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Train Like a Samurai Warrior

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Here is an interesting article sent in by Rob from “A Samurai Workout“.  The article discusses the importance of what we preach here at FitBuff.com – “Total Mind and Body Fitness”.  It includes a brief overview of how you can integrate physical fitness AND mental fitness into your life to improve yourself on a deeper and more complete level.

Martial Arts Fitness: A Low-Impact Way to Develop Mind, Body and Spirit

By Laurence Berkley

Our bodies are driven by complex biological processes, but everything can be broken down to molecular interactions driven by vibrational energy. Vibrational energy is a principle of physics in which energy is transferred within a molecule and between a molecule and its solvent surrounding. Vibrational energy connects all of the Earth’s organic components.

Balance, fitness, and understanding self-defense can help us harness the vibrational energy that makes life possible. We can move beyond our perceived limitations when we understand the fundamental energy that makes our existence possible.

Many vibrational energy studies are rooted in the belief that molecules give off and absorb sounds. Ancient martial arts and movement disciplines I have studied serve as a vehicle to receive and embrace this vibrational energy.

Martial arts fitness is derived from centuries-old practices emphasizing a disciplined approach to balance and mental agility. Ancient Samurai warriors did not have GPS systems or cell phones. They had to rely on their wits and a healthy body to prosper in their daily lives and fulfill their destiny. When I was studying martial arts in Asia, I noticed an emphasis on clearing the mind for optimum performance, and then forging a path between mind and body. When achieved for the first time, the realization of this path creates serenity and peace.

Unfortunately, traveling this path in our uncertain times is nearly as trying, if not more, than it was in the time of the Samurai. We live in a world full of distractions and disruptions, chaos and conflict. There’s always somewhere to be, something to do, someone to see. If our calendars are never clear, what hope is there for our minds?

With good reason, yoga has surged in popularity in recent years. Yoga promotes a strong connection between the mind and body. I helped develop the very first yoga instructional classes back in the 1960’s. My travels to Asia in later years led me to studies with experts of various martial arts: karate, Tai Chi Chuan, Chi Kung, and Kobudo. Some of these disciplines have been practiced for centuries. Kobudo, for example, was the primary method of sword training for the legendary Samurai warrior, incorporating the katana, well-recognized in American culture as a Samurai sword. Although those warriors may have been preparing for battle in some circumstances, Kobudo is actually a non-combative form of weapons training. To me, Kobudo was perfectly suited for a marriage with yoga, and I have spent several years perfecting the translation of Kobudo to modern fitness. My interpretation substitutes the katana with a jo, which is a light wooden staff, and emphasizes low-impact movements that improve strength, flexibility, and confidence.

You do not have to be a martial arts expert, or even a novice, to make gains. Ten or fifteen minutes a day can provide an adequate full-body workout.

An example is a move I call “Carry the Tiger.†To perform this maneuver, I take the jo and hold it out in front of me with two hands, with the jo parallel to the ground. Right away, I am stabilizing my back muscles and abdominals while achieving ideal posture. As I “carry the tiger†by moving the jo over my head and then back down, I breathe in and out before “taking it to the mountain,†where I twist to the right and then to the left, using the jo to maintain my posture while continuing my breathing. Go ahead and find a broom handle around your house and give it a try. After only a couple minutes, you will feel relaxed and refreshed.

The mind-body-spirit connection is crucial to effective low-impact exercise. The focus should be on balance, posture, and breathing. You should feel a burst of energy after ten to fifteen minutes of performing martial arts fitness moves. If you are fatigued, that means you are not being mindful of proper form and rhythmic breathing.

Civility is eroding in our world, and there is a need to be skillfully alert, to sense and retreat from danger. My current goal is to instill the confidence that develops from a strong mind-body-spirit connection in as many people as I can. I hope you will join me.

Laurence Berkley currently coaches, practices, and researches martial arts fusion fitness in Las Vegas. For more information, please visit www.asamuraiworkout.com.

