You’ve got just about two months left before the year ends so, if you’re trying to lose weight and get happier before 2017 is up, here’s how to do it:
Take Up Ping Pong... Or Other Activities
This could just be one of the more fun ways to take care of your brain health! A Japanese study comparing the mental ability of table tennis players with non-players found the players are more mentally agile, even in older age – which means it could prevent or delay senile dementia.
Dr Wendy Suzuki, a professor of neuroscience and psychology at New York University, points out that ping-pong enhances the parts of the brain responsible for movement, fine motor skills and strategy.
Walk Before Bed Time
Around 70 per cent of us suffer partial sleep deprivation at some point, when sleep is disturbed and essential slow-wave deep sleep is missed. One cause could be that the left hemisphere of the brain is over-active, says Sydney-based sleep coach Elina Winnel.
That’s particularly the case if you do a lot of analytical work. Exercise that uses the right and left side of the body alternately can cancel out an over-active left brain. Simple walking is a great choice.
Start the year by clearing the decks – it will make way for calm and help you achieve your goals. A swathe of international research has concluded that decluttering your work and living spaces helps your brain focus, increases productivity and creativity and decreases stress.
Deal with one space at a time, and if you need help, there are experts who can help – find a professional organiser at aapo.org.au.
Buy An Adult Colouring Book
It’s been well established that mindfulness meditation is great for us but another lovely way of stilling the mind is to invest in an adult colouring-in book, particularly recommended for anyone needing calming relief from stress and anxiety. “When you colour in, you’re focusing on what you can see, the sound of the pencil, the colours and shapes, and the focus is away from the mind,” explains Sydney-based psychologist Louise Adams.
Kick Off Your Shoes
Better sleep could be as simple as taking off your shoes! Scientists have found that reconnecting with the earth’s electrons by walking barefoot – known as earthing or grounding – can result in better sleep, glucose regulation, immune response and reduced pain and inflammation.
The beneficial electrons on the earth’s surface appear to neutralise damaging free radicals. Try walking barefoot for 30-40 minutes a day to enjoy a health boost.
Make Exercise Easy
very time you sit, stand up again. Repeat up to five times without using your arms for support. By the end of the day, you’d have done about 50 squats. Another easy move to improve your balance is to stand on one leg while brushing your teeth. Swap legs after 60 seconds.
Learn Helpful Mantra
Made a mistake? Has someone upset you? Repeat these four powerful words: ‘So what! Now what?’ says psychotherapist Laurie Morrison. “Draw a line under the past and look to the future. Who you were yesterday is in the past. Think about what you want to be now.”
Eat Some Apple Before Grocery Shopping
According to research from Cornell University in the US, shoppers who ate a healthy snack before entering the supermarket bought 28 per cent more fruit and vegetables than those given a cookie or nothing to eat. It appears eating a small healthy snack put the shoppers into a healthier mindset, which led to better food choices.