A fresh new year offers an opportunity for transformation. It provides a little extra motivation for kickstarting new habits.
What new healthy habits have you chosen this year?
For inspiration, here are four foundational wellness tips to transform your life. Warning: They’re potent. Practicing even one of them can make a positive change in your overall well-being!
4 Wellness Tips to Help You Transform Your Life
1. Eat Plant-Based Foods
Plant-based nutrition has exploded in popularity in recent years, and for good reason. Nuts, legumes, grains, vegetables, and fruits are rich sources of vitamins, minerals, phytonutrients, antioxidants, healthy fats, and fiber. Adding more of them into your diet can do wonders for the health of your brain and body.
When you eat more plant-based foods, you crowd out offending foods that negatively impact your health, like refined sugars and carbohydrates, unhealthy fats, and animal products laden with hormones and antibiotics. Instead, the healthful nutrients and fiber in plants provide real nourishment.
It’s no surprise then that plant-based foods promote health in consequential ways like supporting healthy blood sugar and cholesterol levels, mood, energy, weight, cognition, and memory function, as well as hormonal balance, optimal cellular, and immune function, and cardiovascular health.
So, what are you waiting for? Have fun with this one! Take it as a challenge to find ways to make your diet more plant centric.
Try out new plant-powered recipes. Replace that morning Danish with a healthy smoothie chock-full of antioxidant-rich berries, greens, and plant protein. Instead of an afternoon cookie or candy bar, pair fiber-rich apple slices with a delicious nut butter.
Once you get the ball rolling, you’ll likely start to feel better and it will inspire you to continue on the plant-based path.
2. Get Restorative Sleep
Restful sleep is as essential to your health and well-being as fresh air, water, and food. It’s not virtuous or admirable to deprive yourself of it.
Your brain and body need restorative sleep to perform critical functions during your waking hours (such as temperature regulation, immune defense, hormonal balance, and healthy appetite). Sleep helps repair and renew all the cells in the body, and it gives the brain a chance to wash away toxins that build up during the day. Deep, restful sleep is linked to improved mood, overall health brain and body health, and longevity.
Conversely, lack of proper sleep will slowly bankrupt your health. It’s associated with lower overall blood flow to the brain, loss of focus and willpower, and poor cognition, mood, and memory.
Experts recommend 7 to 9 hours of sleep for adults. Follow these tips to ensure you get plenty of quality rest each night:
- Stick to consistent bedtimes and wake times
- Ensure you have a comfortable room temperature
- Take measures to keep your room dark when you sleep
- Avoid alcohol as it disrupts your body from falling into deep sleep
- Avoid exercise and large meals before bed as they stimulate the body
- Don’t drink caffeinated beverages after noon
- Turn digital devices off a couple hours before bedtime
- Exercise outdoors in the morning as it helps regulate melatonin at night
3. Move Your Body
Exercise is one of the best things you can do for brain and body wellness.
Among its many benefits, exercise strengthens the cardiovascular system and helps to increase blood flow, which helps bring important nutrients to your brain and body. This, in turn, boosts brain function, thinking and mood, as well as helps to promote hormonal balance, calm, healthy blood sugar levels, immune health, longevity, and general well-being.
Exercise also helps to build and strengthen muscles, support bone health, burn calories, and maintain a healthy weight. It can even help increase your energy levels when you’re tired.
If you sit a lot, don’t worry. Some exercise is better than none. Start with 15 minutes a day and build on that. Find exercises you enjoy!
For optimal benefits, walk at a fast pace for 30 to 45 minutes 4 to 7 days a week. Also, consider doing strength training twice a week to increase muscle mass, hormone function, and bone density.
If you haven’t yet adopted a meditation practice, it’s time. In today’s world, we all need to develop a place of calm and well-being within – the counterbalance to stress.
Among its multiple benefits, meditation can help reduce anxious feelings, improve emotional balance, promote better focus and recall, strengthen impulse control, and boost self-awareness and kindness.
If you’re a high-energy, active person who has trouble sitting still, movement meditation practices such as yoga, tai chi, or qi gong might be a good fit.
Some may prefer a seated meditation practice. One involves the meditator focusing his or her attention on something specific – such as the breath, a mantra, single object, thought, or sound – while letting go of distracting thoughts.
The other is broad and open, where the meditator sits quietly and simply brings inner awareness to his/her thoughts, surrounding sounds, physical feelings, and other senses.
Of course, there’s a host of guided meditations available via online apps. Also, check for local meditation classes. Many are held online.
Like with exercise, start with short periods of 5 or 10 minutes and work your way into longer sessions. While any amount of meditation is helpful, one recent study found that a 20-minute sitting can help boost cognition.
Transformation Is a Process
Transformation doesn’t happen overnight, but gradually, like the changing of the seasons. Remember that the little actions you take each day add up to overall health and well-being.
At BrainMD, we’re dedicated to providing the highest purity nutrients to improve your physical health and overall well-being. For more information about our full list of brain healthy supplements, please visit us at BrainMD.
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- Top 4 Wellness Tips to Transform Your Life - January 7, 2021