BY KAREN ASP
WHEN IT COMES to getting healthier, the
“no-time” excuse often comes up. That’s
about to change. There are ways you can
save time and still meet your health goals.
Call them hacks, if you will, but all of these
strategies will get you healthier in a snap.
Your goal: Eat more whole grains.
Time-saving hack: Cook big batches to
freeze for later.
Why it works: Whole grains have become
the holy grail of healthy living, for good
reason. “Whole grains are associated
with heart health, and given that cardiovascular disease is the No. ; cause of
death in America, these little nutrient
powerhouses should be a staple at every
meal,” says Kelly Toups, program manager of the Oldways Whole Grains
Council. Eating whole grains regularly is
also linked with a reduced risk for Type ;
diabetes, stroke, some cancers and premature death.
Yet getting those six daily servings (at
least half from whole grains) can be time-consuming while waiting for them to cook.
Easy solution? Spend a little time cooking
di;erent grains and then spread them on a
baking sheet to freeze for a few hours.
Once frozen, transfer them to a freezer
bag, where they should keep for two to six
months so they’re ready whenever you
Your goal: Stress less.
Time-saving hack: Check email less.
Why it works: Ever tracked how much
time you spend checking your email in a
day? In one survey, white-collar workers
reported a whopping six hours on average.
No wonder stress levels are surging. Yet
when people checked email only ;ve times
a day versus whenever they wanted, the
reduction in stress was almost as large as
the bene;t people get from learning relax-
ation techniques like taking deep breaths,
according to a study in the journal Com-
puters in Human Behavior.
Bonus: By dialing down your email habit,
you might be more productive and even
sleep better, researchers say.
Your goal: Hit the gym.
Time-saving hack: Build more activity into
Why it works: If you’re like most Americans, getting to the gym is a struggle,
making those ;; minutes of recommended daily physical activity nearly
impossible to attain. No sweat. Just do
small amounts of activity—even one to
two minutes at a time—that add up to ;;
minutes and you’ll reap almost the same
health bene;ts as if you did a ;;-minute
workout, according to a study in the
American Journal of Health Promotion.
Your goal: Nosh more fruits and veggies.
Time-saving hack: Eat frozen produce.
Why it works: Who really has time to keep
running to the store for fresh produce, let
alone cook it? Opt for frozen, though, and
you might come closer to eating the ;ve to
nine servings a day you need with produce always on hand, and you’ll still get
just as many nutrients. One study from
the University of Georgia (UGA) found
that frozen fruits and veggies were the
nutritional equivalent of their fresh
counterparts that had been stored for ;ve
days in the fridge, and even better in
some cases. “The freezing process hits
the pause button to lock in nutrients of
fresh food,” says Ronald Pegg, study
author and professor of food science and
technology at UGA. C
Karen Asp is an Indiana–based journalist
specializing in ;tness, health and nutrition.
Costco members will ;nd healthful foods
and grains, as well as exercise equipment,
in the warehouses and at Costco.com.
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