The beginning of a new year is the ideal time to give your lifestyle an overhaul. So we’ve come up with some easy New Year’s resolutions we think you’ll love. They’re fun to do and could potentially make a huge difference to your health.
1 TAKE UP PING-PONG
This could just be one of the more fun ways to take care of your brain health! A Japanese study comparing the mental ability of table tennis players with that of non-players found the players were more mentally agile, even in older age, which means it could prevent or delay senile dementia. Playing pingpong enhances the parts of the brain responsible for movement, fine motor skills and strategy, says Dr Wendy Suzuki, professor of neuroscience and psychology at New York University.
Start the year by clearing the decks – it will make way for calm and help you achieve your goals. A swathe of international research has concluded that decluttering your work and living spaces helps your brain focus, increases productivity and creativity, and decreases stress. Deal with one space at a time, and if you need assistance, there are experts who can help. Find a professional online: there are dozens of excellent local organiser businesses that can help with everything from decluttering your house to clearing your diary of to-do lists.
3 WALK BEFORE BEDTIME
About 70% of us suffer partial sleep deprivation at some point when sleep is disturbed and we miss out on essential slow-wave deep sleep. One cause could be that the left hemisphere of the brain is overactive, say sleep coaches. That’s particularly the case if you do a lot of analytical work. Exercise that uses the right and left side of the body alternately can cancel out an overactive left brain. Simple walking is a great choice, but if you feel unsafe outside at night, try a relaxing stretching routine instead.
4 EAT A PIECE OF APPLE BEFORE GROCERY SHOPPING
According to research by Cornell University in the US, shoppers who ate a healthy snack before entering the supermarket bought 28% more fruit and vegetables than those given a biscuit – or nothing – to eat. It appears that eating a small healthy snack put the shoppers into a healthier mindset, which led to better food choices. Good to know!
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