From weight loss to reducing stress, new scientific research reveals some not-so-common habits and strategies that may improve your health. Be prepared – an apple a day may not seem so ludicrous after reading these discoveries.
Tip 1 – Eat more food to lose weight
Eating more may actually help you lose weight. Seem preposterous? Think again. New studies show that eating small, healthy meals or snacks throughout the day may actually amp your metabolism up and keep it there. When you eat balanced meals containing lean protein, healthy carbs, fruits and veggies, you encourage muscle growth and improve your metabolism. You ward off hunger pangs in the early to late afternoon and prevent binging on junk foods at night.
Tip 2 – Call mom when you’re feeling stressed
Whether you call your mom or best friend, a friendly and loving voice may actually calm you down and decrease feelings of anxiety and stress. If mom is the first person you think about when trouble arises, give her a call and talk about your problems. Even if you don’t spill the beans on everything that is bothering you, the engagement of conversation can improve your health.
The University of Wisconsin recently published evidence on a hormone that is linked to emotional bonding between mother and child. The hormone increased in level when children received physical contact from their mother or when they heard their voice. So, what are you waiting for? Pick up that phone.
Tip 3 – Pass on energy drinks and increase water
Drinking a large glass of water when feeling sluggish may actually improve your energy level. Why? Vanderbilt University Medical Center reported data that showed drinking water could improve alertness and ward off fatigue. Water increases the activity of the sympathetic nervous system, which is responsible for elevating blood pressure during times of stress. Rather than drinking coffee, caffeinated soda or an energy drink, simply grab a glass of water and enjoy the refreshment for body, mind and spirit.
Tip 4 – Keep tabs on your sleep
Too much or too little of anything may be harmful in some capacity. The same is true for sleep. Don’t overdo sleeping or you may increase your risk for obesity, heart health problems and diabetes. Metabolic factors are attached to getting too few hours of sleep, but not enough can cause similar problems. Long sleepers should reel it in and watch their health improve. Eight hours is the ample amount of time for rest, depending on your age.
Tip 5 – Play an instrument for brain health
Music does a body and mind good. Neuroscientists have showed that there is a healthy impact on the brain in those who listen to music or play an instrument. Research also showed that children who learn to play an instrument early on in life have larger vocabularies and improved reading abilities than children who do not play an instrument. For those who simply love to listen, popping in those ear buds – no matter what the song choice – can greatly improve brain activity and listening skills.
The Health Local Staff is a team of writers and experts dedicated to bringing you the latest health, nutrition and lifestyle information at www.healthlocal.ca.