17 Shortcuts To Perfect Health


7 Instant Health Checks to Save Your Life

Avoid an Annual Flu Shot?

Protect yourself the old-fashioned way: Become a compulsive hand-washer. A recent Naval Health Research Center study found that when recruits washed their hands at least five times a day, they had 45 percent fewer respiratory illnesses, such as infection by the flu virus.

"Vaccination is the best preventive measure, but hand washing is a good alternative," says Dr. Carolyn Bridges, a medical epidemiologist with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. And yes, regular soap will do the job; antibacterial cleansers aren't any more effective against viruses.

Want to Skip Foreplay?

Try sweeping your honey off her feet with a quickie. Lead her into the bedroom 15 minutes before you both have to head out to work. Or drop by the bathroom just before she steps into the shower, lay a towel down on the floor, and get dirty.

"The spontaneity is a definite turn-on. It's nice to think someone wants you so badly that they can't wait one more minute," says Tara Roth Madden, author of Romance on the Run: 5 Minutes of Quality Sex for Busy Couples.

Just be careful not to pull the ravish-the-maiden bit too often, or she'll think (rightly) that you're an unromantic bum who just wants to get off.

Didn't Get 9 Hours of Sleep?

Skip the black-five-sugars coffee and pop some NADH, a coenzyme that may increase mental alertness and concentration. In one New York-Presbyterian Hospital study, researchers tested 25 sleep-deprived people after the group had taken 20 milligrams of NADH and then again after they'd taken a placebo.

"When the people took NADH, they performed significantly better overall on a set of mental tests using a measure of speed and accuracy," says Margaret Moline, Ph.D., one of the study researchers.

Look for supplements that say "ENADA" on the label; they contain the same NADH formulation used in studies.


More from Men's Health:

20 Little Changes For A Healthier Life

8 Ways to Stay Healthy Without Spending Money

6 Uncommon Cures For Everyday Ailments

7 Instant Health Checks to Save Your Life

Don't Clean the Fridge Regularly?

Hit the hardware store and pick up a refrigerator thermometer (about $10). Here's the logic: A crumb here or a drip there (okay, numerous crumbs and drips) won't hurt you as long as the temp is low enough to prevent bacteria and mold from turning your fridge into a greenhouse. "If you do nothing else, make sure the temperature always stays below 40 degrees," says Don Schaffner, Ph.D., a food-safety expert at Rutgers University.

But why the retrofit? Because many refrigerators don't come with their own thermometers, and even with those that do, there's a good chance they're off by a few critical degrees. Note: You can stick your thermometer anywhere but on the inside of the fridge door; odds are this spot is a few degrees warmer than the rest of your icebox.

Don't Separate Whites and Colors?

Toss everything in the washer, dump in some detergent, choose "Permanent Press" and "Warm," then walk away with a clear conscience. According to Brett Oleson, a senior consumer scientist at Maytag Appliances, your whites will come out clean, and your colors won't fade.

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