Tips To Boost Energy

Studies show that exercise increases your energy in many ways – from building up muscles to boosting your mood and self-confidence.

How often do you feel so exhausted that you would rather hit the sofa than the gym? Yet if you do make the effort, you will feel re-vitalised. Studies show that exercise increases your energy in many ways – from building up muscles to boosting your mood and self-confidence.

Watch the caffeine which is often demonised as an addictive drug that should be avoided wherever possible. But in moderation it can be a useful pick-me-up, can improve physical performance and appears to have health benefits, too, such as improving mental performance and reducing the risk of Alzheimer’s and diabetes. Just avoid it after lunch as it takes time to clear from the system and may affect your sleep.

Mind your omegas Omega 3 fatty acids found in oily fish have been shown to help sleep and improve mental concentration. However, high levels of omega 6, found in processed foods (cakes biscuits etc) as well as dairy, can compete with omega 3. Try to redress the balance by cutting down on processed food and eating oily fish or seafood three times a week (or using high quality supplements if you aren’t a fish lover).

Stressless Being under stress throws your hormones out of kilter. Those fight-or-flight hormones, cortisol and adrenaline, are supposed to provide a short-term reaction to help you deal with potential danger – not be switched on all the time. Not only does stress interfere with your sleep but it can affect your digestion, heart, weight, memory and mood.

Shut-down the screens More and more evidence is showing that our addiction to screens – computer, TV, phone etc – is affecting our sleep and general well-being. Not only do you find it difficult to switch off if you have been working or surfing the net late into the night, but the bright light affects your melatonin levels, throwing your natural circadian rhythms way off course. No wonder studies show that people sleep badly after excessive screen time in the evenings. Back to the hot bath and cocoa pre-bed routine!

Avoiding excess sugar wherever you can will also do wonders for your energy levels. The rapid boost it provides is soon followed by a slump as your blood sugar levels plummet in response to the hormone insulin, which is released when you eat sugar. Much better for energy levels is to have slower burn energy sources – protein, fats in moderation and complex carbohydrates such as wholegrains.

Can Meditation Help Counter Alzheimer’s?

Researchers have found differences in the brains of people who’ve meditated for years and believe it may be one way to prevent losing cognitive function as we get older. Also, tune a piano, tune your brain…

The study, led by Dr Florian Kurth of the University of California, Los Angeles, noted a difference in brain volume between those who meditated and those who didn’t. According to Dr Kurth, ‘We expected rather small and distinct effects located in some of the regions that had previously been associated with meditating.

Tune A Piano, Tune Your Brain

Researchers at Newcastle University and University College London have found that professional piano tuners’ brains undergo structural changes in the hippocampus – the part of the brain that controls memory and navigation.

Magnetic resonance imaging of the physical structure of subjects’ brains, revealed similar changes to those previously observed in London taxi drivers who learn to navigate city streets by memory alone. The paper’s authors believe this shows that piano tuners ‘navigate’ sounds in a way that is similar to spatial navigation.

Microbes May Cause Dementia

There is incontrovertible evidence that Alzheimer’s disease has a dormant microbial component…

A team of researchers have claimed there is ample evidence implicating a virus and two types of bacteria as major causes of Alzheimer’s disease – but they can’t obtain funding for clinical trials because the evidence is deemed controversial.

According to Professor Douglas Kell of The University of Manchester’s School of Chemistry and Manchester Institute of Biotechnology, there is incontrovertible evidence that Alzheimer’s disease has a dormant microbial component, and that this is linked with iron imbalances.

Others believe that microbes may trigger inflammation which is also characteristic of Alzheimer’s. Watch this space – if funding is found, it could be that specific antimicrobial treatments might make this form of dementia a thing of the past!