Only recently have scientists begun to explore the relationship between nutrition and mental health. While the science is relatively new and much of it limited to observational studies that do not prove cause and effect, so far the findings are consistent and compelling: What you eat – and don’t eat – can have a powerful impact on mental health.
According to the Canadian Mental Health Association, one in five Canadians will experience a mental-health condition such as depression, anxiety and bipolar disorder in his or her lifetime. Among other factors that contribute to mental illness, our changing diet is thought to play a role. In a 2014 paper published in the Journal of Physiological Anthropology, Australian scientists said the transition away from the whole-foods diet our grandparents ate – one based on nutrient-rich vegetables, fruits and whole grains – to a steady fare of nutrient-poor, high-calorie and highly processed foods has been associated with increases in depression and other mental disorders.
What causes us to lose muscle strength as we age and how exercise can prevent it from happening has never been thoroughly understood, but McMaster University researchers have discovered a key protein required to maintain muscle mass and muscle strength during aging.
This important finding means new and existing drugs targeting the protein may potentially be used to preserve muscle function during aging.
The Benefits of Having a Partner in Fitness
Some people love to go it alone when they workout. Being a lone wolf might not be the answer for you.
It’s too easy to make excuses, to go back to bed, eat that piece of cake, or skip your exercise routine. It’s time to consider having a partner in fitness. The payback will be worth it when you have someone else who is cheering you on and counting on you.
There are many perks of having a workout partner. Not only is it more motivating, but you also have someone to spot you on your lifts, to keep you engaged and someone to just talk to in between sets. When workouts are fun, you’re more likely to not skip them.
How to Stay Motivated When Doing Something New
Before you begin looking for ways to stay motivated when forming a new habit, you need to have a specific type of change in mind. It’s difficult to commit to an abstract goal. For example, saying, “I’d like to lose weight” is a little too vague.
You need to be specific amount the number of pounds you want to lose and the time frame you’re going to give yourself to establish new dietary habits.
This is not only going to help you stay on track, but also help you achieve your goals in the long run.
Instead of telling yourself that you’re going to run 20 miles a day, tell yourself you’re going to run 5mins the first day. Running 20 miles a day is such a ridiculous goal that you’re going to get so tired on the first day, you’ll never want to run again. See how that can mess you up?
This can also be applied to any of the new habits you want to build.
Six Machines at the Gym You Really Don’t Need
Because no two bodies are the same, various parts of exercise equipment work differently on different people. That’s why there are some machines at the gym that you should stop using. In fact, injuries from using gym equipment has increased by 45 percent. If you’re worried about which exercise machines are more prone to be harmful, here are some machines that you should avoid.
Abdominal Exercise Machines
The most uncomfortable exercise machines are the abdominal ones. Also known as the ab machines, these machines can hurt your spine. Beware of false claims that you need to focus on the abdominal exercise machines for losing stomach fat or getting rid of love handles. Regardless of the number of exercise repetitions done of these machines, they’re ineffective in trimming stomach fat of losing those unsightly love handles. What you need to do is use abdominal exercise designed for more than only working your stomach.
Stick to crunches, sit ups, leg lifts, side bends and the hundreds of other ab exercises that don’t require a machine. These work better anyways.
Why It’s Important to Set Realistic Goals for Yourself
Rome wasn’t built in a day. The same holds true for your fitness goals. Whether you want to lose weight, get in shape, or run a marathon, you can’t expect it to happen overnight. You need to set goals for yourself that are obtainable. Otherwise, you can set yourself up for failure if you set the bar too high at the beginning.
As you make progress, you can work toward your next goal. With persistence, you will accomplish what you set out to do when it comes to your health and fitness.
Why it’s Important
Giving up is not some unique thing that happens to the worst of us. Almost everyone gives up on something at some point. One of the biggest reasons why is because they bit off more than they could chew.
Setting a goal of climbing Mount Everest as your FIRST mountain without any experience or training sounds stupid right? Of course, yet so many of us do it proverbially. We get this ridiculous notions stuck in our heads that we should run a sprint before we even know how to crawl.
Then as soon as the first obstacle hits us, which it will, we get discouraged and give up because it’s not as easy as we thought.
This is what happens so many times, I see it with so many people, and especially with fitness related goals.
Some Tips to Stop Emotional Overeating
It’s a well-known reality that thirst can sometimes feel to our bodies like hunger; this is why it’s recommended that those trying to cut calories drink a glass of water before eating to see if that satisfies the craving. In a similar vein, we can feel hunger—or we can simply want to engage in the act of eating—when the need isn’t related to the fullness of our stomachs at all.
If you’re feeling stressed, drained, empty, or any number of other strong emotions, the temptation can be to make it feel better by indulging in an extra plate of nachos or a late-night chocolate chip cookie binge.
If you regularly find yourself eating even after you feel full, rewarding or soothing yourself with food, turning to food when you don’t feel you can talk to anyone, or simply feeling powerless over your own reaction to food, you may very well be an emotional eater.
The good news is, there are several ways you can break free of that pattern and reestablish a healthy relationship with food.