To be your happiest and healthiest self, we bring you a wide selection of health facts from fitness to food to hydration.
These top tips and random health facts provide you with information to keep you fighting fit.
General Health Facts
These health facts cover a range of topics to provide you with knowledge and insights into how you can better take care of yourself and information about health around the world.
2. Your skin works hard. Not only is it the largest organ in the body, but it defends against disease and infection, regulates your temperature and aids in vitamin production.
3. Always look on the bright side: being an optimist can help you live longer.
- Studies have found that optimism is beneficial to your overall health, but is linked to a healthy heart and can even help ward off diseases.
- Optimists often have lower blood pressure, which reduces the risk of coronary artery disease as found in a study by scientists at Harvard and Boston Universities.
- People who are more optimistic also tend to have healthier behaviors – such as diet and exercise – that contribute to longevity.
4. Exercise will give you more energy, even when you’re tired.
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5. Sitting and sleeping are great in moderation, but too much can increase your chances of an early death.
6. A lack of exercise now causes as many deaths as smoking.
7. Nearly 30% of the world’s population is obese.
8. Between 2000 and 2015, the average global life expectancy increased by five years.
9. Less than 1% of Americans ride their bike to work, while 50% of Copenhagen residents bike to work or school.
10. The US spends almost three times more on healthcare than any other country in the world, but ranks last in life expectancy among the 12 wealthiest industrialized countries.
Mental Health and Longevity
It’s easy to forget how important our mental health contributes to our wellbeing. Just like all muscles, the brain needs to be exercised and cared for to ensure you are performing and feeling your best.
11. Learning a new language or playing a musical instrument gives your brain a boost.
12. Feeling stressed? Read. Getting lost in a book can lower levels of cortisol, or other unhealthy stress hormones, by 67 percent.
13. Maintaining good relationships with family and friends is good for your health, memory and longevity.
14. Drinking coffee can reduce the risk of depression, especially in women.
15. Smelling rosemary may increase alertness and improve memory so catch a whiff before a test or important meeting.
16. Swearing can make you feel better when you’re in pain.
While swearing, participants reported less pain and were able to withstand the pain longer.
17. Writing things out by hand will help you remember them.
18. Chewing gum makes you more alert, relieves stress and reduces anxiety levels.
19. Yoga can boost your cognitive function and lowers stress.
20. Walking outside – or spending time in green space – can reduce negative thoughts and boost self-esteem.
Health and Food
Our bodies need food to survive, but all foods were not created equal. Read through these facts about food and vitamins that you can incorporate into your diet to boost your health.
21. Chocolate is good for your skin; its antioxidants improve blood flow and protect against UV damage.
22. Almonds, avocados and arugula (the three ‘A’s) can boost your sex drive and improve fertility.
23. Tea can lower risks of heart attack, certain cancers, type 2 Diabetes and Parkinson’s disease. Just make sure your tea isn’t too sweet!
24. Eating oatmeal provides a serotonin boost to calm the brain and improve your mood.
25. Although it only takes you a few minutes to eat a meal, it takes your body hours to completely digest the food.
26. Women below the age of 50 need twice the amount of iron per day as men of the same age.
27. An apple a day does keep the doctor away. Apples can reduce levels of bad cholesterol to keep your heart healthy.
28. The amino acid found in eggs can help improve your reflexes.
29. Extra virgin olive oil is the healthiest fat on the planet.
- Packed with antioxidants, extra virgin olive oil contains compounds and anti-inflammatory compounds that can reduce incidents of certain types of cancer.
- This oil is also packed with monounsaturated fats that can help lower cholesterol and control insulin levels.
- Not all olive oils were created equal though. Make sure to look for the extra virgin varieties, which are cold-pressed and aren’t diluted with other types of oil.
30. Vitamin D is as important as calcium in determining bone health, and most people don’t get enough of it.
Health and Fitness
For a healthy body and mind, general fitness and moderate exercise are crucial. We hope these interesting health facts encourage you to move!
31. There are five main components of fitness: the body’s ability to use oxygen, muscular strength, endurance, flexibility and body composition.
