As we move further into 2019, the number of deadlines and due dates can often increase for many of us. In today’s blog, we discuss some tried and tested nutritional tips that can help support your energy and focus and help achieve all your goals.
The Importance of Exercise and Communication
After preparing long and hard for something (such as a project or an exam), sometimes it’s best to do the opposite of your main task to let your mind and body recover. Activities that involve movement and communication help balance out long periods of sitting and thinking.
When movement is minimised by sitting, blood circulation slows and blood tends to pool in the legs. Slower blood circulation results in less oxygen reaching the brain. When blood flow to the brain is restricted, productivity and alertness decline and as a result thoughts can become foggy. Physical sluggishness increases and a person can become more easily distracted. This is why it is so important to get up, move your body to assist the circulation of the oxygen-rich blood to the brain.
During periods of stress, it can also be helpful to communicate your feelings and any concerns to your friends and family. Just the practice of talking about what worries you have can make it feel less burdensome, especially if the person you are discussing this with has been in a similar situation themselves.
Get Enough Sleep
Regardless of who you are and where you live, sleep is a universal human need. Humans typically spend about one-third of their entire lives asleep. While that may seem like a waste of time to many people, there’s a real reason why we need to sleep. Without enough sleep, your mental and physical health, as well as your productivity starts to decline. Over time, chronic sleep loss can negatively affect your heart health and immune system function, learning and memory, body weight, energy and mood. It can even impair your physical safety when you or someone else decides to drive when drowsy. To get good sleep try these tips:
Go to bed and wake up at the same time each day to reset your circadian rhythm
Keep your room cool and as dark as possible — no light-emitting electronics
Exercise a little each day and outside if possible to enjoy natural light
Avoid stimulants like coffee, nicotine and sugar after midday
Eat Well and Supplement Your Diet
Perhaps the most overlooked aspect of managing stress and staying healthy is a good diet, as the detrimental effects of a poor diet can take longer to appear. However, most of us know a person who is visibly affected by what they eat, or when they eat, or if they don’t eat when they should. The right nutrition is essential to our physical well-being, but it’s also a key component of good cognitive and mood health. If you don’t get the proper nutrients, your brain won’t have what it needs to function correctly.
It might surprise you to know that your brain is your body’s fattest organ – around 60% fat! Some of these fats are what are called “essential fats”, which means that your body needs them, but cannot synthesise them on its own. These fats you must get through diet or nutritional supplements.
The most well-known essential fats are omega-3 fats called EPA and DHA. The brain needs both, but it’s especially reliant on DHA for the structure of brain cells, the function of neurotransmitters and cell-to-cell communication. In fact, DHA is used by the body to build our brains even before we are born. Omega-3’s also play an essential role in the nervous system, in vision and eye health, and in keeping the immune system strong, so that it can continue to protect the body against infections, injuries and stress.
Although it would be ideal to get sufficient omega-3’s through diet alone, this can be difficult for the majority to achieve. This is largely because foods that are highest in omega 3’s EPA and DHA are cold-water fatty fish like salmon, anchovies, sardines, cod, mackerel and herring. For most of us, getting fresh daily servings of these fish is not too likely.
To provide omega-3 levels we need, but that we cannot typically get from our diets, Nordic Naturals offers a range of high-quality omega-3 fish oil products that furthermore have the presence of other naturally occurring beneficial vitamins and nutrients.
Some people say that failure to prepare is preparing to fail. But preparation for most things in life is multidimensional – it requires more than just doing one thing over and over. Although studying and working hard is certainly the most important way to prepare for exams and deadlines, ensuring adequate sleep, consistent exercise, communication with friends when you need it and the right nutrition will all contribute to most success in the final outcome. Heres to your success.