Tags: daily | 5 minutes | healthful | activities | connect | friends | snack

Boost Your Health in Just 5 Minutes Daily

woman working at standing desk, exercise ball under desk
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By    |   Tuesday, 23 May 2023 04:03 PM EDT

We can all spare five minutes throughout the day. Instead of mindlessly scrolling through social media posts, simply moving and breathing instead can reap huge health benefits. While many people say their busy schedules don’t allow time for formal exercise, experts say a sprinkling of five-minute activity intervals throughout the day can have a measurable impact on health and wellness.

According to CNN, Dana Santas, known as the Mobility Maker, helps professional athletes reach their full potential by using spare moments productively throughout the day.

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“With excessive social media use linked to negative mental health implications, if you’re one of the 7 in 10 Americans who use social media, it may be in your best interest to trade five minutes of scrolling in favor of one of these five science-backed, health boosting activities,” she says.

Focus on your breath. Taking a few minutes a day to breathe properly can help reduce stress and boost mental health, says Santas. Deep breathing, in and out slowly through the nose, stimulates a physiological relaxation response that inhibits stress hormone production, lowers blood pressure and decreases heart rate, according to research.

Move your body. Too much sitting is not only detrimental to your physical health, but may increase risk for depression. A sedentary lifestyle can cause stiffness and weakness in the joints. Numerous studies have found that sitting too much increases the risk for painful conditions, including chronic joint pain and stiffness, degenerative joint disease and arthritis, say the experts at Meier Orthopedic Sports Medicine Group. Try using a standing desk or get up and walk for five minutes every hour if your job requires sitting. Add a five-minute yoga or strength-training routine during the day.

Connect with friends. Take five minutes every day to connect with a friend. While meeting in person is ideal, Santas says that video chatting and socializing in any way can ward of loneliness and feelings of isolation that are linked to declining cognitive skills, depression, heart attack, stroke, and early death. “Make it a point to strike up conversations with others as you run errands,” she says. “For example, you can easily talk with cashiers at the grocery store by asking how their day is going. A smile and sincere interaction can go a long way for your own health and the health of those you encounter.”

Make healthy snacks. Spend five minutes a day prepping healthy snacks to have on hand when hunger strikes, so you won’t grab that bag of potato chips. Instead, have a bag of freshly washed, chopped fresh produce ready to go.

Take a quick stroll. While previous research has shown that 10,000 steps a day can reduce your risk of cancer, heart disease and early death, more recent studies say that even walking 2,000 steps each day reduces these risks. According to Santas, any amount of walking is beneficial. “Walking for five minutes every 30 minutes produces an immediate measurable reduction in both blood pressure and blood sugar,” she says.

“Unlike lofty resolutions for better health, such as giving up cheese or chocolate forever, the five-minute activities are more practical,” says Santas. “With consistent practice, they can become sustainable health habits that will deliver wellness-boosting benefits over your lifetime — a potentially long lifetime because of those five-minute habits!”

Lynn C. Allison

Lynn C. Allison, a Newsmax health reporter, is an award-winning medical journalist and author of more than 30 self-help books.

© 2024 NewsmaxHealth. All rights reserved.


Health-News
We can all spare five minutes throughout the day. Instead of mindlessly scrolling through social media posts, simply moving and breathing instead can reap huge health benefits. While many people say their busy schedules don't allow time for formal exercise, experts say a...
daily, 5 minutes, healthful, activities, connect, friends, snack, walk, breathing, stand
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2023-03-23
Tuesday, 23 May 2023 04:03 PM
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