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We all know that eating a healthy balanced diet with an appropriate amount of exercise is the way forward in terms of achieving good health, but what about some of the more innocuous methods which can also reach the same goal?
You Can Get Too Much Sleep.
Most people will know that not getting enough sleep is bad for you. What you may not realise however, is that oversleeping can have just as big an impact. Oversleeping has been solidly linked to obesity.
Studies have repeatedly shown that people who sleep for 9 hours or more a night are more likely to become obese than people who sleep for 8 hours and follow the same diet and exercise regime.
How much sleep a person requires changes with age and gender but, as a general rule, most experts recommend not sleeping for more than 8 hours a night.
You Should Join A Choir.
According to researchers in Sweden, singing with others has health benefits that rival yoga. They found that people singing in a choir had synchronised heartbeats and credited it to the coordinated breathing required to sing in unison with others.
The controlled breathing that is practiced in yoga has been found to lower blood pressure and it is now believed choir singing has the same effect. Plus, no one in the choir is going to force you into a downward facing dog.
Swap Your Chair For An Exercise Ball.
Unless you have an ergonomically designed chair it’s very likely that if you work at a desk all day your body is bearing the brunt of you slouching around. If you swap your chair for an exercise ball you can improve your general health in a number of ways.
The unstable nature of an exercise ball means that your body is constantly working, often unnoticeably, to maintain your seated position and stop you tumbling off the side. This actively works your core muscles which will not only tone up your midsection but also help to prevent back problems occurring or getting worse.
Sitting tall on an exercise ball also helps to improve posture. It can be just as easy to slouch on the ball, but the lack of back or arm rests mean there is a constant reminder for you to sit properly. A good posture helps to facilitate breathing and prevent health complications like a slipped disk or poor circulation. It can also improve concentration.
On top of a good posture and improved core strength, the simple fact that you are sitting on a piece of equipment meant for exercise may just encourage you to do some. If not you can always bounce while you concentrate.
Living Green Walls.
A living wall is a wall that has plants growing all over the surface of it. Whether they grow up a trellis or out of soil attached directly to the wall, the outcome is the same. Not only do they look incredible, but living green walls can actually improve your general wellbeing.
Indoor air pollution is a serious issue, and recent studies suggest that levels of pollution may be far greater indoors than they are outdoors. The pollution includes formaldehyde and carbon monoxide. They both have negative impacts on health.
Research has shown that having potted plants indoors gets rid of some of these pollutants and cleans the air. If a few potted plants can change the indoor pollution imagine the impact a living green wall, which can contain thousands of plants, can have.
The walls act as filtration systems for harmful pollution, converting the gases in to oxygen. With a living green wall your body is exposed to more oxygen and less pollution which can only improve your health.
Now you have some new ways of improving your health that you hopefully hadn’t heard much about before. Which ones are you going to use?
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- License: Creative Commons image source
Jack Tilbury is a student who enjoys using his exercise ball a little too much.
- Exercise in sixties boosts healthy ageing (telegraph.co.uk)
- Do the maths: the science behind the numbers that govern our lives (theguardian.com)
- Pregnant mothers who exercise boost babies’ brains, claim researchers (theguardian.com)