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Updated 23 November 2016

10 minutes to better health

Work, eat, sleep, ferry kids, take dog to vet, gym, work, eat, sleep. Sound familiar? Who has time to spend hours on a healthy lifestyle? There is much you can do that is quick.

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Work, eat, sleep, ferry children, take dog to vet, gym, work, eat, sleep. If that's what your life consists of, you probably feel you don't have the time for a healthy lifestyle. Fortunately there is much you can do that doesn't take more than a few minutes.

  • Glug, glug, glug. Make sure you stay properly hydrated by drinking water and other drinks throughout the day. But let thirst be your guide - drinking too much water can actually do more harm than good by flushing important nutrients from your system. Also remember that alcohol and caffeine can actually dehydrate you.
     
  • Tomato trick. Tomato, in all its forms, containes lycopene, a very powerful antioxidant, which helps your body fight cancer. If you don't like raw tomato, tomato sauce or tomato paste will have almost the same effect. You can also get it in supplement form.
     
  • Morning munchies. Don't skip breakfast. If you do this, you start off the day on the wrong foot. Have something quick and healthy, which takes no time to prepare, like yoghurt and muesli and fresh fruit.
     
  • Wash your hands. Most of the viruses doing the rounds get into your system via your hands. Lift buttons, taps, telephones and shared office stationery are all culprits. Also wash your hands after going to the toilet. Do this, and you will cut your chances of getting ill significantly.
     
  • Brush your teeth. Proper brushing twice a day will significantly decrease your chances of tooth decay. Make a habit of this. Also remember to floss.
     
  • Take a multivitamin. This doesn't mean you shouldn't eat your five fruit and veg a day, but it is preferable to not getting any vitamins at all. Especially if you smoke or drink regularly, your body's Vitamin C levels need to be replenished regularly.
     
  • Lose the cigarettes. Whether it requires joining Smokenders, being hypnotised, or tying yourself to the garden bench, do whatever it takes. The benefits are enormous to your cardiovascular system – in fact to your entire body.
     
  • Drop the doughnuts. And the pies and the chips and the sausage rolls. Yes, they are fast and they fill a gap when you are on the run, but they all contain enormous amounts of fat, very little fibre, and bluntly put, they clog up your digestive system and your arteries. If you are hungry and on the run, opt for freshly made untoasted sandwiches, yoghurt and fresh fruit  and fruit juice.
     
  • Drive safely and belt up. The single most injurious thing you can do to your health is to be involved in a motor vehicle accident. Head and neck injuries can be sustained in even minor collisions, causing you much pain and time off from work.
     
  • Take the stairs. The bits and pieces of exercise you get during the day make a big difference. If you work on the 22nd floor, climb to floor 3 or 4 before taking the lift.
     
  • Breathe deeply. Do this regularly and you will decrease your stress levels as you provide your body with more much-needed oxygen. 

 
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