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11 Brain-Boosting Smoothies

Brain health you can blend

You can do crosswords and Sudoku puzzles until your hand hurts, but all that brain-busting work will go to waste if you don’t fuel your thinker with the right nutrients. When you eat for your brain, you will think more clearly and efficiently, says Daniel Amen, MD, author of Unleash The Power Of The Female Brain.

The following smoothies are packed with foods that help boost blood flow, stabilize blood sugar, and neutralize free-radical damage—all important for optimal brain health. Check out all 11 recipes now!

Brain health you can blend

Banana-Coconut Smoothie

Coconut is low in natural sugars, and high in fiber, manganese, and nature’s richest source of medium-chain triglycerides, says Dr. Amen. Medium-chain triglycerides are converted into a stable source of fuel for your brain during periods of low blood sugar, and can even help with memory loss.

Banana-Coconut Smoothie

SERVINGS: 1

INGREDIENTS:

1 cup milk (hemp almond, rice, or organic 1% cow’s milk)
1 frozen banana, slightly thawed
1 scoop protein powder
2 Tbsp unsweetened coconut

METHOD: Combine all ingredients in a blender, and blend well.

NUTRITION (per serving) 365 cal, 30 g pro, 46 g carb, 5 g fiber, 9.8 g fat, 7 g sat fat, 137 mg sodium


Anti-Inflammatory Smoothie

Inflammation is just as bad for your brain as it is for your body. Chia seeds are high in omega-3 fatty acids, which experts believe are necessary for transmitting signals between brain cells. Blueberries and raspberries are also known for encouraging healthy connections between the cells of the brain.

Anti-Inflammatory Smoothie

SERVINGS: 1

INGREDIENTS:

1/2 cup blueberries
1/2 cup raspberries
1/2 small banana, peeled and frozen
1/4 cup diced pineapple
2 Tbsp chia seeds
3 ice cubes
1/2 cup pomegranate juice
1 serving whey protein powder (vanilla)

METHOD:

1. COMBINE all the ingredients except the protein powder in a blender, and blend at high speed until smooth.
2. ADD the protein powder and lightly blend until incorporated.

NUTRITION (per serving) 380 cal, 24 g pro, 67 g carb, 14 g fiber, 4.4 g fat, 1.1 g sat fat, 59 mg sodium

 


Dopamine Delight Smoothie

Dopamine is a neurotransmitter involved in motivation, emotion, and pleasure, and it’s easily boosted by a healthy serving of protein—found here in the form of protein powder and soy milk. Chia seeds keep your blood sugar steady, says Dr. Amen, while a moderate amount of caffeine will keep you focused. Mix up this smoothie when you really need to get things done!

Dopamine Delight Smoothie

SERVINGS: 1

INGREDIENTS:

1/2 cup small banana, peeled and frozen
1 Tbsp chia seeds
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
3/4 cup soy milk (vanilla or plain)
1 double shot (approximately 1/2 cup) organic espresso
1 serving whey protein powder (vanilla)

METHOD:

1. COMBINE all the ingredients except the protein powder in a blender, and blend on high speed until smooth.
2. ADD the protein powder and lightly blend until incorporated.

NUTRITION (per serving) 383 cal, 24 g pro, 31 g carb, 3 g fiber, 18.6 g fat, 2.8 g sat fat, 143 mg sodium


Pomegranate-Strawberry Smoothie

Fiber helps regulate blood sugar. And since glucose is your brain’s chief source of energy, it’s important to keep those levels steady, says Dr. Amen. This low-cal smoothie is full of fiber, along with other brain-friendly antioxidants.

Pomegranate-Strawberry Smoothie

SERVINGS: 1

INGREDIENTS:

1/3 cup pomegranate juice
2 tsp raw honey
3/4 cup frozen unsweetened strawberries
2 Tbsp fat-free plain yogurt
1 Tbsp flaxseed oil
4 ice cubes

METHOD:

1. WHISK pomegranate juice and honey in a small cup to dissolve the honey completely.
2. COMBINE the strawberries, yogurt, oil, ice cubes, and pomegranate mixture in a blender.
3. PROCESS for 1 to 2 minutes, or until thick and smooth. Pour into a glass.

