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6 Surprising Reasons You Need to Be Touched: Hug Somebody Today!

6 Surprising Reasons You Need to Be Touched: Hug Somebody Today!

Confession: I have been accused of being needy and clingy by past girlfriends because my needs for physical contact are higher than those of the average male. Nothing makes me happier than having a person I love hold my hand, play with my hair, or lay a head on my shoulder. I require a lot of personal touch to function happily in a relationship, and I’m okay with admitting that. The health benefits of touching are far and wide, so I’d like to convince you to increase the cuddle time with the loved ones in your life. I invite you to consider the top six reasons you need to be touched.

Happier, more fulfilling relationships

Oxycontin is a feel-good hormone that increases your overall happiness. Your body releases oxytocin when you cuddle with a close one, hold your partner tight, or get frisky in bed. Cuddling also releases endorphins, neurotransmitters that fire in your brain and make you feel terrific. If you’ve ever done a challenging workout that made you feel like energetic and accomplished, or ate a piece of dark chocolate that gave you a feeling of bliss, you should be familiar with the happy feeling endorphins produce in your body.

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Feel sexy and improve intimacy

Have you ever noticed that a little bit of cuddling with your partner sometimes leads to some more risque activities that are a whole lot of fun? Believe it or not, there is a scientific reason cuddling leads to better intimacy between loved ones! Physical contact with a person you love causes your body to release dopamine, a hormone that increases your sexual desire.

Strengthen your bond with the people you love

When your body’s needs for touch aren’t fulfilled, the bond you feel with your loved ones could suffer. Remember the hormone oxytocin that I mentioned above? This hormone plays a significant role in developing a bond between a mother and her children. Make sure you hug your children, kiss your partner, and give your pets a belly-rub to strengthen the bond with the important people in your life.

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Boost your health and immunity from sickness

According to a 2004 study from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, physical contact with partners can lead to reduced heart rates. Increase your hug ratio and you can also look forward to reduced blood pressure, decreased cortisol (a stress hormone tied to weight gain), improved healing, reduced cravings, and boosted immunity.

Relieve stress and anxiety

Research shows that couples who only kiss during sex are a staggering eight times more likely to experience stress and depression than those who pucker-up on a regular basis. Kissing releases your body’s feel-good endorphins just like cuddling, so make sure you give your love a kiss before you run out the door to work: it just might make their day!

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Your body craves touch like it craves water

Touch was the first of your body’s five senses to develop. This sense has been a part of you since 6-9 weeks after conception, and was the most developed sense you had as a newborn baby. Research suggests that human beings are born with a need for physical contact, so to deny yourself touch is to deny yourself of a necessity for your emotional development and well-being. This isn’t to say you have to skip out of work so you can snuggle up in bed (although I’m not going to lie, I believe this sounds wonderful!), but twenty seconds of physical contact could elevate your mood for up to 24 hours. Who can argue with that?

Convinced yet?

I hope so! If these six reasons you need to be touched didn’t convince you, I don’t know what will. A little physical contact will go a long way to making you healthier, happier, less stress, and more fulfilled. Simply hugging your loved ones every day can increase your bond on a staggering level. Are you going to hug somebody today?

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More by this author

Daniel Wallen

Daniel is a writer who focuses on blogging about happiness and motivation at Lifehack.

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Last Updated on September 18, 2020

7 Simple Rules to Live by to Get in Shape in Two Weeks

7 Simple Rules to Live by to Get in Shape in Two Weeks

Learning how to get in shape and set goals is important if you’re looking to live a healthier lifestyle and get closer to your goal weight. While this does require changes to your daily routine, you’ll find that you are able to look and feel better in only two weeks.

Over the years, I’ve learned a lot about what it takes to get in shape. Although anyone can cover the basics (eat right and exercise), there are some things that I could only learn through trial and error. Let’s cover some of the most important points for how to get in shape in two weeks.

1. Exercise Daily

It is far easier to make exercise a habit if it is a daily one. If you aren’t exercising at all, I recommend starting by exercising a half hour every day. When you only exercise a couple times per week, it is much easier to turn one day off into three days off, a week off, or a month off.

If you are already used to exercising, switching to three or four times a week to fit your schedule may be preferable, but it is a lot harder to maintain a workout program you don’t do every day.

