8 easy ways to boost health

Getting healthy can often sound like a huge mountain to climb - not something that can be done quickly, writes Lisa Salmon.
8 easy ways to boost health

Why not stand while working, or while taking a call. You can burn more calories. Picture: Stock

WHILE long-term good health takes consistent effort, there are many little things you can do in not very much time - and easily - to help boost your health.

“Keeping our physical and mental wellbeing intact can feel like an impossible task,” says Melissa Snover, registered nutritionist and founder of Nourished (get-nourished.com).

“We’re constantly trying to offset the impact of our hectic modern lifestyles - in particular, the detrimental effects of stress, overworking, lack of sleep and poor diet.

“The good news is are plenty of quick, simple things we can do every day to improve our wellbeing,” she adds. 

“The key is consistency - start off by incorporating just one or two healthy habits into your daily routine, and repeat, until it feels instinctive.”

Here are eight easy ways to boost your health in 10 minutes...

1. Use your muscles as the kettle boils

While you make your morning brew, use the time to work some muscles. 

“There’s a 60-second window you can utilise as the kettle boils - take the first 30 to do some calf raises, and for the remainder do a quick wall sit,” suggests Dr Luke Powles, clinical director at Bupa Health Clinics (bupa.co.uk). 

“These are exercises that won’t break a sweat, but doing them daily, you’ll start to see results after a couple of weeks.”

2. Stand up

Powles says just standing can burn more calories than sitting - and every little helps. How about standing up every time you take a call at work or at home?

 “If you’re on your mobile, take the call outside and walk,” suggests Powles. “You won’t realise just how many steps you take, even if it’s around the office block.

“Or, when you’ve completed a section of tasks, take 100 steps in one direction then 100 steps back. This will give your mind a break, move your body, and get oxygen to the brain.”

Experts recommend drinking six to eight glasses of water daily.
Experts recommend drinking six to eight glasses of water daily.

3. Drink a glass of water

Dehydration can impact the balance of dopamine and serotonin in the brain, which can increase feelings of low mood, anxiety or depression, says Snover. “Hydration is also needed for normal digestion, temperature control, brain function and encouraging good circulation, which is why it’s imperative we’re fuelling our bodies with enough.”

Experts recommend drinking 6-8 glasses daily, around 1.2-1.5 litres. As well as water, Snover suggests lower fat milk and sugar-free drinks, including tea and coffee.

4. Stretch

Sitting for long periods can leave our bodies uncomfortable, make us less productive, and isn’t good for health, explains Powles - who suggests doing simple stretches whenever possible, whether you’re at home or your desk. “Keeping your body stretched will do the world of good and will avoid stiffness,” he promises.

5. Eat some protein

Protein is the ‘building block’ of our bodies, and diets high in it - including eggs, chickpeas, yoghurt, nuts and seeds - are linked to a range of benefits, says Snover, such as quicker recovery from injuries, lower blood pressure, good bone health and greater muscle strength and mass, and less intense food cravings.

“There’s growing research linking a high protein intake to better metabolic health and, in turn, weight management,” adds Snover.

6. Exercise in the ad breaks

If you can’t make it to the gym, or would just rather slouch in front of the telly, get the best of both worlds. “Take your favourite hour-long programme and plan exercises for each ad break,” suggests Powles. “Say each ad is 60 seconds, try 20 seconds of squats, 20 seconds of lunges and 20 seconds of high knees. Do this three times, which will make those boring ad breaks fly by!”

7. Move while the bath runs

As you wait for as bath to fill up, Powles suggests you go up and down stairs as many times as possible. “If you don’t have stairs, standing rotated lunges will work just fine.”

Get some Vitamin D. Picture: Stock
Get some Vitamin D. Picture: Stock

8. Get some sunshine

Vitamin D keep bones, teeth and muscles healthy, amongst other important things for good general health - and the body creates it from exposure to direct sunlight when outdoors, when there’s sufficient conditions.

Spring and summer months are a great time to (safely!) soak up those rays.

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