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Healthy Changes You Can Make in MinutesHealthy Changes You Can Make in Minutes


Healthy Changes You Can Make in Minutes
Pack your lunch

Living a healthy lifestyle doesn't have to take a lot of time. Small actions here and there throughout the day add up to big results. Here are a few healthy changes you can make in minutes.

Do a wall sit or plank instead of browsing your social media account

Time: 1 minute

The day is filled with short one minute segments that allow you to squeeze in simple exercises like the plank or wall sit that will tone your core and strengthen your lower body. The next time you are put on hold during a call or wait for a webinar to start, get yourself into position and hold for 60 seconds.

Take a stress break instead of tackling the next issue

Time: 5 minutes

Taking short breaks to ease stress throughout the day can reduce your blood pressure and the urge for emotional eating. Sit at your desk, clear your mind and breath deeply, or step outside for a five minute walk. Give your mind the chance to escape from what is causing you stress and you can return to it refreshed with new ideas for problem solving.

Pack your lunch instead of heading out for fast food

Time: 15 minutes

It takes only 15 minutes in the evening to pack a healthy lunch for the next day. It will save you money and improve your nutrition. By having food ready to eat, you can also use the rest of your lunch hour for a short walk or stretching session. Throw together a salad, make a wrap or divide and package leftovers to reheat.

Exercise instead of watching television

Time: 20 minutes

It only takes 20 minutes of exercise three to seven days a week to stay healthy. The key is to pick up the intensity to get the heart rate elevated, build muscle, and burn calories. Try high-intensity circuit training (HICT) or create your own circuit that challenges you, but that is also a good match for your fitness level.

Cook dinner instead of waiting to be seated and served at a restaurant

Time: 25 minutes

Eating out may seem quick and convenient, but the commute, and waiting to be seated and served, takes longer than you think. There are many meals you can prepare at home in 25 minutes or less. Not only will you save time, but you will have better control over calories, fat, sugar, and sodium for a meal that keeps you on track to reach your goals. Try Fajita Bowls with Beef and Brown Rice, Black Bean and Chipotle Tacos, or Ginger Chicken Lettuce Wraps.

Go to sleep instead of browsing the Web

Time: 30 minutes

Getting seven to nine hours of sleep each night helps control spikes in stress hormones and the food cravings that result. Adequate sleep will also help you feel more rested and alert so that you will be ready for tomorrow’s challenging day while working towards maintaining a healthy weight. (See Sleep, Stress and Weight Loss.)

Lori Rice, M.S., is a nutritional scientist and author with a passion for healthy cooking, exercise physiology, and food photography.
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