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Archive for the ‘lifestyle’ Category

New Harness for Cameras Created for Man’s Best Friend

Posted on: September 23rd, 2014 by Pulse

With the seemingly endless YouTube videos of people’s dogs being posted, pet owners are searching for new and inventive ways to film their beloved canines. Social media is becoming more and more about video with popular sites like Vine and Instagram recently rolling out a video feature. So now more than ever pet owners want to capture every moment with their adorable pooch for themselves and an audience to see. This has led to the innovative idea of strapping a camera onto the actual dog’s themselves, so that the point of view of the dog can be captured fully.

Introducing The GoPro Camera Harness

GoPro Camera

Previously, the idea of a dog being able to take its own videos might’ve seemed like a fanciful notion, but with the rapid progression of technology it’s already a reality. GoPro has come up with the innovative idea of utilizing a harness so that two cameras can be strapped to a dog, one on it’s shoulders, and one between its two front legs so that both shots can be taken. The harness is adjustable so that it can fit a wide variety of dogs like:

  • Bulldogs
  • Labradors
  • Cocker Spaniels
  • Bassett Hounds

This way, owners of dogs of all sizes can use the GoPro camera to capture the dog’s best moments. Funny point of view shots can be taken, and the dog can capture angles and moments that would be virtually impossible for the owner to be able to take.

Meeting A Demand

While the development of the GoPro dog camera may be a relatively new development, in fact people have been creating their own DIY camera harnesses for their dogs for a long time. So GoPro recognized the demand for a custom harness, and they were able to create one that is not only comfortable for the dog, but that is very user friendly for the owner.

When the harness gets dirty it can just be thrown in the washing machine, and the harness makes sure the camera is secured to the dog no matter what crazy actions it tries. With this new product, this probably hails the beginning of a wide range of technology targeted towards animals.

Only The Beginning

Even though dogs are man’s best friends they are closely followed by the ubiquitous cat. Smaller and more rental friendly, cats may be almost as popular as dogs, considering how many cat videos are floating around the internet. And they are more uniform in size, which should make creating a harness for them more simple. While GoPro has yet to announce a cat harness, it shouldn’t be surprising if that is the next step towards making cat videos, where the cats are the ones controlling the action. People who love their pets will probably delight in the GoPro harness and will be able to fill up their social media feeds with even more videos of their pets.

And besides the videos, these cameras also allow dog owners an interesting glimpse into their pets’ lives. Whether strapping the cameras on a hiking trip, or on the daily walk, they’ll be able to literally see what their pets see, what they stop to sniff at, and how the world looks from a dog’s vantage point.

Already there are many YouTube videos featuring the GoPro harness. Some people are even taking the GoPro “day in the life” idea even farther, attaching the camera to an oven to see a day in the life of their oven. But beyond that, while it doesn’t seem to have been mentioned yet, the GoPro harness seems like it would have many useful possibilities regarding search and rescue dogs, who can be made even more effective with cameras attached to their bodies.

photo credit: Remko van Dokkum via photopin cc

5 Street Obstacles That Can be Tricked On

Posted on: August 28th, 2014 by Pulse

Freestyle scootering on the street can be a simple and fun way to work on tricks, and learn some new ones. A typical street provides numerous obstacles on which to perform tricks. One nice thing about street scootering is that you can do it anywhere, as long as there are no laws against it. For people who do not live near a half-pipe or skate park, the street offers the best place to practice tricks. However, scooter riders need to take care not to do tricks when there is traffic around, as well as take other safety precautions.

Parking Blocks and Curbs

Parking blocks & curbs

Parking blocks and curbs provide some of the most basic obstacles skateboarders, scooter freestylers and other extreme sport athletes use for tricks on the streets. They provide the perfect base on which to perform slides and grinds. In fact, any obstacle on the street that has any type of ledge offers a great opportunity to grind or slide. You can also jump over or off of a curb, or use it as a base on which to perform jumping tricks.

