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Tips for

2007


L Š 2006 by Rodale Inc.


Expert Advice You Can Trust—from Men’s Health! Men’s Health is committed to offering responsible, practical advice for the intelligent man—supported by professionals and legitimate scientific research. We believe that an active and healthy sex life, based on mutual consent and respect between partners, is an important component of physical and mental well-being. Still, we respect that sex is a private matter and that each person has a different opinion of what sexual practices or levels of discourse are appropriate. Our goal—for sex and all other topics—is to publish information that empowers men’s lives. The information here is designed to help you make informed decisions about your health. It is not intended as a substitute for any treatment prescribed by your doctor. If you suspect that you have a medical problem, please seek competent medical care. Before you undertake a new health program or fitness regimen, we encourage you to discuss your plans with your health care professional, especially if you have not exercised for several years, are over 35, or are overweight. Where trade names are used, no discrimination is intended and no endorsement by Rodale Inc. is implied. Mention of specific companies, organizations, or authorities in the book does not imply endorsement by the publisher, nor does it imply endorsement of the information by those companies, organizations, or authorities. Internet addresses, product information, and telephone numbers were accurate at the time this book went to press.

Contents G e t a B e t t e r B o dy

15 Ways to Flatten Your Belly Fast 4 Core Exercises 6 Steps to Efficient Running Secrets to Better Breathing

C o o k U p G o o d N u t ri t i o n

6 Real Meals in 15 Minutes 5 Ways to Burn Fat with Food

M a k e G o o d S e x G r e at

10 Things Her Body Is Telling You Recharge Your Sex Life

L i v e Fo r e v e r

5 Ways to Disease-Proof Your Body 5 Weeks to a Stress-Free Life

En j oy t h e U s e ful St uff

Project editor: Krissa Y. Strauss Copy editor: Donna Bucchin Cover designer: Erica Flickinger Book designer: Maureen Logan

18 Tricks Your Body Can Do 10 Things to Toss or Wash How to Manage Your Money 24 Ways to Earn Respect

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Make It Your Year hose who achieve success are not those who never fail; they are those who learn from failure and move on. Pete Carroll was laughed out of the NFL before he became the most dominant coach in college football; Donald Trump was seeking bankruptcy protection before he made his real estate fortune. These aren’t men who said, “Well, I tried, I failed, I think I’ll sit on the couch, wallow in guilt and misery…oh, look, Doritos!” They failed, and then they changed. A lot of us would like to invite change into our lives. We’d like to clean out the cobwebs, suction off useless flab, wake up the dead spots. But as much as we hope, forces align themselves with the same old same old. It’s almost like an echo of the force of gravity. Marriages made in Hollywood fall apart. Politicians remind us of what they gave up to pursue their careers. Instead, consider the positive spin: You’re just 5 weeks from the start of better things. That’s because 5 weeks, it turns out, is a magical length of time: New research from the University of Sheffield, in England, tells us that if you can stick with a new health initiative for that length of time, it will become a habit. That’s the secret to this collection of tips. Change isn’t just possible, it can happen sooner than you think. And this can be your year to win it all!



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15 Ways to Flatten Your Belly Fast Most of us men work harder at our jobs than on our bodies—Men’s Health editors included. Which is why, despite our image, not a single one of us walks around the office with his shirt unbuttoned while a wind machine exposes his abs. (Well, there was that one guy, but we got rid of him.) We stay reasonably fit with weekly basketball games, some lunchtime runs or bike rides, and lifting in the company gym when we can. But we’re regular guys who just as often get home too late to even think about hitting the gym. And though our cafeteria serves healthy

food, we’ve also been known to polish off the kids’ shakes and fries, because it’s easier than cleaning them off the car upholstery. Which is how we arrived at this story. We asked some of the men on staff how they reconcile work and working out. Turns out everyone had an excuse, including long work hours, longer commutes, family commitments, and 467 irresistible cable channels. Then we grilled exercise, nutrition, and weight loss experts for their fat-melting tips. The result: fast and easy solutions to the real-world weight loss problems most men battle.

No Time for Exercise THE 10-MINUTE FIX DEVELOP A BACKUP WORKOUT. When your gym time is unexpectedly cut to about 10 minutes, try 100s—rack up 100 repetitions of each of three exercises by doing one move after another without rest. “Just get through each with good form,” says

Scott Rankin, C.S.C.S. Rankin suggests doing as many repetitions on the lat-pulldown machine as you can (using about 70% of your maximum), then doing pushups until your form breaks. Next, do as many crunches as you can. Repeat the trio until you’ve completed 100 reps of each exercise.

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THE 15-MINUTE FIX I N V E S T I N T I V O . Skipping commercials will save the average TV viewer enough time to squeeze in 15 minutes of strength training three times a week.

UNILATERAL HANG CLEAN This is a multipart sequence that’s meant to be executed quickly and powerfully. • Stand in a quarter squat, holding a dumbbell at knee level with one hand. • With your chest up and your back arched, rise on the balls of your feet as if you were about to jump. Simultaneously shrug the dumbbell upward as you pull it up with your arm. • Once the weight is at about chest height, dip under it by bending your knees and hips to “catch” the weight in front of your shoulder. The weight should roll to your fingers, with your wrist bent back

SPLIT JUMP • Stand in a lunge position with one leg 2½ to 3 feet in front of the other, your arms at your sides. Bend at the knees until your back leg almost touches the floor, then swing your arms forward and jump as high as you can. • While in the air, switch leg positions so that you land softly with the other leg in front. Repeat for 8 to 12 repetitions. 

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You can do the following 15-minute total-body workout at home with just a pair of dumbbells. Do it 3 days a week, with at least 1 day of rest between. Do three sets of each exercise with 1 minute of rest between sets.

and your upper arm parallel to the floor. Lower the weight and repeat for four to six repetitions, then do four to six reps with the weight in your other hand.

REVERSE WOODCHOPPER • Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and hold a dumbbell with a hand-over-hand grip. Reach across your body so the dumbbell is to the outside of your left calf. • Now use your legs and core to swing the weight up over your right shoulder. Return to the starting position and do five to seven repetitions. Then swing the weight over your left shoulder for five to seven more reps.

The 20-minute fix G O H A N D S - F R E E . You know the rails on elliptical machines and treadmills? Ignore them. “Leaning on the rails removes a percentage of your weight from the workout, causing you to burn up to 30% fewer calories,” says fitness researcher Wayne Westcott, Ph.D. What’s more, propping yourself up means the smaller stabilizing muscles don’t need to do their job of maintaining balance, which burns additional calories.

The 25-minute fix MIX CARDIO WITH WEIGHTS. “If you have under 30 minutes, the key is to keep moving,” says Adam Ernster, C.S.C.S., a Beverly Hills– based personal trainer. Try doing two resistance exercises backto-back, followed immediately by 60 seconds of intense cardio, such

as running on a treadmill that’s set at a high incline, hitting a heavy bag, or jumping rope. Rest no more than 30 seconds, then do another set of resistance exercises and cardio, Ernster says. And don’t forget proper form throughout the set. Here’s a sample routine. • Dumbbell squat-press (12 to 15 repetitions) • Swiss-ball crunch (15 to 20 repetitions) • VersaClimber (60 seconds) Rest 15 to 30 seconds. • Pullup (10 to 15 repetitions) • Pushup (10 to 15 repetitions) • Jump rope (60 seconds) Repeat each exercise set three times.

The 30-minute fix TA K E A S T R O L L E R . Buy a jogging stroller and put a kid in it. Congratulations—you now have an

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exercise device that helps burn more calories than running. Texas A&M University researchers studied a group of people running at the same intensity for 30 minutes with and without a stroller. When the group ran while pushing a stroller (which held a 25-pound weight plate), their heart rates were 10 beats per

minute higher than when they ran stroller-free. “The father can remain (or become) active and at the same time spend time with his child,” says John Smith, Ph.D., lead author of the study. Bonus: You’ll score points with your wife by taking the toddler out of her hair. She’ll thank you later. Go to joggingstroller.com.

No Time for Breakfast Fix #1 R E D E C O R AT E . “Move the fruit bowl to a handy place so you can grab a piece or two on your way out the door,” says Donald Hensrud, M.D., director of the Mayo Clinic Executive Health Program and editor-in-chief of Mayo Clinic’s Healthy Weight for Everybody. Grab an apple, pear, banana, or some other fruit you can eat while driving. Shove an orange in your briefcase; it’s your antidote to the afternoon slump.

Fix #2 RELOCATE. No time to make a bowl of filling, high-fiber oatmeal at home? That’s okay. Have your breakfast at work instead. Quaker Express oatmeal comes in its own cup and takes

only a shot of water and 30 seconds in the microwave to be ready to eat—and there’s no cleanup.

Fix #3 P O P A M U LT I V I TA M I N . Open bottle, swallow pill. It takes 5 seconds, and the benefits will go a long way toward making sure your weight loss sticks. A low-calorie diet may not provide enough B vitamins, which are necessary to draw energy from food, says Tim Ziegenfuss, Ph.D., an exercise scientist at Pinnacle Institute of Health and Human Performance. Popping a multivitamin every day will help keep your energy levels up, ensuring that eating less doesn’t sabotage your efforts to exercise more.

Too Much Coffee, Cola, Juice… The Fix S O LV E Y O U R D R I N K I N G P R O B L E M . Liquid calories sneak up on most 

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your caffeine habit with regular infusions of 20-ounce colas, making the water switch will save you upwards of 400 calories a day—that’s 42 pounds in a year. What’s more, fluid balance is crucial when you’re exercising on

a calorie-restricted diet, says Robert McMurray, Ph.D., a professor of sports nutrition at the University of North Carolina. You’re burning protein along with fat, which increases your body’s need for water.

