Your health is of paramount importance. However, there’s no way to deny that caring for your health every day can feel overwhelming sometimes, especially when you have a hectic schedule ahead of you. But sometimes, all you need is one minute to do something that seems simple but will have lots of positive effects and improve your health!
Most people’s touted health-related solutions indeed eat up a significant amount of time, but that doesn’t mean that there aren’t ways for those with only a few minutes to spare to up their health game.
Here are seventeen easy ways to improve your health in less than 60 seconds.
1. Drink A Glass Of Water In The Morning
It’s easy to reach for a cup of coffee right after waking up, but water might be a better drink to wake yourself up with. Water, as it turns out, has a massive positive effect on our bodies – especially when it’s often the first thing we consume in the morning. When you drink a large glass of water, you:
- Rehydrate yourself after a long night of rest.
- Replenish your bodily fluids, especially after using the toilet at night
- Activates your kidneys, brain, and guts faster
- Wakes you up and sharpens your senses more quickly
2. Do A Mindfulness Exercise
With how much we need to rush around in the morning, it can seem counterproductive to set aside a moment to do “nothing”. Contrary to that belief, however, taking the time to engage in some mindfulness and positive thinking helps you to:
- Exercise your attentiveness
- Observe your mental, emotional, and physical state
- Center and ground yourself
- Clear your thoughts and mind
- Prepares you psychologically for the day
3. Brush Teeth (it will improve your health)
Obviously, brushing your teeth is essential – after all, dental hygiene often relates to better health in general. As such, keeping a regular brushing schedule no matter what is necessary. But just how else can brushing your teeth help with issues?
- It can help alleviate any after-dinner cravings you may have
- It discourages post-meal snacking, due to the way the toothpaste aftertaste interacts with the taste of food.
- Finally, toothbrushing can also discourage lazy folks from further idle munching since you would have to brush your teeth again afterward.
Exercise is undeniably essential, but some things are easier to do than others – and running is one of them. If you find that you struggle to get out for your morning run, here are a few reasons why you should endeavor to keep it up, even if it’s only for a minute a day:
- Studies have shown it counteracts bone loss
- High-intensity running helps build bone density
- It creates a 4% increase in bone health
- Running is a cardio workout, and has been proven to help with weight loss
5. Breathe Deeply
We all breathe, yes. But have you ever paid rapt attention to the way you breathe? Studies have shown that slow, careful breathing has a significant positive effect on psychological and physiological health. All you must do to take full advantage of this simple act and its positive effects are:
- Focus on taking in two to three deep, slow breaths
- Engage in positive thinking and visualization while doing so
- Write down those visualizations or positive future events
6. Stand Up
Sitting down is pretty convenient, but studies have shown that being idle is not suitable for your health. It does not help that we spend most of our time staying seated, too, so it all adds up! As a result, folks who sit a lot:
- Are more likely to develop cardiovascular diseases
- Have more signs of psychological distress
- Suffer an increased death rate compared to those who sat less
- Have an increased risk of obesity
- Develop poor posture
- Do not exercise their leg and glute muscles, increasing injury risks as the muscle atrophies
7. Prepare Produce In Advance
Preparing fresh fruits and vegetables can be hard work, and the last thing any of us wants when we get back home is more work – we all just want to crash! Just a minute of prepping fresh produce the previous night or in the morning, however, helps us to:
- Have an increase of fiber intake, as we have something fibrous to much on
- Uplift our mood and improve our motivation, thanks to the addition of fresh fruits and veggies
- Stabilize our blood sugar
- Encourage healthy skin
- Improve our digestion
- Increases bodily health and resilience
- Increase the number of minerals, vitamins, and anti-inflammatory phytochemicals in our diet
8. Eat Some Flaxseed
It’s easy to end up stress-eating or munching on snacks that are unhealthy – especially if you still need some time to get a meal prepared. In such cases, try eating a tablespoon of flaxseed with a glass of water! This is because studies have shown that flaxseed:
- Is high in fiber
- Helps suppress appetites
- Curbs hunger and snacking tendencies
9. Make Some Tea
It only takes a minute to brew some green tea – and it needs no further preparation to be drinkable. In exchange, you get a drink that is full of all sorts of health benefits. Here are some of the facts that are backed by science:
- Drinking green tea a minimum of thrice a week lowers the risk of cardiovascular diseases and stroke
- Tea is full of bioactive compounds–these are beneficial to one’s health
- Tea contains all sorts of antioxidants that may lower cancer risks
10. Laugh (the most fun way to improve your health)
Laughter is the best medicine, so the saying goes – and there’s a fair amount of scientific evidence for it. But just what can this basic act of human nature do?
