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Daily dose of health

While they are not cast on stone, there are certain things that you should do everyday to improve your health and your life as a whole. Here are habits you should strive to do on a daily basis for your general wellbeing, writes Betty Muindi

A laugh a day…

Research has shown that laughing for 10 to 15 minutes a day burns up to 40 calories and relaxes muscles for up to 45 minutes. Even more importantly, laughter boosts the immune system, lowers blood pressure, and stimulates the release of endorphins. Frequently described as ‘happiness hormones’, endorphins are released during physical sensation and activity, and are responsible for feelings of euphoria and pain relief.

An apple a day…

Many studies have provided powerful scientific evidence that the saying “an apple a day keeps the doctor away” is in fact true. Several studies have found an association between apple consumption and reduced risk of cancer, especially lung cancer. Studies have also linked apple intake with reduced risk of cardiovascular disease.

A hug a day…

Whether you are sad, lonely, or in comfort, a hug has the ability to change your day around and make the best of you. It’s not just the loving embrace with our partner that gives us that warm feeling in our hearts, it affects us so much more so that scientists have shown how a hug a day, really keeps the doctor away. Hugging increases levels of the “love hormone”, oxytocin. Research also indicates that hugging boosts the immune system.

Sex a day…

If you thought that sex is only meant for pleasure and well, make babies, there is some news for you. Not only does it help you sleep well, relieves stress, or helps burn that fat, it can also help improve cardiovascular heath, increase your immunity; relieve pain and even promote longevity.

Several studies have shown that men who have sex more than twice a week have a lesser risk of getting a heart attack than those who have it less that once a month.

Further, regular lovemaking increases the level of the immune boosting antibody immunoglobin A, which makes your body stronger against illnesses like the common cold and fever. Also, when one has an orgasm, dehydroepiandrosterone hormone is released. It improves immunity, repairs tissues and keeps skin healthy.

Meditation a day…

Taking time for ourselves is important, yet with our busy lifestyle, few people do. One of the best, most time-efficient ways to relax and recharge our bodies and minds is through meditation.

It helps us focus in the moment, without life’s distractions. It helps us tap into our subconscious minds, leaving us still and calm. It also rejuvenates you by relieving any negativity that may be weighing on you. Meditation has also been proven to improve one’s sleep as well as benefit the immune system, improve concentration, reduce anxiety and stress.

A power nap a day…

Few workplaces have space for an afternoon siesta, but according to research, everyone needs at least 10 minutes of sleep during working hours to boost focus and productivity.

However, timing is everything when it comes to napping during the day, do not nap too late in the day so as not to interfere with your body’s circadian rhythm (a roughly 24 hour cycle in the physiological processes of living beings) and probably poor sleep at night. Best times to nap are mid to late morning or early afternoon.

Water a day…

Drinking water everyday helps you to stay hydrated and to perform at your best. Doctors recommend that you should drink at least three litres of water a day to help flush out bacteria and toxins trapped inside your body, for clear glowing skin, to fight kidney stones and general ailments, for weight loss, energy and aid in digestion. Water also helps increase mental and physical performance, prevent headaches and cramps.

A banana a day…

Adding a banana to your diet everyday can help you reach your weight loss goals, keep your bowels healthy and provide nutrients that regulate heart because bananas are high in potassium as well as vitamin compounds for eyecare.

About half of the fibre content in bananas is soluble. When soluble fibre reaches your digestive tract, it absorbs water and slows digestion. Food is forced to sit in your stomach for a while, making you feel full. If you have a banana before lunch, you will be less likely to overeat when your food comes to the table.

A kiss a day…

Whether it’s a quick peck on the cheek between friends, or a long, passionate tongue-lashing between new partners, kissing carries so much weight. It relieves stress and may result in a reduction of cholesterol. Kissing also helps to dilate your blood vessels, which may help lower your blood pressure.

It helps to relieve cramps and headaches as well as when you kiss, saliva production increases in your mouth, and this helps to wash away plaque on your teeth that may lead to cavities.

Exercise a day

Exercise can help prevent excess weight gain or help maintain weight loss. It also helps keep your blood flowing smoothly, which decreases your risk of cardiovascular diseases. Physical activity stimulates various brain chemicals that may leave you feeling happier and more relaxed, boosts energy, promotes better sleep and bring back the spark into your sex life.

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