The science of fitness — from a very fit scientist


Noted researcher Dr. Paul Arciero has devoted his career to helping people get more active and eat more natural, healthier foods.

Naturally, it all started in the dirt of a community garden.

“Some of my fondest childhood memories come from tending that garden with my mother,” Arciero said, recalling the hot summers harvesting in rural Connecticut. “Going there with her, tending to the earth, getting dirty – that was my introduction to healthy nourishment.”

He’s made the most of that early lesson, spending 25 years at Skidmore College in Saratoga Springs, New York, where he is a professor of nutrition and exercise science and director of the Human Nutrition & Metabolism Laboratory.

Arciero has published over 50 peer-reviewed scientific journals, but his education in the world of healthy living didn’t all come from the classroom or the laboratory.

Paul Arciero (left) with his brother, John. (Photo courtesy of Paul Arciero)

Paul Arciero (left) with his brother, John. (Photo courtesy of Paul Arciero)

He was also a top tennis player as a youth, in college – and even in recent years, when he and his brother John were ranked No. 12 in the United States Men’s 50 & Over Doubles. Arciero is also a triathlete who has coached hockey and tennis, among other athletic feats.

“My research has examined and explored the lifestyle strategies of physical activity and exercise training, combined with healthy eating,” he said. “It’s based on human science, not computer science. Having an understanding of the human experience is something I pride myself on.”

An important part of that experience has been family.

Arciero, the fifth of seven children, grew up gathering around for healthy meals and excelling in sports at school.

“My mother was ahead of her time, knowing that eating well is linked to how you feel and how you are,” he said.

In college at Central Connecticut State University in New Britain, Connecticut, Arciero and his brother John were on a three-month tour with the European Satellite Tennis Circuit when his interests in exercise, nutrition and academia all snapped together.

“John helped me develop the ability to be more appreciating and conscious of the power of your mind,” Arciero said. “He was a tipping point of understanding my intellect.”

From there, Arciero went on to receive two masters of science degrees, from Purdue University and the University of Vermont. He earned a doctorate from Springfield College and completed a postdoctoral fellowship at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, Missouri.

The key themes of fitness and family continue with some of Arciero’s latest work as well. He recently developed a new app, with help from his son Nick, a developer and coder. The GenioFit app lets you know what you should eat when, and when you should exercise, Arciero said. He leads exercise videos in the app, as well as guided meditations.

“GenioFit embraces all the fundamental premises and mission of the research I’ve done, the organizations I represent, and who I am,” Arciero said. “It’s imperative that we engage in lifestyle strategies that engage healthy eating and exercise. There’s a synergy that lets us derive a significantly greater benefit when the two are together.”

When he’s not at work, Arciero can often be found – naturally – working with his wife Karen in the large garden in his yard that helps feed them and their three sons.

Source: news.heart.org ~ By AMERICAN HEART ASSOCIATION NEWS

7 Habits of a Happy Brain


1. Remember that you have power to build new pathways in your brain. (But it takes more persistence and courage than you may expect, because your old pathways are already well developed and connected to your pleasure and pain centers.)

2. Remind yourself that your frustrations are just electricity flowing down the path of least resistance in your brain. (You can give your electricity a new place to flow if you focus on a positive new choice every day for 45 days without fail.)

3. You can turn on the excitement of dopamine by taking a step toward an expected reward. (Of course rewards are unpredictable in the real world, but you can always adjust your expectations and take another step.)

4. You can enjoy the safe feeling of oxytocin by taking small steps toward social trust, often. (The mammal brain rewards you with a good feeling when you create social trust, but it makes careful choices because it’s not always safe to trust.)

5. You can stimulate the nice feeling of serotonin by focusing on what you have instead of what you lack. (The mammal brain makes social comparisons because that promotes survival in the state of nature, but you can find ways to feel good about yourself without putting others down.)

6. Laughing triggers the joy of endorphin, so make time in your life for laughter. (You may not laugh at what your friends think is funny, so let your own sense of humor be your guide.)

7. Stop what you’re doing when your cortisol turns on, because it makes everything you do look bleak. (Cortisol is designed to alert you to potential threats, so you will see plenty of threats until you give your body a couple of hours to metabolize it.)

Source: womenworking.com ~ By: Loretta Breuning, Ph.D.