Falling Back on Fast Food Fix #1 C O O K L E S S , E AT M O R E O F T E N . You think choosing the drive-thru saves time, but with minimal planning (and some Tupperware), you can get much better food, much faster. “Put in the effort up front,” Dr. Hensrud says. “It will save you time later.” On Sunday, plan your meals for the week, go grocery shopping, and start cooking. Cook a week’s worth of brown rice, then divide it into individual servings. Store each serving in a container, and grab one a day to eat with lunch. Other easy cook-ahead items: • Boneless, skinless chicken breasts. Cook three extra. Chop one and add it to a salad, or slice it into strips and wrap it in a whole wheat tortilla with lettuce, tomato, onion, two slices of turkey bacon, and a smear of guacamole. • Salmon fillets. Cook three extra, wrap them in plastic wrap, and store

them in the fridge. Eat them cold or make salmon salad (one chopped fillet minus skin, a scant tablespoon of low-fat mayo or Dijonnaise, a tablespoon or two of sliced green onions, and a handful of halved grapes). • Turkey bacon. Cook 10 to 12 extra strips and add them to sandwiches or salads for extra protein, or just grab a couple of strips for a snack.

Fix #2 BUY A ROTISSERIE CHICKEN. Pick one up in the grocery store’s deli section instead of a burger and fries from your local grease merchant. Once you peel off the skin, the chicken is a terrific low-fat source of lean protein. It can feed one man for three or four meals or a family of four for a single meal. And dismembering it will help you practice your bird-carving skills, should you be called up for duty on Thanksgiving.

dieters. Buy a 32-ounce Nalgene bottle, keep it full of water, and drink it down at least twice a day. If you feed w w w. m e n s h e a l t h .co m

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That Irresistible Restaurant Menu Fix #1 S TA R T W I T H A S A L A D . No exceptions. Skip the bacon bits and croutons (but you knew that), and ask for oil and vinegar or the house vinaigrette. You don’t need to completely eliminate taste, either. “To me, a small amount of healthy fat and calories is worth it,” Dr. Hensrud says. Eating nutritious, low-calorie vegetables, even if they’re sprinkled with a little cheese, beats filling up on the free bread.

Fix #2 E AT T H E F I S H . Lean protein helps you feel full. Fish is an excellent source, and it may go a step further in helping you fight fat. In 2005, preliminary research at the University of Navarra, Spain, found that the eicosapentaenoic acid (you don’t have to pronounce it, just eat

it) found in fish like wild salmon, mackerel, and cod can stimulate the release of leptin, a hormone that’s been linked to appetite control and the regulation of fat storage.

Fix #3 G O V E G E TA R I A N , S O R T O F . Every time you order pasta, automatically ask for a side of the vegetable of the day and dump it into the pasta dish. “Vegetables are free food, dietwise,” Dr. Hensrud says, “and by eating more vegetables and less pasta, you shift the calorie count around in your favor.” Add some wilted spinach or other greens to spaghetti or lasagna; drop steamed squash or broccoli into that fettuccine Alfredo you couldn’t resist ordering. You really should resist cream-based sauces, though. Opt for the tomato sauce for all its cancer-fighting lycopene.

4 Core Exercises Every move in this workout strengthens the muscles of your abs, back, and hips. But this core routine, from Mike Mejia, M.S., C.S.C.S., also loosens your hamstrings, lower back, calves, hip flexors, and other areas, so you’ll finish feeling stronger and

Pike Walk • Stand with your legs straight and your hands flat on the floor. (You’ll probably need to begin with your hands a couple of feet in front of you.) • Keeping your legs straight, walk your hands forward as far as possible. Concentrate on keeping your stomach tight, with your navel pulled in toward your pelvis. Then take tiny steps to walk your feet forward to your hands, ending in the starting position. Repeat the movement for a set of five repetitions.

An Overdose of Television The fix F L O O R I T . Just lie or sit on the floor instead of the sofa. Same time, same channel, more calories burned. “When you fall into that couch, you’re just gone, but when you’re sitting on the floor, you keep moving a little bit,” says Charles Staley, C.S.C.S., a Phoenix-based strength coach. “You start in one

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position, then shift to another, then another.” That kind of mini motion counts toward your total daily calorie burn, and it adds up: Mayo Clinic researchers have found that fidgety people burn up to 300 extra calories per day. And when you’re on the floor, you’re more likely to do a few crunches or pushups.

stretched. Perform the workout as a circuit, moving from one exercise to the next without rest. Pause 60 to 90 seconds after each circuit, and do three circuits in all. Do the workout 3 days a week, taking at least a day off between workouts.

Straight-Arm Side Bridge • Lie on your left hip with the outer side of your left leg flat on the floor and your upper body propped up on your left arm. (The arm should be straight, palm on the floor.) • Pushing against the floor with your left arm, raise your hips and legs off the floor and simultaneously lift your right arm straight up in the air so your body forms a T. Hold for a second, then lower your hips and right arm. Do six repetitions per side. w w w. m e n s h e a l t h .co m

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Glute Bridge with Abduction • Lie on your back with your knees bent, feet flat on the floor. • Raise your hips so your lower back is off the floor. Then, holding this bridge position, straighten your right leg and move it out to the side as far as possible. (Don’t let your hips drop.) Slowly bring the leg back in, lower your foot to its starting position, and slowly lower your hips to the floor. Repeat with your left leg. Do six repetitions to each side.

Hindu Pushup • Start with your feet shoulder-width apart and your butt high in the air. Look back at your heels. Bend your arms at the elbows, moving your head toward the ground while keeping your legs straight. • Then lower your hips (but don’t allow them to touch the floor) as you push up with your arms. Finish with your head up and your back arched. Then push yourself back up to the starting position. Do 8 to 10 repetitions.

6 Steps to Efficient Running 1. Run Tall.

4.Land on the midfoot.

2.Relax.

5.Run softly.

3.Breathe right.

6.Swing symmetrically.

Gravity and weak core muscles cause many runners to “fold” in the middle when their feet land. This sitting-down movement wastes energy. Imagine that wires are attached to your shoulders, pulling you up slightly. Thrust your hips forward a bit and think “stability” when your foot hits. It’s easier to run tall if you’ve worked your core properly. (See “4 Core Exercises,” page 11.)

Tension in your arms, shoulders, neck, and face reduces efficiency. Arms and fingers should be loose. Unclench your hands and let your jaw jiggle.

Your breathing should be rhythmic and deep, and you should feel your diaphragm, not your chest, doing the work. Exhale with controlled force. When you pick up the pace, don’t let your breathing get shallow. (See “Secrets to Better Breathing,” page 14.)

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A heel-first landing is a brake. It means you’re extending your leg out too far in front of your center of gravity, so it takes more energy to move forward. And it’s shaky, so your muscles are working on stabilization instead of forward motion. Shorten your stride. It’ll feel odd at first, like shuffling, but once you get used to it, focus on thrusting backward with force.

The louder your footfalls, the less efficiently you’re running. Try running more quietly; you’ll be unconsciously switching to a midfoot strike and a shorter, quicker stride.

Check your form on a treadmill in front of a mirror. If one arm is bent more than the other or swings more, you have a musculoskeletal imbalance that can slow you down. Target the weaker side with strength and flexibility exercises.

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GET A BETTER BODY

Secrets to Better Breathing

6 Real Meals in 15 Minutes

Pumping oxygen to your screaming muscles seems automatic—go hard, suck wind, repeat. But done with care, breathing can help you perform better in almost any sport.

It’s 7:30 p.m. You’ve managed to escape the office alive (and without inflicting serious injury). You’ve hit the gym. And now, as the minutes tick by, the rumble of your stomach is almost enough to drown out the three-cheese, stuffed-crust pizza come-on that’s blaring out of the television. Almost. So you give in, and who can blame you? Seems that in the modern world, you can have it all—the job, the girl, the house—everything but

Swimming P R O B L E M It’s hard to swim fast and straight. B R E AT H I N G F I X Breathe on both sides, says swim coach Kevin Koskella, of triswimcoach.com. And focus on turning your torso instead of your head, rolling your body until your mouth is above water. “Raising your head will slow you down and disrupt your stroke rhythm,” says Koskella.

Running P R O B L E M Your muscles tighten up on hills or when you’re pushing through the last mile. B R E AT H I N G F I X Try fully inhaling and exhaling through your nose, which will help facilitate breathing from the abdomen. This calms you down and relaxes your muscles, says

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Scott Jurek, a seven-time champion ultramarathoner.

Cycling P R O B L E M When you’re tucked in racing position, tight shoulders and neck make it hard to draw a deep breath. B R E AT H I N G F I X When seated, “keep your fingers loose on the handlebar, as if you were going to play the piano,” says Dirk Friel, a USA Cycling certified coach. Your muscles will loosen, your chest will open, and your heart rate will decrease.

Basketball P R O B L E M Your free throws are bricks. B R E AT H I N G F I X “Many players have this habit of holding their breath when they shoot,” says Erik Spoelstra, a bench coach for the Miami Heat. “But the key to a good shooting stroke is to stay relaxed, and to do so, you should take a breath and let it out just before or during your shot.”

a decent home-cooked meal. That’s what Applebee’s, your neighborhood multinational restaurant chain, is for. Sure, you’d love to eat a dinner that tastes like it took hours to cook, but you have only a few hours of wakefulness left, and you certainly don’t plan on spending one of them wrestling a chicken into the oven and another cleaning up the wreckage. The good news is you can prepare a decent meal in only 15 minutes. Not convinced? Read on.