Stairs and Railings

Stairs and railing also are classic areas on which to practice many different tricks. You can grind or slide, or you can perform jumps and flips. The best type of staircases to use has limited pedestrian traffic and multiple levels with breaks in between. Stairs with may different levels provide more options on which to try tricks. You can jump and do tricks on the stairs themselves, or concentrate your tricks on the railings, or perform tricks that combines the two obstacles.

Planter Boxes

Many cities landscape their sidewalks and streets to provide a beautiful atmosphere. For scooter athletes, these become obstacles for performing freestyle tricks. Some planter boxes are higher up, offering a ledge for grinding or sliding. Other boxes or planting areas are ground level or slightly higher, providing an object over which to jump. If a street has several planter boxes, you can set up an obstacle course and practice doing more than one trick in a row.

Drainage Ditches

Drainage ditches provide excellent places to take the scooter and perform tricks. Many ditches offer a place similar to a pool, ramp or half-pipe. Some places may have laws in place for using drainage ditches, so it is important to look into the laws before going to perform the tricks. In some cities, a drainage ditch might provide one of the best places to take a scooter and perform tricks, and almost seem like a half-pipe built just for scootering.

Benches, Street Lights and Traffic Barriers

Some of the most unique obstacles on which to perform tricks are benches and other street furniture. This might be streetlights, taxi stands, trashcans, or even memorials and public sculptures. Many of these offer odd shapes on which to perform tricks, or they might be obstacles over which to jump. Traffic barriers also offer a great place for tricks, but care needs to be kept to ensure that the area being blocked off is safe for scootering and doing tricks.

It can be easy to find obstacles on which to perform tricks when you take your scooter to the streets. Whether you stick with the classics of the stairs, rails, curbs and parking blocks or find more unique obstacles, you can have fun trying all different kinds of tricks. It is important to keep your safety in mind, in addition to any particular local laws regarding using these areas for tricks. You can also bring your own obstacles with you, such as chairs and boxes, to practice jumping over items.

photo credit: Steven Vance via photopin cc

Ohio Dreams Action Sports Summer Camp Provides Training For Going Big

Posted on: August 25th, 2014 by Pulse

Ohio Dreams Action Sports Summer Camp offers the perfect summer adventure for kids who want to learn more about extreme sports and train to become a professional one day. Located in Butler, Ohio, the camp features week-long camp sessions that teach different skills for extreme sports. Campers get to spend all day enjoying their sport under the watchful guidance of experts.

Ohio Dreams Sports

Camp Sessions

The week-long summer camp sessions at Ohio Dreams Action Sports Summer Camp are for children between the ages of 7 and 17. There are eight sessions throughout the summer months, and each session is limited to 100 campers. Keeping the sessions small ensures each camper receives plenty of time to learn with one-on-one training in his or her sport of choice. The camp has a five to one camper to counselor ratio, providing plenty of attention to each camper.

There is also a four-day session for adults to come and have a similar experience.

Activities

The main activity is the various extreme sports, including BMX racing and freestyle, skiing, snowboarding, scootering and skateboarding. The camp features 66 acres of activities, including indoor ramps, foam ramps, and trampolines, where campers spend most of their day learning and practicing their sport of choice. Examples of activities include learning how to grind rails over stairs, new tricks on indoor foam, or working on a trampoline.

The campers have sessions where they learn about the sport, and open sessions where they can practice what they have learned. Campers can concentrate on one sport, or they can participate in more than one. If campers are going to participate in more than one sport, they need to bring all equipment with them. The campers are taught by highly trained staff and visiting pros from sponsoring companies in the various sports.

In addition to the sports, the camp also features the famous Slip N’ Fly that is only open to people between the ages of 7 and 17 during camp. This is a long slide and ramp that leads into a pool. It plays a significant role in each session, and it features in the year-end Sports and Music Fest, where people over the age of 18 can play on it.

There is also free time, rest time, and time just to enjoy the pool during the day. Every evening, the campers also participate in a fun activity.

Amenities

The camp is located in the Mohican forest area in mid-Ohio, providing a beautiful atmosphere in which to stay and play. Campers stay in dorm style lodges. There is also a pro shop on the grounds, so if there are any equipment malfunctions, campers can get replacement parts so they can get right back into the action. There is also an Athlete Lounge that offers refreshments and a cool place to relax and watch videos between sessions.

