Posts tagged with "exercise"

Nandini Kuppa-Apte soccer illustration for 360 MAGAZINE

Eleven Unique Ways to Get Fit This Summer

Once the weather starts to warm up, everyone is eager to get back outside. The extra daylight is the perfect motivator to take a walk or swim down at the beach. However, that means trails and lakes can start to get pretty crowded. If you’re looking for a relaxing place to exercise, finding a different way to move your body this season might interest you.

Do you need some new ideas for outdoor activities? Here are eleven unique ways to start your fitness journey this summer!

The Importance of Fitness 

At all ages, getting outside and exercising is essential. Throughout your life, a good fitness routine will help lessen your chances of:

  • Diabetes
  • Cancer
  • Heart disease
  • Mood and sleep disorders

Your body will start to reduce muscle mass around age 30. Aches and pains might also begin to be more noticeable by 50. Before this happens, forming a solid exercise routine will be beneficial. It can mitigate the impacts of muscle loss and strengthen your bones. If you need a new way to get fit, this summer is the perfect time to find new activities to keep you moving.

Fitness can also be a very social activity. Whether you get a group of friends to join or make new ones at a class, getting together to exercise can be motivational and connecting. You could take large group, small group or one-on-one lessons. Whichever you choose, having someone else there to help you may help you feel more confident.

Exercise is excellent for your mental health as well. Researchers found that physical activity could be an additional solution to depression. For those looking to see improvements along with medication, getting outside and moving may be great advice. However, if you want to decrease your prescription, always speak with your practitioner first. They will most likely want to see how exercise affects your mental health over a while before they make any changes to your treatment regimen.

Summer Exercise Tips

There are plenty of fun ways to be active inside and outside during summer. Here are some summer exercise ideas for those beginning exercise routines and fitness experts!

  1. Surfing

Surfing is a great way to see the ocean and get fit. Whether renting your first board or catching your 500th wave, surfing engages your body and encourages balance. It’s a full-body workout, giving you plenty of benefits. It may have a learning curve for those starting out, but let yourself take the time to experience it. Taking up a new practice could also positively affect your mental and physical health.

  1. Bicycling

There are multiple ways to bike, so you can choose based on your experience level and preference. You could take different paths or find a beautiful route through town. Maybe you’re interested in training for a race or marathon. There’s also mountain biking, which can provide you with some gorgeous views while performing high-intensity exercise. Along with protective gear, cycling is phenomenal for your health.

  1. Gardening 

Gardening can be a fantastic exercise and mindfulness practice. As you’re working with the soil, take note of how everything feels and the sounds around you. Feeling at peace with nature and yourself can center you and help you relax. Additionally, shoveling, planting and harvesting your garden’s products can be a perfect workout. Pay attention to how you’re lifting and how much. Doing so will prevent strain, so you can keep getting out to your garden.

  1. Practicing Yoga

Indoors or outdoors, all you need is a blanket to sit on. You could even forego that if the ground is comfortable enough. Some may prefer to practice in their home, where they can minimize extra noise. Others could find focusing outdoors helps them manage their busy lives more peacefully. However you practice, yoga is a wonderful experience for the body and mind. This summer, give it a try if you need a new way to increase your flexibility and muscle strength.

  1. Creating a Boot Camp With Friends

Maybe you’ve seen a boot camp in your local park or gym. While trying something new is always good, you may have been slightly intimidated by its intensity. Instead of abandoning the idea entirely, create one with some friends. Being surrounded by people you know can help you feel more relaxed. If you need something less harsh, you can customize your workouts to the group. Making your own boot camp could be a great physical and bonding activity.

  1. Jumping Rope

Bring things back to your childhood days with some jump rope. You could keep your workout to a regular jump rope routine, or find a more intensive video or written plan. If you want to truly throw it back, you and some friends could pick up double dutch again. While it might seem childish to you, jumping rope is an excellent cardio exercise that can also improve balance and bone health as you practice.

  1. Cleaning the House

A two-in-one chore — exercising and tidying your house. Could your spring cleaning use a summer refresh? See it as an opportunity to get in some physical activity. Vacuuming, dusting and washing can all be awesome workouts that involve your whole body. Find ways to make these jobs more complete, such as:

  • Switching arms so both get some activity
  • Taking time to stretch between tasks
  • Lightly jogging while moving about the house

Get your body and your house in shape by combining cleaning and exercise.

  1. Kayaking

Take your family, friends, or just yourself out to the lake and rent a kayak. Along with the lovely sights, you’ll quickly see how this could be your new favorite workout. Using the oars to steer and push yourself along the water requires a lot of work from your arms. In addition, turning your upper body to get the proper position will do plenty for your core. Try out boating along the water in a kayak this summer to get in some vigorous physical activity.

  1. Finding a Trail

It could be any kind of trail. You might choose to go hiking, running or walking on a path outside. Trails can be as relaxing or intense as you want. It may be nice to bring some friends or go by yourself to experience nature. You could even take your cat or dog on a leash to provide an arm workout. Remember to stay hydrated, and check in with your body and others — especially if you’re going alone.

