We all know that it's important to stay healthy, especially in winter when colds, viruses and infections thrive. But apart from eating well, staying active and staying hydrated, are there any other ways to reach and stay at an optimal level of health? As it turns out, yes - and they're more creative than you might think!
1. Don't brush your teeth after eating. Despite what you may have heard, brushing your teeth directly after eating can actually soften your tooth enamel, rather than strengthen it, particularly if you've had anything acidic to eat or drink. To keep your teeth as strong and pearly white as possible, wait 30 to 60 minutes before brushing. You'll have a healthier, brighter smile, and you won't need to reach for your toothbrush quite as often.
2. Sing in the shower. You might not be able to hold a tune, but research has shown that singing is a viable way of improving your health. As an aerobic activity, it helps boost your circulation, your brain power and your lymphatic system, while allowing you to take in more oxygen, ultimately improving your alertness. What's more, it can also improve your motor control and coordination. So what are you waiting for? Start giving those vocal chords a workout today!
3. Watch an episode of Friends. Alright, so it doesn't have to be Friends specifically, it just needs to be something guaranteed to make you laugh. Recent studies have shown that laughter helps to release endorphins, improving your mood while lowering your stress levels and boosting your immune system. What's more, laughing for just 10 to 15 minutes a day can help burn up to 40 calories, which can add up in the long run. They weren't joking when they said laughter was the best medicine!
4. Listen to music. Your favourite tunes can help improve your health while improving your mood at the same time. Research has shown that listening to music can help lower your stress levels and your blood pressure, while releasing dopamine, which is a chemical associated with feelings of pleasure. It's also been linked to improved concentration, and can even help you run faster when combining a cardio workout with up-tempo music. So get that feel-good music pumping!
5. Drink coffee. It might go against what you believe to be healthy, but drinking coffee in moderation has been shown to help prevent chronic diseases such as diabetes and cancer. Moreover, coffee drinkers are less likely to have conditions such as Parkinson's disease and dementia, when compared with non-coffee drinkers.
Interestingly enough, coffee has also been shown to help improve sleep quality, a crucial component of a healthy lifestyle. A recent Japanese study showed that drinking one to two cups of coffee before taking a 20-minute nap can result in improved alertness and performance, due to the caffeine clearing the brain of a molecule known as adenosine. So order that Americano or latte you've been craving and improve your health and sleep at the same time!
Of course, while these creative methods can help boost your health in a number of new and interesting ways, there's no substitute for healthy eating, regular exercise, and enough sleep and water. What's more, making responsible choices and boosting your wellness can also help improve your Vitality status, your Discovery Card rewards, Active Rewards and your Discovery Life PayBacks to mention a few. So there's no reason for health to be boring this winter, not when you can eat, drink, laugh, sleep and sing your way to wellness, all season long.