Sandy Getzky, the executive coordinating editor at The Global Nail Fungus Organization, a group committed to helping the 100+ million people suffering from finger and toenail fungus, and a registered Herbalist and member of the American Herbalist’s Guild composed the following article just for the Healthy Lombard blog. Thanks Sandy!
Hi, busy bee! Can you give me 5 minutes of your time? Yes? Great! I have good news for you then: you have the time you need to take care of your health. Yes, 5-minute time pockets are all you need to do something kind for yourself: strengthen and tone your muscles, prepare a nutritious lunch, recharge with a healthy snack, feed your brain, and so much more.
Five minutes in exchange for added protection from a myriad of stubborn illnesses and infections — such as coughs and colds, flu, nail fungus infection, digestive problems — which might take you days, weeks, or months to treat! Wouldn’t you agree that investing 300 seconds for your health is well worth it?
So here are 5 fun and quick 5-minute health hacks:
1. 5-minute plank challenge – This is my personal favorite, so it deserves the top spot on this list. Planking strengthens your glute, all your major core muscles, and your back.
Doing planks regularly will improve your ability to carry heavy objects, boost your metabolism, increase your flexibility and balance, and even benefit your brain.
A plank might look easy to pull off, but let me warn you: unless you are already working out regularly, you probably will not be able to successfully accomplish the 5-minute plank challenge on your first try.
But don’t take my word for it, try it out for yourself and find out. This video will guide you in the 5-minute plank challenge.
2. 5-minute recipes – Even if you are a novice in the kitchen, you can whip up something healthy and delicious in 5 minutes.
Eggs are a protein-rich and easy-to-make option — how about a salad made up of organic mixed greens, dried or fresh fruits, olives and feta cheese, topped with poached egg? Try a vegetable omelet or a whole wheat bagel topped with cream cheese, smoked salmon, egg, and chives.
Wraps are also a good idea — tacos, pita bread, nori sheets, Swiss chard, or lettuce wrapped around a colorful and nutritious filling can satisfy your hunger pangs in a healthy way.
3. 5-minute meditation – Deep breathing can help you release negative feelings, replenish your energy, boost your confidence, and lower your stress levels.
As you know, stress is the archenemy of your immune system — it releases the chemical called cortisol to your body. When a high cortisol level is sustained for prolonged periods or time, it then leads to inflammation, increased blood sugar levels, headaches, digestive problems, brain function impairment, among other things.
So here’s how you do the 5-minute stress-busting deep breathing meditation:
- Position yourself comfortably — seated on a chair or the floor with your back straight.
- Relax your body and release any tightness or tension that you feel.
- Start with your deep breathing — inhale through your nostrils (3 seconds), hold your breath (2 seconds), and then exhale through your mouth (4 seconds). Here’s a great tip: breath in as if you’re smelling the flowers, breath out as if you’re blowing out your birthday candles.
- As your mind wanders, focus on good and positive thoughts. Problems and stress — put them away from your mind, and think of the wonderful things you have going.
- Stay in this beautiful place for 5 minutes, continuing with your deep breathing.
- Optional: play calming music or diffuse the relaxing scent of lavender on the background.
Now, open your eyes and ease back into reality with renewed optimism and energy. Don’t you feel lighter already?
4. 5-minute acupressure routine – Instead of needles (used in acupuncture), acupressure makes use of fingers to press on certain sites of the body, called acupoints. The concept is based on traditional Chinese medicine belief that the body’s vital energy (qi) travels along these meridians.
By pressing the correct points, acupressure can be a quick solution to any health disorder — insomnia, fatigue, upset stomach, nausea, even emotional problems, such as depression, nervousness, and agitation.
Spend 5 minutes doing this acupressure routine to help revitalize your energy.
Use your thumb, middle finger, or index finger to massage these points in both directions.
- The base of the skull: the spot that is one finger width apart from the side of the spine (one minute)
- The area where the joint of the thumb and index finger are connected (one minute per side)
- The sole of your foot: around one-third away from your toes (one minute per side)
You can do another acupressure routine to relax yourself before going to sleep or whenever you feel discomfort in any part of your body. Check out these charts for your reference.
5. 5-minute conversation – Socializing comes with immense health benefits. It strengthens your immune system and increases your body’s defense versus illnesses. It stimulates your brain and promotes feelings of happiness and well-being. It also improves your concentration and productivity at work.
So take a 5-minute break, and phone a friend or a family member. Go out of your cubicle and engage with your colleagues. Have a Skype session with another human being.
Share a laugh — it releases endorphins — your body’s feel-good hormones — which can even temporarily relieve pain.
Apart from the above, there are still so many other ways you can use your next 5-minute break: stand up and stretch, walk or jog in place, drink more water or a refreshing smoothie, find out what’s happening in the real world, etc.
Make it your goal to use these time pockets wisely and you are going to gain the accumulated benefits of all these fun and quick healthy practices. So go on — have a break, and be healthy!
email@example.com (with Gravatar account)