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Some people think that good health takes a long time to achieve.
But there are plenty of good health habits that can be done in 60 seconds or less.
From buckling your seatbelt and washing your hands, to doing a breast or testicular self-exam and taking folic acid during pregnancy, getting healthier may take less time than you think.
"Health is really an aggregate of the choices you make in daily life," said Dr. Aditi Nerurkar, an integrative physician at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston. Both the positive and negative choices you make every day factor in, she said.
Doing something good for your health is better than doing nothing at all, Nerurkar explained. "Every little bit counts."
With this in mind, Nerurkar suggested some good health tips you can tackle in under a minute: Jumping rope to boost your heart rate. Standing up straight to prevent low back pain. Smiling or laughing to improve your mood. And expressing gratitude — by writing down five things you're grateful for each day — to build optimism and resilience.
For additional ideas, here are nine more healthy habits that don't require much time.
Leave your shoes at the doorSlide 2 of 17
Leave your shoes at the door
The age-old Japanese custom of leaving your shoes at the front door of your home has a modern-day sensibility. This time-honored ritual meant as a way to honor a home's purity can also be a practical — and quick — way to keep the house cleaner and free from outdoor pollutants you could be traipsing inside.
When removing your shoes becomes part of your daily routine, it prevents everything from dirt and rocks to lawn chemicals and potential allergens from entering your house.
Besides, kicking off your shoes at the end of the day not only feels good, it may also help to leave behind some workday stress and mark your return home.Slide 3 of 17
Brush your tongueSlide 4 of 17
Brush your tongue
Preventing tooth decay and gum disease requires daily brushing and regular flossing. But brushing your tongue is another important step that may get overlooked in keeping your mouth clean.
The back of the tongue is a popular hangout for bacteria and other germs that can give you bad breath.
So after you've cleaned your choppers, gently brush the surface of your tongue from back to front. Doing this at least once a day helps to remove plaque-causing bacteria and food particles trapped in the tongue, and freshens your breath.
Be careful, though, if you're new to tongue brushing or tongue scraping —a specialized plastic tool found at drugstores can help, but the back of the tongue can be a sensitive spot triggering a gag reflex. But the more you brush this area, the less sensitive it will become.Slide 5 of 17
Sneeze into your armSlide 6 of 17
Sneeze into your arm
When you don't have a tissue handy to cover your mouth and nose, your best bet is to cough or sneeze into the crook of your elbow, or upper arm, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The point is to avoid using your hands, which may not be that clean, and can also easily spread germs around. Covering up also prevents germ-laden droplets from getting launched into the air, where they can land on frequently touched surfaces and infect others.
This simple technique is not only good advice for adults and kids to remember during cold and flu season, but it's also a smart health move any time — when allergies strike, or a bug is going around.Slide 7 of 17
Give water a new twistSlide 8 of 17