It’s hard to avoid articles and news reports on the detrimental effects our lifestyle choices are having on our health. But you’ll be pleased to hear there are some good, happy, health stories out there. They don’t cost a penny, they can make you feel good and might make your life a little more pleasant.
Who DOESN’T LOVE A big old hug, especially when times are tough? There’s no doubt hugging or touching hands with friends and loved ones makes us feel better in difficult situations but it’s also scientifically proved to help reduce stress and ease pain. A study by scientists at the University of California revealed that the touch or sight of a loved one can reduce pain in times of distress. Who can argue with that?
Good sleep equals good sex
There have been many studies on the health benefits associated with a good night’s sleep, and now there’s another great reason to get some quality shut-eye. by the University of Michigan Sleep and Circadian Research Laboratory found women who get more sleep have higher sex drives and better sex. And with every additional hour of sleep, sexual desire rises and increases the likelihood of having sex with your partner by up to 14 per cent.
Champagne improves your memory
Need another reason to pop the bubbly? It might seem counter-intuitive, but sipping the sparkling stuff might improve your mind. A recent trial at Reading University involved giving rats champagne every day for six weeks, then observing them complete a maze. Without drinking champagne, the rats had an average success rate in the maze of 50 per cent but that increased to 70 per cent post-bubbles. Cheers to that.
Chocolate can help you lose weight
We don’t need much convincing to reach for a chocolate treat, especially if it helps us in the health department. According to neuroscientist Will Clower, eating chocolate 20 minutes before and five minutes after lunch and dinner will help cut your appetite by up to 50 per cent, thanks to hormones the brain releases that fool the body into thinking it’s full. Hurrah!
Laughter is the best medicine
Not in the mood for a run? Don’t worry, just have a laugh instead. Believe it or not, laughter can do as much good for your body as a regular run, according to scientists. Hearty laughter is the equivalent to “internal jogging” because it can help to lower blood pressure, reduce stress and boost the immune system. Dr Lee Berk, from Loma Linda University in California, says: “The body’s response to repetitive laughter is similar to the effect of repetitive exercise. As the old biblical wisdom states, it may indeed be true that laughter is a good medicine.”
Dance yourself happy
Love cutting some shapes on the dancefloor (or living-room carpet)? Research shows that there are myriad physical and emotional health benefits associated with dance. Helen Laws of Dance UK told the Telegraph: “It’s obviously a great way to burn calories, but dance also boosts self-confidence and has a positive impact on self-esteem. It’s also a free and fun way to make yourself happy.” It also beats the gym.