Three seconds of lifting weights can strengthen muscles – and other life hacks to get in shape

Sometimes all it takes is a small change in your routine or just a little extra effort to see amazing results for your well-being.

You don’t have to spend hours at the gym to get stronger. According to a new study published in the Scandinavian Journal of Medicine and Science in Sports, lifting weights for just three seconds a day can have a positive impact on muscle strength.

Participants who performed an “eccentric” bicep curl daily — lowering the weight at maximum exertion, for three seconds, five days a week for a month — saw their total bicep muscle strength increase by 11.5%.

Lead researcher Professor Ken Nosaka, from Edith Cowan University in Australia, said: “We haven’t looked at other muscles yet, but if we find that the three-second rule applies to other muscles as well, maybe you can do a full-body workout in.” less than 30 seconds.”

Lifting weights for just three seconds a day promotes good health


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These findings are particularly exciting as they represent an easy way to prevent sarcopenia – the muscle weakness and decrease in muscle mass that occurs with age.

Get out

If you can’t reach 10,000 steps a day, lower your goal a little

If you’re struggling to reach the recommended daily goal of 10,000 steps, don’t sweat it.

A review of studies from the University of Massachusetts Amherst, USA, found that walking 6,000 to 8,000 steps a day can reduce the risk of early death in those over 60 by up to 54%. They also found that there was no added benefit to taking more steps.

People under 60 should aim for at least 8,000 steps, researchers said. Of course, take more steps if you want, but the most important thing is that you walk daily without worrying about numbers.

Rise and shine

Getting up earlier relieves depression



According to a study from the University of Colorado Boulder, USA, pushing yourself to get up and out of bed just an hour earlier could improve your mood and reduce your risk of depression by 23%.

A lot of evidence suggests that early risers are happier and more positive. This may be due to the fact that early morning light stimulates the production of the happiness hormone serotonin.

If the pandemic-related working from home has caused you to develop poor sleep habits (late nights, late mornings), try shifting your sleep pattern back an hour—going to bed an hour earlier, waking up an hour earlier. It might just help banish the blues.

Cut back on a few calories

Eating one slice less pizza saves you 300 calories


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Eating just 300 fewer calories a day — the equivalent of a slice of pizza — can significantly improve your metabolic health and potentially reduce your risk of cardiovascular disease or diabetes. A two-year study in the journal The Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology found that participants who cut 300 calories a day not only lost weight but also saw improvements in cholesterol levels. There was also a drop in blood pressureand they had better blood sugar control and less inflammation.

If you’re overweight and looking to reduce your calorie intake, cut out sugary drinks and snacks, or say no to a second helping.

Meditate for minutes

Meditation is most effective when done daily


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Meditation works best if you do it daily. But with some meditation-based stress relief techniques recommending sessions that last an hour, many of us get put off because we just don’t have the time.

Fortunately, a study in the journal Behavioral Brain Research found that just 13 minutes of daily meditation can be enough to provide similar benefits to longer-duration, higher-intensity mediation practices.

So this is easy enough to fit into your lunch break or bedtime routine. Beginners who did the 13 minutes every day for eight weeks showed improved mood, reduced stress, and better working memory.

Many meditation apps offer short, guided meditations that you can easily fit into your day.

Try something different

Read a new book to bring your senses to life


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Don’t get stuck on groundhog day. According to a study published in the journal Nature Neuroscience, exploring something new or just one thing that’s different from your normal routine can boost your happiness score.

Researchers in the US tracked people with GPS trackers and texted them every other day to ask about their mood. They discovered that subjects felt happier on days when they explored more and showed greater ‘roaming entropy’.

You don’t have to do anything drastic. Just take a detour from your usual dog walk or go to a store you haven’t been to yet. The main thing is to add variety to your day.

If you can’t go outside, the researchers suggest reading a different book or watching a new TV show.

Take a four-minute scented micro-break

Looking at flowers calms a weary mind


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Looking for a quick and easy way to calm a weary mind? Concentrate on the flowers for a few minutes.

A Japanese study published in the Journal of Physiological Anthropology found that office workers who stared at a vase of roses for just four minutes showed increased parasympathetic nerve activity — a sign of relaxation.

They also reported feeling more comfortable and relaxed than those who were not shown bouquets.

Change up your walk

Accelerate your gait to get your heart rate up


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We all know that walking is a great low-impact exercise, but increasing the pace just a little can really increase the health benefits.

According to a study published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine, people who walk faster are more likely to live longer than those who walk slower.

For example, people over 60 who walked at an average pace had a 46% lower risk of dying from cardiovascular disease than those who just jogged. Fast walkers had a 53% lower risk. goal
walking so that your heart rate increases and you feel slightly breathless.

Three a day is OK

Eat some vegetables raw to increase vitamin absorption


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Three quarters of us don’t achieve that NHS Guidelines to eat five 80g servings of fruits, vegetables and legumes daily for optimal health. But aiming for just three servings—and making them bigger—may be good for us as well. In addition, it is easier and cheaper to achieve.

Researchers discovered that people who ate three to four large servings of fruits and vegetables daily reduced their risk of death by 22% compared to people who ate less than that amount.

More servings didn’t add any additional benefit, according to the study, published in The Lancet.

Bonus tip? Eat some of your veggies raw for the greatest benefits, researchers say. Try shredding carrot sticks and broccoli florets, and add spinach leaves to salads.

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