Our editors share their best health tips.
The magic number
You already know skimping on sleep is bad for you, but were you aware sleeping too much is no good, either? According to Harvard University's Nurses Health Study, women who slept too little (five hours or less) or too much (nine hours or more) scored lower on brain and memory tests and, by researchers' estimates, were mentally two years older than those who slept for seven to eight hours a night.
If you have a serious sweet tooth that's always getting you into (dietary) trouble, try to follow this very simple healthy-eating rule: Save the calories for the really good stuff. It's worth indulging in a favourite dessert or a special treat, but if you're feeling tempted to snack on something just because it's there, skip it.
To replenish your sodium levels after an intense workout—think hot yoga or a long run—add a pinch of salt to a glass of water.
Tools of the trade
Three must-have items for your healthiest year yet.
1. Skipping rope Even a short skipping session can deliver major cardio benefits. Plus, a jump rope is inexpensive, easy to use and—dare we say it—kinda fun.
2. Mini blender Prep a smoothie the night before, give it a quick whirl in the morning and dash out the door, healthy breakfast in hand. Single-serve blender, $27, hamiltonbeach.ca.
3. Sports bra No one wants to exercise without the right support. A good sports bra will feel snugger than your regular bra, but it shouldn't cause chafing. If you're big-busted, look for one that comes in actual bra sizes.
The hardest part of exercising is getting started. So when you don't want to head to the gym, make a 10-minute commitment to being active. If you want to stop after your time is up, that's fine—at least you'll have done something. But it's more likely you'll end up finishing your workout! — Kathleen Trotter, personal trainer
Research shows deep breathing reduces your heart rate and blood pressure, relieves stress and can even boost productivity. But those studies say we're all really bad at breathing properly. To do it right, try a free app like Breathing Zone (iOS) or Paced Breathing (Android). Or go the wearable route; new Fitbits and Apple Watches have built-in apps.
Salt and Pepper Steak Rub
Photography by Ryan Brook Image by: Salt and Pepper Steak Rub <br /> Photography by Ryan Brook
Counteract this season’s shorter and often darker days with one of these bright ideas.
Today marks the winter solstice, the shortest day of the year. Although the days are slowly going to get longer, winter is just getting started. If you’re like us, you spend more time indoors this time of year cuddled up under blankets reading a great book or binge watching TV. Set the mood for cozy days in by bringing more light into your space. From a pendant made from a basket to a fairy light garland and a mason jar candle holder, we’ve rounded up our favourite DIY lights from Pinterest.
Perched on a mantel, strung on a wall or draped across a dresser, these leafy lights will add a soft glow to any space. Find the instructions at Homey Oh My.
String a garland of mini lights across a wall and clip black and white images to the wire using mini clothespins. We love how Li-Chi Pan used it as an alternative to a traditional headboard.
Transform a woven basket into a pendant light in a few simple steps. Suspended above a dining table, it adds a BLAH. Find out how Emily Henderson made this one here.