You probably already know all about the physical benefits of exercise, but did you know keeping fit also helps you stay mentally alert? According to a new study conducted by Michigan State University, young adults who were aerobically fit did better on memory tests as compared to their more sedentary peers.
However, we also understand that today’s hectic pace of life means exercise often gets tossed by the wayside. To target this, here are several easy-to-implement health tips you can fit into even the busiest of schedules!
1. Eat Breakfast
“Never skip breakfast.” We hear this adage all the time, but how many of us actually adhere to it? The truth is, eating a healthy breakfast in the morning helps regulate your blood sugar levels and keeps your appetite from getting out of control later in the day. Other health benefits of eating breakfast regularly include a lowered risk of diabetes and heart disease, as well as a boost in memory and weight loss efforts.
No time to prepare a healthy meal? Always keep your office pantry well stocked with some granola, yogurt, and fresh fruit. This way, you can enjoy a healthy breakfast at work without any frenzied rush. Or, pop an egg into boiling water while you brush your teeth. By the time you’re ready to leave the house, you have a hard-boiled egg you can eat on the go.
2. Walk As Much As Possible
So you don’t have time to go for a run after a long day at work. Try this: alight one or two stops before your actual stop and walk the rest of the way. Even better, park your car at least 10 minutes away from your destination and walk the rest of the way. Apart from giving you a much-needed endorphin boost, studies have shown that runners and walkers have equally diminished risks of developing age-related cataracts when compared with sedentary folks.
3. Practice Gratitude
It can be easy to get caught up with the stresses and problems of our daily lives. This is why experts advocate keeping a gratitude journal to note down the little things in life that we may otherwise take for granted. There are plenty of gratitude journal apps available for download, so you have absolutely no reason not to record these precious memories. Whenever you feel down, reading past entries can help improve your mood and remind you to focus on the good things in life.
4. Hug Someone
Whether it’s your romantic partner, your best friend, or even your family pet, having skin-to-skin contact does wonders for our emotional wellbeing. Numerous studies have shown that the act of embracing fills our bodies with oxytocin, a “bonding hormone” that makes people feel secure and trusting toward each other, lowers cortisol levels, and reduces stress.
5. Get Quality Sleep
In today’s pressure-cooker environment, it can be tempting to “just reply one last email” or to “unwind” by scrolling through your social media feeds. However, checking your phone right before you sleep is actually disruptive to your natural sleep cycle and can be very taxing on your brain. We understand that this can be a difficult habit to break, but you’ll need to exercise some self-discipline in order to get a proper night’s rest. One way to break this habit could be to leave your phone outside your bedroom so you don’t get tempted to use it.
Try out these tips, and see for yourself how seamlessly they fit into your daily lives!