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Activate your Genes

We have all heard of exercise is important and that a sedentary lifestyle has been linked to diseases. Recent evidence has shown that an active lifestyle can increase your life by up to 9 years.

The World Health Organisation offer guidelines on physical activity which are detailed below but first it helps understand a little about the evolution of our species in order to understand why the way we move (as opposed to just doing any exercise at all) is so important.

Click here or scroll down to view the infographic

The way genes adapt to a changing environment is to mutate. Our species, ‘homo’ has been around for about two million years, with modern humans (homo sapiens) existing for around 200,000 years. The last significant gene that mutated (called the M168), occurred 45,000 to 50,000 years ago!

Since that time, there have been a few mutations, such as those to allow us to digest grains and dairy, but all in all, our genome hasn’t changed. However, our environment has changed (but we haven’t adapted to it).

Our ancestors moved a lot – today, however, many of us work in offices, call centres and due to our increasingly sedentary lifestyle, we move a lot less.

Steps

To be in line with our hunter-gatherer predecessors, we would need to take between 18,000 and 22,000. In fact, the average Australian and British office worker take just 3,000 to 5,000 steps per day. This is a significant shortfall and our health is suffering as a result.

Exercise is a powerful driver of gene expression and the famous American researcher and cardiologist Frank Booth once said,

We know of no single intervention with greater promise than physical exercise to reduce the risk of virtually all chronic diseases simultaneously’.

Incidental exercise

However, before you bring up lack of time to get to the gym, it’s important to understand that physical activity does not just mean an hour of sport/gym so many times a week or hitting a high step count. Both the global and Australian guidelines recommend those 18-64 years od:

  • Be active each day
  • Accumulate 15–300 minutes of moderate intensity each week
  • Accumulate 75-150 minutes of vigorous intensity a week
  • OR an equivalent of both moderate and vigorous
  • Do muscle strengthening activities at least 2 days each week

So, what does all this mean? Many of us are relying on 10,000 steps each day for health benefits, so where does that fit in with the recommendations? And what does ‘be active everyday’ look like for you?

To simplify things, we have created rituals around ‘Active Minutes’ to minimise the gap between 10k steps and vigorous exercise. We show you the reduction you achieve to your BioAge from movement in the shape of the ‘Active Minutes Ritual’ (this encompasses steps, movement snacks and high/moderate intensity activity) rather than relying on calculating your activity themselves.

A few ideas to help you increase your active minutes:

  1.  At a minimum, take 10,000 steps per day (or 70,000 a week). A great way to keep track is with a device such as a Fitbit, Garmin or Jawbone Up.
  2. Introduce quick bursts of movement throughout the day (what we like to call Movement Snacks). Use TV advert breaks to do squats, push-ups or 30-second sprints.
  3. Do three to five workouts per week – ideally a combination of vigorous activity and strength sessions. If you don’t view yourself as a ‘workout person’ don’t worry, workouts can be short and sharp and can be completed anywhere without equipment – our timed Ritualize workout videos are a great start!
  4. Don’t sit for prolonged periods, as this along is a risk for chronic disease. Ensure you get up and move a little every 30 minutes or so.

What’s your personal target?

See how many active minutes you need to hit to reduce your BioAge each day by clicking Active Minutes on your Ritual Board and you’ll find it at the top of the page (on both app and desktop). What’s important for many people is you don’t need to be going to the gym for an hour every day to gain benefits of physical activity – all movement counts!

 

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Acts of Kindness

When you do something nice for someone else, it can actually make you feel better too. This isn’t just something that happens coincidentally – it has to do with the pleasure centres in your brain. Doing nice things for others boosts your serotonin, the neurotransmitter responsible for feelings of satisfaction and well-being. Like exercise, altruism also releases endorphins, a phenomenon known as a “helper’s high” (1).

Being nice to others can also affect the actual chemical balance of your heart. Kindness releases the hormone oxytocin. According to David Hamilton, a doctor and best-selling author, “oxytocin causes the release of a chemical called nitric oxide in blood vessels, which dilates the blood vessels. This reduces blood pressure and therefore oxytocin is known as a ‘cardioprotective’ hormone because it protects the heart.” Oxytocin also helps reduce inflammation in the body. Inflammation in the body can be associated with all sorts of health problems such as diabetes, cancer, chronic pain, obesity, and migraines. Kindness can actually help manage or prevent illness (2).