NUTRITION (per serving) 262 cal, 3 g pro, 35 g carb, 3 g fiber, 14 g fat, 1.3 g sat fat, 31 mg sodium


Blueberry Beet Almond Smoothie

Beets are high in fiber, phytonutrients, folate, beta carotene, and natural nitrates that increase blood flow to the brain.

Blueberry Beet Almond Smoothie

SERVINGS: 1

INGREDIENTS:

1/2 cup unsweetened carrot juice
1/2 cup frozen or fresh blueberries
1/2 cup peeled and grated raw beet
1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
1/2 cup unsalted raw whole almonds
1/2 cup ice cubes
1/2 tsp fresh lime juice
dash of ground ginger

METHOD: Combine all ingredients in a blender, and blend until smooth and creamy. Serve immediately.

NUTRITION (per serving) 325 cal, 10 g pro, 35 g carb, 8 g fiber, 18.9 g fat, 1.5 g sat fat, 65 mg sodium


Mango-Avocado Smoothie

Avocados are rich in vitamin E, which has been shown to help reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s disease. The spinach offers up brain-supporting omega-3s and also help replenish your iron supply

Mango-Avocado Smoothie

SERVINGS: 1

INGREDIENTS:

1/2 fresh mango
1 cup fresh spinach
1 cup chilled low-fat vanilla soymilk
1/4 avocado
5 tsp agave nectar

METHOD: Puree all ingredients in a blender until smooth, 1 to 2 minutes.

NUTRITION (per serving) 304 cal, 8 g pro, 57 g carb, 6 g fiber, 7.5 g fat, 0.8 g sat fat, 145 mg sodium


Almond, Blueberry, and Banana Smoothie

Blueberries are packed with antioxidants that protect brain cells from free-radical damage. Mineral-rich raw honey and iron-packed kale round out the brain-boosting power of this smoothie.

Almond, Blueberry, and Banana Smoothie

SERVINGS: 1

INGREDIENTS:

1½ cups plain unsweetened almond milk
3/4 of a medium frozen banana
1 cup frozen or fresh blueberries
1 cup chopped kale
5 unsalted whole almonds
2 teaspoons raw honey

METHOD: Puree all ingredients in a blender until smooth, 1 to 2 minutes.

NUTRITION (per serving) 323 cal, 7 g pro, 60 g carb, 10 g fiber, 9.7 g fat, 0.4 g sat fat, 300 mg sodium


Green Tea and Blueberry Smoothie

Besides containing antioxidants, green tea also has theanine, an amino acid that helps you focus and relax at the same time, says Dr. Amen. The honey contains all 22 essential amino acids, which provide the building blocks of protein for brain cells.

Green Tea and Blueberry Smoothie

SERVINGS: 2

INGREDIENTS:

3 Tbsp water
1 green tea bag
2 tsp raw honey
1½ cups frozen blueberries
1/2 medium banana
3/4 cup calcium-fortified light vanilla soy milk

METHOD:

1. MICROWAVE water on high until steaming hot.
2. ADD tea bag and let step for 3 minutes. Remove tea bag.
3. STIR honey into tea until dissolved.
4. BLEND all ingredients (including the tea) on the highest setting until smooth.

NUTRITION (per serving) 125 cal, 1.8 g pro, 29 g carb, 4 g fiber, 1.3 g fat, 0.2 g sat fat, 32 mg sodium


Almond Smoothie

Almonds are full of dopamine and protein, giving you a boost of motivation and focus, Dr. Amen says. The ground ginger helps support a robust metabolism, while the cinnamon works to keep your blood sugar steady.

Almond Smoothie

SERVINGS: 1

INGREDIENTS:

1 small frozen banana, sliced
3/4 cup kale, slightly packed, stems removed
3/4 cup almond milk
3/4 Tbsp almond butter
1/8 tsp cinnamon
1/8 tsp nutmeg
1/8 tsp ground ginger

METHOD: Combine all ingredients in a blender, and blend until smooth.

