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6 Sporty Gifts for the Athlete in Your Life

6 Sporty Gifts for the Athlete in Your Life

The world of sports and athletics is becoming more and more digitized every day. We’ve gotten to the point that the equipment we use can be hooked up to our phones and computers to give instant feedback on our performance. Which…is actually pretty cool. Whether you are an action photographer, professional athlete, or fitness guru, new products are hitting the shelves every day to improve your experience and further your performance. There are too many to list, but here are a few gems to look out for birthdays, celebrations, and holidays. These gifts are perfect for the athlete in your life.

Polaroid Cube

The Polaroid Cube is an HD action camera that fits in the palm of your hand. But don’t let its small, 35cc frame deceive you. The Cube takes pictures or records video using a 124° wide-angle lens in 1440p HD, making your action shots and clips come to life on screen. It’s also shockproof and splash resistant, so you can use it while really getting in the action. This is perfect for an athlete to record just how awesome their activities really are. It can even connect to your smartphone device through WiFi, making uploading pictures and videos – wait for it – a snap. Sorry, I couldn’t resist…

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Fitbit Charge HR

The Fitbit Charge HR is a great addition to any athlete or fitness buff’s collection of exercise equipment. By simply wearing it as a watch, you can track your steps taken, stairs climbed, calories burned, and your heart rate throughout the day. It also recognizes your sleep patterns, reporting times of deep sleep as well as restlessness. After syncing it with your mobile device, the Fitbit automatically uploads this information for you to analyze at the end of the day. When it’s synced, it will even vibrate when you have a call — just in case your phone is on silent or on the other side of the house.

Sennheiser PMX 685i

Who doesn’t listen to music during a workout? The Sennheiser PMX 685i headphones bring back the old headband style, combined with the in-ear style of today. In doing so, Sennheiser has created shock-resistant headphones that minimize wear and tear, and won’t pop out of your ear while running or jumping. These headphones for the active athlete are also water-resistant, and can be rinsed with running water between uses. You can even sync it with your Apple devices and use it to take phone calls.

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SmartMat

Though it’s still in development, the SmartMat is currently available for pre-order. A must-have for any Yoga fanatic, the SmartMat is designed to calibrate with your body and provide feedback as you go through your routine. The SmartMat works in conjunction with any smart device to display the correct position for a specific pose in comparison with your performance. You’ll be able to download specific routines and classes through the SmartMat app upon launch, as well. All you need to add is a calming Pandora channel!

Connected Cycle

The Connected Cycle is exactly what it sounds like: an attachment to bring your biking into the 21st century. By replacing your bike pedals with the Connected Cycle, you can monitor your speed, route taken, amount of incline pedaled through, and calories burned. Since the pedals act as a GPS, it also tags your bike’s location at all times – meaning you can be sure it stays right where you left it. Perhaps the most user-friendly feature of the Connected Cycle is that the pedals generate battery life when you use it, meaning it never has to be charged, and can be left on at all times. Talk about incentive!

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94Fifty Smart Sensor Basketball

Even basketballs can track your performance these days. The 94Fifty Smart Sensor Basketball monitors your shooting arc, shot release speed, backspin, and dribble control, providing feedback through your connected smart device. It also tracks makes and misses, and provides workout regimens for improving your skills. The Smart Sensor Basketball is currently in development, and should be released in April 2016 so keep any eye out for this awesome gift.

Featured photo credit: DSC_0838 / Arkadiy Solovyov via farm6.staticflickr.com

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Last Updated on August 12, 2019

12 Best Foods That Improve Memory and Brain Health

12 Best Foods That Improve Memory and Brain Health

Nutrition plays a vital role in brain function and staying sharp into the golden years. Personally, my husband is going through medical school, which is like a daily mental marathon. Like any good wife, I am always looking for things that will boost his memory fortitude so he does his best in school.

But you don’t have to be a med student to appreciate better brainiac brilliance. If you combine certain foods with good hydration, proper sleep and exercise, you may just rival Einstein and have a great memory in no time.

I’m going to reveal the list of foods coming out of the kitchen that can improve your memory and make you smarter.

Here are 12 best brain foods that improve memory and brain power:

1. Nuts

The American Journal of Epidemiology published a study linking higher intakes of vitamin E with the prevention on cognitive decline.[1]

Nuts like walnuts and almonds (along with other great foods like avocados) are a great source of vitamin E.

Cashews and sunflower seeds also contain an amino acid that reduces stress by boosting serotonin levels.

Walnuts even resemble the brain, just in case you forget the correlation, and are a great source of omega 3 fatty acids, which also improve your mental magnitude.

