Fitness & Wellness

Foods That Boost Your Memory

Foods That Boost Your Memory

Everything you do to help keep yourself healthy, from working out to healthy eating, improves your brain. In fact, studies show that exercise boosts cognitive thinking. As you age, memory often slows and those simple words seem illusive. Taking even more action can help ensure this doesn’t happen. There are foods that boost your memory that may already be part of your healthy diet, but by increasing the amount you eat each day, it helps ensure better brain health and keeps your mind alert and enjoying a good memory no matter what your age.

Try some extra spice for better brain health.

You may have already heard of using turmeric to boost your brain functioning. It’s become quite popular, particularly with elderly people and those suffering from early onset Alzheimer’s. There are a lot of studies showing that the component curcumin found in turmeric, which is both anti-inflammatory and antioxidant, can actually enter directly into the brain and benefit individual cells. Other studies show it may benefit memory and the brain by preventing or clearing amyloid plaque that’s associated with Alzheimer’s. Pair it with black pepper for a boost in its effectiveness. Sprinkle some cinnamon on your oatmeal to get more alert and fight inflammation. Just smelling it has been shown to help brain functioning.

Don’t forget to consume lots of Omega-3 fatty acids.

Your body and brain requires a balance of Omega-6 fatty acids to Omega-3. A ratio of 4 parts Omega-6 to 1 part Omega-3 is ideal. Unfortunately, the American diet is closer to between a 12 to 1 ratio and a 25 to 1 ratio. That imbalance takes its toll on your brain. It can cause aggression, depression and decline. The brain needs fat to function. About 60 percent of the brain is fat and half that amount is Omega-3 fatty acid. It’s a primary building block of the brain. Lack of Omega-3 has been related to age related decline and even Alzheimer’s. Make sure your diet contains fatty fish like salmon, walnuts, eggs, chia seeds, flaxseed and other food high in Omega-3.

Eggs not only help boost Omega-3, they provide choline.

Choline helps boost your memory, but eggs also provide other B-vitamins that aid in brain functioning. While walnuts are a good source of Omega-3 fatty acids,, they and other tree nuts contain nutrients that also aid in cognitive functioning. There are many studies that show the benefits of eating nuts frequently and one of those is improved memory. Grab some red and orange peppers or citrus for added vitamin C. It’s an antioxidant that also protects the brain.

  • You may already know that caffeine from coffee helps the effectiveness of a workout and improves your mood, but did you know that green tea is even better. It has other components like L-theanine that keep you alert AND relaxed. Green tea’s polyphenols and antioxidants help protect and boost memory.
  • Make sure seeds are part of your trail mix. They contain oodles of nutrients for brain health. Small dark chocolate chips can be, also. The flavonoids in dark chocolate improve memory and your mood.
  • Eat those green veggies, especially Brussels sprouts and broccoli. They contain anti-inflammatory nutrients. Inflammation is directly linked to Alzheimer’s and dementia.
  • Blueberries and other purple or blue fruits and vegetables should be part of your meal. The blue comes from anthocyanins that are antioxidant and anti-inflammatory. They help boost memory and lower the risk of short-term memory loss.

Fitness Tips For Men In Their 40s

Fitness Tips For Men In Their 40s

I get a lot of requests from clients in Boise, ID for fitness tips for men in their 40s. That’s because staying fit is not only more important the older you get, but also far harder. It takes more perseverance to get or stay fit than it did in the 20s or 30s and longer to build the muscle tissue you hope to achieve. That doesn’t mean it’s impossible. It’s very possible and definitely worth the effort. The sooner you start with the program, the better. Muscle mass loss begins in the 30s, so by the 40s it’s well on its way.

The goal is never too big to achieve.

Maybe it’s more than just building muscle mass that you need. Maybe you need to shed weight…lots and lots of weight. Don’t despair or get overwhelmed. You have to break it down to smaller goals that are easier to accomplish. Start by finding out what you CAN do and where your limits are and work from there, increasing the amount of weight you lift or the number of repetitions as you go. Whether you’re trying to shed weight or just build muscle tissue, a healthy diet is also important.

You have to start somewhere.

On the other side of the coin are people who hesitate to begin for a number of reasons. You know that it’s not going to be overnight and might want to wait to start a program for just the right time. That perfect time never comes and you continue a downward spiral. You have to start somewhere and sometime if you want to stop the slow wasting of muscle tissue, so why not right now? You can begin simply, by getting more exercise walking. Start working out at a gym with a personal trainer for the best results. The trainer will create a program specifically to help maintain muscle mass and build it.

Combine your strength training with other types of fitness training.