End of Summer Bash

Every year, Ohio Dream Action Sports opens up the Slip N’ Fly to the public for a legendary bash that draws people from all over. There is music and opportunities to enjoy the Slip N’ Fly, but only for those over the age of 18. It is a fun way to say goodbye to another summer at the camp. This event is the only time the ramp is open to the public.

Ohio Dreams Action Sports Summer Camp offers a great experience filled with fun, adventure, and training. It provides a safe atmosphere to learn, and all staff members have gone through first aid training. Attending a session, or two, will help anyone become a better athlete in his or her chosen sport. For those hoping to one day turn pro, it offers a great opportunity to get one-on-one instruction from the pros to take their talent to the next level.

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A Look at the Origins of Scooters

Posted on: July 11th, 2014 by Pulse

how scooter evolve

The kick scooter originated more than 100 years ago, although it took almost a century for them to catch up to the popularity of similar personal transportation methods, such as the bicycle or skateboard. The earliest patents for scooters were submitted in 1921, but serious manufacturing of scooters did not begin until the late 1990s.

The Early Days of Scooters

The earliest kick scooters were typically hand-made by those living in industrial urban areas looking for another way to get around. Some versions of the early homemade scooters included using a roller skate wheel set on a board with a handle or an old box. Some people created their scooter out of two boards connected by a crude pivot to help turn the scooter. These scooters tended to be made of all wood, with three to four inch wheels with steel ball bearings. Another typical homemade kick scooter was made using a steel clamp roller skate attached to a wood beam.

Scooters begin to Improve

The lighter and more durable metal scooters with two small bicycle wheels attached became a popular mode of transpiration for children before bicycles caught on, but soon were overtaken in popularity by bicycles. These early scooters typically made with roller skates were four-wheeled, similar to skateboards. Although other wheel options have since been manufactured, there are still lines of four-wheeled scooters produced today. In 2000, the four-wheeled Wetzer Stickboard was produced by a Swiss company, which had a narrow skateboard attached to a foldable pole. In 2006, Nextsport produced four-wheeled scooters called the Fuzion. These four-wheeled models tended to be larger and heavier than the Razor and similar scooters, and some also added features to facilitate stunts and freestyling.

The Folding Scooter

The folding scooter debuted in 1996, and changed the scooter world. It was made from aluminum and featured inline skate wheels, providing a faster, easier and lighter scooter. The first version was made by Wim Ouboter from the Micro Mobility Systems in Switzerland known as the Micro Skate Scooter. Soon after, the Razor debuted, and in 1999, it caught on in Japan as a way to commute and quickly became popular around the world. Larger folding kick scooters have also been manufactured for adult commuters. These typically have more durable parts and feature a wider deck, larger wheels, and a hand brake.

Freestyle Scootering

With the invention of the lightweight folding scooter, the new sport of freestyle scootering began. Soon after, new versions of stunt scooters debuted, which include non-folding professional scooters that are stronger and made for doing stunts and using in half pipes.

BMX Scoot Debuts

BMX began manufacturing scooters in 1987, which they called Scoot. Although the manufacturing did not last long under BMX, other companies saw the draw, and began producing scooters. These scooters are often faster than a folding scooter and offer users more convenience than a utility bicycle in urban areas. Mountain Scooters also have been produced, which are made for off-road usage.

photo credit: Sheldon Hay

Chinese Farmer Converts Suitcases Into Scooters

Posted on: June 10th, 2014 by Pulse

Perhaps few fields are seeing more innovation and ingenuity than the field of transportation. Particularly as many urban areas become more heavily populated and gas prices continue to rise, many commuters are looking for ways to make their traveling needs as cost effective and environmentally friendly as possible. One man in China has shown that there is truly no end to the level of creativity that can go into finding modes of transportation. He has used a suitcase to construct a street ready scooter.

