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American doctor Michael Mosley has unveiled a list of 16 little habits he adopts every day to stay healthy and improve his life. Take a nap after lunch, eat an apple a day…why don’t you try it too?

You don’t have to turn your life upside down to feel better. Small changes can bring big benefits in terms of improved mood, sleep, brain acuity and reduced risk of disease“explains Dr. Michael Mosley in the Times.

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In his book from the podcast he hosts on the BBC, Michael Mosley brings together simple and easy to apply advice every day. According to him, the ideas presented in his book ‘Just One Thing: How Simple Changes Can Transform Your Life’ are “all quick and easy, scientifically proven ways to sustainably improve health and well-being. The advantage of starting with small changes – doing only one thing differently – is that you say to yourself: ‘OK, I can do this’.

1. Drink 1 to 3 cups of coffee a day (but not when you wake up!)

Rich in flavonoids and antioxidants, coffee would be good for the heart and the brain according to many experts. However, you should delay your first cup because coffee is not good for the body right after waking up. At this time, your levels of cortisol (the stress hormone) are high and in addition to raising blood sugar, coffee will not be as effective.

2. Get up for a few minutes every hour

Many jobs include long hours of sitting today. A sedentary lifestyle increases the risk of developing many diseases, including type 2 diabetes. If you sit for long periods of time, your body functions in slow motion. So try to “wake up” your body by standing for 2 to 3 minutes every hour.

3. Relax with heart coherence in minutes

There cardiac coherence is a relaxation method based on breathing accessible to all. By practicing Heart Coherence for a few minutes each day, you can slow your heart rate, lower your blood pressure, lower your stress levels, and combat anxiety. A recent study even highlighted the positive effects of slow breathing on pain.

4. Eat oily fish twice a week

Oily fish contain omega-3 which reduce chronic inflammation. According to some research, these fatty acids also reduce the risk of cancer and dementia. Little trick to identify fish rich in omega-3 and memorize them: SMASH (salmon, mackerel, anchovies, sardines, herring).

5. Take a short nap in the early afternoon

A nap lasting 20 to 30 minutes after lunch, according to the doctor, would be good for the heart. A study has also associated occasional naps with a 48% lower risk of suffering from a heart attack, stroke and heart failure.

6. Do 2 minutes of squats and push-ups every day

From the age of 30, your muscle mask gradually decreases. Squats and push-ups allow you to develop your muscles effectively on a daily basis. Perform about 20 repetitions of each everyday.

7. Spend a few hours in nature every week

Immersing yourself in green spaces boosts morale, reduces stress and anxiety! But the benefits don’t stop there, as spending time in nature is also good for the immune system. To make the most of your excursion, use all your senses: look, listen, smell, touch…

8. Eat an apple a day

“An apple a day keeps the doctor away”. This old saying still holds true! Eating an apple (unpeeled) helps lower blood pressure thanks to the flavonoids it contains in its skin. Apples are also recommended in case of cholesterol or diabetes.

9. Take a brisk walk as soon as you wake up

According to Dr. Mosley, practicing fast walk within the first two hours after waking up can help you sleep better at night. Natural light is beneficial for your biological clock and working your heart in the morning contributes to good cardiovascular health.

10. Finish your shower with 10 seconds of cold water

A team of researchers in the Netherlands carried out a trial in 2015 to observe the effects of a daily cold shower on health. Out of 3,000 volunteers, those who took a cold shower every morning took 30% less sick leave during the month of the experiment than those in the control group who washed in hot water.

You don’t need to take a totally cold shower to reap the benefits, a few seconds are all it takes. Gradually, you can increase the time up to one minute for optimal effect.

11. Sing 5 minutes a day

Singing is a very easy and quick way to boost your mood. Within minutes, stress and anxiety levels can be reduced. Singing will stimulate endocannabinoid receptors, similar to those found in cannabis. Singing would therefore also be effective in relieving pain.

12. Stand on one leg when brushing your teeth to improve balance

Did you know that falls are the second leading cause of accidental death worldwide after road accidents? As you age, balance abilities decrease but it is possible to compensate by practicing yoga or tai chi, for example. You can also take advantage of the 2 minutes of brushing your teeth to improve your balance and reduce the risk of falls.

13. Add bacteria to your breakfast to boost your mood

THE fermented foods such as sauerkraut, kombucha or kefir are very good for the intestinal microbiota. Nicknamed the “second brain”, it influences not only our mood but also our stress levels. So, it’s important to pamper it with good bacteria in the morning.

14. Bet on indoor plants

Indoor plants are renowned for their many virtues other than their beauty. In particular, they reduce air pollution by absorbing carbon dioxide and releasing oxygen. For best results, you will need about 5 plants, together in one room.

15. Dance up to 10 mins a day

Instead of a traditional fitness session, why not do some dance moves? It will work your muscles and get your heart rate up while having fun. Dancing can also help to relax and be very beneficial for mental health. And what’s more, you don’t need to be a pro to reap all its benefits!

16. Make time for mindfulness meditation

There mindfulness meditation allows you to reconnect with yourself and your emotions. The goal is to focus on the present moment.

Expert advice: every morning, set your alarm at a random time of day. At his signal, stop what you are doing and take the time to look around you. Take stock of the thoughts you had in mind when the alarm went off and your emotions. This moment shakes up your usual routine and allows you to take time for yourself.

Source : The Times

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