Updated: Jun 18, 2019
Unless you’ve stumbled upon this article by accident (in which case, stick around!) you’re likely here because you’re interested in improving your health. Congratulations, firstly – it’s always commendable to take steps towards improving your wellbeing, whether you’re a long-term health aficionado or newly-looking to change your lifestyle. The goal of Mindful Aesthetics Group is to assist you on that journey to a healthier and happier life by helping you understand the balance between fitness, nutrition and mindfulness. We believe they all have an important place in making the most of the amazing body and mind that you possess, and this blog will strive to deliver the most relevant information and advice on how you can achieve that!
I know – reaching new health goals can be daunting. Whether it’s getting fit, improving your diet or mastering your mental wellbeing, we live in a world that seems tailored to make such tasks seem difficult. Fast-food ads designed to make you crave junk food blare from TV screens. Photoshopped billboards promoting unrealistic body images tower above the streets. The message that we aren’t good enough is seemingly bombarded at us from every direction. It’s hard to feel encouraged and optimistic, especially when our goals might look so out-of-reach.
But working on your health doesn’t have to mean abruptly and radically overturning your entire lifestyle. In fact, studies have shown that the more drastically you change your habits, the more likely you are to fall back into them. Shifts in the way you live can start slowly – and will succeed with far more frequency in the long-term if they do. With that in mind, below are three little alterations you can make to your lifestyle to improve your overall wellbeing (and enjoy yourself, too).
1. Hit the Sauna
Who doesn’t enjoy a stint in the sauna? First practiced in Finland (where nowadays you can find one in almost every house), sauna bathing has become immensely-popular across the world due to both its enjoyability and numerous health benefits. Studies have shown that sauna therapy can help reduce the probability of heart disease, ease the pain of arthritis, improve cardiovascular capability, lower the risk of Alzheimer’s and even aid symptoms of depression! It seems pretty obvious that regular usage can have a multitude of positive health benefits. But that’s not all – they’re also incredibly relaxing environments to be in, proven to decrease stress levels. It’s easy to forget how great an affect stress can have on our lives, whether it makes us tense and irritable with our friends and family or leads to long-term health impacts such as difficulty sleeping, lowered sex-drive or heart problems. In many ways, pushing ourselves too hard to become healthier can be counterproductive – forcing ourselves out of our comfort zones can send stress levels flying high. But sauna therapy, alongside it’s immediate health benefits, also just feels damn good. It’s the perfect way to do your body and mind a favour and enjoy the entire experience – and the more fun you have whilst improving your wellbeing, the more likely you are to stick to the process as a whole!
Bonus tip: if you get the chance, try out the Norwegian twist on sauna culture – combining time in the heat with a swim in ice-cold water. There’s plenty of research that suggests the dramatic contrast between hot and cold temperatures is amazing for circulation, muscle recovery, weight loss and even fertility. James Bond used to do it in Ian Fleming’s original novels, too – and we can all agree he must be a pretty fit guy. If you can’t find any ice-cold water to swim in, give yourself a cold shower in between those blasts of heat and live the Norwegian dream at home, if you can stomach it of course!
2. Start Meditating
In recent years, meditation as a practice has been gaining a lot of traction in popular culture. Some people might still associate it with Buddhist temples, hippies, or sitting on a cliffside going ‘om’ – and whilst there’s nothing wrong with any of that, such attachments can be rather alienating for people whose lifestyles don’t quite click with them. But meditation doesn’t have to involve a silent mountain retreat to be utilised effectively in your day-to-day life. It’s never been more accessible! Apps such as Headspace offer wonderfully-curated guided meditations that can be done on-the-go or in a relaxed environment, along with handy guides on incorporating mindfulness practices into your lifestyle outside of meditation itself. But all you truly need are the mental strategies to get yourself into a calm, clear and stable state, and bam! You’re meditating.
I mentioned before how damaging stress can be if not managed effectively – meditation, even for ten minutes a day, is a free and simple way to do so. The practice has also been proven to help improve self-image, reduce anxiety, lengthen attention span, increase memory capacity, fight addiction and heighten pain tolerance. Quite an impressive list of benefits for something you can do alone, without equipment, in pretty much any environment, huh? Learn some basic meditation techniques, schedule a small chunk of time out of your day and give it a try. The power you have over your mind may surprise you.
3. Chow down on broccoli sprouts
I’ll admit, as someone with a lifelong aversion to broccoli, even when I first heard about the numerous health benefits of broccoli sprouts, I considered giving them a miss. But not only is their flavour nothing like mature broccoli (which, to clarify, is also great – I’ve just never liked the taste) they don’t even resemble the stuff, looking far closer to alfafa sprouts than their tree-like final evolution. Incredibly versatile, you can incorporate them into a wide range of meals, and even eat them as a snack. Not only will they curb your hunger, they’ll provide a myriad of other rewards too!
Packed with antioxidants, broccoli sprouts have been proven to combat high blood pressure, promote digestive health, fight cancer (they can actually delete segments of genetic codes that may cause it – you don’t get that with Monster Munch!), reduce inflammation in the lungs, improve brain development and even give your skin a boost. Devouring broccoli in its infant stage is a good idea, as the quantity of cancer-battling antioxidants packed into sprouts is between 20 and 50 times higher than in mature plants. It’s incredible how beneficial something so small can be to your body – although they don’t grow on trees. No; they don’t even need that – you can literally grow your own sprouts in a jar with bit of water! With that in mind, there’s no real excuse not to incorporate them into your diet. Your body will thank you for it.
If you’ve read this far you probably be looking for a helpful website to tell you how to grow them, we’ve got your back, just take a look here.
There it is, 3 small changes you can make that will drastically change your fitness and wellbeing! Let us know if you want to hear about anything in particular, we are here to help!