Boosting your health doesn’t have to take loads of time, our quick and easy health tips can take as little as four seconds. Try them and you’ll quickly feel calmer, more energised and healthy inside and out.
4 seconds – to beat back pain
If you get to the end of a work day with an aching neck, try switching your mouse from the right to the left side of the keyboard, and use your left hand to work it. This simple healthy tip will reduce the distance you have to reach each time you use the mouse as you don’t need to reach past the numbers, which reduces tension in the neck and shoulders.
5 seconds – to give yourself a digestive makeover
Gastroenterologist Dr Anish Sheth, co-author of What’s Your Poo Telling You, suggests that everyone has a quick look in the toilet after they’ve had a bowel movement. “It can tell you a lot about your diet,” he explains. “The perfect stool is in one piece, quite thick, low in odour and easy to pass – anything other than this says your diet might need a slight change.”
Often it’s as simple as just eating more fibre (if your stool has been hard to pass), but he also suggests that people who have regular loose movements get checked for coeliac disease. This intolerance to gluten is chronically under-diagnosed.
1 minute – to protect your body from stress attacks
You know stress is bad for you, but all you need to fight it’s effects is a lemon. Researchers in Japan have found that when you inhale one of the substances that give lemon it’s scent (something called linalool) your body’s response to stress alters dramatically.
Not only do you release fewer levels of inflammatory chemicals, which lower immunity and may be linked to problems such as heart disease, but the activity of over 100 genes that normally fire up during stress (causing endless negative reactions) also slows down. So next time you’re pressured, grab a fresh lemon, cut it open, pop some slices in hot water and sip it slowly.
2 minutes – to help beat diabetes risk
Next time you’re exercising, add four 30-second bursts of sprinting to your workout and you’ll dramatically lower your risk of diabetes. Why? Because three sessions of this type of super-fast exercise have been proven to boost the action of insulin in the body by 23% in just two weeks- and the more active your insulin, the less sugar you’ll have circulating in your blood.
15 minutes to help lower your blood pressure
No, not more exercise but sitting down and relaxing over a nice cup of tea – hibiscus tea, to be precise. Research by the Tufts University in the US found that drinking three cups of hibiscus tea a day lowered systolic blood pressure by an average of 7 points in 6 weeks.
“We think it’s due to the phytochemicals in the tea. Studies have shown that these can act as ACE inhibitors, the same mechanisms found in many blood pressure medications,” says Dr Diane McKay, an antioxidant researcher from Tufts University.
199 minutes – to turn back time and slow ageing
If you haven’t heard the word telomere before, it’s a must-learn. Telomeres are little caps on the end of our chromosomes that protect them from damage.
They shrink with age, but things such as stress can cause them to shrink faster. The shorter your telomeres are, the faster your body ages, but it seems that exercise protects telomeres.
It sounds like an odd time, but research shows that people who do 199 minutes of exercise a week have longer telomeres than those who do nothing at all. “And that difference corresponds to around nine years of ageing,” says study author, Dr Lynn Cherkas. Any exercise, from running to tennis counts, so get moving.
DISCLAIMER: Before starting any diet, you should speak to your doctor. You must not rely on the information on this website/newsletter as an alternative to medical advice from your doctor or other professional healthcare provider.
A freelance writer and editor, with 15 years’ experience in the media industry. With a passion for health and fitness, Tammy loves nothing more than researching the latest wellness trends. And if she’s not running around after her sweet four-year old daughter, you’ll find Tammy on her bike, in the gym or exploring the great outdoors – followed by a good coffee, of course!