Sunday, August 29, 2010

Top Guilty Pleasures for Good Health

(Article first published as Top Guilty Pleasures for Good Health on Technorati.)
People want to make the right lifestyle and dietary decisions which will make an impact on their overall health and longevity. Old wives tales abound that are often based on stories passed from one generation to the next, and rarely on solid science. The experts at 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
Lack of sleep is associated with depression, anxiety and weight gain. The body uses sleep to perform critical routine maintenance on a cellular and metabolic level, as it boosts your immune system and ability to store and recall details from memory. Experts advise that 7 to 9 hours are necessary each night, and health declines with either too much or too little 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!
Regular sexual relations are an amazing form of exercise, causing the release of feel-good endorphins in the brain which lower the risk of depression and improve your connection with the world around you. Relations once or twice a week have been shown to improve the immune response, helping to prevent the common cold and other more serious infections.

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.


Personal Trainer said...

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