207 Great Tips to Make 2007 Your Best Year Ever
“Cheers to a new year and another chance for us to get it right.”
- Oprah Winfrey
So, you’re looking for ways to make 2007 your best year ever? This article will give you some tips to put you on the road to achieving your dreams in the coming year.
And the first thing to do is to decide that the next year will be your best ever! Then, start implementing these tips, all the plans in the world mean nothing unless you take some action.
1. Power up your brain with some exercise. Research suggests that people who get plenty of physical exercise can wind up with better brains. Exercise boosts circulation, including blood flow to the brain, which uses a full 25% of the oxygen that enters our lungs. It also bolsters brain-nurturing chemicals and reduces stress, which has been shown to damage the brain. Physical activity can also ease depression, which slows thinking and may precede the onset of Alzheimer’s. So get out the door and exercise your lazy body, you’ll boost your brain power by up to 30%.
2. Try a Sudoko puzzle. You can actually improve brain function and protect it against cognitive decline with some mental stimulation. Doing logic puzzles in your spare time is a great way to activate your brain and keep it in good working condition. And even if you’re old, your brain can still grow new neurons. Keep in mind that severe mental decline is usually caused by disease, whereas most age-related losses in memory or motor skills simply result from inactivity and a lack of mental exercise and stimulation. In other words, use it or lose it.
3. Brush teeth with your left hand (right if you’re left-handed). Doing routine tasks in new ways exercises your brain. So experience new tastes and smells; try to do things with your nondominant hand; find new ways to drive to work; travel to some new places; read that Dostoyevsky novel – basically, do anything you can to force yourself out of your mental ruts.
4. More deadlines to release the pressure. I know it sounds contradictory but break a deadline into sub-deadlines and it’s more manageable. It also means your progress will be more obvious, making the task less daunting.
5. Laugh more, and laugh harder. Researchers tell us that laughter is good for our health; that it releases endorphins and other positively powerful chemicals into our system. But we don’t really need scientists to tell us that it feels good to laugh. Laughing helps us reduce stress and break old patterns too. So laughter can be like a “quick-charge” for our brain’s batteries.
6. Prepare them for the storm. Stress experts say the worst thing you can do is bring your problems and worries home. When you get home, tell your family: “I’ve had a really bad day and I’m going to bite your head off if you so much as look at me in a funny way.” They will forgive any outbursts more easily and the act of owning up to your feelings instantly lessens their intensity.
7. Enjoy the little things in life. Take a break each day and watch a sunset or enjoy the chorus of birds on your walk between classes. Finding beauty and joy in everything, even the stupidest things imaginable will make you happier, healthier, and more receptive to the world around you. And the world will be more receptive to you, as well.
8. Visualize what you need to learn. Remember that your brain thinks in both words and pictures, so give it both: diagrams and charts, as well as pictures of what you need to know, such as a log cabin with Shakespeare’s birth date above the door.
9. Live in the present. There is no point in dwelling on the past; you cannot change what already happened. You can only learn from your mistakes and try to avoid making the same ones in the future. Instead focus your attention on the goals at hand, not on missed opportunities. It will help relieve some of the pressure.
10. Play with passion! You can’t do great work without personal fulfillment. When people are growing through learning and creativity, they are much more fulfilled and give 127% more to their work. Delight yourself and you delight the world. Remember what you loved to do as a child and bring the essence of that activity into your work. This is a clue to your genius; to your natural gifts and talents. da Vinci, Edison, Einstein and Picasso all loved to play and they loved to explore.
11. Pay attention to what you say to yourself about a stressful situation. Work on changing to more realistic expectations of yourself. And if you’re overreacting and seeing everything as absolutely critical and urgent, try shifting your focus and look at what is really important.
12. Talk to yourself to improve retention. Reciting as you read and reviewing notes out loud increases attention and motivation, and creates a stronger neural trace of memory by utilizing more senses.
13. Play a bigger game. Set a goal that does not just satisfy you as an individual, but involves some degree of unselfishness and benefits others. You must embark on a journey into the unknown, where you become a tool for a higher purpose. It requires of you a certain degree of surrender. Why play a bigger game? Because there is no fun in life without playing a bigger game.
14. Don’t be a slave to technology. Research found that workers distracted by phone calls, e-mails and text messages suffer a greater loss of IQ than if they’d smoked marijuana. The IQ of those juggling messages and work fell by an average of 10 points – equivalent to missing a whole night’s sleep and more than double the four-point fall seen after smoking pot. To keep sharp, resist the urge to check messages continually. Instead, schedule blocks of time throughout the day to retrieve and respond to them.
15. Blast away bad mood with some music. Almost everyone is familiar with the saying that music soothes the savage beast, and it’s certainly true when the beast is a bad mood. It is one of the most effective fast fixes for a bad mood. So the next time you’re in a bad mood, try blasting it away with a favorite song. Something that makes you smile and dance will get rid of your blues in a flash, but there are plenty of options beyond a upbeat and cheery tune. To shake off a bad mood, try turning on some seriously angry music like punk rock or heavy metal, and turning it way up. Misery loves company, and so long as you do it right, a blast of negativity can actually help lift your bad mood! Just take a deep breath when the song is over, and you’ll feel refreshed as your bad mood flies away.
16. Spend time with your memories. Get out an old photo album or high school yearbook. Your brain is a memory machine, so give it a chance to work! Let your mind reflect on them and your mind will repay you in positive emotions and new connections from the memories to help you with your current tasks and challenges.
17. Avoid emotional vampires. Do you attract emotional vampires or losers into your life? Are you a loser magnet? Emotional vampires and losers literally drain our batteries, slow us down and make us upset. To become happier, optimistic and energetic – avoid emotional vampires. Unhappy people allow “emotional vampires” to suck their positive feelings right out of their skulls. Emotional vampires include people who put you down, criticize or mock you, or sabotage your dreams and aspirations.
18. Sleep on it. Previewing key information and then sleeping on it increases retention 20 to 30 percent. You can leave that information next to the bed for easy access, if it is something that won’t keep you awake. If you are kept awake by your thoughts, writing everything down sometimes gets it “out of your mind,” allowing you to sleep (so keep a pen and paper nearby).
