Need a good excuse to grab your comfiest set of pajamas and hit the sack? Skimping on shut-eye may do more than make you cranky or unproductive—it also boosts your risk of a heart attack. High levels of cortical have been linked with high blood pressure and diabetes, which are both risk factors for cardiovascular disease. Plus, when you're exhausted you may be more likely to make unhealthy choices that up your heart disease risk, such as skipping your workout or reaching for fatty or sugary snacks for a quick energy fix.
Ward off weight gain with protein
You may not have to stress so much about cutting calories: Whether you're packing on the pounds or simply want to maintain your current weight, adding more protein to your dish could be your slim-down secret weapon. Past research has found that protein keeps you feeling full longer than either cabs or fat, so you can eat less and still be satiated.
Rock out to exercise longer
Music fuels your workout—whether you're lifting weights, practicing yoga, or going for a power walk. And it's not just in your head. Researchers at Brunel University in London found that runners who listened to upbeat, energizing rock or pop music exercised up to 15% longer—and felt great while doing it.
Boost brain power with chocolate
Are you a chocoholic? Turns out your little addiction may save your life. A recent study found that those consuming the highest levels of chocolate had a 37% reduction in cardiovascular disease and a 29% reduction in stroke compared to those with lower chocolate intakes.
Soothe arthritis pain naturally
Pain, tenderness, and stiffness in your joints can keep you from doing the things you love. That may be the reality for people who suffer from osteoarthritis (OA). OA is the most common type of arthritis, occurs in women more often than men, and happens when the cartilage in your joints wears down as you age. Some natural remedies have been shown to be effective anti-inflammatory.
Savor your meals to stay slim
The faster we eat, the more our waistlines may suffer. Fast eaters are likely to consume more calories and have higher BMIs. Slowing down when you eat can help you stay slim: A recent study found that people consumed about 12% fewer calories when they chewed each bite 40 times than when they chewed 15 times. Even if you don't make it to 40, the more you chew, the more time your body has to register that it's full. Also try taking a pause between bites to take a sip of water, appreciate the flavors of the food, or talk to your dining companion.