It’s time to stop beating ourselves up about those ‘bad-for-you-habits’ we can’t seem to break. Yes, we all have vices, even the rich and famous; from spending habits to gambling, drinking, or serial dating, but are they really all make or break? It turns out a little of what you love can be a good thing, especially for your health. Indulging in certain vices can help you tackle a bunch of men’s health problems such as lowering your blood pressure, reducing stress, shifting unwanted weight, and even preventing diabetes.
If your vice is legal and doesn’t hurt you or someone else, we say go for it (at least in moderation)! Life is too short to play by all the rules all of the time. Think about it this way; all of the stress that goes into living by the rules can have the opposite effect and can make you sick. This is why weekends were invented, after all. We need time off to recover, recuperate, and reap the rewards for all our hard work. Otherwise, what’s the point?
Keep reading to see what vices Male Standard approve, and how they benefit your health!
Smoking Marijuana (Legally)
It might be a bit of a misnomer, as all marijuana carries health benefits, but that doesn’t mean you can’t indulge in a medicinal state or go to Colorado. A 2013 study published in The American Journal of Medicine found that regular pot smokers have a 16 percent lower fasting insulin level and smaller waist circumferences compared to marijuana virgins, dramatically lowering the risk of diabetes. Others found that eating some candy also reduces your risk of binge-eating, so have those munchies too!
- Weight Loss: The Atlantic recently reported a study which found that people who smoke pot are skinnier.
- Diabetes: Scientists from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey found a correlation between Type 2 diabetes and marijuana.
- Depression: A 2005 study published by USC and SUNY Albany researchers found that “those who consume marijuana occasionally or even daily have lower levels of depressive symptoms than those who have never tried marijuana.”
- Glaucoma: The National Eye Institute states: “Studies in the early 1970s showed that marijuana, when smoked, lowered intraocular pressure (IOP) in people with normal pressure and those with glaucoma.”
- Anxiety and ADHD: The aforementioned study from USC and SUNY Albany also found evidence suggesting that in small doses, weed may relieve anxiety and symptoms of ADHD.
Of all the vices on this list, the health benefits certainly are attention grabbing. If you’re looking for a way to improve your health and have a quiet night at home you could do much worst. Just be sure to exercise caution, know your rights, and be in a place where you can smoke marijuana legally. As if you need an excuse to go on a road trip, going on vacation is also a great way to destress and get away from the rat race for a few!
As if you really needed a reason to get it on, sex can improve your immunity, help you sleep better, and—get this—look younger. As described in his book, Superyoung: The Proven Way to Stay Young Forever, neuropsychologist David Weeks kept tabs for 10 years on thousands of men and women who looked significantly younger than their years. That means you can get it on when you feel like it with a consenting partner or two. Don’t worry if you’re not in a relationship, so long as you use a condom.
- Boosts libido: “Having sex will make sex better and will improve your libido,” says Lauren Streicher, MD. She is an assistant clinical professor of obstetrics and gynecology at Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine in Chicago.
- Lowers blood pressure: Research suggests a link between sex and lower blood pressure, says Joseph J. Pinzone, MD. He is CEO and medical director of Amai Wellness.
- Reduces pain: “Orgasm can block pain,” says Barry R. Komisaruk, PhD, a distinguished service professor at Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey. It releases a hormone that helps raise your pain threshold and regulates testosterone.
Drinking Red Wine
Another common vice, it turns out that what you drink can be more impactful than when you drink. In moderation, red wines and hearty hoppy beers have built-in heart benefits that can reduce the risk of a heart attack, stroke, or an aneurysm. The trick is not to overdo it and make your weekend count by indulging with friends, having a drink with dinner. One or two units with a meal is enough to reap the rewards and stave off a beer belly.
- Antioxidants: The alcohol and certain substances in red wine called antioxidants may help prevent heart disease by increasing levels of high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol (the “good” cholesterol) and protecting against artery damage.
- Heart healthy: Resveratrol might be a key ingredient in red wine that helps prevent damage to blood vessels, reduces low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol (the “bad” cholesterol) and prevents blood clots.
- Improves cholesterol: Helps prevent artery damage caused by high levels of low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol, the “bad” cholesterol.
The trick to managing your vices is not to go cold turkey. Instead, indulge a little and savor those moments. When you’re putting in the right work 90% of the time, 10% can do you some good, especially when it’s a vice with secret health benefits. So lighten up (or light up as the case may be) and remember, life is short. Book that vacation. Drink a glass of wine. Spend time with the family. Do more of what you love and everything else will fall into place.
Don’t forget to leave a comment below and let us know what your vice is!