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HOW TO MAINTAIN A HEALTHY MIND

HOW TO MAINTAIN A HEALTHY MIND

Having a healthy mind is just as important as being physically healthy. 

Below are some of FourFit's top tips for maintaining that healthy mind.

1.   Sleep well

A good nights sleep is vital for a healthy mind, sleeping gives your mind a chance to rest and process all of the information from that day. Sleeping restores your energy levels, leading to better concentration and focus in completing daily tasks.

Sufficient sleep also reduces stress and keeps this under control, it has also been proven sufficient sleep lowers your risk of medical conditions such as high blood pressure and diabetes.

Experts say you should aim for 8 hours of sleep a night.

2.   Spend time with friends and family

Spending time with family and friends is not only enjoyable, but also healthy. It can lift your spirits, reduce stress levels, and help you live a more satisfying life.

Having fun and engaging in positive conversations on a daily basis helps you be able to deal with tough challenges, because you maintain positive emotions and have a great support system in place.

3. Healthy Diet

Your diet is very important for your brain's health. Foods that are high in sugar, refined carbs, unhealthy fats and other processed foods can contribute to impaired memory and learning, low moods, as well as increasing your risk of medical diseases such as Alzheimer's and Dementia.

A diet full of fruit and vegetables, with a good variety of fish and meats will ensure you're getting all the nutrition you need for good brain function.

4. Keep active

Exercise is known as being one of the most effective ways to promote a healthy mindset and improve your mental health. Exercising on a regular basis can lower stress levels, lift your mood, boost confidence and help you sleep better. Regular exercise can also have a positive impact on depression and anxiety.

5. Have a hobby

When we have something to look forward to, we enjoy our days even more and it boosts our overall mood.

The spare time we have to ourselves is precious, so it is important to use this time doing something that brings us joy and are passionate about. A hobby can be a physical activity such as joining a sports team, going for a walk, or something more relaxing such as gardening or reading a book.

HOW TO GET A GOOD NIGHTS SLEEP

HOW TO GET A GOOD NIGHTS SLEEP

Getting a good nights sleep is vitally important to good health and is just as important as eating healthily or exercising. Lack of sleep can cause serious physical and mental health issues and can prevent you from completing day to day activities efficiently.

Experts say most people need 8 hours of good-quality sleep a night needed to function properly – but some people need more and some people less. 

Below are FourFit's top 10 tips to getting a good nights sleep:

1) Avoid technology

Devices such as smart phones, tablets and TV emit a blue light, which suppresses the sleep hormone melatonin. Try and ban these types of devices from your bedroom and avoid looking at them for an hour before bed. Replace them with a book, catching up with a family member on the days events or play soothing music to help you unwind and relax.

2) Stay hydrated

Drinking water before bed can make your body become more alert and better equipped to digest food and burn calories more efficiently whilst you sleep. Drinking a cold glass of water before bed also promotes sleep, which is just one of the many water health benefits.

3) Darkness

Before clocks existed, we would wake up when the sun rose and go to sleep when it got dark. Our bodies are built for sleeping in the dark and a darkened room helps us relax, feel sleepy and to drift off better.

4) Have a routine

Try to go to bed and wake up at similar times each day, this will allow your body to programme itself to waking and falling asleep at certain times. This is beneficial as you'll feel more refreshed and rested waking up naturally. We know with such busy lifestyles it is not always possible to keep to a routine, but try and get into a one to help you have a better nights sleep.

5) Exercise

Cycling

Exercise is not only great for your overall health, it's great for promoting a good nights sleep too. Research shows it is more beneficial to exercise when you wake in the morning or no more than 2 hours before going to sleep. It has been found that if you do a high intensity workout 2 or less hours before going to sleep this can affect your sleep quality.

6) Find time to relax

Like most of us find, everyday life and work commitments can become stressful and exhausting at times and this can often affect our quality of sleep. It is very important you find the time during the evening to switch off and give your mind a break from these thoughts. Sit down with a cup of tea or coffee, read a book, take a bath or make a to-do-list for the following day or the rest of the week can help free your mind of all the things you need to do.

7) Have a hot bath

At night, your body temperature slightly drops, this is then communicated to your brain that you're nearly ready to go to sleep and it begins to release melatonin. When you take a hot bath in the evening, your body temperature heats up. Then when you get out of the bath, the water evaporates from the skin, cooling you down and stimulating your brain to release melatonin and signally to your brain it's nearly time to sleep.

