By: Youssef Tawfik
Everybody has this need to lose weight and become healthier, but sometimes we are too lazy to work on our health and fitness. Today I will be telling you small things that you can change to your simple daily routine that can actually kickstart a healthier lifestyle! No matter your weight, it’s going to start you on a path to a healthier mental, emotional, and physical life! An overall healthier lifestyle, a 360 experience! So let’s start:
1) Exercise (walking, running, going to the gym, you name it!)
If you walk for at least 20 minutes per day, especially in green environments, is very beneficial. Firstly, it provides you with fresh air, sunlight (AKA vitamin D), it also eases brain fatigue and boosts happiness. The more surprising effect is that it helps you study efficiently! Forget about long nights, with eyelids drooping over pages and pages of text. Scientific research has expressed quite clearly that that isn’t the case and not the best way to study. It turns out that smart studying is a lot more fun than anyone would have thought. An unlikely helper is exercise, the effect of exercise on the brain:
Delivers vital nutrients
- Increases performance
- Longer attention span
- Smoother information processing
- More fluid problem solving
Exercise releases an important blend of mood altering hormones including dopamine, serotonin, and norepinephrine. This neural cocktail greatly enhances brain performance required for study and information retention. So in between study sessions, we should seriously consider hitting the gym, swimming some laps, playing a sport, to even dancing while in your house cleaning or something. As any kind of exercise greatly improves brain power. This helps in avoiding cramming, which is a scientifically disproven method. The problem with cramming is that overloaded information does not have a chance to enter the long term memory. The transformation from short term information into long term knowledge occurs through repeated exposure to that information, retelling of that information, and reflection of that information.
A 2010 study from Washington University compared the effectiveness of repeated testing over repeated studying and found that testing is far more effective than simply re-reading. So in between short exercise and study sessions why not test yourself now and again?!Better still is to find a study partner who is tackling the same subject and test one another. Compare your results, talk about them, and continue your study program, in between exercising. Scientific research has shown that it can take up to 4 days for our brains to return back to normal after we’ve been awake for an entire night.
2) Focus on your mental diet
According to Buddha, “we are shaped by our thoughts; we become what we think.” What you do throughout your day shapes your mental state. From watching the news to reading books, to watching horror movies. The first thing you can do to achieve a stable mental state, you should be aware of what you put in your mind. Your main goal is to spend less time with pessimistic people and sit with the positives one, watch funny shows rather than watching horror movies you’re scared of. NO need for DRAMA! A friend of mine used to read about history all the time and was affected by it greatly, she now actually stopped reading it for a while because of how it’s affecting her mental health. She simply said “History is full of horrible people and massacres and killing and backstabbing and lies and barbaric characters.” Which still occurs today too and will happen in the future unfortunately, it’s happening now! Choose wisely what you want to enter your brain.
3) Sleep Consistently EVERYDAY
All of us want to wake up feeling energised, but it’s very challenging to go to bed early when you have tons of things you must do. Excuses such as, one more video to watch, 5 more minutes on instagram, let me just learn this song for tomorrow until you stay up so late staring at your screen. People can sometimes sleep for long hours but still wake up tired, 2 hours before you sleep you should not use any electronic devices which is impossible for us as teenagers! At least, just choose a time that you will sleep at everyday, 10? 11? This will help you get synced with your body’s sleep-wake cycle.
There are millions of apps on the app store/play store for meditation download any of them, I recommend ‘Headspace: Mindful Meditation’. Meditation has many benefits for you it reduces stress and makes you calmer. The following image sums it all up for you! One last note, in these times we need meditation to de-stress from all our studying and feel calmer. Watch this youtube video for different ways to help you de-stress from studying.
5) Drink a glass of water before you do anything in the morning
It’s simple just drink a glass or more of water before you wake up, even before you open your phone! It fires up your metabolism, hydrates you, flushes out the toxins, and it fuels your brain.
6) Don’t drink fizzy drinks
Fizzy drinks are very bad for your health and creates many problems for people through time. They have a high amount of fructose and glucose which when the liver becomes overloaded with, turns them into fat right away, it doesn’t digest them.
7) Focus on your oral health
When you focus on your oral health, your preventing yourself from tooth decay and gum disease, also surprisingly helps clear away harmful bacteria linked to heart disease. Simple ways to take care of your oral health:
– Brush your teeth twice per day, the more the better!
– Floss daily!
– Replace your toothbrush every 3 months
– Visit your dentist every once and in a while
8) Follow a balanced diet
The best thing to do is go on a balanced diet, it doesn’t make you feel that you’re on a diet! It can protect you from diseases like, obesity, cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, and some types of cancer. It can also help you shed a few kilos!