How Exercise Boosts Brain Power + Week of Smart Workouts

Exercise is a smart choice for maintaining physical health and it also plays a role in promoting overall happiness and well-being. But, can exercise make a person more intelligent? Probably so say sports scientists from Finland who recently published some surprising findings on how the type and intensity of exercise may have a bearing on brain power?

Find out the best form of exercise for a brain boost. Yes, some workouts can make you not on stronger, but smarter!

The study compared pitted moderate-paced running, high-intensity interval training (HIIT) and weight lifting against each other to observe how these various forms physical exercise can increase hippocampal neurogenesis (e.g. the creation of new brain cells) in an already mature brain. The test subjects – rats! The running rodents were left to run on their cage wheels (a moderate jog, some up to several miles a day) with free will while the HIIT group was given a daily 15 minute regimen of repeated strenuous effort sprinting with jog recovery. And, the weight-lifting rodents climbed walls with little weights attached to their tails as a sedentary control group lounged around and watched. I laugh just thinking about this! mouse-lifting-weight

Whether mouse or man, it appears that the winning exercise for long-term brain health may simply be moderate running or “jogging” and, by my semi-educated extrapolation, other similar “aerobic and sustained” activities like biking, swimming and brisk walking.  It seems wheel-jogging rodents had the most vigorous rates of new brain cell growth, significantly higher than the sedentary, lay-around rats. The hightailing HIIT group had some brain cell growth, but not as much as the aerobic joggers, with researchers hypothesizing that physical stress impedes neurogenesis. Interestingly, the resistance-trained rats were no different brain-wise at the end of the study – which keeps the status-quo on “muscle head” jokes!

Exercise is not only great for your health, but can make you smarter! Find out what type and intensity of workout will give you the best brain boost!

Seriously though, all forms of exercise are beneficial for the body. Just like variety in diet is important for optimal health, so is mixing up the way you move. While jogging or easy running may boost brain cells, lifting weights strengthens muscles, bones and tendons, helping to improve every day work capacity.  And, both resistance training and HIIT up the body’s metabolism, one of the keys to keeping a lean silhouette.

I think trail running and obstacle course races like Spartan are a great way to add “extra” to simply running – a well-rounded athlete is a smart athlete, too!

Below are some of my favorite running, HIIT and other workouts — pick your favorites and get strong, get smart!

 

 

Here are a week of workouts to get stronger and smarter:

  1. 20 Minute Kickboxing Workout to Kick Monday in the Face
  2. You Got Mad “Ups” Body Weight Workout
  3. Boom! Med Ball Workout
  4. Trail Run Tabata
  5. Fun Faster 800m-Lover Workout
  6. Sayonara Sprint Partner Run Workout 
  7. Soccer Strong Workout – – also great for OCR Training

What is your favorite “type” of exercise to do? Do you mix it up, or single sport? Ever feel smarter after jogging (haha)?  Please share in the comments — XOXO, Jennifer

How to Treat Sports Turf Burns + #YourSecretWeapon for Prevention

Giveaway at Bottom of Post!

I have three teenage boys . . . and they have all played soccer. I have seen a LOT of soccer and treated plenty of turf burns. Actually, I hate to say this, but I’m the most turf-burn prone and actually I have had some really bad ones just running at high speed. I’ve learned how to suck up the pain and treat them quickly – if kept clean and moist with an antibiotic cream and sterile bandage (changed frequently), the turf burns actually clear up amazingly fast!

One thing I have learned over the years (after going in for a kid’s health checkup with horrific road burn on my shoulder, arm and side) is that it’s NOT good to use hydrogen peroxide. Hydrogen peroxide can actually damage the tissue further and prevent healing – plus, it hurts like hell to pour it on there, am I right?!

How to Safely Treat Turf Burn on Soccer, Football and Lacrosse Players.

Check out my handy, printable reference on treating turf burn if you or your child to happen to get the big red raspberry of pain. Also, check out his Storelli blog post on Turf Burn Facts and Prevention

One way to prevent turf burn is to not get it at all. That sounds like a no-brainer, but when you’ve got the killer instinct and are completely focused on blocking a shot, kicking a goal or hauling down field to keep position, how rough and abrasive the turf can be isn’t really on the radar. Most players would easily take some nasty burn for the team . . or personal glory!

I’ve discovered BodyShield from Storelli. This Brooklyn, NY based company is one of the soccer industry’s most cutting-edge and exciting new brands. They use proprietary technologies (inspired by extreme sports gear) to create low-profile, high-performance protective gear that helps absorb impact, minimize and prevent abrasions, cuts and nasty bruises. When you have less fear of the game, you can be fearless! If found this to be especially true of one of my kids who isn’t as must as a risk-taker as the rest of the family.