8) Watch what you eat before bed

Eating before bed is not directly linked to weight-gain, any calories your body does not burn throughout the day will be stored as fat.

Although what you eat before bed can affect your sleep quality, it is recommended to avoid spicy, acidic foods as these foods can cause things like heartburn and acid-reflux, which can be quite uncomfortable and prevent a good nights sleep.

9) Get the bedroom at the right temperature.

Temperature plays a very big role when we're drifting off to sleep. When we settle down for the night, our body temperature begins to decrease, usually a degree or two cooler than compared to that in the daytime. This change in temperature promotes the onset of sleep and having a cool bedroom can really help. Take the appropriate steps to ensure yourself and your room remains cool at night. Keep it as dark as possible, blocking out any natural or LED lighting. Also ensure you have the appropriate bedding: a nice cozy quilt for the winter and thin blankets for the summer

10) Avoid sleeping in - evening on weekends and holidays

When you sleep in this affects the routine you've worked so hard to get in to. If you need to make up sleep from a late night or lack of sleep during the night, opt for a daytime nap to make up for the time, so to not disturb your natural sleep cycle.

 

If you're worried about or curious to know how much sleep you're getting and the quality of your sleep, invest in one of our FourFit Signa, Fitband or Mini, where you can access your full in-depth sleep analysis. 

 

 

 

10 AWESOME THINGS TO DO WITH THE KIDS DURING THE SUMMER HOLIDAYS

10 AWESOME THINGS TO DO WITH THE KIDS DURING THE SUMMER HOLIDAYS

The summer holidays have finally arrived and suddenly there's a lot more hours to fill. FourFit know it can be expensive the keep the family entertained throughout the weeks, so we've listed our top 10 free and cheap activities you must try over the summer.

1) Berry picking

Berry picking is a great way to get all the family outdoors, the summer is the best time to indulge in berry picking: from strawberries, raspberries, blackberries and blueberries, find your local berry picking establishment here:

2) Bike ride

 

Take the kids out for a fun bike ride, either near your house, or if their a bit older, find a local bike trial. Remember to take plenty of water to stay hydrated during the hot summer days.

3) Visit your local library

Library's are a great place to visit during the summer holidays. They are free to join, have recommended age appropriate summer reads for the children and they also have events on where they do activity days or authors come in for book readings.

4) Go to the local park for a picnic

A family picnic to the local park is the perfect bonding time. Get away from those distractions such as mobile phones, computer games and household chores. You can sit and relax, whilst the kids burn off all that built up energy playing on the park, building dens and it also gives them opportunities to make new friends. 

5) Make a junk modelling box

Become a little bit of a hoarder. Whether it's empty kitchen paper rolls, yoghurt pots, water bottles, tin cans, stash everything re-usable and make your own junk modelling box. This way the kids can help themselves to the stash and get creative by making models of rockets or upscaling to make things like plant pots or pencil pots for the home.

6) Gardening

Get your children interested in gardening this summer by giving them their very own section of the garden with their own tools and equipment, that is just theirs to enjoy and nurture. Show them how to plant seedlings, make hedgehog homes and how to care for it. Gardening is proven to improve children's motor skills and sensory development. 

7) Go for walks

 

 A walk is a great way to start or end the day, going on a walk is such an easy activity, especially when it is warm outside. There is a lot of great learning that can take place on a simple walk and is a great way of showing children being active can also be fun.

8) Visit a National Museum 

National Museums across the country are free entry and you can easily spend a full day there exploring the exhibits and grounds. There are activities available for all children and it is extremely educational for them. Find your nearest museum here:

9) Bug Hunt

You'd be surprised how many children are fascinated by creepy crawlies, use this as an advantage and create your own bug hunt. Make a tick list with pictures and names of lots of common bugs, this then allows the children to tick off which ones they have found. You don't have to complete this activity in one go, you can spend some time on your own garden searching and when you go out for a walk to the local park or woodland they can also take the tick sheet with them. Click here for a free template:

10) Create a time capsule 

This is a great activity where all the family can get involved. Put things in it that are happening right now e.g. photos, a family questionnaire, what your goals are for the next year and at the beginning of next summer open it to see how things have changed. 

FourFit hopes you have a great summer and try some of our top 10 activities.