(Article first published as Top Guilty Pleasures for Good Health on Technorati.)
Health Magazine list the Top 10 healthiest pleasures along with the corresponding scientific evidence, as reported by CNN Health.
Guilty Pleasure 1: Get Enough Sleep
Guilty Pleasure 2: Making Time for Yourself
Many call it a mental health day, but taking time for yourself relieves stress, blood pressure and the risk of heart disease. Time off the job also promotes creative thinking and lowers the chance of becoming depressed. While the exact mechanism of how this works remains a mystery, planning a little down time is a necessity for good health, regardless of the length of time you take off.
Guilty Pleasure 3: Get Frisky!
Guilty Pleasure 4: Dark Chocolate
Chocolate has received much attention because of the powerful antioxidant, cacao which is extracted from the cocoa bean during the manufacturing process. Cacao has been shown to improve the flexibility of blood vessels, helping to reduce the risk of heart disease and heart attack, but all chocolate is not created equal. Choose only dark chocolate with a minimum of 75% cacao content stated on the package, and limit yourself to one or two square a day.
Guilty Pleasure 5: Have a Large Social Network
Friends, family and social contacts are an important part of who we are, and how we interact with the world we live in. Developing healthy friend and family relationships improves brain health, reduces the risk from common infections and leads to a longer and happier life.
Most people are aware that a healthy, well balanced diet, regular exercise and stress reduction are all important tools to combat declining health. Much of the health and lifestyle information we rely on to maintain and improve our health may be based on old, outdated tales which have been bantered about for generations. Science is continually bringing new information to light which can help us to live a longer, happier and healthy life.