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Why You Should Sign Up for Your First 5K Race

Why You Should Sign Up for Your First 5K Race

If you are someone who is interested in finding more motivation to do your workout sessions and also wants to boost your cardiovascular conditioning level at the same time, one of the top things that you should be focusing on is finding a reason to get the sessions done. Many people enter their workout program without much more than a body weight goal in mind, and while this will help motivate you to an extent, it’s often not enough to keep you pushing along when times get hard. That is why signing up to participate in your first 5K event – or longer, depending on your physical condition and what you think you can handle – is such a wise move. When you sign up to one of these events, you’ll instantly see a soar in motivation as you now have a clear reason to keep working hard towards each workout you do. Let’s go over some additional reasons why signing up for a 5k race can help you see greater workout success.

You’ll Meet Like-Minded People

The very first reason you should consider signing up for a 5k race is because it will give you the opportunity to meet a number of like-minded people. Having people around you who are active and support your goals is one of the number one ways to stay committed to the fitness lifestyle. If you don’t have many friends at the moment who are into working out and eating right, this could prove to be rather disastrous on your own program plan. Therefore, it’s time to meet others who share your interest and will help to keep you motivated and inspired. Your 5k race is a perfect way to do this.

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You’ll Push Yourself Harder Every Step of the Way

The next reason why it’s a smart move to sign up for a 5k race is because it’s going to help you push yourself harder every step of the way. If you’re just exercising to lose weight, your primary purpose for a session will be to burn calories. However, you can accomplish a calorie burn working at 80% effort or 60% effort – it doesn’t really make a difference as long as you exercise long enough. When performance is the primary goal because you need to run for time now, you will be giving a higher level of effort because it now becomes that much more critical to your success. If you are someone who often finds yourself giving half effort in the workout sessions you do, this is a very smart way to trick your mind into working harder – without you really even realizing you are. Whenever you give someone a performance oriented goal, their effort will typically go up.

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You’ll Bring Out Your Competitive Spirit

For many people, this spirit hasn’t been worked since grade school when they may have participated in a team sport of choice or some other competitive event or race, yet it’s still an important part of you that adds excitement to your fitness regime and can help increase your performance as well. In fact, some may find that this competitive spirit is one of the most enjoyable elements of being physically active and after you complete that first 5k race, you are hooked and hungry for more. For certain individuals, it’s one of the top ways to help them stay committed to fitness for life as they now feel like they have a superior reason for training rather than just being healthy and maintaining a goal weight.

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You’ll Gain a Sense of Accomplishment

Finally, the last reason to consider signing up for your first 5k race is because it will help you gain a sense of accomplishment. As far as keeping your motivation levels higher go, this simply can’t be beat. The more accomplished you are as you reach goals you’ve set, the more you will believe in yourself that you can go on to reach any other goal that you set into the future. This is referred to as self-efficacy and can make a big difference on your ability to succeed long term. If you’ve set goals in the past that you’ve failed at for instance, you know very well that this may cause your motivation to take a turn for the worse. But, if you set goals and reach them, you now feel like you can achieve anything you set your mind to, so you’re far more likely to keep setting goals and pushing on towards them. This translates to far greater results over the long haul. There you have some of the top reasons why you should consider joining, training for and participating in your first 5k race. Even if you aren’t a runner, there are plenty of other similar races out there that you can do that will spark your interest and get your fitness level up. Check out what’s available in your area or if you really want to make an event of it, look into travel options so that you can take a mini-holiday as you participate in the race as well.

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Last Updated on November 11, 2019

How to Improve Memory and Boost Your Brainpower

How to Improve Memory and Boost Your Brainpower

Have you ever noticed that some people are able to effortlessly remember even the most mundane details and quickly comprehend new things? Well, you can too!

To unlock the full potential of your brain, you need to keep it active and acute. Wasting time on your couch watching mindless television shows or scrolling through facebook is not going to help.

Besides getting out flashcards, what can you do to help remember things better and learn new things more quickly? Check out these 10 effective ways on how to improve memory:

1. Exercise and Get Your Body Moving

Exercising doesn’t just exercise the body, it also helps to exercise your brain. Obesity and the myriad of diseases that eventually set in as a result of being overweight can cause serious harm to the brain.

Furthermore, without regular exercise, plaque starts to build up in your arteries, and your blood vessels begin to lose the ability to effectively pump blood. Plaque buildup leads to heart attacks and it also reduces the amount of oxygen and nutrients that your blood carries to your brain. When the nutrients don’t make it there, the brain’s ability to function is compromised.

