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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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Reebok EasyTone Launches New Clothing Line

Image via Reebok.com

Reebok may just be trailblazing a new era in women’s fitness fashion – clothing that looks good and inspires you to move with more intention.

Reebok EasyTone is best known for their their line of toning shoes, which are specially designed to tone a woman’s rear, calves and thigh muscles and improve posture.

Just recently, the fitness giant launched a new line of women’s fitness apparel that features the same toning capabilities as its super popular, bum-slimming shoes.

According to Reebok, “the new EasyTone Apparel Collection is an innovative performance line that uses Resistone bands to create resistance as you move. Designed to tone and strengthen upper body muscles and improve posture and body alignment, EasyTone tops can be worn to work out or under everyday clothing.”
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Benefits of Strength Training for Kids Outweigh Risk

The old school of thought for kids lifting weights was that it should be off limits, since it was an injury risk. However, recent research counters this long-held thought process, saying that school-age children and adolescents can enjoy the benefits of strength training.

Experts say that the benefits of decreased body fat, increased bone density, and improved sports performance with limiting injury risk in those sports all generally outweighed any risks. And, it’s not just about lifting weights. Kids can do strength training using exercise machines, elastic bands or body resistance.

“Since resistance training in children and adolescents is known to be safe and to be associated with several health benefits, children and adolescents should be generally encouraged to participate in a resistance-training program,” said Michael Behringer from the German Sport University Cologne.
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A Beginner’s Guide to Resistance Training

resistance trainingOne of the first steps to getting into shape is setting up a resistance training program to go alongside your cardiovascular program. Resistance training is defined as a specialized method of training that improves and increases muscular endurance. Machine weights, cables, free weights, and resistance bands are among the few specialized types of training.

  • Machine weights are a great way to start due to the controlled movements of the machine. All you really need to worry about is how much weight and how many repetitions.
  • Cables are a little bit tougher than machine weights because your movements are not controlled, thus allowing the body to be susceptible to injury if not performed correctly. Cables offer hundreds upon hundreds of different exercises for every muscle group of the body. I use cables for a huge portion of my personal workouts as well.
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Best Ankle Weights Workout

As I was walking to work the other morning, a lady with ankle weights and dumbbells in her hands power-walked right on by me.ankle weights

First off, this added resistance during aerobic activity strains the joints and can cause injury to the ligaments and tendons. Secondly, it just silly.

So, if you are guilty of this, please do your joints and your body a favor by hitting regular non-weight/resistance bearing cardio followed up by your weight training.
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