Bal­anc­ing body and mind

GET fit, get fo­cussed and get happy in 2019!

People (South Africa) - - Contents - BY AN­GELA BEKIARIS

ON your marks, get set… GO! It’s time to set some goals – how else are you go­ing to look and feel fab­u­lous in 2019? When it comes to sort­ing out your body and mind, you have to set some goals and stick to them, so we’ve sep­a­rated things into three easy cat­e­gories to make your life eas­ier.

GET FIT

GET­TING into shape isn’t as hard or time con­sum­ing as you may think (or pre­fer to use as an ex­cuse, that is). Phys­i­cal ex­er­cise can be done any­where, at any time. Here are some fab­u­lous ways to get that body of yours mov­ing this year. 1. Train At Home:

You don’t need to spend your only free hour in the gym. Get some weights, a Pi­lates ball and maybe even a few ex­er­cise DVDs and get mov­ing in the com­fort of your own place. 2. Try Some­thing New:

Tired of the same old bor­ing old work­outs (which don’t seem to work any­more any­way)? Time to find some­thing you en­joy. Join a yoga or Pi­lates class, start cy­cling or even go swim­ming a few days a week. If you love it, you’ll keep do­ing it. 3. Find A Train­ing Buddy:

There’s def­i­nitely some­one in your group of friends who wants to get their body into bet­ter shape af­ter the fes­tive sea­son, so call them up and com­mit to a train­ing pro­gramme to­gether. Mo­ti­vate one an­other! 4. Eat A Bal­anced Diet:

There’s no use train­ing five days a week if you’re go­ing to be binge­ing on junk and su­gar. Make sure your diet is nu­tri­tious, and en­joy foods in mod­er­a­tion. 5. Be Con­sis­tent:

When it comes to stay­ing su­per healthy and fit, con­sis­tency is key. Even if you’re not see­ing re­sults, keep at it – it will all be worth it af­ter a few months, you’ll see. 6. Drink Wa­ter:

Stay­ing hy­drated will keep your body feel­ing cleaner and your head feel­ing lighter. 7. Add More Pro­tein:

Amino acids are the source of new mus­cle pro­tein, and mus­cle mass helps keep your body fit and healthy, ex­plain ex­perts. 8. Or­ganic Is The Word:

The ‘cleaner’ your diet, the less ex­cess su­gar, fats, and carbs you’ll ac­ci­den­tally in­gest, say ex­perts, who sug­gest you snack on fresh fruits and veg­eta­bles. 9. De­velop The Right Mind­set:

If you’re not men­tally ready to get fit, you won’t ever reach your goals. 10. Keep Track Of Your Progress:

This is a great way to stay mo­ti­vated and on top of your goals. And don’t let set­backs throw you off.

GET FO­CUSSED

DID you know that the av­er­age hu­man has an eight-sec­ond at­ten­tion span? Less than that of a gold­fish, ac­cord­ing to a 2015 study from Mi­crosoft. How­ever, that num­ber has shrunk over the years due to our dig­i­tal con­nect­ed­ness and the fact that the brain is al­ways seek­ing out what’s new and what’s next. So if you want to stay stress-free and sane, we sug­gest you find a way to stay fo­cussed – on what’s im­por­tant, that is. 1. Pre­pare Your Brain:

No one likes to feel over­whelmed, so be­fore do­ing a task, calm your brain, say ex­perts. Take a few min­utes to breathe, get com­fort­able and fo­cus on what needs to be done, why it needs to be done and how much time you have to do it. 2. Know Where Your Fo­cus Should Be:

If you have a big project due at work, don’t fo­cus on the party you’re or­gan­is­ing next week­end. Fo­cus in­volves un­der­stand­ing what is worth your dis­trac­tion, ex­plain ex­perts.

