Thursday, January 29, 2009

Rock Your World… With Rock Climbing of Course!

Is this winter weather keeping you inside and climbing the walls? Have you been thinking about looking for something new and fun to take your fitness routine to another level?

Well I have just the thing for you. Why not try some Indoor Rock Climbing where you can climb some real walls!

Climbing is an extremely challenging sport that’s also a bunch of fun, a total thrill, and a great physical workout all at the same time! Not only will it give you an enormous sense of self satisfaction and self reliance, it will also build self confidence, mental control, improve your balance and increase your positive thinking.

Most Climbing Gyms provide numerous routes that offer a full range of climbing workout levels from "Very Easy" to "Extremely Challenging". Climbing walls are generally constructed of steel beam structures with fiberglass sheathing or a molded "Rock Like" texture. "Climbing Holds" are then placed on the walls to simulate rocks that a climber uses to grip as they climb the structure and they’re changed out periodically to keep the routes fresh. Climbing Routes are sometimes designated by colored holds or tape on the wall, and they’re typically given a name and a difficulty level. This allows the climber to track their progress as they improve their skills.

Beginners will usually be given an orientation where they are shown how to put on the harness, how to tie the figure 8 knot, how to "Belay", and how to lower their partner. Once you get the basics down, you’re ready to start climbing!

If climbing up to high places is not really your thing, you can always try "Bouldering". This kind of climbing is usually not more than 12 feet or 4 meters off the ground and it generally uses more strength than endurance. Most gyms will have a "Fall Zone" padded with either gym mats, pea gravel, or shredded tire tread to break the falls. The climbing routes are usually shorter and more difficult, but they require very little climbing equipment... usually just climbing shoes and chalk.

For a list of Rock Climbing Gym‘s around the world and maybe one near you, click on this link

Rock Climbing is an excellent exercise for the whole body and mind... So why not let rock climbing "Rock Your World"!

Friday, January 16, 2009

Your Brain on Fitness!

Ever misplace your car keys somewhere, forget an old friends name when it comes time to introduce them, even though you’ve known them for years, or even better, ever put something in that special place so you’ll always know where it is... only to not be able to find it when you need it? I know you’ve all been there at least once or twice in your life and you’re not even old yet! Well if you want to live with an active brain when you do get older, you’re going to have to keep your brain healthy with exercise now. That’s right... Fitness for your brain!

Did you know that eating healthy is not only good for your body but it’s also important to keep your brain healthy and sharp too? Include lots of colorful fruits and vegetables that are packed with antioxidants and essential vitamins and minerals. They’re low in fat and generally low in calories too. You should also include foods rich in Omege-3 Fatty acids like Almonds, Walnuts, Wild Salmon, Tuna and Sardines. Omega-3‘s are important to maintain your brain function and they may help to protect your brain from aging as well.

Studies have also shown that if you include a few simple and fun exercises into your daily routine you’ll boost your brain power enormously and maintain your mental sharpness. Why not try a few of these to smarten up and exercise that muscle between your ears!

Exercise & Yoga - Studies have shown that exercise improves your memory and concentration and may even delay the onset of Alzheimer’s. It increases blood flow to the brain and nourishes your brain cells allowing them to function more effectively and it also promotes the growth of new brain cells. Yoga has been known to affect mood and boost brain power.

Dancing – Why not try Ballroom dancing or learn that Salsa move you’ve always wanted to figure out. Learning new moves activates the brain motor center that develops new neural connections. It also calms the brain’s stress response.

Walking – Walk your dog or walk yourself! Walking 20 minutes a day can reduce your blood sugar and improve blood flow to your brain to help you think more clearly.

Sleeping – It isn’t a Luxury... it’s a "Must Have"! Get at least 7-8 hours of sleep at night and even take in a catnap later in the day. It develops proteins and other brain-boosting components. Sleeps boost to concentration and memory happens in the first 30 minutes so even that little half hour afternoon snooze will benefit your brain!

Play Video Games - Video games such as Wii or Nintendo DS offer Brain Teasers that force you to learn the games interface and stimulates your response to time and memory.

Look Around – I mean really look! While walking down the street, stare straight ahead and try to make out what’s in your peripheral vision. Also, try scanning your eyes to the left and right. This will activate parts of your brain that you rarely use which will stimulate brain cell growth.

Keep a Calendar in Every Room – Looking at your calendars will keep you focused and will help you to create a mental picture of the day in your head.

Drink a glass of Red Wine a day – It has powerful antioxidants that prevent free radicals from killing your brain cells. But no more than two glasses for women and three glasses for men or you’ll reduce that brain boosting nutrient Thiamine!

Socialize - Stay socially connected by getting together with friends and family. Studies have shown that people with active social lives have a reduced risk of developing Dementia and Alzheimer’s. The more activities and contact we have with others, the more it will increase our mental sharpness… and it’s also a fantastic brain exercise.

Read the Newspaper – It will not only keep you current on what’s going on in the world around you, it’ll activate multiple parts of your brain that encourage cell growth. It will also give you something to talk about when socializing with your friends and family.

Play Board Games – Playing games like Yahtzee, Pictionary, Scrabble or Boggle or any game similar to these will lower your risk of developing Dementia by activating spatial, strategic, and memory parts of your brain... and it encourages you to socialize!

Make Crosswords or Logic Puzzles – They stimulate your brain by challenging your mind and memory, contributing to better brain function.

Listen to Your Favorite Music – Music improves your focus and feeling of well being. It also reduces stress hormones that inhibit memory.

Have Sex – No explanation needed! Just kidding! It actually improves your sense of smell! Having regular and enthusiastic sex, even just a few times a week, increases the production of the Prolactin hormone, which in turn causes stem cells in the brain to develop new neurons in the brain’s smell center. And you thought sex was just for fun!

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

They're Music to Your Waistline!

"Beans, beans the musical fruit, the more you eat the more you... Ooops!" Well, we all know the answer to that one!

Did you know that eating beans can actually reduce your waistline though? It’s true! Beans are low in fat and they’re packed with fiber, protein and antioxidants. According to Real Age expert, John La Puma, MD, author of ChefMD's Big Book of Culinary Medicine,bean eaters weigh nearly 6.6 pounds less than those who don’t.

So which beans will give you the biggest boost and have the most antioxidant benefit? It’s the darkest ones of course! Black beans are the best, followed by Red, Brown, Yellow and White... in that order.

Do you avoid these little numbers because you’re not really into sounding like a human symphony? I know the after affects can be a bit undesirable sometimes. The reason for that is the complex indigestible sugars that ferment in your digestive system releasing gas and making you a musical "Rock Star" whether you want to be one or not! You can always try using a product like Beano or some other product that contains a natural food enzyme that breaks down the sugars into those that your body can digest.

So, go ahead and eat your beans and make some music... or not! Your waistline will love it!