Whether it’s eating well or getting the right amount of exercise, staying healthy can often be time consuming. But it doesn’t necessarily have to be.
We’ve partnered with MinuteClinic, the medical clinics inside CVS/pharmacy stores, to bring you a list of quick and easy things you can do to be just a bit healthier. You have no excuse -- each of these items literally takes less than 60 seconds to complete.
Stretch When You Get Out Of Bed
After hours of lying still (or mostly still) throughout the night, it’s important to stretch your muscles upon beginning your day. You’ll shake off your morning grogginess, improve your flexibility and get your blood flowing. It’s easy to start: just reach your arms above your head, stand on your toes for a few seconds and reap the benefits immediately.
Give Your Eyes A Screen Break
Staring at a computer screen all day puts incredible strain on your eyes. An easy way to help prevent this strain is to follow the 20-20-20 rule. Every 20 minutes, avert your gaze from the screen and look at something 20 feet away -- for at least 20 seconds. This gives your eyes a nice break from the glare and will help you stay focused throughout the day.
Use Moisturizer With SPF
No matter the time of year, your skin can be damaged by the sun’s rays. To help protect against skin cancer and early skin aging, the American Cancer Society recommends using a broad spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of 15 or higher in combination with other sun protection measures.
Brushing your teeth isn’t the only thing necessary for a healthy mouth. Adding a thorough floss to your daily oral hygiene routine is an easy way to help prevent gum disease and cavities, ensure fresh breath and keep your dentist smiling and happy.
Brush Your Tongue
Another way to keep your mouth in tip-top shape is to brush your tongue. When you’ve finished brushing your teeth, use your toothbrush to scrape the bacteria and plaque from your tongue, from back to front. This will only take a few seconds, but it will do wonders for your oral health … and your breath!
Wash Your Hands
It’s especially important to wash your hands during cold and flu season, when germs run amuck. You should scrub your hands with soap for at least 20 seconds to ensure you are truly getting clean. One easy trick? Recite the alphabet to ensure you're scrubbing for the correct amount of time.
Get A Flu Shot
Getting a shot isn’t the most pleasant thing, but if it can keep you from getting ill, isn’t it worth it? The CDC recommends that everyone over the age of 6 months get vaccinated. The vaccine can take about two weeks to take effect, so don’t wait until the last minute.
Drink Plenty of Water
According to the Institute of Medicine, men need roughly 13 cups of fluids per day and women need about 9 cups. Now: This doesn’t mean you have to slug it all at once. Since food provides about 20 percent of your total water intake, eight glasses of water should work just fine. So remember: sips here and there throughout the day will go a long way.
Use Hand Sanitizer After Sneezing And Coughing
Yes, this is important to do year-round, but it’s especially important during cold and flu season. If you don't have a tissue handy, follow the guidelines set by the CDC and sneeze or cough into your elbow. If you cover your mouth with your hand, do yourself and those around you a favor by using hand sanitizer. Hand sanitizer should have an alcohol level of at least 60 percent to be effective.
Hug A Friend
Hugs are not just a way to say hello to your loved ones. They’re good for you, too. Numerous studies have pointed to the health benefits of hugs, which include being a natural stress reliever and a way to lower blood pressure.
Turn Down the Volume
Listening to music too loudly can have serious long-term effects on your hearing. Osteopathic physician James Foy told CNN that it’s best to follow the "60-60" rule when concerning headphones. He suggests listening to music no louder than 60 percent of the maximum volume for no more than 60 minutes a day.
Focus On Your Breathing
When you feel yourself getting stressed, taking a few deep breaths has been proven to have calming effects. In addition to relieving stress, deep breaths have also been shown to alleviate anxiety and negative emotions, as well as lower blood pressure.
MinuteClinic brings convenient medical care to your neighborhood inside select CVS/pharmacy® stores. We are open 7 days a week, including evenings and weekends with no appointment necessary and most insurance accepted. Our nurse practitioners offer services to keep you and your family healthy. In addition to diagnosing and treating illnesses, injuries and skin conditions, they also provide vaccinations, physicals, screenings and monitoring for chronic conditions.