You need more than just strength training to get fit. You need flexibility training to increase your range of motion and prevent injury. You also need endurance and balance training. Consider getting several types of training at once. HIIT training with weights can address both cardio and strength. Depending on the exercises used, it could also include flexibility and balance. Core strength is important and can also help you increase your fitness in all areas.

  • When trying to build muscle mass, consistency is the key. You won’t get the results you want if you only do few session a month. You need to create a workout you can do three times a week and stick with that schedule.
  • Eating healthy is extremely important. It provides the nutrients to build muscle tissue. Making sure your diet contains adequate protein, vitamin D and omega-3 fatty acids for muscle building, as well as other nutrients to keep your body functioning in a healthy manner.
  • While men may worry about building muscle tissue, women should, too. Loss of muscle tissue can lead to osteoporosis. Strength training can reduce the potential for bone loss.
  • One reason weight loss is more difficult as you age is that you have less muscle tissue, so you burn fewer calories. Muscle tissue requires more calories than fat tissue does, so you’ll burn more calories 24/7.

Do You Pack A Healthy Lunch

Do You Pack A Healthy Lunch

It’s often easier to pack a healthy lunch than it is to find a restaurant that serves one. It’s also far more budget friendly. For parents, a healthy lunch isn’t always found in the school cafeteria, regardless of what the new directive is. It’s important to have the proper nutrition to create a healthy eating plan. Having all the macronutrients, like protein, healthy fat, and complex carbohydrates, such as fruit and vegetables, plus water for hydration rather than juice boxes, cola or fruit drinks that only add calories.

A quality protein should be at the top of the list.

Protein is one of the body’s building blocks for bones, cartilage, skin, blood and muscle tissue. It’s also part of the chemical processes that keep your body functioning properly. It doesn’t matter whether you’re a vegan or omnivore, protein should be part of your lunch. Vegetarian source of protein include nuts, tofu, lentils and nut butters, while other sources include cheese, hard boiled eggs, lean meat and even ham. Protein fills you up and keeps your feeling full longer.

Healthy fat won’t make you fat.

There’s become a hysteria surrounding fat and it’s wrong. Not all fat is bad. Transfat is bad, but you definitely need other types of fat. Healthy fat is necessary to absorb fat soluble vitamins, like K, D, E and A. It comes from food like avocado, whole eggs, salmon, pumpkin seeds and cheese. Not only does fat make you feel full, it’s necessary for proper brain, nerve and heart functioning. It also helps build cells throughout the entire body.

Don’t worry about carbs, just include the right type.

If you’re counting carbs, you know that you need a certain amount to be healthy. They should come from complex carbohydrates, not simple ones that includes sugar and fructose and put on pounds. Complex carbs contain fiber that keep you feeling fuller longer. They include fruits, vegetables, whole grain, beans and even sweet potatoes. You need carbs for quicker energy.

  • Create a veggie wrap with a slice of cheese for a quick lunch that doesn’t require utensils to eat. Roll-ups, like a chicken avocado salad roll-up are good for anyone’s lunch, child or adult.
  • You need to include fruits and vegetables in your lunch to make sure you get at least five to thirteen servings each day, based on weight and age.
  • Whether you’re making lunch for yourself or your child, there’s nothing better than a mini quiche muffin that has vegetables or other creative way to add more vegetables to the mix.
  • As a time saver, you can make a week’s worth of lunches and freeze them or put leftovers from dinners in trays for lunch. Take them out of the freezer the morning you’ll use them. It’s best for people who have a microwave available to reheat the meal.

Motivate Your Family To A Healthier New Year

Motivate Your Family To A Healthier New Year

If you wish your children played outside more and not at video games or want a spouse to shed some weight for his or her health, you know how frustrating it can be to motivate your family. You don’t want to harp on being healthy, because that makes everyone want to do the opposite and it falls on deaf ears. Finding ways to make this a healthier new year is important and you can do it with a little effort. It all starts with the presentation, setting an example and perhaps, a little deception.

Eating healthy doesn’t have to be a big deal if you do it right.

Here’s where the deception starts. You don’t tell them they’re eating healthy. Don’t pile their plates with Brussels sprouts and expect the to automatically enjoy them, especially when they’re used to burgers, sloppy joes and hot dogs. Instead, plan ahead and create dishes that disguise the healthiness of the dish. Make lasagna with zucchini noodles instead of pasta. A cauliflower crust pizza tastes super yummy. To save time, make batches ahead and freeze it. Spaghetti squash tastes like spaghetti and is really fun. Let the kids help with this one. Even adults enjoy the fact that a plant could produce a product like the pasta they love. Use it for a spaghetti salad. Prepare ahead for snacks with cut up veggies and dip, nuts and fresh fruit. If it’s already to eat in the refrigerator, it will be eaten.

Be a role model plus.

