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The Simplest Way to Make You Sit Less

The Simplest Way to Make You Sit Less

The average American office worker now spends 10 hours per day sat in a chair. If you think about it, this statistic isn’t so surprising – whether we’re writing reports, checking e-mails, making phone calls, surfing the internet, or watching TV, most of us remain seated throughout the day.

But staying seated for long periods is linked with an increased risk of fat accumulation and weight gain. You might think that this is just because sitting doesn’t burn many calories, but there is another mechanism at work.

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When you stay sitting down for long periods of time, you put your body’s cells under physical pressure. This encourages lipid droplets to form inside your fat cells, and it causes the resulting fat tissue to enlarge and spread. This “cellular expansion” can mean that your fat cells grow by up to 50%.

Specifically, sitting down for hours at a time promotes fat storage in the buttocks. Worse, once your fat cells begin to grow, they also stiffen – this makes the tissue harder to shift through diet and exercise.[1]

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How to Stop the Fat Cells from Expanding

Luckily, there are a few easy things you can do to reduce the risk of rapid fat accumulation. To put it simply, you have to move! Medical researchers published an article in the British Journal of Sports Medicine advising that American workers should make sure that they are standing up and moving for at least 2 hours over the course of the average working day.[2]

So how should you start? You don’t have to leave the office and go for a long walk – small and simple movements, repeated frequently over the course of the day, are actually the most effective.

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Start to Fidget

A UK-based study that looked at the fidgeting habits and health of over 12,000 women found a clear link between fidgeting and mortality. Basically, the more you fidget, the lower your mortality risk![3] Just taking a few moments to move around in your seat, shift your posture, standing up, and taking a short walk can drastically reduce the risks associated with prolonged sitting.

If you are worried that making time for quick breaks will harm your productivity, relax! There is no evidence that this is the case. In fact, research has demonstrated that taking a short breaks boost productivity and creativity.[4] So don’t be afraid to prioritize your physical health by breaking up your workday.

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Cement the Changes

Make it a rule that you will make a conscious effort to move around every 20 minutes whilst at work. You can set a reminder on your phone or computer to stand up and stretch, to change your posture, or go for a quick walk if possible. The more you move, the better! If you work in close proximity to other people, you could all decide to hold each other accountable!

Remember, you can’t afford to remain too stationary. It may sound dramatic, but our sitting habits are posing a real risk to our health. Making the effort to move around on a regular basis will help keep your weight in check. Once you have formed new habits, they will stick with you for years to come.

Featured photo credit: pixabay via pixabay.com

Reference

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Jolie Choi

Having experienced her own extreme transformation process, Jolie strongly believes that staying healthy takes determined and consistent action.

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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!

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Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

Reference

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