Did you know that having fun can be good for your health? Here’s how to enjoy yourself and reduce anxiety, destress, and boost your heart health. This comes from Woman’s World magazine.
- Stop the stress by taking the long way home. Researchers at Ohio State University found that seeing nature calms stressed-out nerves. Even seeing it from a car stuck in traffic reduces tension and boosts your energy. If you don’t have a scenic route home, don’t despair! Listen to soft, soothing music instead. Dr. Mitchell Gaynor wrote the book The Healing Power of Sound, and he says that slow music relaxes your mind, and helps reduce blood pressure, heart rate, and stress hormones.
- If you had a bad day, boost your mood with videogames. An engrossing game of Scrabble or Tetris prevents your brain from replaying whatever’s bothering you. It also makes it harder for your long-term memory to store traumatic information. A study at Oxford University had volunteers watch an upsetting movie. Those who played a game of Tetris within six hours were much less likely to dwell on the disturbing images than those who didn’t.
- So, what fun activity boosts your heart health? Watching sitcoms! Laughing at comedies speeds up your heart rate. In fact, neuroscientists say that one minute of laughter provides a better aerobic workout than 10 minutes on a rowing machine.
- Then, want to help keep your arteries clear? Send happy emails, or update your Facebook page. A study at Arizona State University found that sending affectionate messages to friends and family just three times a week can cut your cholesterol by 11 points. This is just as good as taking prescription pills. Spreading the love also lowers your blood glucose levels, helps protect against diabetes, and improves immune function.
- Finally, to avoid anxiety: Rent a chick flick. Researchers at the University of Michigan found that people who watch romantic movies get a 10% boost in the calming hormone, progesterone. The top five romance movies, according to a recent poll: Casablanca, Titanic, the 1939 version of Wuthering Heights, An Affair to Remember, and Gone with the Wind.