Preferred Fitness Blog

Our goal is to offer the opportunity to the sharing of experiences and info related to HEALTH, FITNESS, PROMOS and upcoming EVENTS.

  1. How to Imrpove Your Week in 3 Steps

    March 7, 2019 by

    If you are like many people, you start your week off with great intentions to be healthy, and then it falls to the wayside. Maybe your goals were too extreme or some other things came up during the week that kept you too busy to hit the gym. No matter what happened, it could have been prevented if your goals were manageable and you were able to focus on just one at a time.

    There are a few things that you can do to make sure you are making healthy choices throughout the week. You can even make some changes that you will hardly notice you are making but that will make a big impact in the long run. For example you can pick foods that are healthy but not expensive, or you can treat yourself to a piece of dark chocolate, which is healthy for your heart but will also leave you feeling satisfied.

    No matter what you do, the point is to pick one or two things to work on at a time instead of trying to completely revamp your life at the same time, making it impossible to do everything you’re trying to do at once. For example, here are three things that you can do without even having to try too hard that will give you a lot of rewards in the end.

    1. Get moving

    This can obviously be tough if you work a desk job or somewhere that exercise isn’t really an option. Your lifestyle could seem like a legitimate roadblock to this goal.

    The good news though is that you can get moving and get your heartrate up right at your desk. Start by simply standing at your desk instead of sitting.

    Put your computer on top of some books to create a standing desk. You can even walk in place or fidget during the day to make sure that your body is continuously moving. Pace when you’re on the phone at work or get up and run in place when you are at home watching tv and a commercial comes on.

    2. Eat this, not that

    You probably know that you can’t out-exercise a bad diet. Your diet can reduce your risk of dying from cardiovascular disease, stroke, and Type 2 diabetes by about 50%, but choosing healthy foods for the entire week can be quite difficult if you don?t really where to even start.

    However, it is easy to start by eliminating foods from your diet that you know are unhealthy. Start by choosing to not eat anything with a lot of added sugar. This means eliminating processed foods and instead, eating whole, fresh fruits and vegetables that are as close to their original source as possible. So, rather than snacking on a candy bar, choose some nuts or an apple.

    If that seems like a big undertaking to do suddenly, start by just eliminating sodas or flavored drinks and then go from there.

    3. Address your stress

    There is so much stress that we all experience on a daily basis– both long term stress and short term. This may prevent you from achieving your health goals because you are too busy focusing on other things that are going on in your life. One thing that you can do to address your stress is called the Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT), which is simple way to deal with your emotional stress, but it can also help you handle your addictions and sugar cravings.

    EFT is easy to do, and you can do it anywhere. It is a form of psychological acupressure that focuses on the same energy meridians that are used in traditional acupuncture that people use for physical and emotional ailments, however, it is less invasive because it doesn’t involve needles.

    EFT involves tapping your fingertips to add kinetic energy to specific meridians on your head and chest while thinking about a specific issue that is occurring in your life. If you don’t think that EFT could work for you, then trying meditation and mindfulness are also things that you can do to handle stress on-the-go.

    If you want to make some simple changes to your life that could make a big difference, start here. You may be surprised at the difference they can make.

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  2. Benefits of Passion Fruit

    March 6, 2019 by

    Passion fruit may look like an unimportant fruit that you pass by in the grocery store, even though they?re extremely exotic. On the outside, they look like a bald kiwi or a small grapefruit, but on the inside, it is beautifully aromatic and full of both colors and seeds. Inside the tough rind there is a soft pulp, but you can eat the whole fruit or you can juice it to make a healthy drink.

    Ripe passion fruit can be eaten by scooping out the bright yellow meat inside while avoiding the membrane. It has a unique flavor profile that has been described as ranging from sweet to tart and having a perfume-like smell. They can be eaten raw, but are also great if you pair them along with something sweet and creamy such as yogurt.

    Some people enjoy putting the pulp of this fruit into a blender with some juice and honey and then putting it back into the passion fruit rind to create a fruit bowl. People also use passion fruit to make pudding, tarts, ice pops, sauces, and salad dressings.

    This fruit is native to Brazil, Paraguay, and Argentina, and is grown in tropical areas such as India, Australia, and South Africa. Like other plant-based foods, passion fruits are beneficial to your health.