Ten Habits Of Incredibly Happy People


We’re always chasing something—be it a promotion, a new car, or a significant other. This leads to the belief that, “When (blank) happens, I’ll finally be happy.”

While these major events do make us happy at first, research shows this happiness doesn’t last. A study from Northwestern University measured the happiness levels of regular people against those who had won large lottery prizes the year prior. The researchers were surprised to discover that the happiness ratings of both groups were practically identical.

The mistaken notion that major life events dictate your happiness and sadness is so prevalent that psychologists have a name for it: impact bias. The reality is, event-based happiness is fleeting.

Happiness is synthetic—you either create it, or you don’t. Happiness that lasts is earned through your habits. Supremely happy people have honed habits that maintain their happiness day in, day out. Try out their habits, and see what they do for you:

1. They slow down to appreciate life’s little pleasures.

By nature, we fall into routines. In some ways, this is a good thing. It saves precious brainpower and creates comfort. However, sometimes you get so caught up in your routine that you fail to appreciate the little things in life. Happy people know how important it is to savor the taste of their meal, revel in the amazing conversation they just had, or even just step outside to take a deep breath of fresh air.

2. They exercise.

Getting your body moving for as little as 10 minutes releases GABA, a neurotransmitter that makes your brain feel soothed and keeps you in control of your impulses. Happy people schedule regular exercise and follow through on it because they know it pays huge dividends for their mood.

3. They spend money on other people.

Research shows that spending money on other people makes you much happier than spending it on yourself. This is especially true of small things that demonstrate effort, such as going out of your way to buy your friend a book that you know they will like.

4. They surround themselves with the right people.

Happiness spreads through people. Surrounding yourself with happy people builds confidence, stimulates creativity, and it’s flat-out fun. Hanging around negative people has the opposite effect. They want people to join their pity party so that they can feel better about themselves. Think of it this way: If a person were smoking, would you sit there all afternoon inhaling the second-hand smoke? You’d distance yourself, and you should do the same with negative people.

5. They stay positive.

Bad things happen to everyone, including happy people. Instead of complaining about how things could have been or should have been, happy people reflect on everything they’re grateful for. Then they find the best solution available to the problem, tackle it, and move on. Nothing fuels unhappiness quite like pessimism. The problem with a pessimistic attitude, apart from the damage it does to your mood, is that it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy: if you expect bad things, you’re more likely to experience negative events. Pessimistic thoughts are hard to shake off until you recognize how illogical they are. Force yourself to look at the facts, and you’ll see that things are not nearly as bad as they seem.

6. They get enough sleep.

I’ve beaten this one to death over the years and can’t say enough about the importance of sleep to improving your mood, focus, and self-control. When you sleep, your brain literally recharges, removing toxic proteins that accumulate during the day as byproducts of normal neuronal activity. This ensures that you wake up alert and clear-headed. Your energy, attention, and memory are all reduced when you don’t get enough quality sleep. Sleep deprivation also raises stress hormone levels on its own, even without a stressor present. Happy people make sleep a priority, because it makes them feel great and they know how lousy they feel when they’re sleep deprived.

7. They have deep conversations.

Happy people know that happiness and substance go hand-in-hand. They avoid gossip, small talk, and judging others. Instead they focus on meaningful interactions. They engage with other people on a deeper level, because they know that doing so feels good, builds an emotional connection, and is an interesting way to learn.

8. They help others.

Taking the time to help people not only makes them happy, but it also makes you happy. Helping other people gives you a surge of oxytocin, serotonin, and dopamine, all of which create good feelings. In a Harvard study, employees who helped others were 10 times more likely to be focused at work and 40% more likely to get a promotion. The same study showed that people who consistently provided social support were the most likely to be happy during times of high stress. As long as you make certain that you aren’t overcommitting yourself, helping others is sure to have a positive influence on your mood.

9. They make an effort to be happy.

No one wakes up feeling happy every day and supremely happy people are no exception. They just work at it harder than everyone else. They know how easy it is to get sucked into a routine where you don’t monitor your emotions or actively try to be happy and positive. Happy people constantly evaluate their moods and make decisions with their happiness in mind.

10. They have a growth mindset.

People’s core attitudes fall into one of two categories: a fixed mindset or a growth mindset. With a fixed mindset, you believe you are who you are and you cannot change. This creates problems when you’re challenged, because anything that appears to be more than you can handle is bound to make you feel hopeless and overwhelmed. People with a growth mindset believe that they can improve with effort. This makes them happier because they are better at handling difficulties. They also outperform those with a fixed mindset because they embrace challenges, treating them as opportunities to learn something new.

