Watch out! Little ghouls and goblins are everywhere trying to tempt you with their sugary wares. While scarfing an entire bag of miniature candy bars isn’t ideal for your waistline (or your arteries), falling off the healthy food wagon for a little while won’t detonate your health routine; especially if you stay on top of your exercise regimen.
From stretching to boost your circulation to eating eggs to prevent a stroke, we’ll teach you how to increase your lifespan and enhance your well-being despite those sneaky treats. Before we begin, here’s a trick or treater’s tip: If you’re going to eat chocolate, choose a dark variety with no added sugar. It’s loaded with flavonoids, which boast antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and immune-boosting properties.
Monster Stretches Can Boost Circulation
The first cool breezes of fall have already set us shivering. For those of us suffering from poor circulation, cold weather can wreak havoc on our extremities. Good news! According to a study published in the International Heart Journal, stretching can help improve our vascular function (i.e. blood vessels) and peripheral circulation (the movement of our blood through these vessels).
Boo! Beat Stress by Moving and Screaming!
One in 10 adults don’t engage in stress management activities, found the Stress in America Survey conducted by the American Psychological Association. The report goes on to say that over half (62) percent of adults resort to screen time, not exercise, to relieve stress. Whether they surf the Web, play video games, or binge watch Netflix, these adults are avoiding healthy behaviors to manage tension. Unfortunately, being sedentary only makes things worse.
The next time you feel stress or anxiety creeping in, get up and move. Try a few easy stretches, walk at a moderate pace for 20 minutes (bonus points if it’s outdoors), or meditate in a quiet space. Another way to beat stress is by screaming, which can help reduce tension. Get started with a loud “Boo!” or two on Hallowe’en night.
Eat Your Pumpkin, Charlie Brown!
The perfect canvas for a jack’-o’-lantern, a pumpkin’s benefits extend far beyond its role as a famed Hallowe’en decoration. These tasty veggies can help you lose weight by filling your belly with heart-healthy fiber. They can also boost vision by preventing cataracts, absorbing and processing light, and possibly slowing the progression of macular degeneration. Another of pumpkin’s bonuses: healthy, younger-looking skin (you can thank its high levels of beta-carotene for that).
Too Spooked to Sleep?
Taking a bath before bed can help even the most restless catch some zzzs. The warmth of the water helps relax you. When your skin cools after the bath, your circulation increases and your body releases melatonin–the hormone that helps you get to, and stay, asleep. When’s the best time to bathe? According to Texan researchers, those who bathed one to two hours before bed fell asleep more easily and had better quality of sleep than those who didn’t.
An Egg a Day Helps You Live Longer!
Instead of using an egg to target a house on All Hallows’ Eve, eat one instead. Having an egg every day can lower your risk of cardiovascular disease, found Chinese researchers. According to their study, those who ate one egg daily had a 26 percent lower risk of hemorrhagic stroke and a 28 percent lower risk of dying from this type of stroke than those who consumed none. The take home: eating eggs in moderation doesn’t appear to increase a person’s risk of heart disease and can, in fact, lower it.