Technology has become an absolutely integral part of our lives. We all have smartphones, smart watches and fitness trackers, smart speakers, smart tvs and cars. We keep becoming more and more reliant on these technologies that are continually being upgraded and learning to be better. We get extremely frustrated when they don’t perform like we expect them to. But what are we doing to upgrade our most precious hardware and software systems that we have in life: our bodies and our brains!
There are so many ways that we can help our hardware and software systems (body and mind) “upgrade” and perform at their very best and therefore help us live longer and fuller lives! Let’s start with the more obvious “upgrades” for our bodies: improving diet, exercise, sleep and hydration.
Eating a healthier diet does not mean you have to starve yourself, or try to radically change your daily life to chase after the latest fad (low carb, keto or paleo). It’s all about making better decisions at each meal or snack time and trying to achieve small victories at every meal. Replacing something unhealthy with something healthy, making sure you are eating plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables to balance things out. These small victories will accumulate over time and turn into larger victories for your body!
Exercise can sound daunting and not everyone has the time to go to the gym or commit to a large fitness regiment, so again the key is to start small. The CDC recommends that adults need just 150 minutes of moderate intensity physical activity and two days of muscle strengthening activity to help maintain a healthy lifestyle. 150 minutes when split over seven days is only about 20 minutes per day! This can mean simply going for a 25 minute walk 6 times a week, and doing some simple exercises like pushups, lunges or climbing stairs twice a week. Simply put, the more active you are, the better your body will feel and help your “hardware” perform better.
With all that you have going on in a given day it is now more important than ever to get enough restful sleep. According to the Mayo Clinic, adults require at least 7 hours of restful sleep to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Adults getting less than seven hours of sleep a night on a regular basis have been linked with poor health, including weight gain, having a body mass index of 30 or higher, diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, and depression. Maintaining a healthier diet and exercise regimen and limiting your caffeine can greatly improve your sleep habits. All of these factors greatly contribute to the condition of your most important hardware system, your body!
The final step in maintaining your most up-to-date upgrade for your body is to hydrate. Every day you lose water through your breath, perspiration, urine and bowel movements. For
your body to function properly, you must replenish its water supply by consuming beverages and foods that contain water. The U.S. National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine determined that an adequate daily fluid intake is about 15.5 cups (3.7 liters) of fluids a day for men and about 11.5 cups (2.7 liters) of fluids a day for women. When you're fully hydrated your body’s systems all function better and help your overall “hardware” perform at its very best!
Now that we’ve got your “hardware” systems up to date, let’s focus on your “software”...Your Brain! Our brains are the most vital and complex organ that we have but is often one of the most overlooked. While taking good care of your body with the previously listed actions can help maintain good brain function, we need to do more to help keep our vital “software” system upgraded and functioning at its peak performance!
You want to make sure you are keeping your brain active! Whether it be through reading, playing chess, other brain-stimulating games or just keeping an active social schedule, all of these can help keep your brain functioning in top shape. According to Dr. David A. Merrill, PhD (renowned neurologist and geriatric psychiatrist at Providence Saint John’s Health Center in Santa Monica, California) “no matter what age, our behaviors impact the health of our bodies and our brains.” One way to keep your upgrades up-to-date is by “Remaining cognitively active
through social activities, like attending a book club or taking a cooking class, may help slow down or stave off the development of memory loss and associated depression with aging,” Merrill said.
I have found it can also make a huge difference to keep your brain up-to-date and at its best by supplementing your diet with some clinically proven natural ingredients. One of the most clinically researched and effective ingredients for cognitive performance is Panax Ginseng (or Asian Panax Ginseng Root Extract). In a 2002 randomized placebo-controlled, double-blind, balanced, cross-over study it was proven that single doses of Panax ginseng can improve different aspects of cognitive performance in healthy young volunteers. In another randomized placebo-controlled, double-blind human study conducted in 2010 it was proven again that Panax ginseng has been shown to improve several aspects of human cognitive function. This study found that following administration of Panax ginseng there were noticeable improvements in both working memory (WM) performance and promising enhancing properties and benefits in multiple processes linked to human cognition. Basically this healthy and abundant ingredient can do wonders to help your brain “software” get its daily upgrades and keep your systems running at peak performance levels!
In conclusion, if you want to maintain your body’s essential “hardware” and “software” systems and keep them up-to-date and continually upgraded, follow some of these simple yet effective strategies to help you live your best! I wish you all the best in your own health and wellness journey and I will continue my passionate pursuit to do the same while also trying to help others stay informed.
Stay well my friends, until next time.
Scott Solomon is a former collegiate and NFL athlete and the co-founder and CEO of BrainTree Nutrition. He is passionate about helping people live their happiest and healthiest lives. Through meticulous research and an unwavering commitment to transparency, quality and honesty, he and the entire team at BrainTree believe they have created some of the best and most effective supplements on the market. Please visit braintreenutrition.com to learn more.