Published:
March 8, 2022
Last Updated:
March 11, 2022

10 Changes You Can Make to Improve Your Health in One Minute or One Hour

Healthy habits don’t have to take up a lot of your time! It’s all about perspective and investing in yourself and your well-being: You may not necessarily have time, but you can make time for things that are important to you.

One-minute and one-hour periods can provide perfect opportunities to implement practices that will make a difference to your physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual health.

Things You Can Do in One Minute

No matter how busy your day gets, you’re sure to have at least one minute to spare! Here are five simple yet effective ways to spend those 60 seconds.

Take a Mindful Moment

Mindfulness, or the state of being fully present, increases your awareness, helps improve your focus, and instills a sense of calm. A minute is a great place to start with this practice, since mindfulness doesn’t often come naturally, and you may have already perfected your multitasking skills. Set a timer for 60 seconds and take this time to be still and quiet. In this minute, you can simply take in your surroundings, pause before a meal, or do a full body scan to acknowledge how you feel.

Take a Deep Breath

You breathe all day long, but how often do you consciously notice your breath? Use a full minute to focus only on your breathing. Notice each breath as it comes in and as it goes out, following the pace of your inhalations and exhalations. During this minute, you can also incorporate a specific breathing technique. For example, if you want to relax and unwind, try one minute of diaphragmatic breath, or “belly breathing.”

Practice Gratitude

A regular gratitude practice encourages you to appreciate anything and everything, and it can help you regulate emotions, tap into your spirituality, and improve the quality of your relationships. Take a minute toward the end of your day to identify three things for which you are grateful. You can think of these things, state them aloud, or write them down in a journal. You’re welcome to keep them to yourself or, if you feel inclined, share your gratitude list with a friend or loved one.

Prioritize Your Tasks

Before you tackle your to-do list, create your top three priorities for the day. Making a list that emphasizes your priorities will help you get organized and stay on task so you can feel satisfied once you’ve completed the responsibilities of utmost importance. You can write this list at the beginning of your day or the night before so that you have a clear direction for the day ahead.

Stretch

Whether most of your day is spent standing, sitting, or moving around, dedicate a minute of your time to stretch and release built-up tension and tightness. This is an excellent activity to become aware of your physical body and address areas that need a little extra TLC. Try these upper-body stretches if you’re sitting all day at a computer!

Things You Can Do in One Hour

An hour might seem like a long time, but how easy is it to spend an hour (or more) scrolling through social media? Remember, it’s all about reframing the time you have and making it more fulfilling and useful!

Here are five alternative ways to spend an hour of your day:

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Get Outside

Spending time outside is beneficial for the body, mind, and soul. Soak up some sunshine to elevate your vitamin D levels. Connect with nature in some way, whether that means seeking out a nearby park or exploring the wilderness. Breathe in the fresh air and get a change of scenery, especially if you find yourself indoors for most of the day. Studies have shown that being outside helps to relieve stress, improve energy, and boost creativity.

Freshen Up Your Space

Physical clutter can quickly turn to mental clutter that can stifle your creative flow and general productivity. Set a timer, turn on some upbeat music, let in some natural light, and spend an hour tidying up your space. This would be great to do during the weekend or at the very beginning of your work week so that you can enjoy your refreshed space all week long!

Work Toward a Goal

It’s important to prioritize your goals, and dedicating time to work toward a goal will ultimately help you reach it. Setting aside an hour of time solely to study, build your business, exercise, or meal prep can make a big impact and bring you one step closer to celebrating your successes and accomplishments.

Unplug

So much of our time is plugged into our technology, a habit that can become difficult to break. Choose a time when you can be unreachable and completely disconnect.

Feeling tempted to check in with your notifications? Silence your devices, put them on “Do Not Disturb,” or remove them from your immediate space altogether so you can fully disconnect, without distraction. Use this unplugged hour to nurture a relationship, read a book you’ve been wanting to get to, or dive into a passion project.

Do Something That Brings You Joy

Commit to an hour doing something that you enjoy, whether you call a loved one, bond with a pet, practice self-care, or engage with a hobby. Do whatever it is that makes you feel good and brings a smile to your face. This hour may just end up becoming the highlight of your day!

Make Time for Yourself

You may find that some of these habits easily fit into your weekly schedule or can be included in your daily routine. Experiment with customizing and stacking or combining those you gravitate toward.

For example: On Sunday afternoons, you might unplug for an hour and within that time get outside and go for a jog, working toward your goal of running a 10k. You may start to feel some benefits right away, but as you begin to practice these habits on a regular basis, the consistency will make a difference in your overall health.

If you’re unsure of where to begin when it comes to setting good habits and sticking to them, working with a life coach or Health Coach can be a beneficial first step. Coaches can work with you to help achieve your goals, whether they’re personal, professional, health-related, or otherwise, and reach your fullest potential.

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Author Biography
Meghan Vestal, MSAN, RYT-500
,
IIN Content Writer

Meghan Vestal is an Integrative Nutrition Health Coach and a Content Writer for the Education Department at IIN. She holds her Master of Science in Applied Nutrition from the University of New England and is a Registered Yoga Teacher, RYT-500.

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