To prevent this from happening, make sure you get moving every day. Even if it’s just a brisk walk, it’ll help you maintain and increase your mental acuity. Brisk walking, swimming and dancing are all excellent activities. Take a look at these 5 Ways to Find Time for Exercise.

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2. Eliminate Stressors and Seek Help If You’re Depressed

Anything that causes you major stress, like anger or anxiety, will in time begin to eat away the parts of your brain that are responsible for memory. Amongst the most brain-damaging stressors is depression, which is actually often misdiagnosed a a memory problem since one of its primary symptoms is the inability to concentrate.

If you can’t concentrate, then you might feel like you are constantly forgetting things. Depression increases the levels of cortisol in your bloodstream which elevates the cortisol levels in the brain. Doctors have found that increased cortisol diminishes certain areas of the brain, especially the hippocampus which is where short-term memories are stored.

Prolonged depression can thus destroy your brain’s ability to remember anything new. Seek professional help to combat your depression – your brain will thank you.

3. Get a Good Night’s Sleep and Take Naps

Getting a consistent 7 to 8 hours of sleep each night will increase your memory. During sleep, the brain firms up memories of recently acquired information.

Getting enough sleep will help you get through the full spectrum of nocturnal cycles that are essential to optimal brain and body functioning during the waking hours. Taking a nap throughout the day, especially after learning something new, can also help you to retain those memories as well as recharge your brain and keep it sharper longer.

4. Feed Your Brain

Fifty to sixty percent of the brain’s overall weight is pure fat, which is used to insulate its billions of nerve cells. The better insulated a cell is, the faster it can send messages and the quicker you will be thinking.

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This is precisely why parents are advised to feed their young children whole milk and to restrict dieting – their brains’ need fat to grow and work properly. Skimping on fats can be devastating even to the adult brain.

Thus, eating foods that contain a healthy mix of fats is vital for long-term memory. Some excellent food choices include fish (especially anchovies, mackerel and wild salmon) and dark leafy green vegetables. Here’re more brain food choices: 12 Foods that Can Improve Your Brain Power

Deep-fried foods obviously contain fat but their lack of nutritional value is not going to help your brain or your body, so think healthy foods and fats.

5. Eat Breakfast and Make Sure It Includes an Egg

According to Larry McCleary, M.D., author of  The Brain Trust Program, an egg is the ideal breakfast. Eggs contain B vitamins which help nerve cells to burn glucose, antioxidants that protect neurons against damage; and omega-3 fatty acids that keep nerve cells firing at optimal speed.

Other foods to add to your breakfast include fruits, veggies and lean proteins. Avoid trans fats and high fructose corn syrup. Trans fats diminish the brain cells’ ability to communicate with each other and HFCS can actually shrink the brain by damaging cells.

Having a healthy breakfast in the morning has been shown to improve performance throughout the day. If you’re too busy to have a healthy breakfast, this maybe just right for you: 33 Quick And Healthy Breakfasts For Busy Mornings

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6. Write it Down

If there’s something you want to remember, writing it down can help.

It may sound like a no-brainer, but do you really know why? Writing it down creates oxygenated blood flow to areas of your brain that a responsible for your memories and literally exercises those parts of it. Here’s How Writing Things Down Can Change Your Life.

You can start a journal, write yourself emails or even start keeping a blog – all of these activities will help to improve your capacity to remember and memorize information.

7. Listen to Music

Research shows that certain types of music are very helpful in recalling memories. Information that is learned while listening to a particular song or collection can often be recalled by thinking of the song or “playing” it mentally. Songs and music can serve as cues for pulling up particular memories.

8. Visual Concepts

In order to remember things, many people need to visualize the information they are studying.

Pay attention to photographers, charts and other graphics that might appear in your textbook; or if you’re not studying a book, try to pull up a mental image of what it is you are trying to remember. It might also help to draw your own charts or figures, or utilize colors and highlighters to group related ideas in your notes.

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Here, you can learn How to Become a Person Who Can Visualize Results.

9. Teach Someone Else

Reading material out loud has been shown to significantly improve memory of the material. Expanding further upon this idea is the fact that psychologists and educators have found that by having students teach new concepts to others, it helps to enhance understanding and recall.

Teach new concepts and information to a friend or study partner, and you’ll find you remember the information a lot better.

10. Do Crossword Puzzles, Read or Play Cards

Studies have shown that doing crossword puzzles, read or play cards on a daily basis not only keep your brain active but also help to delay memory loss, especially in those who develop dementia.

So pick up the daily newspaper and work on that crossword puzzle, read a book or enjoy a game of solitaire.

Pick one to two of these tips first and start applying them to your everyday life. Very soon you’ll find yourself having better memories and a clearer head!

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Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

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