The past year has certainly been one of the most trying times for everyone. Despite the good news of effective vaccines, a lot of people will still have to spend a lot of time indoors and in their homes for the foreseeable future. Instead of spending your time playing endless hours of video games or binge watching “The Lord of the Rings,” take the opportunity to improve your mind and body.

According to the survey on which aspects of themselves people thought they need to improve, 29 percent of respondents said it was their mind and 47 percent indicated it was their body.

When you want to go on a journey of self-improvement, here are 6 ways you can strengthen your mind and build a better body.

Improving Your Mind

Your mind is constantly improving itself, whether through formal education like schools and colleges, or life experiences. However, you may be putting unnecessary strain on your mind. You may also be missing out on great opportunities on how you can strengthen your mind.

Here are three effective ways you can ensure your brain remains as powerful and as focused as possible.

  • Learn to Play an Instrument

Music isn’t just for people who want to become composers or join rock bands. According to scientific studies, signing up for piano playing lessons can help your brain more than you realize. Neuroscientists discovered that learning to play a musical instrument and all associated skills gives added defenses against memory loss and reduce the risk of cognitive decline. These benefits aren’t even exclusive to people who learned to play music as children. Studies have shown that learning how to play an instrument as an adult or even an older adult can enhance the plasticity of the brain and keep it sharp.

  • Unplug from the Internet

The internet and smartphones have created an unparalleled era of connectivity but there’s growing concern that it’s too much. According to a study, people all over the world spend an average of 6 hours and 42 minutes on the internet. This means your brain is constantly bombarded by tweets, Instagram photos, fake news, and bad real news. All these stimuli can be very bad and tiring for your brain. You should slowly reduce your screen time unless you have to remain online for work. For example, start by giving yourself a two-hour screen-free time every day. You can increase this time each week to avoid overstimulating your brain.

  • Meditate

Unplugging yourself from the internet isn’t going to be enough to reduce your stress. But what can help in this regard is a few minutes of meditation. There have been multiple studies confirming the effectiveness of meditation as a way of combatting stress. It also helps you focus on the present rather than dwell on the past and encourages healthy positivity rather than succumbing to negative emotions. It can also foster creativity and improve your patience, creating a better you in the process.

Building a Better Body

Your mind isn’t the only thing you should take the time to improve. Focusing on building a better body for yourself can have profound benefits for your physiological and psychological well-being. Think of it this way, it’s easier to feel happy and think clearly when you live in a comfortable and efficient house. The same principle applies for your mind and body.

  • Cardio, Cardio, Cardio

Cardiovascular exercises help improve the efficiency of your heart and lungs. They increase your stamina and your endurance, meaning it will take more and more effort before you get tired or winded. Some ways you can do cardiovascular exercises at home include purchasing a stationary bicycle, using an elliptical machine and running on a treadmill. If you follow proper protocols, you could jog around the neighborhood or go cycling.

  • All in a Night’s Rest

Sleep is one of the most underrated and unappreciated facets of keeping a healthy body. With so much going on in the world, who has the time to snooze? But getting enough shut-eye is essential. When you’re asleep, your body rejuvenates itself. For example, when you’re asleep you build muscle mass, repair cells and generally give your body the time it needs to recuperate from the day’s efforts. Get seven to nine hours of sleep each night for the best results.

  • Get a Basic Skin Care Routine

When talking about building a better body, few people pay attention to their skin. But it’s just as important to your health, not to mention your self-esteem. Bad skin can make you feel self-conscious and it can also adversely affect your social life. Getting a basic skincare routine is the first and most important step. This includes washing your face with clean water every night, applying sunscreen when you’re going outdoors, and moisturizing to prevent dry skin. Even these basic precautions can lead to great improvements for your skin.

The past year has been challenging for almost everyone. But now is the time to renew and reinvent yourself. Improving your mind and body is the best way to ensure you’re stronger than ever for the future.

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