If you’ve ever had a loved one suffer from dementia, you understand the extreme hardship it can place on a family. You watch your loved one lose touch with the world – feeling a mixture of sadness and fear. Fear because you wonder if you might one day deal with the same fate.
That’s why it’s important to do all you can – right now, right here – to keep your mind and body healthy for many years to come. One of the most surprising links recently discovered to brain health actually comes from an unexpected source… your heart!
We’ve talked before about heart health and why it’s so important. Now, new studies are showing that a good and strong heart may actually help our brains battle diseases like Alzheimer’s.
The World Health Organization (WHO) has been taking steps to tackle what is being viewed as a global epidemic. Over 50 million people currently suffer from dementia – and these are our fathers, mothers, and grandparents. Sadly, that number is expected to triple by the year 2050.
To battle this outcome, the WHO announced a brave action plan. They conducted widespread research to compile a database of life-saving information. More importantly, they created a 96-page report to help people like us prevent this terrifying disease.
So… let’s take a look at some of their most important recommendations.
No Pain No Gain?
Soreness… stiffness… a tweak…a twinge here or there…
All of these things are part of the deal when you work out regularly. For the most part, exercise enthusiasts have learned to just accept them and move on.
You push through the end of your 7 mile run even though your lungs are burning and your feet feel like dead weights strapped to your ankles. You go back for another lifting session even though the muscles in your arms are still tender from your session two days before. You tell yourself that you need to be tough because “pain is just weakness leaving the body.”
But sometimes, this isn’t the case. Sometimes that tweak or pull is actually a sign of a deeper problem or injury that needs rest and treatment. And – when this is the case – every bit of exercise you stubbornly perform risks making that injury worse with a longer recovery as a result.
The old adage “No pain, no gain” can sometimes do you a lot more harm than good. So, how do you know when to push through and when to pull back?
Well, you need to listen to your body. Some of us have a hard time understanding the signals we are receiving. Your body might be sending you signals you don’t recognize as an injury. So, you need to become a bit of a detective to understand the signs and symptoms of real injury.
It’s with smart exercising that we can truly become stronger and fine tune our bodies to reach our fitness goals. And smart athletes know the value of rest and recover when it’s warranted.
Remember the good ol’ days? Your parents shout from upstairs, “Go outside and play!” Hours later, you’d come in with muddy knees, a scrape on your elbow, and a huge exhausted smile on your face.
Ah yes… playing outside was fun as a kid.
So, why should it change as an adult? It turns out, going outdoors has some solid health benefits that you can’t get otherwise. It can have a positive effect on both your physical and mental health.
So, while autumn settles in for a stay, take advantage of the crisp cool weather and take your exercise and leisure time outside a few times a week. According to a study published in Scientific Report, you can reap the health benefits of nature without spending a lot of time outdoors. In fact, just two hours a week is enough to make a difference.
Remember sitting at the table as a kid staring a big soggy pile of greens? Your mom wouldn’t let you leave the table until you gave it a try.
Or worst, your father demanded that you, “Eat all of your vegetables!” before you could dig into any sort of sweet dessert.
Ah yes. These scenes may be from a childhood horror story. But – as an adult — reminding yourself to include those fruits and veggies in your diet can make a huge difference in your health.
In fact, according to a new study presented at Nutrition 2019, an annual event put on by the American Society of Nutrition, eating your recommended fruits and vegetables could actually save your life.
The mind is a powerful thing. There’s no doubt about it.
We can’t do anything without it. We can’t reason through a problem, lace up our shoes, or pay for our Starbucks half-caff sugar-free vanilla latte. (The horror!)
But when it comes to your physical fitness and performance, how much of it is in your head?
We’ve talked before about the mental health benefits of physical exercise, but does that relationship work both ways? Are their physical benefits that stem from a healthy mind?
That’s a lot of questions, so let’s see what the experts have to say…
A group of researchers at the University of Pennsylvania are looking at things from this perspective to see if being mentally strong can help you reach your fitness goals.
In particular, they are hoping to understand why some people have an easier time meeting their fitness and health goals by studying their brains.Continue reading
It seems there is always a new fitness trend claiming to be the “next big thing.”
In fact, marketers spend millions to get you off the couch and into the best shape of your life. Lately, one of the innovations we’re most excited about doesn’t look like a fitness machine at all. In fact, it looks more like a decoration you’d hang in your living room!
Meet “the Mirror…”
Yes, I’m sure thoughts of Snow White’s magic mirror may be floating through your head. The true magic with this gizmo is how it can use sophisticated technology to put other IKEA-brand mirrors to shame.
This mirror has just one goal in mind… to get your butt into great shape!
It does this by giving you access to on-demand workout videos or live stream classes directly in your home. Suddenly, your living room is like a personal fitness studio complete with a trainer ready to help you along. The app for this device lets you build a custom workout designed for your specific goals.
Wanna know more? Well, here’s the “skinny” on a mirror that can make you skinny…Continue reading
Your phone’s app store has page-after-page of fitness and exercise apps. It’s an endless supply really. You can find apps for everything from motivation … to meal planning… to yoga … marathon training… and more!
We’ve talked before about how programming, like iFit found on NordicTrack and ProForm ellipticals, can help you boost your workouts. But other fitness apps found on your smart device can also be great tools to help keep you interested and motivated in your daily workout.
Whether you want to up your cardio game, build and tone muscles, or learn to stretch properly, there’s something to fit every need.Continue reading
Many of us listen to music when we work out…and for good reason! Music is a great way to boost your body and mind so you can get the most out of your exercise session.
The main reason music is so helpful has to do with something called “preferred tempo.” The preferred tempo for different activities or moods is based on what your body needs at that moment. Whether you are looking to stimulate movement or promote relaxation, the tempo of the music you listen to can have a huge effect on how your body and mind function.
Don’t believe us? Keep reading to discover the best reasons to get your playlist ready the next time you’re lacing up your sneakers.Continue reading
There’s nothing quite like a good ol’ American meal of meat and potatoes! However, new research and studies are showing that, while delicious, your juicy steak may be cutting significant years off of your life.
When it comes to your overall health, what you put into your body is as important as the amount of activity it gets. So let’s get real for a sec – and talk about how much red meat you should really be eating.Continue reading
According to the CDC, 75 million Americans have high blood pressure. That’s one in three, so chances are you know someone suffering from what the American Heart Association calls “the silent killer”. Most people manage their high blood pressure by taking a pill every day, but what if there was a better way to maintain healthy blood pressure.
When it comes to being healthy, you might immediately think about your weight and exercise routine. But a large part of being healthy is ensuring our bodies are able to perform necessary functions effectively and efficiently.
This includes things we usually don’t think about until there’s a problem, like your blood pressure.Continue reading