Physical Fitness Linked to Brain Fitness

Staying physically fit isn’t just good for your health. It’s also a good way to beef up your brain, according to new research.

Led by Laura Chaddock-Heyman, a research scientist at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign’s Beckman Institute, a team of researchers found greater aerobic fitness is associated with more fibrous and compact white matter, a type of nerve tissue connected to learning and brain function. Previous research has shown more compact white matter fibers can lead to improved cognitive performance.

“Our work has important implications for educational and public health policies, as sedentary behaviors and inactivity rise and physical activity opportunities are reduced or eliminated during the school day,” Chaddock-Heyman says. “Hopefully these findings will reinforce the importance of aerobic fitness during development and lead to additional physical activity opportunities in and out of the school environment.”

The researchers used a type of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to look at five different white matter tracts in the brains of two dozen 9- and 10-year-olds, half of whom were more physically fit and half were less fit. White matter also works to carry nerve signals between different parts of the brain, and all of the tracts examined have been associated with attention and memory, the study says.

Just one-quarter of American youths currently engage in the recommended amount of daily physical activity, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. That can have a negative impact on their academics, research has shown.

Previous research shown improved fitness can boost students’ memory and learning, but this new study is the first to show a connection between physical fitness and brain structure during childhood.

“We know from previous work that higher fit children outperform lower fit children on tasks of attention, memory and school performance,” Chaddock-Heyman says. “Thus, it is possible that white matter structure is another pathway by which fitness relates to improved cognition.”

The study was published Tuesday in the journal Frontiers in Human Neuroscience. Moving forward, the researchers plan to conduct a five-year study to determine whether children’s white matter structure improves when they start and maintain a new physical fitness routine.

“Be smart, and exercise your heart,” Chaddock-Heyman says. “High levels of physical fitness are not only good for one’s physical health, but one’s cognitive and brain health as well.”

The 10 Best Fitness Articles of The Past Year

Get-Fit Guy’s awesome 30-day plan will melt your winter waistline, burn holiday fat, and slim you down without spending much time at the gym. Feel free to start this workout now, or save it for your official New Year’s resolution routine!

Despite what you’ve probably been led to believe, churning away like a rat on a treadmill during the holiday season (or any other time of year for that matter) is really not the best way to burn fat. In fact, it can actually backfire and lead to the common cortisol and catabolic hormone release that accompanies excessive aerobic exercise – which winds up making you fatter!.

This can result in hormonal imbalances, fluid retention, overtraining, and injury. It’s why the folks who approach New Year’s fat loss by simply trying to stay on a mind-numbingly boring cardio machine for as long as possible are usually the folks who fail (and the ones you probably stop seeing at the gym by mid February).

But the good news is that you can embark on a 30-day rapid fat loss journey without sacrificing your health, body, or performance for the rest of the holiday season. And with the safe, healthy, and effective guide in this episode, you can melt your holiday belly in a fraction of the time it takes your over-exercising friends. Feel free to start this workout now, or save it for your official New Year’s routine!
30 Days to Rapid Fat Loss

The 30-day rapid fat loss guide below is split into three separate 10-day cycles – the first 10 days involve easy fasted fat burning sessions; the next 10 days will add slightly more difficult body weight training; and the final 10 days will round out the routine by adding high intensity intervals and weight training.

Ready? Roll up your sleeves, tighten your belt, and let’s jump right in:
Days 1-10: Burn

For the first 10 days, exercise is simple. There will be no hard or long exercise sessions. For many, this will be a practice in self-control and moderation, since most holiday exercisers are notorious for eating whatever they want, then trying to burn it off with excessive exercise. But days 1-10 of this plan are the exact opposite: limited exercise combined with sane, responsible, calorie control. The side benefit of this approach is that it will also give your body and gut a chance to rest, recover, and reboot.

For each of these 10 days, you will simply do a morning fasted fat burning session of 20-60 minutes. There’s no need to exceed an hour, but if you can get a little longer than 20 minutes, you’ll definitely get an added benefit. You get to choose the activity: light jogging, cycling, elliptical trainer, brisk walking or hiking, or any other type of easy exercise will suffice.

For intensity, you’ll want to be in your fat-burning zone, which occurs at 45-65% of your maximum heart rate, or about 20 beats below your lactate threshold heart rate. If you’ve had anaerobic or lactic acid threshold testing done in a lab or field, simply take that heart rate, subtract 20 beats, and you’re set. If not, simply do the following:

Warm up on a bike for 10 minutes.
Pedal at your maximum sustainable pace for 20 minutes. You should be breathing hard and your legs should be burning, but you should be able to maintain the same intensity for the full 20 minutes.
Record your average heart rate during those 20 minutes.
Subtract 20 beats from that heart rate. Add and subtract 3 beats from the resulting number to get a range, and that is your peak fat burning zone.

