ten things tuesday...

Ten "vices" that are good for you: (from Health.com)

1) Getting your zzz's: Our experts unanimously agreed: Sleep is free and has virtually zero health drawbacks, making it the one treat no one should skimp on. Pillow time gives you energy, bolsters your immune system, boosts your memory, and even helps you get (or stay) slim.

2) Playing hooky: There's a reason it's called a mental-health day. Studies confirm that time off -- whether on a trip out of Dodge or a 24-hour staycation -- relieves stress, lowering your blood pressure and your risk for heart disease.

3) Sexual healing: Getting frisky is, hands-down, the most pleasurable form of physical activity there is. Having sex releases feel-good endorphins and oxytocin, the hormone that promotes attachment.

4) A daily chocolate fix: Our experts gave a hearty thumbs-up to nibbling a little chocolate every day -- as long as you stick to a square or two of the dark kind, to minimize sugar and fat intake and maximize the benefits. (The temptation to overeat this sweet treat accounts for it not making it into the top three.) Dark chocolate and cocoa may help lower blood pressure, reduce the risk of stroke, and provide other cardiovascular benefits, multiple studies have shown.

5) Girls' nights out: A flurry of recent studies have shed light on how huge an impact our friends and family have on our behavior, from what we drink and eat to how much we weigh -- for better and for worse.

6) Full-fat dressing: For years we were trained to reach for low-fat everything, but there's no need to deprive yourself of the real deal. Full-fat foods not only taste better but also serve a real health purpose, as long as you get the right amounts of the right kinds.

7) Your morning java: It's completely OK if you need it to pry your eyes open in the a.m. A wealth of research suggests that coffee doesn't just pick you up -- it fights heart disease and some cancers, and it may even help you push through harder, longer workouts.

8) Getting a rubdown: Don't ever feel guilty about shelling out for massages.

9) Basking in the sun: Bright days really do lift our moods -- sunshine is the ultimate natural antidepressant, triggering our bodies to nip production of the sleep-stimulating hormone melatonin so we're alert, energized, and ready to face the day. Exposing bare skin to the sun also triggers the synthesis of vitamin D, a hormone that may reduce your risks for cancer, heart disease, fragile bones, and other problems.

10) Wine with dinner: The buzz on wine is about its heart-healthy properties, though researchers aren't entirely sure how it works its magic. Its antioxidants may keep blood vessels flexible, or alcohol could boost HDL (good) cholesterol.

1 comment:

The Gal Herself said...

Thank you for this. I've been feeling a little blue lately and MANY of these things provide me with a cheap and easy way to dig my way out of this emotional rut.