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Feel Better in 60 Seconds or Less

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    Low Energy

    En español | Drink a glass of water. Even a slight dip in hydration levels can cause fatigue, according to scientists at the U.S. Army Research Institute of Environmental Medicine. How much fluid do you need? In general, men require around 3 liters (six 16.9-ounce bottles) per day; women, around 2.2 liters (about four bottles).

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    Excess Weight

    Chew on a stick of gum. Folks who chewed sugarless gum throughout the morning consumed 67 fewer calories at lunch and didn’t make up for the deficit during the rest of the day, University of Rhode Island researchers found in one study.

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    Sleep Deprivation

    Banish pets from the bedroom. Dogs and cats might be cuddly, but they don’t usually adhere to human sleep schedules, notes Meir Kryger, M.D., author of Principles and Practice of Sleep Medicine. The solution? Send Fido away at bedtime.

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    Heart Disease

    Pop a probiotic. Patients with congestive heart failure who took a probiotic strengthened their hearts, one study concluded. “We’re not exactly sure why, but it may be that probiotics help to lower inflammation as well as boost weight loss, both of which impact heart health,” explains Steven Masley, M.D., coauthor of the book Smart Fat.

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    AARP Offer: Healthy Living Tips and News

    Sign up for the AARP Health Newsletter to live life to the fullest with tips, tools and news on healthy living.

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    Headaches

    Take magnesium oxide. Migraine sufferers who took magnesium oxide had a 42 percent reduction in migraine attacks over 12 weeks, a German study found. Merle Diamond, M.D., managing director of the Diamond Headache Clinic in Chicago, advises her patients to take 400 milligrams of this supplement with breakfast.

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    Diabetes

    Enjoy a piece of chocolate. A bit of dark chocolate daily may help prevent diabetes, according to a study in the British Journal of Nutrition. Two squares of 60 to 70 percent pure cocoa is the ideal amount to have, says Harvard endocrinologist George King.

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    Depression

    Give or get a hug. It’s not uncommon to feel a little down around the holidays, but there’s a quick fix: Hug a loved one. Scientists have found that hugging releases oxytocin, the feel-good hormone, while also decreasing levels of the stress hormone cortisol.

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For more fast fixes, check out the December 2016/January 2017 issue of AARP The Magazine.

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