NUTRITION (per serving) 236 cal, 5.4 g pro, 37 g carb, 5 g fiber, 9.7 g fat, 0.9 g sat fat, 185 mg sodium


Winter Greens Smoothie

A Harvard Medical School study of more than 13,000 women found that those who ate the most cruciferous veggies (like the spinach, kale, and broccoli in this smoothie) lowered their brain age by 1 to 2 years.

Winter Greens Smoothie

SERVINGS: 2

INGREDIENTS:

1/4 cup carrot juice
1/2 cup orange juice
1 cup spinach
1 cup roughly chopped kale, ribs removed
4 small broccoli florets, sliced and frozen
1 banana, peeled, sliced and frozen
1 apple, cored and roughly chopped

METHOD: Combine all ingredients in blender, and blend until smooth.

NUTRITION (per serving) 258 cal, 5 g pro, 63 g carb, 8 g fiber, 1.3 g fat, 0.3 g sat fat, 76.3 mg sodium


Green Goddess Smoothie

You’ll get a kick of brain-healthy antioxidants and iron from the baby spinach, vitamin E from the avocado, and fiber from the kiwi.

Green Goddess Smoothie

SERVINGS: 1

INGREDIENTS:

1 cup baby spinach
1 cup cucumber chunks
1/2 avocado, halved, pitted, and peeled
1 large kiwifruit, peeled and chopped
1/2 cup frozen kefir or low-fat vanilla frozen yogurt
1/2 cup fresh orange or tangerine juice
1/4 cup mint leaves

METHOD: Blend all ingredients and enjoy!

NUTRITION (per serving) 188 cal, 5 g pro, 29 g carb, 6 g fiber, 7.7 g fat, 1.2 g sat fat, 57 mg sodium

CONCLUSION:

Sip your way smarter with these yummy recipes 🙂

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Posted by on August 18, 2014 in 2014, Lifestyle

 

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10 Best Essential Oils for Women’s Health

Essential oils have made a difference in women’s health for centuries and, whether you realize it or not, they are all around us. When you walk through a field of flowers, enjoy the shade of a tree or squeeze the juice from a citrus fruit, you’re enjoying the benefits of essential oils. They are found in plants, roots, seeds, flowers, bark and fruit.

Consult this guide for the 10 best essential oils for women’s health, and tips on how to incorporate them into your everyday life. You’ll also want to be sure to familiarize yourself with the oil you use and make sure the oil is safe for consumption or topical application. Here are our picks for the best essential oils for women.

10 Best Essential Oils for Women's Health | Henry Happened

1. CLARY SAGE

  • anti-depressant
  • soothing properties
  • beneficial during women’s menstrual cycles and mood swings, eases discomfort

Everyday use: You can add a few drops into an epsom-salt bath or, if the oil is labeled safe for topical use, you can massage a few drops directly onto your abdomen to ease cramps and discomfort.

2. LEMON

  • energizing and de-stressing properties
  • wonderful for cleaning and cooking

Everyday use: I add a drop of lemon essential oil into a glass of cold water each day. It is so refreshing, and I believe it is the reason I have been able to stay so healthy the last few months.

3. LAVENDER

  • reduces stress and calms nerves
  • helps with sleeping problems
  • aids with skin irritations

Everyday use: This is probably the most-used oil in our home. We diffuse it aromatically before bedtime, add it to our baths, and apply it to the soles of our feet before bed.

4. GERANIUM

  • balances oil
  • aids with skin irritation
  • conditions skin

Everyday use: Add a drop to your facial or body moisturizer, and to your shampoo or conditioner to help balance oil production and moisturize your skin.

5. BASIL

  • soothes sore and tired muscles
  • can be used in cooking
  • helps memory function and focus
  • soothes insect bites

Everyday use: Apply directly to an insect bite or sting, and if you are feeling sore from an extra hard workout, add a few drops into a massage oil and massage tired muscles.

6. WILD ORANGE

  • invigorating, mood lifter

Everyday use: Add a few drops into your body scrub and feel refreshed and awake as you step out of the shower each day.

7. OREGANO

  • purifying
  • boosts immunity
  • helps with digestive and respiratory function

Everyday use: You can diffuse oregano aromatically to purify the air, or add a drop into a teaspoon of honey to soothe a sore throat.