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2. Blueberries

Shown in studies at Tuffs University to benefit both short-term memory and coordination, blueberries pack quite a punch in a tiny blue package.[2]

When compared to other fruits and veggies, blueberries were found to have the highest amount of antioxidants (especially flavonoids), but strawberries, raspberries, and blackberries are also full of brain benefits.

3. Tomatoes

Tomatoes are packed full of the antioxidant lycopene, which has shown to help protect against free-radical damage most notably seen in dementia patients.

4. Broccoli

While all green veggies are important and rich in antioxidants and vitamin C, broccoli is a superfood even among these healthy choices.

Since your brain uses so much fuel (it’s only 3% of your body weight but uses up to 17% of your energy), it is more vulnerable to free-radical damage and antioxidants help eliminate this threat.

Broccoli is packed full of antioxidants, is well-known as a powerful cancer fighter and is also full of vitamin K, which is known to enhance cognitive function.

5. Foods Rich in Essential Fatty Acids

Your brain is the fattest organ (not counting the skin) in the human body, and is composed of 60% fat. That means that your brain needs essential fatty acids like DHA and EPA to repair and build up synapses associated with memory.

The body does not naturally produce essential fatty acids so we must get them in our diet.

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Eggs, flax, and oily fish like salmon, sardines, mackerel and herring are great natural sources of these powerful fatty acids. Eggs also contain choline, which is a necessary building block for the neurotransmitter acetylcholine, to help you recall information and concentrate.

6. Soy

Soy, along with many other whole foods mentioned here, are full of proteins that trigger neurotransmitters associated with memory.

Soy protein isolate is a concentrated form of the protein that can be found in powder, liquid, or supplement form.

Soy is valuable for improving memory and mental flexibility, so pour soy milk over your cereal and enjoy the benefits.

7. Dark Chocolate

When it comes to chocolate, the darker the better. Try to aim for at least 70% cocoa. This yummy desert is rich in flavanol antioxidants which increase blood flow to the brain and shield brain cells from aging.

Take a look at this article if you want to know more benefits of dark chocolate: 15 Surprising and Science-Backed Health Effects of Dark Chocolate

8. Foods Rich in Vitamins: B vitamins, Folic Acid, Iron

Some great foods to obtain brain-boosting B vitamins, folic acid and iron are kale, chard, spinach and other dark leafy greens.

B6, B12 and folic acid can reduce levels of homocysteine in the blood. Homocysteine increases are found in patients with cognitive impairment like Alzheimer’s, and high risk of stroke.

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Studies showed when a group of elderly patients with mild cognitive impairment were given high doses of B6, B12, and folic acid, there was significant reduction in brain shrinkage compared to a similar placebo group.[3]

Other sources of B vitamins are liver, eggs, soybeans, lentils and green beans. Iron also helps accelerate brain function by carrying oxygen. If your brain doesn’t get enough oxygen, it can slow down and people can experience difficulty concentrating, diminished intellect, and a shorter attention span.

To get more iron in your diet, eat lean meats, beans, and iron-fortified cereals. Vitamin C helps in iron absorption, so don’t forget the fruits!

9. Foods Rich in Zinc

Zinc has constantly demonstrated its importance as a powerful nutrient in memory building and thinking. This mineral regulates communications between neurons and the hippocampus.

Zinc is deposited within nerve cells, with the highest concentrations found in the hippocampus, the part of the brain responsible for higher learning function and memory.

Some great sources of zinc are pumpkin seeds, liver, nuts, and peas.

10. Gingko Biloba

This herb has been utilized for centuries in eastern culture and is best known for its memory boosting brawn.

It can increase blood flow in the brain by dilating vessels, increasing oxygen supply and removing free radicals.

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However, don’t expect results overnight: this may take a few weeks to build up in your system before you see improvements.

11. Green and Black Tea

Studies have shown that both green and black tea prevent the breakdown of acetylcholine—a key chemical involved in memory and lacking in Alzheimer’s patients.

Both teas appear to have the same affect on Alzheimer’s disease as many drugs utilized to combat the illness, but green tea wins out as its affects last a full week versus black tea which only lasts the day.

Find out more about green tea here: 11 Health Benefits of Green Tea (+ How to Drink It for Maximum Benefits)

12. Sage and Rosemary

Both of these powerful herbs have been shown to increase memory and mental clarity, and alleviate mental fatigue in studies.

Try to enjoy these savory herbs in your favorite dishes.

When it comes to mental magnitude, eating smart can really make you smarter. Try to implement more of these readily available nutrients and see just how brainy you can be!

More About Boosting Brain Power

Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

Reference

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