Live long with these tips. Credits: Calaimage/ Paul Bradbury
Bad health habits are literally taking years off your life, according to a new Canadian study. But we have strategies for curbing the worst offenders.
We have bad news and good news. First, the bad: whether it’s being a couch potato, smoking, letting one glass of Chardonnay turn into the whole bottle, or indulging in a giant bowl of chips and dip, our most beloved vices are killing us. Or rather, they’re drastically reducing our life expectancy, says a new study recently published in the peer-reviewed journal PLOS Medicine. It found that smoking, eating junk food, vegging out and drinking can actually slash almost six years off the life expectancy of both men and women.
The study, authored by Dr. Doug Manuel, a senior scientist at The Ottawa Hospital and professor at the University of Ottawa, focused on the worst habits, which contributed to nearly half of all deaths reported in Canada. Using a predictive algorithm Manuel and his team created, population health surveys at the individual level were examined to learn just how dangerous these vices can be. The findings were dramatic—“smoking, by itself, was associated with 32% to 39% of the difference in life expectancy across social groups,” the study says.
But that’s where the good news comes in: though their impact can’t be understated, you can combat unhealthy habits—or at least tame them. Here are the 4 guilty pleasures that are worst for your health, and what you can do to curb them.
While only about 20 per cent of Canada’s total population smokes, it is still the reigning health hazard for Canadians. When lighting up again, remember that the overall loss of life expectancy is an estimated 2.8 years. Coming up with a smoking cessation plan can help you butt out.
2. Eating Junk Food
A poor diet can shave off 1.2 years of your life, so we think it’s safe to say that giving into your sweet tooth at every craving is not a good call. To head off that 3pm junk food craving, don’t skip meals, and keep healthier snack options on-hand.
3. Physical Inactivity
With all the hours you put in at the office, it can be hard to find the opportunity and motivation to head to the gym. But yoga, Pilates, running or even going on 15-minute walks will add an extra 2.6 years onto your life. The solution? Changing your perspective.
4. Consuming Alcohol
Drinking has the least impact of these four vices—drinking contributed to a two-week decrease in life expectancy, but we know heavy drinking impacts your health in other ways. That’s why it’s important to drink with restraint.
Fall is upon us—which brings changing leaves and pumpkin spice lattes. But this season also calls for new boots. Here are 18 pairs that will complete your fall outfit, starting from $50.
Studded Buckled Ankle Booties,
Ankle Boots, $60,
Cavolano Stiletto Booties, $70,
Emily Sock Fit Stretch Booties, $80,
Gogali Mid-Calf Boots, $90,
Velvet Ankle Booties, $53,
Sidney Peep toe Sock Fit Boots, $92,
Lunata Lace-Up Booties, $115,
Velvet Over The Knee High Heel Boot, $130, zara.com
Kirby Boots, $120,
Suede-Like Almond Toe Knee-High Boot,
Office Amble Patent Chelsea Boots,
Hi Top Tribe, $228,
Faux Hair Zahara Booties, $115,
Black Leather Boots, $238,
Keen Of Scots, $240,
Women's Lolla Ankle Boot, $250,
Geox D Mendi Over-the-Knee Boots,
Our yummiest drop cookie recipes are sure to be a hit at your cookie exchange party.
Taking a bite into one of these soft, moist cookies is like eating the top of a pumpkin cupcake. The cinnamon sugar topping gives them a satisfying crunch.
Get the recipe: Spiced Pumpkin Cookies with Cream Cheese Icing
These decadent drops are incredibly easy to prepare, making them perfect for a last-minute cookie exchange. The chocolate-dipped pretzel topping adds an easy, festive flair.
Get the recipe: No-Bake Chocolate Pretzel Clusters
To achieve the super-soft texture of these chocolaty cookies, a little sour cream goes a long way. Drizzle the finished cookies with milk chocolate instead of white, if desired.
Get the recipe: Triple-Chocolate Cake Cookies
Enjoy the campfire taste of s'mores year-round—no roaring fire required! These three-ingredient, no-bake drop cookies are the ultimate holiday treat.
Get the recipe: No-Bake S'more Drops
These simple, sweet drop cookies combine chocolate, coconut and almond in a delightful homage to a Test Kitchen favourite chocolate bar.
Get the recipe: Almond Bliss Cookies
Anyone who loves the classic combo of orange and chocolate is bound to adore these cookies.
Get the recipe: Orange Chocolate Softies
With just a hint of cocoa, these pretty one-bite meringues make a beautiful hostess gift.
Get the recipe: Hazelnut Meringue Kisses
Coconut lovers will rejoice in this twist on a classic. Toasting half of the coconut gives it a lovely golden colour and deepens the coconut flavour.
Get the recipe: Gluten-Free Toasted Coconut Macaroons
Dried figs, crunchy pistachios and chai-inspired? Spices give these humble hermit cookies a sophisticated flavour.
Get the recipe: Chai-Spiced Fig Hermits
The extra pinch of salt, along with the added sweetness of honey-roasted peanuts, makes these sweet, salty peanut cookies the best you'll ever taste!
Get the recipe: Sweet 'N' Salty Peanut Cookies
Inspired by traditional Italian cookies known as "brutti ma buoni," which translates to "ugly, but good," these airy, crispy and chewy meringue drops are essential holiday goodies.
Get the recipe: Chocolate Toffee Meringue Bombs
These festive drop cookies are both chewy and crisp. Pressing the balled cookie dough directly into the sprinkles performs a dual purpose: It allows for better sprinkle coverage and helps to flatten the dough a bit before baking.
Get the recipe: White Chocolate Sprinkle Cookies
These rich morsels have a gorgeous crackle topping.
Get the recipe: Mocha Chocolate Crackles
Recipes in early cookbooks, such as the 1915 edition of the Five Roses Cook Book, show that ginger cookies have been a favourite for generations.
Get the recipe: Ginger Molasses Crinkle Cookies
Honey-roasted peanuts add a sweet crunch to these favourite drop cookies.
Get the recipe: Peanut Crunch Cookies
Crispy sugar-dusted crusts surround perfectly soft, chewy centres in these chocolaty delights. The cookies are so addictive. With plenty of milk on standby, there's no telling how quickly they'll disappear.
Get the recipe: Snowy Chocolate Cookies
H&M launches a new online store, giving customers across Canada access to stylish H&M Home collections.
When H&M opened it's first Home store in Canada this year, we fell in love with the stylish decor and the wallet-friendly price tags. Starting today, the pretty pieces are accessible across Canada, thanks to the launch of H&M’s Shop Online store. With special deals and free shipping for a limited time, the must-have finds on our shopping list will be gone in a flash. So, pull out your laptop, smartphone or tablet and get shopping!
1. Jacquard-weave cushion cover, $15
2. Patterned cushion cover, $15
3. Metal tray, $20
4. Tin with lid, $18
5. Metal candlestick, $30
6. Metal trivet, $15
7. Patterned cotton rug, $40
8. Small wooden box, $13
9. Chunky knit blanket, $80
10. Oval glass box, $15
Check out the rest of the chic H&M Home decor.