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Maintaining health is a lifestyle, built upon daily choices and practices. The thought of making changes to improve health and wellness can seem daunting. Some commitments, like working out at the gym or meal prepping on the weekend, requires a block of time.
These 15 two minute health boosters offer quick and easy ways to incorporate better practices into your life, without requiring a big time commitment.
15 Two Minute Health Boosters
Try one…or three…of these quick health boosters throughout the day. They may not require much time however the cumulative effect is great.
Juice Fruits and Vegetables
Toss fresh produce into a juicer and enjoy a nutrient rich drink that’s easy on the digestive system. Possibilities are endless. Try oranges and pineapples with beets. Or kale, celery and apples. For more ideas and benefits, check out my experience with a week of juicing.
Say Health Affirmations Aloud
An affirmation is a statement that confirms a truth, even if that truth is not realized yet. Speaking affirmations aloud is a powerful way to shift thoughts about health, for as the saying goes, “The body achieves what the mind believes.”
What truths and beliefs are you feeding your body?
Shift thoughts of “I’m not healthy” or “I’m always tired” to “I am enjoying health and wellness” and “I am full of energy”. “I am” are life changing words. Mindfully consider what words you use after them.
Try these affirmations:
- I am healthy
- My body vibrates with wellness
- I am strong and able to fight off disease
- I am healing
If this concept seems strange to you, start with this simple affirmation: “I am grateful”. Gradually add what you are grateful for, in your health and body. For example, “I am grateful for my legs on this hike”. Or “I am grateful for a restful night’s sleep”
Drink a Glass of Water
Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate. We know how important adequate hydration is. Pause and drink a tall glass of water. Check out these signs of dehydration and foods that help as well.
Short Bursts of Cardio for 30 Seconds
Studies show that four to six sets of all out cardio is as effective as a longer workout session. When I say “all out”, I mean vigorous bursts of activity. Try 30 seconds of intense dancing, running, jumping jacks, rapidly climbing stairs or squats. Work at least four sets of intense cardio into your day.
Focus on Posture
It’s so easy during the day to ignore posture. As a result, we tend to accumulate stress in our shoulders, neck, face and scalp. Taking two minutes to mindfully shift posture helps to relieve stress and realign the neck and spine.
Raise head and center it over the body. Square shoulders, allowing them to drop into place naturally. Open the chest area. Relax the muscles in the upper body while breathing deeply. At the end of two minutes, tip head back and open arms wide in a gesture of gratitude.
Downward Dog Yoga Pose
One of yoga’s most recognized poses, downward dog, or downward facing dog, stretches the entire body, reduces back pain, elongates the shoulders, decreases anxiety and increases circulation. Strike that pose and hold for two minutes.
Eat a Piece of Fruit
Instead of a sugary treat or high fat snack, grab a piece of fruit. An apple is especially beneficial. Not only is it nutritious, it promotes weight loss, lowers the risk of heart disease and diabetes, promotes good gut bacteria and even helps prevent cancer.
When challenges pile up during the day, pause for two minutes and simply breathe. Close your eyes and relax tense muscles. Take a deep breath in through the nose, expanding lungs and rib cage. Hold for a few seconds, then release breath slowly through the mouth. Repeat, focusing on breathing in and out.
Pausing to breathe deeply improves blood flow, lessens pain, increases energy levels, relaxes the body and calms inflammation.
Include Chia Seeds
This superfood is packed with antioxidants, omega-3 fatty acids, fiber and protein. Adding chia seeds to meals is an easy way to increase nutrients in the diet and boost heart and digestive health.
Try sprinkling them on smoothie bowls, oatmeal or fresh fruit. Substitute chia seeds for eggs in baking. Add a spoonful to smoothies and muffins or create fun chia puddings.
Stand and Stretch
Sitting for long periods of time is detrimental to health. Chronic health conditions such as heart disease and diabetes are more likely to develop. Weight gain is common as are higher risks for depression and anxiety.
If you must sit for hours, take two minute breaks to stand and stretch. The simple acts of standing and stretching reduce strain on the spine and neck, ease cramped, tight muscles and improve posture. Taking a break from sitting improves blood circulation, muscle strength and flexibility. Keep stretches slow and smooth, especially if you’ve been sitting for a long time.
For optimal health benefits, stand, stretch and move around every 30 minutes.
Drink a Cup of Herbal Tea
I’m a big believer in the benefits of herbs. “There’s an herb for that!” I say, when people tell me about their health issues. Plants truly are medicine, offering healing for a wide range of of health disorders.
Check out some of my posts about the benefits of herbs and then brew a cup of tea and enjoy.
Two minutes may not sound like enough time to meditate. And for sure, there are amazing benefits from longer meditation sessions. However, a couple of minutes of meditation restores the body and quiets a chattering mind.
Brief, mindful, daily meditation sessions, over a month, reduce stress, ease anxiety, relax muscles, support emotions and create a more compassionate and positive outlook on life.
Sit comfortably with both feet flat on the floor. Rest hands in lap. Close your eyes and take a deep cleansing breath. Focus on breathing slowly and remaining relaxed. If thoughts pop into the mind allow them to pass on through without focusing on them.
After two minutes take another deep breath, open eyes and stretch.
Try a New Experience
Trying new things, or doing routine things in new ways, stimulates the brain and creates new pathways. Additionally, new experiences open up opportunities, help us discover more about ourselves and even move us beyond fear. And, the fun factor kicks in, making life more interesting and satisfying.
Try simple things like eating with your non-dominant hand, standing on one leg while brushing your teeth, or driving down a street you’ve never traveled on before. Walk in a new park. Choose a shirt that’s different from your typical style. Try something that scares you, just a little, like speaking up at a meeting.
Spend two minutes sitting in sunlight, sun gazing. Close eyes, tip head back toward the sun and sit quietly. Do not open eyes and stare directly into the sun.
Sun gazing improves mood, creates feelings of happiness, increases energy and sharpens mental focus. It also boosts the production of melatonin and serotonin. Plus the sunlight creates vitamin D within the body, which strengthens bones.
Walk Barefoot Outside
Get outside for a couple of minutes, walking around your yard or garden. For the best health benefits, take off your shoes and walk barefoot in the grass. This practice, called earthing or grounding, allows the transfer of free electrons from the earth, through the feet, to all parts of the body.
These electrons are powerful antioxidants, beneficial for decreasing levels of inflammation throughout the body by neutralizing free radicals and lowering the potential for disorders such as heart disease, arthritis, and even cancer. Grounding thins the blood, lowers blood pressure and make cells less likely to stick together and form clots.
Because free radicals are a major cause of aging as well, keeping the body balanced with electrons from the earth reduces the destructive signs of aging such as wrinkling of the skin and the breakdown of DNA.
Small Steps Toward Better Health
These small steps toward better health and wellness deliver big returns when practiced regularly. Have fun with these strategies. Mix up your routines. Play.
Better health is built upon the foundation of daily, consistent choices. Choose better health for YOU. Take two minutes to embrace health, and make a long term difference.
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I am not a medical practitioner. I study health and wellness related topics and share experiences from my own personal healing journey.