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How To Exercise When You Really Don’t Have Time

How To Exercise When You Really Don’t Have Time

Over the years in my job as a trainer and coach, I have found that those who don’t exercise have one or two excuses. The excuses are: they don’t have time, or they don’t like it.

I know there are many people who would like to exercise, but think they don’t have time, so today we’ll talk about how to exercise when you don’t have time.

Exercise means different things to different people. If you think that exercise is one hour a day, five days a week, and you are working 40–60 hours per week with family and social duties in between, then you don’t have time to do this sort of exercise.

But if you change your mindset to consider that exercise is simply a deliberate attempt at moving around more vigorously than usual, then no matter how busy you are, you definitely have time to exercise.

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Here’s a list of exercises you can do when you don’t have time to exercise:

Wake up 20 minutes earlier

Have your exercise clothes laid out ready the night before (or even sleep in them), set your alarm, and head outside for some sprints – uphill if you can. Warm up for three minutes with some brisk walking, then sprint all out for 20 seconds, then rest for two minutes. Repeat for five to eight sprints, then walk home.

This session doesn’t take long. It will wake you up and energize you for the morning, and is a great way to burn fat and boost your metabolism.

When the kettle is boiling

You have a minute or two here to pair some push ups with some squats. Do 10 push ups followed by 10 squats. Repeat this as many times as possible while the kettle is boiling for your morning cup of coffee. Keep track of how many rounds you can do this for, and aim to increase this each morning.

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Commuting to work

Walking, running or cycling to work would be perfect, but not everyone is able to do that. Whether you’re driving or catching public transport, now is a good time to do some ab work. Don’t worry – you don’t have to bust out some sit ups on the floor of the train carriage.

While you’re sitting, simply brace your abs as hard as you can for 10 seconds. You can make this quite tough with a very strong muscle contraction. Do this 5–10 times.

Walking meetings

When you have meetings at work, see if you can introduce walking meetings. This is a great way to get some fresh air while talking, and can often be more productive. As you return to work, the meeting naturally winds up. So not only can this be a more productive meeting, but it can be shorter too.

Standing meetings

Standing instead of sitting in meetings also improves time and productivity in the meeting. Although standing is not exercise, it’s better than sitting. If possible, you can practice your ab bracing.

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Lunchtime exercise

Lunchtime is the perfect time for structured exercise. If there is a gym nearby, then this is the perfect time to go. You will feel refreshed and more focused after exercise, so you will work better in the afternoon.

If possible, you could also look into a wellness program at work. These are becoming more popular. Having a personal trainer come to the building and run a group exercise session at lunch time improves morale and productivity for employees. A quality workout will only take 20–30 minutes, and you will hopefully still have time for lunch. If not, simply eat at your desk afterwards.

While dinner is cooking

Most meals take around 15–30 minutes to cook. If you plan your meal so that it simply sits in the oven, or bubbles on the stove, then you can do some activity instead of watching the pot boil.

During this time you can do some high intensity intervals such as skipping, running on the spot, bodyweight exercises such as mountain climbers or burpees, or even some kettlebell swings if you have a kettlebell.

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Choose two or three intense movements, and alternate them. A good format is 30 seconds of work followed by 30 seconds of rest. Repeat this 10–15 times. Once you’re done, dinner will be ready!

 

As you can see, it is very simple to include exercise in your day, even if you are very busy. Pick one or two of these ideas and give them a go. You do have time to exercise – you just have to be creative about it.

Featured photo credit: untitled / ashraful kadir via flickr.com

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12 Best Brain Foods that Improve Memory

12 Best Brain Foods that Improve Memory

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:

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.

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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.

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.

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

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!

Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

Reference

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