The connection between your mind and body is strong and they both depend on each other even when you sit down or sleep. No matter your age, you can still do a lot to help your overall health and enrich your life.
The American Heart Association / American Stroke Association published an article Defining Optimal Brain Health in Adults in 2017 which presented several behaviors that help maintain optimal brain health. Although the article is concentrated on adults, it highlights the importance of starting to work on this from a young age.
There are many easy ways to improve your mind and body, and here are our suggestions on how to do so.
1. Try meditation
Although it may seem as though you’re physically not doing anything, meditation is much more than closing your eyes and focusing on pleasant thoughts. It is about appropriate breathing that will calm you down and at the same time clear your mind. And the best thing is that you can sit or lie down during meditation, whatever makes you feel more comfortable.
There are differences like mindfulness or concentration and even the combination of both is possible. In 1970, research at Harvard University Medical School have found that meditation lowers blood pressure, anxiety, stress levels and initiates deeper relaxation.
Additionally, Buddhist philosophy mentions that the purpose of meditation is to free your mind of things that it can’t change or control. This is a perfect way to eliminate stressors and focus on more positive aspects of life.
2. Spend time in nature
Nature is a great cure for many troubles of the mind and body. Just spending time away from the city and everything that keeps you occupied or worried will help you relax. Hiking or cycling are perfect outdoor activities that will not only keep you in shape but also rejuvenate your mind.
Take your family camping and spend some quality time with them. Go fishing or rafting, whichever appeals more to you. Or, simply go on a picnic and enjoy some fresh air and relaxing moments with your loved ones. Spending time in nature will help you focus and improve your concentration, while at the same time take you away from the chaotic urban environments.
3. Walk every day
Walking is the most basic activity that you can perform on daily basis. It is great to clear the head, helps you think more rationally, and has many health benefits for your body. The best thing about walking is that you will go outside and change the scenery, which is especially beneficial for those in the creative industry.
But don’t consider walking to the store or market as enough. At least half an hour a day will keep your circulation in shape and have an effect on your cognitive function. If you feel uncomfortable walking alone, find a walking buddy, get a dog or play music on your smartphone to keep you company.
4. Start practicing indoor physical activity
There are all sorts of physical activities that you can practice, even if you are the busiest person in the world. If you spend a lot of time in the office, try some indoor activity that will keep you active even with the chaotic schedule, for example, a golf swing training device. It will keep you in shape for when you have time to go on the real course while also being relaxing.
Yoga is another indoor activity you can practice and it doesn’t require much space. You can practice it anywhere basically, and all you need is some comfortable clothes and a mat. On the other hand, having a home gym is also a great way to get your weekly dose of physical activity.
But since having enough space for any exercise at home is a problem for most, try to walk at home techniques available online. Even using Jane Fonda’s aerobic lessons from the ‘80s is a great way to go if it will get you moving. Regular exercise helps improve memory, thinking and prevents depression.
5. Eat healthy foods
The type of foods you eat can determine the state of your mind and body. Respecting a healthy and nutritional diet is not only good to keep the weight in check, but also will improve your mood. First of all, you have to start eating regularly without skipping a meal since this will keep your sugar levels in check.
Avoid food that will increase your sugar levels fast like sweetened beverages and alcohol. Make sure that you have enough fiber and vitamins in your diet which means eating fruits and vegetables. Water is an important factor in both body and mind health, so drink 6-8 glasses a day.
Caffeine in coffee and some teas may seem like a great idea to boost your energy, but it can also cause anxiety and depression. So lower your daily intakes and try some decaffeinated versions instead, at least to replace some intakes during the day.
In the end
It’s all about understanding that body and soul are intertwined. Improving one will help the other get better and stronger. Even if you lack time and space, you can still dedicate some time to yourself and work on feeling better.
Find ways to improve your mind and body that are right for you and include them in your daily schedule. That way you will not only help yourself but also set an example for others to do the same about their health.