Barbecue- Sauce C hicken Pi z za You’ll need: 2 Tbsp barbecue sauce 8" Boboli pizza crust ¼ c canned diced tomatoes with chile peppers, well drained ¾ c precooked chicken, mesquite flavor PLUS: 2 Tbsp sliced scallions; ½ tsp cilantro; ¼ c grated smoked mozzarella

2. Add the remaining ingredients in order. 3. Bake in a 450°F oven for 8 to 10 minutes. Extra credit: Add ¼ c mixed-color peppers for a vitamin C boost. Eat with: A simple tossed salad— mixed greens, sliced onions, and cherry tomatoes

How to make it: 1. Smear the barbecue sauce evenly over the pizza crust.

Per serving, including salad: 324 calories, 21 g protein, 41 g carbohydrates, 8 g fat, 2 g sat fat, 3 g fiber, 835 mg sodium

M a ke s 2 s e r v i n g s

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K orean-S tyle Pepper Steak You’ll need: ½ lb sirloin, sliced diagonally into thin strips 1 c bite-size pieces red or green bell pepper (or ½ c of each) 1 c bite-size pieces onion 2 Tbsp reduced-sodium soy sauce PLUS: 1 tsp sugar; 1 ½ tsp olive oil; 1 clove garlic, crushed; 1 tsp red-pepper flakes How to make it: 1. Dump all the ingredients into a large ziplock plastic bag. Go James Bond on it—well shaken, not stirred. No, really throttle it. You want the soy sauce and oil to permeate everything in the bag.

2. Pour the meat, sauce, and vegetables into a medium-hot cast-iron skillet, stirring frequently until the meat is seared and the vegetables begin to lose their water (about 2 to 3 minutes). Extra credit: For a more authentic Korean-style flavor, use toasted sesame oil instead of olive oil and add 1 Tbsp rice-wine vinegar. Eat with: 1 c Uncle Ben’s Ready Rice, Whole Grain Brown (the kind you can microwave in 90 seconds)

M a ke s 2 s e r v i n g s Per serving, including rice: 623 calories, 37 g protein, 58 g carbohydrates, 27 g fat, 9 g sat fat, 4 g fiber, 604 mg sodium

T una S alad for G rown -U ps You’ll need: 2 fresh yellowfin or ahi tuna fillets, 3–4 oz each 4 c chopped romaine lettuce 1¾ c grape tomatoes ¹⁄³ c whole pitted black or kalamata olives PLUS: Salt and pepper; ¼ c chopped roasted red pepper Dressing: 2 Tbsp olive oil; 2 Tbsp lemon juice; 1 Tbsp grainy Dijon mustard; ¼ tsp dried thyme; 1 clove garlic, crushed

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How to make it: 1. Sear the tuna in a nonstick skillet on medium-high heat (1 minute per side), seasoning each side with a pinch of salt and pepper as the other side cooks. Remove the tuna from the skillet and set aside. 2. In a large bowl, toss together the lettuce, tomatoes, olives, and roasted red pepper. 3. In a small bowl, stir together the olive oil, lemon juice, mustard, thyme, and garlic until well blended. No whisk? Just use a fork.

4. Cut the tuna into ½"-thick slices. (Yes, it should be raw inside.) Divide the salad onto two plates and top with the tuna and dressing. Eat with: A microwaved potato with 1 Tbsp low-fat sour cream

M a ke s 2 s e r v i n g s Per serving, including potato: 647 calories, 46 g protein, 66 g carbohydrates, 20 g fat, 4 g sat fat, 7 g fiber, 1,383 mg sodium

Seared S irloin with ’ Shrooms You’ll need: 2 sirloin steaks, 6 oz each 1 tsp olive oil ¼ c chicken stock ½ c thinly sliced cremini mushrooms PLUS: Salt and pepper; ¼ tsp dried thyme; 1 clove garlic, crushed How to make it: 1. Sear the steaks in a skillet on medium-high (about 2 to 3 minutes per side), seasoning each side with a pinch of salt and pepper as the other side cooks. Remove the steaks from the skillet, and reduce the heat to medium. 2. Put the olive oil, thyme, and garlic

in the skillet, stirring frequently and scraping with a spoon to release the brown bits left behind by the meat (about 30 seconds). 3. Add the stock and mushrooms, stirring often until the mushrooms soften (about 3 minutes). Extra credit: Use red wine instead of chicken stock for a more sophisticated flavor. Eat with: 1½ c steamed broccoli

M a ke s 2 s e r v i n g s Per serving, including broccoli: 507 calories, 49 g protein, 7 g carbohydrates, 31 g fat, 12 g sat fat, 3 g fiber, 267 mg sodium

T omato- and- Zucchini- Sauced C hicken You’ll need: 2 chicken breasts, 4–5 oz each, pounded to an even ¼" thickness 1 tsp olive oil ¾ c chopped zucchini ¾ c no-salt-added canned tomatoes

PLUS: Salt and pepper; 1 clove garlic, crushed; ½ tsp dried basil How to make it: 1. Sear the chicken in a skillet on medium-high heat (about 4 to 5 minutes per side), seasoning each side with a pinch of salt and pepper

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as the other side cooks. Remove the breasts from the skillet, and reduce the heat to medium. 2. Add the olive oil and garlic to the skillet, stirring frequently and scraping with a spoon to release the brown bits left behind by the meat (about 30 seconds). 3. Add the zucchini and basil. Let the mixture rest for 1 minute. 4. Stir in the tomatoes and place the chicken breasts back in the skillet.

5. Cover and cook for 2 minutes more. Extra credit: Use a vegetable peeler to shave a little Parmesan onto each breast. Eat with: 1 c whole wheat pasta

M a ke s 2 s e r v i n g s Per serving, including pasta: 523 calories, 42 g protein, 79 g carbohydrates, 7 g fat, 1 g sat fat, 13 g fiber, 400 mg sodium

S picy Fish and T ips You’ll need: 1 Tbsp olive oil 2 c lightly packed baby spinach 10–12 asparagus tips 2 tilapia fillets, 3–4 oz each PLUS: ½ tsp red-pepper flakes; 2 scallions, sliced; ½ lime; salt and pepper How to make it: 1. In a small bowl, mix the oil and red-pepper flakes and microwave for 30 seconds to make chile oil. Set aside. 2. Tear off two 18" sections of foil and smooth them flat. Arrange an equal amount of spinach and asparagus in the center of each piece of foil. Place a fillet on top

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of each pile. Then top each fillet with scallion slices and chile oil. Halve the lime half, and squeeze the juice from each piece over the fish. Season with a pinch of salt and pepper, and seal the foil (fold up and over the fillets, then crease the sides to form a tent—the fish will bake and steam simultaneously). 3. Bake in a 450°F oven for 10 to 12 minutes. Eat with: 1 c Uncle Ben’s Ready Rice, Whole Grain Brown

M a ke s 2 s e r v i n g s Per serving, including rice: 396 calories, 28 g protein, 45 g carbohydrates, 12 g fat, 2 g sat fat, 3 g fiber, 142 mg sodium

5 Ways to Burn Fat with Food Because most purveyors of weight loss plans are idiots, the words “diet” and “deprivation” have become nearly synonymous. When you start thinking about reducing your gut, you imagine a dreary patch of flavor denial and an aching belly, and quite naturally you turn away. That’s what’s wrong with the average diet: It contains the seeds of its own destruction. We’re not going there. Instead, we offer this promise: We’ll help you chase your extra 10 or 15 pounds out of town by tempting you with eating opportunities all day long—by keeping your belly so full it’ll never occur to you that you’re on a diet. And all we ask is that you agree to explore a broader swath of life’s big buffet. The fact is, you can feel better than you do today; you can have

more energy; you can improve your long-term health prospects; you can even get lucky more often, with better results. And food—the right kind of food—is your ticket; all the secrets are right here. In 5 weeks, you’ll be in your new home: the land of the 32-inch waist. Ready? Let’s go. Or, rather…let’s eat.

Track Your Losses

R

esearch shows that for every pound of weight you lose, you’ll melt ¼" off your waist. Wrap a measuring tape around your abdomen. (For accuracy, the bottom of the tape should touch the tops of your hip bones; your navel will move as you lose weight.) Don’t compress the skin.

RULE #1: Eat Five Meals a Day That’s three squares and two snacks. In a study in the American Journal of Epidemiology, researchers found that men who ate four or more times a day had half the risk of becoming

overweight compared with those who ate three times or fewer. This doesn’t mean three feasts and two 900-calorie “snacks”; read on for the foods to pile on your plate.

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COOK UP GOOD NUTRITION

RULE #2: Fill Up on Fiber “Fiber is the best food you can eat when you’re trying to lose weight,” says Gay Riley, R.D., a nutritionist in Dallas and the author of Pocket Personal Trainer. Here’s why: It slows your rate of digestion, which keeps you feeling full longer and reduces sugar cravings. And because it binds to other foods, fiber helps hustle calories out of the body. A USDA

Start Today Step 1: Clean out your fridge. And your cabinets. Toss out (or give away) any nondiet soda, pasta, or bread that isn’t 100% whole wheat, and any cereal that has a cartoon mascot. Step 2: Fill it up again. Download “Best Foods for Men” from MensHealth. com/bestfoods. You’ll find dozens of convenient, healthy foods that fit the guidelines on these pages. Step 3: Plan meals for 1 week. By knowing what you’re going to eat and when, you’ll be more likely to stay on course. Make this a weekly ritual.

study determined that people who consume 24 g of fiber daily earn a 90-calorie free pass. Your goal is 5 g fiber at each meal.