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5 Types Of Mobile Games That Can Actually Help Your Mind

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featMobile gaming is often viewed as a way to pass the time, or simply as entertainment. More often than not, these are perfectly fair descriptions. On other occasions, mobile apps and games can help optimize both body and mind!

Mobile Games & Puzzles for Brain Health

However, the mobile gaming market is vast, and among the offerings there are also some games that can help to train your mind in various ways, or in some cases improve wellness. Here, we wanted to give some examples of types of mobile games that can serve these purposes.

1. Escape Puzzles

In the real world, “escape room” attractions have become wildly popular in just the last few years. They’re generally seen as weekend recreation options for groups of friends or colleagues, but there are also those who believe they benefit your brain health. To our knowledge there aren’t in-depth studies into this phenomenon’s mental benefits just yet, but there’s certainly something to be said for the idea. Escape rooms lead to everything from positive moods to improved memory and heightened social skills. Escape puzzle games don’t carry all of the same benefits, but they are in many cases the mobile versions of the rooms, and they can certainly exercise your brain where concentration, patience, and problem-solving are concerned, at the very least.

2. Conquest Games

This isn’t quite as big a category as that of puzzle games, though there are actually different genres within the idea of a conquest-themed mobile game. What we’re referring to here though are games like the mobile versions of Sid Meier’s Civilization installments, which famously delve into real human history in quite a lot of detail. Simply put, games like these that teach real history can exercise the brain and help to improve memory, association, attention to detail, and specific knowledge.

3. Poker Games

Poker games are actually among the oldest ones available on mobile phones, though they’re steadily getting more sophisticated these days. Poker apps are included among the games spreading gradually into the U.S. through expanding gambling legislation, and even some free-to-play poker games are now employing advanced graphics and features that make them feel like the real thing. Whichever specific app you opt for though, you could actually stand to enjoy real mental benefits. Various medical studies have actually hinted at poker’s benefits in everything from improving focus and attention to detail to combating Alzheimer’s Disease!

4. Quiz Apps

Some might consider quiz apps to comprise their own category aside from gaming, but the distinction isn’t particularly important. Either way there are dozens if not hundreds of accessible quiz apps, and each and every one of them can teach specific knowledge and keep the mind sharp in general. It’s virtually never a bad idea to test your knowledge, and these kinds of games help people do it on a daily basis.

5. Brain-Trainers

Lastly, and most overtly, there are also apps specifically designed to train the brain. These are in some cases actually designed with medical input and consideration, but they’re still game-like in nature, or at least include games more often than not. The specific training varies from one app to the next, but this is definitely a category you’ll want to look to if you’re curious about using mobile games to improve your mind.

Final Thoughts

Mobile apps, games, and real-world puzzles such as escape rooms are sometimes purely for entertainment. Other cases, such as those discussed here, can be leveraged to help with brain training for better cognitive performance and perception. The best part is, these brain games can often be leveraged during times you’d otherwise be doing nothing else!

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Getting Your Health Under Control In 2019

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For many, having control over their health is a constant battle with a number of vitamin deficiencies as well as illnesses that are sometimes unavoidable it is crucial to ensure that your health is under control. Whether this is a visit to Finchley dentist to prioritise your oral health or a visit to the doctors for a checkup there are a number of ways that you can prioritise your health within a busy lifestyle.

Moving More And Sitting Less

During the course of the day, it is important to keep moving, with a lot of people sitting down throughout the day it is important to remember to move around. By adding a 10-minute walk to your daily routine this can help to improve mental health as well as your physical health. This small addition to your daily routine can help you to lose weight and maintain a suitable cholesterol level. This could help your health in the long term as this helps you to maintain a healthy weight.

The Power Of A Smile

Have you ever thought about how a smile can help you and those around you to feel better? The simple act of smiling releases chemicals into the brain helping you to channel positive emotions as a result. This act of smiling can also make you appear endearing and approachable to others allowing you to spread joy to those around you. This is something that can take practice to do but can have major health benefits. By making time to laugh and smile during the course of the day you can reduce stress and anxiety whilst helping to improve overall happiness.