  1. Playing a Sport

There are plenty of team and solo sports to choose from when beginning your exercise regimen. You can find soccer, basketball, softball or tennis teams depending on your experience. Different leagues will accommodate different levels of skill. If you’re looking for solo sports, you could pick up dancing, swimming or roller skating to get your physical activity in. This all depends on your comfort level, so decide if you’d prefer to play a sport with others or by yourself. Whatever you pick, you’ll be doing yourself a favor.

  1. Going Rock Climbing

This is another fantastic indoor and outdoor activity. Going to your local rock-climbing wall is a terrific way to get started. Those helping you climb can give you tips on the best ways to get the most out of your climb. Once you’ve had a lot of practice, you could start learning how to climb out in the wilderness. This could blossom into a fulfilling group or even solo activity. If you’re looking for new ways to get outside, rock climbing might become your new passion.

How to Lower Your Cholesterol Naturally

Cholesterol is discussed so frequently, and sometimes flippantly, it has become somewhat of a medical buzzword. To some, it may seem like a nonconsequential item and for others it is one of bigger deals floated across their plate. The reality is that cholesterol is worth both understanding and managing well in order to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Like with anything involving the world of science and medicine, there is always more than what meets the eye. For example, with cholesterol, there are actually good and bad kinds of it. A fact like this makes it immediately apparent that taking the time to educate oneself on the ins and outs of the fat within human blood is wise. Bill Gates, the founder of Microsoft, put it best, “The human body is the most complex system ever created. The more we learn about it, the more appreciation we have about what a rich system it is.”

There are more than a few ways of lower said bad cholesterol naturally. In order to gain insight on these practices, we spoke with people who have experience doing so.

Dietary Changes

Chris Vaughn is the CEO of Emjay, a brand offering the delivery of marijuana products. He suggests making some adjustments to the types of food consumed regularly. 

“The long and short of it is the food digested by the stomach winds up in the bloodstream. Seeing as an overabundance of fat, or cholesterol, in the bloodstream poses a litany of issues, it stands to reason you should be filling your stomach with foods which will benefit your bloodstream. These are things such as beans, oatmeal and fruits. You should also be sure to remove food from your diet which adds saturated or trans fats as they’re the number one source of high cholesterol. It’s easier said than done but your body will thank you in the long run.”

Exercise

Physical activity promotes healthier blood flow which high cholesterol is responsible for harming. Lifeforce is a business providing subscribers the ability to understand and improve their body like never before. Their Founder, Joel Jackson, advises being proactive about fighting off that high cholesterol.

“When we look at the science of cholesterol, there are two basic terms to understand, HDLs and LDLs, or high-density lipoproteins and low-density lipoproteins. Simply put, HDLs are healthy cholesterol while LDLs are not. One of the most direct ways of influencing the count of these two lipoproteins is exercise. The good news for everyone is that it doesn’t take much – even just a couple of hours each week will cause a noticeable rise in HDLs paired with a reduction of LDLs. When you think about everything else exercise can do for you on top of this, it would be foolish to make it part of your routine.”

Be Intentional and Patient

Greater Than specializes in hydration for pregnant women. Their Chief Marketing Officer, Bryan Alston, considers it necessary to approach any high-cholesterol with mindfulness.

“It’s incredibly important to realize that for any recognizable changes to take place in the body, time must pass. Along similar lines, no real change will take place if a person sits in complacency hoping their situation comes to pass. If you’re dealing with high cholesterol, these are the two important ideas to keep at the forefront of your mind as you work towards health – Intentionality and patience. It’s hard work to return and stabilize your cholesterol at doctor recommended levels. And, it doesn’t take place overnight. I’m certain these two realities will become frustrating at some point but I urge you to continually push through.”

Stop Smoking

Natalia Sadowski is the Director of Aesthetics of Nourishing Biologicals, a brand offering skincare products. She cautions others against the continued use of tobacco products. 

“Nobody said that getting healthier was going to be a walk in the park or even easy for that matter. The same can be said about giving up smoking. But, as most are well aware, both are beneficial to ourselves. This is especially true of smoking as it relates to high cholesterol. Nicotine in the body sends a rush to the heart, causing it to work harder while also slowing down the flow of blood throughout the rest of the body. Both of these things hinder your body’s ability to both process and eliminate good and bad cholesterol.” 

Take a Break

Running any system at one hundred percent capacity all the time will result in a decrease in productivity accompanied by a shorter life span. This is true of the body as well. Nue Life is a business providing mental health assistance paired with psychedelics. Their Co-Founder and CEO, Juan Pablo Cappello, proposes being cautious of this. 

