We all know how it goes: Ask a busy woman to take on just one more thing and she'll sooner slug you then submit to your suggestions.
We're the same way, which is why we went looking for the simplest and quickest science-backed ways to boost your health. And we set the bar high. We wanted tricks that dramatically improve your health and wellbeing with very little effort on your part—and we found them.
Here, ways to reduce your diabetes risk, calm your rattled nerves, and even help you lose weight—all of which you can do quicker than you can say, "I can't."
Call on Your Inner Child to Calm Nerves
"Feelings of having too much to do and not enough time to do it can exact a toll on health and wellbeing," says Melanie Rudd, PhD candidate at Stanford University's Graduate School of Business. Her solution? Look at something that inspires awe. Her findings, which will appear in the journal Psychological Science, reveal that people who viewed 60-second videos that included awe-inspiring views (astronauts in space, whales breaching and gorgeous waterfalls) felt less time-crunched and less impatient afterward. Why? "Experiencing feelings of awe can alter people's perceptions of time," says Rudd.
It works best if you feel you've encountered something vast—perhaps in number, size, complexity, or scope. Our suggestions? Corny as they are, you can't go wrong with a clip of a flash mob. If that's not your thing, try some videos of birds in migration, your favorite natural setting, or something—anything!—to do with outer space.
Change the Channel to Lose Weight
If you enjoy watching chefs whip up filet mignon with scalloped potatoes in your spare time, you might want to reconsider. Watching cooking shows may take a toll on your waistline, according to a study from the University of Southern California (USC).
"Our study showed that when people saw pictures of highly appetizing foods, the areas of the brain that regulate appetite and cravings lit up. In addition, the participants' hunger ratings also increased," says Dr. Kathleen Page, assistant professor of medicine at the USC Keck School of Medicine's division of endocrinology.
If you're a fan of the Food Network (and who isn't, frankly), Dr. Page recommends not watching on an empty stomach. If you're tempted to nosh, turn off the tube and pick something healthy.
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