Farmer
   https://flic.kr/p/crGFWu

Building a Scooter Out Of a Suitcase

He Liang, the inventor of the motorized suitcase, is a farmer in China who hails from the Hunan region. He made a scooter out of one of his old suitcases, which means that in addition to being a means of getting from one destination to another, his unique vehicle serves as a way of storing important objects. This makes it extremely economical from a space saving perspective and also makes for a sleek and streamlined vehicle that ways in at just 16 pounds. Liang is reported to have spent an impressive ten years developing his suitcase scooter which features a navigation system. The scooter is powered by a small rotary switch on the vehicle’s handlebars, which are also quite small. The handle bars are also the location of a set of brakes.

The Suitcase Scooter as a Means of Transportation

Liang’s suitcase scooter may be as useful to him as it is eye-catching. He is able to take the suitcase for rides as fast as twenty miles per hour, which makes it an ideal vehicle for surface streets, even if the light weight contraption is not suitable for fast moving traffic. This is a wonderful invention for transportation in rural areas or even in heavily populated areas where drivers may simply never reach high speeds because of the amount of traffic on the roads. The suitcase can be used for many average weight adults, and may be able to carry even two less than average weight passengers.

An Idea That May Literally Take Off

If more people take note of the unusual scooter, Liang might have quite a successful business venture on his hands. He owns the patent to the design for the unique scooters and could soon find himself making custom scooters that may seem like they belong on a baggage carousel but which actually are perfectly suited for roads.

The Benefits of Scooter Riding In Today’s World

While many people may not have found quite as creative a way of getting from place to place, the use of scooters for commuting has certainly been on the rise for the past several years. Many people enjoy riding scooters because it provides them an opportunity to take part in an exhilarating recreational activity that allows them to fully take in their surroundings while on the way to work or school. People with demanding jobs may find that their schedules do not allow them as much free time to engage in recreational activities as they would like, and using a scooter to commute gives them the chance to multi-task by having fun while getting where they need to go. Many scooter riders also enjoy scooter commuting because of the immense savings they enjoy on fuel costs. Scooters require much less fuel than cars, and in an age where gas prices seem to be constantly on the rise, the use of a scooter even a couple of days a week can mean tremendous savings on the price of gas. Using less gas of course also means helping the environment.

5 Celebrities Who Love Extreme Sports

Posted on: June 5th, 2014 by Pulse

Extreme Sport

https://flic.kr/p/9KdE9P

 

Being a celebrity can be hard work. Between press junkets, time on the red carpet, and hours spent on set, some of the entertainment industry’s most successful stars have to find a way to burn off some steam. Many of these stars choose to unwind by indulging in their adrenaline junkie side. Here are five celebrities who love extreme sports.

1. Kate Hudson

The lovely daughter of stars Goldie Hawn and Kurt Russell and romantic comedy queen in her own right is more than just a leading lady. She is also a force to behold when it comes to hitting the slopes. The self-proclaimed adrenaline junkie loves to ski and has enjoyed taking on courses with jumps or steep slopes since she was seventeen years old. She has also dabbled in a number of other extreme sports, including shark diving and bungee jumping, but nothing compares to the passion she has for skiing.

2. Jack Osborne

The musician and son of famed Black Sabbath front man Ozzy Osborne may have struggled with being physically inactive in the past, but he is now constantly on the go and hungry to find new types of adventure. The young star is a licensed skydiver and also frequently bungee jumps as well as climbs mountains both in a climbing gym and outdoors. He loves any activity that allows him to go fast and get his heart racing. His quest for adventure has brought him all around the world, and he has run with the bulls in Spain, white water rafted in Africa, and run a 150 mile super marathon through the Sahara jungle – just to name a few of his impressive and exciting treks.

3. Richard Branson

The business mogul and owner of Virgin records and airlines has found many exhilarating ways to spend his fortune. Branson, in addition to being known as one of the best party hosts of the rich and famous, Branson seems to feel most at home when he is as far into the atmosphere as possible. Branson regularly skydives and base jumps and is constantly raising the bar in terms of ways in which he can seek an airborne thrill. Branson spends so much time in the air, that passengers on his airline may not be surprised to see the mogul flying by the window on one of their flights.