5 or more g fiber: • 1 cup of any cereal with “bran” in the name—such as raisin bran or All-Bran. If the magic word is missing, check the Nutrition Facts label. • 1 cup of cooked beans—pinto, kidney, navy, any kind

2 to 4 g fiber: • 1 medium apple, pear, orange, or banana • 1 cup of any fruit that ends in “berry” • ½ cup of cooked asparagus, broccoli, brussels sprouts, carrots, cauliflower, green beans, sauerkraut, or spinach • 1 ounce (about a handful) of almonds, peanuts, cashews, pecans, or sunflower seeds • 1 cup of cooked brown rice or whole wheat pasta, or two slices of whole wheat bread

RULE #3: Don’t Count Calories A good diet is effortless. By frequently eating the right foods, you’ll eliminate hunger and control your calorie intake. E AT P R O T E I N AT E V E R Y M E A L . Make an effort to eat a serving or 20

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two of high-quality protein—dairy, meat, eggs, or nuts. You’ll get the daily ideal of 8 g leucine, an amino acid that’s critical for boosting metabolism and preserving muscle as you drop pounds.

DON’T RESTRICT FRUITS AND V E G E TA B L E S . Potatoes excepted, they contain very few calories, little starch, and lots of fiber. D O N ’ T B E A F R A I D O F F AT . Researchers at the City of Hope Medical Center, in Duarte, CA, report that men who ate a low-calorie, high-fat diet lost 63% more weight in 6 months than those who followed a low-fat plan with the same number of calories. By replacing some starches with fat—which takes longer to digest—you’ll stay full longer and eat less. Eat healthy, unsaturated

Simple Switches A salty, crunchy fix: Reach for a pickle, not the Pringles. Dill spears (1 calorie each) will cover both cravings. Restaurant sides: Substitute vegetables for potatoes, pasta, or rice. This reduces calories and keeps insulin levels low. At Starbucks: Opt for fat-free instead of whole milk, and avoid beverages with “mocha,” “toffee,” or “chai” in their names. On average, you’ll cut the calorie content by 75%.

fats: In the study, the high-fat dieters ate 3 ounces of almonds a day.

RULE #4: Put a Limit on Starch Since 1980, the average guy’s food intake has grown by 500 calories a day, nearly 80% of which can be attributed to carbohydrates; in that time, the prevalence of obesity has increased by 80%. The lesson: Cap your intake of the most carbohydrate-dense foods—such as grains and potatoes—at three servings a

day. (One serving is the equivalent of one slice of bread, ½ cup of cooked pasta or rice, or one small potato.) Always eat the highestfiber, least-processed versions of these foods—whole wheat breads, pastas, and cereals; brown rice instead of white; and whole potatoes, including the skin.

RULE #5: Rise and Dine Never mind what you’ve seen at Denny’s—fat guys skip breakfast. University of Massachusetts researchers found that men who skip breakfast are 4½ times more likely to be obese than those who don’t. “Eating breakfast is like putting

kindling on the fire of your metabolism,” says Riley, so your body will be less likely to store fat. Make sure you eat within 90 minutes of waking—men in the study who waited longer increased their chances of obesity by nearly 50%.

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10 Things Her Body Is Telling You They’re sometimes subtle, but to the initiated man, these changes in physiology are signs of what she’s thinking and feeling.

Pupils If she’s feeling stimulated by you (not just sexually), her pupils will dilate. That’s because her body is programmed to want to see more of whatever’s exciting her, so her brain tells her irises to let in more light. Bonus: As the inkiness spreads, she’ll start looking better to you, too. Research shows that men rate women with larger pupils as more attractive. Time to make your move.

Eyelashes Hold her gaze for a minute. If she’s blinking more than normal (which is about 15 times a minute), there’s a good chance she’s on the Pill; women on birth control blink 32% more than those who aren’t. Aside from the obvious, what does that mean for you? Put on your toughest, most confident mug as you look at her. Because of the shift in hormone levels, research says, women on the Pill are more attracted to men with rugged features, such as strong, wide jaws. 22

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Brain She’s matching you drink for drink, you’re starting to feel like reenacting Animal House, but she seems like her same old self. What’s the deal? Men and women get different kinds of buzzes: Men lose inhibitions, while women become sedated. If you’re looking to get her into the party spirit, don’t feed her more alcohol. Instead, feed the jukebox. Research shows that mid- to fast-tempo music will make her more social.

Belly Want to know if it’s a good or bad time to broach a tricky conversation? You can tell if she’s suitably relaxed by her breathing pattern. If her stomach pulls in with each inhalation, she’s taking shallow breaths from her chest, which indicates stress. Keep your distance. If her abdomen and chest expand with each inhalation, she’s taking deeper, more rhythmic breaths—a sign of relaxation. Go for it.

the best time to impress her with your culinary skills. That’s because 90% of taste is really smell. Treat her to a breakfast in bed consisting of warmed banana-nut bread, which has an aroma that, according to one study, increases bloodflow to the vagina. And that may lead to a different kind of morning treat.

Chest Sex flush, a pinkish look to the skin of her chest, occurs during foreplay. It stems from changes in blood pressure and circulation, along with pulse and respiration rates. Think of it as her coy way of telling you that if you keep doing what you’re doing, you just might get lucky. Another sign that things are working: A woman’s breasts grow by as much as 25% as things turn hot and heavy.

Small of Her Back As she moves toward orgasm during sex, she’ll begin to arch her back. Hold her tight around the small of her back at this point and stay attuned to how much she’s arching. And, for God’s sake, do not let up; maintain the same rhythm and intensity of stimulation until she climaxes. She’ll pay you back for this later, with interest.

Fingernails Pay attention to her fingers; among the surest signs of anxiety or depression in a woman are body-focused repetitive behaviors, such as skin picking and nail biting. If you see her doing that, don’t nag her to stop; that can send her deeper into a spiral. Instead, gently pull her hand away, give it a squeeze, and hold on to it. Feel the tension ooze right out.

Hands If it seems as if she always has cold hands, that’s because she does— almost 3° colder

Nose Her sense of smell is sharpest first thing in the morning, which, aside from being a good reason to brush your teeth immediately, makes it w w w. m e n s h e a l t h .co m

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than yours, possibly more if she’s stressed. Women’s bodies, even more than men’s, are programmed to keep their cores warmer than their extremities. So to warm her hands up, don’t massage them; wrap your arm around her waist. This will warm her core and allow blood to flow back into her hands.

Between Her Legs Okay, you know enough about your partner’s menstrual cycle to know when to leave her alone. Now add this to your arsenal: Two weeks after her period begins, she will be at her horniest, guaranteed. Female sexual motivation is highest when she’s ovulating. Warning: This is also when she’s most likely to get pregnant.

Build a Better Woman We surveyed more than 6,800 men on MensHealth.com to find out what changes they would mandate to make women better. Herewith, your design notes for the new female model. Good luck, men! Only 15% said they wouldn’t change a thing about women. As for the unbrainwashed 85%, here’s what they wanted to change, and fast. (Respondents could check more than one answer.)

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Her lack of sex drive

41%

Her mood swings

34%

Her nagging

21%

Her insistence on making you guess why she’s upset

20%

Her emotional manipulation

18%

Her easily offended sense of humor

13%

Her need to talk about everything

13%

Her inability to perform traditional female tasks (bake a cake, clean a bathroom, stay at home with the kids)

12%

Her annoying friends

11%

Her fixation on her body and its flaws

8%

Her laserlike focus on getting married and/or having kids

7%

Other

8%

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Recharge Your Sex Life Of course you wouldn’t go to a sex therapist. Please. Everything’s fine, everything works, everyone’s happy. You’d like to get happy more frequently, sure, but you have no real complaints. And neither does the woman in your bed. Right? You don’t have to answer. According to our Men’s Health/MSNBC poll, nearly half of American men aren’t truly happy with their sex lives: 19% are “not at all satisfied,” and 30% are a grudging “somewhat

satisfied.” And 43% call theirs “routine” or worse. Let’s admit it: We can all do better, for ourselves, our partners, or both—even if you’re among the 3% who claim to get some every day. Quality counts, too, pal. But no, you don’t have to go to a sex therapist. We’ve arranged for you to eavesdrop on some of the best. Give them 5 weeks and they’ll give you a better sex life, one arousing step at a time. Take a peek.

Step 1: Learn Denial Bear with us. Denying yourself sex is the first step in “sensate focus,” a form of therapy that sexperts say can help nearly everyone. It’s often used for men who can’t reach orgasm (they exist) and men who reach it too quickly (as many as one in three). But it can also work for couples who have lost interest in sex and those for whom it’s become rote. “It’ll seem backward,” says Michael Metz, Ph.D., a therapist in St. Paul, MN. “But to find more pleasure, and to function better, you have to relax your body.” So take your body off high alert. And that

means… N O P O R N . You heard right. In the past decade, Metz says, Internet porn has caused bedroom trouble. A guy on the computer more than once a week, he says, is “more likely to be bored or not interested, to have erection problems or trouble ejaculating. He could also have problems with PE [premature ejaculation].” A week or two off can be enough. “Taking a holiday from porn can be good—it’s like turning off the TV for a week,” says Debby Herbenick, Ph.D., Men’s Health’s “Bedroom Confidential” columnist. “Once

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you’re not masturbating to porn, you’re using your sexuality and mind and fantasies in a different way. And maybe you’ll relate to your partner in a different way. Therapy often involves changing things up.” Speaking of which… N O S E X . Seems like you’re already at this step? That’s fine— these principles can work for couples across the frequency dial. In sensate-focus therapy, couples have bedroom sessions in which they take turns touching each other everywhere but the breasts and genitals. (They even start with clothes on.) In subsequent stages, usually over several weeks, they begin to include their fun bits in the touching—but still no intercourse. For sexually dysfunctional couples, it’s a way to rebuild from square one. For the rest of us, the steps—applied in one night—can be used to build excitement and rediscover the fun of the early days of sex. “They should do things that

remind them of their first sexual experiences—over-the-shirt and over-the-panties touching,” Herbenick says. “Just relive that for 30 minutes before diving in.” “People report that they have ‘discovered’ new ways of touching their partner, and enjoyed it, even when intercourse and orgasm are not on the agenda,” says Cynthia Graham, Ph.D., a therapist and researcher with the Kinsey Institute. Further stages include guiding each other’s hands, then touching at the same time, then the woman getting on top and rubbing before allowing penetration. Try all the steps in one night—just incorporate that extra time. Take 10-minute turns touching and receiving—no genitals at first. Only after 20 minutes or so can you touch and receive at the same time. Relax and enjoy—anxiety causes the biggest problems. Ideally, you both stop worrying about performance and end up performing better than ever.

