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10 Simple Ways to Get Incredible Fitness Results … AT HOME!

10 Simple Ways to Get Incredible Fitness Results … AT HOME!

As it has been said, our home is our castle. It’s one of the few places we truly feel comfortable; so why not exercise there? Because many people don’t have time to go to the gym, are intimidated by the gym (some people scream really loud when lifting…scary), or don’t want to wait on equipment (you know that guy that does like 15 sets per piece of equipment…yeah that guy) almost 67% of gym memberships are never used! Working out at home doesn’t sound like a bad option!

From demolishing calories to shredding fat, you can get the results you want from your living room! Below are 10 of the easiest, most simple ways for beginners to start making their castle into their very own gym and get incredible fitness results along the way!

1. Body-weight Exercise For Starters

“Man, working out at home sounds fun and all but who can afford all of that equipment?”

I’m here to tell you that one of the best tools you have at your disposal is yourself! Bodyweight training is all the rage nowadays because it focuses on increasing your functional strength through movements like squats, pushups, pull-ups, dips, planks, etc. This functional strength is the strength you need to perform daily tasks in your life and this form of training can be just as effective (with all other things considered) as traditional weight-lifting at a gym! Save yourself time and money and get to those push-ups!

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2. After-burn Train

“Great, so I’m getting stronger but I NEED to do cardio; aka I need a treadmill. There’s no way I’m running outsides, it’s freezing!”

The answer is after-burn or commonly referred to as EPOC (Excess Post-Exercise Oxygen Consumption) training. Basically, if you strength train at a high-intensity (70-75% of your VO2) for an extended period of time (at least 30 minutes) your body requires more oxygen and therefore calories after your workout to return it to its normal resting state. In fact, you can burn extra calories over 38 hours after your workout is over still due to that workout—that’s insane. You could be burning calories still from your workout the NEXT night while sitting on the couch watching Big Bang Theory re-runs! [Note: For a more detailed EPOC training guideline click HERE.]

3. Keep It Simple, Stupid

“But dude, I need all of that equipment at the gym and I need someone to help time my rest sets!”

Dude, no you don’t! Making your home your gym is all about being convenient and making it as easy and pain-free as possible! You don’t need complex rest or working sets that only Einstein would understand (because we all know that Einstein was big into lifting). The best thing to do is to keep it simple. In fact, a simple workout (with normal resting sets) when performed at a high intensity is just as effective as some complex workout that you put together from 3 weight lifting magazines, 2 online resources, and the advice of your brother-in-law who lifts a lot. The best bet is to keep your workout simple in order to help you remember it, make it more convenient, and make it more likely for you to perform!

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4. Short Bursts of Exercise Create Huge Results

 “Listen here fella; I have no time to go to the gym now, why would I have time at home?”

Great question and the answer is twofold. First, you will save time not going to and from the gym, save time not at your “gym social hour,” and save time not getting ready because you can basically exercise at home in whatever you want (from pajamas to work boots)! Another thing that is important to remember is that time you save doing all the things can be put towards exercise; even if it’s only 10–15 minutes! Everyone thinks that you need to exercise an hour a day to see great results but a recent study found that those that exercised just 8.5 minutes a day received the SAME cardiovascular benefits as those that exercised 25 minutes a day! That’s incredible! The point is not to exercise less; the point is that you now have the time no matter if its 10 minutes to still help improve your health!

5. Keep Your Workouts Fun

“Yep…nothing says fun like sweating profusely while trying to catch my breath for 25 minutes all while thinking I’m going to die…sure sounds fun!”

Exercise doesn’t have to be running at full sprint for 5 minutes or even doing lunges until you have to crawl to your car. Exercise can be fun and if you can make it fun at home, you are more likely to do it more often and ACTUALLY more likely to eat less afterwards! The next time you need to get some “cardio” in, don’t rush to the gym to wait 35 minutes to get on a machine then power walk for 25 minutes. Instead, go outside and take a hike; literally! Research has shown that when you have fun while performing the exercise you aren’t as likely to reward yourself with junk food afterwards!

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6. Walk Your Way to Better Health

“Well sorry to break it to you, but I’m way out of shape and there is no way I can perform super high-intensity exercise!”

No worries! Do what you can when it comes to high-intensity exercise. Until then, start briskly walking to increase your exercise capacity! Yup—walking. Walking is ideal for helping sedentary individuals build up their exercise capacity so they can move on to more intense exercise! In fact, for the obese (or beginners), walking is  great way to burn calories at a lower heart rate and actually burn calories faster than cycling and even jogging in some instances! If you need to make your walks even more difficult, carry 2 pounds dumbbells with you or punch the air while walking like you are Rocky training for Apollo Creed!

7. Persistence Pays Off

“I go to the gym now whenever I feel like it and haven’t seen results, how can I at home then?” “You can’t just go randomly and expect results…“ “I went 3 Fridays ago, why don’t I have a six pack?”

It’s all about persistence. One of the top ways to get in shape is to stay active and exercise on a persistent basis! One of the biggest factors science has found that determines your cardiovascular and overall health is persistent exercise. It doesn’t matter if you workout less than 10 minutes a day or over 30 minutes, as long as you are exercising on a persistent basis then you will get some great results! Make sure to stay active every day, no matter if it is your workout day!

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8. Stick to the Bare Essentials

“Blah, blah, blah…I’m tired of bodyweight exercises and there is no way I can get a great workout without a ton of equipment!”

Besides your own body the only other equipment that is needed for starting out is a couple dumbbells (5–10lbs) and an exercise mat (or even a towel). That is literally it! You can get a killer workout with just these bare essentials! By exercising at a high-intensity while performing your workout in a circuit like set, you can build muscle, burn calories, and induce the EPOC effect! [Note: circuits are strength training exercises performed at a high intensity where you move from one exercise to another very quickly with little to no rest between sets while performing exercises that work the entire body.]

9. Accountability

“Even if I do start working out at home, there is less accountability there and I’m more likely to not exercise at all!”

I totally understand that! That’s why you need to set up 2–3 fail safes in order to make sure you stick to your at-home workout! Science has shown that the more fail safes you have in place the better prepared you will be. First and foremost have a friend or your spouse keep you accountable! Accountability is one of the biggest motivators to actually workout! Have them check in on you from time to time to make sure you still are crushing your at-home fitness goals! One phone call a week is enough to do just that.

10. Strength Training is a MUST

“Well I hate to lift weights, I have no idea what I’m doing. It can’t be that important!”

Sorry my friend! If you take anything away from this, remember to start strength training. No, it’s not about getting huge ripped muscles that make you look bigger than the Hulk trying to deal with his enormous rage issues (which you can achieve if that’s what you want). For many of us it is about burning calories, building muscle, relieving stress, improving your cardiovascular health, and even improving your bone strength! Strength training can do all of that and more! You won’t get “bulky,” you will get healthy, so start lifting today!

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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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