8. MELALEUCA (TEA TREE)

  • contributes to healthy skin and nails
  • antibacterial

Everyday use: Add a few drops to your laundry detergent for its antibacterial benefits.

9. FRANKINCENSE

  • mood lifter
  • helps with skin injuries and irritation

Everyday use: Add a drop to your moisturizer if you have sensitive skin or diffuse it aromatically for a boost in mood.

10. GINGER

  • aids digestion
  • helps eliminate motion sickness, nausea
  • alleviates joint discomfort

Everyday use: Apply a drop to the bottom of your feet after a meal to help aid digestion, or add a drop to a glass of water to take internally.

 
 

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The Story of Tea [Infographic]

Check out this cool infographic, which depicts the story of tea. Consumption of tea will improve your quality of life and your health. Tea helps you to protect against Cancer.

Wish to know more about the story of tea. Then, have a sip of tea and continue reading this wonderful infographic…

 
 

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9 Breakfasts That Jump-Start Your Brain

There’s no getting around the fact that you have to eat breakfast. That is, if you want to maintain a healthy weight, shed pounds, or simply have enough energy to make it to lunch. So why not make your morning meal count even more by choosing these mind-sharpening meals from the book Brainpower Game Plan?

The plan incorporates foods shown to keep brain cells healthy and stave off age-related cognitive decline, including berries, nuts, olive oil, veggies, fish, and more—all power nutrients that will keep your whole body well, too.

In this article, we are going to learn to make breakfast better. Morning meals will give your brain a boost.

Yogurt Parfait

Plain yogurt gets smarter when you top it with walnuts (a good source of brain-saving omega-3s) and berries (one of the most concentrated sources of antioxidants). Protein from the yogurt, combined with fiber and whole grains from shredded wheat squares and high-fiber cereal, gets digested slowly for steady energy (and better concentration) all morning long.

Yogurt Parfait

SERVINGS: 1

INGREDIENTS:

¾ c low-fat plain yogurt
½ c shredded wheat squares
¼ c high-fiber cereal
1 Tbsp chopped walnuts
¼ banana, sliced
¼ c berries

METHOD: LAYER all ingredients in a bowl and eat immediately.

NUTRITION (per serving): 336 cal, 16 g pro, 59 g carb, 10 g fiber, 9 g fat, 2.5 g sat fat, 159 mg sodium


Egg Sandwich

Fried eggs become healthier when you cook them with a brain food like olive oil; tomatoes, spinach, and an apple on the side round out the meal with important antioxidants.

Egg Sandwich

SERVINGS: 1

INGREDIENTS:

1 egg
1 tsp olive oil
1 whole wheat English muffin
1 slice reduced-fat Swiss cheese
1 slice tomato
3 baby spinach leaves
1 sm apple

METHOD:

1. FRY 1 egg in olive oil.
2. FILL English muffin with cheese, tomato, spinach, and fried egg.
3. SERVE with apple.

NUTRITION (per serving): 360 cal, 20 g pro, 50 g carb, 9 g fiber, 22 g sugars, 12 g fat, 4 g sat fat, 350 mg sodium


Berry-Banana Smoothie with Toast

A quickie breakfast for busy women; you can even whip up this smoothie the night before so it’s ready when you walk out the door. Packed with antioxidants, omega-3s in flaxseed, and fiber from fruits and whole grains, this breakfast will help you stay sharp—and full—until lunch.

Berry-Banana Smoothie with Toast

SERVINGS: 1

INGREDIENTS:

8 oz fat-free milk
½ c frozen berries
½ banana, sliced and divided
1 Tbsp ground flaxseed
⅓ c high-fiber cereal
1 slice whole wheat toast
¼ c regular or no-salt-added 1% cottage cheese
Dash cinnamon

METHOD:

BLEND milk with berries, ¼ banana, flax seed, and cereal.
SERVE with topped with cottage cheese; ¼ banana, and cinnamon.