 Source: forbes.com ~ By: Travis Bradberry

How female entrepreneurs can overcome the odds


Ladies, let’s get the bad news out of the way first. Venture capitalists still don’t “get it,” and invest a disproportionate amount of money in businesses run by all-male teams. Loans to women entrepreneurs can cost us more than those to men. (I know, right?) This is despite the well-documented finding that start-ups with women at the top, along with men, perform better – in fact, much better – than men-only.

Now for the good news: there has never been a better time to start a business; there has never been a better time to be a female entrepreneur (even if we have some ways to go). The costs of starting businesses are coming down – think cloud computing instead of rows of servers, shared work spaces instead of long-term leases, freelancers for certain functions instead of all full-time employees, social media instead of advertising, and video chat instead of business trips.

I made the switch from corporate executive to first-time entrepreneur a few years ago. Here’s what I found was helpful in making the transition…and what women entrepreneurs are doing to overcome the gender funding gap:

*I’m seeing again and again that a key differentiator for entrepreneurs is their network, and how effectively they engage it. This is true in getting funding (I first went to people I had worked with in the past); it’s true in finding your first users; it’s true in finding the right people to hire; and it’s true in activating excitement about your business.

And in doing this, there’s no substitute for elbow grease. In hiring, for example, I engaged my network, but it wasn’t always as easy as simply hiring someone who had worked for me in the past. My network had to work harder for me than that. That’s because at a certain level of seniority in corporate America, people move from being “doers” to “managers,“ and start-ups need to tilt strongly towards “doers.” Going back to “doing” can be a bridge too far for some “managers.”

I found my co-founder of Ellevest through a serial entrepreneur I had become friendly with; we found our Chief Design Officer through a woman who leads a consulting firm, whom I’d met at a conference; and I found our Chief Investment Officer through…well….by spending hours on LinkedIn reviewing profiles and then networking to get to her.

A vibrant, engaged network is an entrepreneur’s secret weapon.

*I had to learn how to ask for money from friends and former colleagues. Ugh, right? Well, the big mindset change on this came from my co-founder. I had been thinking of the ask as a “favor” people were doing for me. His take: do we believe in what we are doing? (Answer is yes.) Do we believe it can be a successful and profitable business? (Again, yes.) Do we believe it can be a “home run.” (Hell yes.) Well, then weare doing a favor for them by offering them the opportunity, not the other way around. (I had to repeat this to myself…again and again….to get it to stick.)

*Get over the fear of failure. The research is clear that we females take failure harder than men do. Maybe it’s because, as Reshma Saujani noted in her Ted talk, girls are taught to be perfect, while boy are taught to be brave. But entrepreneurialism is all about repeated trial and error and failure. So we just have to find a way to let this go. (One way? Recognizing that very few people, besides yourself, really care. Believe me on this one.)

*Don’t forget that the “least expensive” form of capital is revenue. One of the reasons that businesses with women in leadership are more successful than men-only is because they don’t fail as often. And that’s in part because their path to revenue tends to be shorter.

Revenue reduces your risk in several ways. It proves out your business model in real time (ie, will someone actually pay real money for what you are selling?). Profitable revenue puts money in the bank, which you can then spend on growing your business. And – the great news – you don’t have to dilute your ownership in order to access this money.

*Play on the playgrounds on which being a woman is an advantage. This includes registering as a woman-owned business, which can give you a leg up in winning some types of business.  Also, work to access women-focused funding sources, such as angel investing groups like Broadway Angels and Astia, or seed funds like BBG Ventures, or organizations that provide both support and funding, like the Tory Burch Foundation. There are more and more of these types of organizations these days. (Check out Mind the Gap – and Close It: The Ellevest Guide to Dominating Your Financial Future for more resources for closing the gender funding gap…and other gender money gaps.)

This is not to say that accessing these sources is easy by any means; they are competitive. But the playing field is at least tilted towards us women there, as opposed to away from us.

*Passion. This may sound pretty obvious, but I’ve seen again and again that passion for an idea is the key to success. I didn’t make the leap to being an entrepreneur until I found an idea I just couldn’t stop thinking about.