Be careful to not repeat the same exercise routine each day. If you do an intense ab workout one day, try switching it up to general cardio the next. You can also squeeze in a day of light walking to break up the intensity.

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If you’re a morning person, check out these morning exercises that will start your day off right.

2. Duration Doesn’t Substitute for Intensity

Once you get into the habit of regular exercise, where do you go if you still aren’t reaching your goals? Most people will solve the problem by exercising for longer periods of time, turning forty-minute workouts into two hour stretches. Not only does this drain your time, but it doesn’t work particularly well.

One study shows that “exercising for a whole hour instead of a half does not provide any additional loss in either body weight or fat”[1].

This is great news for both your schedule and your levels of motivation. You’ll likely find it much easier to exercise for 30 minutes a day instead of an hour. In those 30 minutes, do your best to up the intensity to your appropriate edge to get the most out of the time.

3. Acknowledge Your Limits

Many people get frustrated when they plateau in their weight loss or muscle gaining goals as they’re learning how to get in shape. Everyone has an equilibrium and genetic set point where their body wants to remain. This doesn’t mean that you can’t achieve your fitness goals, but don’t be too hard on yourself if you are struggling to lose weight or put on muscle.

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Acknowledging a set point doesn’t mean giving up, but it does mean realizing the obstacles you face.

Expect to hit a plateau in your own fitness results[2]. When you expect a plateau, you can manage around it so you can continue your progress at a more realistic rate. When expectations meet reality, you can avoid dietary crashes.

4. Eat Healthy, Not Just Food That Looks Healthy

Know what you eat. Don’t fuss over minutia like whether you’re getting enough Omega 3’s or tryptophan, but be aware of the big things. Look at the foods you eat regularly and figure out whether they are healthy or not. Don’t get fooled by the deceptively healthy snacks just pretending to be good for you.

The basic nutritional advice includes:

  • Eat unprocessed foods
  • Eat more veggies
  • Use meat as a side dish, not a main course
  • Eat whole grains, not refined grains[3]

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Eat whole grains when you want to learn how to get in shape.

    5. Watch Out for Travel

    Don’t let a four-day holiday interfere with your attempts when you’re learning how to get in shape. I don’t mean that you need to follow your diet and exercise plan without any excursion, but when you are in the first few weeks, still forming habits, be careful that a week long break doesn’t terminate your progress.

    This is also true of schedule changes that leave you suddenly busy or make it difficult to exercise. Have a backup plan so you can be consistent, at least for the first month when you are forming habits.

    If travel is on your schedule and can’t be avoided, make an exercise plan before you go[4], and make sure to pack exercise clothes and an exercise mat as motivation to keep you on track.

    6. Start Slow

    Ever start an exercise plan by running ten miles and then puking your guts out? Maybe you aren’t that extreme, but burnout is common early on when learning how to get in shape. You have a lifetime to be healthy, so don’t try to go from couch potato to athletic superstar in a week.

    If you are starting a running regime, for example, run less than you can to start. Starting strength training? Work with less weight than you could theoretically lift. Increasing intensity and pushing yourself can come later when your body becomes comfortable with regular exercise.

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    7. Be Careful When Choosing a Workout Partner

    Should you have a workout partner? That depends. Workout partners can help you stay motivated and make exercising more fun. But they can also stop you from reaching your goals.

    My suggestion would be to have a workout partner, but when you start to plateau (either in physical ability, weight loss/gain, or overall health) and you haven’t reached your goals, consider mixing things up a bit.

    If you plateau, you may need to make changes to continue improving. In this case it’s important to talk to your workout partner about the changes you want to make, and if they don’t seem motivated to continue, offer a thirty day break where you both try different activities.

    I notice that guys working out together tend to match strength after a brief adjustment phase. Even if both are trying to improve, something seems to stall improvement once they reach a certain point. I found that I was able to lift as much as 30-50% more after taking a short break from my regular workout partner.

    Final Thoughts

    Learning how to get in shape in as little as two weeks sounds daunting, but if you’re motivated and have the time and energy to devote to it, it’s certainly possible.

    Find an exercise routine that works for you, eat healthy, drink lots of water, and watch as the transformation begins.

    More Tips on Getting in Shape

    Featured photo credit: Alexander Redl via unsplash.com

    Reference

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