One-Minute Solutions for Improving Your Health

A lot of experts agree that short workouts, even five minutes long, can improve your health. In addition to short bursts of exercise, you’ll be happy to know there are other ways to improve your well-being in a brief amount of time. Some take even less than five minutes!

Seven ways to boost your health in just one minute:

  1. Give someone you love a hug: Who doesn’t love one of these? They not only make us feel happier and more relaxed, but also help lower blood pressure and heart rate.
  1. Laugh: It really is the best medicine. Not only is it one of the body’s natural stress relievers, it also mimics (at least a little) some physiological responses to physical activity.
  1. Nibble some dark chocolate: Such sweet news! The natural plant compounds in cocoa can protect the heart in a number of ways, from lowering blood pressure, raising levels of “good” cholesterol while lowering the “bad” and even helping with circulation.
  1. Find the silver lining: Always look on the bright side of life. It’s been associated with a healthier heart and a stronger immune system—so the next time you’re about to complain, take a minute to reframe your perspective.
  1. Look away from your computer screen: A change of scenery will do you good. These days, most of us spend a fair amount of time in front of screens, which can do a number on your eyes. To combat strain, follow the 20-20-20 rule: Every 20 minutes, look at something 20 feet away for just 20 seconds.
  1. Rest in child’s pose: Like comfort food for the soul. It’s one of the most relaxing, restorative yoga poses, but it’s also a gentle, reinvigorating stretch that may help relieve back and neck pain. Sit back and hold for that entire glorious minute.
  1. Smile: Even faking it can help. People who smile a lot are usually happy, but 2010 research suggests that people who smile the widest also live the longest. Even if you’re feeling stressed, faking a smile can eventually make you feel more at ease—and it only takes a moment.