12 Easy Age Erasers

Look younger now and forever with these simple diet and lifestyle changes.

No matter how comfortable we are with aging, most of us don't want to look too comfortable with it. Regardless of your feelings on aesthetics, you probably wouldn't mind if your heart, brain and waistline stayed in the shape they were in your twenties. These 12 lifestyle changes are quick, easy — and scientifically proven to roll back the years. Read on, and then check out the exclusive report that's changed thousands of lives: 100 Ways to Live to 100!

Sleep off the fat

Man sleeping in bed

The number of hours you sleep each night may affect the inches of your waistline. In a study of 990 adults published in the Archives of Internal Medicine, researchers noted a direct relationship between higher body mass index (BMI) and lesser amounts of sleep reported by the participants. The analysis determined that a 1-hour decrease in sleep was associated with an increase of 3 pounds, or .42 BMI units.

Take a deep breath

Man leaning back in office chair

Research in the journal Thorax (yeah, we read 'em all) shows that chronic hostility can reduce lung function and speed the natural decline in lung power that normally occurs with age. These findings arc from a study of 670 men whose anger levels and lung function were monitored over 8 years. Researchers say anger can alter neuroendocrine processes, which can trigger chronic inflammation and damage the lungs. You'll feel more relaxed — and while you're at it, turbocharge your happiness with these 25 Ways to Be Happier Now!

Swell advice

Pills next to water glass

That daily aspirin you are taking for your heart may also be good for your prostate. A preliminary study of 2,500 men suffering from enlarged prostates, published in the American Journal of Epidemiology, shows that a daily aspirin is associated with a 50% reduction in the size of the prostate and a 35% reduction in urinary problems. Researchers theorize that the drug might work by reducing prostate cell growth or increasing the natural death of these cells, but it is too early to know for sure.

Burn off the T-bone

Couple walking on dirt road

Instead of the garlic mashed potatoes, opt for a side of exercise with your steak. Exercising after consuming a high-fat meal reverses the damage fatty foods cause to the arteries, according to a study in the European Journal of Applied Physiology. After eating a high-fat meal, a healthy person's arteries resemble those of someone with heart disease. However, exercising within 2 hours after a high-fat meal returns the arteries to their normal, healthy state. The researchers say a relaxed 45-minute walk is all you need.To make the most of every day, don't miss this amazing list of the 40 Things You Should Do in Your 40s!

Diet DUI

Closeup of cockail glass

A rum and Coke made with diet cola may raise your blood alcohol level a lot more quickly than the same drink made with regular cola. In an Australian study, eight men were given an alcoholic beverage made with an artificially sweetened mixer one day and one made with a non-diet mixer the next day. Blood alcohol tests taken on both days revealed that the diet drinks caused more alcohol to be absorbed by the bloodstream, resulting in blood alcohol levels of .05, versus .03 for drinks made with nondiet mixers. Scientists believe the difference is due to the lack of sugar, which typically slows the rate at which the body processes the drink and absorbs its alcohol.

The 100-calorie difference

Sliced bread on a plate

A new study demonstrates just how easy it is to become overweight: by consuming a mere 100 extra calories per day, the equivalent of one slice of lightly buttered bread. USDA researchers studying the eating habits of 8,837 adults found that on a typical day, overweight adults ate 100 more calories than their normal-weight counterparts, most of it at dinner. They also consumed more total fat and more saturated fat than their thinner counterparts.That'll give you plenty of time to enjoy these incredible 50 Things to Do Before You Die!

Leave a message after the screech

close up of hands using a phone

A study from the University of Utah shows that hands-free cell phones are just as much of a distraction as regular cell phones. Researchers found that talking on a cell phone, even if it's hands free, is the equivalent of driving while drunk; drivers failed to stop at stop signs and had trouble spotting objects in their way. More than 2,500 deaths are attributed each year to driving while using the phone.

Does sugar cause Alzheimer's?

soda can pouring sugar

Higher than normal blood sugar levels put you at risk not only for diabetes but also for Alzheimer's disease, say Swedish researchers. Type 2 diabetes has already been linked to dementia, but this study found that people with prediabetes (slightly higher than normal blood sugar) had a 70% increased risk of developing Alzheimer's. Scientists now believe that Alzheimer's is a blood sugar disorder of the brain. Exercise and a low-glycemic diet can lower blood sugar levels. And these 13 Tips for a Sharper Brain can help keep your squash in tip-top shape.

Untidy bowl

spray mist from a spray bottle

If you suffer from asthma or other respiratory problems, avoid using air fresheners and deodorizing products. A study in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives found that a chemical compound called 1,4-dichlorobenzene (1,4-DCB), found in air fresheners, toilet bowl cleaners, and other deodorizing products, may be harmful to your lungs. When researchers looked at the relationship between blood levels of 11 common chemicals and lung function in 953 adults, they found that high concentrations of 1,4-DCB were associated with distressed breathing.

Crystal method

Glass of orange juice with an orange slice in front of it

If you're prone to calcium oxalate or uric acid kidney stones, sip a glass of orange juice. When 13 volunteers at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center drank 13 ounces of orange juice, lemonade, or water three times a day with meals, those drinking OJ had increased levels of citrate in their urine; those drinking lemonade or water did not. Studies show that citrate can keep kidney stones at bay by binding to crystals in urine and hindering their growth.

Eat walnuts

Closeup of wallnut

Eating walnuts after a high-fat meal might protect your heart better than olive oil does. Researchers reporting in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology had 24 people dine on salami-and-cheese sandwiches and high-fat yogurt. Half the diners chased the meal with 40 g of walnuts, while the other half sipped 5 teaspoons of olive oil. Ultrasounds conducted immediately afterward revealed that eating walnuts preserves the elasticity of blood vessels after a fat-filled meal better than consuming olive oil does. Researchers say that although both olive oil and walnuts decrease inflammation in the arteries, walnuts work better at keeping arteries flexible, which is important for decreasing your risk of developing hypertension. That's partly why walnuts are one of these 25 Amazing Foods That'll Keep You Young Forever!

Drop some acid

closeup of greens

More evidence that folate, or folic acid, is a powerful weapon for preventing cancer: The vitamin can even heal precancerous lesions, according to a new study in the journal Cancer. When researchers gave 15 mg of folic acid (daily for 6 months) to 43 patients with precancerous throat lesions, 31 of them experienced a 50% or greater reduction in the lesion size. Leafy greens, citrus fruits, breakfast cereals, and breads are rich in folate. Get at least 400 mcg per day. A folic acid supplement is cheap insurance that you'll hit that number daily.

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