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75 Ways To Be Your Healthiest Ever

Smart ways to stay well, eat right, get fit

Coffee Perks

It's fortunate our national java habit (the average coffee drinker downs three cups a day) turns out to be good for us. Coffee is rich in antioxidants, and (surprise) caffeine can also be a health booster. The brew has been linked to:

Lower risk of type 2 diabetes
Better memory and other cognitive functions
Reduced chances of non-melanoma skin cancer
Wider-awake days

But there's a trick to getting the most from your caffeine: Drink two ounces every hour or so through the morning and at lunchtime — then stop in early afternoon. Gulping a grande at breakfast may be followed by a crash later in the day

Move It!

Get one sweat every day; not a mere glow or perspiration, but a genuine, downright, old-fashioned ... sweat. (March 1916)

If you're sick of the gym, try a fun alternative that burns more calories than walking (246 calories per hour for a moderate pace). Ballet or swimming laps burns 422 calories; biking or playing Ping-Pong, 281.

Take a break. You may burn more fat when you divide a 60-minute workout into two 30-minute sessions with a 20-minute rest in between — and the boost may even continue post-exercise.

Get your hands dirty. Gardening gives you as much of a workout as walking or golf, a recent study reported. Plus: The weight-bearing motions involved in digging and pulling weeds can strengthen bones and muscle.

Do it to music. Tunes that are in sync with your workout rate help keep you going — up to 15 percent longer, British researchers found. (To get started, check out the playlist at goodhousekeeping.com/weekend.)

Add the #1 Veggie to Your Diet

It's kale — based on its contribution to daily nutrient recommendations, including beta-carotene, lutein, vitamins C and K, and folate, plus potassium, magnesium, and iron.
Spinach and collard greens are also stars.

Little Changes, Big Weight Loss

Cook pasta al dente. When you boil spaghetti for five minutes, its glycemic index is 38; after 20 minutes, it shoots up to 61. The higher the glycemic index, the sooner you'll be hungry again.

Munch around the clock. A healthy snack mid-morning and mid-afternoon will keep you from overdoing itat lunch and dinner, for a net reduction in calories.

Keep a food diary. Recording meals and snacks ups your chances of weight-loss success. In fact, among a group of almost 1,700 dieters, diarists doubled their weight loss compared with non-writing folks.

Eat s...l...o...w...l...y. In one study, women who took half an hour to eat a pasta lunch consumed almost 70 fewer calories than those who scarfed it down in nine minutes.

Stop the music! People spend longer at the dining table when there's background music — any tempo or volume.

Watch out for sneak eating. "I just want a taste" (of pie, ice cream, pizza...) can add about 25 calories per mouthful.

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