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8 Reasons To Slooow Down

6. Slow down to get ahead at work.

Hurrying to finish projects at work, scheduling back-to-back meetings, and constant multitasking not only kill employees' creativity but also reduce their productivity, according to studies published in the Harvard Business Review. So much fast-moving activity allows no time for reflection (the source of creative solutions) and increases the odds that your work will be sloppy or that you'll make mistakes.

How to take it slow: Swap frenzied activity for focused action: Ask yourself, What should I do first? to determine which project is most important, then tackle it — and fight the tendency to jump back and forth between it and other to-do's. "Keep your eyes on the goal and you'll be able to give each task the time and attention required," says Jan Jasper, a productivity consultant in New York City. As an added perk, you'll have a greater sense of accomplishment at the end of the day and probably feel a whole lot calmer, too. You'll finish one or two tasks completely, rather than get four or five things partially done — which only leaves unfinished business hanging over your head.

7. Slow down for better fitness.

More and faster crunches and biceps curls aren't the key to greater strength, endurance, or calorie burning, according to a Journal of Sports Medicine study. In fact, women who did resistance-training two to three times per week using a superslow protocol (10 seconds lifting, four seconds lowering) had a 50 percent greater increase in strength after eight weeks compared with those who pumped iron at the normal, faster pace (two seconds up, four seconds down).

How to take it slow: Try the superslow protocol described above for strength. And if you're trying to increase your distance on the treadmill, slow your pace by about one minute per mile — you'll find you can easily add half a mile. Then, over time, gradually ratchet the tempo back up for the entire run.

Remember, too, that slower activities can burn serious calories. For example, those who practiced yoga regularly for four years were 80 percent more likely to maintain their weight and almost 400 percent more likely to lose pounds than those who didn't do yoga, according to a recent study from the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle. Yoga is also calming and helps you live more mindfully even when you're not practicing, which makes it easier to recognize when you start slipping into overdrive throughout the day.

8. Slow down to travel safely.

The leading cause of death in women under age 35 is accidents, mainly car accidents. And one third of all fatal crashes are due to speeding. In fact, driving over 69 mph more than doubles your risk of a fatal car accident, according to a recent Canadian study.

How to take it slow: Easing off the gas pedal is the obvious first step. But how do you fight the urge to stay in the fast lane? Practice the mindful breathing technique described in the "Slow Down to Boost Your Energy" section above. Surf your radio for relaxing tunes. And remember this: If you continue to push the envelope by driving 15 mph over the speed limit, you may get pulled over for speeding, which means you'll end up being late and probably paying a hefty fine — not to mention potentially thousands of dollars in higher car insurance premiums. Just force yourself to get in the car 10 to 15 minutes earlier instead — your health is worth it.

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