Better health in under a minute

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FAST TRACK: Stretching can offer a quick way to improve health. Photo: Shutterstock

WE HAVE all heard many times that the key to good health is moderation, regular exercise, and a good varied diet.

But while this advice will certainly help us take care of ourselves, it can sometimes make getting healthy feel like a full-time pursuit.

Luckily, there is a whole multitude of things we can do to look after ourselves which use up less time than it takes for the kettle to boil.

These simple tips each take less than a minute but could help you to feel better in the short term, as well promoting better quality of life in the long term as well.

One very quick but crucial health tip is to always remember to apply sunscreen to the tops of ears.  While we should all be wearing an SPF every day- particularly living in Spain- most people forget to protect this vulnerable area.

This is a common place for skin cancer to develop, making it especially important to take the extra few seconds to do this.

Next, we can all improve our overall health by flossing daily.

A report from 2011 found older adults who never flossed had a 30 per cent higher risk of dying during the study than those who did so daily.

Flossing can help prevent gum disease; a common but major health issue which is linked to other serious illnesses, including heart disease, stroke, and diabetes.

Another simple habit to get into is to stretch fully, regularly.

Animal-lovers will be used to the sight of their cats and dogs doing this often, and for good reason; stretching releases tension, improves circulation, and improves flexibility, making you more resilient to injury.

Simple hygiene tips which take seconds can also save lives.

These common practices are more important now- during flu season- than ever, and mean we should be washing our hands more regularly and for longer.

It is also vital to maintain hygiene levels at home, which means washing bedding and towels more regularly than normal, and replacing kitchen sponges frequently.

If you hate the idea of waste, or are trying to cut down on your plastics use, why not try microwaving your sponges in a bowl of warm soapy water? This hack ensures clean, hygienic sponges without the need to replace them.

And finally, don’t forget to regularly take a moment to check your body for any lumps or changes.

Simple, at-home breast or testicular examination saves lives and is always worth making time for.

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