Not only that, but in our busy, always-on-the-go lives, we’re constantly looking for ways to reduce stress, and kindness may be one answer. Helping others allows you to step outside of yourself and take a break from the stressors in your own life, and this behaviour can also make you better equipped to handle stressful situations (3).

Acts of Kindness can be as simple as holding the door open for a stranger, smiling at people around you, donating money to a charity, or doing a work colleague a small favour. If someone thanks you, ask them to just “pay it forward” by doing something for others.

 

REFERENCES:

1 https://www.quietrev.com/6-science-backed-ways-being-kind-is-good-for-your-health/

2 http://drdavidhamilton.com/the-5-side-effects-of-kindness/

3http://www.readersdigest.ca/home-garden/giving-back/4-reasons-why-being-kind-is-good-you/view-all/

 

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Finding the Silver Lining

We all react to different problems in different ways. Ever noticed that some people can stay calm under adversity while others are obviously stressed out? One of the best ways to help change your emotional response to a bad situation is something called cognitive reappraisal.

Cognitive Reappraisal is:

1) attending to the emotional situation, which will elicit an automatic judgment of the situation,

2) a cognitive re-evaluation of the situation in a more neutral or positive direction.

What happens when you take a split second to cast a better light on an otherwise dark situation is that you can actually up-end your emotional experience entirely. What was once an idiotic, reckless driver, is now a guy just trying to get to work on time. What was once a bad interview, is now good experience and something to improve on next time. Studies have demonstrated that the use of cognitive reappraisal can change how you view the emotional experience very quickly and even decrease the physical effects of emotion on the body. For example, anger typically causes your heart rate, respiration, and skin conductance levels to elevate, but upon reappraisal, these responses don’t spike nearly as highly.

An effective way to do this is to create a Catastrophe Scale. Form your scale of how bad things are from 1 to 10 – 10 being the worst possible thing that could ever happen and 1 being something mediocre. Refer to this scale to get a bigger picture of how bad the situation currently is.

Here are some examples:  

  1. Getting caught in a rainstorm while on your way to work
  2. Kid fails a test at school
  3. Work presentation doesn’t go as well as you hoped
  4. Car breaks down and you’re late for work
  5. Miss a very important business meeting or job interview
  6. The doctor says that you have high blood pressure
  7. Broken limb and it interferes with work
  8. Losing a close relationship/marriage/friendship
  9. Someone you love dies
  10. The whole family dies in front of you and having to witness it in a war-torn country

Obviously, the circumstances surrounding all of these can be personal to you. But the point of a catastrophe scale is to step back and see the bigger picture and use it as a reference point whenever times call for it.

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Get Your Game Face On

Athletes regularly practise mental rehearsal, or what we like to call mental sculpting before a competition, and in little breaks during a competition. The top tennis players in the world use their mental strength to help them succeed. In fact, Serena Williams considers the game of tennis is 70% mental. Below is a list of positive statements which Serena Williams writes down and reads before and during the match.

  • “My good thoughts are powerful”
  • “My only negative thoughts are weak!”
  • “Decide what you want to be, have, do and think the thoughts of it.”
  • “Hang on to the thought of what you want. Make it absolutely clear.”
  • “Positive thoughts”
  • “You will look at balls”
  • “You will move up”
  • “You are #1 (No 1)”
  • “You are the best”
  • “You will add spin”
  • “You will win WIMBLEDON”

This approach can be used by anyone in their daily lives, not just athletes. One way we can do this is by thinking “what is my best self?” and presenting that version of yourself.  You can ask other people, friends or family, when they have seen you at your best and then create this best version of yourself. The You that is positive, the You that is open, friendly and welcoming to others, the You that is focussed and determined. You can also select a role model who has the traits you could benefit from in your own life. This could be a sporting star, an actor, activist or even your neighbour. Write down the traits you admire and if you are in a situation where you need them, ask yourself, what would they do in this situation?

The idea is to then use this lots of times throughout the day. Before you have a meeting at work or are one on one with someone, or a customer interaction. Just give yourself 20 seconds of space to say “Ok, what is my best self”, and visualise it. What are the emotions, the body language and the intention that you’re going to bring to the conversation? Emotions are contagious, so by doing this regularly throughout the day, you will actually improve your level of interaction and it will have a positive impact on those that you interact with. Plus you will notice that your performance level goes up.

