7 Health Facts That Made Us Say, “Whaaat?”

Written by Chaitra Krishnan, MA (Journalism & Mass Communication)  • 

The human body is as fascinating as life under water on the bed of oceans. A lot of it is yet to be explored and there are countless phenomena that still require scientific explanations. If we think that we know it all when it comes to our bodies, we’re just being overconfident. Some of the facts about our body and its mechanisms are in fact very surprising and alien to us. You may wonder why you’ve never heard of these things (which are unbelievable) before. However, getting to know even the slightest piece of information about human health can benefit you big time. In this article, we will introduce you to a few such health facts that are startling. We warn you not to get stupefied!

1. If You Look Younger You Live Longer

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This might sound stupid but it’s true! People who look younger than their actual age will live longer than those who look older than their age (keeping aside accidental deaths and serious health concerns). According to a study that was conducted by Danish scientists among 387 pairs of twins, aging and physical appearance have a strong correlation. The twins who were in their 70s, 80s, and 90s during the initial phase of the study were observed for a follow-up period of seven years. It was found that the younger-looking twin lived longer. The scientists explain this with the help of telomeres which are key pieces of the DNA. According to them, people with shorter telomeres are more likely to age faster and thereby get affected by age-related diseases (1).

2. Women Sleep Better Than Men

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That’s one more point into the girl kitty! According to research, women can sleep better than men. This is because women are more resilient to external stressors that can interrupt sound sleep (2). And that’s super important because we know how cranky we get if we go even one night without proper sleep. Make sure you get at least six to eight hours of sleep in a day. If you’re having sleep troubles, try meditating, setting up a pleasant and silent environment in your bedroom, and blocking external disturbances. Also, you can always go to a sleep clinic if none of these things work for you.

3. Hanging Out With Pals Is Beneficial For Men’s Health

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Now men have got a better reason to hang out with their friends 24×7. Robin Dunbar, a leading psychologist from Oxford University claims that men who meet their friends twice a week have better health. According to him, they must meet in person and engage in activities like sports, cracking jokes, and having drinks (3). This is basically a dream come true for most of the guys, right?

4. Cold Exposure Reduces Fat

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Say goodbye to diets and gyms because all you have to do to lose weight is shiver. While this method may not be welcomed by many, research proves that shivering during cold exposure converts white fat into energy-burning brown fat. This finding is based on a press release by the Garvan Institute of Medical Research (4).

5. Cycling Keeps Your Immune System Younger

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Aging is inevitable (unless you’re Benjamin from The Curious Case of Benjamin Button). But there are many methods that can help you stay younger inside out by slowing down the process of aging. These methods are lesser known and not much explored. According to the scientists at the University of Birmingham, cycling helps older people produce more immune T-cells like a 20-year old. This is surprising because the production of these cells starts decreasing around the age of 20. Also, in the study that they conducted, these scientists found that cycling helps to keep up muscle mass and body strength higher (5). So, start cycling today so that you can be a strong and younger looking grandpa/ma in the future!

6. Fidgeting Helps You Lose Weight

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Restless people tap their feet and walk in circles when they are stressed. These habits burn a lot of calories than we actually think and help in weight loss. However, this would easily be one of the least preferred and unhealthy weight loss methods. On the brighter side, some researchers say that people who fidget under their work tables like tapping their feet burn calories without increasing their heartbeat. According to the researchers, this type of fidgeting can be encouraged to improve weight loss. They call it “dynamic” or “opine” sitting which helps people move more while at work (6).

7. Fist Bumps Are Healthier Than Handshakes

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Handshakes are something so common that we hardly ever think about the plethora of diseases that this simple gesture can spread. David Whitworth, a researcher from Aberystwyth University in Wales says that the wisest alternative to handshakes is fist bumps (7). We wish more people knew about this. Wouldn’t it be great to see people fist bump each other at hospitals and international meetings?

While some of these health facts are fascinating, you don’t have to follow them all. Sometimes just knowing is also more than enough. Did these health facts shock you? What was the most jaw-dropping health fact you ever heard? Let us know in the comments below.

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