“There are so many different causes of stress that if I sat here and named them all we may never leave. Regardless of who you are or what you do, you’ve experienced stress. Are you aware that higher levels of stress induce higher levels of cholesterol? That means it’s up to you to take a break and relieve some of that stress. If you don’t, you’ll only continue to compound both problems. High stress is one thing, high cholesterol is an entirely different beast.”

Focus on Weight Loss

Zizi specializes in an at-home kit to help lower cholesterol. Their Co-Founder, Reece Kresser, believes shedding any excess weight could be more impactful than one might imagine. 

“If we think about it logically, a person with a larger body mass will require more effort to move blood throughout their body as there’s more area that requires coverage. If that person can healthily focus on weight loss, they’ll see a significant difference in their cholesterol levels. Think of it this way, if said person is spending less energy on blood movement, they’ll have more energy to identify and dispose of any cholesterol. Overall, it’s a win across the board so go the extra mile here. Ideally, your body will be around for a long time and treating it right is how you ensure it’s ready for that.”

With only one body meant to live for 70 or so years, it is critical to get ahead of the health curve. Actress and musician Jennifer Hudson spoke to this, “Gaining control over your health and well-being is one of those times in your life that you get to be completely selfish and not feel bad about it. If you want to meet your goals, you have to make it about you. You have to make it work for you and you alone. Anything less is a setup for failure.”

Ten minute activities that will make you feel happier

As children, many seemed to believe happiness would sort of fall into our lives as we grew older simply due to the nature of life. Now, having had a dose of reality and adulthood, it is very apparent that this is not the case. In fact, it seems far more likely that any happiness we do experience is a creation of our own – relationships, experiences, thought processes, and more all fall into this category. Seeing as happiness is an emotion that we seem to be in constant pursuit of, it would make sense to be intentional about creating the desired happiness. The words of author Roy T. Bennett, are a wonderful jumping off point for doing so, “If you want to be happy, do not dwell in the past, do not worry about the future, focus on living fully in the present.”

There are numerous avenues to explore when it comes to attempting to feel happier. Sometimes, it’s as simple as setting aside 10 minutes of your day. Below are a few suggestions for activities to explore. 

Go for a walk

Rachel Blank is the founder and CEO of Allara, a brand offering care for polycystic ovary syndrome. She believes a little physical activity can go a long way.

“Our daily lives leave us immobile in a lot of ways. Think about it, many of us sleep, and then sit down at a desk, before moving to the couch to finish out the day. The reality is that our bodies are meant for moving and they do vastly better when this happens regularly. I’m not just talking about being in shape either. Moving more frequently in any regard will provide a boost to your happiness. It doesn’t have to be much either as you could just go for a quick walk. If exercise becomes part of your daily routine even just a little bit, you’ll see a noticeable difference.”

Read a fiction book

Hush specializes in products geared towards aiding the tattoo experience. Their CEO, Ubaldo Perez, suggests taking the time to get lost in a story. 

“There are points in life where everyone needs to take a break. Of course, taking 15 minutes or your lunch break might come to mind, but I think there’s something a little bit better for our mental wellbeing – reading a fiction book. No matter what you do for a living, I’m sure there have been points where you just want to get away from whatever is stressing you out. Stepping into a story about worlds or lives which are dramatically different from the one we’re living is a great method for achieving some basic happiness and escape. Stepping away from the things in front of us is not always the easiest so the help of a good story is sometimes a necessity.”

Phone a friend

Human interaction can bring about a flurry of emotions. Azuna is a business providing plant-based odor elimination. Their director of marketing, Philip Mantalvo, considers it important to connect with people who care about you.

“If you look at every era of history one thing remains the same – humans need other humans. None of us are geared for a life of total isolation. The pandemic made this the case for many and as we come out of it now, it’s important to remember how vital it is. From experience and reading studies, I’ve come to understand that even the simple act of phoning a friend for a few minutes can bring about positive emotions. The reciprocal care and enjoyment can’t be quantified but trust me, you’ll know those feelings when they’re present.”

Spend time with a pet

Melissa Thodes is the CEO of Physics 1on1, a brand offering online psychic readings. She advises others to take a few minutes for their animal companion. 

“Pets can be one of the biggest blessings, should we choose to see them as that. I know that as pets grow and mature, they become part of everyday life. As they should. But this also means the excitement and joy a new pet owner experiences has worn off. Again, this is natural. But sometimes a jumpstart to your existing perspective can bring about change. Go get a new toy or go for a new route on your walk. Whatever it takes to make your relationship with your pet a little fresher is absolutely worth it.”

Revisit a favorite viral video

Spot Pet Insurance specializes in health insurance for pets. Their CEO, Trey Ferro, believes rewatching a video which brought you a hearty belly laugh can be beneficial. 

“Everyone has a different sense of humor but the true point here is that everyone is capable of laughing, provided they’re given a reason to do so. Whenever the conversation topic of viral videos comes up, every person participating has a video they just have to show everyone because of how hilarious it is. Oftentimes, it is truly hilarious. When you’re feeling down in the dumps, try to remember one of your favorite viral videos and revisit it. It might seem too easy but even just the smallest assistance should be welcome when it comes to personal happiness.”