Storelli Next Generation Soccer Injury Prevention GearMy 14 year old has been wearing BodyShield from Storelli for the last two seasons – he can be really fussy about what he wears and how it feels. He’s worn the protective undershirt and head wrap and filed sliders or on the way!

The report back from my sporty mini-me is that it’s easy to gear up in BodyShield, there’s no “weird rubbing” or “too tight” feeling, and  it doesn’t reduce mobility at all – in fact, he says that he usually forgets he’s even wearing the protective gear. And (so important to a middle schooler) it looks cool!

Where Turf Burns Happen Most on Body

The Field Player Sliders use 3mm thick foam technology to protect during tackles and slides without impeding movement. No more fear of abrasions or sudden impacts and no more turf burns on the side and hips (the most common place)!

Oscar Chelsea Soccer Player

Check out professional soccer player Oscar Chelsea sporting the BodyShield Sliders and Sleeveless Undershirt. Stare if you must.

TheFitFork.com SoccerStorelli can be #YourSecretWeapon against turf burns, too! Heck, I’m even thinking about suiting up head to toe for my next Spartan Race.

That’s why I ordered a pair of Women’s BodyShield Sliders designed specifically for female needs) and they finally arrived (see below0 If you use promo code, you can receive 15% off any of everything at Storelli.com – you’re going to want it all!

 

storelli shorts jennifer

Please check out Storelli’s BodyShield protective soccer gear and check out the informative articles on their blog – must-reads if you or a family member is an avid soccer player.50 visa gift card giveaway

Also, don’t forget to enter my giveaway for a $50 Visa Gift Card that you can use for your own Storelli gear, other soccer equipment or whatever you like – just hopefully not on bandages to treat turf burn!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Soccer Strong Workout, Injury Prevention + Giveaway

Fear Nothing. Give Everything.  I love this attitude of Storelli Sports, a really awesome company that makes next-gen sports protection gear for professional and amateur athletes.

TheFitFork.com SoccerThis company’s main market is soccer; you know how crazy those soccer players get – I’m being serious! Bodies crashing into each other, dives onto the turf, abrupt lateral movements, unwanted head-to-head, body-to-goal or ground contact and more.   I’ve got a kiddo who plays soccer (or you may call it football) – he also is into the rough and tumble sports of lacrosse and American football. So, it’s safe to say that sports injury prevention is always on my mind.

Storelli Next Generation Soccer Injury Prevention Gear

All this thrashing about on the soccer field sort of sounds like a day spent doing Spartan or another obstacle course race – and I’m thinking that some of their products may help me give 110% at my next race with  less worry of bumps, bruises, cuts, contusions and concussions. Yeah, that’s right I said concussion – the perfect reason to wear the Storelli ExoShield Head Guard, a comfortable and stylish soccer head guard that reduces incidence of cuts and bruises on covered areas . . . and may help lessen risk for concussion.

goose egg advilPlease note that there is no conclusive evidence on the concussion reduction, but I say “better safe than sorry,” seeing as I have given myself a concussion RUNNING (it was an epic fall) and also at the last Spartan Beast I slid through the mud and into a tree limb for a beauty of a  goose egg (and thankfully nothing worse).

Honestly, the Storelli ExoShield Head Guard (below) is so comfortable and weighs only about 8 ounces; you’ll quickly forget you’re armored up!

Storelli Soccer Head GuardStorelli Soccer Injury Prevention Gear

The BodyShield FP Sleeveless Undershirt makes you look like an intimidator showing off those guns and also offers innovative technology to help control long passes with the chest, along with protection on the ribs, to reduce the impact caused by physical clashes with opponents.  You may like this armor for trapping hard shots and reducing rebounds, I’m making sure my son wears this to every match. And then, I’m going to steal it out of his gym bag on race day to really help protect my chest and ribs as I hurl myself up onto some of the 10 foot walls on an obstacle course race or army crawl my body over craggy rocks.

Here is a great video rundown on how Storelli Soccer Gear can help you if you play a field position (also a video for goalie).

Did you know 50 percent of soccer players miss at least one game a year because of injury?  Wow, that’s half of the players out there, don’t let it be you — #InjuriesSuck .  Head over to Storelli Sports and check out their next generation soccer protection gear – right now you can get $10 off a purchase when you sign-up for the Storelli newsletter.

I also have a Soccer Strong Workout that will help keep you in tip-top shape for a healthy and productive season.

soccer strong workout

Do you or your kids play soccer”? Have you ever been sidelined with an injury in any sport? What preventative measures do you take to stay injury-free? Please share in the comments – XOXO, Jennifer