Guest Post: Indulgences That Are Good for You

Ya’ll know that sometimes bloggers need to get paid. Today I need to get paid. And, I thought this post was super appropriate given my current situation (I just pushed a baby out of me and all). So, give it a read if you would like, and if you would not like, then do not do so. The end.

Sleeping
[Image License: Creative Commons. See image above.]

When it comes to indulgence, everyone has their own weaknesses and interests. It’s suggested that you take pleasure in relishing things that make you happy and take your stress away…even if its just for a little while.

While some indulgences may not be good for your health, such as that big piece of chocolate cake that looks so good in the bakery window, there are plenty of things that are both enjoyable and healthy. Picking your indulgences appropriately means that they can serve your taste buds and add to your health and lifestyle. Here are a few of them.

Drinking Wine Instead of Eating Dessert

There has been significant research that shows that drinking red wine in moderation can be good for a person’s overall health. However, this isn’t the only thing that wine has going for it. Choosing a glass of wine; either white or red, instead of dessert can help lower your overall calorie intake.

For example; a single, 5-ounce glass of wine has around 100 calories. In contrast, a single scoop of ice cream has around 275 calories. Add that to the fact that you are much more likely to stop at a single glass of wine than at a single scoop of ice cream, and you can see how wine makes a better after-dinner indulgence.

Having a Regular Cup of Coffee

For a long time, drinking coffee was seen as a neutral or negative indulgence. However, modern research shows that having one or two cups of coffee everyday is actually healthy for most people. 1-2 cups a day appear to have some protective benefits against diabetes and Parkinson’s disease.

However, more is not better when it comes to coffee intake. Like most things in life, coffee should also be consumed in moderation. For example; drinking more than 4 cups in a day can cause anxiety, restlessness and insomnia for many people.

Enjoying a Hearty Laugh

We all know that laughter has innumerable health benefits. Although they aren’t sure if the health benefits come from being in good humor or the act of laughing itself, many people now advocate a good dose of the jollies for better health. Studies have shown the positive effects of laughter on people with conditions like insomnia, high blood sugar levels in diabetics, and immune response.

It is well known in the medical community that stress impairs good health. People who are under a lot of stress tend to have significant immune function impairments. Laughter may be just the medicine (and very cheap at that) the doctors prescribe to counteract the affects of anxiety and stress in everyday life.

Getting a Little More Sleep

A majority of Americans are guilty of not getting enough sleep. Sleep seems to be a time when we are not doing anything; so many people cut it short in order to accomplish other things in their lives. However, this is the worst thing that one can do resulting in a number of related health issues like fatigue and body ache.

Getting enough sleep with about 8 hours every night is a must for adults, while children and teens need a couple of hours more. When making a plan for the following week, include extra sleep hours to pamper yourself. Sleep not only relaxes the body but relaxes the mind as well. It makes you more productive, adds to your stamina, enthusiasm, physical strength, and improves concentration.
However, this is another case where more is not necessarily better. Excessive sleeping has also been linked to a variety of serious conditions. One expert recommends gauging how much sleep you need by how many hours you sleep when on vacation. Going to bed when you are sleepy and getting up when you wake up provides a good baseline for how much sleep your body needs, she says.

Getting enough sleep is incredibly important in maintaining overall health and not doing so can put you at greater risk for contracting several very serious illnesses. Not getting enough sleep has been associated with an increased risk of:

Obesity
Heart disease
Diabetes
Stress
Poor memory
Insomnia

Taking Time Off Work

Although it can be hard to find time for vacations, getting away from work on a relatively regular basis can significantly reduce your stress levels. Spend time with family everyday even if it is for 20-30 minutes. Try to go out for family dinners and lunches to spend quality time with them as well once in awhile. Hang out with friends and reminisce about the good old times. Research has proved that people who are close to their families and spend more time with their kids are more productive and happy at work than those who are workaholics.

Plan a long vacation once every 1-2 years to disconnect from the monotony of work and whenever possible, go on mini-vacations (during long weekends for example) to live life to its full potential. Working hard is not necessarily a bad thing but never taking a break probably is.

So, take time and make a list of some of your favorite indulgences that are not just healthy and fun but also make your life less stressful.

[color-box]George Smith is a Blogger with ICAnBenefit.com, a provider of affordable and quality medical coverage.Their short term health insurance plans and low cost health insurance for unemployed are amongst their most popular products.[/color-box]

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