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We are constantly being fed information from new studies about what is good and bad for our health. The facts can often contradict each other and be misleading, so instead we have compiled a list of simple, useful and lesser-known facts about our health. Here are our top 10:
1. Fruit and veg can help the body produce its own aspirin.
Research in the UK found that the compound formed when aspirin is broken down in the body, salicylic acid (SA), is produced as a result of a diet including plentiful fruit and vegetables. It was discovered that when given benzoic acid, a natural substance found in fruit and veg, study participants were able to manufacture their own SA, the component which produces the pain-relieving and anti-inflammatory properties found in aspirin.
2. Drinking in moderation could have some health benefits.
It is argued that the drinking small amounts of alcohol, such as red wine, can be beneficial in preventing the risk of diseases such as cancer, liver disease and osteoporosis. Alcohol can increase 'good' cholesterol and reduce 'bad' cholesterol in the blood, improving the blood lipid profile, and can also help lower blood pressure.
3. Good sleeping habits can improve your memory.
Whilst getting a good night's sleep your brain is actually busy establishing memories and skills acquired during the day, a process often known as 'consolidation'. Your mind as well as your body will thank you for getting an early night and sticking to a regular sleeping pattern.
4. Running performance improves in the afternoon and evening.
If you are trying to get fit and morning jogs feel like a struggle, it may be because this is the time at which your bodily functions perform at their worst during the day. In the afternoon or evening, however, your body temperature peaks, meaning your muscles are more supple than in the earlier stages of the day. Lung function improves, and with that, running speed and performances do too.
5. Vitamin D aids weight loss.
Studies have demonstrated that the results of weight-loss are higher when vitamin D levels are increased. It has been shown that as part of a reduced-calorie diet, it can promote the acceleration of fat loss among people who originally have low levels of vitamin D. A lack of vitamin D has also been linked to a number of health problems including heart disease, obesity and diabetes, yet nearly 70% of the population suffer from a deficiency.
6. An apple a day could help prevent obesity.
Can an apple a day really keep the doctor away? The substance found in apple peel, ursolic acid, may be able to help reduce the threat of obesity in humans. Ursolic acid has shown to develop brown fat and muscle tissues in mice, both of which are recognised for excellent calorie-burning properties.
7. The skin can release up to eleven litres of sweat a day.
On a hot day, it is possible for the human body to release as much as a staggering eleven litres of sweat through the skin, underlining the importance of keeping extra hydrated whist exercising on a fitness holiday at a hot destination.
8. Smoking increases the risk of osteoporosis.
Among the endless harmful effects of smoking, one of the lesser-known facts is the link to osteoporosis. Various studies highlight the impairment of bones, muscles and joints from smoking, which inevitably puts smokers at a higher risk of osteoporosis. Another reason to stop and think before lighting up?
9. Facials are good for you.
Stimulating the fibroblasts in your skin releases collagen, warding off untimely wrinkles and restoring elasticity to the skin. Plus, massaging the face facilitates blood circulation, flushes toxins, breaks down fatty deposits and promotes lymphatic drainage. A facial can also help ease nasal and sinus decongestion. Now you have another excuse to treat yourself on a spa holiday!
10. Deep breathing can improve your mood.
Practising deep breathing will increase the pleasure-inducing neurochemicals in the brain which in turn can boost your mood, as well as relieving physical pain. Doing yoga asana, Pranayama and meditation are great methods to practise deep breathing and classes can be taken whilst on a yoga holiday. The benefits of deep breathing are numerous and varied, from helping you to de-stress to strengthening the immune system and improving posture. So, take a deep breath…
For a complete health overhaul, try a health and fitness trip with a personal consultation to tailor your healthy holiday to your needs and goals. Our detox holidays, and Fusion Fitness holidays provide nutritional meals and fitness plans and the retreats guarantee a better understanding of how your body works, to ensure you continue to feel the positive effects after you return home.
The spiritual retreat of Ananda in India is guaranteed to extend your health and unite your body and soul. The beautiful surrounding mountains create a secluded and timeless space, forming the perfect environment to focus on your personal goals but also relax and enjoy yourself. Alternatively, SHA Wellness Clinic in Spain offers a number of uniquely tailored packages designed to enhance your health, including detox, weight loss and de-stress programmes. As the world's first macrobiotic resort, SHA enables you to revive yourself and enjoy healthy macrobiotic cuisine and daily activities from yoga to healthy cooking lectures.
Or perhaps a holiday to the multi-award winning Como Shambhala Estate in Bali will fulfil your health requirements. Outstanding private villas each with their own infinity-edged pools set the tone for the experience and 'The Source', a local spring believed by natives to have healing benefits, provides water for the Estate, its treatment centre and the Vitality pool.
Talk to one of our Travel Specialists on 0203 397 8891 or contact us here to discuss tailor-making your perfect healthy holiday.