About the time we hit 30, our brains begin a slow, steady downward progression. This was once thought to be normal and accepted. However, this decline is by no means an inescapable side effect of aging. Based on new reports, we can counteract age related changes in the brain by partaking in a series of activities that will fortify mental muscle power. Here are seven ways to do just that:
Google often: Search the internet. This initiates key components in the brain that control decision making and reasoning.
Exercise: This activity can actually delay dementia and possibly reverse brain aging!
Brush & Floss: Oral care is directly linked to brain health. Gingivitis and periodontal disease are directly related to diminished cognitive brain function as you age.
Drink Sparingly: Cocktails can be beneficial for the brain but only in moderation. Excessive drinking can have the opposite effect by diminishing total brain volume.
Eat Blueberries: Research has shown that purple-hued fruits can sharpen your brain power. Anthocyanin—the dark blue pigment found in blueberries is responsible for these cognitive improvements. It contains chemicals that may cross the blood-brain barrier and lodge in regions that govern learning and memory.
Do Puzzles: This activity can knock a decade off your cognitive age. Take out a book of basic puzzles and start your way to younger brain power!
Meditate: More than just a great stress reliever, meditation can also enhance your brains gray matter. Meditation helps promote growth in the cortex – an area of the brain that controls memory, language, and sensory processing.
Have you had a fitness profile lately? The Micro Fit, Fitness Profile is an all-inclusive health & fitness evaluation available to all of our members and guests. During this appointment, the fitness staff will review your Lifestyle Questionnaire, perform the fitness profile using the Micro Fit system and develop a personalized exercise prescription! This appointment will provide you with a base-line for your current fitness level and provide a comparison to others of the same age and gender. The Fitness Profile consists of computer controlled assessment equipment, administered by one of our personal training staff. Our trainers will evaluate your fitness in 7 areas giving you an accurate assessment of your fitness level. Measurements include: blood pressure, heart rate, weight, body fat analysis, flexibility, biceps strength and a sub maximal assessment of your aerobic fitness. Your profile results will be discussed with you in detail and you will be given a personal print out of the report along with suggested guidelines for your training.
This assessment is available to you every 3 months, and is suggested to later re-evaluate in order to accurately view your progress. This program will help our fitness professionals make changes to your program!
Please dress comfortably and avoid caffeine, smoking, heavy meals, and exercise for at least 3 hours prior to your appointment for the best results!
To schedule your fitness profile today, please stop by member services and one of our staff members can assist you! If you have any questions feel free to contact:
Nate Graham, Fitness Director, Personal Trainer
508-746-7448, ext. 43
Ever wonder how many calories you burn off at the gym every day? How about while you work? Or watch TV at night? No matter what your doing, or when your doing it, your body is burning off calories! Check out this cool calorie calculator from the American Council on Exercise to see approximately how many calories you burn off each day!
Don’t forget that calories are your body’s fuel and as your exercise intensity increases, you may need to increase your total caloric intake!
To get a better idea how many calories you should be consuming each day please consult, a nutrition expert!
If you love to run and you love to read here are some great books about running that will inspire you, motivate you and even make you laugh. Here is a list of my favorites.
Ultramarathon Man by Dean Karnazes (the Ultramarathon Man himself inspires anyone to run through his courage and stamina both mentally and physically.)
50/50 by Dean Karnazes (another motivational one by the Ultramarathon Man as he takes on 50 marathons in fifty states in 50 days!)
The Runner’s Guide to the Meaning of Life by Amby Burfoot (This is one you will find yourself reading through several times. It is a quick read but inspirational about some of the goals and pressures runners can put on themselves and how to truly love the sport and the meaning of why we run.)
I Run, Therefore I am – Nuts by Bob Schwartz (this is a really fun read that touches on everything from training, nutrition, injuries and even prerace jitters…basically just some of the nutty things that runners do!)
26 Miles to Boston by Michael Connelly (the Boston Marathon is one of the most prestigious marathons in the world and this book takes you from the starting line in Hopkinton to the finish line in Copley Square, explaining marathon history and the challenging course itself.)
Some more good reads:
Marathon: The Ultimate Training Guide by Hal Higdon
Nancy Clark’s Food Guide for Marathoners by Nancy Clark, MS, RD
The Principles of Running by Amby Burfoot
Here is another great recipe (from Nancy Clark’s book) for Banana Bread.
3 large bananas, the riper the better
1 egg or 2 egg whites
2 tbsp. oil, preferably canola
1/3 to ½ cup sugar
¼ cup of milk
1 tsp. salt
1tsp. baking soda
½ tsp. baking powder
1 ½ cups flour, preferably half white, half whole wheat
Preheat oven to 350
Spray a 9×5-inch loaf pan with cooking spray.
In a large bowl, mash the bananas with a fork.
Add the egg, oil, sugar, milk, and salt. Beat well, and then add the baking soda and baking powder. Gently blend the four into the banana mixture. Stir for 20 seconds or until just moistened.
Pour the batter into prepared pan.
Bake at 350 for 45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the middle comes out clean.
Yield: 1 loaf, 12 slices
Total Calories: 1,600
Calories per slice: 140
Carbohydrates: 24 g
Protein: 3 g
Fat: 3 g