Smart ways to stay well, eat right, get fit

Reveling in feel-good or proud moments may help you stock to get-healthy vows. In three new studies, patients agreed to make lifestyle changes and received encouragement. Half also got instructions like these: each morning, think of something that makes you feel good (a rainbow, a loved one), and take pills, say, or not wanting to go for a walk if it’s raining – recall moments of pride, like a graduation. After a year, those who did the affirmations burnt more kilojoules exercising, walked about 5,5 km more weekly and were better at taking medication than control group. ‘Recalling accomplishments empowers you to confront challenges’, explains senior author Dr Mary Charlson of Weill Cornell Medical College in New York in the US, ‘while positive feelings help you make long-term changes’.

Description: Remember the good times

Remember the good times

Good to know

A daily portion of cooked beetroot or a glass of its juice can help reduce blood pressure and its associated risks. Whether cooked or raw, beetroot produces nitric oxide, which widens blood vessels and arteries.

Reduce your risk of getting a cold sore with t’ai chi. The gentle exercise apparently boosts immune-cell numbers, lowering the risk of the herpes virus, which is responsible for cold sores.

Relieve back pain

Recent studies from the Group Health Research Institute in Seattle in the US found that massage and yoga greatly relieved chronic back pain. After 10 treatments, more than 35% of those in the massage study reported their pain was ‘gone’ or ‘much better’, compared with 4% of those who continued with their usual care. In another study, yoga helped, with 60% of patients reporting major improvement.

Description: Relieve back pain

Relieve back pain

31% of cancer could be prevented if women ate more fruit and vegetables, avoided excess sun and infections such as HPV, and didn’t smoke, gain weight or drink to excess, according to a mega British study.

Description: 31% of cancer could be prevented if women ate more fruit and vegetables

31% of cancer could be prevented if women ate more fruit and vegetables

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