4 Things That Are Fine Just the Way They Are
If it ain't broke, don't fix it! And yes, this includes your thighs and your chocolate habit.
A recent Danish study shows that people with thighs less than 24 inches around face a higher risk of heart disease and premature death, even if their body mass index (BMI) is normal. Not only do model-skinny thighs mean less muscle mass (which may mean the body is less able to regulate insulin levels), but some scientists hypothesize that thigh fat acts as a "metabolic sink," flushing the blood of harmful triglycerides (which raise your risk of cardiovascular ills).
YOUR CHOCOLATE HABIT!
An eight-year Swedish study of heart attack survivors showed that chocolate eaters had better survival rates—and the more chocolate they ate, the lower their risk of death. "The antioxidants in chocolate have beneficial effects on blood pressure," explains Kenneth J. Mukamal, MD, coauthor of the study. He's not just talking tiny slivers of ultradark chocolate, either: The average portion eaten by study participants was 50-gram samples (just under two ounces) with about 30 percent cocoa content—picture a few triangles of milk chocolate Toblerone.
"If your computer is less than three years old, and you use it mainly to surf the Web and write e-mail, chances are you don't need a new one," says Peter Rojas, founder of the tech sites Engadget.com
. Likewise, no need to trade up your DVR ("They all do essentially the same thing") or your iPod, if you use it primarily to listen to music ("An iPod Touch or Nano may have less space than your current model"). Your high-def TV is fine, too—at least for now. "Lots of new HDTV display technologies will be coming out in the next couple of years," Rojas says, "so you should wait to upgrade."
YOUR SEX LIFE!
"Women are constantly being told that they need a lot of sex—they feel like they should be walking around feeling desirous all the time," says Hilda Hutcherson, MD, clinical professor of obstetrics and gynecology at Columbia University Medical Center. "But it's more common to have ebbs and flows." The average couple has sex about six times a month, which, as Hutcherson points out, means that many women are having much less than that. Even occasional sex gives your heart rate a healthy boost and delivers a rush of endorphins (which enhance mood) and prolactin (which improves sleep).
Next: 11 reasons to worship your body (and his)