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5 Myths About Working Out

5 Myths About Working Out

Everybody wants to be healthy and have a body one can be proud of; and physical exercise seems like a natural way of achieving it. However, it is astonishing how many misconceptions, superstitions and outright lies there are in the fitness community. Some of them may render your efforts useless and some can hurt you. Here are 5 workout myths you should be aware of.

1. Training Regimen Doesn’t Matter

Who needs trainers? I can always surf the Internet, pick up a dozen exercises and work out happily on my own, thank you very much.

It is, however, not a very productive approach.

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Although in most cases you won’t do yourself much harm by compiling your own training schedule, chances are you will waste more time with less results. Sometimes it may be outright dangerous – an exercise may be detrimental to your health if you have certain conditions. All in all, looking for help of a professional trainer is a good idea.

2. Steroids Are Extremely Harmful

Many people treat anabolic steroids as some kind of hellish concoction that makes your muscles grow like mushrooms while simultaneously ruining your health. Both notions are equally untrue.

On the one hand, steroids won’t do much for your muscles unless accompanied by a carefully planned intensive training schedule. On the other hand, of course they can ruin your health – just like about any other medication, supplement or substance if used without proper knowledge and procedure. Steroids are just a tool – an incredibly useful tool in skilled hands. And just like with any other tool, you can harm yourself if you don’t know how to wield it.

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This is exactly why you should only use legal steroids and supplements – in this case you can hope for proper guidance and support to make sure you get all the results without suffering any ill effects.

3. No Pain, No Gain

Despite being extremely popular, this phrase is rarely used by those who really know their business. Experts usually have a diametrically different opinion: if you feel pain when exercising, you are doing something wrong. It may be the sign that you can hurt yourself or already have an injury. It doesn’t mean that you are ‘really’ exercising – it means that you should see your doctor.

On the other hand, muscle soreness, usually on the day after the exercise, is quite normal, especially if you have just started a new, more intensive workout regimen. So be reasonable, follow some simple guidelines and you will be alright.

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4. The Choice of Sport Doesn’t Matter

Unless you are really into some particular kind of sport, the choice of activity usually happens kind of on its own, which isn’t a correct approach. Each person is different, and is capable of different results in different sports. The choice should be based on how much time you have, at what time of year you can dedicate more resources to the activity and so on.

5. Gym Is Just a Gym

In fact, it is something much greater – at least for regulars. Gyms are places with their own culture, etiquette, acceptable and unacceptable behavior patterns. It is not so much a place where you go to work out – it is a social occasion that happens to coincide with working out. So, if you want to maintain good relationships both with other visitors and gym’s administration, you should learn what to do and what not to do prior to signing up.

Of course, these are not the only myths and misconceptions accompanying sport and working out. Some are more obvious than others, some are less – but you will do yourself a world of good if you learn to single them out and steer clear of them.

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Featured photo credit: Matthew Coughlin via flickr.com

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Melissa Burns

Entrepreneur

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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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