It may not be enough to go to the gym, you have to do something more to get your family’s interest. Set up active outings for hiking and bicycling. Turn chores into a fun time that’s also active. Dance your way through house cleaning or make it a game of speed. The kids will love it. Choose gifts wisely. Keep it mechanical, not technological. A basket ball and hoop put up on the garage is the perfect way to have some family fun time. Roller blades or bicycles for the whole family provides fun weekends. You’ll build family unity as you build a love of active pastimes.

Change the routine and make it more active.

Do you drive the kids a few blocks to school each day? Walk it. Even if it’s cold, it’s worth it. It actually may be faster than waiting in the drop-off line with other parents and far less expensive and more environmentally friendly than idling in the car. Take the kids to the grocery. Park a distance from the door. If they’re old enough, assign each child items to get and when you’re ready to walk back to the car, no cart if possible, everyone carries a couple of bags. Look for ways to make everyday activities more active.

  • By getting your children more active and away from computers, you may be doing their psyche a favor. Studies show that too much technology at an early age can cause changes in neuropaths that result in depression.
  • Get the kids into shape for a vacation. If you’re going to Disneyworld or other large amusement park, tell them you need to do more walking to have the energy to cover the park. Dangle that vacation as motivation.
  • Sometimes, Rover and Miss Pussycat need a little workout, too. Get interactive toys that the kids and spouse can use to get your pets moving more. Even something as simple as a ball on a string will entice a cat and a game of fetch or walk in the park will make Rover smile.
  • Get help cooking healthy. If your children or spouse help you make the meal, they’ll enjoy it more.

Do You Have A Fitness Routine

Do You Have A Fitness Routine

A fitness routine can mean the actual workout you do in the gym in Boise, ID or your home town or it can mean how you schedule your time for working out and your ongoing dedication to healthy eating. Did you make a lifestyle change or is it just a temporary thing you do when you think about it or have time. You need both a healthy eating plan and regular exercise to become your fittest. Both help you shed pounds and reduce the risk of serious conditions.

It’s not a one time shot and you’re done.

Getting fit is not like throwing a 40th surprise birthday party for a spouse or special friend, where you work hard, but once the party is over, it’s done forever. It’s more like brushing your teeth or washing. You really need to do both regularly! When you have a fitness routine, you workout on a regular basis and attempt to make every meal healthy. Eating a salad on Monday does not compensate for the burgers and fries you ate the rest of the week. It may be a start, but not a great one. Doing push ups or walking for 30 minutes is great, but it does little good if it’s only for one day and you sit the rest. Consistency is the key. Consistency makes it a routine.

Once you do it regularly, you’ll feel like something is missing when you don’t.

The reason there’s so much emphasis on lifestyle changes is that lifestyle changes are exactly what you’re striving to achieve. Half the battle is getting into a routine of exercise and eating healthier. Your taste in food often changes and you don’t crave the empty calorie junk. You’ll automatically reach for water rather than reaching for a cola and look forward to “fresh” tasting whole foods. You’ll actually feel like something is missing if you skip a workout.

Once you’re in the habit of exercise, keep it interesting.

If you’re not working out with a trainer, you need to start with exercise routines that work on all types of fitness, endurance, flexibility, strength and balance. If you’re simply pumping iron with no flexibility training, you’re asking for injury. Just doing flexibility training, especially if you’re a woman, could leave you at higher risk for osteoporosis, while also boosting your potential for injury. You’ll also need to create several routines to avoid plateauing, which occurs when the body becomes too efficient at a specific move and burns fewer calories. It’s another reason people often use a trainer to help them.

  • As you get fitter, you’ll start looking forward to other activities that keep your body moving, such as hiking and dancing. Follow your instincts and investigate more fun things to do to keep it interesting.
  • The more you workout, the fitter you’ll become, which means you have to adjust your workout to your new fitness level. You’ll know when it’s time to crank it up because your present workout will be easier to do.
  • Keep it simple when you first start eating healthy. Pitch processed foods and sugary treats and start enjoying more whole foods—foods that are closer to their natural state—like fresh vegetables. Make small changes as you go.
  • Just do it. Doing something, even as simple as walking, is better than doing nothing. You don’t have to have all the answers at first. Learn as you go or seek the help of a personal trainer.

Don't Let Winter Get You Down

Don’t Let Winter Get You Down

You don’t have to suffer from SAD—seasonal affective disorder— to have the winter in Boise get you down and depressed. It’s cold, it’s dark and sometimes, there’s no sunshine! Rather than laying on the couch covered with blankets and binge watching your favorite TV series, you can fight back and have fun at the same time. You do need to look at this time of year as an opportunity to learn new things or push yourself to new heights. That can actually be a lot of fun.

It’s always sunny in the gym.

