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Leisure Activities Can Boost Your Health, Too

Plan some down-time on your days off to lower stress and your heart rate.

We touched on the dangers of overtraining and how many days you can work out in a row before you burn out, so let’s talk about what you should do on your days off.  

Pigging out on the couch is out of the question, but sitting down and enjoying a leisure activity is definitely an option—a healthy one at that, according to research from the University of California. 

In the study, 115 men and women, ages 20 to 80, wore electrodes on their chest to measure their heart rate over the course of three consecutive days. They completed surveys at random points throughout the day, questioning their actions in that very moment and how they felt about them. 

Nearly all participants experienced (and displayed) reduced stress and heart rates during these leisure activities—34 percent were less stressed, 18 percent were happier, and on average, heart rates dropped by 3 percent. In some instances, exercise was involved, but oftentimes, the participants were doing stationary activities like listening to music, completing puzzles, even watching television. 

And these health benefits persisted for hours after the activity ended, so fill your days off with some engaging leisure activates to ward off boredom (and the mindless binge eating associated with it).

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