I’ve been preaching fast (short duration) exercise since I got tired of slow (long duration) back in 1987, so there’s no surprise about my choice. Personally, I train less than 10 minutes a day, so by the end of the week, I have worked out for less than an hour – including cardio, weights and everything. That’s pretty fast.
Fast, high intensity cardio training is the best for the muscles, lungs, joints, heart and physical appearance because it spares and even helps build muscle which is what allows us to sculpt our bodies into how we want to look.
Slow, long duration cardio on the other hand, shrinks muscle and even eats it away, making it impossible to build a custom shape to the body. Recent research has even found that chronic long duration exercise is hard on the heart and also breaks down the joints. Show me a career marathoner at 60 years or older and I’ll show you someone who has chronic knee pain at best (if not hips and/or back pain too).
Health reasons aside, let’s just talk about physical appearance, since that’s what 95% of us care most about anyway (whether we openly admit it or not). Actually, let’s not talk about it. Let’s make it even easier than that. Just have a look at the pictures below and you choose which body you would prefer to build.
I have been talking a lot about training the brain to get your dream body, but does it work the other way around? Scientist have found that it does indeed. It turns out that trimming down your body actually bulks up your brain! There is an inverse relationship between brain size and body size when it comes to fitness. As people get fatter, their brains gets smaller. As they get fitter, their brains get bigger – and smarter.
Regular exercise can turbocharge brainpower and improve mood, memory, and focus, while fighting depression and age-related cognitive decline. What’s more, studies show that your mental outlook can affect how you react to pain during a workout, which can influence whether you dig in or throw in the towel. By understanding how the brain responds to each phase of your workout, you can make the most of this very cool mind-body connection.
Starting a new fitness routine can be easy, but continuing long term can be another story. The momentum often starts out strong but then peters out after a few weeks for most people. Why is that? What is it about our wiring that turns it into such a hard decision? Do you press snooze in the morning or pop out of bed and exercise? Hit the gym after work, or hit happy hour? In these moments when you’re staring down your sneakers, you’re trying to rouse your left prefrontal cortex (PFC), the area of the brain where your elements of willpower reside. Regular exercisers have an advantage: Their brains can anticipate the positive perks of a sweat session. “When you have positive reinforcement, you’re much more likely to do something,” says John J. Ratey, M.D., an associate clinical professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School and author of Spark: The Revolutionary New Science of Exercise and the Brain.
Power up: If this is where you typically derail, solicit external assistance–schedule a workout with a friend, register for a race, or join the X Gym so you have an APPOINTMENT with a trainer, rather than relying on sheer willpower reserves alone, says Ratey.
Still slacking? Use nonexercise activities and daily chores (like making your bed every morning) to get your PFC operating optimally. “You can build your willpower like you would a muscle,” says mind-body health expert David Yaden of the Community Biofeedback Clinic in Phoenixville, Pennsylvania. “Your willpower becomes stronger even when you’re practicing doing little things.”
If you can get past that initial “intertia” and just get started, it gets exponentially easier. Within minutes of starting exercise (or mere seconds in the case of an X Gym workout), your brain lights up like a neon sign, says brain chemistry researcher David Glass, Ph.D., a professor in the department of biological sciences at Kent State University. First comes a rush of serotonin and dopamine, the feel-good hormones that also improve memory and learning. “It sets off your reward circuitry,” says Glass. “That’s what makes exercise rewarding and possibly addictive.”
Just like your hardworking muscles, the brain perks build with each rep or stride. As your heart rate rises, blood flow increases, and over time more capillaries develop in the brain. As your nerve cells fire, they boost the creation of proteins such as brain derived neurotrophic factor (or BDNF), which plays a role in the positive thoughts you attribute to working out) as well as compounds that promote new brain-cell formation. The result: You increase the production of neurons–literally building your brain over a period of weeks by creating new nerve cells, says Brian R. Christie, Ph.D., director of the neuroscience program at the University of Victoria in Canada.
Doing something you haven’t done before (like X Gym’s unique exercise protocols) forces both your brain and your body to work in unaccustomed ways, says Christie. “Cognitively complex tasks can have benefits for the brain, so it makes sense that combining physical and mental exercise provides the most benefits.”
