20 Healthy Habits You Should Adopt In Your Twenties

These habits are good for people of all ages, of course. But the sooner you get on it, the sooner you can reap the sweet, sweet benefits of healthy living.

1. Get between seven and eight hours of sleep per night.

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Long-term research studies show that people who get significantly less than seven hours a night die younger. And some research shows that people who sleep more than nine hours also have problems. Dr. Timothy Morgenthaler, president of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine, says seven to eight hours is the sweet spot, according to an interview he gave to the Wall Street Journal.

Here are 14 scientific hacks to help you get a better night’s sleep, in case it helps!

2. Get outside.

20th Century Fox / Via youtube.com

More and more research is showing just how important it is for people to be one with nature. And even just living near it helps. For instance, people who live close (within about a half-mile) to a good amount of green space are healthier than those who live farther away from it, according to a 2009 study published in the Journal of Epidemiology & Community Health. People who lived close to a high percentage of green space had fewer anxiety disorders, and fewer infectious diseases of the digestive system, among other perks.

Plus, nature is real pretty.

Check out the National Park Service to find a park near you.

3. Have safe sex. Every time.

Paramount Pictures / Via youtube.com

Gonorrhea is legit becoming untreatable, for starters. Yum!

On a more serious note, having control over your reproductive decisions is tied to better outcomes for pretty much everyone (that includes you!). Research collected by the Guttmacher Institute shows that parents who choose when to have kids are happier; their relationships are more stable; and their relationships with the children are stronger. That’s compared to people who have kids by accident, who experience greater incident rates of depression and anxiety; are more likely to break up; and have worse relationships with their kids. And that’s not even getting into the economic benefits of family planning (so much more on all of that here).

Don’t know where to begin with all the birth control? Women’s Health offers a pretty thorough breakdown of every type, how it works, efficacy rate, and any side effects you should know about — that might be a good place to start.

Oh, and about that gonorrhea… WEAR A CONDOM EVERY TIME UNLESS YOU HAVE BOTH BEEN TESTED AND ARE IN A COMMITTED MONOGAMOUS RELATIONSHIP. Good, great.

4. Spend time with loved ones.

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What are friends and loved ones for? Well, according to tons of research, people who have strong “social networks” (as in, loving friends and family members) reap many health benefits. And, on the flipside, people without strong social bonds tend to fare much worse.

Plus, on a totally non-scientific level: Love and friendship makes everything so much better. Obviously. So go call your mom or Gchat your friend to set up a yoga date. You’ll be glad you did.

5. Don’t smoke cigarettes. And if you already smoke, quit ASAP.

Longtime smokers lose about 10 years of their lives to the habit, according to research published in the New England Journal of Medicine. On the plus side, quitting before 35 can almost entirely eliminate that risk. So the sooner you quit, the longer you’ll live.

Need a hand? The CDC offers a list of resources to help you kick the habit.

6. Cook the majority of your meals at home, if you can.

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One study from Cambridge University found that elderly Taiwanese people who cooked most of their meals lived longer than those who did not prepare the majority of their food at home.

Here’s what’s likely behind that: Cooking your own food gives you much greater control of what goes in it. You can make healthy ingredient swaps if you care to; you can also control portion sizes and the freshness of the ingredients when you’re cooking for yourself.

For yummy recipe suggestions, may we suggest signing up for the BuzzFeed Food newsletter? Here are 15 things you might discover if you do.

7. Eat more fruits and veggies.

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People who eat a lot of fruits and veggies also happen to have lower rates of cardiovascular disease, according to a huge study from Harvard.

That’s especially true if you’re talking green, leafy veggies; cruciferous veggies; and citrus fruits. Nom nom nom.

8. Stop drinking soda.

Sugar Stacks

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For like, a gajillion reasons. According to research published in the American Heart Association journal Circulation, based on over 6,000 participants in the Framingham Heart Study, drinking one or more soft drinks a day is associated with:

—Greater risk of metabolic syndrome
—Larger waist circumference
—Obesity
—Impaired fasting glucose
—Higher blood pressure
—Higher levels of triglycerides (associated with high cholesterol)

…and more.

9. And while you’re at it…stop drinking diet soda, too.

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I know, I knowwww. I’m personally of the you-can-pry-my-Diet-Coke-from-my-cold-dead-hands persuasion, but the research here is pretty damning: Diet soda consumption is tied to incident metabolic syndrome and type 2 Diabetes, according to research published in the journal Diabetes Care. It’s also not actually a true “diet” product (if that’s what you’re going for), considering that people who drink diet soda are more likely to actually be overweight or obese than those who don’t drink diet drinks (see more on that here). Bottom line: Drink water, instead.