Sleep

Having enough sleep is something that can be very difficult with a busy lifestyle. However, it is important to make the time. With the recommended sleep time aimed between 7-9 hours per day, it is important to look at how much sleep you are getting and how much this can affect your overall health.

If you are feeling like you cannot concentrate or are having trouble being able to focus on simple tasks, this may be a consequence of lack of sleep. In order to sleep accordingly make sure that your day is filled with exercise and activities. By filling your day with exercises and activities you will wear yourself out. This will allow you to stick to a simple sleeping schedule throughout the week.

If you struggle to fall asleep at night try relaxing before bed, whether this is through having a bath or shower or even reading a book to help you unwind, this can help you to fall asleep almost instantly.

Relaxation

Another important aspect of your health is relaxation. It is not good for your heart or your mind to be stressed 24/7 therefore, it is important to practice self-care wherever possible. With a number of meditation apps available to you both free and paid you can have a completely customisable experience based around your specific needs.

By adding ten minutes of meditation into your daily routine you can help to reduce stress and anxiety whilst helping to lower blood pressure. So with all this in mind, there are a number of considerations when thinking about your health in 2019 that are well worth considering.

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Intermittent Fasting – Introduction and How-To

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Intermittent fasting is becoming increasingly popular. It appears that apart from marketing, losing weight is the most popular topic to be discussed online. People want to get rid of all those pounds, whether extra or seemingly extra to attain the ideal body shape. A multitude of diet plans have been devised; from cabbage soups to high protein diet to eight losing herbs and supplements, everyone is trying everything that might have the slightest notion of producing likable results. But in most of these diet plans, one has to give up eating their favorite foods. No more pizzas and pastas, some happily adopt an herbivorous lifestyle, just to lose weight.

But what if you do not have to give up eating your favorite dishes? What if you don’t have to try any experiments with artificial supplements on your body? What if weight loss could happen with you eating what you generally eat, and in the quantity you eat but still losing weight? Sounds elusive, right?

The truth is that it is possible. And this is not a new found theory, but it has been around for quite a while. Surprised?? Wondering what exactly is this magic diet plan? It is called, “Intermittent Fasting”.

Intermittent fasting is the trick to adopt. It requires a person to go on a fast for 24 hours, once or twice every week depending on the individual capability, and having a large intake of water/green tea during this time span. With the lifestyle we all lead, packed with work, food, more work and a truckload of responsibilities, it is not only difficult to take out time for gym and aerobic classes but truly impossible. Similarly, even following a diet plan can become monotonous, and everyone is aware of how diet plans quit working after some time since the body becomes immune to them. So you might just lose weight during the first month of your diet plan routine, it is assured that the results will start to wear off once the body becomes accustomed to the routine. On the opposite end, Intermittent Fasting will help you consistently lose weight and also maintain it. The routine is not difficult to adopt.

Steele Williams a leading celebrity PT and personal training course expert from TRAIN says that studies dating back to 1945 proved that Intermittent Fasting (IF) extended the life of mice. More recent studies on humans show that alternate day fasting increases SIRT3 proteins, which scientists believe are responsible for longer lifespans.

Also, IF has been shown to increase insulin sensitivity, therefore reducing the risk of type 2 diabetes. It’s also been shown to reduce inflammation, blood pressure, and “bad” cholesterol.

All you have to do is pick a day or two in the time frame of a week when all you are going to be consuming is water, or better still, green tea. That one day where the intake of liquids is going to be on the rise; it will allow the metabolism to flush up and work off all those stored fats in the body. Take it more like a body cleansing day. Just like a shower is vital to rid the exterior of all the germs, a day on water is pivotal to rid the body of the harmful fats that are stored up.

In the remaining days of the week, keep on going with your normal diet. You do not have to give up food at all during that time. Sounds great? Well you will feel great once you try out this truly genius form of putting off those extra pounds!

Have you tried intermittent fasting? What are your thoughts?

 

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