RODALE NEWS, EMMAUS, PA—Most people don’t get serious about health until their doctor hands them a script for blood work instead of the lollipop. Then it’s “uh-oh time” and they try to become Dean Ornish overnight.
It’s so much easier to prevent trouble than it is to fix it, especially when you have time on your side and can take baby steps toward living a little more healthfully every day. Agree? Then, let’s start, shall we? Here are 60-plus easy health tips that take 60 seconds or less. Pick one to master every few days and live happier and healthier for just about forever.
Give Achy Knees a Bath
If you sit around in office chairs all day, your knee joints aren’t being lubricated. That can lead to knee pain. Try the quad pump, a 10-second exercise that causes your cartilage to secrete fluid, bathing the knee joint in nutrients to keep it healthy. Sit in a chair and extend your legs straight out so that your heels rest on the floor. Now tighten your quadriceps, the thigh muscles above your knees. Hold the contraction for 2 seconds then release. Repeat five times to squeeze lubrication into your knee joint. Feel better?
The 3-Ounce HDL Booster
Instead of chips with your sandwich, switch to unsalted pistachios. In research at the Inova Fairfax Hospital in Falls Church, VA, people who ate two to three ounces of unsalted pistachios a day for four weeks raised their HDL cholesterol (the good kind) by 6 percent.
Say Hello, Then Start Complaining
A doctor graces his patient with his presence for just three minutes on average during the typical office visit. Get the most out of your brief encounter by sharing your most urgent concern within the first minute, just after you say hello. Research shows that patients who bring up difficult issues at the start of an appointment are more likely to be satisfied with the visit and to adhere to their MD's recommendations.
Pick a Cleaner Cleaner
Most dry cleaners use a solvent called perchloroethylene, a known carcinogen in animals. You wouldn’t want it next to your skin, and when the chemical isn’t disposed of properly, it can seep into water supplies. But there’s hope for that wine-stained shirt. Some cleaners are switching to a harmless silicone solvent that biodegrades. Visit greenearthcleaning.com to find your nearest nontoxic cleaner.