We’re launching a major advertising campaign that showcases our commitment to partnering with you to live healthier. The stars of our campaign? You! That’s right, we’re featuring local people just like you who have been AAMC patients, as well as their family and friends.
The ads highlight our network of dedicated healthcare providers who are here to help you take control of your health. Whether you’re looking for a fitness class or nutrition counseling, or someone to repair your heart or fight your cancer — we’ve got you covered from head to toe.
1. People who own pets tend to have lower blood pressure.
According to the American Heart Association, research shows that owning a pet may be linked with lower cholesterol and blood pressure levels. Researchers haven’t determined the exact cause of this effect, but there are several likely explanations. Pets have also been shown to lower stress and obesity levels in their owners, both of which can affect blood pressure. Dog owners may have an advantage since their pets require frequent walks. In fact, in a study of about 5,000 adults, dog owners were more physically active than people who didn’t own a dog.
Take 48 stressed stockbrokers for example. As part of a study, these men and women all took medication to lower their blood pressure. Researchers then split them into two groups. Half of them adopted a dog or cat, the other half did nothing different. Months later, the study revealed that the group who adopted a pet were significantly calmer during stressful events compared to the other group.
2. Hugs have healing powers.
Those people wearing T-shirts or holding signs declaring “Free Hugs” might be on to something. Most of us know hugs can help us feel connected to other people, but did you know they can actually help prevent sickness? When we feel connected to others, especially through physical touch, we’re less prone to experience sickness caused by stress.
In one study of more than 400 adults, researchers found that the more often people hugged, the more their chances of getting sick decreased. Hugging may be an indicator of overall social support in a person’s life, which also promotes good health. In the same study, the adults who said they have a strong social support system had fewer cold symptoms than those who said their support system was lacking.
3. Happy people are less likely to get sick and usually live longer lives.
Positive emotions and good health often go together. That’s what researchers found when they studied more than 6,000 adults between age 25 and 74 for 20 years of their lives. Specifically, people with “a sense of enthusiasm, hopefulness and engagement in life” were more likely to avoid or better manage diseases like stroke, diabetes, depression and heart attack.
Another study revealed a link between happiness and life expectancy. Older adults who self-reported low levels of happiness died at almost twice the rate in the next five years compared to those who self-reported high happiness levels. Even after excluding factors like sickness, financial trouble and depression, those who were the happiest still had a 35 percent lower risk of death.
4. Laughing 15 minutes a day can burn up to 40 calories.
Burning a few calories doesn’t require going to the gym. Your body burns calories naturally all the time, but laughing creates a spike in caloric burn. Here’s how it works: When you laugh, your heart rate increases anywhere from 10 to 20 percent. A higher heart rate speeds up your metabolism, the bodily reactions that affect your weight.
Research at Vanderbilt University found that you can burn 10 to 40 calories by laughing for 10 to 15 minutes.
5. 20 minutes outside can have the same effect as a cup of coffee.
Next time you start reaching for another cup of Joe to ward off feelings of tiredness, try stepping outside instead. Studies suggest that nature can help us feel more energized and focused. In one study, 90 percent of participants reported higher energy levels when doing activities outdoors. But you don’t have to exercise outside to reap the benefits. Nature’s effect is strong enough that simply being outside can make you feel more energized.