The single most important time to do this Game Face or Mental Sculpting ritual is when you come home. It’s easy to bring the stress of the day home with you if you don’t consciously switch your mindset. Before you go into the house, just sit outside and for 20 to 30 seconds just say to yourself “What part of me does me or my partner, or my kids or my parents want to see?

Just do that visualisation, walk in with intention around your emotions and notice how that will impact positively on your friends and your family.

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Alcohol Free Days – Why Do It?

It’s very common for people to wind down after work with a drink. This may seem harmless enough, but the reality is that half of that bottle of wine or those few bottles of beer could be causing silent damage to your liver, with serious consequences.

It may surprise you to know that the majority of people who die from the alcohol-related liver disease are not alcoholics. Alcohol causes damage to the cells in your liver, which can lead to inflammation and scarring as it tries to repair itself. Even if you only have one or two drinks a day, your liver can’t cope and can’t repair itself, but you don’t have to become a ‘tea-totaller’ to fix it.

Your liver needs at least 48 hours without alcohol to repair itself.  Cutting back your daily intake won’t help your liver.  The 2 days have to be alcohol-free and it’s important they are ‘consecutive’. At Ritualize, we include an Alcohol-Free Day on our Ritual lists. By adding it to your personal Rituals, you’ll be giving your liver a break and bringing your BioAge down.

“The main advantage of  two alcohol-free days each week – as opposed to occasional alcohol-free days when you’re sick, for instance – is that it reduces your lifetime exposure to alcohol, which in turn helps lower the risk of both liver disease and alcohol-related cancers such as cancer of the breast, colon, oesophagus and mouth,” says Associate Professor Simone Strasser, a gastroenterologist and spokeswoman for  the Australian Liver Association. (1)

The Australian Government Guidelines recommends no more than 2 standard drinks on any given day for both men and women. (2). This can be confusing as it implies that drinking every day is safe.  The United Kingdom has recently reviewed their guidelines and now recommends that everyone should have alcohol-free days each week. (3)

Alcohol over time can cause also cause brain damage, heart disease, high blood pressure and increase your risk of many cancers such as breast cancer, mouth and intestinal cancers.  

Aside from reducing your risk of disease, there are other reasons to have a 2-day break from alcohol:


Your quality of sleep will improve.

When you drink before bed, you don’t fall into a natural slumber. It’s common for people to fall asleep quickly, so many think that glass of wine or 2 helps them get to sleep.  But then they wake up around 3am and are wide awake. This could be due to a sleep-inducing chemical in the brain called adenosine, which is increased after drinking. You fall asleep quickly, but the chemical is quickly depleted, which can cause you to wake before earlier than your body wants to. (https://sleepfoundation.org/sleep-topics/how-alcohol-affects-sleep)

Alcohol also blocks your rapid eye movement (REM) sleep which is imperative for growth and repair. Less REM sleep can cause you to be tired and lack in focus the next day.

You’ll lose weight

Alcohol contains empty calories, which means you are taking in calories that your body doesn’t need. A glass of wine can contain 120 calories and a beer about 150 calories. When you have a break from alcohol, you not only cut down on these empty calories, but you tend to make healthier food choices.

Your skin will glow

Alcohol dehydrates you, which can dry your skin and over time cause you to look older than you are. The increase in blood flow can cause a red pigmentation.

Your mood will increase

You may feel happier while you’re drinking, but the next day alcohol can make you feel down. This is because alcohol is a depressant and affects the balance of hormones in the brain. Having a few Alcohol-free days can make you feel a lot brighter.

It’s always advisable to drink alcohol in moderation on the days you do drink and know that you and your liver will enjoy your 48 hours without it.  Make it a weekly ritual and reap the benefits.

 

REFERENCES

(1) http://www.smh.com.au/lifestyle/diet-and-fitness/why-your-body-loves-time-off-from-alcohol-especially-if-youre-female-20150129-1311rp.html

(2) http://www.alcohol.gov.au/internet/alcohol/publishing.nsf/Content/guide-adult

(3) http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-35252650

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Box breathing: The Military Secret

In 2012, the New York Times wrote an article, called “The ‘Busy’ Trap”, about how so many of us over-schedule ourselves in order to feel more important or to avoid being alone with our thoughts but our busyness can be self-inflicted. We often take on too much work and other obligations and can let our ambition or drive come before our health.  It’s not as if any of us wants to live like this; it’s something we’re collectively – albeit unknowingly – encouraging each other to do (1).

