Alert
Close

Last Chance: Top the Treasure Hunt leaderboard by 5 p.m. today to win a $100 gift card! Learn more

AARP The Magazine

Feel Great Fast

Small Changes, Big Health Payoffs

Ease back pain, lower your blood pressure, alleviate allergies — in mere minutes

Improve your health

En español l Sometimes all it takes to improve your health are a few easy changes. These 7 tips take just a few minutes, but the payoff will be long-lasting.  

João Fazenda

Tilt up your rearview mirror

This tiny adjustment forces you to sit up straighter to see clearly behind you, which improves posture and can help reduce back and neck pain, says Karen Jacobs, Ed.D., of the Department of Occupational Therapy at Boston University. She also recommends standing and stretching occasionally if you're going to be driving for hours.

João Fazenda

Uncross your legs

Crossed legs, especially at the knees, are bad for your blood pressure. A 2007 Dutch study showed that it upped blood pressure readings and was markedly bad for diabetics. On the good side, crossing your legs at the ankles has no effect on blood pressure.

João Fazenda

High-five your computer screen

To avoid eyestrain, neck and shoulder pain, dry eyes and blurred vision, sit far enough away from your computer screen to be able to give it a high five with your arm fully extended, the Vision Council says. Also, staring at your laptop for just two hours can increase eyestrain, so take short breaks every few hours. And don't forget to blink!

João Fazenda

Pitch your pillow every 18 months

Pillows older than that contain fungi, dead skin and dust mites, all of which can aggravate allergies, asthma and sinusitis. Can't remember how old your pillow is? Fold it in half and squeeze out the air. If it doesn't spring back, it's time for a new one.

João Fazenda

Rent a funny movie

A good belly laugh is good for your heart. Blood vessels dilate when we laugh, researchers say, increasing blood flow and improving cardiovascular health. University of Maryland researchers showed subjects excerpts of two movies and found that blood flow increased 22 percent during the funny one.

João Fazenda

Use the first bathroom stall

Most people seek privacy by using faraway stalls, so the first stall is used least and has the least bacteria, reducing your risk of getting sick, says Allison Janse, author of The Germ Freak's Guide to Outwitting Colds and Flu. Her other tips: Keep your bags off the germy floor and don't forget to wash your hands.

João Fazenda

Downsize your dishes

Fooling your eye can fool your stomach and help you lose weight. Cornell University's Food and Brand Lab found that people ate 22 percent less if they put their food on a 10-inch plate instead of a 12-inch one. If a typical dinner is 800 calories, switching to a smaller plate could mean a weight loss of about 18 pounds in a year for an average adult.

João Fazenda

  • Pinterest
  • Google+
AARP helps turn your goals and dreams into real possibilities

You May Also Like

Visit the AARP home page every day for great deals and for tips on keeping healthy and sharp

Topic Alerts

You can get weekly email alerts on the topics below. Just click “Follow.”

Manage Alerts

Processing

Please wait...

progress bar, please wait

VIDEO EXTRA

LOSE WEIGHT: AARP New American Diet offers science-based advice, tips and tricks to lose weight, prevent disease and live longer.

Tell Us WhatYou Think

Please leave your comment below.

your
Health

Discounts & Benefits

From companies that meet the high standards of service and quality set by AARP.

Woman trying on glasses in optometrists shop

Members save up to 60% on eye exams and 30% on glasses at JCPenney Optical.

Prescription medication spilling out of bottle

Members get a free Rx card from AARP® Prescription Discounts provided by Catamaran.

AngiesList

Members can save 25% to 45% on their Angie's List membership.

Caregiving walking

Caregiving can be a lonely journey, but AARP offers resources that can help.

Most Popular
Articles

Viewed

Featured
Groups

Social Security

How to strengthen Social Security for future generations. Discuss

Medicare & Insurance

Share health coverage information and experiences common to being age 50+. Join

Health Nuts

Share heart-smart recipes, fitness tips and stress relievers. Join