19. Watch what you say – and never say words such as “try”. One of the most interesting differences between happy and unhappy people is that happy people never or rarely use the word ‘try’ or ‘but.’ These two words leave people feeling hopeless and not in-control of their lives. Happy people feel hopeful, and take tons of responsibility for their lives. The words ‘try’ and ‘but’ are excuses, and unhappy people have a bad case of ‘excuse-itis.
20. Be a fighter. At the first sign of stress, you often hear people complain, “What did I do to deserve this?” The problem is, feeling like a victim only increases feelings of stress and helplessness. Instead, change your focus on being proactive. If your flight gets canceled, don’t wallow in self-pity. Just get up and find another one. If your office is too hot or too cold, don’t suffer in silence. Call the building manager and ask what can be done to make things more comfortable. Proactive people know that they have control over their own feelings hence their performance remain consistent because it is not hinged on external factors.
21. Learn to say “No”. How many times have you agreed to do something that you actually didn’t want to do? All you had to do was say no, but the word didn’t come out. So you end up doing it – and later resent it. Trying to do everything is a one-way ticket to serious stress. Be clear about your limits, and stop trying to please everyone all the time.
22. Stop asking “What is on my mind right now?” Concentration can increase brainpower. Obvious, perhaps, but the thieves of concentration are not always so obvious. Learn to notice when you are distracted. Often the cause is just below consciousness. If there is a phone call you need to make, for example, it might bother you all morning, sapping your ability to think clearly, even while you are unaware of what is bothering you.
23. Plan something for the weekend. Looking forward to something provides calming perspective. Buy some concert tickets, schedule a weekend getaway, or make an appointment for a massage.
24. A relaxed mind helps memory. Learn with a relaxed mind. Recall the learned material with a relaxed mind. Let’s take as an example a situation where you misplace your car keys. If you get too agitated with yourself in trying to recall something, as is the case in this example, you are in for frustration. But, if you relax your mind, and calmly go through the events backward, you are more likely to remember where you left them.
25. Be romantic. Love in your heart makes your mind blossom. Researchers have identified pathways in the brain which light up when we are in love. And falling in love seems to have a similar effect on the brain as using cocaine. It’s so pleasurable it’s almost like an addiction.
26. Learn another language. Studies show that people experience a general improvement in memory from studying a language. It has also been demonstrated that age-related decline in mental function can be halted by learning a new language.
27. Ask “Why?” Our brains are wired to be curious. As we grow up and “mature” many of us stifle or deny our natural curiosity. Let yourself be curious! Wonder to yourself about why things are happening. Ask someone in the know. The best way to exercise our curiosity is by asking “Why?” Make it a new habit to ask “why?” at least 10 times a day. Your brain will be happier and you will be amazed at how many opportunities and solutions will show up in your life and work.
28. Write to be read. There is certainly great value in writing for yourself. Your brain will be greatly stimulated by writing to be read. And the greatest benefit of writing is what it does to expand your brain’s capacity. So find ways to write to be read – by writing things for your friends to read, by capturing the stories of your childhood, starting your own blog or whatever – just write to be read.
29. Sit up straight. Posture affects your thinking process. Prove it to yourself by doing math in your head while slouching, looking at the floor and letting your mouth hang open. Then do the mental math while sitting up straight, keeping your mouth closed and looking forward or slightly upwards. You’ll notice that it’s easier to think with the latter posture.
30. Use your dead time. This is the time that is otherwise wasted or just under-utilized. Driving time, time spent in waiting rooms, or even time spent raking your yard can be included in this. With an iPod and a trip to a public library, you can start to use this time to listen to audiobooks. You may spend 200 hours a year in your car. Just imagine how much you can learn in that time!
31. Breath deeply. More air in means more oxygen in the blood and therefore in the brain. Breath through your nose and you’ll notice that you use your diaphragm more, drawing air deeper into your lungs. Several deep breaths can also help to relax you, which is conducive to clearer thinking.
32. Use some techniques for clear thinking. Cluttered rooms and offices can contribute to cluttered thinking. Organize a space for mental work. Sigh, stretch, and take a deep breath before you start on a tough mental job. Plan some distraction-free time for brainstorming.
33. Don’t take everything so personally. Listen to others objectively; it’s not always about you!
34. Do one thing at a time. When you are with someone, be with that person and with no one or nothing else. When you are busy with a project, concentrate on doing that project and forget about everything else you have to do.
35. Make decisions quickly. Accept the risk, stress and conflict that come with making decisions. It is ok to change your mind but don’t make a habit out of reversing decisions. Try to make decisions that produce change. Any decision is better than none.
36. Refill the bowl. A study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition reports that two servings of whole-grain cereal (Cheerios count) a day can reduce a man’s risk of dying of heart disease by nearly 20 percent.
37. Grill a steak. You may think it’s bad for your heart, but you’d be wrong. Beef contains immunity-boosting selenium as well as homocysteine-lowering B vitamins. And up to 50 percent of the fat is the heart-healthy monounsaturated variety.
38. You don’t want fries with that. In a study published in the New England Journal of Medicine, the exercise and nutritional habits of 80,000 women were recorded for 14 years. The researchers found that the most important correlate of heart disease was the women’s dietary intake of foods containing trans fatty acids, mutated forms of fat that lower HDL and increase LDL (bad) cholesterol. Some of the worst offenders are french fries.
39. Choose organic foods. Choosing organic foods lessens your exposure to harsh chemicals and pesticides used by conventional farmers.
40. Yummie yogurt. Yogurt is a great source of calcium and can often be tolerated by people who normally can’t tolerate milk products. Yogurt also contains healthy bacteria like acidophilus and lactobacillus, which help to keep your digestive system healthy.
41. “Mares eat oats” and so should we. Oats have been shown to reduce cholesterol levels. A nice breakfast could include oatmeal served with blueberries or strawberries, walnuts, or pecans, and a splash of low fat milk or soymilk. Serve with a slice of whole grain toast and a glass of orange juice for a delicious healthy breakfast.
42. An apple or two a day may keep the doctor away. After all, apples contain anti-oxidants and phytochemicals which lower cholesterol, fight cancer, keep our lungs healthy and our brains young.
