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Refrain from Doing These 3 Things as You Begin Your Running Journey

Refrain from Doing These 3 Things as You Begin Your Running Journey

    The decision to become a runner can be very much like a New Year’s resolution. It is always made with the best of intentions but then withers away gradually as life’s many distractions get in the way. However, there are some distractions that one can consciously avoid which will prevent the withering of both your money, as well as your reasons for wanting to run.

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    1. Frivolous Spending on Running Apparels/Gadgets

    Some people make the commendable decision to start running. Instead of doing just that, they then channel their energy on what is the latest technology footwear or the foremost-advanced calorie-counting watch to buy. Such extravagant outlays not only put in doubt the true motivation for running (with obvious implications for its longer term sustainability), but are downright wasteful.

    Irrespective of the multi-billion dollar industry catering to his perceived needs, all a runner really needs is a pair of joggers which is not in tatters, an old T-shirt that you were planning to donate to charity and a genuine desire to also donate something worthwhile towards your own sense of well-being.

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    2. Subscribing to Running/Fitness Magazines

    For those who truly believe that being a runner requires so much more than just going out and putting one foot in front of the other, feel free to seek advice from appropriate sources. However, I urge you to think twice about paying good money subscribing to any of the running or fitness magazines out in the market. While most, if not all, of them do indeed provide sound tips, these are readily available on the Internet without costing you a cent.

    Furthermore, refraining from these publications allows you to distance yourself from the temptations of frivolous spending mentioned above—after all, who could resist those glossy advertisements featuring the latest Garmin GPS watch which can not only measure your pace in 16 different ways, but has enough computing firepower to launch you into space!

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    Most importantly, avoiding these well-intentioned magazines minimizes contact with influences which distract you from what running is at its core—a simple and natural act performed by man (and woman) since the dawn of time.

    3. Committing to Long Term Gym Membership Contracts

    Being a gym member is great for both general fitness and even social reasons. However, committing to an expensive long term membership contract so that you can begin running is akin to uprooting to Brazil so that you can begin learning Portuguese—admirable but not even close to being necessary.

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    There may be countless reasons to commence your journey as a runner in the gym e.g. treadmills are better for the knees, safer than being on the road, opportunity to cross-train, a motivating surrounding, etc. In reality, though, they are mere snippets of canned wisdom from those glossy magazines that I have already advised against subscribing to above. If you want to start running, just start running. Don’t complicate what is essentially a very primitive form of exercise by throwing your hard-earned dollars at it.

    Final Thoughts

    I’m not advocating a monk-like abstinence to the above-mentioned temptations when starting your runner’s journey. By all means, leaf through an occasional running magazine, browse the odd Nike catalogue and entertain some casual visits to the gym.

    However, keep this mind: running for joy usually begins with an innocent single step, motivated by an emotional yearning (health, solitude, mental clarity), and quietly builds from there. It rarely starts with a materialistic splurge, driven by superficial desires because, rather than building from there, it invariably descends into an “all form, no substance” chore. And as every passionate advocate knows, when it comes to running, substance trumps over form any day of the week, and twice on Sunday.

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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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