Okay, that’s made up, but it did get your attention and going to the gym will make you feel better. Sometimes, just getting off the couch and taking charge is all you need to boost your mood. But if you go to the gym, you’ll get extra benefits. Exercise gets your blood circulating and boosts your energy level. It also burns off the hormones of stress and stimulates the brain to trigger ones that make you feel good. You won’t want to go home and back to the couch, unless you’re physically tired, not just mentally down and out. Going to the gym and working out is like having your own ray of sunshine on a cloudy day!

Embrace the outdoors.

There’s a lot to do in the winter in Boise that you simply can’t do in the summer. Enjoy it! It won’t last forever. Skiing at Sun Valley, tubing at Bogus Basin and even cross country skiing or snowshoeing can burn tons of calories while providing a lot of fun. Going for a walk at a local park can be fun. The Boise Parks and Recreation also has some fun winter activities, including ice skating, hockey, volleyball and basketball to keep you active.

Winter is a time to eat healthier.

Not every minute can be spent outside, loving the snow and cold weather. For those who prefer a warmer pastime, learning to eat healthier helps. Eating healthy can be a real boost to your mood. Lean protein, food high in Omega-3 fatty acids, foods high in folic acid, B-12 and vitamin D help boost your mood and keep you healthier in the winter. Berries help combat stress, while foods high in Omega-3 fatty acids can lift your spirits. Cut out the sugar entirely during the winter. It may give you a boost out of a low, but before long, you’ll be right back where you were or even lower.

  • Think about others. Taking the time to help others can be gratifying. Not only will other people benefit, you will too.
  • Get off the couch and boogie. Turn up the tunes and dance your way to feeling good. It doesn’t have to be a formal dance, make it up as you go. Just move.
  • Clean a room and get rid of the things you don’t need. During the winter months, people often hunker down and wait for “spring cleaning.” Start early and you’ll feel better as you clear your life of clutter.
  • Keep moving. No matter what you do, don’t just sit under a cover trying to stay warm. The more you move, the warmer you’ll be. It’s one of the keys to surviving winter.

Ways To Get Fit In Minutes

Ways To Get Fit In Minutes

You can get fit in minutes. Okay, that’s a bit misleading, especially if you thought you could do a few exercises and magically you’d be fit. You know that really won’t happen. What it does mean is that you don’t have to set aside a thirty to fifty minute block of time to workout on those days you’re really busy. You can break your workout to smaller sessions that can fit in between appointments or activities. Studies show that three ten minute sessions of working out can be just as effective as a continuous half hour workout.

Even incidental workouts can help you get fitter.

What’s an incidental workout? It just means getting activity doing every day types of things. If you are vigorous, that’s even better. So when you climb the stairs or sweep the floor, do it like there’s no tomorrow. Put your whole body into the task of cleaning. One study showed that if you had at least thirty minutes of moderate activity every day from doing those incidental tasks, it could reduce the potential of cardiovascular disease by as much as 15 percent. The more vigorous, the better! It’s also burning extra calories. Get out the cleaning supplies, start raking the yard, paint a room and make your home beautiful, while you get into shape!

Check out those four to seven minute workouts.

There’s a number of short workouts for those days when you can’t make it to the gym or as a break from sitting. The four minute nitric oxide dump, for instance, gets your blood circulating and boosts your nitric oxide. Increasing your nitric oxide is heart healthy. It causes the blood vessels to expand, decreases plaque growth, lowers the risk of clotting and increases blood flow. It also helps you get in better shape. You can do the workout created by Dr. Zach Bush by doing four sets of ten knee bends, arm paddles, jumping jacks without the jumping and air pushups. Do it three times a day, no closer than two hours apart.

Just move more.

Forget the conveniences and live more like your ancestors. Taking the stairs can wind you, but not if you do it every day. You can even time yourself to make it up the stairs faster or try to increase the number of flights you go. Going down them is always easier! If you work on a high floor, you can take the stairs part of the way and take the elevator the rest of the way, building the number of floors for the stairs as you get healthier. There’s a lot to be said for simple activities that take only minutes.

  • Walk faster with longer strides. Studies show that walking faster and taking longer strides can improve your health. People who do this live longer. They also get to their destination faster!
  • Work with your trainer to get some ideas on how to get more exercise on your day away from the gym. If you’re pushing hard at the gym, make those off days light exercise, such as walking.
  • Play with the kids. Yup! You can be a good parent, get your exercise and be a great role model for your kids. Whether you’re shooting hoops, playing tag, hula hooping or mimicking animal movements the kids will love it and you’ll get healthier. So will they.
  • Exercise while you work. There are exercises you can do at the sink, ones you can do at your desk and even exercises when you’re driving. They may not be the only answer to fitness, but they can help get you fit faster.