Scientists are learning more about how our body works. Studies show that some simple habits can help you feel healthier and look better in a relatively short time. Rusbase.
We do not promise fantastic results: the human body is a complex and amazing mechanism, and these tips will not turn you into a Hollywood superhero. But if you start to implement them today, you can evaluate the results in a month.
- Moving is the easiest and most effective way to become healthier.
Even a minute of regular intense exercise can increase your fitness level. Movement will quickly change your body and may reduce your risk of death.
“After two to four weeks of exercise, the nervous system contracts muscles much more efficiently,” Robert Newton, director of the Research Institute for Physical Medicine at Edith Cowen University, said recently in an interview with the Australian newspaper Nine News.
Scientists have found out: it doesn’t matter what kind of sport you do, just move regularly and your heart, muscles and mind will become healthier.
Even a few minutes of weekly charging will help. Recent studies at McMaster University have shown that just three 20-second series of vigorous exercises will help improve a person's physical fitness by 20% in three months (changes begin in a month).
Lead author of the study, Martin Gibala, called this approach “one-minute training.” But actually it’s 10 minutes of exercise three times a week: two minutes of warm-up, three minutes of rest and three intense 20-second running sessions.
“This is how athletes who are already in excellent physical condition and want to support it train,” Gibala said in an interview with CBC. “This is a good way to quickly improve your health.”
- Cut back on salted and processed foods
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), most Americans consume 50% more than their daily salt intake. Over time, this affects the body: when there is too much salt in the blood, it is difficult for the kidneys to excrete unnecessary substances, and blood pressure can increase.
Instead of savory snacks, try eating whole foods such as bananas and avocados, which contain a lot of potassium - a natural antidote to sodium, which affects blood pressure.
Other flavor enhancers such as lemon juice and herbs can be included in the diet. Whichever strategy you choose, avoid processed foods, which not only contain a lot of hidden salt, but also increase your chances of getting cancer.
On the subject: 4 most effective habits for every day, helping to prolong youth
- Make friends with fiber
Fiber-rich foods maintain a more stable energy level than fast sugars or high-carb snacks. Thanks to fiber, you are less likely to feel hunger, and the digestive system is working properly.
Whole grains, fruits, nuts, and vegetables are high in fiber. Many of the highest fiber foods have a low glycemic index, which will help avoid spikes in blood sugar.
- Develop a regimen that will allow you to sleep seven to eight hours
Sleep-deprived people are more likely to have an accident or get sick. In addition, lack of sleep is an additional source of stress for the heart. Increasingly, poor sleep is linked to cancer. The World Health Organization warns that disrupting sleep patterns while working night shifts can lead to cancer, such as colon, breast or prostate cancer.
Just a week without enough sleep, that is, four hours a day sleep for six consecutive nights, and your blood sugar will rise so much that doctors can diagnose your prediabetes.
- Drink more water (and maybe even coffee)
Up to 60% of an adult's body consists of water. It is not surprising that its use in sufficient quantities brings a lot of health benefits. Liquid helps the body effectively remove unwanted substances, stay energetic, sweat and pump blood more easily.
Plus, it will help you lose weight. A 2016 study of more than 18 US residents found that those who drank more water were consistently in a good mood and consumed fewer calories, sugar, fat, salt, and cholesterol daily.
Another relatively small study in 2015 showed that people who drank enough water 30 minutes before meals could lose more than 2 kg in three months.
Drinking coffee can make your heart healthier, as well as reduce your risk of type XNUMX diabetes and some cancers (if you drink it in moderation). The myth that a couple of cups of coffee can contribute to dehydration has been debunked.
- To improve complexion, moisturize, protect and exfoliate your skin properly
The best way to care for your skin in the summer is to protect it from aggressive sunlight. Many dermatologists advise starting the day with a moisturizing cream with Sanskrin, which at the same time will keep your skin young and help prevent cancer.
Dermatologist Kathleen Suozzi of Yale Medical School says there are other ways to quickly improve your complexion. She recommends weekly alpha hydroxy acid peel pads followed by a hyaluronic acid moisturizer. The specialist advises to include an antioxidant serum in your daily routine: you should apply it either before moisturizing during the day, or on a clean face before bed.
Of course, all these are only assumptions.
“There is not a single magic solution that is perfect for everyone,” says Suozzi.
