Have 5 minutes? Want to improve your health but not sure where to start? Nibble on these bite-sized ideas – each one creates a small change in your daily routine that can get you started on the path to wellness.
Get Outside: Getting outside early in the day helps keep your body’s clock in rhythm. This helps you feel alert when you should (during the day) and you feel sleepy at night. Sunlight has powerful effects on alertness and mood. Just stepping outside for a few minutes and looking up at the sky (even on a cloudy day) can make a difference.
Relax: Life is stressful! Making time to relax restores balance and is essential to good health. The key is to find what works for you – whether its meditation, gentle yoga stretches, deep breathing, or simply listening to music. Even less time? Take a 1-minute hand bath when you’re feeling stressed – washing your hands with nice-smelling soap and warm water will quickly calm your nerves.
Improve Your Diet: Vegetables are low in calories and high in nutrients which support our health. Despite this well-known fact, most of us don’t get enough servings of vegetables every day. Easily improve your intake by sneaking in an extra serving of veggies at lunch. For example, ask for more veggies on your sandwich or add some baby spinach to your soup or leftovers.
Drink Water: Most healthy adults need 64-96 ounces of water a day. Fill your water bottle first thing in the morning and make it a habit to drink water and refill it as soon as it’s empty. Having water close at hand makes it easier to remember to drink it throughout the day.
Exercise Your Brain: Keep your brain fit and enhance its function by continuing to learn throughout your life. Read a few pages a day of a book on a topic which interests you – in a month you will have completed the book! Learn a new language with an audio book and practice out loud a few minutes a day with a friend.
Increase Activity: Feeling sluggish in the morning? Do a few minutes of stretching as soon as you get out of bed – it will work out all the kinks and get you feeling great right out of the gate!
Connect: Humans are social creatures; connecting with others is an important part of life and supports our emotional well-being. Steal away a few minutes to catch-up with a good friend or family member you haven’t spoken to in a while. Texting counts, but sometimes a phone call or in-person visit are more fulfilling.
Author: Lisa Henderson, MS, RDN