7 Five-Minute Health Hacks Experts Want You To Know
Eating the right foods and getting enough exercise are two basic ways to maintain your health. But when you're tired after a long day at work, the last thing you want to do is get on a treadmill or prep a healthy meal. The good news is, staying healthy doesn't have to be challenging or time-consuming. In fact, experts say there are some quick and easy health hacks you can use each day to stay on top of things.
"It can be hard to maintain a healthy lifestyle when you’re busy, as most of us are," Ashley Wood, RN, BSN, tells Bustle. "The key thing to remember is that every little thing counts. This can be both good or bad, so it’s important that the overall amount of good habits outweigh the bad."
For instance, it can be challenging to eat food that's nourishing. There are so many options around that aren't rich in recommended nutrients. There's nothing wrong with snacking, but it's always a goo idea to go for snacks that will give you energy. "A big component of this is to plan ahead and be prepared whenever possible," Wood says. Preparing nutrient-rich snacks the night before or in the morning before work will take about five to 10 minutes of your time. But it can make a big difference in the long run.
If you want some quick and easy health boosters, here are some five-minute or less health hacks experts want you to know.
1. Start Your Day By Meditating
Being healthy is about maintaining a good sense of wellbeing. People who start meditation practices typically see a lot of positive changes in their life. "It’s been scientifically proven that daily consistent meditation, even for just five minutes a day, can improve your stress levels, calm your nervous system, improve your mood and sleep quality, and keep anxiety at bay," Kelly Diciero, founder and CEO of Find Your Balance, tells Bustle. You can meditate on your own, or find guided meditations on apps like Calm. You can even find some on YouTube.
2. Drink Warm Water With Lemon Every Morning
Drinking a glass of warm water and lemon each morning can help your gut get off to a good start. As nutritionist Lisa Richards, tells Bustle, "Lemon water is full of vitamin C to boost your immunity, lower inflammation, and improve your skin." Drinking lemon water is also great for digestion and can help you have regular bowel movements. In order to get the most out of it, Richards suggests drinking it right before breakfast.
3. Do A Little Chair Yoga At Work
If you work a desk job, you likely rotate between the same two or three positions throughout the day. Research has found that sitting too long can put you at risk for an early death, even if you exercise daily. Staying in the same position for a long time can also lead to aches, pains, and health issues. But as a study by the University of Wisconsin study found, stretching can help. "You don’t have to be a yogi to do some stretching at your desk," Diciero says. "Try moving your body every hour in a way the feels good like doing some neck rolls, side body stretches, or a supine twist." This can help to keep your muscles from getting too stiff from being hunched over all day.
4. Walk Around While You Scroll Through Social Media
Every time you pick up your phone to look through your social media feeds, use that as a cue to sneak in a little exercise. "Most of those quick peeks at social media turn into five minutes before we know it," Karen Shopoff Rooff, certified health coach, tells Bustle. "If you were to use each of those five minute breaks to go for a walk, or climb up and down stairs, that's a meaningful amount of movement you could add to your day."
5. Drink Water Before Exercising
If you want to make the most out of your workouts, be sure to drink water before you get moving. "Many times I've trained people who are dehydrated and it becomes a distraction," Abena Tolentino, trainer and owner of Abena Pilates in NYC, tells Bustle. "They either have to pause their workout to drink water hence breaking the flow, or they become too dizzy and start to tremble." When you drink enough water before a workout, you can put more focus on moving and executing the exercises.
You also want to drink water before every meal or snack. According to Rooff, drinking a glass of water before eating something will ensure you get enough water into your body.
6. Shop The Perimeter Of The Grocery Store
The next time you quickly swing by the grocery store after work to make something for dinner, focus on the perimeter of the store. "That's where all of your fruits, vegetables and proteins can be found," Katrina TaTaé, certified personal trainer and health expert, tells Bustle. "By doing this, you can guarantee that your next meal with be filled with real, whole foods."
7. Laugh Out Loud When You're Feeling Overwhelmed
An overwhelmingly stressful work situation can make you want to burst into tears. When you're always stressed, that can have an impact on your health. But instead of crying, try laughing instead. "Laughing releases endorphins (the body’s natural feel-good chemicals), which create a sense of well-being while lowering stress and decreasing inflammation," Dr. Holly Phillips, medical expert for RxSaver by RetailMeNot, tells Bustle. Laughing is also known to decrease stress hormones, which gives immune cells and infection-fighting antibodies a boost. If you're not in the mood to laugh, fake it. As research has found, smiling and laughing even when you're upset can trick your brain into feeling better.
Staying healthy doesn't have to be too challenging. Try these health hacks out for a bit and see what happens. If you notice positive changes, make these part of your daily routine.