Focus on breathing

All the things on one’s daily to-do list can begin to tally up to the point where they might feel as if they are being crushed. BISOULOVELY is a business providing a wide variety of jewelry. Their CEO, Breanne Millette, proposes paying attention to the act of breathing to combat this.

“It’s a very different way of looking at things but we reside within our physical bodies. Because of this, we have a tendency to exclude our bodies from consideration far more often than we should. Obviously, this can be a pretty harmful action if taken at the wrong moment. Think about moments of high stress or anxiety – my guess would be you’ll remember a feeling close to light suffocation. The reality is, this wasn’t a figment of your imagination. Under pressure, fight or flight mode can cause tension resulting in lack of oxygen to your body. It’s easier said than done but remembering to take deep breaths can really make a difference in your happiness levels.”

Eat or drink something

Jeff Goodwin is the senior director of performance marketing and e-commerce of Orgain, a brand offering organic protein. He cautions others to be aware of their food intake. 

“Food is very much a habitual thing for many people. Meal times are planned out, meal planning exists and, at least from what I’ve seen, food has come to a point where it’s more about quick, efficient delivery to our bodies rather than the quality of the food being consumed. Like it or not, what we eat has a direct correlation to our moods. Fast food holds some character traits of a depressant while items such as fruit, vegetables, and high protein-low fat meats act much more like a stimulant. What I’m saying here is that if you choose to eat healthy, your overall feelings of happiness should take a sizable leap.”

Listen to a favorite song

Mad Rabbit specializes in tattoo aftercare products. Their CEO Oliver Zak considers music to be one of more influential items to a person’s happiness.

“Take a second and think about some of your best days. If you’re anything like me, when things are going well in life, I find that I’m more willing to hum or sing a song I enjoy because of where my mood is at. But the inverse is also true. Music holds this power which can swing our moods at a moment’s notice due to a specific lyric or sound present in whatever we’re listening to. It works both ways so if you’re filling your ears with songs of sadness and loss you’re not going to get very far. Pick the music that raises the corners of your mouth and puts that light behind your eyes.”

If everything above could be summed up into one phrase, it may have been put into existence by author Alice Walker, “Don’t wait around for other people to be happy for you. Any happiness you get you’ve got to make yourself.”

New Health Trend: Aqua Cycling

New health trends are quickly emerging as people seek ways of keeping fit. One effective health trend is aqua cycling. Aqua cycling continues to gain popularity for being the perfect exercise that offers maximum health benefits with very minimal pain. 

What is Aqua Cycling?

Aqua cycling is a form of aerobic exercise that uses a specialized stationary aqua bike, known as a Hydrorider, in a pool. The equipment is submerged in 1.2 meters -1.6 meters of water and it features 4 paddle flywheels to ensure resistance increases as the cycling speed increases.  Water Cycling combines a low-impact but intense cycling workout with arm, chest, and core exercises for full-body fitness which is easier on your joints than other forms of cardio like running. 

Health Benefits Of Aqua Cycling

Improves Cardiovascular Health

The aqua cycling workout is the perfect way to maintain heart health and a healthy cardiovascular system. Water cycling enables you to have a higher intensity workout but maintain a lower heart rate since your heartbeat frequency is 10% lower while working out in water than when on land.

 Working out in the water has many benefits for heart health and help those suffering from a heart condition manage it and live a healthy life. The benefits of water fitness include: Making the heart stronger, decreasing the resting heart rate, making blood vessels more supple & reducing blood pressure Increasing stroke volume.

Improved flexibility

While you’re riding on a stationary bike in the water, your body will be working to support itself as it moves. This will help improve your flexibility and range of motion in your hips and knees, which can be especially beneficial for people who spend a lot of time sitting or standing up straight all day. 

In addition, it’s also great for loosening up your back and shoulders—especially if you’ve been experiencing pain or tightness there.

Many people find that aqua cycling helps them improve their posture. Aqua cycling has low impact on joints and does not lead to micro-damage to muscle fibres and connective tissues. This reduced impact on your joints, muscles, and bones can help improve your posture since there is no micro-damages or injury that could negatively affect your body positioning.

Weight loss

Aqua cycling is a low-impact exercise that burns calories and tones your body. The water creates resistance, which helps you burn more calories than other forms of exercise, while also providing a comfortable environment to perform.

Aqua cycling is an excellent way to achieve weight loss goals. The high resistance of the water makes aqua cycling a quick and effective calorie burner. This burns up to 800kcal per hour since your body works harder and has a higher metabolic rate, leading to reduced body fat. 

The high resistance and evenly distributed load ensure that body muscles are evenly exercised, giving the body an even look. This is unlike normal exercise where some muscles are exercised more, giving the body an uneven appearance with some muscles being bigger than others. 

