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Bits and Pieces

For a Healthy Brain, Physical Exercise Trumps a Mental Workout.
Regular physical exercise appears to protect the brain from shrinking, a natural occurrence in aging that is associated with memory and thinking problems. This relatively large brain-imaging study, which included brain scans using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), 
involved more than 600 people in Scotland between the ages 70 and 73. The researchers found a strong and direct correlation revealing that as physical exercise increases, brain shrinkage decreases. The study discussed the need for both “physical exercise and non-physical leisure and social pursuits”.  All have so many benefits, however for preventing chronic diseases; combating depression, fatigue and also apparently brain shrinkage there's no harm in pursuing exercise at any age. See, there are ways to prevent shrinkage. Source: LiveScience.com
 

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Right Now

This will help you with your weight loss success by providing information regarding calorie counting, and help find the right calorie intake for you.  In order to maximize your benefits from working out you have to eat and you have to eat right. Eating right will promote the building of lean muscle. Eating balanced consistent meals with the proper calorie input/output is important for maximizing lean muscle tissue and decreasing body fat. I do not believe in "going on a diet". Rather, I think you should pick a long term consistent plan that offers guidelines and parameters to follow. Today let's establish your Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR). Your BMR is the basic amount of calories your body needs to burn for normal daily activities not including additional workouts. Your BMR accounts for the majority of calories you burn every day.

 
BMR Calculations:
 
Women:
655 + (4.3 x weight in pounds) + (4.7 x height in inches) - (4.7 x age in years)
Men
66 + (6.3 x weight in pounds) + (12.9 x height in inches) - (6.8 x age in years)
Once this calculation is established match your number with the following table:
 
Sedentary: no exercise outside normal daily activities = BMR + (BMR X.20)
Light activity: If you stand a lot during the day, participate in some light exercise = BMR + (BMR x .30)
Moderate activity: Constant movement at home or work, walk up to 10 miles during the day, and exercise 3 times a week = BMR + ( BMR x.40)
Very Active: Participating in daily vigorous exercise =BMR + (BMR x .50)
Extra Active: You engage in strenuous work or intense exercise daily and constant physical and/or athletic training = BMR+ (BMR x .60)
 

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Feeding Your Will Power

Now, I am not trying to be a Grinch about holiday celebrating. I realize the temptation to pig out seems to surround us at this time; it basically comes down to willpower. Willpower according to the latest research needs to be fed, exercised and nurtured, just like your body and your brain. Science suggests that your ability to stay focused and motivated on any task is found in the soft gray matter of the frontal lobe of your brain. This is where good decisions are made and bad choices rejected.

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No More Frustrations ...Just RELAX

No more Frustrations, let's relax....

We all experience stress; whether you're 17 or 47. Big or small, taxes, traffic jams, or missing socks; stress is something everyone deals with in life. There are many positive ways to deal with stress; exercising, eating right, and engaging in activities you enjoy. There are also many negative ways of dealing with stress; alcohol, overeating, being grouchy with friends and family, and even self doubting and criticizing. Stress affects all parts of the body; the brain, the immune system, skin, chronic headaches; depression, rage, and recurring high blood pressure are all possible results of stress. And we have all had sleepless nights where we just can't turn off our brain. The severity of these conditions is related to how well you deal with stress and how long it continues. There is a great deal of research supporting the practice of relaxation techniques; or as my boys say, "Chillin' out".  For today's thought, I am including some techniques I read on the Harvard Health Beat Newsletter. Include these in your day, during stressful moments, or especially, when you are going to sleep. It is difficult to shut your mind off to relax; however if you apply these techniques consistently it can help.

When you've got one minute

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The Sound of Music

In a study published in the Scandinavian Journal of Medicine & Science in Sports (8/10), researchers conducted trials varying the tempo of the music and registering the results. They found that faster music brought faster tempos and intensity to the workouts. Although this may fall in the "duh" category, having an up tempo play list set when you workout can get you motivated to work a little harder, and sometimes we can all use a little extra motivation.

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