29/11/2010 11:41 GMT | Updated 22/05/2015 06:12 BST

Mini Health Boosters

How much time do you spend worrying about your health? Most of us will make an effort to exercise and eat healthily, but finding the time to get a routine going can be difficult. We offer some tiny but seriously worthwhile changes that can make a big difference to your wellbeing.

Take time to relax with friends. Photo: Getty

Mix it up

Don't stress yourself out planning elaborate meals in order to meet your five-a-day target of fruit and vegetables. Add some blackberries to your morning cereal, take some chopped carrots and cucumber to work as a snack, choose a sandwich with added salad, then add red peppers and artichoke hearts to your evening pizza. Goal achieved!

Research by the British Dental Foundation found that looking at pictures of people smiling gives us the same amount of stimulation as receiving £16,000 in cash or eating 2,000 chocolate bars. It only takes a minute and is proven to help us feel more optimistic and motivated.

Buy flowers

Are you grumpy in the morning? Scientists at Harvard University found that people who looked at fresh flowers when they first woke up felt more positive and energetic.

Eat chocolate

Have a couple of squares of dark chocolate every day and you could reduce your risk of stroke by nearly a quarter. A study of 44,000 Canadians found that people who ate 50g of dark chocolate every week had 22, in comparison with people who drank two cups or less.

Keep it short
Splitting 30 minutes of exercise into three ten minute bursts is just as effective as working out for a solid half an hour, according to health experts. Make the most of short routines by alternating jogging with fast walking, mixing sit-ups with jumping jacks or skipping rope.

Make friends
Surround yourself with friends and you could catch fewer colds, according to researchers. People with six or more different types of friendship (work colleagues, gym buddies, best friends) had 25% less chance of catching cold viruses, compared to people with three or less.

Swap salt for spice

If you're over keen on adding salt to your food, try substituting spices instead. They're better for your blood pressure and can give foods like curries and soup an even better flavour.