So, if being too busy – and not challenging ourselves to be more mindful of how we choose to spend our time – is ruining our health, taking time out of our day, even just 2 minutes, to relax, unplug and clear our minds can have enormous benefits.

Box Breathing, otherwise known as Four-Square Breathing or Controlled Breathing, is a great way to reduce stress and to give your mind a break for a few minutes. The Special Forces, public speakers, and surgeons use tactical breathing to help control their thoughts and emotions when faced with challenging situations that obscure their clarity. (2)

HOW DO YOU DO IT?

Box Breathing is a technique where you take slow, deep breaths while counting to four while you breathe in, hold for four, breathe out for four, hold for four.

  • Start by relaxing your whole body and be seated if possible.
  • Sit upright, and then slowly exhale, getting all the oxygen out of your lungs. Really focus on this and be conscious of what you’re doing.
  • Inhale slowly and deeply through your nose to the count of four, very slowly in your head.
  • Feel the coolness of the air you’re breathing in and the way it fills your lungs, one section at a time until they are completely full.
  • Hold your breath for another slow count of four.
  • Exhale through your mouth for the same slow count of four, expelling the air from your lungs and abdomen. Be conscious of the feeling of the air leaving your lungs, how the coolness has become warmth.
  • Then hold your breath for another 4 counts and repeat the whole process again (3).

If you have trouble clearing your thoughts, trying humming in your mind or really focus on the counting.

 

WHEN AND WHERE CAN YOU DO IT?

It’s almost like meditating, and so it works best in a quiet, stress free environment. However if you cannot find a quiet place, it’s something you can easily do with your eyes closed in a quiet spot with your eyes closed, at work or at home or anywhere in between. Give it a go while you’re standing waiting for your kettle to boil, or on the train to work, or in the bathroom before a meeting, or after you park your car, before you head into your office for the day. Repeat your mantra and count to yourself and no one will even notice that you are performing a stress-reduction exercise.

WHY DOES IT WORK?

According to the Mayo Clinic, a medical research clinic in the United States, there is a sufficient amount of evidence to suggest that intentional deep breathing can actually calm and regulate the autonomic nervous system, a system which regulates involuntary body functions like temperature. It can lower blood pressure and provide an almost-immediate sense of calm, and improve your mood. But the benefits of deep breathing also extend beyond in-the-moment stress relief. It’s an exceptional treatment for conditions like generalised anxiety disorder, panic disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, and depression. It can also help treat insomnia by allowing you to calm your nervous system at night before bed. Box breathing can even help with pain management (4).

References:

  1. https://www.wellandgood.com/good-advice/stop-glorifying-how-busy-you-are/
  2. https://thepreppingguide.com/box-breathing/
  3. https://www.healthline.com/health/box-breathing#tips
  4. https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/stress-management/in-depth/decrease-stress-by-using-your-breath/art-20267197?pg=2
  5. https://www.livestrong.com/article/225192-sudarshan-kriya-breathing-technique/
  6. https://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/06/30/the-busy-trap/?_r=0

 

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Don’t Believe Everything You Think

Don’t believe everything you think. Thoughts are just that – thoughts” – Allan Lokos, author

Most of us want a mindset that helps us feel good and helps us be productive, kind, helpful and just all-around awesome. But our mindsets are not always an environment of roses and fluffy clouds as we’d like them to be. This is often hard to be aware of and hard to change.

Think of the set in mindset.  It’s rigid, stubborn …. it’s set.

Why does this happen?  It’s a cumulation of past experiences, previous thoughts, relationships, what others have done and said (even as small children), what we’ve seen in the media and what the most important people in our lives have said or done that make up our current mindset. The beliefs, opinions and attitudes that make up our mindset are pretty much hard-wired in us but this hard-wiring can be changed.

There are so many ways to look at a situation, so many different ways to think about the things that happen to you and around you. Remember the story of Pollyanna? She saw the good in everything, even in the worst situations.  The first step is to be aware of your thinking choices.  We have around 50,000-70,000 thoughts a day and many of these are repeated and many not logical.  

