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10 Best New Years Gifts For the Fitness Junkie In Your Life

10 Best New Years Gifts For the Fitness Junkie In Your Life

Fitness junkies are probably the easiest people to shop for! I am not just saying this, there are all kinds of things out there on the market for the cross trainer in every circle. You just have to think out of the box and try not to bring the same present as everyone else.

We compiled a list of the ten best and appealing new years gifts for fitness junkies.

1. A Pair Of Running Shoes

You can’t go wrong with these. Workout junkies can never have enough running shoes. Get them a new pair, and you will be in their thoughts every time they go for a jog. Focus on getting a pair that’s ideal for running, taking into consideration heel support, cushioning, water resistance, weight, and the heel-to-toe drop.

Do not worry about the jargon. Just ask your retailer for a pair that contains these details. You can always rest easy with renowned brands like Nike, Adidas, New Balance, and Saucony.

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2. TRX Bands

The word TRX bands come from Total Body Resistance Exercises. If the person has dumbbells, kettle bells, a treadmill and a stationary bike, this is the missing link. TRX bands do wonders for the tummy, and they work arms too.

So, if they have been talking about upping their game in the abs department, these bands will leave them in your debt for a while (or until next year when we give you an exciting new list).

3. The FitBit Charge

This activity tracker is the perfect gift for those who are obsessed with data. The FitBit keeps track of every movement you make, it is super light and easy to wear. It counts the steps, alerts you when you stay idle for too long (60 minutes), acts as an alarm clock, has a feature for telling time, the screen is backlit, and, of course, it counts calories. It also monitors your sleeping patterns. Does it get any better? With those features, this gift will never be out of style.

4. Subscription For A Personal Trainer

Nothing beats working out with a professional trainer. They know what your problem areas are and they take the proper measurements to know your levels of fitness. They ensure that you are working out in line with your goals.

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The most memorable gift you would give someone this year is a subscription for a trainer with FitnessTrainer.com. It doesn’t matter which part of the country the receiver of the gift is in. They will connect them with a coach in their area.

5. Hylete Cross-Training Convertible Backpack

Everyone needs a backpack that won’t give up on them every few months. This particular brand is the Swiss-army knife of gym backpacks. It has compartments for everything you could think of; wet clothes, your laptop, a temperature controlled compartment for your meals, your phone, shoes, everything. It is made of heavy-duty nylon, so it has the endurance of seasoned gym-goers. This thoughtful gift will win you a place of honor in their lives.

6. Protein Powder

Anyone who lifts heavy weights will tell you that protein supplements are their best friends. They would rather run out of food than be out of their protein powders (em..kidding. Food is a basic need). The good thing about these supplements is that they have a long shelf life, so you don’t have to worry about them going bad before they are used. Whey protein is a winner.

7. A Mountain Bike

If they work out at the gym every day, then you could give them a bike that gets them outdoors whenever the weather allows. “A bike is a great way to engage in an activity together. You can get one for them and another one for you. You can then challenge each other over the weekends,” says James at Bike Ambition. You can get a great bike from brands such as Cannondale, Yeti, and Ibis.

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8. A weekend at the parlor

Even heavy lifters and cross fit queens need a weekend of pampering. They probably need it to soothe those sore muscles. You can get them a spa weekend in a place that offers deep tissue massage. Go for that or get a regular Swedish and hot stone massage. It’s their prerogative, but you will have given them the opportunity to be spoiled.

9. Thermos Connected Hydration Bottle

Staying hydrated cannot be over emphasized. This bottle reminds even the busiest person to take water. It calculates your water intake goals, measures the temperature of the water, and recommends how much you are to take for the day.

It syncs with your FitBit account and iPhone to alert you whenever you are due for hydration. With this bottle, even the busiest techie will meet their water intake goals.

10. Skullcandy Earbuds

Who doesn’t love some music as they workout to stay motivated? Get them a pair of sweat free ear buds so that they can pump up the jam to some funky music. You can be sure that those ear buds will be treasured until they totally wear out.  Skullcandy has a variety of cool colors.

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It’s A Wrap!

There you have it. I told you it would not be so hard to find the appropriate gift, didn’t I? Now go and end someone’s year in style.

Featured photo credit: Publicdomainpictures via publicdomainpictures.net

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Nabin Paudyal

Co-Founder, Siplikan Media Group

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Last Updated on February 21, 2019

Top 9 Foods for Incredible Brian Health And Brain Power

Top 9 Foods for Incredible Brian Health And Brain Power

Your brain is the most intricate and powerful organ in your entire body. It’s essentially a super-computer with brain power like a Ferrari.

