Skip to better bones
Every three minutes, someone has a fracture as a result of the bone-thinning condition osteoporosis – and young women are more at risk than ever because of our sedentary lifestyles. So do your bones a favour and skip with a rope for 10 minutes every day.
"Impact exercises like skipping keep bones strong,” says Len Almond, director of the British Heart Foundation National Centre for Physical Activity and Health.
Sing for your health
Whether in key or not, singing is good for you, says Prof Graham Welch from London’s Institute of Education.
“It’s both a muscular and aerobic exercise and is a physical activity which exercises the upper body,” he explains. Singing tones up the diaphragm and exercises the lungs, as these get more use through singing than speaking. Singing can even make you look younger by toning up your facial muscles.
Take a hike
“Physical activity is good for your heart,” says heart disease campaigner Vicky Hodges. “It doesn’t have to be aerobics, just anything that makes you a bit sweaty.”
She suggests splitting your exercise into three 10-minute bursts. A fast walk is ideal and it’s also easy to fit into your daily routine – in the morning on the way to work, at lunchtime and on the way home.
“Physical activity halves your risk of developing coronary heart disease,” says Vicky. “It lowers your blood pressure, helps you control your weight and improves your blood cholesterol level.” So, what are you waiting for?
Lose weight fast
All you need to lose weight and boost your metabolism is a quick burst of exercise each morning, according to fitness expert Jorge Cruise, author of 8 Minutes In The Morning (Harper Resource, R82, Exclusive Books).
“The most effective exercise programme for losing weight is a morning strength training session,” he says. He suggests doing two different strength-building exercises each day. By the end of the week you’ll have worked all your muscle groups. Do only eight minutes a day for 12 weeks and, says Jorge, “You’ll lose weight, reshape your body and boost your self-esteem.”
Make time to relax
When you spend a few minutes consciously relaxing every day, you combat stress, lower your blood pressure and strengthen your immune system. Some scientists even believe that 10 minutes of full relaxation can be as good for you as a full night’s sleep.
Setting time aside to relax has a cumulative effect, according to self-development guru The Barefoot Doctor. But relaxing may not come naturally. “The mind and body need training to learn how to relax,” he says. But persevere and you’ll find that the results are worth the effort.
The one place we want fatty acids is in our lips. Without them, we’re heading for dreaded flakiness. To keep them glossy, avoid lip balms that contain phenol and camphor. Instead, stick to those containing cocoa butter.
Alternatively, you can hydrate your lips and your skin by sipping hot water at 10-minute intervals throughout the day. And for the ultimate smooth, plumped up pout try a daily tablespoon of flaxseed oil. You’ll have succulent smackers in no time!