If you are working in medical assisting, or any other health profession, you know that optimum health cannot be achieved without some hard work and dedication. However, it is possible to “cheat” your way to better health and even happiness if you know how to do a few of the little things that can add up to big changes. No matter your career path, current level of health or degree of contentment with your life, here are 25 things you can do to “cheat” your way to increased happiness, health and wellness.
Food and Drink
What you eat and drink can have a very real effect on your health and happiness. The good news, though, is that you don’t have to give up all of the things you live. There are some rather simple ways you can increase your health and happiness, just by what you eat and drink:
- Drink more coffee: While you don’t want to become too heavily involved with coffee, drinking a little more of it can boost your mood and help keep diabetes at bay. Men can even stave off prostate cancer. Of course, this is if you drink it in moderation.
- Try green tea: Life coffee, green tea can help boost your mood. And, on top of that, there are health benefits associated with green tea, including lowering cholesterol, fighting heart disease and cancer, preventing stroke, and helping limit the effects of dementia.
- Drink beer: No, don’t run out there and get drunk! But it is interesting to note that those who engage in moderate alcohol consumption actually exercise more that those who don’t. Some booze, like red wine, provides anti-oxidants. And, if imbibers actually exercise, on average, more 7.2 minutes more per week than non-drinkers, they are getting those benefits, too. Just realize that getting totally hammered is likely to overset the good.
- Chew gum: Relieve stress by chewing gum. You can also see dental benefits when you chew sugar-free gum. (The military is considering using gum to replace toothbrushes.) There are even studies that show that gum can help with memory function.
- Drink soda: Instead of drinking your regular fizzy drinks, have an occasional soda — spiked with vitamins. Plus, the sugar in soda can give you a little boost of energy and mood while at the same time delaying Alzheimer’s, thanks to the body’s “glucose memory system.” Just remember to drink in moderation. Always in moderation.
- Eat more veggies: It isn’t as bad as it sounds. You can boost your health just by swapping out one meat entree a week with a vegetarian entree. There are a number of places online where you can find tasty vegetarian entrees. You don’t have to give up meat altogether to live healthier.
- Eat more salt: Just a pinch more — since too much salt can increase hypertension. But if you want to help stave off an energy drop, a few olives or pretzel sticks can be a good way to get a little extra boost. And maybe satisfy a craving.
- Have some dark chocolate: While you can’t go too crazy with this one, you can improve your heart health with a small amount of dark chocolate, lowering your blood pressure. Not to mention the pleasure derived from eating it can enhance your mood and contribute to your feelings of well-being.
We know that we need to burn more calories than we take in, and that physical activity is a vital part of this. But do you really have to get up and move so much? The answer is know. Here are a few ways to burn a few extra calories, and feel a little better.
- Get busy in the bedroom: Those who have sexual intercourse at least twice a week live longer. They also feel better, since sex can be a stress reliever. And, of course, sex burns calories. Unfortunately for the single, masturbation doesn’t offer all the same benefits.
- Sleep separately: After you are done with your intimate relations, retire to separate beds. Couples that sleep in the same bed get less sleep, and sleep that is of poorer quality. Get a good night’s sleep — in your own bed — and feel happier, more energetic, and help reduce health problems.
- Think about working out: Apparently, you don’t even have to actually workout. Men were able to increase their muscle mass just by visualizing themselves participating in lifting weights. And, as we know, muscle mass burns calories better than fat.
- Feel better about your fat: While you don’t want to be obese, a study found that those who are slightly overweight live longer than those who are underweight. So there’s no need to stress out trying to be skinny.
- Exercise your thumbs: You can use video games as a way to relieve stress, and find an outlet — not to mention escape reality. Some video games are more active than others (Wii), but even more conventional video games can help by increasing breathing and heart rate.
- Fidget: Move around a little bit in your seat, drumming your fingers, stretching and tapping your toe. You can lose weight just by doing a little fidgeting throughout the day.
- Sit around: Taking the time to be lazy on occasion can help you relax, reduce anxiety and regenerate yourself. You can enhance the health benefits of sitting around if you meditate.
- Mow the lawn: So it’s not exactly “cheating”. Obviously using a mower that you push will increase your exercise. However, your riding mower can provide you benefits as well: The chemicals released from grass that is fresh cut relieves stress and can boost your mood.
Personal Habits and Hobbies
What you do in your free time, and you take care of yourself, can have an impact on your overall wellness. Here are some personal habits and hobbies that can help you feel better and boost your health.
- Play an instrument: You can boost your mood and sense of well-being by learning a musical instrument. Indeed, singing, dancing and art can also help fight depression.
- Turn up your music: You don’t have to be creative to enjoy the health benefits of music. Loud music stimulates pleasure centers in the brain, via the sacculus. So you’ll feel happier if you listen to it loud at least some of the time. (You don’t want to damage your hearing.)
- Swear: Letting loose a few bad words can actually act as pain relief when you hurt yourself.
- Fun in the sun: The sun’s rays are essential if you want your body to enjoy the proper amount of Vitamin D, which can help stave off dementia, reduce the chance of heart disease and cancer, and even help prevent osteoporosis. Sunlight can also help increase your positive mood and reduce the chances of depression.
- Pornography: For men, porn can help spike testosterone levels, leading to quicker recovery time and lean muscle. Plus, some studies show that it might actually have a benefit for society.
- Skip the shower: The bacteria that accumulate in showerheads when they aren’t in use can cause disease. On top of this, there are actually some good types of bacteria available in dirt that can help with your mood and immune system.
- Go GOP: For some reason, Republicans are less likely to be in poor health than Democrats. One reason might the fact that smoking rates are higher in Dems. So, liberals may be smarter, but it doesn’t mean they are healthier — or happier.
- Play some poker: The social interaction that comes with poker, online and offline, can be beneficial to mood. Plus, the probabilities involved stimulate brain activity.
- Connect through social media: While nothing can quite compare with having face to face friends, you can still reap mental health and emotional benefits from the interaction that comes through social media like Twitter and Facebook.