Use It or Lose It: An Active Mind is a Healthy Mind

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Couple playing chess in living room smiling

When we think about our health and fitness, we usually think about our muscles and bones and our heart, and everything we need to do to keep them working in top form. But did you know that your brain is a muscle too?

Often, the memory loss and loss of mental acuity associated with aging is not a natural part of aging at all. It’s simply a result of not staying mentally active. The old saying is true: use it or lose it!

To keep your mind active and healthy, here are some ways you can challenge it.

It is easy to keep your mind busy and to come up with activities to keep it functioning at a high level. When you do a physical activity and exercise, you’re not only challenging your muscles, you’re challenging your mind too. Playing mind games that encourage you to think is another technique. Even learning a new skill can challenge your mind. This could be the perfect time to sign up for that class you always wanted to take but couldn’t justify spending the time. Here are some more ideas.

1) Start scrapbooking. Not only does scrapbooking challenge your mind to think creatively, it reinforces those memory skills. It will also keep your interest and train your brain to focus on an activity for a length of time.

2) Play games. Crosswords puzzles, Sudoku, checkers or chess can challenge your mind too. These mind games force you to look at things from different perspectives, which is a brain-building activity.

3) Exercise. We’ve mentioned that exercise is a good way to challenge your brain. Activities like Pilates and Yoga are gentle on the body but they also require a great degree of mental focus. Exercise your brain while you move your body. Going for a walk or taking a low-impact aerobics class is also a great brain workout.

4) Get together with your friends. Socializing is not only enjoyable, it’s a mental activity. As we get older, we sometimes lose connections with family and friends. Now you have one more reason to meet with them – to keep your mind active. If they aren’t able to meet with you, look for a group or club you can join for some social interaction. Experts recommend engaging in social activities at least once a week, possibly more.

5) Find a hobby. Engaging in a hobby you enjoy can also keep the mind sharp. It might be gardening, woodworking, or even writing your memoirs. The important thing is that you do it. You will have fun and also keep your mind healthy.

Looking after your mind is an important part of your overall health and fitness. By challenging your brain with some of the above ideas, you will keep your mind active. An active mind is a healthy mind.

Detox Diet is the Key to a Healthy Lifestyle

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Salas with spinach,cucumber and microgreens on wooden background

Detox, short for detoxification, is the body’s natural, ongoing process of neutralizing or eliminating toxins from the body. Toxins are chemically changed into less harmful compounds and flushed out of the body through stools or urine. Detox diet is the method of taking in certain food and drinks with the end purpose of getting rid of toxins from the body for finest health.

In short, it is a diet which detoxifies the body. Detox diets may vary in forms and the substances to ingest. In most of the cases, the food selections are very strict. On the other hand, some are more lenient but then certain drugs are prescribed to assist in the detoxification.

Detoxification is good for the body if done properly and with professional guidance. It is highly recommended that a person who wishes to undertake detox diet must first consult a physician or dietician. This is because detoxification may be harmful to the body if not conducted properly. Sometimes the misuse of a detox diet may produce certain diseases or even malnutrition. But with the proper guidance, detox diet can make a body healthier and stronger.

When a body is detoxified, the toxins are removed from the body through the urine or the stools. When there are less toxins in the body, blood circulation gets better, respiration is stroger, stamina is improved, stress is decreased, and the person himself will feel better. But the most popular reason why people go for a detox diet is that it is the quickest and safest way to lose weight.

Most detox diets comprise of only fruits, vegetables, and water. Since this sort of diet is very strict, meat, dairy, alcohol, and bread are big no-nos. This allows the body to absorb less calories and carbohydrates. Detoxification also produces the effect of lessening harmful substances in the body like fat and cholesterol.

However, since a deox diet is very strict, it is highly advisable that it only be used for a short period of time. Detox diets are regularly short-term only and this sort of diet is not recommended to be done for a long period of time because it may be a cause of malnutrition. A detox diet is usually low in protein and carbohydrates. Without these, muscle growth and energy is easily diminished.

So, detox diets must only be used for a short-term basis. After following a detox diet many people report having ‘more energy and losing weight quickly’ and given that the diet is so restrictive, it is hardly surprising that you will have lost a few pounds.

However, detoxing is not a weight management solution. Following the detox program will not teach you anything about basic weight management strategies such as portion control or a healthy meal pattern. As a result most people gain weight again and feel just as sluggish as usual once they stop the diet and return to their old eating habits. The real reason that detox diets work in the short-term is because people make a special effort to change their eating habits for a few days.

It stands to reason that if you swap chips and fizzy drinks for fruit and water you will loose weight. Also, if you’re not eating lots of high fat meals, which slow your body down as it tries to digest them, you will have more energy.

