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Mind and Body

How to be healthier in 60 seconds

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Tip 1: Improve your routine

Adjust your desk chair: Sitting the wrong way can create problems in your neck, back, hips and legs. Your seat should be high enough so that, when your back is straight and your feet are flat, your knees are bent at 90 degrees.

Microwave your sponge: It can harbor salmonella and other food-borne bacteria that can make you ill, so remember to clean it by nuking it for about 30 seconds on high to get rid of most germs.

Tip 2: Spice up your nutrition

Toss in some ground flaxseed: The dietary supplement is high in fiber and a good source of omega-3 fatty acids, which can protect against heart disease and some types of cancer. Sprinkle it on cereal, stir it in pasta sauce or use it as a crust for baked salmon or chicken.

Season food with herbs, not just salt: Herbs and spices have health benefits, thanks to their disease-fighting compounds. Rosemary and thyme can help prevent blood clots. Oregano and sage are rich in antioxidants.

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Tip 3: Do a quick checkup

Weigh your purse: If it’s more than 5 percent of your body weight, lighten the load. A heavy bag can lead to poor posture and back and shoulder pain.

Inspect your workout sneakers: To avoid heel aches or other foot problems, replace exercise shoes that are past their prime. Put the shoes on a table and look at them from behind. If they lean to either side, they are worn out.

Tip 4: Be your happiest

Chat with a stranger: While waiting in line at a store, talk with someone near you. Being assertive and adventurous makes people feel happier, according to research at Wake Forest University in North Carolina.

Rent a goofy comedy: You might feel better just thinking about it. People who anticipated a laugh experienced a 27 percent increase in endorphins, brain chemicals that make you happy, according to research from Loma Linda University in California.