43. Beat the heat with a handful of cold grapes. University of Connecticut researchers recently discovered that fresh grapes provide cholesterol-lowering, artery-clearing protection similar to that you get from drinking concentrated grape juice or wine.
44. Scramble an egg. They’re relatively low in saturated fat, and they’re packed with betaine, a compound that helps lower homocysteine levels in the blood by as much as 75 percent. Eggs are one of the few good food sources of betaine.
45. Canola oil cooking. It provides us with omega-3 essential fatty acids and it also has a high smoking-point so it stands up to heat well. This means that canola oil is good for cooking and healthy too.
46. Attack gas. Eat either protein or starch – but not both – in a meal to prevent indigestion.
47. Decaffeinate. Drinks that contain caffeine increase blood pressure by nearly 4 points, on top of speeding up your heart rate by an average of 2 beats per minute. It’s enough to push a borderline heart problem into the danger zone.
48. Dare to dairy. To make sure you get the most vitamins from fortified breakfast cereals, drink all the milk.
49. Fortify with folic acid. A study published in the British Medical Journal found that people who consume the recommended amount each day have a 16 percent lower risk of heart disease than those whose diets are lacking in this B vitamin. Good sources of folic acid: asparagus, broccoli, and fortified cereal.
50. The top 9 cancer-fighting foods: broccoli, tomatoes, spinach, oranges, garlic, apples, soya, carrots, green tea.
51. Fight C with C. Citrus fruits, strawberries, bananas, broccoli, cauliflower, and red and green peppers are all high in vitamin C – giving you greater protection against cancer.
52. Don’t let your tank hit empty. A study in the British Medical Journal found that people who eat six or more small meals a day have 5 percent lower cholesterol levels than those who eat one or two large meals. That’s enough to shrink your risk of heart disease by 10 to 20 percent.
53. Go nuts. Or rather, avoid going nuts by eating them. Just 60g of almonds provides your recommended daily intake of vitamin E, which helps reduce brain deterioration as you age.
54. Swap sugar for honey. Researchers at the University of Illinois found that honey has powerful antioxidant qualities that help combat cardiovascular disease, while sugar consumption can lower your levels of HDL cholesterol, potentially increasing your risk of heart-related disorders.
55. Add some soy to your diet. Soy is well known for its health benefits for both women and for men. Substitute a flavored soymilk for one glass of milk today, or use tofu in a stir-fry recipe in place of chicken or other meat.
56. Read the nutrition facts labels when you shop or when you use pre-packaged food. Pay attention to serving size, calorie counts, number of fat grams, amount of sodium, and percentages of vitamins and minerals that might be found on the label.
57. Go garlic. Garlic can help to reduce cholesterol, high blood pressure, and may help to boost your immune system. But be careful when cooking. Researchers at Penn State University, US, found that you can destroy its cancer-fighting properties when you heat it in microwave or roast it. To avoid over-heating, crush it first so it needs less cooking time.
58. Drink cranberry juice. University of Scranton scientists found that volunteers who drank three 8-ounce glasses a day for a month increased their HDL-cholesterol levels by 10 percent, enough to cut heart-disease risk by almost 40 percent. Buy 100 percent juice that’s at least 27 percent cranberry.
59. Keep hot foods hot and cold foods cold. Food that isn’t eaten within two hours after cooking needs to be stored and served at a proper temperature. Bacteria will grow in foods that are between 40 degrees and 140 degrees Fahrenheit.
60. Magic metal. Red meat is a great source of iron, zinc, and protein. Many women don’t get enough iron which can lead to fatigue and anemia. Choose lean cuts of red meat instead of fatty cuts of red meat or processed meat products.
61. Order take-out. Lots of Chinese and Indian foods contain ginger or turmeric – spices packed with natural anti-inflammatories. “Anything that helps keep levels of inflammation low is good for your heart,” says Andrew Weil, M.D., author of Eating Well for Optimum Health.
62. Reduce, don’t eliminate certain foods. Most people eat for pleasure as well as nutrition. If your favorite foods are high in fat, salt or sugar, the key is moderating how much of these foods you eat and how often you eat them. Identify major sources of these ingredients in your diet and make changes, if necessary. Adults who eat high-fat meats or whole-milk dairy products at every meal are probably eating too much fat. Use the Nutrition Facts panel on the food label to help balance your choices.
63. Balance your food choices over time. Not every food has to be “perfect.” When eating a food high in fat, salt or sugar, select other foods that are low in these ingredients. If you miss out on any food group one day, make up for it the next. Your food choices over several days should fit together into a healthy pattern.
64. Top your toast. Black currant jelly is a good source of quercetin – an antioxidant that Finnish researchers believe may improve heart health by preventing the buildup of the free radicals that can damage arterial walls and allow plaque to penetrate.
65. Make changes gradually. Just as there are no “superfoods” or easy answers to a healthy diet, don’t expect to totally revamp your eating habits overnight. Changing too much, too fast can get in the way of success. Begin to remedy excesses or deficiencies with modest changes that can add up to positive, lifelong eating habits. For instance, if you don’t like the taste of skim milk, try low-fat. Eventually you may find you like skim, too.
66. Keep healthful snacks on hand. So if hunger strikes during a late night study session, you won’t be tempted by vending machine candy, chips, or ice cream. Possibilities include fresh or dried fruit, pretzels, unbuttered popcorn, rice cakes or whole wheat cracker. If you have a refrigerator, consider raw vegetables with low-fat yogurt or cottage cheese dip.
67. Go fishing for tuna. Omega-3 fats in tuna help strengthen heart muscle, lower blood pressure, and prevent clotting – as well as reduce levels of potentially deadly inflammation in the body. Plus, tuna’s high in protein. Research shows that consuming more protein may lower a man’s risk of heart disease by nearly 26 percent.
68. Eat grapefruit. One a day can reduce arterial narrowing by 46 percent, lower your bad-cholesterol level by more than 10 percent, and help drop your blood pressure by more than 5 points.
69. Foods are not good or bad. Select foods based on your total eating patterns, not whether any individual food is “good” or “bad.” Don’t feel guilty if you love foods such as apple pie, potato chips, candy bars or ice cream. Eat them in moderation, and choose other foods to provide the balance and variety that are vital to good health.
