When it comes to managing your health, the simplest and most logical solutions are typically the most effective. There are, however, a few exceptions that may seem counterintuitive but actually make a big positive difference. For example, you may not expect a hot cup of tea to be the best drink on a hot day, but hot beverages actually make you sweat to cool the body off faster. Here’s a look at some of the other seemingly backwards ways to boost your health without much effort.
Fight fatigue with exercise
Have you ever noticed how a trip to the gym can help you get energized for the rest of your day? That’s because exercise helps your body work more efficiently, so you don’t become as tired from other activities. Therefore, you might start scheduling a brief 30-minute workout in the middle of the day or just after work to keep your energy up throughout the day. While you may have to fight your body at first, the benefits of this added activity will quickly become clear.
Avoid antibacterial soap to fight illness
During cold and flu season, many of us reach for antibacterial soaps, hand sanitizers, and household cleaners. This seems like a logical choice to fight against bacteria that may make you sick, but in killing those bacteria, these soaps and cleansers also kill the good bacteria that help your immune system function. Plus, antibacterial products do nothing to fight against common viruses like influenza, so you can easily still get sick. What’s more is that antibacterial soaps contain chemicals that may interfere with healthy endocrine function, so it’s best to stick to conventional soap for your skin and your household.
Eat more to lose weight
Trying to lose weight is a big challenge—especially because there are so many conflicting theories on the best foods and exercise routines to promote healthy weight loss. Still, one thing is clear: You have to eat food to lose weight. Instead of reducing the quantity of what you eat, you should focus more on the quality of the foods you consume. When you have a snack craving, for example, you might reach for apples and peanut butter, yogurt, or lean jerky rather than starchy snacks like crackers or chips. Choosing these high-protein selections will keep you full longer and reduce the possibility for more cravings caused by a spike in your blood sugar. While each of the healthy snacks listed will have more calories than a snack pack of pretzels or “diet-friendly” cookies, they will ultimately tally fewer calories by helping you curb cravings.
Drink coffee before a nap
There are many health benefits that can come from naps, but the benefits only come when you keep naps limited to 20-30 minutes. Having a cup of coffee before you settle in for your afternoon nap can give you a natural alarm clock, since the caffeine won’t kick in for about 20 minutes. Despite popular belief, coffee does not have instant effects. The body takes time to metabolize the caffeine, which will be even more effective when it kicks in right at the tail end of a quick nap.
On days when these tips just aren’t enough to keep you feeling your healthiest, remember a physician consultation is only a click away.