As your muscles fatigue and burn, the temptation to stop grows stronger. But if you keep going–for a total of 20 minutes or more–your natural opioid system kicks into high gear, flooding your brain with painkilling chemicals like endorphins. (According to one study, these endorphins attach to the same brain regions that light up when you’re sexually aroused.) Other researchers credit a chemical called cannabinoids for the high (yep, it’s from the same family of chemicals that gives marijuana smokers their buzz). It could be that the body releases these substances to cope with the stress of exercise, says lead researcher Arne Dietrich, Ph.D., of the American University of Beirut. “If you give your body time to release these chemicals, you may feel much better during and after exercise,” he says. And not just physically: A study published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine reported that exercisers scored significant mental-health perks after just 20 minutes.
The cranial perks of your sweat session are still in play long after you’ve hit the shower. Researchers in Ireland had students perform brain-taxing tests, then had half the group ride stationary bikes for 30 minutes while the others chilled out. They then repeated the test, and the students who exercised did significantly better, while the ones who lazed about showed no improvement. The likely reason: The pedalers had much higher blood levels of BDNF. Because it’s most active in the hippocampus, cortex, and basal forebrain–areas vital to learning, memory, and higher thinking–surges of the protein may contribute to why adults who exercise display sharper memory skills, higher concentration levels, more fluid thinking and reasoning, and greater problem-solving than those who stay sedentary.
The obvious conclusion here is the X Gym’s 21 minute workout is the perfect routine for your brain as well as your body!
Source (and special thanks to gifted writer Selene Yeager due to major plagiarism on my part): http://healthyliving.msn.com/health-wellness/train-your-brain
Coke totally rocks! I buy Coke regularly and have found that it really improves my quality of life. Here are my favorite 7 ways to use Coke. I hope these tips enrich your life as much as they have mine.
1.) Toilet bowl cleaner. Pour a can into your toilet bowl and let it sit for an hour. It will clean that nasty ring around the bowl quite nicely and even deep clean stains off the porcelain!
2.) Windshield cleaner. Have you ever noticed how hard it is to get that “road haze” off your windshield? Even your toxic windshield soap won’t usually cut through it, but a little Coke will to the job in a snap.
3.) Stubborn stain solution. Got nasty greasy stains? Well, if you pre treat those stains with Coke and then pour the rest of the can in with your regular detergent, you can cut through even the wost greasy mess.
4.) Engine cleaner. If it gets grease out of clothes, it must be good for cleaning your engine for the next car show, right? Try it out – it’s a much cheaper solution than hiring a detail shop to steam-clean it.
5.) Corrosion buster. Pour some Coke on your car battery terminals to clean them up nice and shiny. No wonder Coke is the most common vending machine in car parts and repair centers. Oh, the myriad of automotive uses!
6.) Rust remover. Just put some Coke on the trouble spot, let it sit for a few minutes and then scrub with some crumpled up aluminum foil and that rust will surrender with very little fight.
7.) Insect repellant. Simply pour it all over your body to ward off those nasty bugs. Diet Coke is the best choice for this however, because it won’t leave you as sticky after it dries. Even flies are repelled like a charm! They are happy to land and hang out on any fresh pile of poop, but they wont go anywhere near your Coke-soaked body.
I’m not one to procure sympathy from others, but I know people who play the “victim” role and love to feed off people feeling sorry for them, so if you are one of those types, here are 4 bonus reasons for Coke (and these are actual reasons to drink the stuff).
If on the other hand, you’d rather get off the stuff, then try filtered water. If that doesn’t cut it, try green tea. Still not havin’ it? Give Zevia brand cola a shot or make your own favorite pop with a SodaStream machine using natural flavoring options. Still can’t do it? Check yourself into a rehab clinic and get cleaned up. It’ll be worth it.
What’s a Raw Brahs retreat and why am I blogging about it? Well, I’m glad you asked. It’s about an incredible weekend, designed to focus on yourself and transform yourself through learning the ultimate best ways to eat, live, be real, get fit, get healthy, and be raw!
By being raw, I don’t mean “in the raw,” A.K.A “naked,” but I do kind of mean that in a sense, because you will want to be naked in two ways:
First, you will want to be naked on the inside because you will learn how to finally bare your soul and not worry about being judged anymore or concerned about what other people think about you.
Have you ever envied people who (more…)