NUTRITION (per serving) 361 cal, 23 g pro, 64 g carb, 17 g fiber, 6.5 g fat, 1.5 g sat fat, 597 mg sodium


Cereal with Peaches and Milk

Shake up a blah bowl of cereal with pumpkin seeds and sliced peaches, good sources of vitamin E, healthy fats, fiber, and antioxidants.

Cereal with Peaches and Milk

SERVINGS: 1

INGREDIENTS:

¾ c whole grain cereal
½ c high-fiber cereal
4 tsp pumpkin seeds
1 med peach, sliced
8 oz fat-free milk

METHOD:

1. MIX cereals together.
2. TOP with pumpkin seeds, peach, and milk.

NUTRITION (per serving) 348 cal, 18 g pro, 75 g carb, 21 g fiber, 6.5 g fat, 1 g sat fat, 248 mg sodium


Homemade Muesli

Adding raisins, apples, and almonds to plain oats provides a tastier and more satisfying texture, not to mention a great source of brain-boosting flavonoids and vitamin E.

Homemade Muesli

SERVINGS: 1

INGREDIENTS:

½ c raw oats
2 Tbsp raisins
¼ c chopped apple
1 Tbsp slivered almonds (or 6 almonds, chopped)
4 oz low-fat plain yogurt
2 oz fat-free milk
½ tsp brown sugar or honey (if desired)

METHOD: MIX ingredients together and eat immediately.

NUTRITION (per serving) 361 cal, 17 g pro, 57 g carb, 6 g fiber, 8.5 g fat, 2 g sat fat, 114 mg sodium


Lox Toast

Salmon is one of the best sources of omega-3 fatty acids, which experts think make brain cells communicate with each other better. Use it, along with cottage cheese, to top whole-grain toast for a filling, fiber- and protein-rich meal.

Lox Toast

SERVINGS: 1

INGREDIENTS:

2 slices whole wheat toast
¼ c regular or no-salt-added 1% cottage cheese (whipped or regular)
2 slices red onion
2 oz smoked salmon
1 med orange or 6 oz orange juice

METHOD:

1. TOP toast with cottage cheese, onion, and salmon.
2. SERVE with orange or orange juice.

NUTRITION (per serving) 338 cal, 24 g pro, 52 g carb, 9 g fiber, 4.5 g fat, 1 g sat fat, 523 mg sodium


Breakfast Quesadilla

Feta cheese and salsa flavor this healthy egg wrap. Healthy fats from olive oil and antioxidants in the salsa provide a brain-healthy ingredients; filling fiber from the wrap and protein from the yogurt will help you avoid mid-morning cravings.

Breakfast Quesadilla

SERVINGS: 1

INGREDIENTS:

1 egg
2 egg whites
1 tsp olive oil
1 8-inch whole wheat tortilla
¼ c crumbled reduced-fat feta cheese
2 Tbsp low-fat plain yogurt
¼ c salsa
4 oz black currant juice or orange juice.

METHOD:

1. SCRAMBLE egg and egg whites in olive oil.
2. FILL tortilla with feta and eggs. Fold in half and microwave (or heat in a skillet) until cheese melts.
3. TOP with yogurt and salsa.
4. SERVE with black currant juice or orange juice.

NUTRITION (per serving) 352 cal, 23 g pro, 35 g carb, 5 g fiber, 15 g fat, 5 g sat fat, 590 mg sodium


Pumpkin Yogurt Crunch

This yogurt is anything but vanilla! Pumpkin, pear, honey, and walnuts meld for a tangy-sweet, crunchy flavor. Even better, this tasty mix of omega-3s and antioxidants will help your brain cells stay young and pliable.

Pumpkin Yogurt Crunch

SERVINGS: 1

INGREDIENTS:

¼ c canned pumpkin
1 sm pear, chopped and divided
1 tsp honey
¾ c low-fat plain yogurt
½ c Kashi GoLean cereal
1 Tbsp walnuts, chopped

METHOD:

1. STIR pumpkin; ½ pear, and honey into yogurt.
2. TOP with cereal, walnuts, and remaining ½ half pear.

NUTRITION (per serving) 362 cal, 19 g pro, 61 g carb, 12 g fiber, 8.5 g fat, 2.5 g sat fat, 177 mg sodium


Waffle Parfait

Skip the syrup and top this breakfast favorite with brain-boosting berries, yogurt, and flax seed instead. It’s healthy, yummy, and a great weekend meal for the whole family.