Step 2: Talk It Up So let’s say you convince your girlfriend to go for a while just touching, and she doesn’t dump you. In fact, she gets into it. She’s guiding your hands where she wants them. She’s giving back with her own creative touching and licking, and you’re both reaching orgasm, often outside of intercourse. This is differ 26

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ent; this is good. Bored couples have “lost communication—verbal or nonverbal,” Herbenick says. It wasn’t always that way. “Early in a relationship, there’s more feedback. ‘I like this…. Do more of that.’” Slowing down can bring this back. M A K E T I M E . “Scheduled sex

is so underrated!” a fellow sex researcher blurted to Herbenick. “People say, ‘Oh, come on,’” Herbenick says. “But take 2 minutes to imagine how this could work…” For instance, she suggests you call your wife on your cell on your way to work and formally request, “I’d like to make an appointment with Mrs. Whatever for 7:30 tonight,” and plow right ahead, no matter how she reacts. Drop hints about what you’re going to do; send follow-up e-mails with more hints and a countdown. “The whole idea of thinking about it really works. That kind of fantasizing is underrated, too,” says Herbenick. “When you fantasize, you put the mind back into sex. It’s integral to sexual enjoyment, performance, and orgasm.” E X E R C I S E . Drugs like Viagra

relax the pelvic area to enhance bloodflow, Metz notes. You can produce similar results by tightening the pelvic muscles that stop urination and handle ejaculation. This trains the muscles and “helps you consciously identify the physical sensation of relaxing,” which leads to better control and stronger orgasms, says Metz, coauthor of Coping with Premature Ejaculation. “Hold it for 3 seconds, relax for 3 seconds,” and do 10 repetitions (really), three times a day. And go to the gym with your wife or girlfriend. It’s known that physical fitness boosts libido. Now a new study at Duke University shows that losing just a little bit of weight makes both parties—women especially—more comfortable and enthusiastic in bed.

Start Today What? Sex with your clothes on. Where? Perform a slow-mo grope on the couch when the kids have gone to bed. No kids? Do it with the drapes open. Sneaky is sexy. “Meshed in with the physical excitement is the excitement of knowing you could get caught,” says Debby Herbenick, Ph.D., Men’s Health’s “Bedroom Confidential” columnist. How? Use fingers, feet, legs, tongues, whatever you can get away with to arouse each other. It’s your white-hot teenage years all over again, when “you kept clothing on because you might have to put it back on really fast,” Herbenick says. Why? For many women (men, too), the sensations will be new all over again. “Do it just for the sake of variety,” she says. “The breasts or genitals will feel different with fabric rubbing against them.” Don’t hold back—that’s what doing laundry is for.

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Step 3: Have Fun Okay, you’ve slowed down your bedroom approach, learned how she—and you—like to be touched, and, by planning ahead, turned your BlackBerry into a sex toy. It’s time to have some fun. “Your goal is to stimulate adrenaline, dopamine, and norepinephrine,” says sex therapist and author Ian Kerner, Ph.D., “all those hormones that give you a high and lead to sexual arousal.” T U R N O N ( T H E T V ] . Watch erotic videos together “as a warmup, to enrich lovemaking, not undermine it,” Metz says. Give her the remote and tell her she can turn it off at any time, Herbenick says. She suggests veteran porn goddess Nina Hartley’s interactive DVD Sex Shooter, which allows your partner to change the camera angle midscene—you may learn about her preferences.

8 Ways to Make Yourself Irresistible to Women G E T S L I P P E R Y . In your nightstand, store a lubricant that can double as massage oil, such as K-Y Touch Massage 2-in-1 (ky.com), and the book 101 Grrreat Quickies, by Laura Corn, says Brian Zamboni, Ph.D., a sex therapist in Minnesota. K E E P I T S I M P L E . Cover her vulva with your hand and apply steady pressure to increase bloodflow. Everything you do afterward will feel even better. G O S L O W LY . Don’t make an expedition of finding her G-spot, and don’t go too far or too fast. Insert a finger into her vagina no farther than your second knuckle. Wrap your finger around her pelvic bone and then slowly rock your hand until she starts to rock with you. Stay shallow, and create a slow, throbbing sensation. Don’t forget to be gentle.

1. Plan that trip you’ve been putting off. Think big: hiking in Bolivia, wreck diving off Fiji, kayaking Norway’s fjords. A man who’s about to go on—or is just back from—a ballsy adventure emits an irresistible glow. 2. Get a $100 haircut. Go to an upscale, unisex salon and ask for the owner or head stylist. Don’t let a recent beauty-school grad touch those locks. 3. Browse organic markets. Healthy, happy, successful single women channel unused sexual energy into a deep hatred of pesticides. 4. Become a regular at someplace plush. Find a hip, bustling bar or restaurant in your hood and go once a week—with friends, with coworkers, or alone. Tip well. After a month, you’ll have a rapport with the staff that, at best, could lead to introductions and invitations. At the least, it will impress

a date when you finally take one there. 5. Renovate a room. Find women in the world of interior decorating. From looking for furniture to picking out paint to browsing light fixtures, you’ll be surrounded by single ladies. Breaking the ice is as easy as asking her opinion. 6. Throw a bash. Or pay talented people to throw one for you. Hire a caterer, a bartender, and a DJ, and invite everyone you know. It’s expensive, but the exposure is worth it. 7. Read Gabriel García Márquez novels in public. Women figure if you understand Márquez, you can’t possibly be bad in bed. 8. Donate your time or money. Find a glitzy nonprofit—something involving art, music, or theater. It’ll add more events to your social calendar, more clout to your character, and more valid opportunities to meet professional dancers.

How to Negotiate with an Angry Woman Take control. She’s furious, you’re flummoxed. So defuse her anger in a way she understands: by talking it to death. First, let her vent. “Nobody is going to listen to logic until the emotional part has been dealt with,” says Robert Mayer, author of How to Win Any Argument without Raising Your Voice, Losing Your Cool, or Coming to Blows. Start the conversation by saying, “I understand that you’re upset, but it’s hard for me to work through this if you keep screaming.” That reality shock makes her assess her behavior. Use eye contact to show you’re listening, and paraphrase her points to acknowledge that you’re hearing what she’s saying. Then ask her to offer solutions. If she makes a demand that’s reasonable, try to gain something from it. And start with small compromises.

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LIVE FOREVER

5 Ways to DiseaseProof Your Body Let’s say you’re stranded on a desert island. You know the game: You can have only 10 CDs. Or five books. Or one woman. For the rest of your life. Except, in this version, you can have only three organs. Which would you choose? A heart, natch. How about a brain? Definitely, otherwise the heart couldn’t pump a single pint. And número tres? If you’re really honest, you’d choose the organ you’d need to satisfy the woman with whom you chose to spend eternity. Of course, if you had just those three organs, eternity would last all of 2 seconds. And that’s the point

of this gruesome hypothetical: We value certain vital organs more than others, but the fact is, they’re all just that—vital. So, while it’s great if you work hard to keep your heart healthy, your brain sharp, and your penis—well, you know—it may be for naught if you aren’t protecting your other anatomical all-stars, too. Don’t worry; this guide will show you how to safeguard everything from your lungs to your liver. In other words, if your organs had to choose one single thing to be stranded with on a desert island, this guide would be their pick.

Lungs If you think the airbags in your car are high tech, consider the set in your chest. Not only do they extract oxygen from the air you breathe and exchange it for carbon dioxide from your bloodstream, but they also help filter out any bacteria and viruses you might have sucked in. The more efficiently your lungs function, the higher your energy levels and the lower your risk of an airborne infection. 30

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Y O U R B E S T P R O T E C T I O N : A surfeit of flab isn’t just hell on your heart. “Being overweight puts a tremendous strain on the lungs,” says John Mastronarde, M.D., an associate professor at the Davis Heart & Lung Research Institute at Ohio State University. “Excess fat in the chest wall can compromise lung expansion and possibly lung function.” Fortunately, even a relatively small drop in total poundage can have a big impact: A new study in the

journal Chest shows that losing 10% of excess body weight can improve lung capacity by 5%. As you cut back on high-calorie foods, increase your intake of the flavonoid-filled kind, particularly apples. “Flavonoids may have antioxidant properties that enhance lung function,” says Dr. Mastronarde.

London researchers recently found that people who ate at least two apples a week had as much as a 32% lower risk of developing asthma. And an earlier study in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute determined that eating an apple a day may cut the risk of lung cancer by 40%.

Kidneys Urban legends about organ theft invariably involve pilfered kidneys. And why not? Only really valuable stuff gets stolen, and by anatomical standards, kidneys are practically priceless. They’re the twin treatment plants that remove excess water and waste products from your blood before recycling the blood back into your circulatory system. But that isn’t all. “They also regulate all the fluids, salts, and acids in the body,” says Leslie Spry, M.D., a spokesman for the National Kidney Foundation. Y O U R B E S T P R O T E C T I O N : Because kidney stones are more painful than a Real World reunion show, we tend to think of them as the biggest threat to our blood filters. But a greater danger, one that can’t be prevented by consuming copious amounts of water, is high blood

pressure. Chronically elevated BP can damage the blood vessels in the kidneys, causing them to slow down or stop their waste-removal function—and that can raise blood pressure even higher. Left untreated, this can become a veritable death spiral. Besides the proven pressure-relief measures, such as ingesting less sodium and swallowing more potassium, there’s also a benefit to packing on more muscle. A recent study from the Medical College of Georgia shows that participants with the most muscle mass had 11% lower systolic blood pressure and 7% lower diastolic pressure than those who weren’t as buff. To achieve the maximum BP-lowering effect from your workouts, do power exercises; they train the fast-twitch muscle fibers, which grow the largest.

