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4 Easy ways to get healthier and happier in under 30 minutes

I am a Family Medicine physician in LA and I have always loved bringing health information to women in an easy to understand and fun way. I started blogging in 2010.

How to make a difference in your health when you don't have a lot of time

Without a doubt, the number one excuse I hear from patients about why they can’t focus on being healthy is simply, “not enough time.” A lack of time for exercise, healthy eating and relaxation is a common problem. The reality is, unless you make time, improving your overall health and wellness will always be at the bottom of your to-do list. Here are four proven ways to help you get healthier and happier in 30 minutes or less.

Schedule daily exercise

A review study from the American Journal of Preventive Medicine suggests that even moderate activity for 20 to 30 minutes per day can reduce the risk of developing depression. What we also know is that individuals who exercise regularly tend to also see improvement in their overall health, including stamina, a reduction of fatigue and an increase in energy. Any type of exercise can be an amazing way to kick-start your day — or a great way to wipe away the stress of a long day. Consider a group fitness class, or watch your favorite Netflix drama while walking on an incline at the gym. Before you know it, you’ll be hooked.

Get better sleep with sleep tools

The CDC reports that people who consistently get inadequate sleep are more likely to suffer from depression, obesity and diabetes. It is important to aim to get at least 6-8 hours of sleep each night. In some cases, falling asleep can be difficult because you’re feeling stressed or can’t stop thinking about the events of the day. A great way to get a good night’s rest is to use a white noise app for relaxation. This can help you get to sleep faster and stay asleep for longer. You can try Relax Melodies or Relax Sounds for 10 to 15 minutes before bed. Both have waterfall, ocean and nature sounds to help you quiet your mind and drift into sleep. A regular sleep pattern also helps normalize blood sugar levels. When we are low on sleep, we often reach for refined carbohydrates — sugar! — to help get through the day. Sleeping enough at night can curb these cravings.

Have a DIY spa day at home

Nothing is better than spending a relaxing day at the spa! Unfortunately, half a day in a plush, white robe, sniffing Eucalyptus oil can eat up time and money. Bringing the spa to your desk or home can be just what you need to recharge and improve your health. Give yourself five minutes with a cool eye mask like the TheraPearl Eye Mask, and you will awake refreshed and alert.

Pain and sore muscles from sitting at a desk all day can also take a toll on the body. Using an on-the-go, wearable massager like the Wahl Pulsing Massage Patch makes relieving muscle pain and tension easy. You can wear it while sitting at your desk — it attaches to your body with a gel adhesive — as it is completely hands-free. The vibrations target pressure points and instantly increase blood circulation. Research highlights that massage therapy releases endorphins that can ease chronic muscle tension and contribute to an overall improvement in your health and mood.

Incorporate cheat days into your schedule

Working hard to eat healthy can be difficult to maintain, but science suggests that having a cheat day can actually help boost your healthy habits. Leptin is a hormone in the body that helps signal the brain that you are full. When calories are chronically restricted, however, leptin levels can drop and it may lead to excess bingeing. Having a cheat day by splurging on chocolate, a home-cooked burger or dessert can be a great way to indulge and power you through the rest of your healthy eating. Try cooking a cheat treat like chocolate chip cookies or banana bread. Check out amazing recipes at SheKnows that will help you cook up something amazing in no time.

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