Health and happiness go hand-in-hand. It is worth spending some time and effort on your health in order that you stay well and happy. Sometimes, a little can go a long way and a few simple and easy tips can really make a difference. Here are some easy things you can do to make yourself a little healthier.
1) Floss. Everyone knows they should floss to improve the health of their teeth and gums, but did you know that it can also reduce your risk of heart disease? The link has not been proven yet but senior cardiologist Dr Thomas Boyden, Jr, MD is convinced that the connection is there. The theory is that if your gum disease becomes advanced then bacteria can get into your bloodstream. It can then cause inflammation elsewhere in your body. Inflammation of the arteries leads to atherosclerosis and narrowing. This can cause a heart attack.
2) Drink green tea. In Chinese culture green tea has been used as a cure-all for thousands of years. It contains more catechins then anything else in our diet and these are thought to be the active component. In the laboratory studies it has been shown to slow down or stop development of cancer in the liver, breast and colon, as well as the prostate. Leave the tea to brew for 10 minutes to maximise the transfer of the active ingredients. If you find it too bitter put in a drop of local organic honey. If you don't like the taste of green tea you can buy the catechins in capsule form from health food shops.
3) Walk. Walking instead of taking the car or a taxi has many benefits. Once a week is better than nothing. As well as saving you money it's good for the heart and is great as part of a weight loss program. Many people do not realise that it is healthy for the mind as well. Walking can be great for stress relief and reduction of negative thought processes which can lead to mental illness. The study was carried out by Gregory Bratman, a doctoral student in the department of biology at Stanford University. It showed that people who walk in a natural environment have lower stress levels. If you can walk to work or the shops through a wood or park then this can leave you feeling refreshed when you arrive. It is also therapeutic for you to get to know your local surroundings and the people who live nearby. Stopping for a chat is a good idea; see tip number 4.
4) Talk. Several studies have looked at health and social interaction and found a very strong link. The stronger your social links, the longer you live. An example of a good study showing this is by JS House, KR Landis and D Umberson from Science, 29 Jul 1988 titled 'Social relationships and health'. The take-home message; if you want to live longer, you need a high quantity of high-quality social interaction. Nobody knows why this is.
Summary. You can boost your health easily by flossing, drinking green tea and walking whenever you can. Cultivate your relationships and spend time talking to people you love. Easy!
Dr Toby Bateson for ZenPlugs