One-minute solutions to improving your health – CNN.com

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(cnn)  If you’re the type of person who is constantly wondering where the day went, you probably jump for joy whenever you read about short workouts, even 5 minutes long, that improve health.

The best news of all is that it’s not the only way in which you can improve your well-being in a brief amount of time. Some take even less.

 

Here are ten ways to boost your health in just one minute:

 

Hug

 

1.  There’s nothing quite like a good hug. And while a warm embrace certainly makes us feel happier and more relaxed, there are also physical health benefits of hugging, like lower blood pressure and heart rate.

 

 

Laughter

 

2.  There’s a good reason laughter has a reputation for being the best medicine. Not only is it one of the body’s natural stress relievers, it also mimics (at least a little) some of the physiological responses in the body to physical activity.

 

 

Chocolate3.  The natural plant compounds in cocoa can protect the heart in a whole number of ways, from lowering blood pressure, raising levels of “good” cholesterol while lowering the “bad” and even helping with circulation. There’s some evidence to suggest chocolate can also help ward off diabetes and protect the skin. Now that’s sweet news.

 

 

Think positive4.  A little optimism goes a long way. Looking on the bright side has been associated with a healthier heart and a stronger immune system, so next time you’re voicing a complaint, take a minute to reframe those thoughts.

 

Standing Up5.  If you work at a desk job — or even if you’re just a tech fan outside of the office — you probably spend a fair amount of time in front of screens. But all that computer time 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.

 

6.  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.

 

Skin Protection7.  Nearly 5 million Americans are treated for skin cancer each year, and sun exposure is one of the biggest causes of the disease. Yet it hardly takes any time at all to lather up against harmful UV rays. To cover yourself completely, aim to use about an ounce of the stuff if most of your skin is exposed.

 

8.  A daily one-minute plank is a classic fitness challenge you’ve probably seen hashtagged on your Facebook or Instagram feeds. Join the trend and you’ll benefit from a stronger midsection, which can help ward off back pain and improve posture.

 

Smile

 

9.  It’s no surprise that people who smile a lot are usually happy people.  Even if you’re feeling stressed, faking a smile can eventually make you feel more at ease — and it only takes a moment.

 

 

Hand wash

 

10.  Take 20 seconds to really wash your hands. Simple practices like these can lower the number of people who get colds and other respiratory illnesses by 21%

 

 

 

 

 

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