We all are busy – that is a given. But what if you took just 5 minutes a day to do 5 things that would make you healthier and happier? It’s not a huge time commitment and your body will thank you exponentially. Give it a try – you have everything to gain!
1. Breathe. That’s it – Just breathe. Set a timer for 1 minute, close your eyes if you can and breathe in and out through your nose for 1 minute. Concentrate on breathing down to your stomach; place your hand on your abdomen and try to bring your breath all the way down so you can feel your stomach push against your hand. Then, as you exhale, feel your stomach move back towards your spine. After 1 minute you will feel more relaxed, have less anxiety, will be better able to focus, and your cells will be full of oxygen!
2. Drink a full glass of water. Or if you have a water bottle close by, take 8 big drinks out of it. Your body needs water all day everyday to function optimally. Very few of us get enough water in a day and it can cause us to feel lethargic, as if we have a headache, and even make us feel hungry. Rule of thumb ( very generally speaking) try to drink half your weight in ounces of water everyday. So, if you weigh 150 pounds you would try to drink 75 ounces of water per day. If drinking water is something you rarely do, ease into it. Being aware of needing to drink more water and having it close by is a great way to start.
3. Stand up and stretch. Many of us do most of our work sitting at a desk in front of a computer. Taking a quick minute to stand up and stretch can alleviate neck, back and joint stiffness plus it feels really good. Raise your hands over your head, twist from one side to the other by rotating your torso; if you can, bend forward and reach for the ground. If that is too much for your back or you are not that flexible, place your hands on your knees and only bend as far as is comfortable while staying supported. If you have time, walk to the restroom. Even a short walk down the hallway gets your blood pumping through your body and clears your mind. Besides, after drinking more water a trip to the restroom might be mandatory. Two birds with one stone – look at how efficient you are!
4. Grab a handful of nuts or seeds to snack on. Gone are the old ways of thinking that believed
nuts should be avoided because of their high calorie and fat content. In fact, new evidence suggests that not eating enough nuts and seeds is associated with a higher rate of dying from cardiovascular disease or diabetes. Nuts and seeds are convenient, taste great and can be eaten by those on almost any type of diet from Paleo to Keto to Vegan and more.
Need more reasons to reach for this healthy snack?
a) They are rich in many nutrients such as Fiber, vitamin E, Magnesium, Copper, Selenium and more
b) They are loaded with Antioxidants. Antioxidants can neutralize free radicals which are known to cause cell damage and increase disease risk. They can also lower your LDL (“bad”) cholesterol.
c) Nuts and seeds may aid in weight loss. Yep, that’s right. Study after study shows that people who eat nuts and seeds versus people who do not consume these little powerhouses of nutrition, actually lose more weight.
d) They have impressive effects on cholesterol and triglycerides. This may be due to their high content of monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fatty acids.
e) Nuts have strong anti-inflammatory properties
5. Exercise your thankful muscle. Write down or think of 5 reasons you are thankful right now, in this moment. It can be as simple or as complex as you want it to be – it does not matter. By becoming mindful and practicing being thankful for all the good things in our lives, we shift our way of thinking from one of scarcity and fear to one of abundance.
5 minutes, 5 healthy practices. Do it for yourself – you deserve to give yourself a quickie.