Getting a handle on your health doesn’t have to be burdensome.

The average adult needs about seven hours of sleep, which means we have roughly 17 waking hours to work with each day.

We spend our days working or caring for family members, doing household chores, like making dinner or doing laundry, and grocery shopping. After that, there might be some time left to relax and have fun before we have to do it all again.

The trouble is with our busy schedules, we often forget to take care of our health. Luckily, there are things you can do to improve your health in as little as five minutes. Read on to learn what you can do to make the most of your time and still look after your health.

1. Improve your health by going outside.

It might not seem like much, but five minutes outside can boost your mood, clear your mind, and strengthen your immune system. No matter the weather, taking a break outside can improve your health. You don’t need to go far. If you’re at work, take your break and stand outside for a few minutes to clear your head. At home, you can step outside to get the mail and stand on your porch for a few extra minutes.

2. Look after your health by talking to a friend.

Taking the time to nurture your relationships doesn’t just make a better friend, it also improves your health. In-person interactions are the best, but because of social distancing orders, phone calls or video chats will suffice.

Take five minutes to call a friend on the phone and chat about your day. It could be someone you talk to regularly or a loved one you haven’t seen in a while.

If your schedule is tight, a five-minute conversation can do wonders for your mood and health. You’ll feel happier and more connected. Of course, you can always talk longer if you have the time.

3. Stay healthy with a drink of water.

If you regularly feel tired or suffer from brain fog, you might not be drinking enough water. The recommended amount is 15.5 cups a day for men and 11.5 cups a day for women. Drinking water keeps your joints healthy, regulates your body temperature, and keeps your body working properly.

Take a five-minute break to drink a glass of water or refill your water bottle. Your body will thank you.

4. Improve your perspective by practicing gratitude.

Practicing gratitude is about appreciating the good things in your life. Even if you feel like nothing’s going your way, there’s always something to be grateful for.

Take five minutes to reflect on something good that happened in your day. It could be a kind gesture from a friend or a hug from your spouse. It can also be something as small as finding your favorite food on sale at the grocery store.

Whether you keep a gratitude journal or make mental notes, practicing gratitude can make you happier and give you a new perspective.

5. Relax with five-minute meditation.

If you’re ever feeling stressed or anxious about something, take five minutes to meditate. It can help lower your heart rate and blood pressure, plus you’ll feel more calm.

Find a quiet place, sit down, and close your eyes. Take a deep breath through your nose and release it through your mouth. Try to clear your mind and focus only on your breathing. You can try a five-minute meditation session anytime you need to relax.

6. Get up and move to improve your health.

According to recommendations from the CDC, Americans should get at least 150 minutes of exercise every week. It should include aerobic exercise (walking or jogging) and muscle strength training.

Despite these suggestions, you don’t need to hit the gym for an hour; you can get the recommended amount of exercise in five-minute bursts. If you sit most of the day, take a five-minute break every hour and do some exercises.

You can try jogging in place or doing a few sets of pushups. You could also walk up a few flights of stairs or put on your favorite song and dance for five minutes. In just five minutes, you can improve your heart health with some simple exercises.

7. Protect your skin with sunscreen.

If you only wear sunscreen to the pool or the beach, you could be putting yourself at a higher risk of skin cancer. The truth is it’s important to wear sunscreen whenever you go outside, even in the winter. Not only will wearing sunscreen protect you from skin cancer, you’ll also prevent premature wrinkling or dark spots.

Before you go for a hike or a stroll outside, take five minutes to put on sunscreen. Focus on any exposed skin, especially the skin on your face, neck, ears, and shoulders. You can even start by using a moisturizer that has sunscreen in it so it becomes a habit.

8. Book your wellness appointments.

Staying up to date with your wellness checks is an important part of a healthy lifestyle. Plus, it only takes five minutes to call or book your appointment online.

Make sure you’re up to date on any blood work, cancer screenings, and vaccinations you need. Your yearly physicals are also a good time to talk about any health concerns you have. If you’re proactive, your doctor can catch potential health problems before they get worse.

9. Brush and floss your teeth for better dental health.

One of the best five-minute activities you can do for your health is to brush and floss your teeth. Oral hygiene protects your smile from cavities, keeps your breath fresh, and can even protect your heart health. Plus, when your mouth feels clean and healthy, you just feel better.

Aside from brushing your teeth twice a day, you should also make sure you visit your dentist twice a year for preventive care. They can give you suggestions on how to keep your smile looking great. Plus, they’ll check for cavities and any other dental issues, including oral cancer.

Try these tips to improve your health today!

You don’t need to clear your schedule to improve your health; all you need is five minutes. You can boost your heart health, improve your relationships, and protect your mental health in the time it takes to read this article.

The first step to improving your health is making an appointment with your dentist. If you have an extra five minutes, contact our dental office to book an appointment today.