10 Tweaks to Instantly Improve Your Health

By: Heather Hurlock

Try just one of these tips each day and you'll feel better and get fitter and smarter in just one month.

1. Reboot Your Brain

Mundane tasks, such as entering data into a spreadsheet, can switch your mind into default mode, making you more likely to mess up within about 30 seconds, scientists say. Feel like you're operating on autopilot? Snap out of it by going for a quick walk down the hall. Related: Strength Train Your Brain

2. Get Sappy

Spending just 30 minutes a day consciously thinking of a loved one can promote mental and emotional well-being, say University of Wisconsin-Madison researchers. Cultivating the feeling of love and compassion stimulates the brain to make new connections and neural pathways. Related: The 7 Things You Should Never Regret

3. Grab Some Garbanzos

People who regularly consume beans typically weigh six pounds less than those who don't, even though they take in more daily calories. Researchers believe this may be because the legume eaters get more fiber but consume less fat, especially saturated fat, than those who shy away from beans. Throw a handful into salads, soups, or pasta sauce for an extra boost of protein and fiber. Related: Mix-and-Match Meals

4. Reach New Heights

Wearing a pair of moderately high heels (2 to 2 1/2 inches) can strengthen your pelvic-floor muscles, which can improve your sex life. Related: Your Better-Sex Workout

5. Get Cracking

Adding one egg a day, yolk and all, to your diet can increase good HDL levels without increasing bad LDL cholesterol levels. Low levels of HDL have previously been linked to memory loss. Related: Easy, Healthy Egg Recipes

6. Try the Silent Treatment

Being exposed to just 35 decibels of noise (about the sound of people talking softly) while in bed could raise your blood pressure by six or seven points, according to a recent study. Snooze more peacefully by investing in a white-noise or sound machine like the Obus Forme Sound Therapy Relaxation System ($30, amazon.com). Related: 7 Surprising Signs You're Way Too Stressed

7. Run for Your Life

Joggers have a 40 percent lower risk of dying than people who don't lace up their sneakers, according to Stanford University researchers. Runners are less likely to have cardiovascular problems or develop disabilities as they age. Motivate yourself to become fit by training for a 5K. Related: Our Guide to Running

8. D-Stress

Getting plenty of calcium and vitamin D can decrease your risk of developing a stress fracture by 20 percent. Active women should strive for 1,000 IU of vitamin D and 2,000 milligrams of calcium daily to keep their bones strong, experts say. Related: Get More Vitamin D: Healthy Foods to Add to Your Diet

9. Give Lip Service

Thirty minutes of making out can improve allergy symptoms. Research shows that kissing reduces the amount of chemicals your body releases in response to allergens. Related: 7 Beauty Balms for Lips, Skin, and Hair

10. Chill Out

Just two to three minutes under cool water in the shower can boost your mood. The cold may cause the brain to release feel-good hormones. Related: 20-Minute Water Workout: Sculpt Your Body in the Pool

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