Do you ever wake up in the morning and immediately regret an over-indulgent decision from the day before?
- Lament ordering that extra glass of pinot noir?
- Feeling bad about spending too much on a deep tissue massage?
- Kick yourself for sneaking in an additional hour of sleep?
Luckily, Health.com is telling us to not be so hard on ourselves! We deserve our vices when they are healthy for us as they can be great ways to enhance your days. So this Tuesday, I present to you:
TEN THINGS THIS TUESDAY: HEALTH.COM’S 10 BEST VICES FOR YOUR HEALTH
Quotes from the Health.com article are in italics. My comments follow, as usual. Let’s get to treatin’ ourselves, shall we?
1. Getting your zzz’s: Pillow time gives you energy, bolsters your immune system, boosts your memory, and even helps you get (or stay) slim.
I’ve previously shared I am not a good sleeper. I wake up several times a night and, if I’m lucky, average a broken seven hours of sleep a night. So whenever my body (and more often, my mind) allow me to get an extra hour of shut eye, I welcome the chance with open arms.
2. Playing hooky: Studies confirm that time off relieves stress, lowering your blood pressure and your risk for heart disease.
This past Friday, I took a (pre-approved!) personal day. We had a major painting project planned. To help decrease the stress of getting it all done in one day, we spaced the tasks over a long weekend. Friday morning I woke up a bit later than usual – already a better way to start the day! I leisurely enjoyed my breakfast before hunkering down for the task at hand. Trying to cram everything into the weekend would have overwhelmed me. Instead, having that extra day to work made the process so much more enjoyable.
3. Sexual healing: Subjects in one study who did it once or twice a week had higher levels of the antibody immunoglobulin A, which shields you from colds and other infections.
And they said an apple a day kept the doctor away… more like a roll in the hay keeps the MD away!
4. A daily chocolate fix: Dark chocolate and cocoa may help lower blood pressure, reduce the risk of stroke, and provide other cardiovascular benefits, multiple studies have shown.
I’m all about the consumption of dark chocolate. It only gets better when there are added health benefits. My new dark chocolate discovery: Adora Calcium Dark Chocolate disks.
At just 30 calories a disk, each piece has 500 mg calcium and is gluten-free. There’s no better way to end a meal in my opinion.
5. Girls’ nights out: “Friendships are very good for you — as long as you hang out with people with whom you have a well-balanced relationship and limit your time spent with people who are toxic for you”
I love my girlfriends and want/need to spend more time with them. I’m lucky enough to be seeing a bunch of them in the upcoming weeks. This week I’m hosting a blogger get together – can’t wait to see all my favorite CLE blends!
It only gets better when the girls get together for a bit of fitness: in a few weeks, a bunch of the gals will be participating in the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure in downtown Cleveland.
The race on Saturday, September 11 will be my next official 5K race. I’m signed up for the 9:15 “competitive race” – chip timer and all! The race route is different this year than in years past, which I’m very excited about. Hopefully I can talk a few of the girls in to running with me!
6. Full-fat dressing: “When you have a meal that includes a little fat, you tend to feel more satisfied, so you eat less”
After years of dieting, I’m still in the habit of picking foods with labels like “low fat” or “low calorie”. Since I’ve been enjoying intuitive eating since turning to maintenance mode, I’ve been enjoying items such as nut butters again. When part of a balance diet, there is a bit of room for everything!
7. Your morning java: Research suggests that coffee… fights heart disease and some cancers, and it may even help you push through harder, longer workouts.
Bring on the home-brewed Starbucks! I love grinding my own beans of their Organic Yukon Blend. So much tastier and cheaper than the $1.85 for a Grande every morning!
I do admit: on Saturday mornings when I neglect to enjoy my two large mugs of coffee, my cardio kickboxing class seems to be endless!
8. Getting a rubdown: Women in a 2008 study noted less pain, depression, anxiety, and anger when they were massaged twice a week by their partners — and (bonus!) their partners reported better mental health, too.
Has anyone seen my husband? All these training miles for my half marathon have got my legs pretty tight… why do I have a feeling number 8 leads to number 3?!
9. Basking in the sun: Bright days really do lift our moods — sunshine is the ultimate natural antidepressant, triggering our bodies to nip production of the sleep-stimulating hormone melatonin so we’re alert, energized, and ready to face the day.
Since I spend my 9 to 5 cooped up in the air condition, I love any chance I get to spend outside. I even sneak in a quick jaunt out to my car during my lunch break, just to get a breath of fresh air. My favorite 8:00PM indulgence is a brisk pup walk. A thirty minute excursion around the cul-de-sacs of my neighborhood with Poise in Parma’s favorite golden retriever always makes my week night.
10. Wine with dinner: The buzz on wine is about its heart-healthy properties, though researchers aren’t entirely sure how it works its magic. Its antioxidants may keep blood vessels flexible, or alcohol could boost HDL (good) cholesterol.
Hey, I’m all about additional antioxidants, but remember the key is moderation. Ordering a bottle for the table is one thing. Finishing the entire thing by yourself is quite the other. Don’t be a sloppy wino. Take a cue from this handsome man and stay classy, Cleveland:
What’s your vice? Is there a healthy justification for its existence in your life?