2013-05-10 / Sports

Ken and Jen’s Fitness Forum

We’re Jen Font de Bon & Kenny Peña, certified trainers, spinning instructors and nutrition nuts from Suncycle Studios. Our goal is to help people reach theirs. We promote physical, mental and emotional health, aiding others in finding and maintaining a balanced lifestyle.

Exercises are important in maintaining a fit body and sharp mind. The following are things we can do to boost mood, memory, focus and mental acuteness.

 STAY ACTIVE. A fit mind begins with a fit body. Aerobic exercise raises the heart rate and increases blood oxygen flow to the brain. Engage in more intense cardiovascular exercise, such as indoor cycling or swimming, at least three times per week and go on daily walks to maintain a clear mind and promote new neuron growth.

 PROPER NUTRITION. The brain relies on healthy fats to support good cognitive function. Include foods with omega-3 fatty acids in your diet (i.e. salmon, olive oil, flaxseed oil) to improve concentration and focus. Also, make sure to get plenty of brightly colored fruits and veggies. These foods are rich in antioxidants and protect cells from free radical damage. Finally, limit your intake of refined sugars, which can lead to difficulty processing information, depression, and memory loss.

 BE CURIOUS. The more you flex your mind, the healthier it will be. Stay attentive, observe your surroundings with all five senses, and ask questions. Spend extra time thinking about things that you’d normally skim over.

 TRY SOMETHING NEW. Stray from your routine and do things outside of your comfort zone to improve brain activity and build new connections. Engage in a new hobby, take a different route to work, and try new foods to keep that spark in your mind. Up for a challenge? Learn a new language; it’s one of the most stimulating things you can do for your brain.

 PRACTICE RELAXATION. Go somewhere quiet, clear your mind and focus on deep breathing. Meditation reduces stress, increases memory retention and helps the brain to work more efficiently. Also, kick back with friends and family. Socializing in a relaxing environment helps keep an acute mind through old age.

 EXPAND YOUR MUSICAL HORIZONS. Listening to new music is rewarding for the brain and boosts “good-mood” chemicals in the body. Instead of playing that same old playlist, switch iPods with a friend and press shuffle.

 DAILY PUZZLES. Exercise your brain by doing puzzles daily. Puzzles make us better at problem solving and can help slow down age-related cognitive decline. Keep it challenging for maximum benefits by doing a variety of puzzles and continuously increasing the level.

 DON’T SKIMP ON SLEEP. When we sleep, short-term memory gets converted to long-term, so skimping on shut-eye can cause our brains to feel cluttered and fuzzy. Not enough sleep also lowers mental acuteness and makes us cranky. Get around eight hours per night to feel fresh during the day.

Questions, comments? E-mail us @ admin@suncyclestudios.com, call 718- 318-3410, or stop by Suncycle Studios, 137 Beach 116th Street, to talk in person.

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