3. Un­plug For 30 Min­utes:

We all need some time out, even when we’re ex­tremely busy. So if there’s a lot go­ing on, take 30 min­utes to re­lax – your fo­cus won’t be good if you don’t. Just log out – of e-mails, of work, of ev­ery­thing! 4. En­joy A Cuppa:

Some days can be rough, we know, so stop and grab some cof­fee. Ac­cord­ing to a study pub­lished in the Jour­nal Of Alzheimer’s Dis­ease, French phys­i­ol­o­gist Astrid Nehlig iden­ti­fies a con­nec­tion be­tween caf­feine and cog­ni­tion. While caf­feine doesn’t im­prove learn­ing or mem­ory per­for­mance, Nehlig found it does in­crease phys­i­o­log­i­cal arousal, which makes you less apt to be dis­tracted and bet­ter able to pay at­ten­tion dur­ing a de­mand­ing task. So take a 10-minute cof­fee run – you need it.

5. Get Some Fresh Air:

And if you can’t get out­doors, turn on the air­con. Ac­cord­ing to a study from Cor­nell Uni­ver­sity, work­ers are most pro­duc­tive and make fewer er­rors in an en­vi­ron­ment that is some­where be­tween 68 and 77 de­grees. Sit­ting in a stuffy room will leave you feel­ing tired and slug­gish; get some fresh air and help your brain work prop­erly.

6. Turn On Some Mu­sic:

There’s noth­ing like some soft, back­ground noise to help keep you awake and fo­cused. Re­search done by Wake For­est School of Medicine and the Uni­ver­sity of North Carolina pub­lished in Sci­en­tific Re­ports, says hav­ing mu­sic play­ing helps you fo­cus on your own thoughts. But make sure you like the tunes. 7. In­crease The Strength Of Your Fo­cus Grad­u­ally:

Just like you can’t rush into a new train­ing pro­gramme, nor should you throw your­self into any­thing ex­treme where your at­ten­tion span is af­fected. 8. Cre­ate A Dis­trac­tion To-Do List:

Did you know that once we get dis­tracted it takes us on av­er­age 25 min­utes to re­turn to our orig­i­nal task? So cre­ate a list and find ways to avoid the dis­trac­tions.

9. Build Willpower:

Just like you need willpower to stay away from that slab of cho­co­late at night, your brain needs will power to ig­nore those above dis­trac­tions and fo­cus on what needs to be done. 10. Prac­tise Mindfulness & Med­i­ta­tion:

All you need is 10 to 15 min­utes a day.

11. Get That Body Mov­ing:

Re­searchers have found that peo­ple who en­gage in mod­er­ate ex­er­cise per­form bet­ter. So use some of our afore­men­tioned tips.

12. Stay Cu­ri­ous:

Ac­cord­ing to ex­perts, the more cu­ri­ous you are about some­thing, the greater the stamina of your con­cen­tra­tion.

GET HAPPY

We all know laugh­ter is the best medicine. So what are you wait­ing for? Here are some sci­en­tif­i­cally proven ways to stay happy. 1. Ex­er­cise: While you might be train­ing for that gor­geous six-pack, you’re also cre­at­ing a bet­ter mood and boost­ing your self-es­teem.

2. Sleep More: Lack of sleep leads to bad mood, bad food de­ci­sions and just a lack of to­tal con­cen­tra­tion. Sleep helps our bod­ies re­cover from the day and re­pair it­self, help­ing us fo­cus and be more pro­duc­tive.

3. Qual­ity Time With Loved Ones: Spend­ing time with friends, fam­ily or col­leagues who make you happy is a great way to cheer up and feel fab­u­lous. So­cial time is highly valu­able, say ex­perts, who add that it’s a great way to in­crease ones hap­pi­ness lev­els.

4. Spend Time Out­side: The sun, some fresh air, and just na­ture in gen­eral is great for over­all health. A UK study from the Uni­ver­sity of Sus­sex found that be­ing out­doors made peo­ple hap­pier – and all you re­ally need is 20 min­utes to boost your mood, broaden your think­ing and im­prove your mem­ory, say ex­perts.

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