Cognitive bias, false assumptions, misinformation, ego and limited beliefs are just a few patterns of unhealthy thought that interfere with our judgement. With a rise in mental health issues worldwide, there are a lot of us out there with unhealthy thought patterns. One in 4 people worldwide are affected by a mental health disorder (1) and 4 million people in Australia are experiencing a Mental Health issues (2) with Tasmania ranking the highest for hospital admissions due to mental health issues.(3) Mental health can be a complex issue.  Having awareness of whether you have a positive or negative mindset can be a help.

If you tell yourself you’re a failure, you believe you’ll never be good enough, you believe that people in the street look at you because they’re judging you, you believe you could never get to where you want to get to – you may want to start challenging these limiting beliefs.  

Here are some tips for rewiring your brain to create a positive mindset – often referred to a ‘growth mindset:

  • Use positive words instead of negative ones. Words create thoughts which create a feeling, so try and keep them positive.
  • Be grateful. Research is showing us that a daily gratitude ritual makes us happier. Add the gratitude ritual on the Ritualize app and make a note of something you are thankful for each day.
  • When talking or thinking about something you’d like to have or do, use aspirational and positive language, for example:
    • Instead of “I can’t run 5km” you’d say “I can’t run 5km yet”
    • I can’t run 5km yet/however I can go swimming more often.
    • I’m not sleeping well YET but it’s something I’m working on.
  • Be empathetic to others. We are often so entrenched in our own beliefs that we don’t see others points of view.

Taking control of your thoughts is the first step to a more positive and happier mindset.  Listen to your thoughts before you react.

 

REFERENCES

http://www.who.int/whr/2001/media_centre/press_release/en/

http://www.abs.gov.au/ausstats/abs@.nsf/mf/4364.0.55.001

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-10-14/community-based-care-needed-to-curb-mental-health-hospital-admi/9049808

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Not all calories are created equally

Calories are often at the centre of our decision as to whether or not to eat a certain food.  Many of us are counting our calories and many weight loss programs require you to do the same, but is it an effective long-term strategy?

We would say no, for a number of reasons:

  1. It’s very time consuming, and not a realistic long-term strategy for most people.
  2. Manufacturers are allowed up to 10% leeway when estimating calories in their products, so you may be eating more or less than you think.
  3. Calorie amounts found on food labels are based on something called the Atwater system, which basically involves estimating the energy of foods by measuring the heat given off when it is burned. However, the accuracy of the system is strongly disputed –  for example, a 2012 study by a USDA scientist concluded that the measured energy content of a sample of almonds was 32% lower than the estimated Atwater value. Furthermore, it is known that some calories are lost in waste, without ever having been chemically converted or stored. It is really just generally accepted as true because there is no better way to estimate calories from food at this point.
  4. Calories from different foods are not all equal. 

Calorie Inequalities

Professor Robert Lustig carried out a study. For example, you could eat a doughnut which is around 240 calories. The same calories are in a cup of avocado.  One is a highly processed food and the other is picked off a tree.  Same calories, same effect?  Absolutely not.

With that in mind, let’s look at some examples of how the body breaks down, metabolises and uses food. The food contains the macronutrients fibre, protein, fat and carbohydrates.

Fibre

Nuts are high in fibre and there is some research to say that lean, healthy people tend to eat a lot of them. How can this happen given they’re high in calories?  Let’s say you eat 160 calories in almonds. Because of the fibre in the almonds, some good things happen. First, the fibre keeps your blood sugar from rising too high, which keeps your insulin down.  Secondly, the fibre bypasses the small intestine and goes intact to the large intestine and the good bacteria living there end up chewing it up instead of you absorbing them. So, even if 160 calories entered your mouth, only around 80% of those are actually available for you to absorb. This is because not all calories are created equal.

Protein

Digestion of food requires energy to create energy. This is called the thermic effect of food and protein requires over twice the energy to digest it if you compare it to fat and carbs.

Fat

Next, let’s look at the demonised fat. There are good fats and there are bad fats. Some fats are incredibly good for you and others will, over time, make you sick.  Good fats are like omega 3s of salmon, flaxseed and walnuts or monounsaturated fat from avocado. Bad fats include trans fats which are found in many processed foods and junk food. Calories from fat are not all equal either.

Carbohydrates

Let’s look at carbohydrates. Like fat, there are good carbs and there are bad carbs. Like fat, there are good carbs and there are bad carbs. Good carbs from real, unprocessed food such as vegetables, legumes, fruit and whole-grains which are high in fibre. Refined carbohydrate is found in processed food, which is low in fibre.  This is the reason the current western diet is low in fibre, which is a major factor as to why people are getting sick.

