Eat small fish (bones included!), exercise at night and more. 9 tips to help you have a healthy week

Eating small fish is good for your health. What to know. (Getty Creative)
Eating small fish is good for your health. (Getty Creative)

Hello, health and wellness readers. My name is Kaitlin, and I’m here to share tips and hacks to help improve your life. So as you prepare for the week ahead sit back, read your horoscope and check your local forecast — then, take note of the below and try a few. May I suggest a sardine sandwich?

👎 Failing at something? Reach out for help!

You know that old saying about how you just have to try, try and try again? (Having flashbacks of my driver’s ed exam as we speak…) Well, science says these platitudes might do more harm than good. Research by the American Psychological Association shows that the belief that failure leads to success is often inaccurate and that people tend to overestimate how much others learn from their mistakes. That can lead to them receiving less much-needed support or assistance. If you are personally suffering after a failure (and, say, would like a driving tutor so you can finally learn how to parallel park) it’s a good idea to speak up.

🌃 Workout at night

Are you trying to better manage your blood sugar? Exercising in the evening — between 6 p.m. and midnight — might be the better way to go. Researchers from the University of Granada found that this time frame helped overweight and obese adults control blood sugar levels better, especially those who deal with high glucose or insulin resistance. Time to sign up for that 7 p.m. Zumba class!

🧺 Reevaluate your laundry habits

People want to be eco-friendly — but they really don’t want to be considered dirty. At least, that’s what researchers from Chalmers University found. It turns out, our disgust over potentially being unclean leads us to wash our clothes way more often than we should, even though doing so is bad for the environment (hello, microplastics). Plus, it’s not actually necessary to wash most clothes after one wear in terms of personal hygiene. To fix this, experts say the focus should be on reducing the amount of laundry we generate in the first place. Consider this your permission to be an outfit repeater (and spot-clean that guacamole stain).

💜 Beet it!

After menopause, women's risk of heart disease skyrockets, but daily beetroot juice might just be a game-changer. A Penn State study found that postmenopausal women who drank beetroot juice saw improved blood vessel function, potentially lowering their heart disease risk. Researchers believe the benefits are due to beetroot's nitrates, which the body converts to nitric oxide, helping blood vessels expand and boosting blood flow. Long term effects haven’t been studied yet, and researchers say that women may need to drink this juice daily or even more often to get the benefits — but if you enjoy the taste of beetroot juice, it doesn’t hurt to sip on it.

🥕 Want to live longer? Pick 1 of these healthy diets

Want to eat for longevity…but have no idea which diet is best? Research published in the journal JAMA Internal Medicine found that it doesn’t actually matter which diet you prescribe to, as long as your eating pattern includes quality foods like whole grains, fruits, veggies, nuts and legumes. Those who did stick to these food groups were less likely to die from causes like cancer and cardiovascular illness. So, getting bored of the DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) diet? Pick up a Mediterranean diet cookbook instead — your body will still thank you!

One other diet to try? The planetary health diet. Following this healthy diet that’s packed with all of the above listed good-for-you foods can cut your risk of early death and slash your carbon footprint, Harvard researchers found. A win for you, and a win for the planet.

🧘 Do yoga

Tempted to sign up for that yoga class on ClassPass? VeryWell Health has 17 science-backed reasons to practice your downward facing dog, from protecting your joints to reducing inflammation.

🐟 Eat small fish for big wins

Japanese women who regularly eat nutrient-dense small fish — like sardines and smelt — have a lower risk of dying from any cause, including cancer, according to a new paper from Nagoya University. (No, salmon did not conduct this study.) There are a ton of ways to incorporate these small swimmers into your diet, too. Try:

📺 Watch less TV

If your favorite hobby is tuning into The Real Housewives franchise (from O.C. to Potomac), you may want to listen up. A study from Harvard University found that the more TV women watched, the more likely they were to have markers of poor health as they aged, such as conditions like heart disease and diabetes. They were also more likely to consume more calories, smoke or drink regularly and have a higher body mass index (BMI). While the exact reason for this correlation is not yet known, it might be because spending your downtime sitting increases your sedentary time overall, which we know comes with a slew of health issues. The authors of the study also found that the more vigorous an activity you replaced TV watching with, the better for your health — so, pickleball, anyone?

🏋️ Boost your exercise routine by going outside

You know exercise of any kind is good for you, but now there's a smart reason to swap your spin class for an outdoor bike ride. Texas A&M researchers found that outdoor workouts boasted better physical benefits, like better immune function, as well as mental health benefits, such as reduced anxiety.