Five-Minute Health Boosters

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  • Chances are, you’re already trying your best to fit healthy activities into your schedule, such as regular exercise. Sometimes that’s harder than you think. While it usually takes time and energy to improve your health in the long run, there are actually some things you can do right now that will bolster your well-being. Here are seven things you can do in 5 minutes or less that improve your health:

    Dance Like Mad To Your Favorite Song

    Even if it’s only for one or two minutes, high-impact dance bursts can increase your endurance and help you maintain a healthy cardiovascular system. Also, putting weight on your bones helps them stay strong, which can lower your risk of osteoporosis. If that’s not enough to convince you, know that dancing can also boost your energy level.
  • Go For A Walk Around The Block Do you ever sit for so long at home or work that you start feeling antsy and restless? Studies have shown that if you do a repetitive task too long that doesn’t involve standing up, your brain switches into automatic mode, making you more likely to make errors. Additionally, sitting for hours upon hours increases your risk of fatigue and muscle tension. Combat this by simply talking a stroll around the block, which will help get your blood flowing again.
  • Take A Cold Shower Okay, so you’re probably not likely to jump under a stream of ice-cold water when you want to relax. However, it turns out that taking a cold or lukewarm shower may actually be better for your emotional health than a hot one. When you stand under cold water, your brain receives the message to release feel-good hormones like serotonin, which lowers stress. You will also get that jolting feeling that will kick your brain into gear.
  • Stretch If your body is used to being in only a few positions each day – such as sitting, standing, and lying down – you’re likely to experience tightness in your muscles and pain in your joints. Lack of movement can also take its toll on you emotionally. Whether you're stretching your arms over your head or toward your toes, a few minutes of stretching can make you feel instantly better, both physically and mentally.
  • Improve Your Posture Remember back in your youth when your mother told you repeatedly to sit or stand up straight? It may have been annoying, but she had a good point. Too many adults have poor posture, which can lead to serious health consequences such as spinal curvature and nerve constriction. Good posture helps keep your skeletal system in alignment and your systems functioning. Make sure to sit and stand up straight, keeping your shoulders back. In addition to being good for you, it looks better than slouching!
  • Stop To Meditate Taking two minutes to reconnect with your body and mind can do wonders for helping you feel more centered and grounded. Sit back, close your eyes, and take a few slow and deep breaths. Notice how your body feels, and try to focus only on your breath. You may be surprised at the ease and presence with which you will reenter your day.
  • Laugh In addition to being fun, laughing causes your body to go through physiological changes. Your muscles stretch, your heart rate goes up, and you burn calories – all adding up to an effect similar to a low-impact workout. Some studies have even shown laughing to be associated with an increased immune response. Even just one hearty laugh can relieve stress, relax muscles and trigger the release of endorphins. So take a few minutes to call a funny friend – it will improve your mood and help you relax.