Family Health Healthy Living

6 health tricks you need to know – right now

Want to lose weight, get smarter, be more attractive and get the sympathy you deserve?

Then what are you waiting for? Getting healthy just got real. Read on:

  1. Lose weight fast – with one simple dance move.

In 2012, a little YouTube video titled “Prancercise: A Fitness Workout” went viral, garnering 10 million views and both national and international attention for its founder, Joanna Rohrback. That – and some derision – from a public who couldn’t believe Rohrback’s flowing dance moves, modeled after the strength and beauty of a horse, could do anything but get a laugh.

Well, laugh on, doubters. Prancercising for just 15 minutes a day has been found to tone and tighten the muscles in your thighs and calves, tone the upper arm area and improve cardiovascular strength – equal to a brisk 60-minute walk. Doing the move in a public venue seems to be the key.

  1. Boost brain power by seeing the world in another way.

Good blood flow helps heal injury and build strength throughout your body. So it makes sense that it would do the same thing for your brain.

Australian researchers have found that standing on your head for just a minute a day improves blood flow by 50 percent, bringing vital nutrients to your brain and helping neurons fire.

Study participants who read a book while standing on their heads had near-perfect recall of facts, compared to those who read a book while sitting or standing in a typical fashion. Results were equal among genders, although families with children also reported higher happiness levels.

“Our kids really got a kick out of us standing on our heads every day,” commented one father.

  1. Eat this to get a brighter smile.

Teeth whiteners can lead to tooth sensitivity, and laser treatments can be expensive. But the American Association of Cosmetic Dentists has found a simpler – and more delicious – solution. Eating a daily serving of white food over the course of a year has been found to whiten your teeth by a whopping 20 percent.

The researchers looked at foods such as white bread, white potatoes, white cheese and white marshmallows.

“We are still investigating the correlation between whiter teeth and these white foods,” said AACD president Dr. Ima B. Lyon. “The one common factor thus far appears to be their color and the fact that these foods are often considered ‘bad’ for many diets.”

As an interesting corollary, researchers also found that overdoing these foods (three or more servings a day) led to teeth that became discolored and cavity-prone more quickly.

  1. Dole out the sympathy – and chicken soup – because man flu? It’s a fact.

Women everywhere have scoffed at their husbands and significant others who lolled, groaning dramatically, on couches and in beds when “all they had was just a little cold.” But a scientific review for “man flu” has found that men really do suffer much more when they have the cold or flu virus than women.

Researchers at Harvard University’s College of Alternative Medicine have located a little-known gene in men that becomes activated with these viruses. The gene causes a drop in dopamine levels, causing men to experience greater sensitivity to aches and pains, headaches and stomachaches. The same gene also leads some men to “cry like a baby” when getting shots or to faint while women are undergoing childbirth.

  1. But guess what? Women’s intuition is also real.

Men, it’s your turn – you have to give props to the ladies: All those times we “knew something was wrong”? Turns out we are (nearly) always right.

Psychologists from the Universite Internationale Intelligencia recently published a scientific review examining women’s intuition and national and personal disasters. It found that in most cases, when asked, women accurately predicted everything from global warming to the 2014 ice storm – and that time you should have bought vacation insurance.

  1. Finally – and this is a bit of a no-brainer – work less for less stress.

An international study has confirmed what we’ve all felt: Here in the United States, we deal with much higher levels of stress, because all of us are working way too hard.

The study examined the phenomenon of the “phantom smartphone.” It found that in this country, nearly 95 percent of working adults admitted feeling their smartphone vibrate or thinking they heard an alert at least once a day in the past 30 days.

“I find myself constantly reaching for a call or email that’s not there,” admitted one participant.

Study authors correlated this finding with taking fewer vacations, working through lunch and late evening hours and even on weekends – causing many to lose the opportunity to read blogs just like this one.

Because while none of the health tips listed above is actually true (except maybe for women’s intuition), it’s a fact: We could all use a little more daily fun.

April Fools!

About the author

Augusta University Health

Augusta University Health

Based in Augusta, Georgia, Augusta University Health is a world-class health care network, offering the most comprehensive primary, specialty and subspecialty care in the region. Augusta University Health provides skilled, compassionate care to its patients, conducts leading-edge clinical research and fosters the medical education and training of tomorrow’s health care practitioners. Augusta University Health is a not-for-profit corporation that manages the clinical operations associated with Augusta University.

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