10 Health Hacks That Take 2-Minutes or Less

It only takes 2 to 3 minutes to heat a Factor meal.

While that amount of time may seem inconsequential, several studies suggest it may be enough time to improve your health and fitness. [1][2]
So, to help you make the most of the time it takes to heat your Factor meals, we’ve compiled a list of ten health hacks you can perform in two-minutes or less!

Climb a Nearby Set of Stairs

No need for fancy gym equipment to see results! Just head to a nearby set of stairs. One study examined the impact of eight weeks of stair climbing on cardiovascular health and cholesterol levels.

In the study, each participant ascended a 199-step staircase once per day in week 1, and five times per day by weeks 7 and 8. Each ascent took about two minutes to complete. By the end of the study, the group experienced a 17.1% increase in Vo2max and a 7.7% reduction in low-density lipoprotein cholesterol. [3]

Health Hacks that Take Two-Minutes - Pushups
A daily two-minute stair climb can help improve several key health markers.

Drink a Glass of Water

It’s no secret that staying hydrated is good for your overall health. But when you’re on the go, it can be easy to forget. Rather than tapping your feet while your Factor meals heat, use that time to down a glass of H2O!

In addition to fighting dehydration, drinking water is also a natural way to prevent overeating. In a large study performed by the Journal of Human Nutrition and Dietetics, it was determined that those who drink plain water also consumed fewer calories, and ate less fat, sodium and cholesterol. [4]

Repeat an Affirmation

How we think about ourselves plays an important role in our everyday lives. Repeating positive affirmations can have a powerful effect on the way we handle stressful situations.
One study found that those who practice self-affirmation were less defensive in stressful situations. And when it comes to affirmations, simplicity is key! Some examples include “I am strong,” “I am healthy” and “I am worthy.” [5]

Practice Deep Breathing

Stress can wreak havoc on your health, and many of us rarely take the time to slow down and relax. Take a couple of minutes while your meal is heating to practice deep breathing, or what’s scientifically known as diaphragmatic breathing.

One study published by Frontiers in Psychology found that deep breathing can both increase cognitive function and reduce the negative effects of stress. [6]

Health Hacks that Take Two-Minutes - Pushups
Taking the time to practice deep breathing each day is a great way to alleviate stress.

Purge Your Kitchen

Are you looking to make better food choices in the New Year? Take a few minutes while your healthy meal option is heating to purge some less-than-stellar choices from your pantry.
Processed snacks with refined sugars can be dangerous to have around when cravings strike, so those should be the first to go. Consider boxing them up and donating them to a local food pantry. You’ll feel good about your meal choices and about helping your community!

Try Wall Sits

Quick, timed exercises can be an easy way to add “sneaky exercise” to your day! If you don’t have a set of stairs nearby, consider trying wall sits! Start with your back against a wall and slowly lower yourself to a seated position using your legs and core to support you. Although it may be hard at first, try to gradually increase the amount of time you hold your squats as you feel your legs and core get stronger!

Perform Planks

If you’re looking for an easy way to tone your core, consider trying planks while you’re heating your meal! Planks can be done anywhere, and require no additional equipment.
And if 2 minutes of holding a plank seems like an eternity – no problem! Start small with a 30-second plank and challenge yourself to work your way up to 2 minutes. Also, consider trying plank variations, such as side planks, to help tone different parts of your core.

Health Hacks that Take Two-Minutes - Pushups
Two-minutes is enough time to crank out a quick calorie-torching circuit.

Do a Mini-Circuit

Another fun way to increase your daily activity in a snap is to do mini-circuits! In the 2 to 3 minutes your meal is heating, perform a set of quick exercises to get your body moving and your blood flowing. For example, perform a series of 20 jumping jacks, 10 pushups and 20 sit-ups.

If you’re really looking to get more toned, make it a HIIT workout! One study from the British Journal of Sports Medicine found that interval training (HIIT) helped participants lose 28.5% more weight than continuous exercise.[7]

Make a To-Do List

Overwhelmed by the demands of the day? No problem! Use the spare minutes spent heating your meals to make a to-do list.
One study done by Wake Forest University found that making a to-do list not only reduces anxiety, it also increases your focus when performing other tasks. Now you can feel full and focused! [8]

Prepare a Healthy Snack for Later

When trying to lead an active, healthy lifestyle, planning is key! Consider using your meal-making minutes to make a healthy snack for later.
Snacks can help keep you fueled between meals and prevent you from overeating. And personally pre-making your snacks can help you make healthy choices and control your portions. So take a few minutes to cut up some fruit, portion out some nuts or seeds or pack some hummus and veggies.[9]



[1] www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/
[2] www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/
[3] www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/
[4] www.onlinelibrary.wiley.com
[5] www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/
[6] www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/
[7] www.bjsm.bmj.com
[8] http://users.wfu.edu/
[10] https://medlineplus.gov

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