5-Minute Tips for Better Health

16th, 2012
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If you have only 5 extra minutes in your day, try these simple tips to look and feel better.
• Enjoy a cup of coffee. Research studies show that caffeine keeps heart rhythm steady, and strengthens your ticker.
• Pamper your neglected joints. Mix some lemon juice with a little pure cream and sugar. Rub this gently all over your elbows and knees. The Vitamin C in lemon lightens skin, the cream moisturizes it, and the sugar exfoliates.
• Spend five extra minutes on chewing your food—aim for 20 seconds per bite. The Red Cross warns in its booklet on cardiopulmonary resuscitation that bolting food is a common cause of windpipe obstruction and clogged coronaries. Taking small, slow bites kickstarts your digestive juices even before the food reaches your stomach. Besides, it makes you mindful of what you are eating, so you tend to eat less, and feel less stressed.
• Sip a tall glass of warm water, slowly. It is an excellent way to get the toxins on their way out of your body.
• Practice real breathing. When you inhale, try to breathe into your diaphragm. This will give more oxygen to your brain and lungs and lend a glow to your skin. Do it for just 10 minutes twice a day, and you will feel the difference.
• Trim your toenails. Besides making you feel cleaner, spending time with your body will also boost self-image
5 Ways to Wind Down Your Evening
Hand massage with a lovely essential oil: Choose from among lavender, chamomile, neroli, sandalwood and ylang ylang, all of which are known to promote restful sleep. Pour 2 to 3 drops of your chosen oil into a small bottle of a ‘carrier’ oil such as almond or sesame oil, and gently massage it all over your hands. Uncork the bottle and inhale the aroma. You will feel incredibly relaxed.
Soft, soothing lights: Invest some time and attention on the lighting in your home. It can make a dramatic difference to the way you feel in the evening. In rhythm with nature, our bodies crave low light in the evening, but we deny them that need by surrounding ourselves with bright lights. A dimmer switch, a set of lovely candles…simple luxuries that will take all your stress away.
A bowl of cherries: guess what. A small bunch of cherries can help you sleep better. That’s because cherries are one of the only natural sources of melatonin, which promotes sleep. You can also take them along on a plane journey—rest assured, you’ll have a stress-free flight.
A snug pillow: is your pillow hypoallergenic? When did you last change it? How well does it hug your head and cradle your neck? A good-quality pillow is not a luxury, it’s an essential buy—but yes, it can make you sleep like royalty.
A warm soak: just the thought of relaxing in a warm bath is enough to make me sigh. As far as I am concerned, its health benefits–better circulation and relief from aches and pains are only a bonus. The real comfort is in the way the gentle water soothes your mind and restores your spirits.
An uplifting book: I love to go to bed with books such as Simple Abundance by Sarah Ban Breathnach, (even though it’s described as a ‘daybook’ of comfort and joy), all of Alexandra Stoddard’s elegant books, and sometimes even a beautiful childrens’ book that brings home a simple but powerful message. Just perfect for helping me sleep on a positive note.

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