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Wellness

4 easy ways to feel better all month long

From the health benefits of laughter to why you should head outdoors, our editors scoured the latest research to bring you the fascinating findings.
4 easy ways to feel better all month long

Photo, Getty Images.

Health news | August 2014

Boost your creativity in eight minutes

Want to break through a mental block? Take a walk. Strolling in spurts of even just eight minutes generates a lasting creative spark, reveals a new study from Stanford University. Researchers asked a group of men and women to think of unique uses for items like buttons and tires while either sitting or walking. The participants came up with 60 percent more creative ways to utilize the objects (like turning a button into a tiny strainer) after spending time on a treadmill. The researchers believe walking distracts us from the thoughts that could cramp creativity. Just another reason to think on your feet!

Read more: Why walking is the single-best thing you can do for your health

beautiful woman outdoors in nature and sunshinePhoto, Masterfile.

Nutrition bite

Reaching for calcium-rich dairy to strengthen your bones seems obvious, but what about your joints? A new study in the Journal Arthritis Care and Research reveals that low-fat or skim milk benefits joint health and helps slow the progression of osteoarthritis in the knees. After a four-year review of the diets of more than 2,000 people suffering from knee osteoarthritis, researchers discovered that three to seven glasses a week helped women decrease the space between joints and reduce the pain associated with the disease. Because bone mass peaks at around age 30, it’s important to boost your diet with easy-to-absorb, calcium-rich foods — and milk is one of the best ways to do that!

Read more: 6 ways to get your calcium without milk

pouring milkPhoto, Istockphoto.

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Funny new way to meditate

Does the idea of “clearing your mind” make you feel more antsy than at peace? Don’t fret. You can still get all the benefits of meditation without actually doing it. Laughter creates restorative brainwaves similar to those witnessed in the minds of people who have achieved a true state of meditation, says a new study from Loma Linda University. Laughter may be good not only for your body but also for your brain, say researchers. The catch? You can’t fake it. Something must genuinely hit your funny bone for it to work.

Woman smiling and doing yogaPhoto, Getty Images.

Fast stat

97%: The amount of the sun’s rays that can be blocked by using SPF 30, reports the Canadian Dermatology Association. Be sun smart and go for broad spectrum products to protect against both UVA and UVB rays.

Read more: How to know find the sunscreen that's right for you

4 easy ways to feel better all month longPhoto, Jamie Grill/ Getty Images.

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