4. Gordon Ramsey

When he’s not crafting delicious food, he’s finding new ways to burn the calories in it. Celebrity chef Gordon Ramsey knows his way around a race course almost as well as a kitchen. He is a distance runner and likes to run races with his wife. He has run in the London marathon a number of times and is constantly in a state of preparing to run an extreme distance. Ramsey enjoys the physical and mental elements of running, and echoes the view of many runners that distance running is an extreme sport that encourages one to constantly push themselves to the limit.

5. Leonardo DiCaprio

Critically acclaimed leading man Leonardo DiCaprio may be known for his excellent acting, but he is also a formidable force on the race track. The actor has a passion for racing cars and races in Los Angeles and at tracks all over the world. Though he is not as avid of a scuba diver, DiCaprio did test his threshold for fear by going shark diving once, an activity that became more adrenaline inducing than he’d planned when DiCaprio’s cage was attacked by a deadly Great White shark. It seems as though Leo will be sticking to the wheel of a car the next time he craves adventure.

The Connection Between Children’s Heart Health And Exercise

Posted on: May 28th, 2014 by Pulse

children-heart-health

Many parents love to see their children exercise because of the many benefits that exercise and physical fitness offers to young people. Kids who exercise regularly have been shown to have higher self esteem and may have better focus at school and sleep better at night.

Another huge benefit of physical activity for kids is the high correlation between physical activity and juvenile heart health. Here are five heart healthy reasons to make sure your child is receiving the recommended hour a day of physical activity.

1. Exercise Has Been Shown to Increase Levels of HDL Cholesterol

Maintaining high levels of HDL plays a huge part in making sure that your child’s heart is healthy. While some people may associate cholesterol with negative heart health, the fact is that there are two different types of cholesterol.

HDL is often referred to as good cholesterol because in effect it keeps the body’s blood stream clean. HDL works to attack harmful cholesterol in the blood stream and helps lower instances of clogged arteries. Children who have higher levels of good cholesterol are much more likely to be healthy later in life and have a better chance of maintaining healthy cholesterol levels into adulthood.

2. Regular Exercise Maintains Weight

Physical fitness in children is very closely tied to their weight which, in turn, is directly related to heart health. Children who remain a healthy weight through out childhood are more likely to be fit as adults and are much less likely to suffer from conditions related to being overweight, which may include diabetes and hypertension.

In addition to being one of the key factors related to heart health, maintaining an ideal weight puts a child at much better odds for having a healthy self image.

3. Physical Fitness Helps Lower Blood Pressure

In addition to healthy cholesterol levels, a low blood pressure is tied to having good heart health. Children and adults with lower blood pressures put less strain on their cardiovascular systems. Like many other aspects of heart health, low blood pressure does matter as early as the beginning stages of childhood. Regular physical activity helps lower blood pressure and keeps weight regulated, which is also tied to having lower blood pressure.

4. Children With Good Heart Health Often Become Adults With Good Heart Health

Children who get into the habit of engaging in an hour of moderate to vigorous activity a day are much more likely to remain physically fit into adulthood. When children exercise frequently, they develop an enjoyment for a wide variety of physical activities and are less likely to view exercise as a chore as they get older.

This means that they are far more likely to benefit from exercise as they get older in many of the same ways that they do as children. A lifetime of eating well and exercising regularly greatly decreases odds of suffering from serious and even fatal diseases like heart disease.

5. Exercise Increases Endurance

When a child regularly engages in cardiovascular exercise, they build endurance, which allows them to continue exercising for longer intervals. This endurance is indicative of a healthy heart that is capable of supporting a child through increasingly longer and more difficult exercises.

In short, children who receive adequate levels of cardiovascular exercise generally become better athletes, which can yield a number of benefits that are mental as well as physical. Regular activity in young chidden puts them at much greater odds for becoming athletes and team players as adolescents and young adults. The benefits of these activities may include higher confidence and better grades as well as better leadership skills.

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5 Family Habits to Increase Health

Posted on: May 27th, 2014 by Pulse

healthy-family

Getting healthy may be the best thing that a person can do for themselves, but it is also much easier and more likely to happen when done in the context of a support system such as a family.  Families who practice good health together are much more likely to achieve fitness success and children who come from families who place an emphasis on good health have a higher chance of remaining health conscious well into adulthood. Here are five habits that you can become accustomed to that will keep your family fit and healthy.