70. Remember, food is a lot more than nourishment for our bodies. Enjoy and savor it.
71. Rest longer, lose more weight. Men burn 14% more calories when taking 60 second rests instead of 20 second rests between sets.
72. Lie on the ground to shed more pounds. When watching TV, swep the sofa for the floor. Why? On the floor you’ll start in one position, then shift to another, then another to get comfy – and fidgety people burn up to 300 extra calories per day.
73. Drink plenty of water. Our body needs a lot of water so give in to water. Water is not just way to flush out toxin but if you have more water in your body you will generally feel healthier and fitter. This it self will discourage any tendency to gorge. And the best thing about water is that is has no calories at all.
74. If you have a sitting job, stand up and stretch yourself every half an hour. Most of the jobs today are indeed sitting jobs that are in one word sedentary. This is especially true for those who sit and punch away at the keyboard or toy with the mouse all day long. So if you have such a job, make it a point to get up at least every half an hour and stretch your self.
75. Avoid skipping meals. Eating increases your metabolism, thus skipping meals can ‘trick’ your body into slowing down its metabolism in an attempt to conserve calories during a period it perceives as a situation where limited fuel is available.
76. Go for wholesome fresh foods. If possible, purchase fresh foods and avoid package (processed) and convenient foods such as fast food. Packaged and convenient foods are often higher in sodium and fat content. Many people we spoke to are amazed that they can easily lose weight by packing a home-cooked lunch to work instead of eating out.
77. Set realistic goals. You can lose 50 pounds in a week if you work out 12 hours a day and eat nothing but celery – but not if you’re human. Slow and steady wins the race. Don’t bite off more than you can chew – literally. Make small goals on your way to the bigger goal(s). In the end, you’ll have achieved more.
78. Try to have breakfast within one hour of waking. It’s always best to have breakfast within an hour of waking so that your body can charge itself with the energy it needs for the day. The idea is not to wait for your self to get really hungry. Breakfast is the most important meal of the day but that does not mean that it should be the most filling meal of the day.
79. Be positive! The more you feel good about yourself the easier and faster it is to lose weight.
80. Don’t be overly-restrictive. Everyone has his or her favorite treats. Simply allow yourself a little indulgence, but watch out for the frequency and the quantity. Having a small treat once in a while can be rewarding to your weight loss experience. Cutting too much of your favorite treats usually lead to an early relapse.
81. Don’t compare yourself to others. Every body is different. It stands to reason that everybody will lose weight differently. Even if you do the exact same things that I do, you won’t lose weight at the same rate. The key is in finding your triggers. Keep your goal in sight, and do whatever you have to do to meet that goal. When you start looking at someone else’s habits, you’re only going to become discouraged and quit without even realizing that it’s physically impossible to be anybody but yourself.
82. We have our teeth for a reason. Therefore we should develop a habit of chewing all food including liquid food and soft foods like sweets, ice creams at least 8 to 12 times. This is essential to add saliva to the food, as it is only in the saliva that sugar is digested. Often we find that whatever goes into our mouth goes down like lightning. We hardly give the saliva any time to act on the food.
83. Drink some hot water with a squeeze of lemon before breakfast. It gets the metabolism going for the day, helps prevent constipation and is excellent for the skin.
84. Keep a food journal. Keeping a food journal helps you pin point your eating pattern and will enable you to easily modify it. If possible, have your Registered Dietitian review your journal.
85. Women aren’t men. It’s been proven that men can lose weight more rapidly than women can, which is likely due to our physiological makeup (women are supposed to have more fat than men, because they’re the birthing gender). As such, females should expect to set separate goals than males – especially if you’re working on losing weight together, side by side.
86. Instead of waddling up and down the staircase, try taking them two at a time. Now this is something that you have to be careful about because we do not want you to trip. So when you do this make sure that your feet are well and truly planted on each step before you increase the beat and try two at a time.
87. Find a weight loss “buddy,” club, or support group. This will help you stay with your weight loss program.
88. Exercise, period. Most authorities recommend 30 – 60 minutes of physical activity a day to stay healthy. Also try adding weight-bearing exercises at least 2 times a week. This will help burn some of the unwanted calories.
89. Sleep it off. To be an efficient fat-burning machine, your body requires at least eight hours of sleep a night. If you think that you’re doing yourself a favor by sleeping less, you’re mistaken. Give your body time to rest itself, both mentally and physically.
90. Join a dance class. Dancing is a wonderful way to burn off those extra calories. It is true. When you dance you are in fact burning away a lot of calories.
91. Always eat before you go food shopping and always prepare a shopping list. Only purchase food which relates to your weekly menu plan and don’t be tempted to buy goodies.
92. Tell your family. You’re not going to lose the weight alone, even if you ARE alone in losing the weight. If you’ve got a family at home, talk to them about it – initially, not incessantly. Let them know what you’re going to do, and that you want (and need) their support.
93. Do not slouch in your chair but try to maintain an erect posture with your tummy tucked in. Slouching is a very bad habit. Not only is it bad for your back but it also gives you a very flabby figure. It is your way of saying yes to a comfortable, weight-gaining pose. Make it a point to always sit as erect as you can. It is also a terrific way to ward off back problems.
94. Drinking hot water as appose to cold water can increase the speed of your metabolism and burn more calories.
95. Vitamins are good for you. If you’re going to take any pills, let them be natural supplements (like Essential Fatty Acids or multivitamins). Be careful about overdoing it, though – especially with herbal remedies. Too much of anything is a bad thing. You can consult a nutritionist, but always buy on your own – and keep these supplements to a minimum.
96. Eat intelligently. The difference between man and beast is that we are driven by intelligence while beasts are driven by instinct. Don’t just eat something because you feel like eating it. Ask you’re self whether your body really needs it.
97. Use scales in the kitchen – it’s amazing how easy it is to deceive oneself!
98. Plan in advance for social events. If you are going to a restaurant, get them to fax the menu through earlier in the day so you are not deciding on impulse.
99. Love yourself! While absolute weight loss is a goal, it is important to love yourself no matter what your size may be.
100. Trick yourself into moving a bit more than you did before. Walk instead of drive. If you drive, park on the far side of the lot. Take the stairs instead of the elevator. Go to the water cooler upstairs instead of on your floor.