Waffle Parfait

SERVINGS: 1

INGREDIENTS:

2 whole grain waffles
½ c frozen berries (thawed)
½ c low-fat plain yogurt
2 tsp ground flaxseed

METHOD: TOP waffles with berries, yogurt, and flax seed.

NUTRITION (per serving) 367 cal, 24 g pro, 44 g carb, 6 g fiber, 11.5 g fat, 3.5 g sat fat, 367 mg sodium

 
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Posted by on August 17, 2014 in Lifestyle

 

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10 Tips for Better Sleep [Infographic]

A good night’s sleep is critical to anyone’s health. As the seasons transition, so do sleep patterns. Summer means kids are out of school, adults are taking days off from work to enjoy much needed vacations, the days are longer and everyones traveling, so it’s easy to miss out on sleep.

Here are 10 easy tips that you can easily implement to ensure you’re well rested, healthy, and ready to take on the world!

10 Tips for Better Sleep  Infographic

This infographic was shared by SignatureMD.

 
 

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Office Fitness: Stand Up For Health & Turn Your Desk Into A Gym

“Sitting is the new smoking,” has become a catch phrase suddenly being espoused by a fast growing number of medical experts around the world. There is plenty of evidence to support the claims that our chair-oriented sedentary lifestyle is taking huge tolls on both our health and our economic productivity, and it’s probably even truer for the deskbound office worker or exec than the couch surfer due to the nonstop hours at our computers. Between cars, couches and desks, Americans spend about half their lives sitting – and that does not include sleeping.

Fortunately it is very easy to improve the healthfulness of your workspace, whether it’s located in a corporate setting or at home. In fact, I am doing it right now as I type these words.

Office worker at stand-up desk

The World Health Organization identified physical inactivity as the fourth biggest killer on the planet – ahead of obesity. In addition to the obvious back and neck problems affiliated with sitting at computers all day, substantial evidence has linked sitting to everything from cancer to heart disease, diabetes to depression, and like smoking, it harms you even if you get exercise when not doing it.

Or to put it in the simplest terms, “The chair is out to kill us,” as James Levine, an endocrinologist at the Mayo Graduate School of Medicine, told the LA Times. A study cited by the Times from the Center for Personalized Health Care at Ohio State University’s Wexner Medical Center calculated that every hour spent sitting shortens our life by 22 minutes – twice as much as smoking a cigarette. Numerous studies done in the US, Canada, Australia and Britain have all confirmed the same thing – sitting exacts a huge health toll on us individually and as a society. Evidence is so rampant that the related conditions have been coined “Sitting disease” and “Silicon Valley disease.” According to British studies cited in the Daily Mirror, the cost to the UK economy just in sick days due to sitting-related back, neck and muscle problems costs the country around $1.7 billion annually.

Because of the direct costs associated with sitting, more and more companies are offering employees the option of using a stand-up desk, a recently created invention that typically raises and lowers the workspace so office workers can alternate between sitting and standing while still working. According to leading manufacturer VARIDESK, Denmark just became the first country to make the workplace choice mandatory. It’s the adjustable feature that makes stand-up desks new – fans of the concept love to cite evidence that everyone from Thomas Jefferson to Hemingway and Victor Hugo to DaVinci used permanent stand up desks to do their best work.