If you have a Ferrari, would you put cheap gasoline in it? Of course not. You want to put in high-octane performance fuel to get the most out of your investment.

When it comes to the brain, many people are looking for the top foods that will supercharge the brainpower to help focus better, think more clearly and have better brain health.

In this article, we’ll look at the top 9 brain foods that will help create supercharge your brain with energy and health:

1. Salmon

Salmon has long been held as a healthy brain food, but what makes this fish so valuable for your brain health?

It’s important to understand that your brain is primarily made up of fat. Roughly 60% of your brain is fat. One of the most important fats that the brain uses as a building block for healthy brain cells is omega-3’s.

Omega-3’s are essential for building a healthy brain but one of the most important omega-3’s for your brain is DHA. DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) forms nearly two-thirds of the omega-3’s found in your brain.[1]

Omega-3’s and DHA in particular help form the protective coating around our neurons. The better quality this coating is, the more efficient and effective our brain cells can work, allowing our brain power to work at full capacity.

Studies have shown that being deficient in DHA can affect normal brain development in children, which is why so many infant formulas and children’s supplements are beginning to include DHA.

Being deficient in DHA as an adult can cause focus and attention problems, mood swings, irritability, fatigue and poor sleep.

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2. Blueberries

Blueberries top the list as one of the most beneficial fruits to maximize your brain health and performance.

Blueberries have some of the highest content of antioxidants, particularly anthocyanins, than any other fruit, which helps protect the brain from stress and promote healthy brain aging.

Blueberries antioxidant content also help reduce inflammation, which allows the brain to maintain healthy energy levels.

Blueberries have begun to receive attention for their connection to brain performance.[2] Studies have demonstrated that eating blueberries on a regular basis can not only improve brain health but also brain performance as well including working memory.[3]

Blueberries not only taste great but are low in calories, high in Vitamin C, Vitamin K and Manganese.

3. Turmeric

Turmeric is a very impressive spice that has well-researched and proven to have tremendous benefits for your brain. Turmeric’s main compound that benefits the brain is called curcumin, which is responsible for turmerics bright yellow appearance.

Curcumin has been shown to have anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, antiviral, antibacterial, antifungal, and anti-cancer properties.[4]

Curcumin increases the production and availability of two important neurotransmitters serotonin and dopamine, two important neurotransmitters involved with happiness, motivation, pleasure, and reward.

Curcumin has been well documented to have powerful anti-depressive effects. In one study, it was found to be as effective for depression as popular medications such as SSRI’s like Prozac.[5]

Curcumin has also been shown to:

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  • Increase blood flow to the brain.[6]
  • Increase BDNF production, a powerful stimulator of neuroplasticity.[7]
  • Increase DHA availability and synthesis in the brain.[8]
  • Increase antioxidant levels in the brain to prevent brain aging and inflammation.[9]

4. Coffee

Coffee is the wonderful elixir of energy that many people cherish every single morning. The biggest reason people drink coffee is to get a dose of caffeine.

Caffeine is a natural neurological stimulant that not only gives you energy but also prevents adenosine, a neurotransmitter involved with feeling tired, from binding in the brain.

Many people are surprised to find that coffee actually contains a large quantity of antioxidants called polyphenols, which are important for reducing inflammation in the brain and keep your brain energized. The antioxidants in coffee also provide a neuroprotective effect, protecting the brain from stress and damage. [R]

Coffee can also:

  • Improve alertness and concentration.[10]
  • Help with neurodegenerative disorders like Parkinson’s disease.[11]
  • Reduce your risk of depression.[12]
  • Improve your memory.
  • Provide short-term boost in athletic performance.[13]

5. Broccoli

What was your least favorite food as a kid growing up?

Most likely, broccoli was your answer.

Broccoli may not have been your top choice, but it might be the top choice for your brain.

Broccoli contains a compound called sulforaphane. Sulforaphane has been shown to promote the proliferation and survival of brain cells by reducing inflammation and boosting production of BDNF. It has also been shown to boost neurogenesis, the production of new brain cells.[14]

Broccoli is also loaded with important nutrients Vitamin K and Folate. Vitamin K plays a vital role in protecting brain cells.[15] Folate plays a crucial role in detoxification and reducing inflammation in the brain.

6. Bone broth

Bone broth wasn’t just created to combine with soups, you can actually drink bone broth by itself.

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Drinking bone broth has become one of the biggest trends in the health and wellness industry and for good reason. Bone broth isn’t actually a new thing. Bone broth has been used for centuries as a healing tonic to promote health and longevity.

Much of the nutritional benefits and value of bone broth comes from its substantial vitamin and mineral content. Primarily calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, and potassium.

