Six small changes you can make right now to improve your health and wellbeing

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Forget obsessing over diets and workouts – ­simple tweaks can give your body a boost.

And slight changes to your lifestyle and eating habits can improve your health in the ­long-term, too.

Here, experts serve up six easy ways to keep you fighting fit.

Chiropractor Tim Hutchful says: “Stand on one leg when you’re brushing your teeth to work the deep core muscles which protect your back.

“Too many people never work them and this is the ideal chance to give them a short but effective workout. Brush with one hand and stand on
the opposite leg
for a minute, then reverse.”

Dr Philip Stemmer, from the British Dental Association, says: “Leave the sink the ­moment you’ve applied toothpaste to your brush – rinsing washes away the protective ­fluoride coating, which adds hours of protection.

“Avoid drinking any fluids for at least half an hour after. I dry my toothbrush before applying paste – there’s plenty of moisture in your mouth already.”

Tom MacDonald, Professor of Immunology at Barts and the London School of Medicine, says: “To boost your immunity you need to increase the number of healthy bacteria with a ­probiotic, but also make the ­existing good bacteria healthier – which is what prebiotics do.

“Make sure it contains live bacteria, like Muller Vitality yogurts. You can also boost your prebiotic intake by eating artichokes, garlic, leeks and onions.”

Anita Bean, nutritionist and author of Slim Secrets, says: “Always eat at the ­table, not on the sofa. The TV distraction postpones the point you stop ­eating. This way, you tune into the signals that your body gives you. You’ll soon have a good idea of when you’ve eaten enough.

“One US study found that people who watched more than two hours of TV a day were heavier than those who watched less than one hour, consuming an extra 154 calories daily.”

Adam Mead, dietitian at Kingston Hospital in London, says: “The mantra ‘five a day’ refers to variety as much as ­quantity. In particular, you need to buy varied colours, each ­representing different health-boosting antioxidants and ­nutrients that work with
each other. For instance, vitamin C in fruit boosts the absorption of iron from leafy vegetables such as spinach or even red meat.

“Try to eat whatever is in ­season and make sure you’re getting the full colour spectrum in your ­basket. Think traffic lights – something green, something ­orange, something red.”

Dr Beata O’Donaghue, sleep consultant at The London Clinic, says: “Our body temperature needs to drop by up to 2C for us to fall asleep, so it’s a good idea to sleep in a cool room and leave your window slightly open, about 12C. A bit too chilly to sit above the ­covers is perfect.

“Keeping the window slightly open maintains fresh air, which helps sleep and also helps you stay in the deep regenerative stage 4 sleep for longer, so you wake feeling more refreshed.

“One way of getting your body temperature to drop quicker so you fall asleep faster, is to have a hot bath before bed.”

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