It takes a month or more for new skin cells to appear, so the results of any new procedure will have to wait at least a few weeks.
On the subject: 10 essential anti-aging products for a woman
- Watch not only your body, but also your mood
Studies show that two 50-minute aerobics classes per week is enough to significantly boost your mood.
Want to relieve stress? Exercise can cause a rapid increase in endorphins, as well as improve your mood in the long run.
In one study, 39 women participated in a 50-minute aerobics training twice a week for three months. Scientists found that by the end of the experiment, the mood of the group improved significantly: women were more optimistic, less anxious and more confident.
And vice versa: according to the results of the Wisconsin long-term study, which involved more than 7 thousand people over two decades, it turned out that older people tend to become more irritable if their physical activity decreases with age. In other words, lazy people become less pleasant, less impressionable and more negative.
- Try to meditate
The scientific studies of meditation are still developing, but if you want to reduce anxiety, keep pressure under control or reduce stress, you can try this method.
The US National Institutes of Health states that, according to reports, "meditation can reduce blood pressure, symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome, anxiety and depression, and insomnia."
If you are interested in this topic, the journalist Dan Harris 10% Happier has some simple tips on how to start meditating.
- Sleep after lunch to increase productivity
The desire to sleep at about two in the afternoon is quite natural: this is one of two daily periods of minimal human activity. At this time, people tend to feel more sleepy and cold. The second period of minimal activity occurs around three in the morning, so you may not notice it.
If you want to spend the day with maximum benefit, try a cup of coffee and then take a nap for 20 minutes. This is a short period of time so as not to wake up sleepy, and it is enough for caffeine to act.
Short sleep has been proven to help night-shift air traffic controllers stay alert. One small study of 10 Japanese students showed that a 20-minute nap after a cup of coffee increases the speed of reaction to computer tasks within an hour after waking up.
- Remember that sometimes feeling bad is normal
Being emotionally honest and kind to yourself is good for mental health.
Studies conducted in 2017 with the participation of more than a thousand people showed that those who accepted their negative emotions and thoughts more (and condemned themselves less) were less likely to suffer from depression or anxiety months later.
Scientists believe that the adoption of all their emotional states helps to refrain from a repeated reaction that exacerbates negative experiences.
- Visualize the best version of yourself every week.
Students who imagined that they felt great and worked well did really well and felt better.
A 1998 study, which was attended by nearly 300 high school students, showed that adolescents who “imagined they were successful as a result of hard work” had better academic success and more persistence.
Another study, which was attended by more than 60 students, showed that their mood improved after they constantly presented their “best version of themselves” for a month.
Here's how the authors advised doing this: “Imagine yourself in the future when everything works out in the best possible way. You have worked hard and succeeded in achieving all your life goals. Think of it as the realization of your desires and your potential ... You choose the best scenario for your life to help you make decisions now. You may never have thought of yourself like that before, but studies show that it can have a strong positive effect on your mood and life satisfaction. ”
- Work on relationships to stay healthy
It is very important to maintain the closest partnership with others. To date, this is best proven by the results of an 80-year study of more than 250 men who were Harvard sophomores during the Great Depression. Later, their descendants also participated in the study. It turned out that close, caring relationships were more important for long-term happiness than wealth, intelligence, or even genetics.
“Good relationships protect not only our body, they protect our brain,” said Robert Waldinger, head of research in his speech at TED. - And this relationship does not have to be smooth all the time. Some of our eighty-year-old couples could quarrel with each other day after day, but as long as they felt that they really could count on each other in a difficult situation, these disputes did not affect their memories. ”
A German study published in May also showed that people who helped others over the course of a year or spent more time with friends and family significantly increased their level of life satisfaction.
Whatever new habits you try this month, remember that major changes take time. Forming a habit in three weeks is a myth: studies show that it can actually take from a couple of weeks to more than 250 days.
Habits expert Wendy Wood at the 2014 American Psychological Association Conference said: “Behavior is easier to maintain if it is repeated in a specific context.”
Therefore, choose a specific time of the day (for example, immediately after the rise) or a specific place (for example, a gym or a nearby park) to help yourself consolidate new activities in familiar conditions.
Yale psychologist John Barg told Business Insider that no matter what the class, it's important to stick to your own schedule.
“Don't make promises that you can't keep in mind or body,” he said. "It's a relationship like any other, and you have to trust yourself."