This is your body on Exercise. Swimming, dancing, hiking, and any other aerobic exercise will decrease your stress after thirty minutes. David Raichlen, an anthropology researcher from the University of Arizona, and his team have found that exercise stirs up the feel good endorphins in the brain. Also, a sixteen week study conducted by Dr. Phyllis Zee from Northwestern University showed that exercise increased sleep quality and daytime energy boosts. It has been shown that people who exercise are less apt to develop diabetes and hypertension.
This is your body on Fresh Produce. Fresh produce is filling because it contains so much water. It is also full of vitamins that can be destroyed by cooking. Fresh fruits and vegetables should be consumed at every meal to make sure you get enough in your diet. You could start noticing the difference in how you feel in as little as two weeks. You could feel more energetic and alert. Besides that, by consuming more fresh produce you will be eating approximately 10% less calories that you would otherwise so you could lose some weight too. To be sure you get enough fresh produce fill half you plate with them at each meal.
This is your body on Nature. Go outside and enjoy nature. It has been shown in a study done in Essex, England that just being outside gives you a boost. Most of the boost happens in the first five minutes. Being in nature can help us put the rest of our lives in the proper perspective. A recent Japanese study showed that the immune activity can get a boost in as little as two consecutive days in the outdoors. This happens when NK cells that fight germs increase. The effect lasted a week. Dr. Alan Logan, coauthor of Your Brain on Nature describes it this way, “As a defense against harmful bacteria and fungi, plants produce airborne compounds called phytoncides. Once we breathe them in, these compounds help the body’s defenses as well. Go sip your coffee on the patio to get your dose of nature for the day. If you can’t get outside having live plants in the house will help too.
This is your body on Vacation. We all need a break from the daily grind. It’s necessary to our mental and physical well being. Elizabeth Lombardo, PhD and author of A Happy You says that taking a vacation will help you put your priorities in order as well as give you some great memories to think back on. Thinking back on these memories when you can’t sleep will help you stay away from troublesome thoughts and perhaps help you drift off easier. It has also been shown that people who take vacations have less health problems than those that don’t.
This is your body on a Good Book. Reading has many benefits. It’s entertaining, it increases mental activity and it could help ward off cognitive impairment as you age. Maryann Wolfe, author of Proust and the Squid: The Story and Science of the Reading Brain, says that it doesn’t matter what kind of book you read, visualizing the action will exercise your memory and focus. Keep a book or your Kindle near you and whenever you have some down time read a few pages.
This is your body on Friendship. Socializing helps keep you together. Getting together with a friend can give you an outlet for stress and help you deal with whatever you face. Friendship helps reinforce your support system and helps boost your self-worth, sense of security and emotional resilience says Rosemary Blieszner, Ph.D at Virginia Tech. She is a specialist in adult development and aging. Hanging out with people that have good habits could have you adopting those habits but unfortunately hanging out with those who have bad habits could have the same effect. Grab a pal and go shopping, go for a walk or even iron together so you get the benefits. Even talking on the phone can help.