101. Surround yourself with motivating images. A triathlete friend of mine buys a stack of fitness magazines and covers her wall with photos of hot, ripped bodies cut out of them when she’s in training. Hell, I went to go see Rocky Balboa this weekend and it had me wanting to run a few miles. Make fitness and healthy eating a way of life, and surround yourself with media that reinforces your efforts.
102. Put yourself first. If you’re serious about weight loss, then weight loss must be a priority. Unless there’s an emergency, things (and people) can wait half an hour if you’re heading out for a walk.
103. Keep at it. Fitness is a lifelong commitment! You can’t just lose weight and return to old eating habits. Permanent weight loss means permanent changes in your life, so make sure all the changes you make are ones you can live with. Weight loss – it’s your choice!
104. Know thyself. You can’t get somewhere unless you know where you are right now! Get your weight loss starting point by visiting your doctor for a complete analysis of your health.
105. Don’t ever give up! You are going to get bad days/weeks; it happens! Just get straight back on it and limit the damage.
106. Put a sock in it. To defend feet against blisters, rub Vaseline into pressure areas such as toes and ankles, and slip on two pairs of socks. The movement will be between the socks not skin.
107. See in the dark. Blink as many times as you can in the space of a few seconds to improve your night vision. It stimulates the eye and helps it adjust more quickly.
108. Rinsing isn’t just for dishes. To help prevent tooth decay – and the attack on your bank balance that comes with any dentistry – rinse your mouth with water about half an hour after eating or drinking anything with a high sugar content.
109. Tune in, drop off. Listening to 45 minutes of mellow music before bed encourages longer, less-fitful sleep say well-rested researchers from Taiwan’s Tzu-Chi University.
110. Watch a scary movie. Anything that causes your heart to race – slasher flicks, a good book, even being in love – also makes your heart stronger, according to researchers at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. Upsetting the rhythm once in a while is like hitting your heart’s reset button, which helps it keep on ticking.
111. Wash your hands. German researchers followed 570 people for an average of 3 years and found that those with the most antibodies (from fighting off infections) in their systems also had the most significant clogging in the arteries of their hearts, necks, and legs. Use liquid soap. Germs can live on bars.
112. Take Monday off. The reduction in stress from missing a few days of work shrinks heart-attack and stroke risk by nearly 30 percent, according to a new study conducted at the State University of New York.
113. Stop snoring. Half of all people with sleep apnea – a condition that occurs when people quit breathing for up to a minute at a time while sleeping – also have high blood pressure, caused by unusually high levels of the hormone aldosterone. Beat the apnea and the BP drops, too. Your doctor can prescribe a SleepStrip, an at-home sleep-apnea test.
114. Stop smoking. You have probably heard this more times, than you can count but facts are facts! There is no other way to say it – smoking is not only bad for your health, it is deadly! While this will not work for everyone, the next time you pick up a cigarette; take a minute to consider how your child or family would feel if you were no longer around.
115. Rinse, brush. Rinse your mouth and brush with toothpaste. They’ll reduce oral bacteria, which can decrease your risk of a heart attack by 200 to 300 percent, according to University of Buffalo researchers.
116. Buckle up. You may be wondering what seatbelts have to do with health. Statistics show that wearing seatbelts keeps you safe and therefore allows you to live longer. To keep yourself safe and healthy, it is critical that you buckle up every time you get in any car. Do not be fooled into thinking that going the few blocks to the corner store is not big deal. Most accidents happen close to home so whether you are traveling one block or across the country, buckle up.
117. Be careful with the sun. Everyone loves basking in the warm sun, especially if it is lying on a beautiful sandy beach. While the sun has many benefits, too much sun without proper protection can be harmful. Being sunburned not only hurts, but also damages skin and promotes wrinkles and cancer. If you are going to spend any time in the sun, even 10 minutes, protect your skin with sunscreen for both UVA and UVB rays.
118. No hangover headache. Drink at least a pint of water before bed. But to see off all symptoms of a big night out, add Dioralyte to it. These rehydrating salts will be your savior.
119. Rub. Massage helps relieve stress and reduce levels of inflammation-triggering chemicals in the skin, says Maria Hernandez-Reif, Ph.D., of the Touch Research Institute at the University of Miami.
120. Buy a dog. But only if you plan on taking him for a good walk every day. Research from Cooper Institute for Aerobic Research in the US shows that men who walk briskly for just 30 min. at least five times a week improve their physical fitness to a level linked with a life expectancy five years longer than that of unfit men. And all that love (”You’re a good boy, yes you are!”) and aggravation (”Bad dog! No eat Daddy’s crab dip!”) makes your heart more adaptable and better able to deal with the stress that can lead to heart disease.
121. Tune out stress. Blood pressure surges in the morning. But listening to music instead of Howard Stern can help control it, reducing your chances of a morning coronary.
122. Give your eyes a rest. Most jobs in today’s society require the use of a computer. If you sit in front of a computer all day or work any job or hobby that requires your eyes to work hard, be sure to take breaks throughout your day. For soothing relief, you can use eye drops, close your eyes for a few minutes to allow them to rest, and look away to something other than what you are working on.
123. Throw out the scales. If you have bathroom scales, you should either get rid of them or put them away for a while. Weight does not accurately reflect the level of your fitness. If you should be measuring anything, it should be body fat, not the weight.
124. Finish your degree. California researchers found that women with 4-year or advanced degrees have a lower risk of heart disease than those who are less educated. The benefit comes from moving up the earnings ladder.
125. Make friends at work. Researchers at St. Johns University studied 70 New York City traffic cops and found that men with the most work friends also had the lowest heart rates and healthiest blood-pressure levels, even during times of stress.
126. Aspirin versus Ibuprofen. Both of these products can help in certain situations. For example, aspirin is an analgesic, used for pain while ibuprofen is both an analgesic and anti-inflammatory. Therefore, the next time you have to deal with sore muscles after a good workout, remember that you can get some needed relief from these over the counter remedies.
127. Some like it hot. Hot, spicy foods that contain curry, chilies, or other hot peppers such as cayenne, help to trigger endorphins. These hormones are what make people feel good and well balanced. In fact, endorphins are like a natural morphine that helps ease pain and provide a sense of well being. The next time you are feeling a little down or have some minor pain, try eating something spicy.
