My favourite saying when describing working in the City is “Cope, Survive, Thrive”. When I recently mentioned this to my Osteopath, she didn’t like the word ‘cope’ because it had awful connotations of just getting by. For some, mere surviving is the norm. How then could life be if we actually thrived in our busy city lives?
Well Works, a new functional medicine practice and corporate wellness consultancy in the City of London, presented the case in their launch event, “Thrive in the City”: It was the perfect complement to my motto.
Rae Guerrero, founder of Well Works, brought together for one night her team of leading experts in functional medicine, osteopathy, neuroscience and nutritional therapy, to talk about how we can all thrive in the City. I personally found the evening fascinating, not only confirming much of my acquired knowledge in these areas, but also gaining many new insights into leading a healthy life.
Here’s 5 top tips which I took away from the event to really thrive in our busy City lives:
1. Do SMART Exercise
It is well-known that doing regular exercise is ‘good for you’, but did we know that certain types of exercise can have a material impact on our brain health? Whilst the brain starts to ever so slowly degenerate in our 20s, we also know that the brain can heal itself and start to develop new neural pathways, through a process known as neuroplasticity. By undertaking High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT), this is known to increase the level of ‘Brain Derived Neural Factors‘ in the brain with the effects lasting up to two weeks. BDNFs, as they are known, stimulate the growth of new neurons in the brain. In short, exercise more if you want to stay nimble, especially if you are in the hot seat of many corporate jobs in the City.
2. Feed thy Brain
The brain is composed of c. 60% fat. So feed it with good fats, such as those found in nuts and seeds, or oily fish, not those found in your average cheese burger! Omega 3s are great. Taking a good fish oil supplement that has been pressed and purified (free from heavy metals) is an easy way of getting these. Leading brands like Biocare produce high quality fish oil.
3. Drink lots of Water
Our bodies are made up of c.70% water. Nearly every biochemical reaction within our cells relies on water. Our bodies need to drink water, and lots of the stuff. Emilie West recommends drinking 500 ml before every meal. She doesn’t start her meals without it.
4. Protein, Protein, Protein!
Try and have a little bit of protein with every meal. Protein is the ‘building blocks of life’. Add nuts and seeds to every meal if possible. Its a very easy way of getting some. As a vegan or vegetarian, you can get a complete profile of ‘amino acids’ (or ‘building blocks’) by mixing up a combination of pulses (i.e. lentils), grains, nuts and seeds. Vegetables themselves also contribute to much of our protein needs. They say we need 0.8g of protein for every kg of body weight. By incorporating a little bit into our meals where possible, we can easily meet those requirements on a daily basis.
5. Chill Out, Sleep Well and Turn Off that Phone!
Sleep is probably our most precious asset. Get a great night’s sleep, and you’re firing on all four cylinders. Sleep badly, and our next day can be like we are walking zombies. It’s so important that we take some time in the evening to unwind, eat at least 3 hours before going to sleep (challenging for some, I know) and turn off that phone at least one hour prior to bedtime. By exposing ourselves to the blue light of our screens, we reduce melatonin production in the brain: the result is that we take longer to fall asleep and feel tired in the morning upon waking. Ever had that feeling? I know I have had it (too much). When working late, I use special glasses that block out the blue light. Better though, not to use filters at all. Feel the difference, your body (incl. your brain) will thank you for it the next day.
So there you have it folks. Some easy things we can incorporate into our daily lives. For more advice about wellness and how you can thrive in the City, speak to Rae and her team, for a complimentary health assessment at Well Works and see what difference you can make to your health, your vitality, your life.