- Exercise & Fitness
It Only Takes a Minute to Boost Your Energy
TIME FOR ROSEMARY
Lost your keys? Too tired to concentrate on anything? Hold a bottle of rosemary essential oil under one nostril – pressing the other nostril closed. Breathe in deeply, repeat on the other side, and feel your head start to clear – it can help to refreshing your memory, too.
Ancient wisdom tells us that if you’re feeling stressed, there’s a blockage in your energetic system. To release the blockage, try tapping with two or three fingers on the ‘karate chop point’ of your hand – the soft spot just below the little finger. Focus on what you feel stressed about as you tap – it’s really simple, quick and powerful and can release he blockage.
PUMP THOSE CALVES
Sitting for long periods slows blood circulation and can lead to a pooling of fluid in the legs. This 60-seconds leg exercise, done once an hour, can increase circulation, reduces the risk of swelling of the ankles or clots in veins.
Stand up, and then rise up onto your toes – this activates the calf pump pushing blood from the veins into your thighs and pelvis. Now squat down three times if you can to activate the thigh muscles – if you can’t try marching on the spot for three muscles – if you can’t try marching on the spot for three steps on each side, lifting your knee up to the same level as your hip.
SKIP FOR SIXTY
Keep a skipping rope handy and do a minute every time you pass it. You ‘II burn eleven calories, and research suggests that short, sharp and vigorous bursts of exercise are better at keeping your heart healthy than longer less strenuous sessions.
ATTACK THE SNACK
Take a minute to re-evaluate if you need that snack you’re just about to tuck into. Researchers at Birmingham University found that thinking back to what you ate for lunch could stop you from beginning on an afternoon snacks. Subjects in the study were told they were taste-testing popcorn – and the group asked to recall what they’d eaten for lunch ate 30% less popcorn than those who weren’t asked.
Are you digitally addicted? If you use your phone in bed, you’re risking sleeping nights. Your brain becomes so bogged down with mental processing, you won’t be able to wind down. Instead, try shutting off all devices at least an hour before sleep. Create a dedicated charging station (not the bedroom) for all your devices – spend a minute gathering them up and put them all there every evening.
Do this 60-second stretch every 30 minutes to reduce neck and back pain. Sit up straight in your chair. Turn your head to the right, then left, look down, then stretch your arms up. Next, inhale, and as you exhale, twist to the left and grab the back of the chair with your left hand and the arm of the chair with the right, aiming to look behind you.
Repeat on the other side. it relaxes the back and neck, and stretches the muscles the supporting the spine, plus it gives internal organs a flush from toxins.
Finish off a meal with a natural tooth cleanser, such as an apple, raw carrot, celery or popcorn. They’re known as ‘detergent’ foods, because the uneven fringe acts as a cleaner to separate bacteria from teeth.
BLOW ME DOWN!
Got an attack of nerves with a fast, fluttery heartbeat? Try blowing your thumb like it’s a trumpet. Closing your mouth and nose and blowing refreshing the vagus nerve that helps control heart rate and slows it down.
COUNT YOURSLEF LUCKY
Expressing gratitude has a number of benefits for our mental and physical well-being. Studies at the University of California showed that people who counted their blessings once a week head fever headaches, tummy upsets, better sleep and less fatigue. So spending 60 seconds each day writing down things you’re grateful for may help you feel happier and could also cut down your trips to the GP.
HOLD YOUR TONGUE
Press your tongue against the roof of your month, then relax it towards the bottom of your mouth. It reduces pressure in the jaw, a cause of headaches.
Mess saps your energy. Every day time you boil a kettle, take a minute to tidy as many things as you can from a kitchen surface. You’ll be surprised how it energizes you.
EXERCISE YOUR EARS
Play a piece of music, at a volume that allows you to carry on a conversation, and spend a minute singling out a single instrument as you listen. By getting your brain to focus on one sound while filtering out others – similar to listening to speech in a noisy environment – you’re training the auditory processing centers in the brain to maintain good hearing.
Clinical trials have shown that nuts (especially walnuts, pistachios and almonds) can help lower cholesterol. Research from Harvard University indicates that people who eat nuts daily live longer. Toast a couple of handfuls of fresh nuts and sprinkle them on salads, cereals, porridge and yogurt or bag them for snacking.
Tummy problems and cramps? Do the Garland Pose (or Yogi Squat). Stand with both feet together, extend your arms in front of you at shoulder height and parallel to the floor.
Take a deep breath in and as you breathe out, slowly lower yourself into a squat with your hips just off the ground. Open your knees slightly wider than your torso, trying to keep your heels on the floor (if that’s not possible put a rolled up towel under your heels to help).
Now press your elbows inside your inner knees and bring your palms together, feeling the resistance between knees and elbows. Hold the position for up to one minute. As well as eating tummy cramps, this pose strengthens and bring flexibility to knees, ankles and lower back and improves hip mobility.
DO ‘THE MINDFUL MINUTE’
First, work out the number of breaths you normally take in a minute. Once you have your figure, remember it and you can practice a Mindful Minute during the day. Settle your attention on your breath and count each in-and-out breath up to the number you determined.’ It’s a great way to lower stress.
AN APPLE A DAY…….
Headache looming? Sniff – or eat-an apple. One study found that people with migraine who sniffed a green apple found their pain reduced. A spiced apple scent has also been found to reduce blood pressure.
READY, STEADY, TOE!
Aching feet? ‘Scatter dried beans on the floor and pick them up with your toes. It stimulates tired feet.
This yoga method can bring down blood pressure and calm you into sleep. Lie in bed on your left side, resting a thumb or finger on your right nostril to close it. Then engage in long, slow, deep breathing entirely through the left nostril. It’s recommended if overheating or menopausal hot flushes cause sleep difficulties.