Continuing from part 1 in our last newsletter, here are some great ideas for a major well being boost.
11. Find a spare 30 seconds
Ten push-ups, squats, bench dips… Take 30 seconds and do something! Because really, who can’t find a spare 30 seconds in their day to sneak in a little exercise? Research suggest that short bursts of activity have the same impact as longer sessions. Love it!
12. Give your eyes a break
Forget Diet Coke. Try this simple technique to give tired peepers a speedy pep up. Rub your hands together and warm them up. Rest your elbows on a table and cup your hands over both eyes, with the heels of palms on your cheeks. Take a few deep breaths, then move your hands higher and gently apply light pressure with your palm. Hold for a moment, then release. Zen, in seconds!
13. Chew gum daily
Tap into your inner 12-year-old and unwrap that Hubba Bubba. It can give your focus and memory an instant boost, according to one recent UK study. Additional research shows it also has a calming effect, perhaps due to the minty fresh feeling it creates or the fact chewing boosts oxygen to the brain.
14. Make a smart swap
Keen cook? Then try this: splosh a little white wine vinegar instead of a dollop of butter to moisten your pan. It won’t alter the flavor of food but, even better, it eliminates fat. Likewise, when the recipe calls for salt, swap it for blood pressure lowering power herbs like fresh oregano, bail or parsley. Nutritious and delicious!
15. Flash a fake smile
Even if you’re feeling rattled, taking a moment to smile will lower your heart rate and mitigate stress, according to a study in the journal Psychological Science. Research taught volunteers how to arrange their faces in a variety of ways: with genuine smiles, fake smiles, neutral expressions, and with chopsticks propping their mouths open into forced grins (yep, those were dedicated volunteers!). They then performed a series of stressful tasks all while maintaining their assigned facial expression. Those who smiles (even faking it), had lower heart rates than those who rocked neutral expressions. So, flash those pearly whites and your mood will follow.
16. Have that extra espresso
It could deliver more perks than just an energy jolt. Women who have less than 150mg of caffeine daily are 15% more likely to develop tinnitus (ringing in the ears) than those who savor at least 450 mg (about two to three cups), according to a Brigham and Women’s Hospital study. AM latte run, anyone?
17. Top your salad with salmon
Getting a tad tired of tuna? Consider this your impetus to mix it up. Canned salmon packs more than twice the amount of omega-3. And research proves getting more of this super nutrient is a very good thing. Eating omega-3 rich fatty fish at least twice a week lowers the risk of hearing loss in women by 20% and bolsters the entire cardiovascular system. Win!
18. Reach for paper towels
Strange but true: jet air dryers – the new high-powered models that dry your hands in seconds – spread 4.5 times more germs into the air than traditional warm air dryers and 27 times more than paper towels! Yikes! Drying after washing reduces your risk of transmitting microbes, so skipping it isn’t an option. Your best wellness-boosting bet? Reach for paper towels whenever possible!
19. Whip up your own tasty homemade dressing
Skip the not-so-healthy bottled stuff! You only need a handful of ingredients to bring out the best in your greens. Right now, we’re loving this creamy tahini dressing: simply combine 1 part apple cider vinegar, ½ part sesame oil, ½ part extra virgin olive oil and 1 part tahini plus a pinch of salt. Whisk together, then drizzle over your usual salads. Believe us, you’ll be coming back for seconds!
20. Beat allergies, naturally
Yes, it’s possible! A daily squirt of saline nasal spray not only helps subdue pesky allergies (it flushes irritants like mould and ragweed fast), but it may also help fight colds and other upper-respiratory bugs, according to Swedish research. So add one to your medicine cabinet, pronto!
Prevention Australia, April/May 2015