Most of us aim to live lives that are as healthy as we can possibly manage, so that we can live long and happy lives not troubled by too much pain or sickness. In a bid to do this, we will often adopt healthy habits like eating a salad at lunch each day or going for a run each night, but no matter how much we think we know about living a healthy life, there are always things that will jump out and surprise us. The 10 things that are surprisingly good for your health below are a case in point.

1. Chewing Gum

Your teachers may have told you off for chewing gum in class, but I hope that did not put you off their habit for life. You see, far from being a bad habit, chewing gum is, in fact, one of the best things you can do for your oral health alongside brushing and flossing.

Ask any dentist and they will tell you, if you want to have pearly whites, chewing gum is a great habit to have. You see, chomping on sugar-free gum keeps your mouth busy producing saliva, nature’s favorite cavity-fighting compound, which means you are less likely to experience cavities, discoloration, and ultimately tooth loss if you chew regularly.

2. Decadent Dark Chocolate

Dark chocolate is so smooth, velvety, and decadent that it has to be bad for you, right? Wrong! Although it is not encouraged to eat too much regular chocolate, which is loaded with sugar and other health disaster ingredients, experts actively encourage us all to indulge in a little dark chocolate from time to time. Why? Because dark chocolate is a treasure trove of antioxidants, capable of fighting off oxidative stress, reducing inflammation, and lowering blood pressure, and you can get all of these benefits by eating just two squares a day – moderation is key because it is still chocolate after all!

3. Laughter, The Best Medicine

Laughter doesn’t just keep the blues at bay; it’s a boon for your physical well-being. It alleviates stress, sends a rush of oxygen-rich air throughout your body, and bolsters your immune system. So, it is fair to say, when it comes to your health, laughter is always time well spent whether it is laughing with good friends over a cup of coffee or tuning in to your favorite sitcom on Netflix. We could all use more laughter in our lives!

4. Humble House Plants

If you want to be healthier, then it is time to unleash your inner gardener! Adorning your living spaces with houseplants does not only make your home look much prettier and bring a little bit of nature indoors, but it will also purify the air by absorbing toxins, releasing oxygen, and increasing humidity, which will help you breathe easier, especially if you have conditions like asthma. Not only that, but studies have shown that being surrounded by houseplants can also lower your stress levels and boost your wellbeing too. Plants really are a good friend to us wellness warriors!

5. The Art Of Doing Nothing

In the whirlwind of life, the art of doing nothing, or “Niksen” as the Dutch call it, is a surprising health ally. It’s not laziness, mind you, but a conscious break that allows your mind and body to unwind, recenter, and reset. This mindful pause can enhance mental well-being, spark creativity, and lower stress levels. Embrace the power of peaceful nothingness!

6. Groove To The Music

We all know that busting a move to our favorite tracks is a lot of fun and a great way to boost our wellbeing, but did you know it is actually great for cardio and weight management too? Not only that, but dancing tones your muscles, and sharpens your cognitive skills. You can burn a surprising amount of calories by simply dancing around your kitchen to Taylor Swift, so whenever you have a spare moment. Turn Spotify on and shake that booty. You’ll not only feel much happier, but you’ll be contributing to greater health too!

7. The Virtue Of Video Games

Before you balk at this one, hear us out! Video games, in moderation, can be surprising allies for cognitive health. They enhance problem-solving skills, hand-eye coordination, and multitasking abilities, and this is really good for our brains, especially as we age. Opt for games that challenge your mind and reflexes, and you will have a lot of fun doing something that really is good for you, no matter what your parents might have said about the matter when you were a kid!

8. The Charm Of Cold Showers

Okay, so this one might not sound too appealing to you, and there is nothing quite like a hot shower to help you relax and feel clean after a long day of work and play, but the fact of the matter is, cold showers can be a great boon for your health. A cold shower enhances circulation, tightens your skin, and revs up your metabolism. Plus, it’s a wake-up call like no other, infusing your day with a burst of energy and alertness! So, be sure to take one each morning and you won’t regret it.

9. Cuddle Time Is Crucial

Don’t underestimate the power of a warm hug or cuddle. This sweet embrace releases oxytocin, the bonding hormone, lowering stress levels, enhancing mood, and promoting a sense of peace and well-being. Hug it out for a healthful heart and a joyful spirit!

10. Talking To Strangers

It might sound a bit unconventional, and depending on where you grew up, it could be a scary or odd prospect, but a simple chat with a stranger can do wonders for your mental well-being. It helps to improve social skills, increases feelings of happiness, and can even enhance your empathy and understanding of others. So, why not say hi to someone today?

Now that you know these 10 things are actually pretty good for your health, why not make an effort to assimilate them into your life, so you can be the best, most healthy version of yourself you can possibly be? You know it makes sense!

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