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Why You Need Cardio Workouts

Regular physical activity is one of the keys to staying healthy. Exercise is especially important for college students, who are often under a lot of pressure academically and socially.

To get the most out of exercising, it is necessary to elevate your heart rate and sustain it for at least 20 minutes. Activities that accomplish this goal are considered cardio workouts. They have been proven to relieve stress, as well as anxiety and other symptoms of depression. You might achieve greater confidence and emotional balance.

Cardio also aids efforts to lose weight and become more fit. These are goals shared by many college students, who typically eat a fair amount of junk food and perhaps drink a few beers. Cardio workouts can make you more resilient to illness, disease, and injury. Regular, intense exercise has been shown to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease and osteoporosis. Another benefit is growing muscles without adding fat. Increased strength and agility have been attributed to cardio. It is an effective way to keep cholesterol and triglyceride levels in check, as well.

The average adult should take part in activities that provide about one-half hour of cardio per day, according to U.S. government health officials. You may choose from among numerous types of workouts.

In Your Room
The weather could make exercising outdoors difficult, and perhaps you would rather avoid the cost or social dynamics of a gym. Fortunately, there are cardio exercises you can try in the privacy of your dorm room.

Some workouts do not even require any equipment. They include running in place, jumping jacks, core-power yoga, belly dancing, aerobics, and climbing stairs. Other exercises recommended by fitness trainers and others are squat jumps, leaping into the air from a crouched position; burpees, jumping from a squat to a plank position, then jumping back and standing; “mountain climbing,” working the knees forward and back while in a push-up position; bear crawls, moving from a squat to pushup position, then walking the hands back and standing; and kickboxing, punching and kicking a bag, other object, or the air.

Many types of home-exercise equipment are on the market. You have probably seen the late-night Bowflex commercials on television. Treadmills and stationary bicycles are among the most popular kinds of equipment. Others include elliptical trainers, weight machines, resistance bands, and free weights. Some manufacturers give the impression that their devices can magically transform your body. Understand that you will see results only if you are willing to commit the necessary time and effort.

In the Great Outdoors
Exercising outside provides the added benefit of fresh air and sunshine. Running is one of the most common cardio techniques. Maintaining adequate speed for long enough distances can produce the elevated heart rate you need. However, running can be hard on your feet and legs. Alternatives that place less strain on the body are jogging, power walking, and hiking. You might want to combine periods of walking and running during an outing.

Other outdoor workouts include bicycling, golf, tennis, and playing in the yard with the dog or the kids. However, it could be difficult to achieve enough exertion for such activities to qualify as cardio. If it snows frequently where you are going to school, consider buying or renting cross-country skis, snowshoes, or boots. Just hiking through heavy snow is an intense form of exercise. Shoveling snow is also sure to get the blood pumping.

At a Gym
You might be unable or unwilling to spend money on expensive home-exercise equipment. Elliptical trainers, rowing machines, and other devices are also available at gyms and fitness centers. Because these facilities offer a variety of equipment, you can try various models to see which ones are right for you.

Many students who go to gyms find that they benefit from the advice they receive from fitness experts, other customers, and fellow students. Gyms are social environments, where people have at least a few things in common. They are all trying to improve their health and get into better shape.

You may be able to find a gym, spa, or fitness center that has a running track, tennis court, basketball court, or swimming pool. Some businesses require annual membership fees, while others let you pay on a per-visit basis. Take advantage of recreational facilities on campus, especially if you are at a large university where multiple options are available.

Before deciding which kind of cardio workout to try, have a good understanding of your physical capabilities. Consider not only your fitness goals, but also your age, health issues, strength, and mobility. Your gender may be another factor. For instance, authorities say aerobics, jogging, running, and using a treadmill are particularly valuable for women.

It is recommended that you tell a doctor or other medical provider about your workout plans. Get a checkup and some professional advice. You want to make sure that your exercises do not cause pain or injury. Warm up and stretch before starting, and initially do short workouts. You can make them longer and more energetic as your strength and endurance build. Don’t overdo it, or you may find yourself in worse shape than before. It’s a good idea to vary workouts, to benefit different muscles and prevent excessive strain on any of them.

Determine your optimal heart rate during cardio. Subtract your age from 220. Seventy percent of the resulting figure is the number of heart beats per minute you should strive to attain. This is the rate at which calories and fat are believed to burn most effectively.

Deciding upon the best kind of cardio workouts for you is the first step. The hard part is devoting yourself to regular exercise. You will not experience the results you seek without putting in the work. If you make the effort, better health and a fitter body may be among the rewards. You also might feel less stressed, more confident, and even happier.

Boost Academic Performance by Eating Healthy

Numerous studies have validated the claim that healthy eating boosts academic performance. Students who do not eat breakfast tend to have difficulty in memorizing and paying attention in class. A recent study in Canada followed 6000 students in Toronto schools and showed positive results. 70% said having breakfast boosted their energy levels while 61% exceeded provincial reading standards. Countless studies have also been conducted in the US which also further help in pointing that a well-balanced nutritional diet boosts academic performance and overall health of students in high school.

Mixed-Grain Diet and Cognitive Functioning

Mixed-grain diet has found out to improve cognitive performance in students. A study conducted in 2012 revealed less mental fatigue and higher level of protein in the brain, by eating mixed grains, indicating a healthy brain. Sugary sodas and a junky diet cause childhood obesity which decreases cognitive functioning.

Poor Nutrition and Lower Test Performance

Poor nutrition produces a stress hormone cortisol in excess. This hormone affects the brain and impairs learning, memorizing, paying attention and controlling impulse. Students who eat unhygienic, highly processed poor food have been found to score less on tests and exhibit behavior problems compared to well-nourished students.
A study conducted in 2011 found that drinking milk is associated with better performance. Sweetened beverages tend to impair alertness and understanding. In the study, students who ate regular breakfast scored higher on math tests compared to those who skip on their breakfasts. Other factors which help boost performance on tests include physical activity and eating healthy food.

Regular Breakfast Improves Memory

Regular breakfast no wonder provides with the required nutrition to function properly through the day. One study conducted by Gregory Phillips of college students showed that those who ate breakfast regularly passed their biology exam. It is also recommended to have a snack in between breakfast and lunch. Having a mid morning snack actually improves memory. Blueberries and yoghurt have been linked to improve memory in some studies. A hardboiled egg is also good to have in breakfast as it contains choline, a nutrient which has been found to improve memory in animal studies.

Proper Nutrition Helps Stay Alert

Inadequate nutrition, calories and junk food makes students feel lethargic and participate less in school activities. Eating proper, healthy and hygienic food prevents them from falling ill and helps them stay alert in school and focus on lectures and understand better. It helps the student to be more positive and show enthusiasm for a better learning.

Food Quality and Academic Performance

Spanish studies have found out that the quality of food students has also affected their performance academically. The study showed a direct relationship between food quality and academic performance. As food quality increased, students academic performance also increased. Certain mental processes such as comprehension, memory and concentrationwere affected more than others when food quality differed.

Physical Activity is also Important

Countless studies validate that eating healthy improves functioning of the brain. It helps the mental processes in understanding, interpreting, focusing and keeping alert in school thus, improving academic performance. Proper nutrition is like food to the brain and a balanced diet keeps students both active and prevents them from feeling tired.
Apart from maintaining a healthy diet, daily physical activities are necessary. Eating right is one part of the game, but if students take part in extracurricular activities and stay physically active and fit, studies have found them to perform better in classes. It improves attention and concentration in class. The oxygen which reaches the brain helps with better functioning and also prevents obesity in students.