Exercise Helps Your Brain, Too
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  1. Exercise Helps Your Brain, Too

    Remember in school when the health teacher warned you about drinking?

    She probably said something like: Alcohol kills brain cells, and YOU NEVER GET NEW BRAIN CELLS.

    Scary stuff.

    Well, guess what? It’s not true about never getting new brain cells – although your life choices affect your brain health and your risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia.

    Experts have identified five “modifiable risk factors” – or behaviors you can change – to protect and even grow your brain, says clinical psychologist Marie Stoner.

    She is also a director of programming and a co-founder at Activate Brain and Body, a new fitness facility in Cincinnati that’s part of the growing effort to promote the link between physical fitness and brain health.

    “You are getting new brain cells every day, especially in the hippocampus, which is your memory center,” she advises. “And you are in charge of whether those new neurons get brought on board and put into networks that help you defy the statistics or the family history you might be worried about.”

    She cites a Lancet study that says we could lower worldwide Alzheimer rates by 40 percent through these personal behaviors.

    What are they? Simple.

    1. Exercise
    2. Diet
    3. Brain stimulation
    4. Social interaction
    5. Stress management

    Stoner cites another large study from Great Britain showing that people who exercised the most had a 34 percent reduction in risk of developing Alzheimer’s. Even doing housework every day had a powerful effect.

    “Physical activity is the best thing you can do for your brain,” she says.

    The benefit grows even more, when novel physical activity – something new to you – is combined with brain stimulation.

    She and Activate’s CEO John Spencer say anyone can try out this theory. Just try a new physical movement – say, dance steps that you don’t know – with a cognitive task, like saying all the words you can think of that start with a certain letter.

    Some exercises – like dancing and boxing – strengthen the brain by requiring mental focus.

    The Journal of International Neuropsychological Society says just one exercise session can improve how our brains work and the part of memory that lets us recognize common information.

    “Exercise can have rapid effects on brain function and … lead to long-term improvements in how our brains operate, and we remember,” The New York Times wrote about the study. Science is finding that adult brains can be malleable, “rewiring and reshaping themselves in various ways, depending on our lifestyles.”

    The mind-body connection is powerful. And you already know that exercise is good for your heart, lungs, weight, diabetes, and countless other physical issues.

    In today’s stressful times, we need to take care of our whole selves – and physical exercise like you find in a gym or studio covers the gamut – body and brain alike.

  2. Why your weight won’t budge

    weightWanting to drop a few pounds but not able to?

    There are few things more frustrating than wanting to be slimmer and to tone your body, without any success.

    Read the following 7 Reasons Your Weight Won’t Budge to discover what is standing in your way and how to quickly and easily begin your fat loss journey.

    Reason #1: Your Mind

    Your mind is your number one ally when it comes to achieving your goals. However, until your mind has been programmed for success, it will do more to derail your efforts than to help you.

    • Take a few moments each day to visualize yourself at your ideal weight. Imagine how it feels to look the way you’ve always wanted.
    • Protect your mind from any negative self talk. If a negative thought comes to mind, immediately reject it.
    • You want to be thin and fit, and yet you think of yourself as out-of-shape and fat. Re-program your mind to think of yourself as fit and attractive, and you will be well on your way toward achieving your goal.
    • Give up the belief that you can’t achieve the body you’ve always dreamed of. See it first in your mind, and then in the mirror.

    Reason #2: Your Fear

    Change makes most of us nervous – even if it is a change in the right direction. You may not be consciously aware of the fear you have of getting into shape. Until you conquer this fear, your weight loss efforts will be blocked by self-sabotage. Professional speaker and author, Anthony Robbins, has outlined three specific beliefs that you must have in order to conquer your fear and instantly create a lasting change.

    • Believe that something MUST change. You can’t be wishy-washy about it. You can’t be considering it. You can’t even be pretty sure about it. You’ve got to be rock solid.
    • Believe that YOU must change it. You can’t pass the buck of responsibility and expect to lose weight. It’s on your shoulders. Other people will prove to be great assets in your journey, but in the end you are the one who is going to make it happen. You have to want this weight loss enough to make it your personal mission.
    • Believe you CAN change it. You may have failed in the past, but that doesn’t matter. When you put your mind to it, you’re able to do amazing things. Do you believe that you are capable of losing weight? Once you own the belief that you can, you’ll be unstoppable.

