Five reasons why 10 is the magic number for your health
Want to boost your health? These easy tips will help you feel in tip-top condition….
Eat your 10-a-day
Forget five-a-day, the number to aim for is 10 to boost your health. According to Professor Simon Capewell of Liverpool University, ‘the more you eat, the bigger the benefit. The Japanese eat up to 16 a day and have the longest life expectancy in the world – an average of 84 years!’
It may sound unachievable but all you need to do is develop new habits.
- After every meal, eat a piece of fruit – that’s three portions
- Whizz up leftover veg for a hearty winter soup – that’s two portions
- Eat a small salad before dinner – that’s three portions
- Serve at least two vegetables with dinner – that’s two portions
Drink 10 small glasses of water a day
Drinking the recommended 2 litres of water a day can be a challenge, but it can help prevent kidney stones (ouch!) and regulate your appetite to avoid overeating (hooray!) Try this simple trick – keep a small 200ml glass by your sink. Each time you use the sink, drink a glass and you’ll soon reach the magic 10. Be warned – you will go to the loo a lot at first but your body will adjust.
Snack on 10 nuts
People who eat 10 nuts in the morning and 10 nuts every night cut their risk of cardiovascular disease by 29%, according to a US study. Nutritionist Sarah Schenker says, ‘Many women are put off by the calories but your body only takes on two-thirds of their calories, and people who eat nuts are less likely to snack further.’ Opt for almonds, cashews and pistachios – raw or dry roasted – as these varieties have the fewest calories.
Do 10-minute bursts of activity
As long as they add up to the recommended two and a half hours of exercise a week, 10-minute bursts of activity are just as beneficial as sweating it out for hours, according to Boston University. Walking to the bus stop or cleaning the house count, as long as you put some oomph into it! Personal trainer Laurel Alper recommends walking, stair climbing and bodyweight exercises as great short-burst activities. ‘Lunges and squats are also great for toning and you can do 10 reps of each while waiting for the kettle to boil! But always warm up first,’ says Laurel.
Read for 10 minutes a day
Reading before bed can reduce stress levels by up to 68% and promotes better kip, say experts. You only need to read for six minutes to slow down the heart rate and ease muscle tension. So 10 minutes buried in a book before you nod off is ideal – just avoid a racy thriller!
How do you boost your health using the number 10? Let us know on our Facebook page!