Low-impact workout

Aqua cycling is a low-impact workout that allows you to get the most out of your cardio time. Because it’s done in water, there’s low impact on joints, muscles, and tendons which makes this an ideal exercise for people with joint pain or injuries.

The buoyancy of the water also helps to distribute the weight of your body evenly so there’s less pressure on your joints. This means no next-day soreness and you can continue to work out more frequently.

Low risk of injury

Aqua cycling is a low-impact workout that can be done by people of all ages and fitness levels. While the motion of pedaling in water may take some getting used to, the risk of injury is minimal compared with other exercise options.

 It’s also great for those who are injured or disabled and want to stay active, as well as those who are new to exercise but aren’t ready for high-impact workouts yet. 

Improve Coordination And Body Strength

Aqua cycling improves coordination and body strength in the following ways;

  • Balance and coordination: The water provides a natural resistance that helps build your balance and coordination.
  • Strength: Cycling under water causes hydrostatic pressure that increases blood flow to the muscles. This energises your muscles so they don’t fatigue quickly, enabling you to work out longer and build stronger muscles.
  • Core muscles: Vigorous cycling is an effective way to improve core strength by working the abdominal muscles, back, and pelvic floor muscles.
  • Flexibility: Since you are exercising in water, it allows for a greater range of motion than that achieved on dry land.

Aqua cycling is a great way to improve physical health, and it’s easy on the joints and muscles

Aqua cycling is a great way to improve physical health, and it’s easy on the joints and muscles.

Studies show that aqua cycling improves cardiovascular fitness, muscle strength, balance, flexibility, coordination, and body composition. As a bonus: it can be adapted for people with limited mobility or certain medical conditions.

Aqua Cycling classes are also a fun way to stay in shape while meeting new people in your community! It’s perfect for beginners who want to try something new without having to worry about injuries from intense workouts. This low-impact exercise will help you get started on your journey toward becoming more physically active and as you cycle resistance increases so you can continue to grow and challenge yourself. Aqua cycling is good for beginners all the way to elite athletes.

Start your aqua cycling journey today and enjoy its immense benefits.

Eleven Tips for Good Brain Health

Your heart may pump blood through your body, keeping you alive, but the brain is what makes you uniquely you. As we age, our brains get older too and will decrease in size and function. By taking action now, you can reduce your risk factors for more rapid aging. Healthy habits can also lower your risk of mental health problems, stroke and dementia. 

  1. Exercise Regularly

Working out increases blood flow to your brain and can boost the size of your hippocampus, which shrinks as you age. Getting some form of movement for 30 minutes a day can drastically improve your memory and cognition. 

Studies have shown benefits from most types of exercise, including aerobics, weight training, yoga, pilates, tai chi and dancing. If you don’t have the time or ability to complete a full workout, start small and break your movement into chunks throughout the day. 

  1. Schedule Yearly Exams

Yearly check-ups with your primary care doctor can catch any number of health-related issues. During your appointment, you may undergo a brief neurological exam to assess your balance, mental stability, muscle strength and reflexes. Any problems with these signs or your vitals would tip your provider off to a more significant problem and hopefully get you the early intervention you need. 

  1. Watch Cardiovascular Health

Heart conditions can negatively impact brain health. High blood pressure, cholesterol and blood sugar are risk factors for dementia and other cognitive problems associated with aging. Also, blood clots keep oxygen from getting to parts of the brain and can cause a stroke, which can lead to permanent damage or death.

 Regular checkups with your primary care physician and cardiologist can help you gain control over cardiovascular problems. 

  1. Get Quality Sleep

One of the best things you can do for your brain is to give it time to repair itself. While you sleep, your brain clears out toxins that can cause Alzheimer’s and dementia. It also converts short-term memories into long-term and clears out any unnecessary information. Getting 7-9 consecutive hours of sleep at night also improves cognition, focus and mood. 

To get the best night’s sleep, don’t eat stimulating foods within a few hours of bedtime, turn off electronics an hour before bed and have a consistent nighttime routine designed to help you wind down and go to bed at the same time each night. 

  1. Quit Smoking

Smoking negatively affects many of your body’s systems, including your brain. Smokers are more likely to suffer a stroke, dementia and cancer and tend to have more rapid age-related brain volume loss. 

The good news is quitting can reverse these adverse effects. Within 5-15 years, most of the increased risks level out with nonsmokers. Stopping this habit as soon as possible limits the potential for severe and lasting health problems. 

  1. Protect Your Head

Accidents happen, which is why you need to take extra safety precautions. Head trauma doesn’t even have to cause a concussion to be detrimental to your overall brain health. If you’re in an accident, doctors will perform a diagnostic to check your mental capabilities. Taking a little extra time to buckle your seatbelt or put on a helmet can help you prevent serious head injury and loss of brain function.

Early signs of brain injury include blurred vision, fatigue, nausea, confusion and problems with balance and coordination. Repeat head injuries worsen these problems and can lead to long-term brain problems, including impaired cognition and memory loss.