128. Move to the sticks. Or sleep with earplugs. German researchers found that people who endured nighttime sound levels that averaged higher than 55 decibels – about the volume of a washing machine or a coffee percolator – were twice as likely to be treated for high blood pressure as those who slept with sound levels under 50 decibels.
129. Get pricked. Acupuncture appears to trigger the endorphins that help the heart relax and fight off stress, researchers say.
130. Fragrance and aging. If you want to do everything you can to age gracefully, you should avoid anything that has the perfumes or lotions of coconut oil and orange. The reason is that these fragrances contain a substance called psoralen, which is known to speed up the aging process.
131. Buy a punching bag. A Harvard study found that men who express their anger have half the risk of heart disease compared with men who internalize it.
132. Make time for intimacy. If you are married, be sure to make time for intimacy in your relationship. Sex is a great stress reducer and keeps a marriage happy. Sex is healthy act that should be enjoyed.
133. Family history. If you are not sure what your family history is in relation to health, now is a good time to find out. This can be especially true if you are adopted or disconnected from immediately family members. There might be certain types of cancer, diabetes, asthma, or other illnesses that you could get a jump on if you knew they were prevalent in your family. Once you discover any risks, talk with your physician for recommendations.
134. Cheaters never prosper. Casual extramarital sex increases your risk of a fatal heart attack. Doctors at London’s St. Thomas’s Hospital found that 75 percent of cases of sudden death during sex involved a two-timing spouse – and the death risk was greatest in men who took up with much younger women. The docs found hardly any risk of heart attack in long-term relationships.
135. Pee in the bushes. After studying 40 people with heart disease, researchers at Taiwan University in China found that the stress of having a full bladder increases heart rate by an average of 9 beats per minute and constricts the flow of blood by 19 percent. Either could be enough to trigger a heart attack, says study author Tsai Chang-Her, M.D.
136. Puffy eyes. If you battle with puffy eyes or dark circles that make you look worn out, do not feel alone. This is actually a very common complaint that can be treated easily. By using a mixture of Vitamin C ester and alpha-lipoic acid eye therapy, you will find that this antibiotic helps reduce this puffiness.
137. Join a group. Any group. According to research from the University of Chicago, lonely people have a harder time dealing with stress and are at greater risk of heart disease than people with a wide circle of friends.
138. Stop at 2 cups. Dutch researchers found that people who drank roughly 4 cups of coffee a day had 11 percent higher levels of heart-damaging homocysteine in their blood than non-coffee drinkers.
139. Drink more tea. An American Heart Association study found that men who drank 2 cups of tea a day were 25 percent less likely to die of heart disease than guys who rarely touched the stuff. The reason: flavonoids in the tea, which not only improve blood vessels’ ability to relax, but also thin the blood, reducing clotting.
140. Read a good book. Swiss researchers found that men who recited poetry for half an hour a day lowered their heart rates significantly, reducing their stress levels and possibly their heart-disease risk. You don’t need to go all Emily Dickinson; just try reading aloud to your wife or kids instead. Or to yourself. (But not on the subway.)
141. Get mouthy. Press your tongue against your mouth while you do crunches. They’ll prevent you from using your neck muscles to jerk yourself up.
142. Stitched up. Next time you’re struck down with a stitch, stop and bend forward at the waist, tighten your abs and take slow, deep breaths.
143. Zone out. There’s a reason why people exercise to their favorite music – listening to external stimulus takes your mind off of the physical activity. That’s the secret to making “exercise time” fly. If you’re concentrating on what your body is doing, the session is going to drag on for what will seem like days. Buy a portable music player, or situate yourself in front of a television.
144. Stay hydrated at the gym. Your gym may have drinking fountains but they won’t help you keep an eye on how much you drink. Make sure you take a large bottle with you to the gym and keep it to hand whenever you are in class or on a machine.
145. Tennis anyone. Tennis is not only a fun sport, but also a great way to exercise. You do not have to be a Venice Williams to play; in fact, you do not even have to be good. Just running after the ball alone will help get you into shape. This is a great way to strengthen your cardiovascular system and lose weight. You can find tennis courts in just about every city and if you would like to play but have no idea how, lessons are reasonable.
146. Run indoors on hazy days. Researchers in Finland found that exercising outside on hot, hazy days when air pollution is at its worst can cut the supply of oxygen in the blood, making it more likely to clot.
147. Sleep more. I have mentioned this quite a few times so I hope everyone has taken notice. Getting more sleep in your life will mean faster muscle recovery and therefore better muscle gain progress. It will also have excellent effects on your health and on your well being in general.
148. Shake things up. Though there’s not much scientific proof that it works, some dieters find that changing some of their meal plan selections from week to week seems to help them break through a plateau. Simple changes like switching some of those chicken portions for fish or having a chicken salad instead of an egg salad at lunch could make a difference for you. Not to mention ensuring your taste buds stay interested.
149. Build an iron heart. Harvard researchers found that lifting weights 30 minutes a week is enough to reduce your risk of heart disease by 23 percent.
150. Network at the gym. Getting to the gym is a great way to get fit. However, there are other benefits to going to the gym. You will have the opportunity to expand your social ring by making new friends, all working to get fit just like you. This will provide needed encouragement, which in turn helps you to stay motivated.
151. Work your stretch. Some stretches may feel uncomfortable initially but try to stay in them, even if only for a short while. As long as you feel no pain, you should not be in danger of injuring yourself. Don’t bounce your stretch. Breathe calmly and regularly through your nose.
152. Dive in the pool. U.K. researchers found that men who burn just 50 calories a day in strenuous activities like swimming and hiking are 62 percent less likely to die of heart disease than men who burn nearly seven times as many calories – 340 per day – during less active pursuits like walking and golfing.
153. Heat therapy. Using heat therapy is a great way to reduce long-term effects or injury for overworked muscles. If you have sore muscles and joints, use heat to help increase blood flow, relieve muscle spasms, and increase joint mobility.
154. Reward yourself with a massage. Cool-downs are your first line of defense against lactic acid build up and muscle soreness, but you don’t have to fight the fight on your own. Massage is a great way of helping your metabolism recover from the effort and trauma of your gym sessions. A good massage also helps reinforce the sense of reward.
