15 Small Ways to Transform Your Health, Looks and Life
TRANSFORM YOUR ... BODY
Ease your mind by aligning your body with a one-on-one pilates class. In New York City, Abena Pilates boasts personalized attention that'll leave you feeling strong, supple, and, yes, a little sweaty. Whether you're aiming to fix your posture, gain flexibility or simply relax that busy brain, you'll leave feeling fit and fabulous.
The Welcome Package (three sessions) costs $270; check out Abena's website for more options.
TRANSFORM YOUR ... POINT OF VIEW
Celebrated bloggers Mark and Angel Chernoff tell their story of recovering from tragedy after losing two loved ones — and their financial security — in 2006.
They rebuilt their lives, and in the book shares lessons that fan Alyssa Milano says "reframe our mindset to see a bigger picture, and take the first step back to happy."
Milano, who wrote the book's foreword, calls the couple her "kindred spirits."
"Their honesty and clarity, and the generous way they share what they've learned, are gifts I've truly cherished."
The couple provides strategies for changing thought patterns and behaviors in tough times and for reframing habitual thinking to become happier and more effective.
TRANSFORM YOUR ... MIND
Meditation has been shown to improve psychological well-being and the ability to cope with stress, according to a recent study by UC Davis.
While sitting on a regular pillow will do, it's easier to take your seat when the cushion beckons you from the other side of the room — as does this beautiful set by sugarmat; $199.
TRANSFORM YOUR ... EYES
Meditation may transform your mind and spirit over a lifetime, but eyelash extensions transform your face in just over an hour.
Celebrity eyelash expert Clementina Richardson provides a high-end set designed especially for your eye and face shape that clients Kate Capshaw, Mary J. Blige, Angela Bassett and Naomi Campbell love.
Richardson's shop, Envious Lashes, has two New York locations where you can get the celeb treatment. Sets start at $140.
TRANSFORM YOUR ... VACATION
Take a vacation from your vacation!
Instead of eating and drinking too much, getting sunburned and coming back more tired than you left, try a holiday that will truly revitalize you.
Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health in Massachusetts offers yoga and meditation retreats as well as classes that promote skills and confidence when it comes to healthy eating and cooking.
Sign up for a course or do an R&R retreat that gives you access to a menu of classes that you can drop in on — or skip them and take a nap.
The food hall provides nutritious and delicious meals — three a day — so eating for health is easy during your stay.
There are also hiking trails on the property, lake access, wellness services like massage and Reiki, and several types of accommodations offered for a range of budgets.
TRANSFORM YOUR ... SKIN
PEOPLE's Health Squad dermatologist Dr. Rosemarie Ingleton suggests eating foods with lots of antioxidants for healthier skin.
Try adding raspberries, blueberries and blackberries to your yogurt. Also "having lots of salmon — it has great fish oils and it's got a lot of antioxidant benefits as well. Plus lots of leafy greens," she tells PEOPLE.
"Just in general eating a good healthy clean diet is going to reflect not only internally, but the way your skin looks as well."
Ingleton recommends antioxidant products also. "Pretty much every one of my patients who asks me how to I take care of my skin, I try to get them on some kind of antioxidant product like a serum," she says.
"It's going to help protect their skin from environmental breakdowns. Smoke and pollution and all these things, they age your skin. They weaken your collagen. So that should have been inserted as one of the important steps in terms of ingredients you should be using all the time."
TRANSFORM YOUR ... CONVERSATIONS
Learn how to connect with others more meaningfully by rethinking the ways you approach conversation.
Sakyong Mipham, the leader of the Shambhala Buddhist lineage and bestselling author of Turning the Mind into an Ally, shares tips on how to better communicate face to face with family, friends, colleagues and even strangers.
Learn how to find common ground, pick up on nonverbal cues, respond to gossip and deal with aggression.