Your gut is called your second brain for a reason. Research continually shows that there is a direct and indirect connection between your gut and your brain. Your gut also houses and stores many important brain compounds involved with optimal brain performance. Therefore the health of your gut is vitally important for your brain health and performance.

Bone broth has become a go-to tool for helping heal the gut and provide the gut with the vital nutrient and resources it needs to heal and perform optimally.

With the vast amounts of nutrients that bone broth contains, it makes the list as a go-to food for your brain health.

Look for high quality, organic bone broth for the best results.

7. Walnuts

Walnuts are one of the top choices of nuts for brain health. Walnuts also look similar to a brain.

Amongst the wide variety of nuts available, walnuts contain the highest amounts of the important omega-3 DHA. DHA, as seen above, is a critical building block for a healthy brain.

Walnuts also contain high amounts of antioxidants, folate, magnesium, potassium, and phosphorus, which help to lower inflammation.

Melatonin in walnuts is an important nutrient for regulating your sleep. Having low amounts of melatonin can make it challenging to get good quality sleep and getting poor quality sleep can dramatically impair brain health and performance.

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8. Eggs

For years, eggs were put on the nutritional naughty list; but now, eggs are finally getting the credit they deserve. Eggs can provide a tremendous boost to your brain health and longevity.

Eggs, particularly the yolks, contain a compound called choline. Choline is essential for building the neurotransmitter acetylcholine. Acetylcholine plays an important role in mood, memory, and intelligence.

Egg yolks contain some of the highest quantities of choline. This is very important because low levels of choline can lead to low levels of acetylcholine, which in turn can cause increased inflammation, brain fog, difficulty concentrating and fatigue.

9. Dark chocolate

You’re about to love chocolate even more because chocolate, particularly dark chocolate, is great for your brain.

Chocolate boosts levels of endorphins, your brains “feel good” chemicals. This is why you feel so good eating chocolate.[16]

Chocolate also increases blood flow to the brain which can help improve memory, attention, focus, and reaction time.[17]

Dark chocolate contains high levels of magnesium, which has been coined “natures valium” for its ability to calm and relax the brain.

Lastly, dark chocolate has one of the highest antioxidant profiles out of any other food, including popular superfoods like acai berries, blueberries, or pomegranates.[18]

Conclusion

Your brain is a high performing organ and it uses quite a lot of energy, roughly 20% of the bodies energy demands.

In order to maintain a healthy brain, you need the right fuel to ensure that your brain has all the nutrients it needs to perform as well as adapt to the stress of life.

If you want to keep your brain performing well for a lifetime, then you want to make sure you are including as many of these brain health foods as possible.

More Resources About Boosting Brain Power

Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

Reference

[1] US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health: DHA Effects in Brain Development and Function
[2] Canadian Science Publishing: Enhanced task-related brain activation and resting perfusion in healthy older adults after chronic blueberry supplementation
[3] US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health: Cognitive effects following acute wild blueberry supplementation in 7- to 10-year-old children.
[4] US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health: Curcumin: the Indian solid gold.
[5] Herbal Medicine: Biomolecular and Clinical Aspects. 2nd edition.: Turmeric, the Golden Spice
[6] US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health: Effect of combined treatment with curcumin and candesartan on ischemic brain damage in mice.
[7] Science Direct: Curcumin reverses the effects of chronic stress on behavior, the HPA axis, BDNF expression and phosphorylation of CREB
[8] US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health: Curcumin boosts DHA in the brain: Implications for the prevention of anxiety disorders.
[9] PLOS: A Chemical Analog of Curcumin as an Improved Inhibitor of Amyloid Abeta Oligomerization
[10] US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health: Effects of Caffeine on Cognitive Performance, Mood, and Alertness in Sleep-Deprived Humans
[11] American Academy of Neurology: A Cup of Joe May Help Some Parkinson’s Disease Symptoms
[12] American Academy of Neurology: AAN 65th Annual Meeting Abstract
[13] US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health: Effects of caffeine on the metabolic and catecholamine responses to exercise in 5 and 28 degrees C.
[14] US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health: Hyperammonemia induces glial activation, neuroinflammation and alters neurotransmitter receptors in hippocampus, impairing spatial learning: reversal by sulforaphane
[15] Oxford Academic: Vitamin K and the Nervous System: An Overview of its Actions
[16] Diana L. Walcutt, Ph.D: Chocolate and Mood Disorders
[17] Health Magazine: Chocolate can do good things for your heart, skin and brain
[18] Chemistry Central Journal: Cacao seeds are a “Super Fruit”: A comparative analysis of various fruit powders and products

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