For example, if your average heart rate was 160, 160-20 is 140, 140+3 is 143, 140-3 is 147, and so your peak fat burning zone is when you have a heart rate of 137-143 beats per minute.

Ideally, you should do these sessions in a fasted state. This means that you do not eat within 2 hours of bedtime the night before, and you do these exercises sometime before breakfast in the morning. It is fine to drink a cup of coffee or green tea 15-30 minutes before this session (as the caffeine and green tea catechins may actually help accelerate fat loss).

You’ll see better results if you can stay as active as possible the rest of the day after the fasted fat burning session. This can include standing, walking as much as possible, stretching or yoga and light physical activity. But no extra workouts.

Days 11-20: Build

For this next phase, you’ll continue with the morning fasted fat burning sessions exactly as you have done for days 1-10, but every other day, you’re going to include a second afternoon or early evening exercise session consisting of body weight exercises and calisthenics. You should do this second routine as a circuit, consisting of:

Push-up variations: 15-20 reps
30-60 seconds calisthenics (jumping jacks, jump rope, running in place, side-to-side hops, etc.)
Squat variations: 15-20 reps
Repeat 30-60-second calisthenics effort
Pull-up or row variations: 15-20 reps
Repeat 30-60-second calisthenics effort
Lunge variations: 15-20 reps per leg
Repeat 30-60-second calisthenics effort

Complete this circuit 4-6 times through with minimal rest. A circuit like this should take you about 20-40 minutes.
Days 21-30: Ultimate Burn

In the final 10 days, you’ll begin to add higher intensity cardio intervals (HIIT). You’re going to continue with the morning fasted fat burning sessions (trust me, they work like a charm – you can make it just 10 more days!), but now you’re going to replace those afternoon or evening body weight sessions you were doing on days 11-20 with a full body, functional weight training session combined high intensity cardiovascular intervals.

For the weight training, choose four, full body weight training exercises (which will elicit a higher hormonal fat-burning response than single joint exercises such as bicep curls or leg extensions), and perform them back-to-back as a circuit, combined with 2 minutes of high intensity cardio at the end of each circuit. For example:

Exercise 1: Woodchopper – 10 reps per side
Exercise 2: Turkish Get-Up –  5 reps per side
Exercise 3: Single Leg Deadlift – 10 reps per side
Exercise 4: Cleans – 10 reps
Cardio: 2 minutes maximum bicycling effort

You can view videos of any of these exercises at YouTube.com/BenGreenfieldFitness.

If you combine the program above with the type of nutritional protocol I describe in Mighty Mommy’s Belly Burn Project, you can expect an initial weight loss of 4-8 pounds of fat in the first 10 days, followed by 2-4 pounds of fat in each of the next two phases – along with the addition of tight, toned, lean muscle.

Important things that nobody has ever told about the Tetherball

Sometimes we really can’t find much people in our surroundings to form an enthusiastic group with which we can play an intense sport; it really makes us angry when we become super excited but other than our best friend nobody is visibly present to give us a company

In such a situation we miss those times when we enjoyed playing games with our favorite group of sports-freak friends. But there is nothing that can destroy your determination if you have the perfect knowledge of the ways to conserve it.

If you really want to enjoy your sporty spirits without wasting any time in an attempt of forming a group of players then, Tetherball is the best sport for you. Only two people are needed to play the game. Along with the players, a court and pole for tetherball is required to create the game setup. Tetherball techniques are very easy to catch, only if a little attention is paid onto the ball’s movement. Therefore there is a high chance that anybody will love the game if a proper setup is made for it.

For a suitable arrangement, following things should be taken into careful notice:

Height of the pole- There is no mandatory height assigned for the pole. Its height depends on the age of players. If the players are adults then a 10feet pole can be used else for children’s purpose a 7-8feet pole will serve the purpose. The height of the pole decides how easily the ball can be opposed by the opponent.
Court and pole for tetherball- During the game, players are often seen to move while keeping their eyes only on the ball’s movement. Therefore the court must be leveled properly so that there is no danger of getting stumbled over the unleveled surface. In addition to it, the pole must also be secured properly onto the ground so that even if the momentum crosses a certain high there is no chance of its accidental displacement.
Ball type- Genius Tetherball techniques come only with the adrenaline rush inside the player’s body. In such a situation when the player’s only motive is to winArticle Search, he tries to smack the ball harder. A great idea is to take precautions before the commencement of any mishap. Hence the ball that is to be used must be soft and light weighted.
Length of the tether- A perfect length of tether saves the thrill of the game. If the tether is too much lengthy then it can take up a long time for the game to reach the climax. If it is short then the difficulty level immediately falls down to zero. Generally the ball should be hanging 3-4feet above the earth.

