Thursday, January 6, 2011

Dr. Oz's 8 New Year's Resolutions to Make Right Now

When it come to health, most of us have a few nagging "shoulds" that we never quite get around to tackling (I really should exercise more, snack less, all). But what if the shoulds were shrunk to a manageable size? For the New Year, I've zeroed in on eight small but smart changes that yield big results.

1. Drop a Pound a Month This Year
Studies on overweight people of varying sizes have shown that 10 pounds is the magic weight loss threshold for achieving astounding health benefits: Passing that mark reduces your risk of heart attack, diabetes, and arthritis by 50 percent, lowers your blood pressure, and may decrease your chances of developing breast cancer. The first 10 pounds can save your life; the last two are icing on the cake.

2. Leave Shoes at the Door

We track all sorts of pollutants into our homes, including lawn pesticides (which have been linked to certain cancers and neurological and reproductive disorders), coal tar from asphalt surfaces (which contains carcinogens), lead, and even E. coli. Taking off your shoes when you get in is an easy way to keep those toxins out.

3. Sweat to the Commercials

Research from the University of Massachusetts has found that eating in front of the TV can add an extra 288 calories to your daily intake. During the commercials, swap out the snacks for a minute of "stand-up-sit-downs"—repeatedly standing then sitting as many times as possible—which will give you a boost of feel-good chemicals like dopamine, serotonin, and endorphins.
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