In fact…

10. Drink more water, in general.

MamiGibbs / Via The Wire

It is kind of a magical substance: It helps prevent kidney stones by keeping your kidneys from working overtime. It nourishes your skin. It helps keep your poops regular (teehee). And it’s essential for people who work out, because your muscles need it to stay energized (and to function, period). Plus more great reasons.

Here are 13 easy ways to drink more water every day, if it helps!

11. Sit less. Stand more.

Cosmopolitan / Via cosmopolitan.com

Sitting disease is a thing, for serious. Office workers, looking at you: See if you have the option for a standing desk, or if you can rig your own (check out these six standing desk hacks from Cosmopolitan for some smart ideas).

Otherwise, do what you can to reduce the time you spend sitting each day by about an hour total. If you’re at work sitting for eight hours, that means find a way to stand for seven and a half minutes each hour. Some ideas: Set your phone alarm for every hour, and then do laps around the office when it goes off. Take walking meetings, instead of sitting-at-a-table meetings. Stand up while you take conference calls. Take the stairs. Park in the far-away parking spot. Walk an extra few blocks to grab lunch instead of picking it up at the closest deli… Yeah, you get the idea.

12. Try to raise your heart rate for a sustained period of time every day.

You know this already: Experts recommend 30 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic exercise per day, five days a week. The AHA also recommends at least two days a week of muscle-building exercises, for added benefits. From better heart health, to lowered risk of osteoporosis and diabetes, working out regularly is really good for your health. Plus, it boosts your mood. What’s not to love?

Pro tip that’ll help you get started with this one: 19 fitness secrets everyone should know. You’re welcome.

13. Go to the doctor for all necessary checkups.

cacaroot / Via The Wire

Invest in your health now to avoid paying for it bigtime down the road. That means go to the doctor and dentist as often as the experts recommend — that includes checkups for gynecological health, eye exams, full physical exams, and more.

For a complete list of health checks for all ages and genders, look here to see what the CDC recommends.

14. Only take antibiotics when you actually need them.

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That means toss the Amoxicillin and stick with Tylenol and cough suppressants if you’re dealing with a cold or flu. That’s because antibiotics only treat bacterial illnesses, and are ineffective against viruses. And the more antibiotics you take, the more you run the risk of building up a resistance to the antibiotics, meaning they’ll be less effective down the line when you may actually need them.

15. Be grateful.

HazelMartinDesigns / Via etsy.com

Beyond just making you a happier and more pleasant person to be around, showing gratitude can also enhance long-term well-being, according to research published in the journal Applied Psychology: Health and Wellbeing. So go ahead: Use that #Blessed hashtag in a non-ironic way.

(Sign via HazelMartinDesigns shop on Etsy, $18.95.)

16. Have lots of sex!

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And not just for the orgasms. There’s tons of research that shows that sex is actually great for your health — it can lower stress, help relieve migraine headaches, and boost your immunity, to name a few awesome healthy side effects.

17. If you drink alcohol, do it in moderation.

Alcohol has been associated with certain health benefits: Drinking in moderation is tied to lowered risk of heart disease, stroke, and diabetes. That said, and not to be a total buzzkill, excessive alcohol drinking is ALSO tied to some serious health risks, like an increased risk of breast cancer, for instance. Plus, recent research shows that excessive alcohol use is responsible for 1 in 10 deaths of adults between 20 and 64 years old (about 88,000 deaths in the United States every year — that’s more than car accident deaths and gun deaths put together).

The solution? If you’re going to drink, be smart about it. That means no more than one drink a day for women of all ages, and no more than two drinks a day for men under 65, according to the CDC. And definitely don’t do it if you’re pregnant, taking Rx meds that might react badly to it, or in recovery for alcoholism, among a few other disclaimers.

18. Wear sunscreen every day.

Yes, even in the winter, and yes, even when it’s cloudy. Future you can thank me later.

That’s because daily sunscreen use has been shown to cut your risk of melanoma in half (melanoma is the deadliest form of skin cancer), according to research from Australia; in another study, it’s also been shown to actually slow the signs of aging in your skin.

19. Along those lines, avoid tanning beds.

Get this: People who first use tanning beds before age 35 have a 75% increased risk of melanoma, according to a review of 7 international studies published in the International Journal of Cancer. GAH.

