Improve Our Brain Health With Diet & Exercise

Hot topic these days with the rise in numbers of those suffering and effected with mental health issues. Depression and anxiety are effecting hundreds of thousands, if not millions of us on a daily  basis. So its time to change the way we think of food and exercise, I really consider the connection between this with our brain health. So firstly, stop punishing yourself over weight, how you look, lack of activity and exercise .. consider how the heart and brain are linked ..

The more people that look are changes towards improving how we feel through good nutrition and a good exercise plan, the more you'll soon to respect the impact and enjoy even the small changes.

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Our activity levels have dropped dramatically as adults, even right down to our children in primary schools, funding and lack of specialist towards teaching and supporting us is at an all time low. With young children today being diagnosed with depression, anxiety and even malnutrition, this was unheard of in my school days. We would have sports lesson everyday and clubs, even playing fields were kept in better condition and we all socially enjoyed a game of football together. Out diets have changed too, so along with inactivity our bodies and brains have suffered .. is there a connection .. I believe so ..

So what price do we pay for our brain health ? Well, degeneration happens to us all, our bodies, breakdown and our brain health deteriorates over time too .. if not properly stimulated both can cause serious problems with our overall health .. muscles, bones, joints breakdown and our internal systems down regulate .. our brain doesn't function without these and along with a lowering in our heart health due to diet and stresses then these issues overcome and overwhelm us .. contributing towards mental health issues. 

We are all approaching a serious time in our lives when social services and care are stretched and under funded, poorly managed and professional care is being replaced with more medication and more wasted appointments as we are passed from pillar to post.  

We aren't one for trying but our over thinking and therefore procrastination can cost us some serious actions. We lack the inspiration to change and lack of motivation spreads throughout us like a virus. That 'want' for change turns into 'acceptance' .. that we are stuck on this path and we aren't heading in the right direction. That acceptance is from "I'll never get fit" .. "I'll never lose weight" .. "I'll never do this / that" .. "I'm sooo unfit" .. so we accept this and find it even harder to change our mindset and approach our next step without the voices of panic, stop, it's difficult, it takes to long .. we can love the next decade or two with aches and pains in our body, weakness in our muscles causing and perhaps contributing towards falls, injuries, back issues, difficulties walking far, breathing difficulties, sitting up and out from the chair, isolation from our friends and others, and worrying about too much out of our control .. all of natures natural side effects from growing older effect us more.

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.. and we try to live with these and do our very best each day .. without change ..

This doesn't sound the most enjoyable way to live if I'm honest but so many people do, thousands and if not millions .. but you CAN change it ..

Brain health is linked with heart health .. and vice versa .. feeling mentally tired stops us from doing things with our bodies .. feeling physically tired stops us from thinking and using our brains properly .. so where do good nutrition and exercise come into this ..

  • Social Interaction: being around others and not isolating ourselves has been proven to reduce the effects of depression and anxiety. Group exercise classes and sports clubs, social clubs, joining a gym (and not wearing headphones, actually talk to people please), hiring a personal trainer is a great start to build self confidence and esteem. 
  • Learn Skills: from cooking to learning a new exercise, you have to spend time to master these and build on techniques and recipes. Look at exercise and its effect on motor skills and cognitive skills, thats why we don't have too many sit on resistance machine and treadmills, cross trainers etc .. actually training you to use your body and how to improve it. All these help stimulate the brain to think better, think smarter and overcome challenges.
  • Increase the Hormone Activity: good food contains great enzymes and nutrients, these all contribute towards how our body is running .. its immune system and its digestive system .. how we feel, how we function, how we look, how we perform, these are all dictated by our hormones. Like our bodies that need stimulating to rebuild and preserve muscle, bone density, brain function we too need good nutrition to preserve good system health. Finding a good nutrition plan and learning how it can help improve your health is the way to go. Shovelling chocolate and junk food into our bodies will only make us feel good for a temporary time, so chaining behaviours towards food is vital for overall brain health. 
  • Heart Health: whether or not you walk 30 minutes each day or go for a run, cycle or attend a class you can't deny how good it feels after, improving our breathing cycle and increasing our oxygen consumption to improve heart, lung and blood health has huge effects on mental health. Our brain thrives on the open air and seeing new things, relaxing the mind but taking ourselves away stressful situations and decreasing the heart rate. Improving the efficiency of our heart rate and resting rate can help us deal with stress better and help us think more clearer.
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I for one dedicate at least 30 minutes each day for ME .. whether or not its stretching away in a quiet room, going for catch-up with those in the gym or even seeing friends socially away from work. Training the body also trains the brain .. and we need to train it more than ever .. so stop with the excuses about diet and exercise .. I don't shit about how you look compared to others and how much you think you should weigh .. I care about the person inside wanting to be out and be unleashed .. the better version and healthier version .. the person that will see good nutrition and the importance of exercise for what it really is .. and not just seeing the scales, fats are bad, sugar is evil, diet this, diet that, wants the best exercise to lose fat or get abs .. STOP IT .. STOP IT RIGHT NOW .. 

You need to realise that won't and hasn't helped you up to this point .. so leave it at the door .. stop the excuses and learn something new .. life has its battles, we have our's, mentally and physically ..

MAKE THE CHANGE, HOW GOOD DO YOU FEEL ONCE YOU'VE EXERCISED .. THATS LONG LASTING .. THATS SOMETHING WORTH DOING A FEW HOURS EACH WEEK .. THATS WHAT WILL KEEP YOU MENTALLY HEALTHY .. PHYSICALLY HEALTHY .. HAPPIER AND FOCUSED !!

Pete