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Gallbladder Your gallbladder is basically a glorified holding tank. This pear-shaped organ is where a portion of the bile pumped out by your liver is stored until it’s needed to help digest fats in your small intestine. And while you can live without a gallbladder—your liver will send the necessary bile directly to your intestines—it’s worth keeping it healthy, if only to avoid the agony of a gallstone. Y O U R B E S T P R O T E C T I O N : Gallstones, which are really more like “gallpebbles,” are small pieces of crystallized cholesterol. You can have a few and not even know they’re there—until one becomes painfully lodged in the duct leading to your small intestine. There is, however, a relatively simple way to prevent the little suckers from form-

ing in the first place: Break a sweat. A Harvard University study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine monitored more than 45,000 men and found that one-third of all cases of gallstones could be prevented with 30 minutes of cardiovascular exercise—from running to brisk walking—five times a week. Log that essential half hour of cardio work in the a.m., then pile on the protection by eating oatmeal for breakfast and washing it down with orange juice. Research has determined that soluble fiber—of which oatmeal is one of the richest sources—and vitamin C can both lower the risk of gallstones. Note: In this case, skip the fresh-squeezed OJ and buy the frozen-concentrate kind instead; lab analyses show that frozen actually has the highest levels of vitamin C.

Pancreas A Leatherman has nothing on this multitool. Located between your stomach and your spine, your pancreas secretes insulin to regulate blood sugar levels and metabolic rate, as well as to help neutralize stomach acids that accidentally enter the intestines. “It also produces enzymes that break down the fats, carbohydrates, and proteins we eat so we can absorb them,” says John Affronti, M.D., an associate 32

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professor of medicine at the Emory University school of medicine. Y O U R B E S T P R O T E C T I O N : If you’re guarding against gallstones, then you’ve already reduced your risk of pancreatitis, an inflammatory condition often caused when an errant stone blocks the organ’s main duct. And, as a sort of bonus, by preventing pancreatitis, you also help lower your odds of being diagnosed with a

disease that’s deadly in nearly 100% of cases: pancreatic cancer, which is as fast as it is fatal. Another strategy for slashing your cancer risk is to pig out on produce. When Canadian researchers analyzed the diets of nearly 5,000 men, they discovered that those who adhered to a diet high in fresh fruits and cruciferous vegetables had a 49% lower risk of pancreatic cancer than men who ate mainly meat

and potatoes. If you’re not a fan of brussels sprouts and broccoli, go ahead and cover ’em with ketchup. In a study published in the Journal of Nutrition, men who regularly consumed tomato-based products lowered their odds of developing pancreatic cancer by 31%. All the kudos go to lycopene, the red pigment that first earned its stripes in the battle against prostate cancer.

Liver More than just your body’s antidote to alcohol, your liver helps flush out other toxic stuff you were never meant to swallow, e.g., any food purchased from a drive-thru window. The organ does this by producing a grease-dissolving goo known as bile. (See “Gallbladder.”) Oh, and in its spare time, your liver also removes bacteria from your bloodstream, lays away a supply of iron, and converts glucose into glycogen to be stored for energy. Y O U R B E S T P R O T E C T I O N : You know the spiel—cut back on the booze and your liver will live longer. That means two drinks a day, max, if you want to avoid cirrhosis, a disease in which normal liver cells become damaged and are replaced by scar tissue. Eventually, so much scar tissue forms that the liver no longer functions properly and its

main vein becomes blocked. That said, don’t wave off the bartender just yet; pretend you need to sober up and order a cup of coffee. A new study of more than 90,000 Japanese published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute reveals that those who drank 1 to 2 cups of joe daily had half the risk of liver cancer of those who went without. (Score one for Starbucks; there are more than 500 of the stores in Japan.) The study also shows similarly dramatic results for people with liver diseases, such as hepatitis. “Coffee contains large amounts of antioxidants,” says Manami Inoue, M.D., Ph.D., the study author. “And studies have shown that such coffee compounds inhibit carcinogens in the liver.” The best bean? British researchers discovered that mediumroasted coffee has higher antioxidant activity than dark-roasted varieties.

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5 Weeks to a Stress-Free Life Who will you be this year? Will you be a better, wiser version of yourself by the time the calendar flips again? Or will you add to your potbelly, downgrade your mood, and move one risk factor closer to your first heart attack? Every day of your life, you answer these questions—in the ways you handle stress. That’s not a joke. Stress is one national disaster that strikes each of us where we’re most vulnerable: brains first, and bodies later. Unless, that is, you learn to control it. Not by dint of will, but by employing lab-tested strategies that can truly calm you down. And unless you’re getting a rubdown from Evangeline Lilly every night, we’re guessing you could use them. So here’s your 5-week plan, complete with our full anxiety-back guarantee.

Week 1: Separate

the Stressors from the Energizers Some stress is unavoidable. Some is not. “The trick is learning to distinguish between the two,” says Paul Rosch, M.D., president of the American Institute of Stress. He can’t identify your sources of stress for you, because one man’s stress is another 34

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man’s joy. So you’ll have to do that part yourself. Divide your stresses into two lists: “accept” and “change.” As you draw up your lists, you’ll naturally pay attention to what your brain knows about your sources of stress, but make sure you listen to your body’s complaints as well. When are you experiencing those headaches? Or back pain? Is there a pattern to your heartburn, or a particular stretch of your commute that provokes road rage? “Learn how your body responds so you can detect early warning signs of stress,” says Dr. Rosch. In evaluating your stressors, do sweat the small stuff. It’s the petty problems that cause serious stress in the long run, says Harvard psychologist Daniel Gilbert, Ph.D. Having to listen to your girlfriend’s Jimmy Buffett CDs night after night really could push you over the edge. (But not into Margaritaville.) Your activities during these first 7 days are not merely a prelude. Simply sitting down to identify all the things that stress you out, and deciding to do something about them, is a powerful stress buster in itself. It’s been known since the 1950s that stress is exacerbated if a

person has no sense of control and no hope that things will get better. Having goals, and reaching those goals, is the healthy opposite of that. “Too often, we are adrift on the sea of life,” says Dr. Rosch. Drop anchor.

Week 2:

Hands off the Hot Buttons Some men are perfect specimens of mental health. They calmly apply their considerable problem-solving abilities to the sources of their stress. Then there are the rest of us. The rest of us don’t deal very well. According to one survey, 46% of stressed adults don’t care what they eat, 57% stop exercising, and 53% lose sleep. In short, we need a week (at least!) just to rid ourselves of our self-destructive old ways of coping. Consider these five: alcohol, junk food, television, the Internet, and tobacco. We reach for them out of habit, and that’s exactly what they become: bad habits. • Alcohol is obviously a risky way to self-medicate. But here’s an interesting finding: Booze doesn’t really take the edge off stress. Just the opposite: Stress takes the edge off alcohol, according to University of Chicago researchers. Although stress increases our desire to drink, those drinks make us feel sluggish, not high. You’ll end up drinking more and enjoying it less. • As for junk food, yes, the highfat, high-carb content of so-called comfort foods actually does give

Start Today Force a smile. Sit up in your seat. Psychology follows physiology: If you act happy, alert, and relaxed, you’ll feel it. Notice your breath. Simply observing it outside on a cold day makes you slow your breathing, which snaps you out of the shallow breaths of stress. Don’t buy it. On credit, anyway. A survey found that money worries are stressing 73% of all Americans. If you do buy it, be quick about it. Don’t stress out because of “choice overload.” Stop thinking there has to be a better product out there at a better price. Turn off the TV if nobody’s watching it, because even low-level noise can stress you out if you’re trying to focus.

short-term comfort by signaling the brain to stop the cascade of stress hormones. But in the long run, it will add stress to your waistband. An Ohio State University study found that stress causes triglycerides to linger longer in the bloodstream, thus interfering with the body’s normal metabolism of fats. • And television? Go ahead, watch My Name Is Earl. Many studies have shown that laughter is stress medicine—even the anticipation of a good laugh lowers stress hormones in the blood. But

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don’t watch 4 hours of old Survivor episodes beforehand. Same goes for hanging out in online casinos. Those hours should be spent with your friends. Social ties are tied to lower stress, longer life, and quicker recovery from illness. • Tobacco? The more you use, the greater your chances of impotence, and there is perhaps no calm more profound than the postcoital one. Why risk messing with that? Psychologists group these maladaptive strategies under a fancy umbrella term: “avoidance coping.” They’re unhelpful for a very basic reason, says Charles S. Carver, Ph.D., a prominent stress researcher at the University of Miami. “When you pretend that things are not there, it doesn’t really make them go away. You’ll have to reconfront them and reconfront them and reconfront them.”

pen and paper. He tells one person to stack the pennies, link the paper clips, and draw 15 stars—in that order. He tells the other person to switch back and forth among the tasks. Guess who finishes first. What Davidson calls “sharp attention” is possible only if you focus on one task at a time. “Breakthrough thinking doesn’t happen when you’re multitasking,” he says, noting that our society’s current fascination with “faster, better, more” adds to our stress in ways people couldn’t have imagined a generation ago. He agrees that some multitasking is inevitable. “But how often should it come on, and how long should it linger? Not often and not long.” And for this week, not at all. Just cut the cord, take notes about what does and doesn’t work, then reintroduce the multitasking only when it benefits you.

