Research proves that sometimes the best self care involves breaking the rules: some of your so-called bad health habits can relieve fatigue and anxiety, provide essential nutrients, help with weight loss and more. Fidgeting, late night partying, procrastination, and yes, even eating the dreaded egg yolk all have surprising benefits.
Did you ever get in trouble for fidgeting at school or at home? Now there is scientific proof that those habits you had as a child were in fact very healthy. Twirling your hair, tapping your foot, or squirming in your chair actually helps reduce stress by keeping your muscles in motion, says cardiologist Stephen Sinatra, M.D. According to research at Rochester’s Mayo Clinic, fidgeting also helps you burn fat, increasing your metabolic rate by 40 percent. These small but continuous body movements improve your ability to burn the fat stored in your body by stimulating the brain’s release hormones.
Staying Up Late
What about late night partying? Surely that can’t be good for your health. Actually, Bruce S. Rabin, M.D., professor of pathology at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine explains that social gatherings can actually reduce your risk of insomnia by 50 percent: “Anxiety is a prime cause of poor sleep — and people who carve out a little time each month to laugh and socialize with great friends are far less likely to be overflowing with it!” And staying up late once in a while won’t take a huge toll on your energy. A Stanford University study has discovered that it’s the hours between 2:00 a.m. and 6:30 a.m. that are crucial to getting the rest you need.
This may sound too good to be true, but procrastinating is not always a bad thing. Germany’s University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf advises that taking a small break from work or daily chores to do something fun and relaxing like checking your friends’ Facebook statuses boosts production of compounds that relieve aches and pains in about eight minutes. The research suggests that taking several short breaks is superior to taking one long one. This way, the beneficial effect can last all day, and you get more things done.