The act of maintaining good bodily health can be time-consuming. Though the effort is certainly worth it in the long run, it can feel overwhelming to have to think about how much you need to keep track of. For some, that sense of being overwhelmed is enough to make anyone give up on health altogether. And it does not need to take an enormous investment of time to improve your health.
Luckily, not all health efforts have to be complicated. In fact, in just 60 seconds or less, you can help do wonders for your body and its complexities, and these brief moments of work can make a huge difference. As it turns out, even doctors and medical professionals believe that health doesn’t always have to be a long-haul effort. Here’s how experts recommend five quick ways to improve your health in less than a minute.
A lot of people think that to exercise. You have to actively focus on working out for a prolonged period of continuous-time. While it is necessary to get daily exercise, did you know that some methods of training take less than a minute? Here are some exercise-related quick health-boosting tips:
· Get A Good Idea Of Your Fitness
Gauging your fitness level is an excellent way to know whether you need some extra exercise on top of a usual routine. Do this simple test: try sitting on a sturdy chair, standing, and sitting back down again ten times, as fast as possible. Research proves that if you take more than 26 seconds to complete this task or can’t complete it, you have a higher mortality risk – a sure sign that more workouts are needed!
· Make Use Of Your Own Bodyweight
You don’t need to be lifting dumbbells, barbells, or weights to do a quick one-minute workout. Do squats with only your bodyweight. Plant your heels, with your knees in line with your toes and hips open, flat onto the floor. Straighten your back, then slowly lower yourself into a squatting position, then push yourself back up again with only your leg muscles. The goal is to work your way up to doing 25 squats per minute. According to The White Coat Trainer founder, physician, and certified personal trainer Alex Robles, M.D., bodyweight squats have positive effects on leg strength, blood circulation, and mobility.
· Run Up The Stairs
You need 20 seconds to climb 60 steps in a rigorous and efficiently paced manner. Do this thrice daily, three times a week, and you’ll be boosting your cardiorespiratory strength. Studies say it can increase your cardio fitness by 5% after just six weeks! Though 5% doesn’t sound like much, the author of the study, Martin Gibala, Ph.D., this little amount is all it takes to reduce cardiovascular disease risk.
· Focus On Bone Health
Studies have shown that running for just 60 seconds daily can result in 4% more positive health of the bones than in those who run for less than that amount of time. This means that just 60 seconds of jogging every day can reverse the decline of bone density caused by things like menopause, says Victoria Stiles, Ph.D., who co-authored one such study. You can expect to experience bone-strengthening benefits after between 6 to 12 months of running every day.
2. Help Your Body In Little Ways
Just like people have preconceived notions about how long it takes to do adequate exercise, many also have wrong ideas about how much time and effort is needed to make a notable change on the body. Believe it or not, all you need to perform little helpful acts to improve your health is a minute or less. Here are some ways to do so:
· Do A Chair Exercise To Reduce Back Pain
Slouching causes back strain and can result in long-term back pain that disrupts everyday activities and positive thinking. To avoid this, Cedars-Sinai Spine Center director of spine trauma and professor of orthopedic surgery, Neel Anand, M.D. suggests doing an exercise while sitting to help. Simply sit up straight with your shoulders down and your hands resting on your thighs. Then, move your shoulders backward by squeezing your shoulder blades towards each other. Hold for five counts, then release, and do this three or four times every day.
· Stand Up
A sedentary lifestyle can lead to a whole host of other potential issues, according to research. Harvard Medical School clinical instructor Monique Tello, M.D., says that blood vessel damage that leads to many different diseases, including heart disease, can be caused by prolonged sitting. It’s a good idea to stand up for a minute once per hour to reduce the ill effects.
· Do Pelvic Exercises
Kegel exercises are the name given to pelvic floor exercises. These are performed by squeezing your muscles in your genitals and can help prevent incontinence and similar issues. If you have trouble doing them, try imagining trying to stop the flow of urine. Ob/GYN Heather Bartos, M.D. recommends doing five Kegels whenever you are stopped at a traffic light, for between five to ten seconds each.
3. Add To Your Morning Routine
Your morning routine probably comes very naturally to you. The activities you do during that routine are ones you likely perform on autopilot, so adding something that takes a minute or less to it is a non-invasive way to help improve your health effectively. Here are some ideas:
· Get Better At Flossing
Tooth sides are where you’ll often find a buildup of bacteria and food that can lead to issues, says dentist Sargon Lazarof, D.D.S. Regular flossing can get to these areas in less than a minute if you practice often. If you don’t like flossing, you can also try a water flosser; it’s less effective, but it does the job – and any amount of positive help is good for your teeth!
· Use Sunscreen
Sunscreen takes just about a minute to apply to your face, neck, ears, and hand backs. Full coverage of these areas can help prevent skin cancer, says Skin Cancer Foundation senior vice president Maritza I. Perez, M.D., as they’re the common problem spots that can develop tumors and melanoma.
· Drink Water Every Morning
As soon as you wake up, drink a large glass of water before you do anything else for the day. According to “Fiber Fueled” author and gastroenterologist Will Bulsiewicz, M.D., when you wake up, you are often very dehydrated. On top of that, the water helps to get your body’s organs chugging along while helping you wake up for the day in a healthy and positive manner. Dehydration is also linked to poor mental performance, so that glass can do more for you than you may realize!
· Use Some Mouthwash
Use a simple mouthwash once a day before bed, and you’ll be able to help lessen the effects of your mouth’s dehydration during the night. Just swishing the liquid in your mouth for 30 seconds helps to reduce harmful bacteria buildup in your mouth, says Lazarof.
4. Eat Well
The act of cooking, ordering food, or planning meals can be stressful and time-consuming. Luckily, there are certain things you can do about it that takes less than a minute each time! Here are some ideas:
· Supplement The Carbs You Eat
Whenever you have a meal that’s packed with carbs, try adding vinegar or olive oil to the meal before tucking in. Oldways director of nutrition Kelly Toups, R.D., says that the addition of acid and healthy fats can help balance the glucose shifts that you get from eating heavy carbohydrates, so your blood sugar stays healthy.
· Eat Protein At Breakfast
Protein consumed at breakfast can help your body maintain good blood glucose levels while improving energy, positive thinking, and satiety says “Eat More Plants” author Desiree Nielsen, R.D. You can add hemp hearts to things like oats or smoothies, cook some eggs to have with toast or have some yogurt for a tart, protein-packed treat.
· Prepare Produce In Advance
Take a minute in the night or in the morning to cut up some veggies or fruit that you can bring with you as a snack for the day or eat as an add-on to your next meal. Increased fruit or vegetable consumption has so many positive effects thanks to their abundance of phytochemicals that fight inflammation, fiber, minerals, and vitamins. Produce like this can balance blood sugar, boost digestion, improve skin, strengthen immunity, boost positive thinking, and add to motivation and concentration.
5. Drink Well
We’ve talked about one-minute tricks to make your eating habits better, but what about for drinking? As it turns out, it takes very little time to do something beverage-related that helps your body! Here are some ideas that can improve your health:
· Drink Water Before Eating
Drinking one or two glasses of water before each meal helps you add regular hydration to your routine. More importantly, though, it helps manage your appetite and can promote weight loss. This enables you to stop patterns of overeating, according to research!
· Make tea
Green tea has plenty of benefits to your body, with huge positives like a decreased risk of developing stroke or heart disease, and it only takes a minute to brew! Just make sure you choose an excellent tea option and don’t overdo the caffeine!
· Reduce Cocktail Consumption
Everyone enjoys a fruity drink at happy hour, but they contain many bad fats and sugars – and a ton of calories! It takes no time at all to order red wine instead, which can cut back on calories, says Jessica Fishman Levinson, RDN., who is a culinary nutrition expert. Red wine also has great antioxidants that reduce bad cholesterol and prevent blood vessel problems, leading to lowered heart disease risk when consumed in moderation, say studies.
It’s inevitable that some aspects of healthcare take up lots of time and effort, but that doesn’t mean they all have to. If you’re having trouble getting healthy, why not start with one of these quick ways to improve your health in less than a minute? Who could have guessed that helpful health solutions could be achieved in 60 seconds?