Of course some people adopt a healthy lifestyle as young adults and then stick to it throughout their lives. Most of us are not so far sighted.
In fact the average age to start thinking about health is estimated to be 36!
But, it’s never too early or too late to start adopting a healthily lifestyle; you won’t just be active for longer. You’ll also be more mentally aware and less likely to contract age related diseases!
How Health & Mental Clarity Are Connected
You probably already know that a healthy body has a strong immune system, good blood pressure, minimal body fat and a good system of nerves and blood vessels.
All of these things are essential to your ongoing health. Blood carries oxygen and nutrients to your organs and muscles; this enables them to function properly and to the best of their ability.
The nerves relay information to and from these organs while minimal fat means that your organs are free to work as they should. Visceral fat build up round your organs can seriously hamper their efforts to perform their duties.
These are all possible by adopting a healthy lifestyle. But most people don’t think about how a healthy lifestyle improves mental clarity. The brain is simply another organ in your body; although you may consider it the most important. It still needs a healthy flow of blood, oxygen and nutrients in order to function correctly.
If it doesn’t receive this, cells will start to die and your mental clarity will start to suffer.
Fortunately the brain is also very good at regenerating. Damaged cells can recover and new ones can be created. But you need to start thinking about the way you live and make changes.
This is not always an easy process which is where FF4L can help. Get the support and advice you need to gain mental clarity and a healthier body.
Foods That Boost Health & Mental Clarity
The say you are what you eat. The general phrase was used as long ago as 1863 but it wasn’t until the 1920’s that it became a popular and well known phrase. Put simply, what you eat will dictate how healthy you are.
Therefore you need to start looking at your diet. Adopt the perfect plate approach to eating and focus on the following foods:
It’s not surprising that leafy green vegetables made the list! Greens are full of vitamin B, folic acid, antioxidants and carotenoids which will protect your brain cells and improve your brain power.
Popeye was right after all!
You’ll find more antioxidants in this superfood. Studies have shown they can boost concentration and memory for up to 5 hours after you eat them.
As well as boosting memory they can also help to protect you from cancer and heart disease.
Put simply these will improve the blood flow round your body, including to your brain. This will enhance nutrient availability to your brain improving its function.
Green tea is great for weight loss as it increases your core body temperature, forcing your body to burn calories returning it to normal.
But, you may not have realized that the caffeine in green tea mixes with the l’theanine to create a slow release of the stimulating effects of caffeine. The consequence is an increase in alpha wave activity which improves your focus and accuracy.
Omega 3 is essential to healthy joints and muscles. It also improves your memory and mental performance. Fatty fish such as salmon, mackerel, sardines or pilchards give you plenty of this valuable compound.
Eat too much chocolate and you’ll experience highs, cravings and probably weight gain. But just a little a day will improve your levels of magnesium, and encourage your body to release endorphins. This will boost your focus.
Just remember, one square of dark chocolate a day is enough.
This is another good source of omega 3, magnesium, B vitamins and fiber. All of these will help to improve your focus and support a healthy body.
You can’t eat these by yourself but you can sprinkle a few on your cereal or a yogurt.
Stick to one ounce of nuts a day to get the health benefits not the unhealthy benefits. All nuts are full of vitamin E which has been shown to prevent cognitive decline as you age.
Activities That Boost Brain Function
There are several other things you can do to help boost your mental health. The great thing is that all of these methods are considered healthy for your body. This illustrates why a healthy lifestyle improves mental clarity!
You knew exercise would make an appearance on this list! Start building a habit of exercising for 30 minutes a day,at least 5 times a week.
Any exercise that gets your heart racing will do; if you haven’t exercised for a while then start small and slow and build up.
Exercise stimulates the heart, encouraging it to pump more efficiently. This discourages the buildup of cholesterol and plaque in your arteries which can reduce the flow of blood to all your organs; including your brain.
Of course exercise also burns calories; helping to keep your weight healthy and keep you active. The challenge of exercise should also stimulate your brain, encouraging mental clarity.
Stress results in the release of the hormone cortisol, this prepares your body to fight or flight. But, it also restricts your body from producing certain other hormones.
Cortisol can also be used as energy for the brain, ensuring it focuses on fight or flight. Unfortunately the modern world ensures that you spend much of your time stressed, which is bad for your overall health as well as your mental health.
Try meditation or breathing exercises to help clear your mind. Spending time in nature, martial arts, cooking, or just spending time with your pet have all been shown to reduce stress.
Pick an activity you enjoy and schedule time for it on a regular basis.
You need to get between 6 and 8 hours sleep a night in order to allow your body and brain to process the day’s events and balance your hormones.
Without enough sleep you will feel tired and unable to function at full capacity.
If you're getting less than six hours of sleep every night, sleeping more is very likely the most important thing you could do to improve your mental clarity and overall health.
Don't be afraid to spend money on a good mattress, high quality sheets, and a comfortable pillow. Sleeping is an enormous part of your life and plays an important role in your overall happiness.
Things to Avoid
No, I’m not talking about the music.
Heavy metals such as lead, mercury, arsenic and aluminum have all been shown to reduce your cognitive function. They should be avoided as much as possible.
Take a look at your cookware and replace anything aluminum. You should also consider filtering your tap water.
I’ve already mentioned the importance of eating right but it can’t be stressed enough that refined sugar is a definite no. Sugar is in virtually all processed foods and contributes to a number of health conditions.
Sugar contributes to weight gain, poor gut health, cardiovascular disease, and encourages insulin production which can lead to insulin resistance and diabetes.
Insulin resistance can affect your brain’s ability to utilize glucose for energy; making you feel sluggish. Avoid processed or refined sugar at all costs!
A Healthy Lifestyle Includes the Whole Package
Making these changes is not always easy, but the benefits are well worth the sacrifice. Committing to a healthy lifestyle is not just one of the best ways to improve your cognitive abilities, but helps in virtually every facet of our our lives.
It is advisable to take it one step at a time and utilize the support of family, friends and The Fit father Project. All you need to do is join the FF30X program today and you’ll be speaking to people who have been where you are and can support you on your journey.
Laughter may be the best medicine, but the right support will keep you going when it’s hard to laugh.
FIT FATHER FOR LIFE
Your new friend & health coach,
Head Training Staff, The Fit Father Project
Brotherhood Nickname: “The Fit Brit”
Bragging Rights: 16 Years in the fitness industry, Author of ‘The Easy Fitness Guide', Father of 4 boys and Husband to a Venezuelan beauty.