PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – When it comes to things we know we need to do to take better care of ourselves, we always seem to use the excuse that there’s just not enough time, right?
But, what if we told you that by taking just five minutes a day, you could change your life for the better in big ways?
When it comes to quick fixes, running is one of the most dramatic. As it turns out, you don’t need to log a lot of miles to benefit.
A recent study showed that just five minutes of running a day can add three whole years to your life.
“Running is an example of a high intensity workout so when you ramp up your intensity, you can condense the time you need to exercise to a very short period of time,” Dr. Jordan Metzl, a sports medicine expert, said.
Though, some think it’s too good to be true.
“I would believe that 20 minutes of running every day could add three years to your life, yes but five minutes, no,” one man said.
But, Dr. Metzl argues in just those five minutes, you increase your metabolism, reduce fat and improve muscle strength – adding those years to your life.
“Almost everybody can run five minutes a day,” Dr. Metzl said.
The benefits of meditation are well known and far ranging from reducing stress to even rewiring your brain.
But, many people say they just don’t have the time to do it.
However, research now shows just a quick five-minute meditation session can work wonders.
“It can help slow your heartbeat, it can slow your respiration, your blood pressure may not be pumping quite so much. You definitely can feel calmer and more relaxed,” psychologist Dr. Jeptha Tausig-Edwards said.
Other quick fixes include taking a five-minute work break to let your mind wander, which can increase productivity.
Also, taking just five minutes an hour to move around can counteract the negative impact of prolonged sitting, which is linked to more than 30 diseases, including diabetes, heart disease and depression.
“Inactivity is really the main problem of our generation today,” Dr. Metzl said.
Public relations executive Warren Cohn has bought into that five-minute fix.
He and his colleagues routinely take strolls down long hallways.
“I think it t refreshes your mind it gets the blood flowing,” Cohn said.
So, take the stairs or do some side squats at your desk.
Experts say the key is to make it routine.
“It’s all about changing your behavior and once you start doing that, it’s going to make a big difference for you,” Dr. Metzl said.
One more five-minute fix will help tackle procrastination. Experts say work on the task you’re avoiding for just five minutes. Then, take a short break.
When you go back to it, you’re more likely to stick with it for a longer time.