155. Take up rowing. A study in the European Journal of Applied Physiology found that, compared with running, rowing uses more muscle and causes your heart to pump more blood through the body, resulting in greater overall gains in cardiovascular fitness.
156. Before it’s a problem. Instead of taking an injury through rehabilitation after it is an injury, why not rehab before. You can actually take preventative measures before you indulge in a sport or activity by ensuring you stretch properly. This will help strengthen as well as stretch muscles, which in turn, helps reduce unnecessary injuries.
157. Stay off the scales. Don’t assume that the scale is always a true measure of what is going on with the body. If exercise levels are adequate (5-7 days a week), you may be putting on muscle but losing fat, thus losing inches even if you are not losing pounds. It’s always a good idea to do several body measurements to have a second objective way to monitor progress.
158. Climb. Yale researchers found that men with insulin resistance – a risk factor for diabetes and heart disease – who exercised on a stairclimber for 45 minutes 4 days a week improved their sensitivity to insulin by 43 percent in 6 weeks.
159. Running in the Sand. If you live in a geographical area, where you have the luxury of sandy beaches, and if you are in the process of rehabilitating your knees, ankles, and even some injuries to the back, you should avoid running in the sand during this time. The reason is that running on sand actually produces greater force on the joints.
160. Put your best foot forward. When looking for a parking bay, try to find one further away from your destination and walk briskly. Walk when talking on your mobile phone. If you need to get a message or documents to a colleague at work, get up and do it yourself rather than sending an SMS, email or messenger.
161. Trim your BMI. Even if you work out and are reasonably fit, researchers at Boston University found that having a body-mass index over 25 can increase your risk of heart disease by as much as 26 percent.
162. Quick Energy. Listen to your body. If you find that you are dragging, eat the right foods that will give your body the energy needed and are healthy. Examples of these foods include carrots, rice cakes, breakfast cereals, bananas, and potatoes.
163. Play with your pinkies. Try playing imaginary piano scales with your toes. Joseph Pilates was a great believer in body control and this is a great exercise for trying to re-establish the links between brain and body. It’s not as easy as you might think.
164. Bike away the blues. Men who are suffering from depression are more than twice as likely to develop heart disease as guys who aren’t depressed. So c’mon, get happy. In a trial of 150 men and women, Duke researchers found that after just 3 months of treatment, antidepressants and exercise were equally effective at relieving almost all symptoms of depression.
165. Quality matters. While finding that great bargain on poorly made running or training shoes may be tempting, it would be far better to put your workout on hold for a couple of weeks while you save the money needed to purchase a good pair. That does not mean you have to pay a fortune, but always ensure you are working out with the proper shoes. Wearing shoes that have a poor design or poor durability can actually cause injury.
166. Less is more. Frequency is almost always more beneficial than duration when working out. For example, although theoretically you are burning the same amount of calories, five 30-minute workouts are going to be more beneficial to your health than two 75-minute sessions.
167. Take the stairs. People who walked an extra 4,000 to 5,000 steps each day lowered their blood pressure by an average of 11 points, according to a small study at the University of Tennessee.
168. Some resistance. The next time you work out try adding some resistance to your routine. You can use special rubber bands or other devices designed specifically as a way to help you with isometrics, thus get better results.
169. Take the half hour challenge. Exercise burns calories. A daily 30-minute brisk walk will burn around 1,500 calories every week. Over six months this totals a staggering 39,000 calories – the equivalent to over 11lb of fat.
170. Do more crunches. A study of 8,000 Canadians found that individuals who could do the most sit-ups in 1 minute were also the least likely to die over a period of 13 years. The reason? Strong abs equal more muscle and less belly fat, and the less abdominal fat you have, the lower your risk of heart disease becomes.
171. Taking a break. If you are actively involved in a workout regimen but you are getting ready to go on vacation for two weeks or have an extra heavy workload for your job over the next couple of weeks, instead of just stopping your routine completely during that time, just cut back. Even reducing your workout by 50% will give you the break you need but also make it much easier to get back to full speed than if you just stopped altogether.
172. Don’t go exercise crazy. Being a fitness junkie is probably more dangerous than not doing anything at all and even I don’t exercise every day. But I am good more often than not. It’s the 80/20 thing – if you’re good for 80 per cent of the time, you can be bad for the other 20 per cent.
173. Push yourself. Harvard researchers found that men who perceived themselves to be working out vigorously were 28 percent less likely to develop heart disease than guys who felt they were slacking. An intense run should be at 75 to 85 percent of your maximum heart rate. (Calculate your MHR by subtracting your age from 220.)
174. Be realistic. It would be great to be able to jump right into a hard workout, feel great, and see instant results. However, it is important to be realistic about several things. First, you need to understand that you more than likely will not (or should not) start out with a hard workout if you have not been in a regular exercise routine. Start out slow and do not set yourself up for failure by expecting miracles overnight. Getting fit takes time and with commitment, you will reach your goals.
175. The two-day rule. If you’re trying to lose weight, don’t let more than 48 hours go by without doing some form of exercise as it’s important to keep your metabolic rate raised if you want to burn fat. Post exercise, your body burns calories at an elevated rate for at least four to five hours.
176. Your woman with another man. Watch your girlfriend flex her sexiness muscles with male colleagues when you join them for a drink after work. The fact that other people find her sexy is arousing. And there’s nothing wrong with her flirting – just so long as she’s doing it in a positive way and not to create jealousy.
177. More sex, boost health! Regular sex enhances immune function. Translation: no more colds!
178. A lighter touch. Hold your fingertips just above her skin, moving your hands over her body, only occasionally brushing her skin. By levitating your fingers so they brush those fine hairs, you’re creating a delightful tingle up her spine.
179. Vary the pace. If you usually enjoy it soft, go for a bit of rough. If leisurely foreplay is generally your thing, indulge in a frantic quickie. Are soft moans your usual expression of pleasure? Try talking dirty for a change. You’ll be stunned at the excitement this will generate – almost as exhilarating as taking a new lover!
180. Stay silent all through the action and just listen to your breathing. Just try it.
181. Try standing-up-against-a-balcony sex. There’s a reason this booty style is a staple of every porno flick and X-rated photo spread.