Ritualize has a simple approach to nutrition – we call it the 80/20 Lifestyle where 80% of your daily food intake is from real, whole food that was recently alive and 20% is your treat food.  This approach means you don’t feel deprived, but maintain control of the treat food while getting all the nourishment your body needs to stay healthy.

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Be Kind To Yourself

“If your compassion does not include yourself, it is incomplete…” – Buddha

Be kind to yourself

We know that feeling compassionate towards others is a good trait to have.

Feeling compassionate means we are aware and are moved by the suffering of others. Research is showing that being compassionate towards other can increase our well-being.The part of the brain responsible for compassion and empathy is the cerebral cortex. If it’s working well, we feel kindness, care and understanding for people.

Self-compassion is where compassion turns inward and those feelings of kindness and understanding are directed at ourselves at those times when we feel inadequate or if we fail rather than drowning ourselves with self-criticism. With 3 million people in Australia living with depression or anxiety, it seems self-compassion may be missing in a lot of lives. There’s good reason to be self-compassionate and science is showing us why.

A study at Duke University, Wake Forest University, and Louisiana University on self-compassion showed:

  • People who were self-compassionate tended to be more optimistic and had a tendency not to believe that their problems were worse than other people’s problems.
  • A person with a high level of self-compassion experiences the feeling of kindness towards oneself, and takes on a nonjudgmental attitude towards their own inadequacies and failures, recognising that experiencing those failures is normal.
  • People who were self-compassionate had less sadness, anxiety, and negative feelings.


Top 5 Ways to Feel Self Compassion


DO WHAT MORE OF WHAT BRINGS YOU JOY

Whether it’s playing with your dog, gardening or working out at the gym, so more of what makes you happy. Write a list of things that you enjoy so when you are feeling negative you can read the list and choose something that works for you.


PUT YOURSELF FIRST

Many of us spend time tending to the needs of others that we put ourselves at the bottom of the priority list. Putting self-care higher up the list will improve well-being and therefore improve our ability to look after others.


BREATHE

Deep breathing such as Box Breathing or any meditation practice calms the central nervous system, alleviating stress and anxiety.


EXERCISE

Exercise is not only physically good for us, but it taps into the emotional parts of the brain that trigger the release of ‘feel good’ hormones. You don’t have to sweat it out at the gym as even smaller, short bursts of exercise have a positive effect on our mood.


EAT WELL

When we are feeling down about ourselves we often crave high sugar and fat foods which release the hormone, dopamine, making us feel good in the short term. Our brains are wired to seed pleasure, so we turn to these foods to seek the positive feelings they bring. Research is showing a link between mood and food intake which can lead to health problems (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4150387/) Eating a balanced diet of plenty of vegetables, fruit, protein, good fat, complex carbs and fibre will curb the sugar craving and stabilise mood swings.


BE SOCIAL

Being around friends and family who matter most can have a positive effect on your mental and physical health. If you’re feeling negative thoughts about yourself, call a friend you can confide in or even just have a chat. Often speaking with other puts a different perspective on things.

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Your Brain Needs Water

In order for our brains to function optimally, we need to ensure we stay hydrated.  Brain cells need water (amongst other things) to operate or they will quickly lose efficiency when the balance is lost. 

Drinking water is not just about quenching thirst.  Studies have shown that dehydration can actually cause the brain to shrink, linking to declining memory, difficulty thinking clearly and doing complex tasks (like a crossword). 

The good news is, having a glass of water quickly brings the brain back to normal. Other studies have shown that students who drink water before an exam can do up to three times better than those who had none.  

Water could also be the answer to those who wake up grumpy. On a typical night’s sleep, there are up to 10 hours without water.  We sweat and breathe out moisture and therefore can be dehydrated when we wake, which can affect mood.  

If you want to be on top of your game or avoid that afternoon slump, try water to maximise your thinking, focus and mood.

6 signs you could be dehydrated:

  1. You’re tired
  2. You’re hungry
  3. You have a headache
  4. Your skin is dry
  5. You feel hot
  6. You’re grumpy

Our guideline is 30ml of water for every Kg of body weight (eg 30ml x 56kg=1,680ml or rounded to 2 litres water).

We are lucky we live in a part of the world that has access to clean water.  It’s something to be grateful for.  Consider donating to a charity such as https://thewaterproject.org/give-water to help those struggling without water.