Week 3:

Week 4:

“It’s the death of people,” says Jeff Davidson, author of 36 self-help books, including The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Getting Things Done. People think they have to accomplish multiple tasks simultaneously in order to be productive and profitable. “Just the opposite is true,” he says. When Davidson gives speeches, he performs an onstage experiment: He takes two people from the audience and gives each 15 pennies, 15 paper clips, and a

It’s always the quiet ones, the men who bottle it up inside, who end up going on chain-saw massacres, right? Maybe quiet is the enemy. In an experiment regarding “emotional disclosure,” students suffering from post-traumatic stress at Temple University, in Philadelphia, were asked to write—longhand, not on computers—for 20 minutes a day. After only 3 days, those who repeatedly wrote about a single traumatic event showed fewer physical and

Stop Multitasking

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Release the Demons

mental signs of stress. Even 8 weeks later, they felt better and were sick less often than students who wrote about emotionally neutral events. The results bowled over the clinical psychologists who conducted this recent research. “Knowing how hard it is for people to change, we were impressed that this could work,” says Denise Sloan, Ph.D. But it does work, Sloan says, because “often, people who have survived trauma try not to think about those events. And the more you avoid something, the more intense and stressful it becomes. It’s good to be expressive.” So sit down 3 nights this week and get it out there on paper, where it won’t hurt you. It doesn’t matter whether you’re good at emoting. In another study, Sloan and her colleagues found that this technique was equally beneficial for men and women.

Week 5:

Find a Release Valve Now we’re ready to dive into all the relaxation techniques you were probably expecting to read about in this chapter. Here’s the thing: There are literally hundreds of them. They can be grouped into six categories: (1) stretching exercises, also known as hatha yoga, (2) progressive muscle relaxation, (3) deep-breathing exercises, (4) autogenic training, in which you quietly suggest to yourself that various body parts are getting

heavy, or warm, or whatever, (5) imagery, wherein you daydream of peaceful settings, and (6) meditation or mindfulness, two distinct mental activities that both restrict attention and calm the mind. Should you arbitrarily sign on for one of these methods? No way. You have to find which works best for you. “No one shoe fits all,” says Jonathan C. Smith, Ph.D., director of the Roosevelt University stress institute, in Chicago. Each technique produces a different state of mind, he says, from the energized mental state of yoga to the disengaged frame of mind that comes with autogenic training. But they all work to lower stress. In one West Virginia University study, for example, 35 stressed-out people lowered their anxiety by 44% after 3 months of mindfulness training. It’ll take a few weeks to find your favorite technique. Start the ball rolling this week by ordering Smith’s book Relaxation, Meditation and Mindfulness: Personal-Training Manual ($19), from the Web site lulu.com/stress. Don’t feel overwhelmed by the variety of techniques. Instead, think of it as an Old Country Buffet for the mind. Start anywhere. And no, you don’t need a swami to assist you—in a University of South Florida study of 382 cancer patients, those who were given a 12-page booklet and a videotape to use on their own fared better than a control group who received stress-

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LIVE FOREVER

management training from professionals. The message: They succeeded— and were dealing with cancer. Makes

the stress of a boss or kids or your mortgage shrink a little, doesn’t it? Why not start today?

Simple De-Stressor: Get Organized 1. Start small. Choose a room (office, kitchen, bedroom) and overhaul one unorganized area in it per week. Admire the results. “You need to have that self-confidence and belief that it’ll be successful in order to avoid relapse,” says Kenneth Nowack, Ph.D., chief research officer for Consulting Tools, in California. 2. Imagine you have nothing on your plate. Then answer this question: What do you want to accomplish this month? Schedule a small chunk of time each day, say 25 minutes, to chip away at the list. “If you allow things to just happen, they might not happen at all,” says Mark Ellwood, president of Pace Productivity. 3. Jumpstart your decision-making process. After reviewing an e-mail or phone message, act immediately. “If you can complete the task in 2 minutes, do it right away,” says David Allen, author of Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity. Remember that your “delete” key can be the best organizer of all. 4. Buy time. “You have to decide that your time is worth something, then go ahead and allocate money toward buying more of it,” says Ellwood. Paying somebody to handle your time sucks: cleaning the house, doing odd jobs, mowing the lawn, picking up dry cleaning. The less small stuff you sweat, the more big things you can handle.

18 Tricks Your Body Can Do When you were 9, playing your armpit was a cool trick. Now, as an adult, you can still appreciate a good body-based feat, but you’re more discriminating. Consider the following the coolest of the adult tricks.

If your 1. throat tickles, scratch your ear! Take that tickle in your throat; it’s not worth gagging over. Here’s a better way to scratch your itch: “When the nerves in the ear are stimulated, it creates a reflex in the throat that can cause a muscle spasm,” says Scott Schaffer, M.D., president of an ear, nose, and throat specialty center in Gibbsboro, NJ. “This spasm relieves the tickle.”

Experience 2. supersonic hearing! If you’re stuck chatting up a mumbler at a cocktail party, lean in with your right ear. It’s better than your left at following the rapid rhythms of speech, according to researchers at the UCLA David Geffen School of Medicine. If, on the other hand, you’re trying to identify that song playing softly in the elevator, turn your left ear toward the

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sound. The left ear is better at picking up music tones.

3. Overcome your most primal urge!

Need to pee? No bathroom nearby? Fantasize about Jessica Simpson. Thinking about sex preoccupies your brain, so you won’t feel as much discomfort, says Larry Lipshultz, M.D., chief of male reproductive medicine at the Baylor College of Medicine. For best results, try Simpson’s “These Boots Are Made for Walking” video.

4. Feel no pain!

German researchers have discovered that coughing during an injection can lessen the pain of the needle stick. According to Taras Usichenko, author of a study on the phenomenon, the trick causes a sudden, temporary rise in pressure in the chest and spinal canal, inhibiting the pain-conducting structures of the spinal cord.

5. Clear your stuffed nose!

Forget Sudafed. An easier, quicker, and cheaper way to relieve sinus

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pressure is by alternately thrusting your tongue against the roof of your mouth, then pressing between your eyebrows with one finger. This causes the vomer bone, which runs through the nasal passages to the mouth, to rock back and forth, says Lisa DeStefano, D.O., an assistant professor at the Michigan State University college of osteopathic medicine. The motion loosens congestion; after 20 seconds, you’ll feel your sinuses start to drain.

6. Fight fire without water!

Worried those wings will repeat on you tonight? “Sleep on your left side,” says Anthony A. Starpoli, M.D., a New York City gastroenterologist and assistant professor of medicine at New York Medical College. Studies have shown that patients who sleep on their left sides are less likely to suffer from acid reflux. The esophagus and stomach connect at an angle. When you sleep on your right, the stomach is higher than the esophagus, allowing food and stomach acid to slide up your throat. When you’re on your left, the stomach is lower than the esophagus, so gravity’s in your favor.

7.

Cure your toothache without opening your mouth! Just rub ice on the back of your hand, on the V-shaped webbed area between your thumb and index fin 4 0

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ger. A Canadian study found that this technique reduces toothache pain by as much as 50% compared with using no ice. The nerve pathways at the base of that V stimulate an area of the brain that blocks pain signals from the face and hands.

8.

Make burns disappear!

When you accidentally singe your finger on the stove, clean the skin and apply light pressure with the finger pads of your unmarred hand. Ice will relieve your pain more quickly, Dr. DeStefano says, but since the natural method brings the burned skin back to a normal temperature, the skin is less likely to blister.

9.Unstitch your side!

If you’re like most people, when you run, you exhale as your right foot hits the ground. This puts downward pressure on your liver (which lives on your right side), which then tugs at the diaphragm and creates a side stitch, according to The Doctors Book of Home Remedies for Men. The fix: Exhale as your left foot strikes the ground.

10.Stop the world from spinning!

One too many drinks left you dizzy? Put your hand on something stable. The part of your ear responsible for balance—the cupula—floats in a fluid of the same density as blood. “As alcohol dilutes blood in the

cupula, the cupula becomes less dense and rises,” says Dr. Schaffer. This confuses your brain. The tactile input from a stable object gives the brain a second opinion, and you feel more in balance. Because the nerves in the hand are so sensitive, this works better than the conventional foot-on-the-floor wisdom.

11.Stanch blood with a single finger! Pinching your nose and leaning back is a great way to stop a nosebleed—if you don’t mind choking on your own O positive. A more civil approach: Put some cotton on your upper gums—just behind that small dent below your nose—and press against it, hard. “Most bleeds come from the front of the septum, the cartilage wall that divides the nose,” says Peter Desmarais, M.D., an ear, nose, and throat specialist at Entabeni Hospital, in Durban, South Africa. “Pressing here helps stop them.”

12. Thaw your brain!

Too much Chipwich too fast will freeze the brains of lesser men. As for you, press your tongue flat against the roof of your mouth, covering as much as you can. “Since the nerves in the roof of your mouth get extremely cold, your body thinks your brain is freezing, too,” says Ben Abo, an emergency medicalservices specialist at the University of Pittsburgh. “In compensating,

it overheats, causing an ice-cream headache.” The more pressure you apply to the roof of your mouth, the faster your headache will subside.

13.Make your heart stand still!

Trying to quell first-date jitters? Blow on your thumb. The vagus nerve, which governs heart rate, can be controlled through breathing, says Abo. It’ll get your heart rate back to normal.

14.Prevent nearsightedness!

