There are many aspects of a completely balanced life whether it
involved our eating habits, relationships, or mental health. It can get
pretty muddy when we start to look at every component to balance out our
busy lifestyle. Expectations and pressure is an ever climbing part of
our western culture and we take so few breaks as compared to other
countries. So how can we balance ourselves in the most important areas?
Focus on healthy foods. Proper nutrition can impact everything from
your how your body functions to how your brain functions. Aim to eat a
balanced diet every meal by filling half your plate with vegetables and
fruits, getting plenty of lean protein, and avoiding processed sugars.
Eating a balanced diet does not necessarily mean that you are looking to
lose weight. Even if you are at a healthy weight, you may still benefit
from refining your daily diet. Start by adding just one serving of
fresh produce a day to get started. You'll be surprised at how little
changes like that can impact your diet.
150 minutes of Exercise per week. Our hectic lives can get in the way of this area pretty easily. This is usually the first to go when we are crunched for time; however, research shows that exercise can help provide sharper memory and thinking. The same endorphins that make you feel better also help you concentrate and feel mentally sharp for tasks at hand. Exercise also stimulates the growth of new brain cells and helps prevent age-related decline. Exercise doesn't have to be hard to be effective. Start out by taking a brisk walk, dancing around your house, or doing anything you enjoy that gets your heart pumping. There are even apps made for people who are complete beginners.
7-9 hours of sleep. Sleep offers the body and brain time to restore and recover, affecting nearly every tissue in the body. According to the National Sleep Foundation, most adults need at least, yet almost one third of Americans are getting. Sleep deprivation increases the risk of health conditions like diabetes, heart disease, and stroke. Prolonged sleep deprivation can also affect concentration and other cognitive functions. Cell phone use is a major hindrance to effective sleep routines, mostly due to the emission of blue light. Turn phones on “do not disturb” and place them away from your direct reach. Experts recommend you to stop scrolling 60-90 minutes before going to bed.
Information sources from The National Sleep Institute, The University of Michigan Health, and HelpGuide.org – Exercise and Fitness.
The LSU AgCenter and the LSU College of Agriculture