  1. Limit Alcohol Intake

Compulsive or binge drinking can lead to severe brain health problems. Heavy alcohol consumption changes the brain’s chemistry almost immediately, with slurred speech, decreasing coordination, slow reflexes and lowered inhibitions. 

Over time, the chemical changes add up and cause permanent brain damage leading to stroke, poor blood flow to the brain, decreased brain volume, memory problems and mental health issues. 

  1. Eat Brain-Healthy Foods

Studies have shown following the Mediterranean diet correlates with a lowered risk of dementia and Alzheimer’s. This way of eating focuses on whole foods, lean meats, healthy fats and plenty of seafood. Healthy fats are a key ingredient for brain health, improving cellular function and keeping it younger for longer. Extra-virgin olive oil, walnuts and fatty fish are just a few great choices. 

Foods rich in antioxidants help fight inflammation and improve brain health. Some powerhouse options include blueberries, pumpkin seeds, broccoli and dark chocolate. 

  1. Learn Something New

When learning a new skill or improving an old one, your brain creates new connections between cells. These pathways make it difficult for brain disease to work its way in. Engaging your brain and stimulating it builds “muscles” like weight training for our bodies. 

Doing a daily crossword, playing a strategy game and reading are easy ways to get your brain working. Stimulating conversations is another good one. Also, you could pick up a new hobby like cooking, gardening or rock climbing. If you have the resources, learning a new language is highly beneficial.

  1. Make Time for Friends and Family

Spending time with a close circle of friends and family can help combat depression, which is known to impact the way your brain functions. Also, socializing stimulates blood flow to different areas of the brain. Chatting with friends could keep your mind young and strong. 

Simply talking to and seeing a loved one can help improve your mental and brain health. However, if you want to get the largest benefit, combine socialization with an activity to enhance your brain’s strength. To meet new people, you could join a club or organization that matches your interests or spend some time volunteering. 

  1. Manage Mental Health

Your mental health can affect your daily life and your long-term brain health. Everyone deals with stress from time to time, but chronic stress leads to inflammation that can cause permanent brain damage. Combat this by seeing a doctor or therapist in combination with meditation, journaling, yoga and slow outdoor walks. 

Depression and anxiety literally change the size of parts of your brain. Depression alone causes the hippocampus to get smaller, which reduces your ability to remember things clearly. Prolonged untreated depression is a risk factor for Alzheimer’s. Depression and anxiety together increase the size of the amygdala, which is responsible for your fight or flight response and emotions, making you more likely to experience panic attacks and other panic disorders. 

Running illustration done by Mina Tocalini of 360 MAGAZINE.

World Kidney Day Hike

In March, a group of 20 kidney donors summited the highest mountain in Africa to celebrate World Kidney Day. This activity demonstrated that living organ donors can accomplish any physical challenge that could be achieved by a person with two kidneys. This month, they continue their advocacy of living donation by Releasing a video of their trip in observance of April as National Donate Life Month.

The climbers are all members of the nonprofit Kidney Donor Athletes (KDA), founded in 2018. “Something important to all of us is to normalize kidney donations,” KDA supporter and climber Patty Graham said. “We’re not heroes. We’re normal people leading normal lives.”

KDA President Bobby McLaughlin explained the multi-dimensional benefits of the trek, that “spending time with fellow kidney donors in Africa, spreading the word of living donation—[it] doesn’t get much better than that, but thanks in part to Embark Exploration Company we’re also making inroads and establishing partnerships with agencies in Tanzania that support kidney donation.”

Currently, there are nearly 100,000 people on the waiting list in the United States in need of a kidney. With an average wait time of three to five years for a transplant, 13 people die every day. Increasing the number of living donations would significantly reduce the number of unnecessary deaths from kidney failure, as kidneys from living donors last, on average, 50% longer than those from deceased donors. 

“The media response to the Kilimanjaro climb has been overwhelming, and everyone we’ve talked to wants to see footage of the trip,” explained McLaughlin. “We hope that this attention translates to action in becoming a living donor for some.” Created by Tom Racek of Summit Pointe Productions, the new video of the trek is a precursor to an upcoming documentary to be released in the coming weeks.

More information about living kidney donation and Kidney Donor Athletes can be found HERE.  The video is available on the KDA YouTube channel

About Kidney Donor Athletes

Kidney Donor Athletes is a 501(c)3 nonprofit whose mission is to promote the gift of life through living kidney donation among active individuals and athletes by building a community that inspires, supports, and educates people about the experience of kidney donation.

Miraval Berkshires Pool via Team One USA for use by 360 Magazine

Lexus Wellness Destinations

Lexus is hitting the road for health and wellness. For those striving for a better self and looking to incorporate more balance and mindfulness into their lives, the luxury automaker is launching Lexus’ “Wellness Destinations.” This new program features collaborations with four luxury hospitality and wellness resorts–Cal-a-Vie Health Spa and all three Miraval Resorts and Spas–and offers Lexus-curated wellness packages paired with complimentary transportation for each guest. 