    Two of the most beneficial nutrients in passion fruit are vitamin A, which improves vision, skin health, and immune system, and vitamin C, which is an antioxidant that is known for its ability to fight colds. Eating raw passion fruit will also provide you with essential minerals such as potassium, which can reduce your risk of overall mortality by 20% if you also have a healthy level of sodium intake. Also, consuming foods that contain potassium decreases your risk of having a stroke, reduces your blood pressure, keeps your bones strong, decreases the likelihood that you will develop kidney stones, regulates the fluids in your body, and controls the activity of your cardiovascular system.

    Passion fruit also contains magnesium, which is important for metabolizing your food and synthesizing the proteins and fatty acids that you consume. The calcium in passion fruit is another essential element that?s abundant in your body and is critical for bone and brain health. Passion fruit also has 25 grams of fiber per cup, which is nearly an entire day’s worth.

    Passion fruit can also help reduce anxiety and sleeplessness. Because passion fruit contains magnesium, it can help decrease stress. Most people are deficient in magnesium, which can result in hypertension, heart disease, and type 2 diabetes.

    Studies have shown that the behavioral effects of stress exposure, including anxiety, could be decreased by magnesium supplementation. Even though studies are still scarce, it is known that a magnesium deficiency can lead to personality changes and serious illnesses from seizures to abnormal heart rates.

    Harman, an alkaloid compound in passion fruit, is also known for being helpful for people who are suffering from insomnia, restlessness, tension, and anxiety. Harman functions as a blood pressure-lowering sedative and antispasmodic.

    Passion fruit can also improve insulin sensitivity. Unlike other fruits that can spike your blood sugar, passion fruit has a low glycemic index Most people don?t consider that eating certain fruits can raise your glycemic index, which makes it an ideal choice for a fruit option for people who have diabetes. Using appropriate dietary interventions, such as eating passion fruit, can help regulate blood sugar and metabolism, and therefore improve the outcome for people suffering from obesity and other modern-day diseases.

    Another healthy compound in passion fruit is piceatannol, which is an analog of resveratrol that has been shown to lower glucose levels and increase stamina. Piceatannol could also improve your metabolism, blood pressure, cardiovascular health, inflammation, lipids, oxidative stress, and mood, especially in overweight men. Piceatannol supplementation can also improve insulin sensitivity and other aspects of metabolic health.

    Eating passion fruit can also help your skin. Aside from vitamins A and C, it also has riboflavin and carotene, which are antioxidants that can reduce the free radicals in your body, which can slow down the aging process of your skin.

    Antioxidants can also help improve your health by flushing toxins out of your body, which can improve the appearance of your skin and fight inflammation to help keep infections at bay. Antioxidants help your skin retain moisture and elasticity and increase your blood flow.

    One of the best health benefits of eating passion fruit is that is has anticarcinogenic potential because it can kill free radicals and stop them from mutating healthy cells into cancerous ones. Studies have shown that different concentrations of passion fruit extract found that a 40 to 45 percent concentration of passion fruit extract is the most effective because it has a significant antimicrobial effect against S. mutans and it contains powerful polyphenols and carotenoids that have been shown to kill cancerous cells, especially in leukemia.

    So if you are looking for a new, exotic fruit to try, check out passion fruits. Not only are they great for your health, they are also versatile in the ways you can eat them.

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  3. Benefits of Eating Organic Food

    March 5, 2019 by

    The main reason that people choose to eat organic food is to avoid consuming foods that have been exposed to pesticides. These chemicals threaten the environment and pose a risk to our health.

    Glyphosate, which is the active ingredient in many herbicides, is known to be the most widely used chemical in history in agriculture and because it has been identified as being a human carcinogen.

    Studies have shown that this herbicide increases one’s risk for developing non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, which is a group of blood cancers, by 41% in people who are highly exposed to it. According to the research team, there is certainly a “compelling link” between non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma and exposure to glyphosate.

    Evidence has also shown that the EPA has attempted to protect the herbicide company’s interests by manipulating the results and preventing key investigations from happening regarding glyphosate’s potential to cause cancer.

