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You know visiting Las Vegas is a blast, but did you know it’s also healthy? Feel free to roll your eyes, but it’s true. Let’s look at some popular Las Vegas activities and their health benefits.
Las Vegas remains the “Marriage Capital of the World,” and getting married provides a wealth of perks.
Medical studies have shown married men have lower levels of stress hormones, married women have fewer problems with alcohol and unmarried people spend twice as much time in hospitals than married people. Marriage strengthens the immune system and even makes married people less likely to catch a common cold.
Mortality rates are 50 percent higher for unmarried women, and the positive effects of marriage are even more dramatic for men. Men alive at 48 have a 90 percent chance of reaching 65 if they were married, but only a 60- 70 percent chance if they’re single, a 250 percent higher mortality rate.
Walking is the most popular way to get around Las Vegas, and come to find out, strolling The Strip has some surprising health benefits, too.
The simple act of walking improves circulation, helps fight depression, assists with breathing, strengthens the immune system and helps prevent osteoporosis and diabetes.
A Harvard study show walking at a moderate pace for just 30 minutes a day can reduce the risk of heart disease by up to 40 percent, similar to the benefits from aerobics or more vigorous exercise.
Now, aren’t you glad those hotels on The Strip are farther apart than they seem?
Las Vegas just seems to inspire the passion in people, and hooking up, as it turns out, pays off big when it comes to health.
Kissing, for example, strengthens facial muscles, as well as increasing the body’s level of oxytocin which is known to relieve stress. Medical experts say people who kiss often are less likely to suffer from stomach and bladder infections, too. When people kiss, natural antibiotics are released into the saliva, and saliva contains a natural anesthetic that can help relieve pain.
The benefits of sex are even greater! Researchers say having sex at least once a week can lower a man’s risk of heart disease by 30 percent, the chance of a stroke by 50 percent and diabetes by 40 percent.
These facts might not make the smoothest pick-up lines, but citing the health benefits of hooking up in Vegas certainly can’t hurt.
Have a Drink
Benjamin Franklin said, “Do everything in moderation, including moderation.” He must have been talking about Las Vegas, because if done in moderation, drinking alcohol has been shown to positive health effects that might surprise you.
Authorities say moderate drinking can reduce your risk of developing heart disease, reduce your chance of dying of a heart attack, can lower your risk of gallstones and possibly reduce your risk of diabetes.
While it might be counterintuitive at first, moderate drinkers actually live longer and have better health than heavy drinkers or those who abstain from alcohol entirely.
Moderate drinkers have been shown to have fewer problems with strokes, arthritis, dementia and several major cancers. It’s also been proven alcohol improves thought processes because of increased blood flow to the brain. Bottoms up!
Laugh It Up
Everywhere you turn in Las Vegas, you’ll find people whose mission it is to make you laugh. From Carrot Top to George Wallace to hypnotist Anthony Cools and Blue Man Group, they’re determined to tickle your funny bone. There’s a reason laughter feels so good!
Laughing, for instance, improves one’s creativity and alertness, as well as helping to improve memory and one’s ability to learn.
It’s a recognized fact people who have a sense of humor outlive those who don’t find life funny. Researchers discovered cancer patients with a sense of humor were 70 percent more likely to survive than those without.
Laughing is great for stress reduction, including reducing the production of stress hormones like adrenaline and cortisol.
Laughter happens to help relieve feelings of anger, fear and guilt, too.
And here’s a bonus: Laughing just 15 minutes a day burns about 40 calories, which can help result in weight loss of about four pounds a year.
Hit the Club
Las Vegas is famous for its nightlife, but few know about all the hidden benefits of a night out on the town in Sin City.
According to researchers at Manchester University, music stimulates part of the inner ear known as the sacculus. The sacculus connects to the brain’s pleasure centers, which is why loud music often makes us feel happier.
Music’s also been used to repair brain damage, return lost memories and boost one’s immune system.
That’s just the music. If you get up and dance, you’ll also discover a fun way to stay in shape. Dancing fosters increased flexibility, strength, endurance and a sense of overall well-being. Dancing has been proven, time and time again, to increase cognitive acuity no matter what one’s age, not to mention helping prevent heart disease and high blood pressure.
Make a Bet
You knew we wouldn’t forget gambling! Casino games are beneficial because playing elevates one’s heart rate and breathing levels, boosting metabolism. Gambling also improves brain function and increases mental alertness. No joke.
If there’s one thing gamblers have in common, it’s optimism, and optimism has been proven to lengthen life. A Yale University study showed recreational gamblers 65 and older reported being in better health than their contemporaries who don’t gamble.
By the way, it’s probably no surprise wealthy people live longer. Winning a jackpot can mean an overnight change in your socioeconomic status which can lower your stress levels, make you less prone to illness and increase your lifespan.
And here’s another shocker. If you lose, feel free to cuss. Cursing has been shown to relieve pain. So, let those natural painkillers flow!
One of the best things about Las Vegas is its never-ending supply of ways to simply relax. Whether you visit a spa for a massage or lay out by a hotel pool, relaxation is one of the most healthful things you can do, and here’s why.
Stress alters your blood sugar level and can cause things like mood swings, fatigue, insomnia, hyperglycemia and heart attack. Stress can even stunt your growth! Relaxing helps avoid all those health hazards, and more.
Here’s a simple example of how relaxation can result in great rewards: One study showed men who take vacations every year lower their risk of heart disease by 20 percent.
Stress impairs your prefrontal cortex, the part of the brain involved in abstract thought and cognitive analysis. If you won’t relax for yourself, do it for your prefrontal cortex.
Now You Know
That’s right. Doing Las Vegas is actually healthy. So, kick back, laugh, have a cocktail, hop in the sack or even tie the knot.
Las Vegas can not only help you live happier, if you do it right, longer. And that’s a scientific fact.
Photos by Scott Roeben