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Instant ways to get healthier and stress less

Friday, March 26, 2010

Time poor? Here are six quick and easy no-brainer tips to a healthier you.

1. Sleep in every now and then
Lack of sleep really is bad for you. Sleep deprivation has been linked to weight gain (because it affects our levels of the hormone ghrelin, which controls hunger), depression, memory loss and diabetes. So hit the sack early and get a healthy eight hours of sleep to help fight fat and beat stress.

2. Have more sex
Those feel-good hormones that are released when making love are proven to be one of the best stress and depression relievers. Plus, the hormones have even been known to lower people's blood pressure in desperate times. It's time to ruffle the sheets at least twice a week.

VIEW GALLERY: Boost your incidental exercise without noticing!

3. Take the stairs at work
Not only is it a good kilojoule burner for those who sit all day, breaking up your work day with a little exercise will boost your concentration levels and lead to a much more productive day. And in return your stress levels will decrease.

4. Enjoy a drink with dinner
Increasing evidence shows that people who drink a glass of wine daily have lower body mass than those who indulge occasionally. Studies also show that a glass of red wine every night may help you live longer due to its antioxidants. But remember, moderation is key. Drinking no more than two standard drinks on any day reduces your risk of alcohol-related disease. Try and squeeze in a couple of booze-free nights as well.

5. Phone a friend
Life's stresses need not be bottled up. Friends are on speed dial for a reason and are always there to hear you out and lend good advice. So de-stress and phone a friend — after all, that's what friends are for, right?

6. Breathe deeply
Ever catch yourself holding your breath? Learning to breathe evenly and deeply, allowing the chest to expand fully, is a great stress-beater. It can also help you deal with stressful situations better.


Image: Getty ImagesEmail stress could damage our hearts Image: Getty ImagesHow trying to be happy could make you lonely Image: Getty Images'Nightcap' destroys sleep quality: study The unpleasant explanation for bags under our eyes
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