    However, out of the six studies that have recently been done to link this herbicide with this particular cancer, five of them showed a positive relationship between the two factors. Only one of the studies, which is known as the 2018 Agricultural Health Study, found no effect.

    However, in the study that did not show a link, the research team notes that the results may have been influenced because the people in the study had low exposure to the chemical. It is only when studying highly-exposed people where you see a clear link between the two factors.

    Scientists believes that glyphosate is a harmful carcinogen, which is not good news for Bayer, the company who owns the herbicides that contain this chemical. There are currently 9,000 lawsuits that are active against Bayer that blame exposure to Roundup for their diagnosis of NHL. However, the manufacturing company is relying on the AHS’s findings that do not show a correlation between the factors.

    But, when using the highest exposure groups available in each study, the overall meta-relative risk of developing NHL in people who have been exposed to this chemical is increased by 41%.

    Available animal and other studies that also showed evidence for the cancer-causing potential of show the presence of malignant lymphoma in mice who have been treated with pure glyphosate, as well as possible links between exposure to GBH and a decreased immune system, endocrine disruption, and genetic changes that have been linked with NHL.

    So, how much of this chemical do you have in your body? Home testing kits have been developed for water and urine. If you find that your levels are high, you may want to look at your diet and consider choosing organic produce. You might also want to put your body through some kind of detoxification to start to repair the damage that has been done to your gastrointestinal system through the exposure to glyphosate and other agrochemicals. There is a good chance that if you find your levels of glyphosate are high, then other levels of pesticides in your body are also high.

    Eating fermented foods such as kimchi is a good way to chelate these toxins from your body. It is also a good idea to take activated charcoal after eating non-organic produce to help bind harmful chemicals together and help your body get rid of them. It is also important to always stay well-hydrated so your body can easily remove the toxins that you ingest.

    Glycine is also a good way to force glyphosate out of your body because it allows you to eliminate this chemical through your urine. You can also eliminate harmful toxins through sweat, which can be increased through the use of a sauna.

    But, the best thing to do is avoid eating these toxins in the first place. Do this by choosing organic produce when you are food shopping. This is especially true if you eat the skin on the product– so for things such as tomatoes, strawberries, and peppers. If you want to pick and choose which fruits and vegetables are ok to eat non-organically, consider bananas, mangoes, and other fruits and vegetables that you peel off the skin before eating because these will have less exposure to harmful chemicals such as glyphosate. Studies have often supported eating organic foods to improve your health, and it is an easy way to avoid becoming sick in the future.

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  4. Most Effective Way to Do a Bicep Curl

    March 4, 2019 by

    Focusing on building your biceps is important whether you’re trying to gain strength or tone up your arms. The bicep curl is a basic strength-training move that has a huge impact on your body. Not only are your biceps important for making your arms look great, they also work to help you move your arms.

    How To Do A Biceps Curl

    You can start by standing or sitting on a bench, whichever feels best for you. However, it is important to know that doing bicep curls while standing will engage your core more. You can also choose to curl either one or both arms, depending on your final goal. If you want to gain strength or get bigger arms, alternate curling which arm that you use because it will allow you to lift a heavier weight. If you want to gain endurance to gain stability, it is better to curl both of your arms at the same time.

    While you’re sitting or standing, hold your dumbbells by your side with your palms facing forward. Slowly and while maintaining control, bend your arm up, lifting your hands toward your shoulders. Keep your upper arms and wrists still, only moving your forearm at your elbow. Curl your arms up, pause, and then slowly return them to your starting position.

    While doing bicep curls, keep your core engaged and your spine straight. Don’t lean back as you are lifting the weight because this will not be as effective on your muscles. If needed, lower the amount of weight you are lifting to prevent yourself from feeling like you need to lean back.

    If you want to gain strength or endurance, choose a weight that?ll let you complete three sets of 8 to 12 reps with a minute of rest in between sets. If you are trying to gain muscle mass, pick a heavier weight for more sets of fewer reps.

    The main benefit of the biceps curl is that you can sculpt your arms. But it can also help you flex or bend your elbow, which is a movement that is often used in various upper body exercises such as rowing, pushups, and pullups. Because biceps curls require you to stabilize your muscles and joints, this move also helps train your shoulders to remain stable and keeps your core engaged.

