Health

6 Ways to Take Your Health Back if You’ve Been Slipping Up

It's never too late!

With the current challenges we all face, who isn’t letting some health habits slide? Here, we share the tips that get you back on track — fast!

Too much screen time? Stroll around your yard barefoot.

If you’re like us, more time spent at home means extra hours staring at your computer, watching the news on TV or using your
smartphone to catch up with friends on social media. But too much blue light emitted from electronic devices and eye-strain can leave your head throbbing.

To the rescue: a barefoot stroll through your yard or along a softly pebbled path. This stimulates acupressure points in your feet that prod your body to release painkilling endorphins, which Columbia University scientists say soothes headache pain by 42 percent in 10 minutes.

Feeling groggy? Gaze out your window.

When you first wake up, throw open your curtains and spend a few moments soaking up the pretty scene outside your window. Watching trees sway in the breeze, birds flit about or squirrels scurry across the grass for just 5 minutes stimulates the area of
the brain responsible for churning out energizing dopamine, something University of Washington scientists say supercharges your energy for up to 3 hours.

Missed some sleep? Pull your shoulders back.

Whether you got caught up in a Netflix binge or stayed up after your bedtime on a phone call with your sister, a late night can leave you feeling sluggish and drained the next day. Thankfully, a quick posture shift is all it takes to send your energy soaring.

Investigators reporting in the Journal of Behavior Therapy and Experimental Psychiatry found that sitting or standing up straight, with your chin up and shoulders pulled back, reduces feelings of tiredness by as much as 122 percent in just 5 minutes. Turns out an upright posture prods your body to churn out thyroid-stimulating hormones that quickly recharge your batteries.

Skipped breakfast? Admire yourself.

You already know breakfast keeps your weight in check since a healthy morning meal wards off junkfood cravings for hours. But when your morning slips away from you without a meal, and a bag of chips starts calling your name, take a moment to glance
in the mirror, and you’ll be significantly more likely to reach for an apple. A study in the Journal of the Association for Consumer Research found that looking at yourself reminds you of your goals to stay healthy, making junk food less appealing.

Overdid it? Snack on juicy raspberries.

Whether you’re sore from a new exercise routine or you spent extra time weeding over the weekend, aches can put a damper
on your day. Thankfully, snacking on a cup of raspberries eases ouches more effectively. than OTC painkillers, Australian scientists say. The red gems are packed with a pigment called cyanidin, which curbs the body’s production of pain-triggering compounds to ease soreness.

Overindulged? Massage here.

Enjoyed a few too many peanut butter cups? We’ve all been there. When your GI system gets bogged down, it can cause bloat, cramps, and constipation. But British scientists say
massaging your abdomen reduces constipation by 55 percent and improves your overall gut function by 29 percent by boosting blood flow, which speeds digestion.

To do: Simply glide your fingertips across your stomach in a
slow, circular motion for 5 minutes.

This article originally appeared in our print magazine.

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