    Reason #3: Your Excuses

    Your excuses for being out-of-shape are getting old. An excuse takes less immediate effort than an action, but in the long run the action taker always has the advantage. Don’t allow excuses to ruin your life any longer.

    • Don’t skip out on your responsibilities with excuses, instead expect more from yourself.
    • Focus on the big reason why you are losing the weight. Make a list of the benefits you’ll enjoy once you achieve your goal and read them first thing each morning.
    • Remember that you can only have two things in life: excuses or results. Which do you want?

    Reason #4: Your Commitment

    How many times have you tried to lose weight, only to give up a week or two later? We live in a commitment-phobic world, so it’s no wonder that you routinely abandon your goals. If you truly want to lose fat then your commitment to the process is a must.

    • The margin between success and failure is bridged by your commitment. Don’t give up until your goal has been achieved.
    • Treat exercise with the same importance as a work meeting, and you’ll never skip it at the last minute. Find three available 60-minute time slots in your schedule and mark them (in pen) on your calendar. Now stick to your schedule.
    • If you don’t give up, then you’ll never fail.

    Reason #5: Your Diet

    If you consistently eat the wrong food, then your weight loss efforts will all be in vain. To put it bluntly, you need to stop eating junk. Processed foods, refined sugar and high fructose corn syrup do not belong in your diet if you want to be in great shape. Cut these items out of your diet and replace them with real whole foods like lean meats, vegetables, whole grains, nuts and fruits.

    • Don’t eat processed foods. Even though processed foods are accepted by our society, they contain tons of chemicals and empty calories that will make you sick and fat.
    • Fat contains twice the caloric density of protein and carbohydrates, so make sure to limit the amount that you consume. Eat lots of lean proteins and wholesome carbohydrates from plants and whole grains.
    • Vegetables, whole grains, fruits, nuts and seeds are filled with fiber and antioxidants which are vital for healthy weight loss. Snack on these instead of packaged treats.

    Reason #6: Your Patience

    It takes time to transform your body from fat to fit, even though you want it to happen overnight. Remind yourself that it took time to put the weight on, so it will take time to take the weight off. When you find your patience wavering, or when you encounter a frustrating plateau, do the following:

    • Review your goal. Is it specific and measurable? Is it small and attainable, rather than monumental? Focus on your goal when the going gets tough.
    • Make each workout a new experience. Challenge your body with different resistance, new exercises and a varied pace.
    • Remember that anyone can have one great workout, but that won’t get you the body you want. The only way to achieve your goal is by consistently exercising and eating right, plain and simple.

    Reason #7: Your Support

    People who exercise alone are less challenged, less accountable and are more likely to fail. It makes sense. Who would rush to the gym if no one is was waiting for them? Who would push themselves if no one was paying attention? Exercising alone is a recipe for disaster.

    • Find a workout partner who is in better shape than you, or better yet, work with me, your local fitness expert, to guarantee your results.
    • I am passionate about seeing you achieve results—don’t waste your time, energy and effort on mistakes.
    • When you start a program with me, you suddenly have the upper hand on weight loss. I’ll be in your corner, coaching you each step of the way, keeping you accountable to workouts and giving you that dose of encouragement when you need it most.
  3. The frustrating thing about your weight

    …is that you cannot control it.

    Do you disagree?

    Go stand on a scale and decide to lose 5 pounds.

    How’d that work out for you? Did the number drop on command, or did it not budge? Of course, it didn’t budge.

    And yet you spend your precious time obsessing about your weight as if you could magically control it.

    The good news is that you do have complete control over a couple of important things that influence your weight. These are your choices about diet and exercise.

    Think about this…your current weight is the sum result of your choices in eating and exercise.

    Take a minute to think back over the last three years of your life. What kinds of foods did you eat most often? How intensely did you exercise, for how long, and how often?

    Now look at yourself in a full-length mirror. You are looking directly at the result of your past choices.

    If you are pleased with what you see, keep on eating and exercising the way you have been. It’s working for you!

    If you’re not satisfied with what you see, it’s time to start making different choices about food and exercise. Here are some suggestions:

    Healthy food choices:

    • Choose to eat wholesome foods that nourish your body.
    • Only eat when you’re hungry and to stop eating when full.
    • Choose to not eat junk food, sugary drinks or sweets.
    • Eat a variety of fresh fruits and vegetables every day.

