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3 Tips for a Sharper Mind and Sculpted Body

Michael Gonzalez-Wallace is the author of Super Body, Super Brain. You can read more from him at www.superbodysuperbrain.com or pick up his book Super Body, Super Brain.

Use it or lose it.

If we don’t use our muscles, they will wither in atrophy and if we don’t use our brain, our brain will shrink. If the brain is not used, different brain areas will slow down leading to a faster decline in cognitive abilities such as multitasking, learning, memory or movement. A study from Harvard University concluded that lack of brain activity between different areas of the brain means faster aging.

However, what if I told you that is possible to be faster mentally or in better physical shape now than you were 5 or 10 years ago? For the last 10 years, we have being seeing a brilliant phenomena called brain plasticity. Brain plasticity is the brain’s capacity to rewire or regenerate itself, and the key is stimulation. Anytime you stimulate the brain, you are strengthening existing connections and creating new powerful networks. In other words, you are strengthening your brain like a muscle.

According to Dr John Ratey Professor of Psychiatry at Harvard University, exercise is the ultimate way to improve brain plasticity. Nice! But plasticity doesn’t only affect our brains- but affects our muscles as well. Muscle fiber plasticity refers to the capacity of our muscles to change shape, form and structure and there is no age limit, you just need to be consistent with a resistance training program.


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Ryan Reynolds’ Green Lantern Workout

If you are a woman like me, two words can make you instantly start salivating: Ryan Reynolds. For men, he is someone to be admired and envied because he has a body like a super hero, which is very convenient since he will be portraying one this summer when Green Lantern is released in theaters.

Reynolds first became known for his rock-hard six-pack when he appeared in Blade: Trinity. Since then, his weight has fluctuated a little bit, depending on what kind of movie he was acting in. When Reynolds is going to be in an action film, he really concentrates on building muscle tone. According to his personal trainer, Bobby Strom, Reynolds weighed in at “200 pounds and 8 percent body fat [when he is in an action movie, but for romantic comedies] he’s about 180 and 11 percent body fat.”

In order to get in such fantastic shape, Reynolds works out for 90-minutes, seven days a week. His workouts vary, based mainly on what his role in the next movie is.


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Nutritional Healing For Lupus Sufferers

This guest post comes from Gale Tern, author, alternative health proponent, and blogger at Arthritis Pain Central.

According to mainstream medical literature, lupus is one of many disorders of the immune system known as auto-immune disease. The immune system is supposed to protect the body from invaders like harmful bacteria and viruses. However, in the case of auto-immune diseases, the immune system actually attacks parts of the body it is supposed to protect.

The theory is that when your body turns on itself and begins to damage cells and body tissue, this leads to inflammation. And so the inflammation you see associated with lupus is really a symptom of the disease. Lupus affects all parts of the body including the heart, kidneys, joints, skin, lungs, brain, tendons, and blood vessels. The most common symptoms of lupus include extreme pain, inflammation, kidney problems, swelling of the joints, fever, weight gain, and skin rashes.

The thing about lupus is that it discriminates. It primarily affects women. In fact, approximately ninety percent of all lupus cases affect women in their thirties.


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Rest and Recovery an Important Component to Any Fitness Routine

We live in the age of extremes. We have to be the fastest, baddest, biggest and the best at everything we do. This is America! When speaking of cars, computers and the speed at which we receive our text messages, our all or nothing attitude is a definite advantage, but it is this mind frame that has lead us to gigantic food portions, exponentially rising obesity related healthcare costs and the first generation of children with a shorter life expectancy than their parents. We certainly are the biggest and baddest in terms of girth and the quality of our nutrition, that’s for sure.

It works the other way, too. We want instant gratification, instant results and immediate weight loss when adopting a fitness routine. In the age of the Biggest Loser, where contestants work out 8+ hours a day, everyday, and see double digit weight loss, it’s easy to get caught up in the idea that more is better. Unfortunately, our bodies don’t work that way.


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The Ins and Outs of the P90X Nutrition Plan

Sure, you’ve probably heard that the workouts in Tony Horton’s P90X system are tough, but what do you know about the system’s nutrition plan? When it comes to getting in shape and losing weight, we know that exercise is great for our bodies and building muscle, but you also have to eat the right foods to show off all that hard work. Here are a few more details on the diet side of this popular workout DVD system.

About the P90X Nutrition Guide

The plan includes three one-month phases, all which include small meals eaten consistently throughout the day and lots of water to drink!


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