To master the tetherball Techniques one must look into the following few areas of his approach:

A proper serving can increase the probability of your win. If you are serving the ball then you get a chance to control the game. So server with all your wisdom.
An excellent concentration can let the player to rule over the entire game. You must increase your concentration power if you really want to hit the ball before the tether gets wrapped around the pole.
Correct strategy always helps. So plan the game before putting your hands on the ball.
Hand movement and pressure decides the chances of your win. To win you need to hit the ball hard and with a correct hand movement in the desirable direction.

Compare Sports

The comparison of all major sports in various aspects including fun, social, family, degree of difficulty, skills, talent, cost and ease of playing, recreational, competitive, facilities, health, academics and careers in sports.Most important thing about sports is having fun, being active, being social and making new friends. Each sport is different and so does each person. Individual personality and circumstances dictates the best suitable sport for a person.

Compare Sports: This topic will cover the comparison of all major sports in various aspects including fun, social, family, degree of difficulty, skills, talent, cost and ease of playing, recreational, competitive, facilities, health, academics and careers in sports.

All sports can be mainly classified into two categories, individual and team. Popular individual sports are golf, swimming, tennis, boxing, badminton, track and field and more. Popular team sports are basketball, soccer, baseball, american football, rugby, cricket, hockey and more.

Different sports are popular in different parts of the world. Sports like soccer, basketball, tennis, track and field events are truly global and played in most parts of the world.

Sports popularity varies by gender. Boys/men play and watch most (if not all) sports in general, but that is not the case with girls. Popular sports with girls/women are tennis, soccer, basketball, softball, volleyball, track and field, golf, gymnastics and swimming.  Tennis is the most popular sport with females.

Degree of Difficulty: Some sports are easy to understand and easy to play and some other sports are hard to understand and hard to play. For example soccer is very easy to understand and easy to play. American football is very hard to understand and hard to play. But one thing is common to all sports, which is, it is very hard to master any sport and very hard to reach highest level possible in any sport and very hard to become a professional in any sport.

Here are the most difficult sports to compete and play in the order of highest difficulty to lowest difficulty.Boxing, Ice Hockey, American Football, Basketball, Tennis, Soccer, Baseball, Cricket …

Success Factors (Skills, Talent, Physical Attributes …) : Each sport is different, so does the skills or talent that is needed to be successful in that sport. Below you can find major sports and what kind of skills are required to be successful in that sport. One may not be successful in a sport with just these skills and often may need other skills to be successful.

Basketball – Agility, Durability, Coordination, Endurance, Speed, Height
Tennis – Coordination, Agility, Endurance, Power, Speed
Baseball – Coordination, Power, Speed
Soccer – Agility, Endurance, Speed, Coordination
American Football – Strength, Durability, Power, Speed
Ice Hockey – Durability, Power, Speed, Agility, Coordination
Volleyball – Coordination, Agility, Power, Height
Gymnastics – Flexibility, Nerve
Lacrosse – Speed, Agility, Endurance
Swimming – Speed, Power
Golf – Power, Coordination

Recreation Sports, Competitive Sports: All sports can be played for recreational purposes. But some sports offer more recreational opportunities than others. Here are the most popular recreational sports in that order. Golf, Basketball, Tennis, Soccer, Cycling, Running, Volleyball, Billiards and Table Tennis.

Competition varies by country and region. Some sports are more competitive than others. Usually the more number of people play a sport, the more competitive there is, except in few cases like boxing. In general, here are the most competitive sports in the world in that order from highest competition to lowest competition. Soccer, Basketball, Tennis, Golf, Baseball, Swimming, Volleyball, Cricket, American Football and Rugby.

Health, Injury, Medical Conditions: Playing sports will help both physical and mental health. Sports in general will help your mental health by taking out stress and by refreshing your mind. When it comes to mental health, there is not much difference between various sports.

Health, Injury, Medical Conditions: Playing sports will help both physical and mental health. Sports in general will help your mental health by taking out stress and by refreshing your mind. When it comes to mental health, there is not much difference between various sports.

Most Benefit –  Soccer, Basketball, Hockey, Swimming, Tennis, Lacrosse
Medium Benefits – Baseball, Cricket, American Football, Rugby
Lower Physical Health Benefits – Golf

It’s not a secret that while playing sports one can get injured. Some sports are more injury prone than others. Contact sports usually results in more injuries for obvious reasons.

Here is how the major sports spare when it comes to potential for injuries.

Highest Injury Prone Sports –  Hockey, Lacrosse, Soccer, Basketball
Medium Injury Prone Sports – Baseball, Cricket, American FootballArticle Submission, Rugby
Lowest Injury Prone Sports  – Golf

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