  1. Cook Meals Together  Preparing meals is  wonderful chance for parents to help instill in their children and in themselves a connection between their food and the ingredients that go into it. Cooking meals also helps lower the amount of processed food that your family consumes and gets your whole family used to planning meals and being mindful of what they are eating. Is it also a wonderful way for the whole family to catch up with each other and to discuss one another’s weeks.
  2. Practice Electronics Free Days  It may not be realistic to expect your teens or yourself to go without their beloved phone all the time, but choosing one day a week or even on afternoon a week when the whole family agrees not to use the phone, computer, or television is a great way to encourage conversation as well as physical activities. No electronics days can be a wonderful chance to take a walk or a bike or scooter ride as a family or to head outside and use the basketball hoop for a game of HORSE.
  3. Walk or Ride Instead of Driving Some errands certainly require a car; it’s difficult enough to shop for an entire week of groceries, much less carry them home. There may be plenty of activities, however, that you and your family can run on foot or on a bike or scooter. Going to a friend’s birthday or getting dropped off at school can be a great way to get in some fun, recreation, and exercise while completing tasks that may otherwise be routine or mundane. Riding or walking to errands is a wonderful way to instill the habit of making regular exercise part of your day to day lives. It also helps kids get used to using alternative (more heart healthy) modes of transportation, and can be just as healthy on your wallet as it is on your body.
  4. Stay Hydrated Proper water intake is related to a number of health benefits. Water contains no calories, fat, or additives, making it the most naturally slimming beverage available. It also helps lower instances of headache and fatigue and may cut down on unnecessary snacking since the body may often mistake the signs of thirst with the signs of hunger. Drinking enough water also flushes toxins from the body and allows for optimal performance in physical activities.
  5. Turn Chores Into a Good Time the Whole Family Can Enjoy Sometimes getting enough physical activity can be as easy and simple as spending a day getting the house and yard into shape. Pulling weeds, pushing a lawn mower, and trimming hedges are all wonderful forms of exercise that can be great ways to encourage the whole family to contribute. Doing activities like washing the cars on a hot day is a great excuse to step into bathing suits and can get the whole family moving while saving cash by avoiding a professional car-wash. Even vacuuming and sweeping can easily become fun, heart friendly activities with the right attitude and music.

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Summertime Activities For The Whole Family

Posted on: April 30th, 2014 by Pulse

summer-family-activities

Summer time is many people’s favorite season for a number of reasons. The warm weather, days off school, and longer hours of sunlight are a perfect excuse to get the whole family outdoors. Whether you are home enjoying sometime as a family or on vacation together, there are plenty of wonderful summer time exercises that the whole family can enjoy together. Here are a few activities that the whole family can enjoy together this summer.

Camping

Camping is a wonderful way to enjoy one another’s company without the stress and distraction of day to day life. Camping, which is as inexpensive as it is fun, is a great way for kids to learn about nature and the environment. Different camp sites offer a number of different features. Some camping sites are less rustic than others an may include amenities like swimming pools or bike trails.

Other sites may have hiking trails or creeks that you and your family can make the most of. Camping is also a great way for kids to learn basic survival skills like how to start a fire. Camping is also a great way to cure insomnia.

Swimming

Swimming is a highly beneficial exercise. It is low impact, which means that everyone in the family can enjoy it, regardless of whether they have had any injuries.  Kids tend to love swimming for a variety of reasons: spending time at a local pool can be a great way to socialize as well as to play pool games and try perfecting their skills on the diving board. Swimming can also be done in a variety of settings, whether it is at a pool, lake or beach, it is always a good time for everyone.

Cycling and Scooter Riding

The best part of warm weather is being able to enjoy spending days and even nights outdoors. Cycling and riding are fun and adventurous activities that provide a healthy dose of physical activity and can be enjoyed by everyone from small children to parents.

Riding scooters also brings about the chance to explore a new or unfamiliar area or to take in parts of your hometown that you may not normally spend much time appreciating.

