9 Ways Your House Can Help You Stay Fit
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Healthy Living1 of 10
By Amy Ahlberg
Sneaky design and decorating strategies could help you stay fit, happy and healthy. Read on for nine clever and easy ways to optimize your home's wellness potential.
Hue Knew?2 of 10
Losing just a few hours of sleep a few nights in a row can lead to weight gain, a new study from the University of Colorado finds. Need help getting more shuteye? Repaint your bedroom. Turns out, people with grey, purple and brown bedrooms get the least amount of sleep, while those in blue rooms clocked the most zzz's (7 hours and 52 minutes), according to a study of 2,000 British homes. Blues, yellows and greens were found to be the most sleep-inducing shades. Psychologists believe the hues may promote calm, soothing feelings.
Bear Fruit3 of 10
Decorate tables with glass bowls full of fresh, colorful fruits and veggies like lemons, limes, apples, tomatoes and artichokes. The beautiful displays will brighten up your space and encourage healthy snacking.
Think Small4 of 10
Too-big portions aren't just served at restaurants: The size of the average dinner plate has increased by 36 percent since 1960, research from the Cornell University Food and Brand Lab reports. The larger the plate, the smaller your meal appears—making you more likely to dish out more than you need. Replace oversize tableware with smaller plates, bowls, and glasses to keep portions in check. Even better: Serve meals on pretty salad and dessert plates—researchers say you’ll consume less, and you probably won’t notice the difference.
Aroma Therapy5 of 10
Need another excuse to buy your favorite scented candles? A study from St. George's Hospital in London found that the smell of vanilla helped satisfy a sweet tooth, while other research suggests citrus scents like grapefruit can boost metabolism, and sniffing peppermint oils may prevent overeating.
Hydration Station6 of 10
Forget trendy juice cleanses: The secret to weight loss success comes straight from your kitchen faucet. Drinking two 8-ounce glasses of water before meals helps people lose weight—and keep it off, research from Virginia Tech notes. "Install a built-in water filtration faucet for simplicity and ease, and keep a pretty glass pitcher in the fridge," says celebrity trainer and author Kathy Kaehler. "Fill it with filtered water and sliced cucumber or lemon then place it front and center in the fridge to remind you to pour yourself a glass every time you open the door."
Herbal Remedy7 of 10
Lush green herbs not only look and smell amazing, they add tons of flavor to dishes—cutting back on the need for salt, sugar and fat. Make them a part of your diet and your decor with a stunning living plant wall.
Have a Seat8 of 10
Instead of sinking into the sofa, try sitting on stylish stool or ottoman the next time you're watching TV. Doing so may encourage better posture and improve circulation, a study in the Journal of Physiological Sciences shows.
Clean Sweep9 of 10
Skip the housekeeper and get a house-cleaning date onto your calendar. "Laundry, window-washing, mopping, vacuuming and tub-scrubbing can all burn roughly 100 calories per 30 minutes," says Kaehler. House already clean? "Embrace your inner interior designer and rearrange furniture to create a fresh-looking space," says Kaehler. "All that pulling, pushing, lifting and tugging will be challenging to upper and lower body muscles."
Take a Stand10 of 10
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