The Good Life

It’s the new year – and it’s time to live more healthily. Th­ese tips from ex­perts take mere min­utes.

Simply Her (Singapore) - - Beauty News -

Morn­ing Fixes

• SHOWER SO­LU­TION

30 SEC­ONDS: Al­low your shower to run for half a minute be­fore you get in. Ac­cord­ing to re­search from the Univer­sity of Colorado, bac­te­ria can lurk in the shower head and spray out with the first burst of wa­ter – and get in­haled by you.

• EARLY BIRD

15 MIN­UTES: Get up early and go for a 15-minute brisk walk – but don’t call it ex­er­cise. Pro­fes­sor Adrian Tay­lor, a sports psy­chol­o­gist from Ex­eter Univer­sity, says the word is as­so­ci­ated with some­thing de­mand­ing and sweaty, whereas “phys­i­cal ac­tiv­ity” can be gen­tle, easy and fun. “Also, it’s eas­ier to be ac­tive when you’re fresh in the morn­ing, be­cause if you leave it un­til later in the day, there’s a risk you’ll be too tired to bother.”

Sci­en­tists re­ported in The Lancet in 2011 that even short bursts of phys­i­cal ex­er­tion, like brisk-walk­ing for 15 min­utes a day, can in­crease your life­span by three years.

• SUN­SHINE BREW

15 MIN­UTES: Have a morn­ing cuppa or read the news­pa­per while sit­ting be­side a win­dow. “Fif­teen min­utes of sun­light first thing in the morn­ing strength­ens your body’s sleep-wake cy­cle, so you’ll feel fresher for the rest of the day,” says Derk-Jan Dijk, a pro­fes­sor of sleep and phys­i­ol­ogy from the Univer­sity of Sur­rey.

• BEAT THE MUNCHIES

FIVE SEC­ONDS: Just 6g (a lit­tle over a tea­spoon­ful) of cin­na­mon sprin­kled over your ce­real can help lower and sta­bilise blood su­gar and keep hunger at bay through­out the day, re­ported the Amer­i­can Jour­nal of Clin­i­cal Nu­tri­tion.

Lunchtime Tac­tics

• SIT SMART

FOUR MIN­UTES: Sit­ting in the wrong po­si­tion for long pe­ri­ods while you work can cause pain in your neck, shoul­ders, back and legs. Just a few min­utes spent ad­just­ing your of­fice chair could save the day. For ad­vice (and a step-by-step video) on sit­ting cor­rectly, visit www.nhs.uk/ Livewell/work­place­health/Pages/how­tosit­cor­rectly.aspx.

• SMILE, PLEASE

30 MIN­UTES: Put a tiny part of your lunch break to good use – visit your den­tist. You should go at least once a year to en­sure that your teeth sparkle – and also to cut the risk of heart at­tack by 24 per cent and a stroke by 13 per cent.

Sci­en­tists have known for sev­eral years that the con­di­tion of teeth and gums is strongly linked to the like­li­hood of heart prob­lems. Not brush­ing prop­erly causes plaque to build up, which leads to gum disease. Bac­te­ria then en­ters the blood­stream via the gums, and this is thought to cause artery walls to be­come in­flamed, which can trig­ger heart at­tacks or strokes.

Lead re­searcher Emily Chen from the Vet­er­ans Gen­eral Hos­pi­tal in Tai­wan, whose team sur­veyed 100,000 adults over seven years, said in 2011 that they found “pro­tec­tion from heart disease and stroke was more pro­nounced in par­tic­i­pants who got tooth scal­ing at least once a year”.

• PRO­TEIN PUNCH

10 MIN­UTES: A pro­tein-rich lunch will give your body a steady sup­ply of en­ergy for the af­ter­noon, says nutritional ther­a­pist Ian Mar­ber. Add a hand­ful of nuts to a salad such as nicoise – which has a dou­ble pro­tein dose with eggs and tuna – so you won’t be crav­ing sweet snacks by mid-af­ter­noon.

• PELVIC POWER

TWO MIN­UTES: Three daily ses­sions of ton­ing your pelvic floor with ex­er­cises could im­prove your sex life and treat stress in­con­ti­nence (when urine leaks be­cause of sud­den ex­tra pres­sure on the blad­der, such as when you cough or laugh).

Tense the mus­cles you’d use to hold back the flow of urine for a count of three, then re­lax for the same length of time. (Do not do this while pass­ing urine). Start with 10 clenches, which should take around two min­utes, and build up to 20 over time.

“Sim­ply not­ing ev­ery evening what you’ve eaten that day could help dou­ble your weight loss.”

Evening Ideas

• DEAR DI­ARY

TWO MIN­UTES: Sim­ply not­ing ev­ery evening what you’ve eaten that day could help dou­ble your weight loss. A six-month study of 1,700 peo­ple in the United States in 2008 found that those who kept food diaries lost 8kg, , while whi those who didn’t only lost 4kg. g.

• ROLL AWAY PAIN

FIVE MIN­UTES: A ten­nis ball could ease pain, says Dr Rick Seah, con­sul­tant in sports and ex­er­cise medicine from the Pure Sports Medicine clin­ics in Lon­don. “For back­ache, lie on the ten­nis ball and move it around un­der the painful area,” he sug­gests. “For neck pain, stand against a wall, put the ball be­hind your neck and move the ball around the painful area for five to 10 min­utes.”

The pres­sure in­creases blood flow to the area, bring­ing more oxy­gen and nu­tri­ents to aid re­pair. It also helps re­lease en­dor­phins, the body’s nat­u­ral painkillers.

• LOG OFF

TWO SEC­ONDS: Turn­ing off a lap­top and mo­bile phone at least an hour be­fore bed­time could make for a more peace­ful night’s sleep. Har­vard re­searchers found that blue light emit­ting from th­ese de­vices can sup­press mela­tonin pro­duc­tion and al­ter sleep pat­terns.

• STRETCH AWAY

FIVE MIN­UTES: Stretch­ing be­fore bed and breath­ing deeply will help re­lax and pre­pare your body for sleep. “Your mus­cles hold ten­sion even if you’ve been sit­ting all day,” says per­sonal trainer Jean-Pierre De Vil­liers. “Stretch­ing sig­nals your body that it’s time to wind down. Over time, your sleep could be­come deeper and more en­er­gis­ing.”

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