The other day, I walked down the hall and asked my colleagues to name their favorite Men's Health tips of all time. Their responses all had one thing in common: The advice was simple and memorable, such as . . .
Likewise, you don't have to make big changes in your life to make a big improvements in your health. Here are 15 tips that will make you healthier, slimmer, stronger, and happier—today!
1. Eat Bacon and Eggs for Breakfast
Regularly skipping breakfast increases your risk of obesity by 450 percent. Moreover, researchers at Virginia Commonwealth University found that people who regularly ate a protein-rich, 600-calorie breakfast lost significantly more weight in 8 months than those who consumed only 300 calories and a quarter of the protein.
And no, eggs and bacon aren't unhealthy. (Overeating eggs and bacon—or anything else—is what's unhealthy.) In fact, whole eggs contain more essential vitamins and minerals per calorie than any other food. They're also one of the best sources of choline, a substance your body requires to break down fat for energy. What's more, in a recent review of dozens of scientific studies, Wake Forest University researchers found no connection between egg consumption and heart disease. As for bacon, once it's been cooked it contains just 1 gram of saturated fat per slice—and one-third of that is the kind that has no effect on cholesterol levels.
Bonus Tip: The right breakfast will also make you more productive at the office, so avoid these at all costs: The 20 Worst Breakfasts in America.
2. Tilt Up Your Rearview Mirror
Just far enough to force yourself into an upright sitting position to see behind you. You’ll improve your posture, and soothe your aching back.
3. Lean Back in Your Office Chair
Parking your torso at a 90-degree angle strains your spine, say Scottish and Canadian researchers. Instead, give your chair the La-Z-Boy treatment and recline the seat back slightly. The ideal angle is 45 degrees off vertical.
4. Use the Bathroom Stall Nearest to the Door
It has the fewest germs and the most toilet paper, because everyone walks past it.
5. Don't Blow Your Nose When You Have a Cold
It can force mucus and germs back into nasal passages and prolong the cold. Use antihistamines. And please—wipe.
6. Stand Up and Stretch Out
Genes in your body linked to heart disease, diabetes, and obesity can be "turned on" if you sit for hours on end, reports a study in Diabetes. Hit the "off" button by taking hourly laps during TV, book, and Web sessions.
7. Take a Vitamin D Supplement
An Archives of Internal Medicine review reports that 400 IU of vitamin D a day reduces your risk of an early death by 7 percent. Most multivitamins deliver 400 IU of D, but check the label.
8. Pet Your Dog Often
Spending time with a pet is more effective at reducing stress than spending time with friends, girlfriends, or bartenders. Especially bartenders.
9. Steam Your Broccoli
Italian researchers recently discovered that steaming broccoli increases its concentration of glucosinolates (compounds found to fight cancer) by 30 percent. Boiling actually lowers the levels.
10. Lose the Dryer Lint
Taking 10 seconds to empty the lint trap in your clothes dryer can prevent you from being one of the 315 dryer-fire victims each year in the United States.
11. Skip Spray Cleaners
Using household spray cleaners just once a week increases your risk of an asthma attack by 76 percent, say Spanish researchers. Use wipes instead.
12. Never Eat Out of the Original Container
How many times have you dipped into a pint of ice cream only to find yourself staring at the bottom of the container 15 minutes later? And stop using oversize plates, bowls, and cups. Research shows you’ll put more food on them, but won’t be any more satisfied (just fatter).
13. Rent The Hangover 2
Laughing at a funny movie causes blood vessels to dilate by 22 percent, according to a University of Maryland study. This, in turn, reduces your blood pressure.
14. Tape a Golf Ball to the Back of Your Pajamas
It'll force you to sleep on your side or front. Back sleepers often have blocked airways, and that leads to a host of troubles, including snoring and apnea.
15. Sleep 7 to 8 Hours a Night
Too much or too little sleep can kill you. A British study found that getting more than 9 hours of sack time a night, or less than 6, doubles your risk of an early death from any cause.
THIS WEEK'S MEN'S HEALTH HIGHLIGHTS!