TRANSFORM YOUR ... DIGESTIVE HEALTH
Try a gut reboot with The Clean Program. It's pricey at $475, but for 21 days, you will eliminate all processed and common allergen and inflammatory foods, and instead drink meal-replacing shakes twice a day and one "clean" meal for lunch.
Each meal is paired with a packet of supplements containing gut-healthy vitamins to support you throughout the process, plus a probiotic every morning.
The price also includes one-on-one phone calls with a coach who can help you make it to the finish line.
TRANSFORM YOUR ... MOOD
"Do something that makes you laugh, it reduces stress hormones," says PEOPLE Health Squad's Dr. Robin Gurwitch.
"It increases immune cells and infection-fighting antibodies, releases endorphins, and temporarily relieves or lowers pain."
She also recommends another simple fix: music.
"Different music can have different benefits. Music can help with pain reduction. It can motivate us to work out more strenuously (bike, run, walk). Upbeat music and lyrics may also improve our performance with playing sports, and if we continue to listen to music, our bodies recover faster after the workout," she says.
"Classical music can improve sleep quality and act as a stress reliever. This type of music as well as meditative music can even reduce symptoms of depression. One study found that listening to music for a couple of hours each day improved verbal memory and attention in patients after a stroke."
Finally, she says, "belting out show tunes seems to help those with moderate to serve dementia."
TRANSFORM YOUR ... STRESS
While it's not a substitute for lifestyle changes that reduce stress, or going to talk therapy for anxiety, Moon Juice's SuperYou helped our tester feel a little less overwhelmed a little less often. Also available at Sephora, It's $49 for 60 capsules.
Shatavari root extract, Ashwagandha root and leaf extract, Amla fruit extract and Rhodiola root extract are the primary ingredients, which the company says helps the body cope with stress and emotional fatigue.
TRANSFORM YOUR ... HOME
Marie Kondo's bestselling book The Life-Changing Magic Of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing is coming to Netflix.
"I’ll be guiding individuals to spark joy in their homes and lives. I am thrilled to share the KonMari Method with more people — I’ll keep you updated on more details to come!" Kondo shared in February upon announcing the eight-episode special.
TRANSFORM YOUR ... NAILS
Kim Kardashian West made us rethink press-on nails when she showed up at the Met Gala wearing them.
Not only that, Katy Perry flew them out to her from Los Angeles. “Katy actually flew my nails on her plane over to me from LA LOL,” she wrote. “They are just glued on! So had to show her!”
So now you officially have permission to skip the long nail salon visit and press on.
TRANSFORM YOUR ... MARGARITA
One of our favorite tips of all time from Health Squad member Dawn Jackson Blatner: "Swap sugary margarita mixers for probiotic-rich Kombucha."
It helps if you're used to Kombucha — but it's surprisingly good with a shot of tequila. And there's a variety of Kombucha flavors available (like blueberry, ginger, and strawberry and basil), to give you some options.
TRANSFORM YOUR ... HAIR
If you're concerned about your hair health and you're spending big bucks on products, take another look at your shower head.
Tap water has chlorine, rust and dirt, and to add insult to injury — an old shower head may be spraying mold and bacteria.
Look for a shower head with a good filter that removes chlorine and other contaminants. One good choice is the T3 Source filter that claims to remove 95 percent of chlorine.
Don't wait — it's definitely time. Some say it should be replaced every six months.
TRANSFORM YOUR ... BLOOD PRESSURE
The PEOPLE Health Squad's Dr. Jennifer Haythe says taking a 20-minute sauna is a great way to help lower your blood pressure, calm your mind and relax.
Do it on a regular basis for maximum benefit.
If you have chronic low blood pressure or cardiovascular disease discuss with your physician first.
TRANSFORM YOUR ... PARTY
The mix tape sure has come a long way.
Instead of relying on your ancient iTunes library, try Google Play, which allows you to make playlists by mood or occasion.
Spotify also provides easy playlist creation, and you can follow and save others' lists. And there's a feature that allows you to save and add a song as you go to any playlist.
If you still aren't making a personalized soundtrack for your party, it's time.