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We tend to think of our health as a long-term project – something that we work on a timescale of years. But almost always, improving it begins with things that we can do in one hour or less. What’s more, we can often get immediate results that make us feel better and more able to take on the challenges of life.
So what can you do to improve your health in an hour or less? Take a look at the following:
Sitting down all day long is apparently the new smoking – and something we should all avoid as much as possible. Unfortunately, the vast majority of us work at desks that don’t move up and down. Theoretically, you could try typing standing up, but that’s quite ergonomically difficult.
Fortunately, there’s a solution: the humble standing desk.
Standing desks are more expensive than the regular variety. But they offer a bunch of benefits. Usually, you just press a button, and the table will rise like a lift, to a level where it becomes comfortable for you to type while standing up.
If you’re the sort of person who has a habit of falling asleep during work, this device can be a godsend. The brain will naturally keep you awake if you’re in the standing position – whereas sitting might tempt it to switch off temporarily – not what you want.
Are you feeling a little sluggish or slow? Do you feel exhausted from the moment you wake up but don’t really know why? It could be that you’re lacking essential minerals and vitamins.
I’ve looked for IV therapy near me for this exact reason. The way it works is pretty simple. Doctors hook you up to a drip and then provide your body with the nutrients you need directly. Importantly, it avoids the gut. So if you have absorption issues, you can get around these,
Some people who go on plant-based diets for health reasons can often wind up low on vitamin B12. These drips are also helpful for these people, returning levels in their bodies to the physiological norm.
You don’t have to be the type of person who spends hour after hour at the gym every day getting ripped to experience the health benefits of exercise. Research shows that any incremental increase in daily activity yields positive effects on the body. Thus, taking a quick walk around the block is an extraordinarily easy way to improve your health fast.
Walking is something that most of us can include relatively easily in our daily routine too. Even if you’re now on furlough working from home, you can use your trips to buy groceries as an opportunity for exercise. That’s a good thing, and it’ll all soon add up to boost your health in profound ways.
As science progresses more and more, we’re starting to learn that meditation makes a big difference to our overall well being. People who can “live in the moment” tend to be much happier and healthier than those who don’t.
The reason for this seems to come down to the physiological effects of concentration on consciousness. There’s evidence that it reduces the circulation of stress hormones, which can play havoc with your looks and general health. Over the long term, stress can encourage hair loss and make conditions like heart disease worse.
Just like exercise, even small, incremental quantities of meditation can make a massive difference in how you feel. Even five minutes per day before you take a shower can be all you need to make improvements.
Countless health bloggers implore their followers to switch off their devices before they go to bed. There are several reasons for this. Perhaps the most important from a physiological standpoint is the fact that the blue light emitted by these devices can keep you up at night and muck with your natural rhythm. But there are also psychological reasons. If you’re on Facebook, lamenting the fact that somebody else has a better life than you, it can make you feel terrible about your existence. And that can be just the sort of thing that leads to insomnia.
You also sometimes need to turn off your devices just to allow your brain a chance to unwind before you fall asleep. Reading about the latest news isn’t always the most relaxing of experiences, is it?
Nuts are a high-calorie food we associate with decadent desserts. But it turns out that they’re actually one of the healthiest food groups and powerfully improve your health.
Studies suggest, for instance, that people who eat a plant-based diet plus nuts live years longer than those who don’t.
The reasons for this seem to come down to how nuts affect our metabolism. As we get older, our ability to remain slim and keep blood sugar levels low goes down.
Nuts, however, may interrupt this process (or at least delay it). People who eat them tend to feel fuller on the same number of calories, reducing how much they eat during the rest of the day.
The same applies to beans. Researchers think that individuals who consume pulses regularly have healthier gut bacteria, which improves their overall metabolism in unexpected ways.
For instance, did you know that if you eat beans for lunch, you reduce the blood sugar spike you get from eating ice cream at dinner?
Finally, there’s also evidence that simply spending time with healthy friends can improve your health. Studies on older adults, for instance, found that social connections are a stronger predictor of mortality than cholesterol – the leading cause of heart disease.
Be sure, though, to choose friends who are healthy and not dysfunctional. Evidence from the scientific literature suggests that spending time with aggressive, cynical, or abusive people actually harms our health and makes outcomes worse.
So, which of the above could you do to improve your health in an hour or less?