182. Turn on a fan while rubbing him down with ice cubes. The fan makes the ice feel extracold against his skin, and when you put your mouth on his body, he’ll get goose bumps from the sudden shivery sensation.
183. Take charge! If you tend to take a passive role during sex, break the habit of a lifetime by being the one to pin him to the bed for a change.
184. Keep the flame alive. If you’re caught in a pattern where you never – or rarely – have sex with your partner (easily done when you have kids or crazy work schedules), don’t give up on your relationship or assume the love has gone – you’ve probably simply lost the habit of being physical together. Break that habit today! Stop waiting for your lover to proposition you or for the tiredness to abate – come on to him tonight, no matter how you’re feeling.
185. Let her win. Allowing women to beat you at simple games reaps bedroom benefits, say researchers at the University of Plymouth. When female subjects beat a one-armed bandit (that’s a slot machine), their heart rates increased an average of 10 beats a minute and they reported increased arousal. Hand her the joystick.
186. Reserve a room in a hotel – and book by the hour. Why should lunchtime quickies be the preserve of married businessmen having affairs with their secretaries? Orchestrate your hotel tryst with your usual lover – it’s a superb arrangement for injecting urgency and passion into an established relationship.
187. Don’t wine and dine. A romantic meal could lead to a weak erection. When you eat a big meal or drink alcohol, your body needs extra blood to digest the food or flush out the alcohol. Invite her over for desert – using your body as the plate.
188. Catch an early riser. Men tend to produce their best, hardest erections first thing in the morning, so take advantage when he’s just woken up. But keep your love-making brief (put a time limit on it). Make sure the session ends before he climaxes, then proceed with your normal morning routine and leave for work. This unfinished business will be on his mind for the rest of the day, so prepare yourself for some bed-breaking sex that night
189. Invent new ways of being romantic and expressing your love. This applies to inside and outside the bedroom. Be open to trying new and different things. Creativity, resourcefulness, responsiveness and an open mind go a long way to realizing great sex.
190. Kiss more – it’s good for body and soul. Dentists tell us that kissing is good for the teeth – it produces saliva and reduces the build-up of natural acids in the mouth. The Marriage Guidance Council has found that an absence of kissing is the first sign of a relationship growing apart. What’s more, we burn three calories each time we kiss. Okay so you’d need to share over 1,000 snogs to lose half a kilo, but it’s a start.
191. Return to sex school. Most adults assume they’re fully qualified, but have you ever stopped to ask your lover if you’re fondling him right? Perhaps he’d tell you that you pump him like a jackhammer – and no, that’s not a compliment!
192. Take time to lay with your bodies together. “Spooning” is a slang term for this way of lying together with one person’s back to the others belly, in contact with the full length of your body. Just lay together comfortably for as long as you like. Do this often, with or without your clothes on.
193. Make sweet-scented waves. Share a bath infused with essential oils known for their aphrodisiac qualities. Drop in three drops of ylang ylang, three of jasmine, one of juniper, three of rose and eight of sandalwood. Then make some waves.
194. Don’t expect an orgasm to satisfy your desire. Desire and attraction are awesome feelings and have many ways of expressing and affecting us. Orgasm is a type of bodily reaction to certain stimulus. The big “O” gets way too much importance. Sure, an orgasm can feel good. But look beyond orgasm for some even better, stronger feelings.
195. Expect to spend time training a new partner. Teach your lover what you like. And of course listen and learn what they like. Occasionally the first time is great, but often it is not. So what, keep practicing.
196. Learn the secrets of come-hither body language. Mirror his movements, hold his gaze, leave your arms unfolded, laugh even when his jokes are rotten, and never yawn. It’ll make him feel like the only man in the room, while also telling him that you’re willing and receptive. All this without a single word being exchanged on the subject of sex.
197. Love your body as it is. So many people, male and female, think their body should be different. Forget about it. If you need to work on something, work on the inner stuff. When you look at others, see the inner stuff first.
198. Be bad. If sex has started feeling a little safe, surprise your lover one day by telling him you’ve been a bad girl and deserve a good spanking – a little fantasy role-playing is just the ticket to bring the shine back to a lackluster sex life.
199. Hold hands before having sex. No, not because Grandma carped on about taking it slowly, but because innocent romantic gestures are the best way to get a beau to commit after having sex. It all boils down to oxytocin, a hormone that surges when a woman climaxes (it triggers the shudders during orgasm) and again when she has a baby (it’s largely responsible for mother-child bonding). Researchers from the University of North Carolina have now found that men, too, are bathed in oxytocin when they become parents, and it might strike again during orgasm.
200. Shower him with attention. Show him that you adore him even when he’s getting on your nerves. Okay, so you’ll be faking it to start off with, but if your lover is made to feel like the hottest piece of totty in town, he’ll soon start lavishing attention on you, too, and those genuine warm feelings will come flooding back.
201. Share a bottle. White wine is generally considered a more potent aphrodisiac than red but, as a rule, the better the quality of the wine, the more lasting its effects.
202. Act out of character. If you usually greet each other with a peck on the lips, slip your tongue into his mouth for a change. And if you habitually hold hands during an evening, wriggle your fingers down the front pocket of his jeans the next time you’re out. These small gestures have the power to change the entire tone of the night ahead.
203. Use sex-specific lighting. Keep two lamps on your bedside table, one for normal use and one for those loving moments. Screw a dim bulb into the ‘sexy lamp’ and only switch it on when you’re feeling in the mood. Don’t elaborate to your lover – the simple act of turning on the light is the only signal he’ll need.
204. Prevent unwanted intrusions. Put a lock on the inside of your bedroom door and don’t hesitate to use it if there’s the smallest chance of interruption
205. Morning glory. Want to be a dad? Try sex at sunrise. Men are most potent in the morning.
206. Believe you are a Great Lover. Fill your life with Great Love. Discard ways of thinking and acting that do not contribute to Great Love.
207. Learn many ways to please your partner. Collect a large “sexual repertoire.” Use your vast array of tips, techniques and styles in a variety of ways. Variation comes from the timing as well as what you do.
Take action. Don’t procrastinate. Achieving greatness and a higher level of success is not that difficult. However, it does require discipline, focus and a clear idea of what you want to accomplish. Start using these great tips and have your best year ever!
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