The Best Ways To Burn Fat

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Training with barbells

The best ways to burn fat will be different for each unique individual, as we all have different metabolisms, and different physical characteristics. Nevertheless, there are some common principles which can be applied to anyone, and it these that we shall concentrate on here. The methods given here are tested over time, and among the best ways to burn fat.

Method 1
The most obvious form of exercise you can perform is still one of the best ways to burn fat, and that is simple running. This running can be done indoors on a treadmill, but you will probably burn more calories by getting outside. If you do your running in the countryside, across country and often on hilly terrain, you will be working your body hard, and in a healthy environment.

Method 2
There is no doubt that skipping is one of the best ways to burn fat, if not the best. Successive generations of boxers have incorporated skipping into their daily schedule, and these are people who can afford to be at anything below peak fitness. If you practice skipping for twenty minutes, you will probably find it the hardest 20 minutes of your training career!

Method 3
One of the best ways to burn fat is to know what you are setting out to do All physical exercise takes effort and determination, and you are far more likely to succeed if you can know what you have to do to reach your target. On average you need to burn 3500 calories to lose a pound of fat. There is also a formula which says if you multiply your weight in pounds by 13, you will find out the number of calories it will take for you to stay at your current weight. If you play around with the numbers a little, you can get an idea of how many calories you need to be taking in each day to lose the fat you want to lose. From these formulae, you can work out a reasonable plan for burning fat and losing weight.

Method 4
The best ways to burn fat will always be ways you are likely to stick with, so if you are keen on intense sport, take advantage of this. Even if you only perform the activity in short bursts, you will still be burning calories. There is a lot of running and exertion involved in virtually any sport, and most have practice drills which you can perform alone. Doing something which gives you a challenge, and which you find satisfying, will give you the drive to push through the bad times and carry on.

These four methods are the best ways to burn fat.

All About Thermogenic Fat Burners

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Mix of spices

The term commonly used with fat burning supplements is often thermogenics, which as the name suggests, has to do with temperature. These supplements have been shown to help increase the body’s temperature enabling the body’s ability to burn calories as heat; to be used as energy, thereby preventing them from being stored a fat.

Effective thermogenic supplements are those that contain key ingredients that create a fat burning ‘thermogenic’ environment by working together and in synergy. Some of these ingredients also aid in reducing appetite and spiking an increase in short-term energy. Such common ingredients are:

Alpha Lipoic Acid
• Prevents cellular damage (from free radicals), reduces oxidative stress, lowers blood sugar
• Increases energy levels
• Powerful insulin potentiator

Banana leaf extract
• Balances blood sugar levels
• Transports blood sugar into the cells and aids in controlling carbohydrate cravings

Cayenne
• Raises the body’s metabolic rate

Citrus Aurantium
• A highly effective calorie and fat burner
• Helps to burn fat, and does not affect the central nervous system
• Increases energy levels

CLA – Conjugated Linoleic Acid
• An important fatty acid that has been shown to reduce the body’s ability to store fat and increase the body’s use of fat for energy.

Coleus Forskohlii
• Accelerates the breakdown of existing fat stores
• Promotes healthy cardiovascular function, lowers elevated blood pressure
• Increases levels of cellular messenger cAMP(cyclicadenosine monophosphatpe) that in turn accelerates the breakdown of existing fat stores

Garcinia Cambogia
• Promotes weight loss and suppresses appetite
• Increases fat oxidation and mobilization
• Promotes glycogen synthesis
• Increases energy levels

Guarana Extract
• When combined with other ingredients it helps to boost their effect
• Has been used for centuries to reduce fatigue and to increase energy levels

Guggul Extract
• Improves thyroid functioning
• Increases fat metabolism

Green Tea Extract
• When combined with the other ingredients it helps to boost their effect to burn fat
• Has been used for centuries to reduce fatigue and to increase energy levels lowers cholesterol and triglyceride levels

Hoodia
• The Hoodia molecule, christened P57, fools your brain into believing you are full making it easier to lose that excess weight.
• Pure Hoodia has no known side-effects, it is stimulant free, will not give you the shakes, make your heart race or raise your body temperature.

Konjac root
• is high in fiber, essential for cleaning the digestive system.
• it expands to about 50 times its original volume when used with a large glass of water.

Mucana Puriens
• Improves cognitive function, alleviating depression and improving a sense of well being
• Helps to naturally boost healthy amounts of growth hormone, which promotes lean muscle growth, and in turn a faster metabolism

Naringin
• Extends the half-life of all the other fat burning ingredients, thereby supporting and extending a longer fat burning timeframe

Potassium Pyruvate
• Increases resting metabolic rate
• Facilitates the transport of blood sugar into muscle tissue to increase available energy

Spirulina
• Improves weight loss
• Lowers cholesterol
• Increases energy and boosts mood

White Willow Bark
• The bark of the white willow tree is a source of salicin and other salicylates – compounds
• When combined with the other ingredients it helps to boost their effect to burn fat