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This Week's News That Could Actually Change Your Health

Haven’t had time to keep up on the news this week? Not to worry — we’ve summarized the top news stories that could significantly change our health habits.
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Greatist News examines and explains the trends and studies making headlines in fitness, health, and happiness. Check out all the news here.

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With so many headlines to read, news articles to sift through, and tweets to favorite, it’s nearly impossible to read every story that affects our health. So we’re making it easier for everyone by rounding up our top story picks that could seriously change some health behaviors.

Over-Indulging Can Take Years Off Your Life

Do this: For a longer life, cut down on alcohol, red meat, and TV time. Eat more fruits and veggies, and exercise.

Want to see how health behaviors really affect our life? A new system was created that assigns certain lifestyle behaviors to "microlives" to see how much time certain choices are adding or subtracting from our lives. The verdict? Bad habits like smoking and excessive drinking can knock off 30-minutes for each day of indulgence, reports Science Daily. On the flip side, every day of eating green and and hitting the gym could add to two hours to a life. While there are definite limitations to this system, it does illuminate that even during the holidays, over-indulging can take a significant toll on our health.

Your Smartphone May Be Ruining Your Sex Life

Do this: Ditch the texting and tweeting in the bedroom for a healthier and happier sex life.

Mashable unveiled some less-than-sexy stats last week: 15 percent of people who surf the net before bed admit they are also having less sex. On top of that, browsing the web – whether on a computer, tablet, or smartphone — can lead to getting to bed 90-minutes later than planned. So if you're looking to boost your relationship with some intimate moments before bed, keep the phone out of sight. 

Losing Sleep Reduces Your Pain Tolerance

Do this: Get enough sleep — seven to nine hours a night — in order to boost pain tolerance.

Not catching enough Zzz's has been connected to weight gain and feeling depressed and irritable. But now a new study explained in The New York Times shows another downside to sleep deprivation: feeling more pain. In the study, participants who slept the most were able to hold their finger on a source of heat for the longest amount of time. The reason? Scientists are still unsure, but sleep loss may lead to increased inflammation in the body. Just another reason to work on getting more sleep.

 Eating More Fruits and Veggies Can Make You Happier

Do this: Hit the salad bar and the fruit bowl to help improve well-being.

Need some more science that shows the link between psychological health and diet? New findings reported by MSN Today Health did just that. Researchers found that eating five to seven servings of fruit and veggies was associated with happiness and over well-being. Scientists aren't sure if some salad actually boosts mood or if happier people just eat healthier, but with all the health benefits associated with eating green, it doesn't hurt to see for yourself.

TV Chef Recipes Are Less Healthy Than Supermarket Meals

Do this: For a healthier meal, skip supermarket meals and recipes seen on TV and cook for yourself!

With food shows popping up left and right, researchers wanted to take a closer look at what our favorite celebrity chefs were cooking up. What they found, explained in Science Daily, was super surprising: The chefs' recipes were actually more unhealthy (containing more fat and sodium and less fiber) than ready-made meals from the grocery store. But before we head to the nearest "grab and go" section in the supermarket, these meals also fail to meet health standards for a balanced diet. So maybe it's best to find a healthy recipe and cook at home.

Stress May Be Just As Harmful As Smoking

Do this: Take a chill pill to reduce blood pressure and LDL cholesterol, which could prevent major heart problems.

We all know that a pack of cigarettes comes with some serious health risks. But a new report on a selection of studies found that being stressed can also raise your risk of a heart attack by 27 percent, according to Salon. Researchers explain that stressing out can increase blood pressure and LDL cholesterol (the bad kind) which could up the risk for a heart attack. Scientists equate high stress levels to smoking five cigarettes, so quit the Camels and try to manage stress for a healthy and happy heart.

 

What were some of the most important health stories from the week? Let us know in the comments below or tweet the author @lschwech.

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