“After the last couple of years we have all experienced, it’s no surprise to see the focus on self-care paired with the desire to get away resulting in demand for wellness travel,” says Vinay Shahani, Lexus vice president of marketing. “As a luxury lifestyle brand, Lexus is meeting this need by offering curated, integrative experiences that focus on wellbeing at award-winning destinations.” 

At Cal-Vie Health Spa in Southern California, travelers can book the “Lexus Living in Luxury” package, which includes: 

  • A four-night stay in a Mediterranean-style French Provencal villa with a terrace or balcony 
  • All meals and nutrition breaks, featuring gourmet spa cuisine 
  • A cryotherapy session designed to flush toxins and help reduce chronic pain and inflammation, a metabolic test to better understand the guest’s metabolism, or a BodPod session to gain knowledge of body fat and lean muscle mass, as recommended by the fitness director 
  • One specialty spa treatment, such as a hand and foot renewal, hydrating wrap, or similar treatment 
  • One rejuvenating facial and two 50-minute Cal-a-Vie massages 
  • One private fitness session with a 50-minute take-home program 
  • Full spa amenities, including two pools, an outdoor jacuzzi, a sauna, and a steam bath 
  • A meditation ceremony at the end of the stay to regard the guests’ intentions and put meaningful closure to their time at Cal-a-Vie Health Spa 
  • Complimentary transportation in a luxury Lexus vehicle to and from the San Diego International Airport upon arrival and departure 

Lexus owners also receive a VIP welcome gift and 10 percent off the $7,300 cost per person (valid through March 2023).  

“We want to provide a luxury experience from the moment our guests arrive to the day they depart. We care about creating life-changing wellness experiences for our guests and that’s exactly what we do here at Cal-a-Vie Health Spa,” says Terri Havens, owner of Cal-a-Vie Health Spa.  

Miraval resorts are offering guests a “Lexus Drive Your Way to Wellness” custom experience for $495 per person (valid through March 2023). This one-day experience–ranging from six to eight hours–is available at the three Miraval resorts, located in Arizona, Austin and the Berkshires which includes a complimentary Lexus vehicle to use throughout the experience. Highlights include: 

  • An intention-setting ceremony with a Miraval Guide 
  • Scenic drives to various destinations where a private guide leads hiking, biking and swimming expeditions 
  • A chef-prepared picnic lunch and a locally-oriented activity, such as kayaking, paddle boarding or birdwatching 

Each wellness package highlights the unique offerings available at the three Miraval resorts and is available to schedule directly through the selected property. 

“We are excited to team up with Lexus to offer our guests exclusive drive experiences at each of our destination resorts and spas,” said Susan Santiago, head of Miraval operations at Hyatt. “These new and unique offerings allow us to immerse our guests in scenic, natural settings off-property that encourage external exploration and space for internal reflection. We look forward to continuing our mission of providing authentic experiences focused on our guests’ physical, spiritual, and mental wellbeing.” 

Lexus deeply values the health and wellbeing of its guests, and comprehensive sanitization procedures are in place for each Lexus vehicle. Please also refer to each resort website for additional information on health and safety protocols. For more information or to book a Lexus Wellness Destination, click HERE or HERE.  

Is Music a Must-have for everything You do?

No matter who you are, or what you do, music always seems to find its way into your life. Whether it is listening to the radio in the car on your way to work or cranking up your favorite songs on headphones at the gym, music has a unique ability to influence and enhance our daily routines. But does that mean we need it for everything we do? In this blog post, we’ll explore the benefits of music and look at some situations where listening to music can make a massive difference. So, sit back and turn up the volume – let’s get started!

The benefits of music

For many, listening to music is a huge part of our lives. But did you know that it helps make us more productive or can actually enhance your workout?

There are plenty of ways that music can be beneficial to us. Here are just some of the ways that listening to your favorite songs on repeat can help us, both at work and in our personal lives:

Listening to music even improves productivity. Have you ever found yourself struggling to get through your work? You might think it’s because you’re not passionate about what you do – but research shows that the actual reason could be much simpler. In fact, scientists have proven that listening to music while working can block out distractions and even help you get more done in less time.

Here are some ways that music can enhance your experiences. 

Music for exercise 

As well as helping us get through the day at work, music can also enhance workout sessions at the gym.

Studies have shown that relaxing or energizing songs can directly impact how much you enjoy your exercise regime, and therefore encourage you to exercise more often.

For example, listening to fun songs while exercising can give you that extra boost of motivation to get through your workout.

But it’s not just about feeling the beat. Listening to music while working out can also help with specific exercises too. For example, people tend to lift more weight when they’re listening to fast-paced songs compared with slow songs. In fact, working out to the right kind of music can even help you burn more fat!