    Healthy exercise choices…

    • Get up early in the morning, when you could be sleeping, to invest an hour of your time in exercise.
    • Choose to be consistent with your workout schedule, giving exercise the same importance as a doctor’s appointment.
    • Change your workout routine often, to always keep your muscles guessing.
    • Choose to push yourself to new levels of intensity, in order to strengthen and tone your muscles.

    Don’t spend another minute obsessing about the number on your scale. You are way smarter than that.

    Focus your energy on the choices you make regarding what you eat and how you exercise. If you don’t know where to begin, I invite you to reach out to me.  I’m here for you.

  4. 7 Secrets to Avoid Holiday Pounds

    If you’re like most people, the holidays are a time of mixed emotions. You’re excited and anxious to spend time with family, and you’re dreading the extra weight that you know you’re bound to gain. Are these holiday pounds inevitable?

    Lean in close to catch these seven secrets to help you fend off extra weight through the holidays. And once you’re done, don’t keep it a secret. Go tell somebody!

    Holiday Secret #1: Listen to Your Body

    It may not speak quickly enough all the time, but you know your body is constantly telling you things. Sometimes it tells you to stop a certain activity before you get hurt. During the holiday season, it tells you to put the brakes on your eating before you go beyond the point of no return. When your body tells you it’s full, listen up! A single bite after you’re full will lead to extra calories and eventually, extra pounds.

    Holiday Secret #2: Confine the Holidays

    For some, holidays become weeks and even months of poor eating. Be careful to avoid this pitfall by digging into your holiday foods only on the actual holiday. Treat the other days like normal days—even if you’re off of work. And when the holiday is over, let someone else take the leftovers home and go to your own house without any pies, dressing or gravy in tow.

    Holiday Secret #3: Eat First, Party Second

    You read right—it’s good to eat before heading out the door. Have a healthy, well-rounded meal at home with fruits, vegetables, and your protein source of choice. And drink a tall glass of water. Why? So when you get to that holiday party that is overflowing with cookies, cakes, candies, and calories, you’re not hungry for it. Your stomach is full of healthy goodness and has no room for the fattening stuff.

    Holiday Secret #4: Plan Your Escape

    Getting away from food isn’t easy. If you expect to be able to walk away from delicious thigh- and gut-growing foods without any forethought, think again. Before walking into a potentially fattening situation, plan out what you’re going to eat and take your own dish to share if necessary. Any time there is a particularly difficult eating situation, make plans an hour or so after the dangerous-to-your-diet event begins and excuse yourself.

    Holiday Secret #5: Exercise Everywhere

    One of the best excuses to gain weight is that you have to travel to visit family and don’t have access to your personal trainer. Well, guess what? Just because your trainer isn’t staying in the hotel with you doesn’t mean you aren’t accountable! Scope out the area where you’ll be traveling and take advantage of whatever exercise opportunities are available. There may be a gym or pool at your hotel, a pay-as-you-go gym, or a nice park nearby where you can walk or run with or without family members.

    Holiday Secret #6: Pay Attention to People

    Holidays are about family and friends…right? Then stop focusing on food! When you go to a party, there is no need to hang out by the food table when there are people all around you! Ignore the grub and go for the meaningful stuff that you’ll remember and cherish. Besides, it’s much easier to talk without munching and you even listen better when you’re not stuck thinking about how good the next bite is going to be.

    Holiday Secret #7: Drink Instead

    No, this isn’t a license to drink as much alcohol as you can find. Doing that will add lots of useless calories to your waistline. Instead, do your best to make friends with a glass of water everywhere you go. As you mingle with your water glass, you’ll find it challenging to grab more than a couple of finger foods here and there, and the fact that it is water will help you remember to watch what else goes in your mouth!

    Wouldn’t you love to make 2016 the year that you transform your body?

    Wouldn’t it feel great to throw out all of your fat clothes? To look forward to bathing suit season? To be given a clean bill of health from your doctor? And to be showered with compliments by family, friends and that special someone?

    It’s all more possible than you think.

    But you’ll need to take massive action.

    My programs are designed to quickly and efficiently get you into the best shape of your life.

    Call or email now to schedule your first body transforming workout.

    Go on, do it now and secure your spot before the New Year’s rush.


Your Personal Best Location
Your Personal Best Training Studio
Doddridge Plaza
3765 S. Alameda, Ste 102
Corpus Christi, TX 78411
(361) 857-5087 info@ypbtrainingstudio.com