Take 5 For Good Health

5 minutes isn’t long, but sometimes it can make all the difference in the world. An extra five minutes could mean being on schedule for a job interview, barely catching your next flight out of town or not burning the casserole in the oven. And, believe it or not, those few ticks of the clock can also be vital to your health.

You don’t need to devote hours upon hours to live a healthier life—simple actions can quickly add up to boost your wellness. 

Here are six tips from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that take just five minutes or less, but can make a big impact on your health.

Stop for a moment
Spending a few minutes a day relaxing not only helps calm your nerves, but it will also clear your head, allowing you to make better decisions regarding other aspects of your health. “Make time for yourself in a healthy way,” Heim says. “Exercise—even if it’s just a short walk.”

Set an appointment—or three
Have you been putting off going to the doctor or dentist? Take a few minutes and make all of your annual health appointments in one sitting. Besides getting the task out of the way, if you book them far enough in advance, you will be more likely to get an appointment that’s convenient for you. But here’s the key: You have to keep them.

While you’re there, be sure to get up to date on immunizations. Adults tend to forget to ask about this, thinking they’re finished once they turn 18. But some immunizations require boosters, such as the tetanus shot. And don’t forget your annual flu shot!

Brush up
The connection between oral hygiene and heart health is still being explored, but if there’s a chance polishing your pearly whites can help prevent cardiovascular disease, why not make the effort? Plus, taking care of your mouth can help fight infection and tooth decay. And it doesn’t take much: The American Dental Association recommends brushing your teeth twice a day, flossing daily, replacing your toothbrush at least every three months and visiting the dentist regularly.

Ready the alarms
Home fires cause more than 3,400 deaths every year, according to the Home Safety Council. “Every household should have at least one smoke alarm on every floor and preferably in every bedroom,” says Meri-K Appy, Home Safety Council president. “Test alarms monthly to make sure they are working properly and install new batteries at least once a year. They are critical to saving lives.”

Learn it by heart
When it comes to heart attack and stroke, getting treated quickly is a matter of life and death. Educate yourself on the warning signs, and call 911 immediately if you experience them or recognize them in someone else.

Heart attack, according to the American Heart Association, is usually marked by chest discomfort, discomfort in other areas of the upper body, shortness of breath, nausea, cold sweat and lightheadedness. Stroke is often identified by the sudden onset of numbness or weakness, especially on one side of the body; confusion, or trouble speaking or understanding; difficulty seeing; dizziness or loss of balance; and severe headache.

Do a label check
A healthy diet helps you maintain an appropriate weight, and it can also help prevent certain diseases, including heart disease, diabetes and some cancers. But eating well requires taking a moment to see what’s in the products you purchase. “Some foods look healthy on the surface but aren’t at all,” Heim says. “Be an informed consumer.”

Look for natural ingredients and whole grains. Stay away from too much sugar, which can hide in ingredient lists under names like dextrose, fructose, maltose and sucrose. And skip foods that contain trans fat, the worst kind.

GMC offers fitness classes like yoga, zumba and cardio dance mix as well as one-on-one nutritional training. To learn more, click the following links: Fitness Services and Nutrition Counseling.


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