20. And finally… End your crappy relationship sooner, rather than later.

Because life is short, and you deserve to be treated right.

But also because bad relationships can actually have a seriously negative impact on your health.

For starters, research published in the journal Health Psychology finds that women in good marriages have fewer incidents of cardiovascular problems than women in bad marriages. Further research published in the Journal of the American Medical Association found that women with heart problems in stressful marriages were 2.9 times more likely to have worse outcomes (read: more heart problems down the line) than women who were happily coupled.

And in a creepy study from Ohio State University, researchers gave a bunch of people blisters in order to determine that your body’s ability to heal itself is impaired if you’re in a stressful marriage. Meaning: The blisters took longer to heal when the people were unhappy with their relationships. Yikes!

CORRECTION: An earlier version of this story misspelled Dr. Timothy Morgenthaler’s name.

Read more: http://www.buzzfeed.com/carolynkylstra/healthy-living-habits

Matt Drudge hits Gov. Cuomo: ‘The patients are truly running the asylum!’

http://twitter.com/#!/DRUDGE/status/291477257954938881

Matt Drudge is fired up over the mental health measures pushed by Gov. Cuomo and New York lawmakers. “The patients are truly running the asylum!” he tweeted.

This morning on The Drudge Report, the headline “mENTAL hEALTH cHECKS” links to an NBC article on New York’s sweeping new gun control law.

One of the most controversial elements of the bill is the requirement on providers of mental health services.

“People who are mentally ill should not have access to guns, that’s common sense,” Cuomo said, according to Reuters. “That’s probably the hallmark of this bill, coming up with a system that allows for mental-health screens.”

New York’s new law was passed in response to the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre. “You can overpower the extremists with intelligence and with reason,” said Cuomo.

But since the shooter didn’t buy or own any guns, how exactly would “mental-health screens” have helped? Where’s the “intelligence and reason” in that? Perhaps the oddly incurious media should ask the patients running the asylum.

 

Update:

More from Drudge:

Would RahmEmanuel pass ‘mental health check’ after naked rage on CapHill? Ruling: No fly, No gun. 24 hrs drone monitor twitter.com/DRUDGE/status/…

— MATT DRUDGE (@DRUDGE) January 16, 2013

If we’re going to ban stuff, can it please be reminders of Rahm Emanuel’s “naked rage”?

Cold rain in DC, tears from Founders above. ‘America’ has run its course. Bill of Rights evolving and dissolving… twitter.com/DRUDGE/status/…

— MATT DRUDGE (@DRUDGE) January 16, 2013

Oh, my. We’ll meet you at the cemetery at midnight, Matt. We’ll bring the black lipstick, you bring the clove cigarettes.

Related:

Drudge: Armed guards will protect Obama when he announces gun control initiative

Matt Drudge: ‘3,500 will be killed by abortion today; no media hyperventilating, no presidents crying’

Read more: http://twitchy.com/2013/01/16/matt-drudge-hits-gov-cuomo-for-mental-health-checks-in-gun-law-the-patients-are-truly-running-the-asylum/

These 30 Inventions Will Transform Your Kitchen Into Awesomeness. #14 Though… What The?

When you have extra money to burn, it’s difficult not to spend it on stuff that’s just… cool. Stores like Sky Mall and Brookstone are full of strange gadgets that you’d probably never use, but want just the same. Some of these strange (and sometimes costly) tools could come it handy. However, it’s doubtful you’d use them enough to justify their cost. These are some of the best kitchen gadgets out there that you would never find in your normal kitchen.

1.) Pacman: helping bakers the world over.

2.) Need to store knives and satisfy your need to stab people?

3.) Or want to freak out your guests?

4.) It’s hard to say what this does, but it looks painful.

5.) Separating egg yolks can be creepy…

6.) Or adorable!

7.) Give your toothpicks their very own form of transportation.

8.) Did you know that bananas are heat resistant?

9.) I don’t need no corn on no cobs.

10.) Feel like Wolverine with this finger fork.

11.) When cooking is like an awesome science experiment.

12.) Give your dinner guests nightmares with these gadgets.

13.) This creepy/adorable little guy will help you dice cherries.

14.) Evil robot … or coffee machine?

15.) Peeling potatoes is for fools.

16.) S’MORES!

17.) Cut pizza like a boss.

18.) Crispy microwave bacon? YES.

19.) This mixer tries to be cute, but it’s just evil.

