How to Gain Better Health in Minutes

Caring for yourself and your loved ones can be accomplished in as few as 60 seconds. Sound too good to be true? Not according to the Centers for Disease Control, which offers these easy-to-implement strategies.

How To Get Healthier In 5 Minutes

In 1 Minute or Less You Can:

  • Wash Your Hands. Washing your hands properly involves five easy steps: Wet your hands with clean running water, lather your hands (front and back, between fingers, under nails), scrub your hands for at least 20 seconds (humming the Happy Birthday song twice from beginning to end is 20 seconds), rinse your hands well under clean running water, and air-dry your hands or use a clean towel to dry them.
  • Wear Sun Protection EVERY Day. Even when it’s cloudy, the sun’s UVA and UVB rays can cause skin damage when they reach the earth. UVA rays are responsible for skin aging and can penetrate clouds, smog and glass. UVB rays are the ones that tan or burn your skin and can cause immediate damage. The solution? Wear sunscreen, seek shade and wear sun-safe clothing to help lower your risk for sunburn and skin cancer.
  • Buckle Up for Safety. Lower the risk for motor vehicle-related injuries by making sure everyone is properly restrained in safety seats or safety belts. If your passengers are age 12 or under, they should be buckled up and sit in the rear seat of your vehicle using a restraint system that’s appropriate for their age and size.
  • Know What You’re Eating. Read the labels on the foods you buy to determine the ingredients and how much fat, cholesterol, sodium, sugar, protein, carbs and other ingredients are in the product. And pay attention to the serving size so you don’t eat more calories than you need for the day.
  • Protect Your Hearing. Hearing loss can result when the structures and/or nerve fibers in the inner ear that respond to sound are damaged due to excessively loud sounds. Use hearing protection, such as earplugs and earmuffs, to help lower your risk of noise-induced hearing loss when you can’t lower noise to a safe level.

 

In 5 Minutes or Less You Can:

  • Test Your Alarms and Detectors. Check or replace the battery in your smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors when you change the time on your clocks each spring and fall. If your locale doesn’t change time, check or replace your batteries on the first day of spring and the first day of autumn. If the alarm or detector sounds at any time, leave your home immediately and call 911.
  • Check Your Skin. If you haven’t always been vigilant about wearing sun protection (see our 1-minute tip above), you need to check your skin regularly for discolorations or other skin changes. If you see anything suspicious, contact your dermatologist.
  • Take a Time Out. If you think you’re getting sick or feel stressed, take a nap, drink more water or have a little alone time, which can do wonders for rejuvenating your body, mind and spirit.
  • Know Your Numbers. What’s your body mass index (BMI) and cholesterol level? What’s your blood pressure? These numbers and others can give you a read on your risk for certain diseases and conditions, such as heart disease, diabetes, obesity and more. Ask your health care provider what tests you need and how often you should be tested. If your numbers are too high or too low, your provider can recommend changes to help you attain better health.

 

In More than 5 Minutes You Can:

  • Get Up and Move. Engaging in activities that raise your breathing and heart rate and that strengthen your muscles and bones do wonders for your physical and emotional health. All it takes is a minimum of 2½ hours a week. Set a good example for the youngsters in your life who can benefit from being active for at least 1 hour a day.
  • Be Prepared. When an emergency strikes, you and your loved ones need to know what to do and where to go in your home to remain safe. Having an escape plan in case of fire or other emergency is just one item you can cover during in-home family preparedness drills. Get everyone involved, and practice your drills on a regular basis to keep the information fresh in everyone’s mind.
  • Know Your Family’s Health History. If you have a close relative with heart disease, diabetes or cancer, you could have an increased risk for developing that disease. Write down the health conditions of each family member so you’ll have accurate information to share during your next appointment with your health care provider. Family health history can help your provider determine which tests and screenings would be beneficial to lower the risk for diseases that run in your family.
  • Get Involved. Do you know the people your children hang out with? What about those friends’ parents? Engage in conversation, participate in activities and spend some time with these folks to see if they’re having a positive influence on your children in a safe environment. And while you’re at it, talk to your kids about how to protect themselves from people and situations that could do them harm.
  • Pack Right. When taking a trip, pack items that you and your family need to stay healthy and safe. This includes prescription medications, sunscreen, insect repellent and basic first-aid items.

 

It takes as few as 60 seconds to stay healthy and well. How have tips like these helped you and your loved ones remain well? Let us know!

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