32. The body has more than 650 muscles.
33. To lose one pound of fat, you need to burn roughly 3,500 calories.
34. Walking at a fast pace for three hours or more at least one time a week, you can reduce your risk of heart disease by up to 65%.
A study of adults over the age of 65 found that walking at least four hours a week reduced their risk of cardiovascular disease hospitalizations.
A similar study at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory found that moderate intensity walking and vigorous intensity running has similar reductions in risk levels for high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes and even potentially coronary heart disease.
35. Even at rest, muscle is three times more efficient at burning calories than fat.
36. Regular activity can ease the severity and reduce the frequency of lower back pain.
37. Running is good for you. People who run 12-18 miles a week have a stronger immune system and can increase their bone mineral density.
38. Exercising regularly can increase your lifespan by keeping your DNA healthy and young.
39. The average moderately active person walks approximately 7,500 steps a day, which is the lifetime equivalent of walking around the Earth five times.
40. Stretching increases the blood flow to your muscles and helps avoid injuries.
Health and Hydration
Water is the body’s natural elixir. Below we’ve compiled ten good reasons why keeping hydrated contributes to good health.
41. Drinking at least five glasses of water a day can reduce your chances of suffering from a heart attack by 40%.
42. Dehydration can have a negative impact on your mood and energy levels. Drink enough water to ensure you’re always at your best.
43. Consuming water helps the body maintain its natural pH balance.
44. Repeatedly using plastic water bottles can release chemicals into your water. Why not try a reusable bottle instead? It’s good for you and the planet.
45. The spinal disc core is comprised of a large volume of water therefore dehydration could lead to back pain.
46. Kidneys filter your blood up to 300 times a day and need water to function optimally.
47. Hydration is key for a good complexion. Drinking enough water also makes you less prone to wrinkles.
48. A lack of water can cause a range of problems, such as constipation, asthma, allergy and migraines.
49. Water can aid in weight loss because it helps to remove the by-products of fat and if consumed before a meal can make you more satisfied and eat less.
- Dieticians recommend drinking 16 ounces of water before every meal. When combined with cutting back portions, drinking more water can help you lose weight and keep it off for at least a year.
Not only that, but a study by the Endocrine Society found that drinking 500ml of water increased the metabolic rate (in both men and women) by 30% within 10-40 minutes of drinking water.
50. Your muscles and joints require water in order to stay energized, lubricated and healthy.
Good Health Practices
Here are few general hints and tips to keep you feeling healthy and to ensure you’re taking good care of your body.
51. Massage isn’t just for the muscles. It can help scars fade, and can be more beneficial than lotion or oil.
52. Brushing teeth too soon after eating or drinking can soften the tooth enamel, especially if you’ve just been eating or drinking acidic foods.
The Academy of General Dentistry recommends waiting at least 30 to 60 minutes.
53. To lose more weight, don’t treat exercise like a chore and focus on the fun in your activity.
54. Indoor air pollution can be even worse than outside.
Elements such as dust, mold or cleaning supplies can contaminate the air, resulting in poor indoor air quality.
As a result of poor indoor air quality or lack of ventilation, irritation to the eyes, nose and throat is common and with long-term exposure can lead to some respiratory diseases.
55. SPF 50 allows only two percent of UVB rays to pass to your skin compared to seven percent when wearing only SPF 15.
56. The blue light in phones can mess with your circadian rhythm.
- Exposure to any form of light suppresses the secretion of melatonin (a hormone that encourages the circadian rhythm), but blue light is especially powerful.
57. Feeling down? Plan a vacation. Not only will getting away make you feel better, but planning and anticipating the vacation will also give you a happiness boost.
58. Cardio exercise before breakfast can burn more fat.
59. Wild-caught fish, grass-fed meats and free-range eggs are simple ways to inject healthy changes to your diet without drastically altering what you eat.
60. Breathing deeply in moments of stress, or anytime during the day, brings many benefits such as better circulation, decreased anxiety and reduced blood pressure.
Random Health Facts
The final ten facts cover a broad spectrum, but you can use this intriguing information to impress your friends.
