The Cost of “Busyness”
Life, even at its best, can be challenging. We are constantly bombarded to do more, give more, and be more. Home, work, family, and social commitments can take a toll on diet and lifestyle practices—two key areas that are important for a healthy mind and body.
Here are 10 steps to a better mind and body
Our busyness can affect the essentials areas for sound mind and body:
- Energy and stress levels
- Mental clarity
Our bodies need the fuel from foods to produce energy and keep us at our peak—physically and mentally. A healthy diet plan includes whole grains, complex carbohydrates, and fiber. It should reduce fat, sugar, and salt. Improve your gut health by limiting your intake of dairy products that increase bloating, gas, and other digestive issues.
Fill up on fruits. They are rich in antioxidants that help improve immune function and reduce inflammation. Increase probiotics and prebiotics to improve digestion. Fermented fruits and vegetables such as yogurt, kombucha, sauerkraut, apple cider vinegar, kefir, etc. Prebiotics include garlic, raw dandelion root, onions, asparagus, etc.
Get your vitamins: B6 and B12 especially help your brain function well.
One of the main pillars for a healthy mind and body is exercise. Exercise keeps limbs and muscles toned and flexible and increases the production of happy hormones (endorphins) that lift your mood and reduce stress.
Choose from the simple to the complex (according to your abilities) to stay in shape:
Walking, cycling, swimming, skipping, rollerblading, pilates, aerobics, dancing, martial arts, stretching, yoga, aerobics, Zumba, kickboxing, etc. are all guaranteed to get you moving.
Mind your mind
There is wisdom in the maxim “a healthy mind is a healthy body.” As we age, our memory and other brain functions tend to decrease. Science has shown that, with increased brain activity, we can reduce the risk of mental decline and diseases such as dementia and Alzheimer’s.
Here are some ways to improve the mind:
- Read more. Reading strengthens the mind and encourages us to think
- Complete crossword puzzles, word find mazes, etc.
- Practice memorization (shopping lists, facts, figures, important dates, etc.)
- Learn a new skill or language. They tax the mind and help improve learning and memory
- Rediscover nature: smell the flowers, watch the birds, walk by the lake. These all help relax the mind and promote a more restful spirit
- Socialize: make time for friends, family, and social activities. Connecting with others helps to keep the mind active. Volunteering is a great way to connect
Stress creates pressure on both mind and body. Some signs include anxiety, depression, and sleep loss:
- Practice deep breathing to help relax and refocus
- Listen to music to calm and soothe the spirit
- Laughter is a stress-buster. Learn to let go and look at the funny side of life
- Improve relationships where possible: practice forgiveness, empathy, etc.
- Get more sleep: a good night’s sleep helps us wake up more energized and focused on facing the day
Boost your brain
Foods rich in antioxidants, vitamin E, good fats (omega-3), and minerals are important for clarity, memory, mood, and other brain functions.
Some of the best brain foods are:
- Nuts and seeds (sunflower, sesame, walnuts, and flax)
- Dark chocolate
- Fatty fish (wild caught salmon, sardines, and herring)
Green leafy vegetables and avocados also improve brain power. The healthy fats in avocados also help prevent brain clots and improve memory and concentration.
Other foods that promote good brain function include eggs and cauliflower, which contain a nutrient called choline, proven to boost overall brain function and improve memory.
Attract the power of green foods into your daily diet. They are packed with potent nutrients, antioxidants, fiber, iron, calcium, B vitamins and vitamins A, C, and E that help detox the body and strengthen the immune system to fight disease. Choose from:
- Bok Choy
- Mustard and turnip greens
Power up on protein
Protein is needed to fuel the body with energy and endurance. Good sources include:
- Lean beef
- Fatty fish (wild salmon, etc.)
- Greek yogurt
- Peas and beans
- Cottage cheese
Watch your weight
Weight management is one of the areas where many people seem to struggle. Healthy weight control helps to reduce the incidences of heart disease, hypertension, and diabetes—among other things.
Activities that help control weight include:
- Regular exercise
- Restricting fat, salt, and sugar
- Increasing fiber
- Reducing calories and food portions
- Aiming for a balanced living
We often tend to focus more on our commitments and neglect our growth and well-being. We need to create our own space or “me time” for personal care:
- Schedule a regular massage or spa treatment
- Have a friends night to connect outside of the home
- Journal your thoughts and plans
Create lifelong habits
- Get regular check-ups
- Practice good dental hygiene
- Reduce alcohol intake
- Stop smoking
- Get more sleep
- Take care of your skin
Maintaining a healthy mind and body can be challenging, given our hectic lifestyles. In addition to exercise and other lifestyle modifications, complementing our diets with supplements like NeuroGum can help achieve balanced living in mind and body.
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