Strengthen Mind and Body

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Get Stronger and Improve Your Mind — Add strength training to your fitness regimen: at least 2 sessions per week.

As kids all that running jumping cart wheels and tumbles create natural flexibility and strength training.  As we get older we do our best to tumble less and stay up right more than not.  And away goes our natural weight training and aerobic fitness.

As we age, balance and fitness become more and more important.  Walking, strength training and flexibility become a real focus.  A mixture of the three can keep the aging process in the slow lane and work our mental fitness out as well.

Fitness experts agree it doesn’t have to be heavy – 5lbs hand bars will do – added to a walk around the block or several – followed by a bit of yoga to enhance flexibility and balance.  How about an afternoon of dancing to liven up the experience?  Strength training also promotes bone health and greater bone density.

So today step out and take Mom with you, walk, talk, move, balance, flex, dance while your mind expands and your body strengthens.

It seems to work in humans, too. Preliminary research from the University of British Columbia’s Aging, Mobility, and Cognitive Function Lab is showing that elderly women who strength train do better in cognitive tests than women who do “toning” work, according to the lab’s principal investigator. Preliminary brain scans of the weight-lifting women with greater cognition seem to show neurogenesis occurring, which would also jibe with the rat studies and the fact that there is a significant neural component to lifting – on the conscious side of things, you’re using your brain to activate your muscles and to guide their trajectory; subconsciously, you’re activating the various energy systems and engaging varying amounts of various types of muscle fibers, depending on the job required. In the end, then, you’re not “just” training your muscles as most people imagine (physical restructuring of the muscle). You’re training the muscle, the energy pathways, the brain, the CNS, and anything else that’s involved in moving your body against a resisting force. And as we know, training something improves it, or, rather, it motivates something to improve itself. This is true for both brain and brawn.

Older women are generally less likely than others to do strength training, even though it can promote bone health and counteract muscle loss, said Teresa Liu-Ambrose, a researcher at the Center for Hip Health and Mobility at Vancouver General Hospital and the lead author of the paper, which appears in the Jan. 25 issue of Archives of Internal Medicine.

Lee Igel, PhD, clinical assistant professor of sports management at New York University:
To put your mind into your muscle requires organizing your thoughts and concentrating them on the specific task at hand during a workout. Although this sounds like a simple idea, it’s not easy to do because there are plenty of distracting thoughts to get in the way. To minimize the distractions, manage your time so that your workout is a priority, which helps your mind be less agitated about other things you think you should be doing. If you start worrying about how you look at the gym or noticing the person next to you, remind yourself that you’re there to maintain and improve your health, not to see and be seen by others.

Below is a fabulous smoothie from Smoothie Web.   I suggest it be boost with Smoothie Essentials Calcium, Smoothie Essentials Women’s Blend and Smoothie Essentials Soy to really bring in the elements that are critical to women’s nutrition.

Ginger Jolt Smoothie

December 27, 2011 · Filed Under Apple Smoothies, Healing Smoothies · Comment

Adding to our newest category, Healing Smoothies, this smoothie helps relieve pain due to stomach ache, nausea or queasy feelings in your tummy. The ginger is the key ingredient so don’t skip it and drink it slowly so your stomach ache doesn’t get worse from drinking too fast.

Ginger Smoothie Ingredients:

  • 1 apple, cored, peeled and sliced
  • 1 lemon, peeled and seeded
  • 1/2 cup filtered water
  • 1/2 cup ice
  • 1 (2-inch) piece of fresh ginger root, peeled and crushed.

Nutrition Information:

  • Calories: 120
  • Protein: 2 g
  • Fiber: 5 g
  • Magnesium: 30 mg
  • Potassium: 400mg
  • Carbohydrates: 30 g
  • Total fat: 1 g
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