20.) It’s hard to say what this is, aside from terrifying.

21.) Spinning your own fork to eat spaghetti is for losers.

22.) Make your own sauce at home… or grind up things for fun.

23.) Stop mixing like a caveman.

24.) Picking up the jug to pour it is archaic. Use this rocking thing instead.

25.) Want to serve drinks? Use something cool to do so, like this.

26.) Two words: Custom toast.

27.) Chop things like a cool kid.

28.) Save dem bananas.

29.) Crack nuts like Hilary Clinton

30.) Mr. Penguin helps steep your tea the appropriate amount of time.

Even if I’d only use these things once a year, it would be totally worth it to have it in my kitchen. Nothing impresses family and friends like custom toast designs (am I right?). Share these awesome inventions by clicking below!

Read more: http://viralnova.com/kitchen-gadgets/

Jamie Grace’s reaction to Miley Cyrus proves young people matter in culture war

http://twitter.com/#!/DanMartin_cards/status/372359881292255232

Amen, sir.

There’s a lot to criticize about Miley Cyrus’ hypersexual VMA performance. But there’s a great deal to learn from it, too, namely this: We can do better.

For conservatives to win the culture war, we can’t just sit on the sidelines and point out what’s wrong with popular culture; we have to engage. We can’t change the public’s perception of conservatism without having something to offer that’s better than the status quo.

http://twitter.com/#!/DanMartin_cards/status/372355810363727872

Exactly. There are positive role models out there for young women, for all of us:

http://twitter.com/#!/michellemalkin/status/372353796904480768

http://twitter.com/#!/michellemalkin/status/372358155830693888

Not only is Grace talented, but she’s got a good head on her shoulders and a solid moral compass. Last night, she shared her feelings on the Miley Cyrus Affair:

http://twitter.com/#!/jamiegraceh/status/372196989624008705

Indeed. Cyrus herself is certainly culpable:

http://twitter.com/#!/jamiegraceh/status/372206446936485890

But the blame doesn’t lie squarely on her shoulders. She is surrounded by people who ought to know better:

http://twitter.com/#!/jamiegraceh/status/372198354081443840

http://twitter.com/#!/jamiegraceh/status/372199520462835712

Exactly. And in Grace’s mind, what Cyrus needs more than anything is our concern and compassion:

http://twitter.com/#!/jamiegraceh/status/372201991516073985

http://twitter.com/#!/jamiegraceh/status/372204299339579392

http://twitter.com/#!/jamiegraceh/status/372218379433541632

This poised young woman is proof that the youth are not a lost cause. And if conservatives choose to ignore role models like Grace, we deserve to lose.

Read more: http://twitchy.com/2013/08/27/singer-jamie-graces-heartfelt-reaction-to-miley-cyrus-proves-young-people-matter-in-culture-war/

‘Wins the internet today?’ Rep. John Dingell’s take on @EPAwater goof is ‘perfect’

http://twitter.com/#!/benjaminjriley/status/491588826146410496

Last night, EPA Water turned heads with its tweet about achieving “C-list celebrity” status in a Kim Kardashian iPhone game. Michigan Democrat John Dingell, the longest-serving member of Congress in history, was also intrigued:

http://twitter.com/#!/john_dingell/status/491586961392816128

OK. Let’s get something straight: Rep. Dingell is a crusty old Beltway barnacle, straight-up. But we cannot deny the awesomeness of that tweet. Who can?

http://twitter.com/#!/KariLynneRea/status/491590530514427904

http://twitter.com/#!/RebeccaShabad/status/491587228070842369

http://twitter.com/#!/NathanWurtzel/status/491587454462623746

http://twitter.com/#!/BreeGlenn/status/491591205214781440

http://twitter.com/#!/DougHeye/status/491588328534204417

http://twitter.com/#!/DianeSawchuk/status/491588597510725634

http://twitter.com/#!/mbayer1248/status/491591159269949440

http://twitter.com/#!/drewpusateri/status/491590189866049537

http://twitter.com/#!/MalindaFrevert/status/491587726324797440

http://twitter.com/#!/robertharding/status/491587417325850624

http://twitter.com/#!/mackiesmama/status/491588928734896128

Oh, and for the record, We feel your pain, Congressman.

http://twitter.com/#!/RichardJSunkle/status/491592481104879616

Read more: http://twitchy.com/2014/07/22/wins-the-internet-today-rep-john-dingells-take-on-epawater-goof-is-perfect/