In addition to helping us get fit, listening to our favorite tunes while exercising has been shown to improve our stamina and concentration too. So, it turns out there are a number of physical benefits from using your iPod at the gym!

Music for relaxation

In a world where we’re constantly glued to our smartphones and tablets, it’s no wonder that many of us struggle to switch off. Our brains are always on the go – which can make relaxing after work really difficult. Fortunately, there is one activity that can help calm your mind and encourage you to relax: listening to music. Studies have shown that just 15 minutes of music every day helps reduce stress and encourage a more positive outlook on life.

In addition to helping us relax, listening to soothing sounds can also help with better sleep – perfect if you’re struggling to nod off at night. In fact, there have been studies that show that playing relaxing background sounds or music before bedtime can help reduce stress and encourage a better night’s sleep.

So, if you’re looking for ways to unwind after a long day at work, it turns out that turning up the volume on your favorite songs could be one of the best strategies!

Music for events 

No matter what you’re doing, music can always help to set the scene. Whether it’s turning up the volume at a party, or putting on your favorite song for a romantic dinner with your significant other, listening to music is an easy way to enhance every aspect of our lives.

Let’s look at an example. You might be throwing a casino party for your friends. If so, you need all the details to be right so everyone can really buy into the whole thing. That’s why it’s important to have some classy music that you’d hear in a high-end casino. If your friends can’t make it, you could play on live casino games online at sites, like slots.lv/casino/live-dealer, where the live dealer could make the things a bit more exciting. Pairing this with the right music is destined to get your casino event off the ground. 

This is just one example. There are loads of ways that music can enhance your event. It’s all about making the right choices and finding the perfect tunes to go with it. So, what are you waiting for? Get listening!

Music to motivate you

Of course, not all music is the same. Different genres of songs can have very different effects on us, depending on our own personal tastes. 

If you’re looking for some intense motivation to get you through an intense workout session, more upbeat songs are the way forward. 

Alex Bogdan for use by 360 MAGAZINE

Tips to Maintain a Healthy Back

With the COVID-19 pandemic reaching another surge this holiday season, its more important than ever to stay safe, protected and healthy. With the pandemic continuing throughout the winter season, it’s easy to forget that the chilling winter weather can result in the muscles and ligaments of our bodies to contract and tighten significantly more. The muscles and ligaments that strengthen the back and spine, as well as the shoulders and knees, are considerably impacted by these seasonal changes.

From the Pinkston News Service comes a series of tips from Dr. Rita Roy, Chief Executive Officer of the National Spine Health Foundation, on how to protect and keep your back healthy during these frostier months.

Stretch regularly

Implementing a consistent stretching routine can lower your risk of injury, and can even elevate the healing process of a previous injury. Engaging in basic back stretches such as the child’s pose or cat-cow and enhance strength and flexibility to your spine.

Wear proper footwear

Dr. Rita Roy encourages everyone to be mindful of the shoes that you plan to wear depending on the weather you may be dealing with. Make sure that your footwear is a fitting size, by trying them on in-store first, if you can. Ensure that your shoes have proper lining to keep you warm during the chilling temperatures. Making note to purchase a set of footwear that has non-stick rubber soles and treads on the bottom of the shoe for an extra level of safety from slipping. Remember to also take those shoes off when you head indoors, replacing them with socks or slippers, so you don’t run the risk of slipping inside as well.

Be aware of your surroundings

If you know that you may be heading outside, make sure to pay attention to what surfaces you step foot on. To get ahead of the game, keep up on the weather conditions heading your way. If you live in an area with a lot of icy roads and sidewalks, make sure to take your time, walk slowly and steer clear of carrying large items along your path. Make sure to look around you and use the objects that are not moving to your advantage; hold onto a handrail or tree to give yourself some extra balance. Keep your eyes peeled and watch around you to avoid unwarranted hazards.

Stay active

While winter follows the holiday season, this may warrant a lot of eating, sitting around and mood shifts. Seasonal depression is ever apparent through this time of year, so it’s extremely crucial to get your body moving to aid the dreariness that comes with winter. Moving around in between meals through exercising can help you in more ways than you may know.

Don’t overextend yourself

While it is crucial that you keep exercising, be sure to not overreach these efforts. The end of the holiday season raises a whole new set of physical activities, such as, hanging Christmas lights and shoveling snow. These unique tasks pose risks to the body because these are not activities that are regularly carried out year-round. Shoveling snow can cause intense stress to your back. It is vital that you use proper techniques and equipment when carrying out these tasks. Give yourself well-needed breaks and time to rest while participating in these endeavors.

Always wear a seatbelt

This may seem like a misplaced tip among the rest, but nonetheless this one is exceptionally valuable. Studies have found that a large amount of weather-related auto accidents happen throughout the winter, and around 76,000 people become hurt in accidents that result on snowy or slushy roads. Back pain can result from a mere low-speed fender-bender since the body was not anticipating the impact. So, keeping your seatbelt on can limit these sudden movements.