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The 3 Least Things You Need To Do To Live A Healthy Life

The 3 Least Things You Need To Do To Live A Healthy Life

There are countless things out there on the internet that tell you exactly what you must do in order to live a healthy life. Some of them are 20 (or more!) step guides on planning out your day to the minute, along with memberships to expensive gyms and crazy-sounding supplements.

Those aren’t necessary–you don’t need to implement every single tip under the sun and spend tons of money in order to be healthier. But, if you do want to live a healthy life, here are the three things that you must do.

These things aren’t revolutionary or groundbreaking. They don’t involve spending tons of money on fancy outfits, accessories, or learning the new complicated fitness craze. They’re almost exceedingly basic. That said, they’re also incredibly important.

Sleep.

Get some sleep! Stop staying up late or depriving yourself of sleep in the mornings and trying to make up for it with coffee or energy drinks.

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Sleep might be one of the most annoying things we have to do (8 hours unconscious–really?), but you have to do it. Sleeping is super important and missing out on it can have real effects on not only your productivity and happiness, but also your overall health.

According to a Harvard study:

Chronic sleep deprivation may cause weight gain by affecting the way our bodies process and store carbohydrates, and by altering levels of hormones that affect our appetite.

That’s not all. The report goes on to say:

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Sleep deprivation alters immune function, including the activity of the body’s killer cells. Keeping up with sleep may also help fight cancer.

Yikes!

While it might seem unimportant, or potentially even cumbersome, sleep is one of the things you can’t skimp out on if you’re trying to live a healthier lifestyle.

Get outside and move.

Forget the gerbil machine (a.k.a. the treadmill). Get outside, even if it’s something as simple as a 30-minute walk. Get outside, throw on a podcast or some music, and move!

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If you’re not walking, you can get by with a 7-minute workout, or something as simple and basic as interval sprint workouts up and down your neighborhood street. Whatever it is, just make sure you get up and move at some point throughout the day (preferably outside).

If the weather means you must stay indoors–be active. Join a gym, find a class you enjoy, and figure out a way to work up a sweat. If running is your thing, then go ahead and jump on the treadmill, but there are tons of other ways (CrossFit, boxing, yoga, Pilates, etc) to get your sweat on without spending hours running in place while staring at the television.

Eat real food.

This might be the biggest thing you can do to drastically improve your health in the fastest amount of time.

Try to live one week with the rule to only eat food with ingredients that you can pronounce, and see what happens.

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Find healthy recipes made with whole foods, and learn how to cook. Try to prepare your meals for the week and then eat accordingly.

This means eating out less and being deliberate about the foods you get ready at the beginning of the week, but it’s a trade-off you’re going to have to make if you want to live a more intentionally healthy lifestyle.

 

That’s it. That’s the least you have to do live a healthy lifestyle. No fancy contraptions, medications or gym memberships required. Simply sleep, move, eat real food, and I bet you’ll see a massive improvement in how you feel and act throughout your day.

Now it’s your turn: what’s your favorite simple thing you can add to your life to live a little healthier? Share your thoughts in the comments.

Featured photo credit: Strawberry #2 (reworked)/.craig via flickr.com

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Last Updated on June 20, 2019

Science Says Guitar Players’ Brains Are Different From Others’

Science Says Guitar Players’ Brains Are Different From Others’

There’s nothing quite like picking up a guitar and strumming out some chords. Listening to someone playing the guitar can be mesmerising, it can evoke emotion and a good guitar riff can bring out the best of a song. Many guitar players find a soothing, meditative quality to playing, along with the essence of creating music or busting out an acoustic version of their favourite song. But how does playing the guitar affect the brain?

More and more scientific studies have been looking into how people who play the guitar have different brain functions compared to those who don’t. What they found was quite astonishing and backed up what many guitarists may instinctively know deep down.

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Guitar Players’ Brains Can Synchronise

You didn’t read that wrong! Yes, a 2012 study[1] was conducted in Berlin that looked at the brains of guitar players. The researchers took 12 pairs of players and got them to play the same piece of music while having their brains scanned.

During the experiment, they found something extraordinary happening to each pair of participants – their brains were synchronising with each other. So what does this mean? Well, the neural networks found in the areas of the brain associated with social cognition and music production were most activated when the participants were playing their instruments. In other words, their ability to connect with each other while playing music was exceptionally strong.

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Guitar Players Have a Higher Intuition

Intuition is described as “the ability to understand something instinctively, without the need for conscious reasoning” and this is exactly what’s happening when two people are playing the guitar together.

The ability to synchronise their brains with each other, stems from this developed intuitive talent indicating that guitar players have a definite spiritual dexterity to them. Not only do their brains synchronise with another player, but they can also even anticipate what is to come before and after a set of chords without consciously knowing. This explains witnessing a certain ‘chemistry’ between players in a band and why many bands include brothers who may have an even stronger connection.

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This phenomenon is actually thought to be down to the way guitarists learn how to play – while many musicians learn through reading sheet music, guitar players learn more from listening to others play and feeling their way through the chords. This also shows guitarists have exceptional improvisational skills[2] and quick thinking.

Guitar Players Use More of Their Creative, Unconscious Brain

The same study carried out a different experiment, this time while solo guitarists were shredding. They found that experienced guitar players were found to deactivate the conscious part of their brain extremely easily meaning they were able to activate the unconscious, creative and less practical way of thinking more efficiently.

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This particular area of the brain – the right temporoparietal junction – typically deactivates with ‘long term goal orientation’ in order to stop distractions to get goals accomplished. This was in contrast to the non-guitarists who were unable to shut off the conscious part of their brain which meant they were consciously thinking more about what they were playing.

This isn’t to say that this unconscious way of playing can’t be learnt. Since the brain’s plasticity allows new connections to be made depending on repeated practice, the guitar player’s brain can be developed over time but it’s something about playing the guitar in particular that allows this magic to happen.

Conclusion

While we all know musicians have very quick and creative brains, it seems guitar players have that extra special something. Call it heightened intuition or even a spiritual element – either way, it’s proven that guitarists are an exceptional breed unto themselves!

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Featured photo credit: Lechon Kirb via unsplash.com

Reference

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