61. ‘Gymnasium’ comes from the Greek word ‘gymnazein’, meaning ‘to exercise naked’.
62. On average, there are more bacteria per square inch in a kitchen sink than the bathroom.
63. The nose knows: it can remember 50,000 different scents.
64. Humans have 46 chromosomes, while peas have 14 and crayfish have 200.
65. During an allergic reaction your immune system is responding to a false alarm that it perceives as a threat.
66. Left-handed people are more likely to suffer from ADHD.
67. The eye muscles are the most active in the body, moving more than 100,000 times a day!
68. Humans can cough at 60 miles an hour and sneezes can be 100 miles an hour – which is faster than the average car!
69. Although bodies stop growing, noses and ears will not.
70. The soles of your feet contain more sweat glands and nerve endings per square inch than anywhere else on your body.
Foot pain, ranging from general soreness at the end of a long day, to a more serious condition, is common.
- Harvard Medical School. (2008) Optimism and your health. [Online] Available from: https://www.health.harvard.edu/heart-health/optimism-and-your-health [Accessed 20 April 2018]. ↩
- Harvard Medical School. (see footnote 1) ↩
- Hobson, K. (2016) A Brighter Outlook Could Translate To A Longer Life. [Online] Available from: http://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2016/12/07/504709736/a-brighter-outlook-could-translate-to-a-longer-life [Accessed 20 April 2018]. ↩
- Joelving, F. (2009) Why the #$%! Do We Swear? For Pain Relief. [Online] Available from: https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/why-do-we-swear/ [Accessed 20 April 2018]. ↩
- Tripoli, E. et al. (2007) The phenolic compounds of olive oil: structure, biological activity and beneficial effects on human health. [Online] Available from: https://www.cambridge.org/core/journals/nutrition-research-reviews/article/phenolic-compounds-of-olive-oil-structure-biological-activity-and-beneficial-effects-on-human-health/EE4FA28B6CD751AA15B278589A447A3D# [Accessed 20 April 2018]. ↩
- Wilson, J. (2013) 5 things you may not know about olive oil. [Online] Available from: https://edition.cnn.com/2013/02/26/health/five-things-olive-oil/index.html [Accessed 20 April 2018]. ↩
- Gunnars, K. (2018) Why Extra Virgin Olive Oil is The Healthiest Fat on Earth. [Online] Available from: https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/extra-virgin-olive-oil#section2 [Accessed 20 April 2018]. ↩
- LaCroix, A. Z. et al. (1996) Does walking decrease the risk of cardiovascular disease hospitalizations and death in older adults?. [Online] Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8576498 [Accessed 20 April 2018]. ↩
- American Heart Association. (2017) Walk, Don’t Run, Your Way to a Healthy Heart. [Online] Available from: http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/HealthyLiving/PhysicalActivity/Walking/Walk-Dont-Run-Your-Way-to-a-Healthy-Heart_UCM_452926_Article.jsp#.Wfmr7hO0MUF [Accessed 20 April 2018]. ↩
- Mann, D. (2010) Trying to lose weight? Drink more water. [Online] Available from: http://edition.cnn.com/2010/HEALTH/08/23/drink.water.lose.weight/index.html [Accessed 20 April 2018]. ↩
- United States Department of Labor (2018) Indoor Air Quality. [Online] Available from: https://www.osha.gov/SLTC/indoorairquality/ [Accessed 20 April 2018]. ↩
- United States Environmental Protection Agency (2018) Introduction to Indoor Air Quality. [Online] Available from: https://www.epa.gov/indoor-air-quality-iaq/introduction-indoor-air-quality [Accessed 20 April 2018]. ↩
- United States Consumer Product Safety Commission (2018) The Inside Story: A Guide to Indoor Air Quality. [Online] Available from: https://www.cpsc.gov/Safety-Education/Safety-Guides/Home/The-Inside-Story-A-Guide-to-Indoor-Air-Quality [Accessed 20 April 2018]. ↩
- Harvard Health (2017) Blue light has a dark side. [Online] Available from: https://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/blue-light-has-a-dark-side [Accessed 20 April 2018]. ↩