It is never too late to start taking care of yourself, mentally and physically. I have a family friend who’s addiction to smoking nicotine had him practically on his dying breath. He was a prisoner to his addition and literally could not go anywhere nor breath on his own without medical interventions. Today, he is free from this life long habit, allowing him to now exercise, and go places without any mechanical oxygen dependency. If we do our part and put the work in, our body and mind will fight to live at its best capacity.
How do we, “put the work in,” to better our life outcomes. This has been studied for centuries, and there is no quick fix, fountain of youth, for where we find ourselves today. Our lifestyles of convenience, quick and easy gratification, sedentary living and growing isolation is robbing us from living our best lives. There is no better day than today to make change that will help you feel better, energized, and satiated. It starts with movement!
Our Brains were developed to move and more specifically designed to function outdoors. Today, take a walk outdoors or do some deep breathing exercises outside. Studies have found that exercise effects our neurotransmitters, which provide us with a multitude of benefits, including positive effects on mood and energy. Of course, we need more than just an increase in daily exercise, we need to battle the inflammation our bodies experience due to what we eat and our lack of movement.
This reflection I am sending out into the world came about from finding myself at a low point, blaming my thyroid and low iron levels for a deep physical and mental lethargy. I have been feeling heavy in the eyes and slow in the brain. A tiredness that kills motivation to complete wanted tasks, like cooking and reading. As much as I was dreading to add one more thing to my long list of busyness activities, I had to complete my 30 units of credit to keep my nursing license current. I set out to select trainings that would benefit my health and those of others. The trainings I completed were all associated with brain health and how to promote healthy aging. Thanks to the courses provided through the Institute for Brain Potential, I have reconnected with my mission to live and promote a healthy lifestyle.
Here are some bullet points to explore:
- Exercise: Cardio 10 minutes 3 days a week; Resistance 30 minutes 1 day a week; Walk/Yoga/Tai Chi/Dance 17-43 minutes each day
- Diet: Intermittent fasting 16 hours on 1 to 3 non-consecutive days a week; Mediterranean-mostly plant based, whole grains, dairy, and poultry or fish a couple times a week. 1-2 glasses of red wine a day.
- Protect the Gut: manage cortisol levels-increases with poorly managed stress which in turn reduce expression of proteins and weaken gut barrier. Eat for healthy microbial diversity (whole grains, probiotic dairy containing bifidobacterial, foods with quercetin (green leafy vegetables, onions, apples, peppers, tea, red wine).
- Practice good Habits: Establish Sleep, Meal, and Exercise Routines. Replace one habit with a new one and attach an reward. Recommended reading for Habit Formation: Atomic Habits by James Clear.
- Brain Function: In order to maintain a healthy aging brain, we need to exercise, become life long learners, and keep up social connections.
“Like any other part of the human body, activity makes the brain healthy.”Abhijit Naskar, All For acceptance
To get started on your health journey today, here are a few book recommendations.
Referenced trainings provided by Institute for Brain Potential
- Understanding Executive Functions: Focus, Emotional Control, Motivation and Social Intelligence by Mark B. Moss, Ph.D.
- Changing How We Feel by Changing What We Eat by Lisa E. Goehler, Ph.D. Neuroscientist
- Pumped: Building a Better Brain Through Exercise and Movement by Angelo Pezzote, PharmD, MA, BCPP, RPh, LMHC, LPCC, LMFT