Poor distance vision is rarely caused by genetics, says Anne Barber, O.D., an optometrist in Tacoma, WA. “It’s usually caused by near-point stress.” In other words, staring at your computer screen for too long. So flex your way to 20/20 vision. Every few hours during the day, close your eyes, tense your body, take a deep breath, and, after a few seconds, release your breath and muscles at the same time. Tightening and releasing muscles such as the biceps and glutes can trick involuntary muscles—like the eyes—into relaxing as well.

15.Wake the dead!

If your hand falls asleep while you’re driving or sitting in an odd position, rock your head from side to side. It’ll painlessly banish your pins and needles in less than a minute, says Dr. DeStefano. A tingly

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hand or arm is often the result of compression in the bundle of nerves in your neck; loosening your neck muscles releases the pressure. Compressed nerves lower in the body govern the feet, so don’t let your sleeping dogs lie. Stand up and walk around.

somethin’ ain’t right. “When you hyperventilate, the influx of oxygen lowers blood acidity,” says Jonathan Armbruster, Ph.D., an associate professor of biology at Auburn University. “This tricks your brain into thinking it has more oxygen.” It’ll buy you up to 10 seconds.

16.

18.

Impress your friends!

Next time you’re at a party, try this trick: Have a person hold one arm straight out to the side, palm down, and instruct him to maintain this position. Then place two fingers on his wrist and push down. He’ll resist. Now have him put one foot on a surface that’s a half inch higher (a few magazines) and repeat. This time his arm will cave like the French. By misaligning his hips, you’ve offset his spine, says Rachel Cosgrove, C.S.C.S., co-owner of Results Fitness, in Santa Clarita, CA. Your brain senses that the spine is vulnerable, so it shuts down the body’s ability to resist.

17. Breathe underwater!

If you’re dying to retrieve that quarter from the bottom of the pool, take several short breaths first—essentially, hyperventilate. When you’re underwater, it’s not a lack of oxygen that makes you desperate for a breath; it’s the buildup of carbon dioxide, which makes your blood acidic, which signals your brain that 4 2

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Read minds!

Your own! “If you’re giving a speech the next day, review it before falling asleep,” says Candi Heimgartner, an instructor of biological sciences at the University of Idaho. Since most memory consolidation happens during sleep, anything you read right before bed is more likely to be encoded as longterm memory.

10 Things to Toss or Wash Everything gets old, eventually. Here’s your guide to knowing when to toss it—or wash it.

Leftovers: 4 days Chinese food will keep for 4 days at 40°F, says Catherine Donnelly, Ph.D., a food microbiologist at the University of Vermont. But a recent study in the Journal of Food Protection found that 59% of refrigerators run above 41°F. A refrigerator thermometer is your safeguard; they’re available at grocery stores.

Contacts: 2 weeks Disposables will last 14 days if you take them out every night, a week if you sleep in them. Sleep on this: A study by the University of Manchester found that those people who slept with their contacts in were more likely to develop eye infections than those who didn’t.

Towels:

5 days

Stink and mildew set in after three to five uses, says David Earley, global product marketing manager for Cotton, Inc. If it’s humid where you live, wash towels after two or three uses.

Sheets: 1 week A hot washing (130°F) every 7 to 10 days will reduce your allergy risk by killing the dust mites that feed on your dead skin cells. “Many products say they kill mites, but there’s no good evidence that any powder or spray will work,” says Raymond Slavin, M.D., a professor of internal medicine at St. Louis University.

Sunscreen: 7 days Sunscreen is good for up to a year, but a bottle should last only one vacation if you’re using enough. “You shouldn’t have sunscreen long enough for it to expire,” says Beatrice Wang, M.D., an associate professor of dermatology at McGill University in Montreal. “To get the actual SPF coverage, you need a bottle a week.”

Running Shoes: 4 to 5 months

Your kicks will cushion for only about 200 miles, says Lance D. Barry, D.P.M., a Georgia podiatrist who has completed 21 marathons. “After 200 miles, the midsole has lost enough impact cushioning to make you more prone to heel pain and carpal tunnel–like symptoms.”

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Don’t track miles? Pinch the sole with your thumb on the outside and fingers inside, says Richard Braver, D.P.M., a science advisor to Runner’s World. If your fingers can’t compress the sole, it’s time for a new pair.

Condoms: 5 years Toss that 500-count box you bought in college. Most condoms expire after 3 to 5 years. “Spermicidal lubricant speeds up the expiration,” says Steve Hamel, deputy director of Family Health International, a family-planning research group. So does stowing them in your wallet or glove box.

Mattress: 10 years If you have a box spring, the mattress life extends to 12 or 13 years; a mattress resting on a solid or wood frame will usually last for 10. Any sagging is a dead giveaway that it’s time to spring (get it?) for a new one. Same goes for discomfort when you sleep.

Eggs: 5 weeks Raw, they last 3 to 5 weeks in the fridge, thanks to a coating of mineral oil that fights off bacteria. Hard-boiled eggs are good for only a week; the boiling strips away the protective coating.

Toothbrush: 4 months

Toss your toothbrush at least every 4 months. Depending on how hard the bristles are, they may wear out faster. “When you see those toothbrush bristles start to stick out at weird angles, whether it’s after a week or a month or several months, it’s time to get a new one,” says Richard Price, D.M.D., consumer advisor for the American Dental Association.

How to Manage Your Money Who doesn’t stress over money? Well, maybe Trump. But if you can

master your money, you’ll also master the anxiety it’s been buying you.

The Stress: Credit-Card Debt The Solution: Start small First, the obvious: Lower your interest rate. Town North Bank’s Platinum MasterCard (tnnb.com) is a consumer-friendly card with good rates, according to Consumer Reports.

Next, pay your debt faster, says David Bach, author of The Automatic Millionaire. Add $10 a day to your minimum payment and $10,000 in debt will disappear in less than 2 years (assuming an additional $250 per month minimum payment).

The Stress: Bad Investment Advice (Yours) The Solution: Take risks Set aside 10% of your money for investment hunches. “It’s okay to yield to the temptation to gamble, as long as you only give in a little bit,”

says Jason Zweig, a columnist for Money magazine. With the remaining 90%, invest in U.S. and international funds and the bond market, dividing the dough evenly among the three. You’ll sleep easier.

The Stress: Your Paltry Retirement Fund The Solution: Simplify, diversify Follow this simple retire-rich guideline: Invest an hour’s worth of income per day in your postwork life. That’s 12% of your gross earnings for a 40-hour week. And if you 44

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have a 401(k), draw the line at what the company matches, says Suze Orman, author of The Money Book for the Young, Fabulous & Broke. “Otherwise, you’re investing in a fund you can’t access without tax penalty.”

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The Stress: Asking for a Raise The Solution: Smile Business proposals are twice as successful when they’re offered by people displaying positive emotions, according to a recent University of Michigan study. So when proposing your boost, “point everyone’s atten-

tion to tangible things that demonstrate your loyalty,” says lead author Shirli Kopelman, Ph.D., a business professor at the Ross School of Business. “You don’t want to have any negative emotion in the room.”

The Stress: Costly Vacations The Solution: Schedule smarter Taking off-season trips can cut vacation costs by more than half, says Rick Steves, author of Europe through the Back Door. Set on summer? Try the Caribbean. Continental,

Delta, and Virgin Atlantic added flights in 2006, meaning lower-cost fares. Another option: Book a business hotel on weekends, says Steves. You may be able to book a room in a 3- or 4-star hotel for the price of a modest 1-star joint.

24 Ways to Earn Respect No matter what the situation is, it’s easier than you think.

1. 2.

Appreciate her breasts but compliment her wit.

Pick up the tab. What? Buy respect? Of course not—you earn it by showing it as you scoop up the bill. To your potential fatherin-law: “Your daughter and I would like to treat you.” On business: “Jim, it’s the least I can do.”

3. 4.

Try the sushi.

When you’re spotting someone on the bench and he needs help on the last rep, make him work for it. If he complains afterward about the perceived lack of help, shrug and say, “The last rep’s no freebie.” Watch his face as he realizes he lifted most of the weight.

5. 6.

Never blunt the bad news.

Instead of throwing the first punch, just say, “Go ahead and swing. But you’ll go to jail for 46

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assault, lose your house in the civil suit, and still take the beating of your life as I defend myself. Choose now.”

7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12. 13. 14.

If the mutt hits you before you finish the above speech, stick with the plan. Stay sober when no one would blame you for drinking. Nail the toast. Cook for 12.

Become what you told people you always wanted to be.

When some lemonsucker asks, “Ugh, you actually like that book?” just reply—with unwavering eye contact—“Yes.” Refuse a slut. (Because self-respect is the most important kind.) Remain good company as your short game disintegrates and your following drive kicks up chickens the next farm over.

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These guys have to spend 3 more hours with you.

15. 16.

Par the 18th.

Say no when no’s the answer. “We’ll see,” “I’ll have to get back to you on that,” and “I’m not 100% sure” are smoke screens for the man who’s afraid to disappoint.

17.

Become multilingual. Could be Spanish. Could be the secret language of the internal combustion engine. Either way, it’s a life truth: A man with two tongues is a man in demand.

18.

Display a fair and consistent application of baseball pitching cliché in all dealings—meaning that you knock the bastard down when he’s crowding your plate.

19. 20.

Change the blown-out diaper of a virus-laden infant without making your own stink about it. Recast your ego as an invisible, internal fuel cell that drives your performance… instead of continuing with its current incarnation: a second-rate ventriloquist who makes you act and sound like a whiny little brat.

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21. 22. 23. 24.

Risk being hated for doing the right thing.

Rack up a few years of fidelity, devotion, and presence. We mean at your job. Show patience with those who can’t do what you can. Apply direct pressure, breathe easy, and ask someone to pick up your hand, put it in the beer cooler, and drive you both to the hospital. Please.


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