To Your Health: 5 ways to celebrate a healthier pau hana

After a long week, you’ve earned a pau hana gathering with friends.

But eating, drinking and being merry doesn’t have to spell disaster for your waistline. We’ve got tips for making that happy hour a more healthful affair.

Redwine1. Go for the reds.

Skip the beer, and go for the red wine. Study after study has shown that red wine is heart healthy; it’s got antioxidants that can prevent heart disease and protect against artery damage. Drink red wine in moderation — and without a smidge of guilt.

2. Move it!

Don’t just sit there. After a long week stuck at your desk, a little dancing will do you good. Dancing that really gets your heart rate up can burn upwards of 400 calories an hour.

3. Laugh it off.

It’s true, laughter is the best medicine. Research has shown that a good laugh can improve your outlook on life, boost your immunity, and help you relax. So laugh about that crazy week you had, and encourage your friends to do the same.

4. Indulge (but just a little).

So your favorite watering hole doesn’t have the healthiest fare? Consider enjoying small portions of your high-calorie favorites, but don’t overdo it. Here’s a tip: Make sure your night doesn’t revolve around food. Instead of sitting around, mingle.

5. Relish your social connections.

Being social really is good for your health. Good friends discourage unhealthy behaviors (like heavy drinking and smoking) and encourage healthy ones. Plus, good friends boost self-esteem and help you feel supported.

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