9 Incredible Things Your Body Can Do in Just 30 Minutes

9 Incredible Things Your Body Can Do in Just 30 Minutes

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Thirty minutes really is a substantial amount of time. True, it doesn't feel like it when you're trying to cram in making dinner, walking the dog, helping the kids with homework, and texting 12 of your friends about how busy you are. But as far as your physical body is concerned, 30 minutes is a glorious, magical stretch of time -- long enough to cause a noticeable transformation in everything from your mood and memory to how fast and well your body burns calories.

Read on for the crazy, cool changes your body goes through in just 1,800 seconds. See? Multi-tasking does exist.

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Is it just us or is #7 one of the best uses of 30 minutes ever?


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  • Your Immune System Recharges


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    Vitamin D is believed to boost your immune system and prevent a host of health probs from cancer to osteoporosis, but you can't get enough by diet alone. What your body really craves is exposure to the sun so it can make its own vitamin D. All it takes is heading outside twice a week between 10am and 3pm for -- you gussed it -- 30 minutes.

  • Your Blood Pressure Can Drop


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    Music doesn't just drown out your kids' bickering in the car or help you know when to get emotional during movies. Listening to 30 minutes of classical can actually reduce high blood pressure. Celtic and Indian (raga) music are equally effective, so pump up the volume on your next family road trip.

  • You Start Getting Rid of Toxins


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    We don't mean those vague "toxins" that so many supplements and hot yoga classes claim to eradicate. We're talking the nasty kind you get from food poisoning when you wolf down some contaminated potato salad. As little as 30 minutes later, your body's all, "Oh no you didn't," and will start sending that harmful food back out.

    More from The Stir: 5 Ways to Tell it's Food Poisoning and Not a Stomach Bug

  • Your Brain Can Grow


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    We might not love our kids sitting front of the Nintendo, but our brains heart video games. (Think of them like moving, flashing, beeping multivitamins you ingest with your eyes.) According to a German study, adults who played Super Mario something-or-other 30 minutes a day for two months improved their memory, fine motor skills, and spatial navigation. In fact, their brains actually grew.

  • You Burn Calories Doing Basically Nothing


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    Did you know you burn 105-155 calories just by grocery shopping for 30 minutes? And no coupon necessary! Other easy, everyday ways your body uses energy in a half-hour window: Cooking dinner (75-111 calories), playing with your kiddos (150-222 if you're really into it), and gardening (135-200.)

  • You Can Learn to Be Nicer to Yourself


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    "Compassion meditation" is just what it sounds like -- getting rid of negative thoughts in your head while practicing more kindness towards yourself. According to a new study published in the Journal of Positive Psychology, participants who meditated for 30 minutes each day were able to put the kibosh on mind-wandering -- and were also better able to care for themselves and others.

  • You Set Yourself Up for Weight Loss (Or Gain)


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    It's the best reason you've heard yet to go to bed early. Doing so can prevent against weight gain and diabetes. In a study funded by the UK National Institute of Health, researchers found that even 30 minutes of lost sleep a day adds up over time. After a year, it translated into increased odds of become obese or insulin-resistant.

    More from The Stir: 15 Ways to Get More Sleep When You Don't Have More Time (PHOTOS)

  • You Protect Your Heart


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    Thirty minutes a day, 5 days a week -- that's the amount of exercise your heart needs to stay healthy. What's that you say? You don't have the time? Here's how forgiving your bod is. It will be just as happy (or well, almost) if you work out in 10- to 15-minute chunks instead.

  • You Can Put Yourself In Someone Else's Shoes


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    Technology's changed how we read. We're all skimmers now, prone to reading the top of a story then blah blah blah through the rest. But sitting down with an actual book -- particularly a novel -- and slowly reading for 30 minutes not only boosts concentration (you know, that thing where you -- oh never mind) but our understanding and compassion for others.

    More from The Stir: We Love Reading Bad News Stories for a Really Good Reason


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