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Archive for February, 2015

Habit Triggers, Krill Oil, and Eliminating Neck Pain (Sunday Reads #9)

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Welcome to Sunday Reads on Refocuser, a collection of weekly links from around the web to help you do incredible things.  These links span topics like creativity, performance, focus, exercise, nutrition, and positivity.  I’m posting this on Saturday this time to make sure email subscribers get this on Sunday.

Join thousands of other readers by subscribing to this blog and email newsletter or by following @Refocuser on Twitter.  If you’re receiving this in your email inbox, spread the love and forward it to a friend.

On Work/Life Balance, Anxiety, and Habits

A new study in the Journal of Marketing Research: “Emotions such as guilt about where time is being spent or fear over loss of income both generate stress, and make a person feel more pressed for time than they actually are.”  I’ve always been of the opinion that work/life balance and “lack of time” isn’t the problem, it’s the underlying feeling of trading off the things that matter most to you. Missing your daughter’s piano performance for a mind-numbing meeting evokes feelings of guilt and resentment regardless of how much time you’ve spent at work or with family.  So what do you do?  One tip from the study is to pause to breathe more often.

Being mindful about anxiety can help to reduce it.  “The solution isn’t identifying why you’re anxious in the first place (though that knowledge has its place), but recognizing the signs of anxiety before nervousness, panic and rapid breathing hijack your emotional wellness.”

Using quotations from others can help improve your self-talk.  For almost 15 years now, I’ve been working on my own self-talk as I realize how important it is to overall well-being.  Here’s one of my favorites from this list:

The only way to make sense of change is to plunge into it, move with it, and join in the dance. —Alan Watts

Great post by James Clear on habit triggers, something I’m a big proponent of.  Using Time and Location triggers have been instrumental in a number of my own personal habits, including a new one to “do at least 10 minutes of mobility work every day” thanks to Kelly Starrett’s new book, Ready to Run.

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Written by Mike Torres

February 28th, 2015 at 3:52 pm

Eating Organic, Deadlifting, and Smiling (Sunday Reads #8)

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Welcome to Sunday Reads on Refocuser, a collection of weekly links from around the web to help you do incredible things.  These links span topics like creativity, performance, focus, exercise, nutrition, and positivity.

Join thousands of other readers by subscribing to this blog and email newsletter or by following @Refocuser on Twitter.  If you’re receiving this in your email inbox, spread the love and forward it to a friend.

On Fitness, Food, Sleep, and Smiling

Are organic fruits and vegetables actually healthier and more nutritious?  The British Journal of Nutrition crunched data from 343 studies and found that organic fruits and vegetables deliver between 20-40% higher antioxidant activity and “lower cadmium concentrations and lower incidence of pesticide residues”.

“Researchers have found that a compound produced by the body when dieting or fasting can block a part of the immune system involved in several inflammatory disorders such as type 2 diabetes, atherosclerosis, and Alzheimer’s disease.”

Instead of a structured program focused on changing poor sleep habits and a nighttime routine, older adults improved sleep quality through mindfulness meditation.

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Written by Mike Torres

February 22nd, 2015 at 3:15 pm

Low-Fat Diets, Morning Routines, and Procrastination (Sunday Reads #7)

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Welcome to Sunday Reads on Refocuser, a collection of weekly links from around the web to help you do incredible things.  These links span topics like creativity, performance, focus, exercise, nutrition, and positivity.  I’m posting this on Saturday this time to make sure email subscribers get this on Sunday.

Join thousands of other readers by subscribing to this blog and email newsletter or by following @Refocuser on Twitter.  If you’re receiving this in your email inbox, spread the love and forward it to a friend.

On Food as Fuel and Athleticism

Not that this is a surprise to most of you, but the science behind low-fat diet advice was undercooked.  “An international team of health scientists has completed a systematic study of the evidence available back in the 1970s and ’80s and concluded that a relationship of causation between fat consumption and coronary heart disease was never established.”

The U.S. is also dropping it’s crusade against cholesterol.  Another example of how misled we’ve all been for so long.

The flavonoids in dark chocolate have anti-allergic, anti-inflammatory, anti-microbial, anti-cancer, and anti-diarrheal properties.  My favorite dark chocolate is Green & Blacks and I eat a cube or two every evening.

Is there a better way to become the ultimate athlete than the randomness of Crossfit?  Max Shank puts forth a dedicated system with programming to be as strong as a gymnast, as fast as a sprinter, and as flexible as a martial artist.

The Incredible Power of Sleep

If you want to reduce body-fat levels, insulin resistance, and systemic inflammation, you should sleep in a dark room and avoid blue light before you sleep.

This one is weird, but night owls tend to be more exploitive and entitled than early risers.

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Written by Mike Torres

February 14th, 2015 at 3:24 pm

Decision Making, Red Meat, and Immunity (Sunday Reads #6)

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Welcome to Sunday Reads on Refocuser, a collection of weekly links from around the web to help you do incredible things.  These links span topics like creativity, performance, focus, exercise, nutrition, and positivity.  I’m posting this on Saturday this time to make sure email subscribers get this on Sunday.

Join thousands of other readers by subscribing to this blog and email newsletter or by following @Refocuser on Twitter.  If you’re receiving this in your email inbox, spread the love and forward it to a friend.

On Brain Stuff and Careers

The kind of instinctive decision-making advocated in best-selling popular psychology books like ‘Nudge’, ‘Thinking Fast and Slow’ and ‘Blink’ is not backed up by reliable evidence, a study concludes.  My view is that inaction is almost always worse than wrong action.

What is the #1 predictor of career success?  Having an open network vs. a closed network.  In a closed network you’re surrounded by people with the same ideas and beliefs as yours, while in an open network you’re challenging one another.  So surround yourself with people who don’t think like you do.

A study on musical training “adds to mounting evidence that musical training not only gives young developing brains a cognitive boost, but those neural enhancements extend across the lifespan into old age when the brain needs it most to counteract cognitive decline.”

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Written by Mike Torres

February 7th, 2015 at 8:51 am

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