    Remember, there are other ways that you can work these muscles also. If you work on your upper body enough doing rows and pulls and exercises similar to those, you don?t absolutely have to isolate your biceps since you are already hitting them.

    Think about the moves that you generally do in a week and which ones really engage your biceps. These are small muscles, so they do tire out rather quickly and you don’t want to overdo it. You may be unintentionally working them out doing certain exercises without even realizing it.

    If you prefer to do isolation exercises or you want to build bigger arm muscles, do your bicep curls using heavy weights, but limit this to two to three times per week. It is fine to do this in conjunction with other exercises for supersets, especially your triceps because your biceps complement your triceps, meaning you want thtem to be evenly developed.

    If you’re training for endurance or maintenance, use light weights and do more complex movement patterns to engage your abdomen. You can do this by doing squat curl presses, lunges with biceps curls, or other moves involving your leg muscles incorporated with biceps curls. Doing complex moves in a great way to incorporate a step aerobics routine or when you are doing a complete body workout day.

    When it comes to equipment, start off with using dumbbells, but change things up to challenge the surrounding muscles of your biceps. You can use the bicep curl machine, or do some curls using a TRX suspension trainer.

    After you are comfortable doing the basic biceps curl, you can add in a lot of different variations to try. It is important to pay attention to these muscles though, but for strength and for vanity.

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  5. Effective Methods of Building Muscle After 40

    March 3, 2019 by

    Your lifestyle changes with age. While your wisdom and portal of knowledge increases, the strength and agility of your body decreases. Because of this, you will need to adjust your exercise routine to match what your body needs the most.

    This is why men over 40 should create a workout routine for themselves that has an emphasis on careful, calculated movements. You want to work with your body and give yourself enough time to rest and recover between workouts. This doesn’t mean that you need to baby yourself, you just need to be more intentional in what you are doing. Here, we will talk about some safe ways that men over 40 can effectively gain muscle and stay in great shape.

    Warming Up

    If you already have a warmup routine down pat, stick with it. The point here is that you do warmup and don’t skip out on giving your body an opportunity to prepare itself for your workout. You want to increase your blood flow, warm up your body temperature, and increase your heart rate before getting started. You will then want to do a specific warmup for each exercise you are doing. This may be a few light reps of the movement to perfect your form or a full comprehensive mobility routine.


    You will need some tools to complete a proper workout. A set of dumbbells, barbells, flat and incline benches, leg press, squat rack, cable tower and kettlebells, to name a few.

    You will want to use your equipment to train three times each week. Remember, it is important to give yourself a full day of rest between your days of exercise. On day 1 and day 2 of your exercise routine, you?ll use the “sets across” method for your weights, which means you will be using the same amount of weight for all of your sets. With this method, you won’t increase the amount of weight that you’re using until you do all of the reps on each set.

    So for example, say you?re starting off with 3 sets of 8 reps. After your warmup set, you choose a weight that you think you can lift 10 times. You complete your 8 reps with ease, and could have kept going until you hit 10. For your next set, you also complete 8 reps, however, you’re getting tired near the end. On the last set, you can only finish 7 reps.

    The next week, you use the same amount of weight for your sets, aiming to get 8 good reps on each set and finishing out feeling like you could do a few more. If this is the case, it means you?re ready to increase your weight by 2.5 to 5% for the next week.

    If you’re not using the “sets across” method, you can increase the amount of weight that you use on subsequent sets if the weights you use at first are too light and you completed your reps with ease. You will know that you’re ready to increase the weight when you are exceeding your range by 2 or 3 reps on every set. So if your exercise instructs you to complete 2 sets of 10 to 12 reps and you are finishing up doing 15 reps, you can use a heavier weight next time.


    For resting guidelines, the first thing to remember is to not begin a new set when you’re still trying to catch your breath from the last set. You want to be at full strength every time you pick up your weights.

    Alternatively, if you feel like you could do all of your sets in a row without taking a break, you’re not pushing yourself hard enough. Perhaps your weights are not heavy enough, or you?re doing the exercise wrong and you’re not challenging your targeted muscles.

