10 Ways to Spend 5 Minutes a Day Improving Your Health

There are 8760 hours in a year. What if, just 31 of these hours, or five minutes a day, could make you healthier – would you put the time in? Contrary to what you may think, getting and staying healthy does not have to be a time robber.

There are many simple things that can be done on a daily basis to boost health. Here are ten, incredibly simple ways to make a difference in how you feel and look today.

Declutter: Pick up stray papers and items left hanging around your home and office. An organized work and living space helps reduce anxiety and promote feelings of freedom.

Smell a Lemon: For a quick, yet effective de-stressing trick, try sniffing a lemon. According to Japanese researchers, linalool, a substance in lemons, dials down the “fight-or-flight” stress response. If you don’t have lemons, try lavender, basil or juniper – they will all lower stress as well.

Meditate: You don’t have to set aside a huge chunk of time daily to clear your mind. Settle into a comfortable spot, cross your legs and focus on your breathing, pushing any thoughts out of the way as they enter your mind. In as little as five minutes you will feel refreshed and ready to take on the rest of the day.

Deep Breathing: We all tend to breathe in a very shallow fashion, which is not healthy. Breathing deeply introduces fresh oxygen into the lungs and stimulates the lymphatic system, which is essential for detoxification. Sit up straight and inhale a deep breath through your nose. Exhale slowly through slightly parted lips. You should see your stomach expand when you breathe in. After ten or fifteen deep breaths you will feel refreshed and energized. Do this several times a day for best results.

Keep a Gratitude Journal: Take five minutes daily to record what you are thankful for. Being thankful for all the great things in your life is a sure way to lift a sullen mood and keep your spirits lifted.

Laugh: Laughter truly is a great medicine. Take time every day to laugh, really laugh. If you have to watch a funny video or listen to a comedian for a few minutes, it is well worth your while. Laughing keeps your skin looking great and releases endorphins that promote good feelings.

Stretch: Light daily stretching will improve your posture, release tension, build flexibility and loosen tight muscles. Reach your arms up over your head, bend down and touch the floor, do a few quick wrist, arm, neck and ankle circles, and you will improve your sense of well-being.

clockSwing a Kettlebell: The kettlebell swing is one of the best overall moves to improve both cardiovascular fitness and muscle mass. Find an appropriately sized kettlebell for your current fitness level and swing the bell for one minute, and take a 30 second break for a total of five minutes. You will begin to notice an improvement in not only your endurance but also your strength.

Chew Your Food Longer: Spend five minutes longer chewing your food. You should aim for at least 20 seconds per bite. Take small bites and really think about what you are eating and how you feel. Being mindful will help you eat less and reduce stress.

Warm Lemon Water: Start your day off with a glass of warm lemon water. Drinking lemon water before eating breakfast will help your body detoxify, balance your internal pH, boost your spirits and improve digestion.

-The Alternative Daily

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