Why You Should Strengthen Your Brain This New Year

Why You Should Strengthen Your Brain This New Year




Why did we decide to embark on health and wellness challenges at the start of the new year? Maybe it’s because it coincidentally closes the end of the often glutinous holiday season. Or perhaps because the first few months of the year tend to have fewer social engagements that can create obstacles to sticking to fitness plans. We often like to start new projects on Monday because it is a “new beginning”, however, New Years Day rarely falls on Monday and we see it as a new beginning. This only highlights the influence our mindset has on New Years resolutions.

To be successful, our new habits must be sustainable. That means you need to know and understand how to navigate social engagements and overcome obstacles that get in the way. Taking a focused three-month journey toward your goals won’t create lasting change. We often set ambiguous goals “eat better, lose weight, exercise more” that do not allow us to track our progress and generate motivation. By mastering your mind and figuring out WHY and HOW, you can understand what motivates you and create lasting success.

Mind-body, mind-gut connection

The triad of the mind-body and mind-gut connection work together. Serotonin is a hormone of well-being that stabilizes the mood and increases the feeling of well-being and happiness. 90% of serotonin lives in the intestine! Therefore, having a healthy gut can contribute to a happy and healthy brain and vice versa. Forming a healthy diet that benefits your individual microbiome creates a positive environment for enhancing the mind-gut connection.

When we feel happy and well, we are more likely to stick to our goals and make positive decisions. By using mindfulness practices like meditation, journaling, or cognitive therapy, we can develop skill sets that create inner peace to allow our brain to function at its best.

How often do you hear of people suffering from back pain during periods of high stress? Or severe migraines when it comes to great anxiety? Instead of weakening the mind-body connections, we can create positive relationships in which your body is strong and powerful because it is full of energy and at peace. Developing communication between the mind and the body improves neuromuscular connections during movement. The same training can be approached twice with different mindsets and therefore with different results. By having a sharp and present brain that is connected to your muscular system, you enhance exercise activation and increase performance. Ensuring that you are in proper shape and have a balanced muscular system will benefit this connection between mind and body.

How Your Brain Influences Fitness Goals

Ask any exercise fanatic and they will tell you that it is part of their lifestyle and it is no different than brushing your teeth. They feel better, they perform better and they are the best versions of themselves and they engage in movement. Typically, people seek to get into an exercise routine for three reasons: injury prevention / health, performance, or body image. In my initial evaluations I begin by asking the percentages of each motivating factor for the trip. The brain is the control center for our actions and desires. By understanding the psychology behind what we do and what we do and why, you can create a personalized plan that drives positive decision making.

For example, if you say you want to “lose weight” by understanding your motivator, you can make a plan that lays out a path to your desired result. They might have been diagnosed with prediabetes, have an upcoming high school reunion, or just that your pants are too tight! In the tight pants scenario, using waist circumference as a measurement will provide a motivator towards success. If the goal is to improve health, the use of blood markers can provide a better understanding.

Dominate your mind

Once you’ve established the why behind your goals, you can figure out how you can get there. See what you love to do first. The more we do the things we love, the happier we are and the more likely we are to repeat them. Greater happiness and a sense of well-being increases health, which is vital whatever your motivation. You don’t like anything related to fitness? Find something within your chosen hobby that would benefit from increased physical ability. For example, if you love to cook, set a goal so that you can place the slow cooker on the top shelf with ease. If you love to travel, associate increased strength with an increased ability to get through the airport and put your luggage in the overhead bins.

Next, develop goals, objectives, targets, and results. Objective goals are those over which you have full control and only require compliance. Target goals are those that should happen if you complete the target goals and can be used as benchmarks to increase motivation. Outcome goals are the desired response, this is what gets you out of bed in the morning and concentrates you on tasks when the going gets tough. For example, if your goal is to exercise more so that you can increase your self-confidence, you can choose a goal of running 5 km.

Goal: run a minimum of 5 minutes a day

Goal: run a mile and stop at a pace of 10 minutes before date X

Result: Complete a 5K

By strengthening our brain, we can increase the mind-body and mind-gut connections that allow us to adhere to health and wellness plans. Once we understand the why behind what we want, we can create a greater connection with what we have to do and how to generate responsibility that leads to long-term success. After all, it is easier to get up at 5 in the morning to run when you can associate that it is a stepping stone on your way to improving your self-confidence and happiness.

Fit With Milly offers 1-on-1 training, team or group programming, consultations, evaluations, nutritional counseling and sports psychological. Classes are offered on-site in Westport or at your home / office, as well as online. Contact Milly to schedule your evaluation: fitwithmilly.com.

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