    Some exercises that you can do after 40 to increase your muscle mass and strength include:

    • Dumbbell Incline Bench Press
    • Seated Cable Row
    • Dumbbell Curl
    • Dumbbell Incline Triceps Extension
    • Goblet Squat
    • Lying Leg Curl
    • Plank
    • Trap Bar Deadlift
    • Dumbbell Split Squat
    • Dumbbell Bench Press with Neutral Grip
    • Dumbbell One-Arm Row
    • Lateral Raise
    • Dumbbell Rear-Delt Raise
    • Standing Calf Raise
    • Lat Pulldown
    • Cable Fly
    • Rope Hammer Curl
    • Rope Pressdown
    • Leg Press

    Make sure that you are staying hydrated when you are working out so your muscles have the mobility to stretch as needed and are able to recover properly.

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  6. The Relationship Between Clutter and Stress

    February 10, 2019 by

    Often, people take their health for granted until it starts to decline. Many people live every day assuming that they are in perfect health because they have no chronic diseases, they are at a healthy weight, and their mental health is seemingly where it should be.

    It?s not until someone gets sick when they start to wonder if they were actually in great health to start with. At this point, it is an uphill battle to get back to a healthy state of being, at which point it is easier to see how resilient their bodies are and how great their minds feel when they prioritize their health.

    Health often gets put on the backburner in light of family obligations, work responsibilities, financial restraints, and other factors of life that are more pressing, No one really considers the fact that without your health, you don’t have much that you can live for.

    One commonly misunderstood concept of health and wellness is that you have to go to the gym every day or eat a strict diet of only fruits and vegetables in order to be in the best health. While these things are true in the sense that they are important factors of your overall health in moderation, there is more to it than that.

    One area of health that needs to be considered is your mental health. The amount of stress that we live with is unprecedented these days, and small things can add up to a lot of undue stress. Having excess things around your house or living in a cluttered space is one thing that impairs your ability to get healthy and to stay healthy.

    Taking the time to declutter your living area can have a substantial impact on your health. This goes far beyond just giving yourself a tidy space to live and work in, because excess stuff can have a negative impact on your mental and physical welfare. Clutter can lead to feelings of anxiety, prevent you from getting quality sleep, reduce your ability to focus, and raise your oxidative stress.

    Alternatively, living in an organized environment without clutter allows you to have more mental clarity and focus. If your home is chaotic, it can mirror the chaos that may be occurring in your mind and impair your ability to stay focused. Cleaning up your physical space can help you organize your thoughts in the process, which can result in an experience that makes you feel lighter and more able to breathe freely.

    Getting rid of material items can also have a large impact on your stress and anxiety levels. Being in a cluttered space is mentally draining because it doesn’t allow you to ignore tasks that need to be accomplished. The overload of visual information and reminders give you a constant sense of stress, which continuously raises your cortisol levels. Over time, this subtle sense of stress can drain your energy, make you feel overwhelmed, and even lower your immune function.

    Unmanaged stress can lead to an increased susceptibility to illnesses such as colds, the flu, and stomach bugs. It can also lead to weight gain, as people often cope with extra stress by overeating. If stress builds up further, it can eventually lead to chronic illnesses such as cardiovascular disease, inability to sleep, autoimmune diseases, cancer, weight gain, and digestive issues.

    Cluttered living spaces also allow pathogens to build and multiply. Things like dirt, dust, pet hair, mold, and mildew will continue to grow in a cluttered environment if they are not properly tended to. These environmental pathogens and toxins can damage your health by causing allergies, respiratory issues, inflammation, oxidative stress, and chronic illness. The tricky thing here is that you might not even realize that these allergens are negatively impacting your health until you declutter and clean up your environment.

    If cleaning up and becoming organized will improve your mental and physical health, it is worth taking the time to do. This one simple activity can increase your longevity and improve your overall wellbeing.

    Start by going through your home and getting rid of anything that you don’t have a use for or is outdated in some way. Make a “keep”, “donate”, and “trash” pile so you know which items are important to you and which you can live without. If there are some items that you are on the fence about, keep them in a closet for about a month and see if you ever end up taking them out to use. If not, go ahead and get rid of them. Doing this can improve your mental and physical health.

