The Healthy Habits Challenge
This week we talk about challenging our brains, spending time in nature and eating according to “The Healthy Plate”. If you would like to boost your overall wellness pick any of the following healthy habits and gradually start to integrate it into your daily routine.
Healthy Habit #7
Challenging your brain and keeping it active throughout your life can be helpful with maintaining a healthy brain into your golden years.
- Play games: Sudoku, puzzles, crosswords, any board game etc.
- Learn something new: a language, painting/drawing, knitting/crochet, cooking/baking, woodworking, survival skills, gardening, an instrument, a sport etc.
- Take a new route to work or home.
- Use your non-dominant hand to eat, to brush your teeth or hair.
- Listen to different types of music.
If possible, invite a friend or family member to join you in your activity. Healthy and strong social relationships have been shown to be protective against cognitive decline.
I’m currently learning how to draw and paint with watercolors. So much fun!
Healthy Habit #8
Make your plate a Healthy Plate!
That means filling half of your plate with non-starchy vegetables e.g. broccoli, asparagus, zucchini, kale etc.
A quarter of your plate is reserved for protein-rich foods e.g. meat, fish, legumes and beans, eggs, dairy and tofu etc.
The last quarter is for starchy vegetables and grains e.g. bread, pasta, rice, quinoa, oats, potatoes, parsnips, squash and corn etc.
If you are trying to lose weight or simply want to reduce your food intake try using a smaller plate for your meals.
Wait 20 min.
If you are still hungry go for a second plate following the Healthy Plate proportions again.
Healthy Habit #9
Researchers have demonstrated that humans gain a plethora of health and wellbeing benefits from nature exposure.
For example, people can experience shorter recoveries following surgery; increased vitamin D synthesis; circadian rhythm regulation; reduced stress and lower blood pressure. Children can also exhibit fewer ADHD symptoms.
If you want to learn more about the impacts of nature on human health there is a great book called Your Brain On Nature by Alan Logan and Eva M. Selhub.
You can experience the health benefits of nature by simply sitting and spending time outside, preferably for a minimum of 30 min per day.
I personally love doing things outside. I love gardening, walking, hiking and backcountry camping.
I especially love noticing the wildlife around me. I try guessing which pawprints belong to which animal and the type of birds that are singing and flying around me.
I really love coming across medicinal plants growing in the wild, unkempt and unnoticed. It’s like finding a secret garden.
Unfortunately, we don’t all have access to expansive green spaces. What is really interesting is that people can also receive the benefits of nature by bringing nature into their homes.
Houseplants, indoor edible gardens and even images of nature sceneries can have a positive impact on our health.
If you are planning on increasing your time outside make sure you are up to date in regards to your area’s laws and regulations for COVID-19.