Baseball and Softball

summer-family-activities

America’s pastime is for more than just watching. The warm summer months are a perfect time to get out into the park and arrange a family game. Baseball is a sport that is enjoyed by athletes of all types and skill levels and is the perfect game to be played at a summer picnic or barbeque. Even if you don’t have access to an official field, you can set up a game at a block party or play catch in your very own backyard.

Kayaking and Canoeing

Those who enjoy both water sports and exploring the great outdoors are perfectly suited for kayaking. Kayaking and canoeing are activities that build upper body strength and offer plenty of excitement. Kayaking along a river or stream is an unusual way to truly experience all that an outdoor area has to offer. Some parks offer camping facilities where campers can dock their boats and head from site to site.

Beach Volleyball

Everyone likes spending a day at the beach on a hot summer day. Younger kids can build sandcastles and collect sea shells while older kids can take on boogie boarding or body surfing, and parents can enjoy some relaxing time with a book or magazine. One beach activity that the whole family can enjoy is beach volleyball, which offers plenty of chances to work as a team while working up a sweat and enjoying the feel of sand beneath your toes along with the sound of waves crashing.

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Cool Connection Between Exercise And Brain Power

Posted on: April 29th, 2014 by Pulse

brain-and-exercise

Many people may be well aware of the fact that exercise offers a wealth of wonderful benefits when it comes to physical fitness. Regular exercise helps regulate weight, builds muscle tone, and helps with the function of almost every major organ. Exercise has been shown to regulate hormones and to greatly decrease the odds of a number of serious diseases.

Did you know, however, that exercise also plays a major role in keeping your mind fit as a fiddle? It’s true! Physicians and psychologists almost universally agree that one of the factors to strong mental health and intelligence is regular exercise.

The Brain Benefits of Regular Exercise

You do not have to be a professional athlete to reap the benefits of exercise on your brain. In fact, it can take as little as three or four thirty minute cardio workouts a week for your brain to begin to benefit from what exercise has to offer. The benefits are indeed many. Regular exercise has been shown, for example, to increase your total energy levels.

This may seem somewhat counterintuitive that exerting energy actually only gives you more energy, but when you exercise, you help the synapses in your brain to connect better. You also release stabilizing hormones into your brain which help with feelings of alertness and well being. People who exercise experience much higher levels of focus and are able to retain much more information than their stagnant counterparts.

In addition to helping with mood regulation, energy, and focus, exercise actually helps with cognitive functioning. Studies have shown that people who exercise regularly perform better on test of logic and reasoning than those with similar IQs who do not exercise at all.

Cardiovascular Activity Changes the Way the Brain is Structured

The benefits of a regular exercise routine go way beyond the immediate future. Recent research suggests that steady levels of cardio actually change the way your brain is structured. This means that one of the best ways to preserve mental functioning and to avoid problems like memory loss and even dementia in older age is to begin a habit of regular physical activity as early in life as possible.

Many doctors agree that the more regularly a person is physically active, the greater their chances are for brain health later in life. Even those who have never exercised on a regular basis can see drastic changes in their cognitive functioning in very little time.

The Science Behind How Cardio Affects Your Brain

The reason scientists and medical professionals know for certain that cardio yields major brain benefits is that the way your body reacts to cardio clearly helps your brain. When you engage in cardio exercise, the extra blood that is pumping helps coat your brain’s cells in oxygen and glucose, which are essentially brain food, because brain cells need oxygen and glucose to perform.

In addition to the nourishing levels of oxygen and glucose that your brain receives, you also get beneficial effects from the moving of your muscles, which, of course, is an integral part of any cardio activity. As your muscles move, they release a number of hormones up to your brain. Once in your brain, these hormones join with a substance in your brain called BDNF.

This substance has many benefits and is related to mood regulation, thought processing, and the generation of new brain cells. The more BDNF that is present, the better your brain is equipped to make decisions or to help your thoughts and reasoning skills develop. Exercise is truly an indispensable activity for anyone who wants to have a happy heart, brain, and life.

photo credit: Liz Henry via photopin cc