10 Little-Known Ways to Improve Your Health and Prevent Many Diseases

Everyone knows that exercising and following a diet plan is necessary in order to stay healthy and fit. But we sometimes tend to overlook our daily habits that could use some adjustments to improve our overall health. A few simple changes in your daily routine can do wonders for both your physical and your mental well-being.

We at Bright Side came across some basic things that you can or cannot do if you want to stay in good health.

1. Roses by the bed

Almost everyone loves roses – their smell and their beauty are the reason why they're the most popular flower. It turns out that roses have healing effects too. In a German study, it has been proved that the scent of roses in a room ensures better sleep and more pleasant dreams.

Studies have proved that the pleasant smell of roses hugely affects the brain's emotional responses and since roses are generally linked with good memories, they automatically lead to good dreams.

2. Moles on your right arm

You will be surprised to learn that you can notice the signs of skin cancer developing inside your body by simply observing your moles. British research has determined that counting moles can actually predict the chances of skin cancer.

These British researchers counted moles on about 4,000 Caucasian twins. It was observed that those with more than 11 moles on their right arm happened to have around 100 moles on their whole body. This number means that such people are at an increased risk of skin cancer, although it doesn't require immediate medical attention. Also, if you notice any change in the color or shape of any of your moles, get it checked out by a doctor as soon as you can.

3. Writing by hand instead of typing

In this fast-paced world, where paper and pen have taken the backseat, we would like to bring your focus back to the advantages of writing by hand. According to Newsweek, writing helps us remember things better by engaging different parts of our brain at the same time. In comparison to typing, writing has always been preferred.

4. Hugs

The new phrase is, "A hug a day keeps the doctor away." It not only helps keep your mind healthy but it keeps you happier too. Sheldon Cohen, a professor of Psychology at Carnegie Mellon University in Pennsylvania, says, "Hugging protects people who are under stress from the increased risk for colds [that's] usually associated with stress."

Hugging helps us get rid of stress and releases a hormone called oxytocin, which is responsible for our bonding with other humans.

5. Don't sleep on the same sheet for too many days.

If you're not used to paying attention to the cleanliness of your bedsheets, then it's definitely time to start.

When you sleep, your body goes through a lot of processes. This includes the shedding of dead skin cells, sweating and a lot of other things, especially if you share your bed with your partner. It's a good idea to wash your sheets once every 1-2 weeks, depending on the condition they're in. It's also a good idea to keep track of what you put on your bed since things like laptops, cell phones, and books are things that are usually placed anywhere and everywhere you go.

6. Don't sleep in your contact lenses.

Sometimes you just feel so tired that all you can is just barely get to the couch for a quick power nap. There's absolutely nothing wrong with this and it's even highly recommended in some cultures, but it's quite unhealthy for those who wear contact lenses.

Sleeping in your contacts can trigger corneal neovascularization, which can even lead to making your eyes unfit for contact lenses altogether. Apart from that, it can also lead to problems like red eye, a corneal ulcer, pink eye and other diseases like goliath papillary conjunctivitis. So take the time to take out those lenses for your own good.

7. This 30-second exercise can work wonders:

What if we tell you by sparing just 30 seconds, you could add years to your life? This exercise was invented by Alexander Mikulin and it's popularly known as vibration gymnastics. There have been claims that by regular practice, it can even prolong your life by decades.

How to do it: Stand straight with your heels raised to about 2 in (4-5 cm). Hold and fall back on your heels. Repeat this for 30 seconds, 8-10 times a day.

How this helps: When your heels are raised, the largest blood vessels are filled with blood due to muscle contraction. And, when the heels are dropped back down, the blood turns around and immediately starts moving toward your heart, thus reducing the strain on it.

The exercise can be easily done anywhere and it hardly takes any time.

8. Don't sit or stand for too long.

Standing or sitting for too long can be tiring. And not only that, but it's unhealthy too. According to Annals of Internal Medicine, “People who sat for prolonged periods of time had a higher risk of dying from all causes — even those who exercised regularly.”

And if someone told you standing for longer periods burns more calories, tell them that it is going to have an adverse effect on your health too. As per The Conversation, “[it’s] because standing too long can result in blood pooling in the legs, increased pressure in the veins, and increased oxidative stress, all of which can contribute to an increased risk.”

It is thus advised to take a break every hour.

9. Read while you can.

Reading has innumerous benefits. It relieves many kinds of stress, uplifts your mood, and also helps you get rid of a hormone called cortisol, also known as the stress hormone. Many researchers have proved that those who often read or listened to music showed lower stress levels.

A good read on a daily basis can increase your lifespan, delay dementia, and, of course, bring pleasure to your daily routine.

10. The 15-minute craving control test

A set of 2 groups were given a tempting plate of cake, with one group who got double the quantity. They were then asked to wait for 15 minutes and were then asked again if they would want a second serving. It was observed that they both didn't have as much of a craving for it as they had the first time.

This proves that portion size doesn't matter. It is just the pleasure of eating that matters and a gap of 15 minutes can easily kill that craving. Hence, wait for 15 minutes before you give in to indulging in seconds and help yourself toward a healthier body.

What do you think about the points mentioned in this article? Do you have any advice on how to improve your health through small changes in your daily routine?

Illustrated by Natalia Tylosova for Bright Side
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