Written By Paisley Hansen / Reviewed By Ray Spotts
2020 was a rough year. In 2021, you may still be dealing with many of the same stressors that made last year so hard and adjusting to a slow return to normal. All the changes experienced, along with increased and chronic stress, makes it challenging to stay mentally and physically healthy. Follow these tips for wellness in 2021.
Exercise has so many benefits, both mentally and physically. Of course, it helps you burn calories and lose weight, but exercise is also good for your heart and immune system. It reduces the risk of heart attacks and diabetes and even helps build stronger bones.
In addition, exercise can actually sharpen your thinking and improve your mood. Mood-improving endorphins are released while you exercise. More interesting, so are proteins and other chemicals that improve the function of your brain.
Although high-intensity exercise that gets your heart rate up is beneficial, there are other ways to reap the benefits of exercise. Going for a walk and other slow-paced exercises have many of the same benefits and are a great way to add some activity to your day and keep healthy.
The human body is interesting, so interesting in fact that sleep is just as important to overall health as exercise. Sleep may seem like a good place to make a sacrifice if you’re short on time and busy throughout your day, but it’s too important to health and restoration to sacrifice.
Sleeping well and enough correlates with better immune system function, staying at a healthier weight and lower stress levels. Not getting enough sleep is associated with slower mental ability and brain fog.
It matters what kind of sleep you get as well. Your body should spend at least half its time in slow-wave sleep and deep sleep to feel refreshed. Factors like consuming alcohol, smoking and looking at blue-light devices in bed reduce the amount of time your body spends in these important sleep stages.
This may seem like no surprise, but in addition to sleeping well and exercising, eating a nutritious diet is also important to staying healthy. Over indulging in high-calorie and processed foods leads to weight gain, diabetes, heart disease and other health concerns.
When you fill your diet with empty calories, you’re less likely to consume the micronutrients, fiber and antioxidants it needs to function well. Vitamins and minerals help improve immune function, help you heal faster and strengthen bones.
Eating poorly is also bad for your mental and emotional health because your body is lacking in these important vitamins and minerals. Eating healthy means setting yourself up for a more consistent and positive mood as well as better energy. This makes sense, if you look at food as the fuel needed to keep your body running. Keep a food log to keep yourself accountable for the foods you regularly eat.
Practicing mindfulness and breathing are also great ways to stay healthy this year. Since this year has been full of many stressors, regularly giving yourself a brain break will help your mind function better and reduce feelings of brain fog.
Practicing yoga is another way to de-stress and create mental clarity and calmness. Yoga and breathing exercises give your mind a chance to relax and center. This sharpens concentration and is shown to reduce stress.
Spending time outside also has a surprisingly good impact on your health. Sunlight can improve your sleep, reduce stress and strengthen your immune system. It can even help you sleep better. Hiking or spending time on the water also increases these benefits, since nature tends to be good for the soul.
Finally, for overall better mental health, spend some time stimulating your mind. Learn something new or experience something new. When you try something new or spend time learning something, it sharpens your brain. This sharpness carries over into other parts of your life, like in your work. Activating the mind in this way increases the flow of oxygen, blood and nutrients to the brain and keeps the brain strong and healthy.
It’s important to exercise both your mind and body to keep yourself in overall health and wellness.
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Paisley Hansen is a freelance writer and expert in health, fitness, and growing young. When she isn’t writing she can usually be found reading a good book or hitting the gym. She loves hearing from readers so feel free to contact her through Facebook.
Founder Ray Spotts has a passion for all things natural and has made a life study of nature as it relates to health and well-being. Ray became a forerunner bringing products to market that are extraordinarily effective and free from potentially harmful chemicals and additives. For this reason Ray formed Trusted Health Products, a company you can trust for clean, effective, and healthy products. Ray is an organic gardener, likes fishing, hiking, and teaching and mentoring people to start new businesses. You can get his book for free, “How To Succeed In Business Based On God’s Word,” at www.rayspotts.com.