I was offered the opportunity to test one of VARIDESK’s models in my home office, and have been using it for just over a month, and frankly, I love it. I’m certainly the target audience – I travel a lot, but when I am home, I am often at my desk for 12 plus hours a day, including lunch, which I eat while sitting – or now, while standing (experts will tell you eating at your desk is another bad health habit, so shame on me). Because I do exercise a lot and am very active, I don’t suffer from back pain or many of the other office bound complaints, so I can’t comment on how standing affects those, but as a longtime runner and cyclist I can definitely attest that I feel work going on in my leg muscles, which has to be better than the no work I feel while sitting, and I am eagerly looking forward to ski season because I believe the standing will make a marked improvement in my ski endurance, which also largely involved standing. My posture is definitely better while standing – and since standing. While I have only been at it for four weeks, my yoga teacher remarked twice in the past week – with marvel – that my long-term shoulder hunch, a classic typing condition, has disappeared and that my neck is straighter. This is after nearly ten years of yoga with her. The first day I used the VARIDESK I stood for about an hour before my calves complained and I sat back down. In less than two weeks I was spending more than half the day on my feet, and I now typically stand all morning and into the early afternoon. As I said, I’m standing right now, and I would heartily recommend the concept to anyone I know. Some desk jockeys have taken it a step further and added treadmills or stationary bikes to the stand-up lifestyle but for most, just standing intermittently will be a huge improvement over sitting all the time.

But not all standing desks are equal. My wife’s employer, a major, venerable and very well endowed higher education institution, offered her a standing desk but used a variant on what’s become known as the “Ikea standing desk hack.” Numerous plans are offered online to cobble together your own standing desk with off the shelf parts from Ikea (or other housewares stores) for between $22-$80 depending on the author. The problem with most of these, including my wife’s, is that like throwbacks to DaVinci, they don’t go down. Once you are up, you are up forever, and most people do need to sit for some portion of their hour work day. My wife’s solution, hardly ideal, is to use her desktop PC while standing and switch to her laptop when sitting.

Vardiesk stand-up desk

It’s much, much better if the desk goes up and down. The biggest barriers to stand-up entry are cost and commitment. Most quality standing desks run into the four figures, and models adding a treadmill can top $4,000. The top pick of my favorite critical gear testing site, TheWireCutter.com, the NextDesk Terra, “starts at $1,500.” Many of these pricier models use electronics to raise and lower the desk which, while convenient (unless they break), seems like overkill given that mechanical systems with hydraulics or hinges work just as quickly and easily and seem bulletproof in their design. After all, many office chairs are adjustable but how many are electronically adjustable?

In addition, all standalone stand-up desks are replacements that require you to chuck your existing desk, which is a one-time hassle and a long term annoyance if you happen to really like your desk.

What I love about the VARIDESK solution is that it offers the full up and down flexibility you need in a standing desk with a low price point and easy adoption. Instead of an actual desk, it is sort of pedestal base that goes right on top of your existing desk, under your computer, adding about three inches of height when down. It raises and lowers very quickly and easily with heavy duty steel accordion hinges, offering a lot of variable height options. The model I’m using is the VARIDESK Pro Plus, which has a separate and more ergonomic keyboard shelf in front at a different height, and can accommodate two monitors simultaneously, perfect for stock traders, or a regular monitor and a laptop. It is very rugged and well-designed, took me less than 10 minutes to fully install by myself, and runs just $350 – making it the most expensive of the company’s four models.

There are a couple of minor caveats. Whatever standing desk solution you choose, I would definitely also add an anti-fatigue floor mat. VARIDESK’s is $50 and kitchen supply stores also sell them for stove bound professional chefs. The model I am using works better if you have all your cords long enough and organized enough so that the monitor can easily move around independently of the actual computer (not an issue with a laptop). You have to be careful about cords, especially the mouse, because the moving parts, the hinges, are heavy duty and will trash anything that gets caught in them (they are well concealed from fingers). But I’ve yet to actually harm any cords, and overall, the unit works just great and in terms of value it is almost impossible to beat. But however you go stand up, I emphatically suggest going stand-up.

 
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Posted by on August 15, 2014 in Lifestyle, Technology

 

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Your Brain on Exercise

Exercise helps you to stay healthy. It is not only good for your health but also helps you to keep your grey matter fit and healthy. Studies suggests that physical activity is especially important for youth’s developing brains. Exercise has both physical and mental benefits.

Not only do regular workouts help improve your looks and make you feel great, but studies show exercise also benefits the brain in a multitude of ways.

Fix had created an excellent infographic, and hope this helps you to stay healthy – both physically and mentally.

 
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Posted by on August 12, 2014 in Infographic, Lifestyle

 

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