healthy body, happy head

10/24/2010

by anne lueneburger

I recently started thinking about the upcoming months and realized that it is only a few more days until Halloween, with all of its ghostly fun and candy-driven allure.  And then the food filled Thanksgiving feasts and December holidays follow closely.  It’s funny how our lives are punctuated by these occasions and, even if you do not live in the US, the chances are that you’ll have similar annual festivities which normally entail eating and drinking and forgetting the pragmatism of the rest of the year.  Plus if you live in a seasonal climate, then those chillier temperatures make us less inclined to move and we tend to sit inside and make ever more elaborate excuses for not getting to the gym.

The result of all this is that the numbers on the scales tend to creep upward, and while your body’s weight increases, your brain actually shrinks – by 4% on average for overweight individuals (compared to their normal-weighted peers). Plus, to make things worse, if you’re overweight then your brain actually ages faster biologically too, so can appear up to 16 years older than those enjoyed by thinner folks!

Now, to go through challenging times at work you will need all the brain power you can muster, so you can start strengthening the brain cells you have by working out. Aerobic activity will help you shed pounds and increase the amount of oxygen and nutrients running through your bloodstream and your brain.  Also, take control of your weight and your brainpower by eating well and managing your portions and you’re guaranteed to be healthier, happier and rattling through those Sudoku’s in half the time..!

Of course, just changing our behavior is a ‘technical change’ as Kegan and Lahey explain in their recent book ‘Immunity to Change’ and is likely to be short-lived. If you want to achieve lasting change, you will need to look into your underlying ‘hidden commitments’ that often sabotage desirable change…but that I will talk about in another blog entry.

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