Life-Styles (Adventures)

Introduction

During change it is important to maintain a healthy lifestyle so that you are at your peak (mentally, emotionally, biologically, physically, etc) to handle all the challenges.

In addition to our genes and the environment, we make daily choices that can influence our health.

"... Everything in our lives is connected to our health. The quality and quantity of our sleep, our relationships, stress levels, diet, exercise and even our thoughts and emotions profoundly affect our immune system, hormones and the entire body chemistry..."
Helena Popovic, 2021

There are 10 tactics to maximise benefits for a good lifestyle, ie be vibrantly healthy to handle issues around stress, health, emotional challenges, immune system, mental activity, etc.

These are more than

"...eat less, move more, sleep more, stress less..."
Helena Popovic, 2021

Ten Tactics (ADVENTURES, ie state of mind)

1. A = Awestruck (do something that is 'awe-inspiring' or has the 'wow' factor, eg something that transcends, or exceeds, your expectations; this increases the output of performance-enhancing chemicals or hormone (like oxytocin, prolactin, acetycholine and noradrenaline) so that you become healthier (like lowers inflammation; lowers blood pressure; reduces the impact of stress; improves mental activity like concentration, focus, thinking, memory, creativity, etc; you become more ethical, generous and compassionate)

2. D = Directions (have a meaning and purpose in life; should be joyful; set goals, targets, etc; be prepared to challenge yourself; having a positive attitude, ie counting your blessings; focus on the big picture; be optimistic; feel that your life matters; you are making a positive contribution, like volunteering; have a sense of personal value; set personally meaningful goals (big and small, short-term and long-term) to bring joy and fulfilment; these reduce the risk of having a stroke, heart attack, becoming depressed, getting Alzheimer's disease; helps handling stress; helps recovery from addictions, etc)

3. V = Vitamin D (need to increase exposure to direct sunlight as it is a source of vitamin D, eg go outdoors in the sun for at least 15 minutes every day; can be found in selected food items like eggs, beef liver, fish (including oils), fortified milk, mushrooms, etc; lack of vitamin D increases susceptibility to heart diseases (like strokes), multiple sclerosis, bone problems, cognitive impairment like Alzheimer's disease, cancer, respiratory issues like COVID-19, etc; vitamin D deficiency is made worse by obesity, dark coloured skin (have problems manufacturing vitamin D), osteoporosis, gut problems, etc which lower the absorption of vitamin D; it is a fat-soluble food, ie needs fat or oil to be absorbed)

4. E = Exercise Effectively (regular, ie for at least 30 minutes per day; there are 3 types of exercise, ie

    i) aerobic or endurance (raising your heart rate)

    ii) muscle strength ('brawn builds brain', ie

"...The strength of your muscles reflects the strength of your mind..."
Helena Popovic, 2021

    iii) balance (it is a complex task as the brain has to decipher information from many parts of the body like eyes, ears, etc; some health issues, like depression, schizophrenia, anxiety, etc have a negative impact on your balance; improving your balance improves mental health).

Effective exercise that will rise a 'puff', ie breathless; more important than weight loss from exercise are the biological benefits, ie reduces chance of many diseases like Alzheimer's, heart, diabetes, depression, anxiety, etc; many positive impacts on all parts of the body like immune system, cognitive abilities, etc; exercise stimulates chemical production like the brain derived neurotrophic factor (DBNF) which encourages the development of new brain cells and improves connections between of old brain cells; movement stimulates the brain to work better, ie if about to perform a mentally taxing task, do some exercise beforehand; exercising for around an hour a day increases production of feel-good chemicals like dopamine, serotonin, endorphins, etc that are more powerful than well-known prescribed anti-depressants like Prozac)

5. N = Nature (physical environment; connecting with nature like gardening, walking in a park, forest, beach, etc; makes you feel better, ie improves all types of health (mental, emotional, biological, physical, etc) and well-being including immune system, concentration, intellectual acuity, etc; people who don't spend enough time in nature are more likely to have mental health issues like depression, anxiety, stress-related disorders, etc)

6. T = Thankfulness (show gratitude, etc; don't complain; the way you view the world impacts on health, outlook, etc, ie a positive attitude is significantly more beneficial than a negative one; makes you more resilient to stress and disease; reduces chronic pain; a focus on the good things of life; feeling positive rewires the brain to perform better, ie you see the bigger picture, are more optimistic and hopeful; doing a daily reflection on what you feel grateful for is useful)

7. U = Understanding (being prepared to change your perceptions, thoughts, behaviours, etc; being an optimist rather than a pessimist, ie choosing what will empower you; you can choose your attitude and how you label things, ie see things as an opportunity or a challenge; use your unique ability to choose the meaning we attach to whatever you experience; view failure as a learning experience and reframe negative situations into positives)

8. R = Relationships*i (be supportive; we are social animals; help someone else; be non-judgemental; respect another's point of view; having positive social relationships greatly improves your mental, emotional, physical, biological, etc health; conflict has a negative impact on your immune system; loneliness is seen as a threat to the brain; quality is more important than quantity; need at least one person in whom you can confide)

9. E = Eat (this refers more than weight loss; eat healthy, unadulterated food; reduce intake of processed, convenience, fast, junk, salty, sugary, fatty, snatch, foods and ready-made meals with processed vegetable oils (not olive oil) or emulsifiers which include toxic chemicals like artificial sweeteners, colourings, etc; increase intake of unprocessed foods like fruit, vegetables, seafood, meats (beef, poultry, sheep, etc), etc; don't snack, 2 or 3 meals a day is enough; leave 12+ hours between evening meal and breakfast, ie fasting; cook with natural ingredients;

"...eat food from sea, sky, land or tree, not from a box or a can or a bottle or a packet or a carton or a tin..."
Helena Popovic, 2021

Cook with natural oils like olive (fruit oil), coconut, lard, avocado, butter, ghee, macadamia, etc; avoid highly processed oils from seeds like sunflower, safflower oil, canola, soya bean, rice bran, corn, etc as high in omega 6 fatty acids which when heated produced carcinogenic compounds

Listen to your body as a basis for healthy eating

Some good foods include (brain foods)
"...i) berries and broccoli
    ii) rucola/rocket & dark leafy greens
    iii) anchovies and asparagus
    iv) iodine (seaweed, eggs, iodised salt)
    v) nuts with nothing added
    vi) fermented vegetables
    vii) olive oil
    viii) onions
    ix) d vitamin D
    x) salmon and sardines..."
Helena Popovic, 2021

 10. S = Sleep (aim for at least 7 hours good quality sleep per night; don't use sleeping pills; sleep is important for detoxing, etc the brain and reinvigorating your immune system; long-term sleep deprivation increases the risk of chronic diseases like depression, dementia, cancer, etc) (more details in other parts in the Knowledge Base)

NB Do things in moderation

Notes

i) most important tactic

Summary

"...do things you love with people you love and be grateful for all that you have. Nothing keeps us healthier than that..."
Helena Popovic, 2021a

 

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