As it turns out, simply laughing nets you the following physiological benefits:
- Acts as a natural stress reliever for your body
- Works as a natural memory booster
- Burns a few calories via brief aerobic activity
11. Wash Your Hands
Proper handwashing techniques may only take 20 seconds from beginning to end, but science has shown that it is more than enough to kill off all sorts of bacteria and viruses. All you need to do is make sure you take the time to wash with soap and water!
In exchange for just a couple of seconds of your time, you’ll end up protecting yourself from an incredible amount of diseases and illnesses like:
- Common colds
- Viral infections
12. Dry Your Hands
So you’ve washed your hands. Now what? As it turns out, your job here isn’t quite done yet. Studies show you need to take another 20 seconds to dry your hands thoroughly. Here are a few reasons why:
- Wet skin is a more conducive environment for bacterial growth
- Increased risk of germs and bacteria transferral with wet hands
- Damp hands increase the risk of accidental recontamination
13. Opt For A Natural Look
For those who pay attention to the ingredients list on their bottles and containers, you may have noticed that phthalates often show up in some form of another across products like hairspray and nail polish. Even things like shampoo and fragrances are unaffected.
What’s so scary about that chemical and its ilk? As it turns out, a study has found that it:
- Can affect the metabolism of fat
- Can increase insulin resistance
- Might be a potential cause of an increased risk of diabetes
- May contribute to obesity risks
14. Eat Some Chocolate
There’s a lot of discussion and research on the negative effects junk food has on our physicality, and for a good reason – its effects cannot be denied. What should be discussed more often, however, is how studies have shown that junk food can also affect our emotional wellbeing.
Emotional eating cycles are often fuelled by eating more junk food, as you may become more depressed the more you eat. So how does swapping over to chocolate help?
- Chocolate contains phenylethylamine–that is a substance that stimulates the brain
- Eating chocolate satisfies sweet cravings and mimics dopamine in the brain, making you feel good
- Chocolate additionally contains high levels of antioxidants, which may be beneficial to your health
15. Hug Someone
We may have come closer together as a global society with the help of the internet, but in exchange, we seem to have all gotten more touch-starved. As you can imagine, the lack of human contact is an issue. In fact, all you have to do is turn to the nearest social media platform, and you’ll quickly see people bemoaning their need for some sort of human contact.
So just what can a warm hug do for you?
- It can lower both blood pressure and heart rate
- A hug acts as a natural form of stress-relief
- It helps us feel more relaxed and happy
16. Look Away From The Screen
With how things are increasingly online or digitalized, it is inevitable that we’ll be spending most of our time in front of a screen – whether for fun or profit. As you can imagine, this isn’t too great for your eyes. Studies have shown that continuous lengths of screen time can harm your eyes.
Here are a few things you can do to combat this strain and improve your health.
- Follow the 20-20-20 rule: After 20 minutes of screentime, spend 20 seconds focusing on something that is at least 20 feet away
- Take regular breaks that take you outdoors
- Avoid using computers or smartphones in bed
- Keep electronics outside the bedroom
17. Send A Nice Text
When was the last time you randomly texted someone to tell them you love them? Even if you see your loved one on the regular, sending them a quick compliment or a sincere, heartfelt message not only brightens their day, it can also:
- Improves your mood
- Teaches you how to appreciate even the little things about your loved ones
- Encourages your loved ones
- Increases your satisfaction in life
You don’t need to spend ages obsessing over your health to do small things that benefit your body and life. Even just setting aside 60 seconds allows you to make wise decisions that your body will thank you for later.
Looking for more convenient ways to improve your health in short periods? Talk to your doctor about things that you can do within the limited free moments that will give you fantastic benefits. Remember, behaviors don’t have to be complicated to be right for you!