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  7. Nutrients That Improve Brain Health

    February 9, 2019 by

    You may have heard about the popularity of the Mediterranean diet for improved physical and mental health. But, do you know what specific factors or nutrients in this specific diet are the ones that are making such a big difference? What do the foods that are commonly found in the Mediterranean diet all have in common that other foods may not?

    Studies have shown that, in fact, there are specific nutrients in these foods that work to improve brain health. This means that instead of relying on a specific diet such as the Mediterranean diet to stay healthy, you may focus on specific nutrients and find foods that you enjoy that contain these vitamins, minerals, and proteins.

    In one particular study, researchers took blood samples of participants and used their blood analysis to determine their actual nutrient status, in addition to using MRIs to measure their brain’s efficiency. By using direct methods such as these to gather information, the researchers were able to have an accurate dataset to detect any evidence of a link between one’s nutrient intake and their brain health.

    The researchers were able to concretely determine some nutrients that had a direct impact on healthy brain aging, increased cognitive function, executive functioning, brain network efficiency, and overall intelligence. Here are the significant nutrients that they found:

    Omega-3 Fatty Acids

    You can get omega-3 fatty acids into your diet by eating a variety of fish. Fish oil supplements are a concentration of the omega-3 fatty acids that you can get by eating salmon, trout, tuna, mackerel, or herring. Typically, any fatty fish is a good source of Omega-3 fatty acids.

    Omega-6 Fatty Acids

    These healthy fats are found in vegetable oils, nuts, seeds, poultry products and whole grains. Like Omega-3 fatty acids, Omega-6 fatty acids are essential to the body and can only be obtained by eating certain foods or taking supplements. Even though this important fat cannot be produced by the body, they are important to the brain and play a critical role in growth and development.


    Lycopene can be found in plant foods that are red in color, such as tomatoes and watermelon.


    This nutrient can be found in yellow and orange produce, such as sweet potatoes, squash and carrots.

    Vitamin D

    Vitamin D is also found in fatty fish, as well as fortified dairy products and dairy substitutes like soy milk.

    B Vitamins

    While all of the B-complex vitamins are important for your overall health, three of them in particular- B6, B12, and B9, are especially important for brain health. These B vitamins work together to prevent or reduce mental decline, Alzheimer’s disease, and dementia.

    Studies have shown that these vitamins work together to help prevent mental decline, dementia and Alzheimer?s disease. Eating foods that are rich in these nutrients reduces brain atrophy, improves cognitive function, and can reduce brain shrinkage.

    These vitamins can be found in foods such as dairy products, enriched grains, dark leafy greens, poultry, eggs, fish, and fortified cereals.

    Researchers have found that it isn’t just consuming these nutrients individually that improves your brain health, instead, it is how these nutrients work together and are used collectively by the body that makes a difference. This is why it is so important to eat a varied diet that includes these nutrients in healthy and useful amounts instead of relying on dietary supplements to provide your body with a set amount of each nutrient.

    There are variations of the Mediterranean diet available to make it easier to follow this eating pattern to get all of the brain-benefitting nutrients into your daily diet. Find the foods that are accessible to you that you enjoy eating and make them a regular part of your meals so you can be sure to eat the most important nutrients that will keep your brain healthy well into old age.

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  8. Healthy Eating and Exercise Can Keep Your Brain Young

    February 8, 2019 by

    It?s widely known that eating healthy foods and getting plenty of exercise are critical factors to living in good health. But recent studies have confirmed just how beneficial these things are to your brain health and that they can possibly reverse some of the detrimental effects of aging on the brain.

    A recent study found that even people who already display signs of cognitive aging, such as difficulties thinking, can improve their brain function by exercising on a regular basis and eating a healthier diet. In this study, 160 people over the age of 55 began the study exhibiting thinking skills equivalent to people in their 90s, which was about 28 years older than the participant.

    The study’s volunteers were split into four groups: one group added an exercise regime to their schedule, another started a low-sodium diet, a third group made both of these changes, and a fourth group acted as a control group and continued with their normal exercise and diet routine, but were given educational classes on ways they could improve their brain health.

    The group who changed both their diet and exercise showed marked improvements in cognitive tests after a six month time period. Their test scores showed a nine year improvement in their cognitive health, meaning their brain age resembled that of an 84 year old after the six month period rather than a 90 year old. The control group continued a decline on their test scores, and there was not a significant change in the scores of either group who changed only their diet or only their exercise.

