat your biggest fear Here's how to beat your biggest fear Long before we get our first pimple, budding breasts remind us that we're women in training. We love them, we hate them. We want them to grow bigger, we wish they'd stop growing, we wonder why this one is smaller/bigger/rounder/flatter than the other, why men are staring at them--and why they're not.

    No matter how conflicted we may be, breasts are part of our female identity, which may be why, for most of us, having breast cancer is our biggest fear. We're more afraid of it than we are of heart disease, which is 10 times more likely to be what sends us to the great beyond.

    Yet fewer women get breast cancer, and fewer die from it, than ever before. "Cancer is not an inevitability. Women have more control over the disease than they think," says Margaret I. Cuomo, MD, a Prevention contributor and the author of A World without Cancer: The Making of a New Cure and the Real Promise of Prevention. "Everything we do from the moment we wake--from what we eat and drink to whether or not we

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  • 10 Exercise Habits that Age You

    Are you sabotaging your healthy efforts with these mistakes?Are you sabotaging your healthy efforts with these mistakes?When workouts backfire
    By Linda Melone, CSCS

    Exercise's anti-gravity effect on your body provides more than enough incentive to hit the gym (hello, perky posterior!). But it only works if you do it correctly-too much of one thing and not enough of another can actually add years to your body.

    We talked to the pros to single out the most common exercise habits that age you, and what to do instead.

    Mistake: You never take a break

    If you're tired all the time and feel achy and sore, you may not be allowing your body enough time to heal between workouts, which can age you, says John Higgins, MD, associate professor of medicine at The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston and director of exercise physiology at Memorial Hermann-Texas Medical Center.

    "In your teens and 20s, it took approximately 18 hours to repair muscle fibers affected by a workout, but this increases to 36 hours in your 40s or older," he says. Using those same muscles before they're completely

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  • 20 Perfect Workout Snacks

    To perform your best, you need gas in the tank. Here are the best ways to fuel your fitness.To perform your best, you need gas in the tank. Here are the best ways to fuel your fitness.Instructor Kristin Kenney frequently wraps up her intense sessions at Revolve, an indoor cycling studio with locations in New York City and Washington, D.C., with this advice: "OK, class is over-go make sure you eat to recover." And then she's met with a line of puzzled students, wondering what exactly they should choose for their post-exercise nosh. "It's really funny--but it's such a common question," she says.

    If you're part of the confused post-exercising masses, we've got you covered. Here, Kenney and Rebecca Scritchfield, RD, a sports nutrition expert in Washington, D.C., dish up their favorite power foods. Whether you eat before or after your workout, you should aim for up to 45 grams of carbs to provide energy, and 6 to 15 grams of protein to build muscle.

    Here are the 20 best workout snacks to keep you fueled and energized. For more delicious recipes, sign up for the free Prevention Recipe Of The Day newsletter!

    Dates and peanut butter
    Slice open pitted Medjool dates (a

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  • 6 Things Your Body's Trying to Tell You

    These little hints are your body's way of nudging you toward good healthThese little hints are your body's way of nudging you toward good healthNot long ago, my husband and three of our kids went charging up Mount Katahdin--think of it as New England's mini Mount Everest. I'd spent months hiking with friends to make sure I was in shape and, at the start, hustled to keep pace with our teenagers as we hauled ourselves up the steep boulders. But within a couple of hours I was straggling; they leapt past me like giddy mountain goats while I carefully picked my way up the rocks.

    Was I disappointed? Actually, no. I felt smart. My 40-something body was telling me how to protect it from injury--and my hips and feet thanked me later. It turns out that our bodies routinely transmit this evolving wisdom, gently steering us away from activities or indulgences we can no longer tolerate to ones that will ensure continued good health.

    Here are six other things your body's trying to tell you.

    1. When you're dehydrated
    Over the course of a lifetime, our kidneys, which transport water to our tissues, gradually lose a bit of their efficiency.

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  • Your Body's 10 Weirdest Health Clues

    Do this quick self-exam for subtle signs of future health problemsDo this quick self-exam for subtle signs of future health problemsWhat size bra do you wear? How's your sense of smell? Can you still fit into your college jeans?

    The answers to these questions--plus other weird body clues--may be a surprising predictor of potential future health problems. According to an array of psychic-worthy research, scientists are discovering more and more physical quirks and clues that may be early signs of conditions like Alzheimer's disease, diabetes, and cancer. Whip out a mirror and a tape measure, and use these 10 DIY tests to forecast your health; plus, the best strategies to change your destiny.

    These seven so-called "healthy" habits might actually be causing more problems than they solve.

    1. Finger length
    Women whose index fingers are shorter than their ring fingers may be twice as prone to osteoarthritis in the knees, found a 2008 study in the journal Arthritis & Rheumatism. Those with this predominately male characteristic tend to have lower levels of estrogen, which may also play a role in the development

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