For me, it is the intersection of women and money, because of the positive impact that women having more money can have on them, their families and on society. That led me to found Ellevest, an digital investment platform for women. I circled around a number of other ideas, most notably a marketplace in which women could work from their homes part-time on an as-needed basis for companies. I liked that idea, but I didn’t LOVE it. And so I decided I wouldn’t bring the edge that I needed to activate my network, raise money from my friends, and work the hours that were required without it.

Source: linkedin.com ~ By Sally Krawcheck

Extroverted Introverts: 10 Things to Know


I regularly swing back and forth between social butterfly and complete hermit – which is why I was relieved to hear the phrase “ extroverted introvert” for the first time. Also known as an ambivert, an extroverted introvert is someone who who exhibits qualities of both introversion and extroversion. My typical weekday exemplifies this well. Usually my mornings are spent out and about, taking sincere joy in play dates and befriending other mothers at the park. My afternoons, by contrast, are spent at home, happily curled up on the couch in my pajamas. Sometimes this is reversed, or I’ll find myself in or out for a whole day, but the half-day of each is my ideal. Small dinner parties are awesome. Night clubs are terrifying. Friendships feed my soul, but crowds drain me.

HERE ARE SOME OTHER THINGS AMBIVERTS LIKE MYSELF WANT YOU TO KNOW:

1. OUR SPOT ON THE SPECTRUM CHANGES WITH OUR ENVIRONMENT.

Your ambivert friend may be loud and gregarious around her family, but quiet and thoughtful at the office. Seeing her in both situations may feel like meeting two entirely different people.

2. TALKING TO STRANGERS IS FINE – BUT DON’T EXPECT US TO KEEP IT TO SMALL TALK.

Although an ambivert can hold up her end of a conversation, talking about the weather will not be enough to engage her. Her social energy is limited enough that she won’t want to waste it on meaningless chatter. She will likely push the conversation into deeper territory or bow out entirely.

3. WE LIKE TO BE ALONE – WE DON’T LIKE TO BE LONELY.

There is a big difference between the two. Choosing to sit at home with a tub of ice cream and a coloring book feels fantastic. Sitting at home because nobody called you back feels sad and lame.

4. GETTING US OUT OF THE HOUSE CAN BE A CHALLENGE.

If you catch your friend on a highly introverted day, you may just be better off leaving him at home. He might manage to be social, but he’ll just be thinking about his books and his couch the whole time.

5. IF WE’RE NEW, YOU CAN FIND US IN THE BACK OF THE ROOM.

An introverted extrovert will approach new situations with cautious excitement. If we know someone in the group, we will likely cling to them a bit as we become comfortable. If we do not, we might waver on the edge of the crowd, slowly getting used to the water rather than jumping in all at once.

6. WE’RE SELECTIVELY SOCIAL.

We don’t mean to be snobs. We just have limited social energy and prefer interacting one-on-one or in small groups. For this reason, we can only afford to invest our social time and energy in those who we feel truly connected to.

7. MAKING FRIENDS IS EASY. KEEPING THEM IS HARD.

We like talking to people, but we value our alone-time, as well. This can make maintaining a friendship tricky. If your ambivert friend makes an effort to consistently invest time and energy in your friendship, be glad. You are truly special to him.

8. OUR SOCIAL DESIRES CHANGE WITH THE BREEZE.

We might be desperate to hang out with you on Friday, but then not answer your call on Saturday. We’re not mad at you. We’re just super comfortable in bed watching Netflix.

9. WE CAN TALK TO YOU FOR HOURS.

If you manage to catch him in a one-on-one situation, an extroverted introvert will just not shut up. Once his interest is engaged, there’s no stopping him.

10. LISTENING IS GREAT TOO, THOUGH.

Sometimes we want to be a part of the action, but our social energy levels are too low for us to contribute in a meaningful way. Listening allows us to get to know you without burning up our social fuel. We also know its value from our chattier moments when we are desperate for an ear.

Did any of these resonate with you? Don’t be surprised if they did – more than half the population is ambiverted, according to Adam Grant, a professor of psychology at the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School of Business. His research shows that roughly two-thirds of people are ambiverts, while one-third are either strong introverts or strong extroverts. “Ambiverts are like Goldilocks,” he claims. “They offer neither too much nor too little.” Treasure the introverted extrovert in your life, or embrace these qualities in yourself. Ambiverts might have it just right.

Source: UniSoulTheory.com ~ By: