A new year brings new opportunities to focus on health and fitness. The following are four easy ways to boost your health in less than five minutes per day.
Drink water before each meal.
Drinking enough water each day helps to boost hydration, improve energy and aid digestion. But drinking before meals may offer another benefit — it can help you to eat less and lose more weight. One study found drinking 16 ounces of water in the half hour before meals led to nearly three pounds of weight loss on average over a 12-week period when compared to those who did not drink before a meal.
No matter how healthy your diet, you may fall short on essential nutrients day to day. “Taking a multivitamin is one of the best ways to ensure you are meeting all of your nutritional needs consistently,” states Erin Palinski-Wade, RD, CDE, and spokesperson for Swisse Wellness. When choosing a multivitamin, not just any option will do. “Look for brands that have been clinically tested to ensure they can be utilized and absorbed by the body,” points out Palinski-Wade. “I recommend Swisse Ultivite (R) multivitamins as these products have been analyzed in over 13 clinical studies and been shown to improve energy and mood, reduce stress and increase mental alertness in both men and women.”
Practice belly breathing.
High stress levels can increase blood pressure, affect your immune system and cause you to pack on the pounds. To instantly fight stress, remember to breathe. Practicing deep breathing exercises, such as belly breathing, can reduce heart rate and lower stress hormones quickly, helping to prevent stress from having a negative impact on health. To practice, place one hand on your chest and the other on your belly. Breathe in slowly through your nose into your belly. You should feel the hand on your stomach being pushed outward while the hand on your chest remains still. Hold the breath for a few seconds, and then push it out through pursed lips, like you were whistling. Repeat for three slow, deep breaths to instantly feel less stressed.
Pick up the intensity of your workout — for one minute.
Finding time to exercise can be a challenge, but there is good news for those with maxed-out schedules. A recent study found that just one minute of high-intensity exercise may be equivalent to 45 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise. Although you shouldn’t ditch your workout routine completely, when you are short on time, aim to fit in small bursts of exercise throughout the day. Just make sure your doctor clears you for intense exercise before getting started.