    This study shows that it is never too late to improve your brain health, even if you have limited brain function. None of the participants in the study lived an active lifestyle when the study began, and while all of them were showing signs of cognitive decline, none suffered from dementia.

    Each participant also had one or more one heart-disease related risk factors, which is significant because researchers know that proper blood circulation is acritical part of maintaining cognitive function because the brain needs oxygen-rich blood to properly function.

    While the researchers admit that diet and exercise are not a cure for dementia, they were impressed at the impact these lifestyle changes made on the participants’ brain health. Because a pharmaceutical intervention to prevent dementia does not yet exist, having this starting point of living a healthier lifestyle can have significant, positive implications down the road for people’s brain health.

    The exercise program used in this study involved three months of supervised physical activity where the participants ran on a treadmill or used a stationary bike at around 70% of their peak heart rates three times per week. The participants were then given an exercise regimen to do at home that was created by the researchers considering the participants’ schedule and resources, including convenience, access to a gym, using equipment they already owned, or speed walking in their neighborhood.

    The diet group stuck to a diet that emphasized reducing their intake of salt and increasing fiber to help control their blood pressure and improve their cardiovascular health.

    As previously mentioned, the participants in the groups who changed only one of these two factors did not display significant increases in their brain functioning, which may be due to the fact that the study was perhaps too small to be able to say there was an officially significant difference.

    Because those who followed both the diet and exercise programs exhibited the greatest improvements to their cognitive health, it suggests that these two lifestyle changes can work together to improve brain health, meaning that exercising and eating a healthy diet can improve brain function and possibly postpone one’s development of dementia in their later years.

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  9. How to Tell if Your Friends are Toxic

    February 7, 2019 by

    It is normal for a friend to mess up every now and then. But if you have a friend who is consistently disappointing you, lying to you, asking favors without giving anything in return, you might be in a toxic friendship.

    The signs of these types of friendships can be easy to miss, but they all have a few things in common: they are emotionally harmful.

    Friends who cause stress and anxiety to those around them and don’t support other people in their endeavors. These friends can be draining and lead you to doubt yourself.

    So what are some clear-cut signs that your friends are toxic?

    Signs You Have a Toxic Friend

    1. You give more than you get

    You may be bringing your friend lunch every day and driving her to and from social events, but does she do anything for you in return? While your friends may not be able to be there for you all the time, you should be able to see some effort on their part that they want to make a contribution to the relationship.

    2. You don’t trust them.

    Friendships are based on a sense of trust. This means that if you don’t trust that your friend has your best interests in mind, they probably aren’t a high-quality friend. For example, if a friend makes a promise to help you out, you want that person to stay true to that. If a toxic friend makes a similar promise, he or she will likely back out at the last minute.

    3. You Don’t Want to Look at Your Phone

    Technology makes it easy to keep up with your friends, but if you feel a sense of dread every time you hear from a specific person, that could be a sign that they are toxic in your life.

    4. You Don’t Enjoy Your Time Together

    Do you feel relieved when plans are cancelled with this friend? If so, you may be tired of putting more work into the relationship than you get out of it. Being around this person is probably draining and can even lead to physical symptoms like headaches and stomachaches.

    5. They Bring Out the Worst in You

    A toxic friend can be contagious and bring your own toxic behaviors to light. This might include drinking too much, gossiping, or acting petty with them when you’re normally not so dramatic.

    Or, you might feel like you can’t act like yourself around this person because you are never sure about how they will react. So basically, if you feel lousy about yourself when you are with this person, then they could be a toxic friend.

    6. You Know They Gossip About You

    When your friend talks about you when you’re not around, is she coming from a place of genuine concern for you or not? There is a difference between saying: “I’m not sure about the guy Katherine is dating, he seems controlling.” and “Why does Katherine always settle for these sketchy guys?”

    7. You Compete With Them

    You can have healthy competition with your friends in small doses. This is normal and fun at times, but only if, at the end of the day, you still have their best interest at heart. However, if you feel like you are constantly fighting to be better than one specific friend, the relationship is probably toxic.

