You’ve got your fitness routine down to a science. You’re hopping on your elliptical every day for a sweat-drenched workout session.
But still, ever find yourself feeling just worn out and in need of a boost?
Well, we’ve got you covered!
Here are 8 simple little health-boosting activities that will boost your mood, revamp your positivity, and improve your health for the long run!
Take A Deep Breath – You may not realize the power of your breath, but it can make a world of difference in those stressful moments. When you are feeling the pressure and anxiety is right around the corner, your body chemistry can throw you into a “fight or flight” response. This causes your breathing to become shallow and your heart to race.
Just one minute of deep, controlled breathing is all it takes to calm those stress responses. Just close your eyes and breathe in for a count of four and out for a count of four. Make sure you’re breathing deeply and filling both your lungs and your belly.
Tear Your Eyes Away From The Screen – Whether it’s your desktop, laptop, tablet, phone or TV, there’s no denying that we spend a lot of time in front of a screen. This can cause major eye strain and headaches. To fight this, try the 20-20-20 rule.
It’s super easy. Every 20 minutes, look at something at least 20 feet away for just 20 seconds. This will give your eyes a chance to relax and stave off those headaches.
Channel Your Inner Child – We don’t mean go outside and play without your shoes, although that’s not a terrible idea either. We’re talking about the feeling of awe at the world around you that we tend to lose as adults. As we get older we have so many things to do and so little time, it’s all about the hustle to complete the to-do list.
As Melanie Rudd, PhD candidate at Stanford University’s Graduate School of Business explains, “experiencing feelings of awe can alter people’s perception of time.” Rudd performed a study that showed people that watched a 60-second awe-inspiring video, including astronauts in space, waterfalls and breaching whales, felt more patient and less stress afterward.
Eat Dark Chocolate – Let’s start by saying this applies to dark chocolate specifically, and don’t go crazy on the amount. Cocoa has been shown to provide a wide range of health benefits and is one of the best sources of antioxidants you can find.
Dark chocolate contains nitric oxide, which sends signals to your arteries to relax and reduces your blood pressure. Studies have shown that cocoa powder raises “good” cholesterol and lowers “bad” cholesterol.
Last but not least, dark chocolate can actually improve your brain function! Studies have shown that ingesting even a small amount cocoa-rich chocolate improves blood flow to the brain in healthy adults.
Make sure you choose chocolate with at least a 70% cocoa content, but is there any better reason to eat chocolate than to improve your health.
Look On The Bright Side – We know it’s a lot easier said than done, but putting a little effort into finding the silver lining is worth it. Next time you’re frustrated about a task or complaining about something, take just 60 seconds to reframe your thoughts.
This type of optimism has been associated with strengthening your immune system and increased heart health.
Laugh – In even the roughest of times, simply laughing can make everything seem lighter and easier to face. The saying is true, laughter really can be the best medicine. Laughter functions as a natural stress reliever, but it does more than that.
Think about the last time you laughed really hard, you were winded and your abs hurt. That’s because just one minute of laughter raises your heart rate and flexes those muscles. It’s basically a one minute mini-workout.
Thankfully, we live in the time of YouTube, Facebook and Instagram. You don’t need someone else around to tell you something funny, there are millions of videos out there guaranteed to have you cracking up for 60 seconds.
Plank It Out – You read that right. A 60-second plank can turn your whole day around…for the better. You don’t need to do it as part of a whole workout or change into your tennis shoes. A once daily 1-minute plank will strengthen your core and get you out of that chair. This eases back pain and improves posture.
Plus, even for those of us that dread the plank, it’s just 60 seconds. Even if you have to work your way up to it, you’ll get better every day.
Give Yourself A Stress Relief Massage – You don’t need to schedule a pricey 60-minute massage to get the stress relief benefits of acupressure. In fact, you can do it yourself for free in just 60 seconds.
Researchers at Hong Kong Polytechnic University urge you to get to know your hoku to relieve stress. Your hoku is the fleshy bit between your thumb and index finger. Applying pressure to this spot for just 30 seconds can relieve stress and tension. Use your minute of well-being to spend 30 seconds on each hand. Then get back to your day feeling calm, cool and collected.
Your overall well-being is extremely important, and giving it a boost is much easier than you think. Keep up your workouts and stick with the healthy diet, but throw in a few of these tips and tricks throughout the day to keep yourself feeling strong, positive and stress-free.
https://www.prevention.com/life/a20433453/8-ways-to-boost-your-health-in-60-seconds/ 8 Amazing 60-Second Health Fixes: Linda Melone, CSCS; 2012
https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/16794461/. The Effect of Flavanol-Rich Cocoa on the fMRI Response to a Cognitive Task in Healthy Young People: S T Francis, K Head, P G Morris, I A Macdonald; 2006