    8. You Feel Used

    One sign of a toxic friend is when you find yourself doing thing that you don’t want to do, just to appease that person. Toxic friends can manipulate you into making a decision that seems fair at first, but really isn?t. For example, a toxic friend will insist on splitting the check if they got a lot more at dinner. You know it’s not fair, but you do what you have to do to keep the relationship going.

    What do you do if you have a toxic friend?

    Get an outsider’s opinion on your relationship with this other person, or if you have a mutual friend, talk to them about the actions and behaviors of your possibly toxic friend.

    Start setting some limits and boundaries with your friend so you can gain back some feelings of control. Stick with your boundaries. “No” is a complete answer, and you shouldn’t be afraid to say it.

    Or, you could start to slowly distance yourself from this person so you’re not spending so much time with them anymore. If you don’t find that this solves the problem, you may need to completely cut ties with them and move on.

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  10. What to Eat to Gain Strength and Muscle

    February 6, 2019 by

    People always say that you can’t out-exercise a bad diet. And it’s true! If you want your body to be in great shape and healthy, you need to fuel yourself with healthy foods that work in synergy with your body to complete natural processes such as digestion, sleep, and muscle growth.

    So if you are trying to gain muscle and strength, you probably want to do everything you can outside of the gym to complement your hard work inside of the gym. Here, we will talk about the best foods to eat if you want to gain strength and muscle.

    If you want to grow or define your muscles, you can’t avoid exercising. One of the common myth about building muscle mass is you need to load up on protein and carbohydrates.

    However, it isn’t that simple. Your body has ways to build muscle without carbs and protein, and amino acids and proteins do more than just build up tissue and muscles. For example, some amino acids prompt genes to create proteins when you are food deprived, as long as they are in your bloodstream.

    It is true that carbs fuel muscle, but high-carb diets promote insulin and leptin resistance, which can lead to the development of a chronic disease. Also, eating more protein than your needs can lead to elevated blood sugar levels and kidney distress– and may ultimately promote cancer growth.

    So, what should you eat? Let’s look at some healthy options.

    Cottage Cheese

    Cottage cheese is made up almost entirely of casein protein, which digests slowly, making it ideal for muscle maintenance. This is an especially great option for people who have to go for long periods throughout the day without a snack or meal. Cottage cheese is also a great source of important nutrients such as vitamin B12 and calcium.

    Skinless Chicken

    Chicken is a high-quality protein source, which is a critical factor for muscle repair and maintenance, bone health, and weight management. And, because chicken is so versatile, you can make it however you want to. Season them one at a time if you want and then you can grab one and cook it quickly when you’re on-the-go.


    Eggs are rich in high quality protein, nine essential amino acids, choline, healthy fat, and vitamin D. They are a valuable food in the sense that they give your body a lot of important nutrients while not costing you too much money. Also, eggs are not harmful for your health, as research has proven.


    Oatmeal is the person source of carbohydrates because it has a low glycemic index value and it is minimally processed. Eating a low-GI diet gives you a better micronutrient profile and more fiber, increases your feelings of fullness, decreases your hunger throughout the day, helps with fat loss, and lowers your desire to overeat.

    Essentially, low-GI foods such as oatmeal can help with fat loss efforts and give you a constant source of carbohydrates for muscle preservation.


    Fish is high in protein, low in unhealthy fat, and full of omega-3 fatty acids. These fatty acids are essential because they help with fat loss and work alongside your body to make sure it functions properly.

    Whole Grains

    Whole grains digest efficiently and give your body more nutrients than refined grains can, which helps you have sustained energy levels and great overall health. Specifically, brown rice can increase your growth hormone levels, which, in turn, encourage lean muscle growth, fat loss, and strength gains.

    Fruits and Vegetables

    Fruits and vegetables are both filled with antioxidants, which are vital to have in order for your immune system to properly function. These fresh foods also provide your body with other nutrients, like vitamins C and E, and beta-carotene. Also, your body needs the fiber provided by fruits and vegetables to help with proper digestion and nutrient absorption.

    Final Thoughts

    Ignoring your nutrition isn’t an option when you are trying to make positive changes to your body. Knowing how food can work with your body will help you use it correctly for your fitness and strength gains. This is true for everyone, both for overall fitness maintenance and for muscle mass gains.

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