The Health Hacker: 50 Hacks, Tips & Tricks For Fast Sports Performance Boosting

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Since everyone hits those peak hours at slightly different times, people work best when they can function according to their natural clocks. We've already covered how wearing red makes you more attractive to the opposite sex, but now it looks like we might as well throw away any non-rose toned clothing because it turns out it makes you more likely to win at sports too.

This man will humiliate you on the field and then take your girlfriend. Two British researchers studied the results of the Olympics and found that the team or person wearing red was more likely to win in close matches -- and that's across a huge variety of team and individual sports, like soccer, tae kwon do, and wresting. The key, though, is close matches; if you were ranked 23rd and had to wrestle the 1 guy in the world, no amount of red would save you.

No one's buying it, Cleveland. But in an even match-up, wearing red is a statistically significant factor in winning. The researchers think the reason for this might not be all that different from why red attracts us to people: Red equals dominance. We see it in species of monkeys, too, where the males have red colorations in their face and butts. The more dominant males tend to be much redder then the ones lower down the hierarchy. In humans, our faces turn red when we are all riled up, angry or ready for a fight. The association of red uniforms with dominance and aggression may send subconscious signals to an opponent that they are being really stupid and challenging the alpha male.

Imagine a likeable person. Pay particular attention to the qualities that make people perceive her as "nice. Fun, definitely. Honest when it counts, malleable enough to take the punches while you run away from the MMA fighter you just drunkenly mooned. All that goes with the territory. Perhaps, if you're feeling sappy enough, you might even describe the person as "sweet. That's a funny word in this context, now that we come to think of it. There's nothing about nice people that makes them sweet, unless you go out of your way to caramelize them.

So what started this association between "sweet" and "nice"? Their everyday behavior, apparently -- it looks like munching on candy can turn a person into a regular good Samaritan. I'll pack his chest wound with gauze, if you insist. To be clear, we're not talking about how giving somebody a candy bar will put them in a better mood and thus make them more willing to do nice things although one experiment did find that, it's also kind of obvious.

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No, they actually did five different studies the abstract of which hilariously points out that nice people indeed rarely taste sweeter than others, thus gently alluding to another, far darker research project behind this one and found that a general preference for candy means the person is also more likely to be agreeable and do good deeds, just because. They were just nicer people than the ones who, say, prefer potato chips instead of chocolate at snack time. And it gets weirder: Test subjects already knew that this would be the result. The subjects they surveyed anticipated that the candy-loving subjects would be more selfless and agreeable than people who liked savory or salty snacks.

The experiment was just confirming what people had already observed in their everyday lives, even though it makes no sense. So maybe the innate goodness that lies in the heart of mankind is actually diabetes. Really persuasive people know that it's all about touch: the salesman or politician is quick to pat you on the back or shake your hand; the waitress knows that a touch on your arm gets a bigger tip. If the thing they're selling is a physical product, they know they'd better let us customers put our greasy mitts on it.

This is why car salespeople are so big on making you test drive the vehicle they literally phrase the technique as " The feel of the wheel will seal the deal ". Because in humans, touch is almost a form of goddamn mind control. Whatever it is, if you touch it for a while, you'll become attached to it.

Not only are people more likely to buy something they've touched, but they're actually willing to pay more -- this is why, if the product comes in a box, the store will try to put a display model out that you can handle to your heart's content. Even if you can't actually gain any information about the usefulness of the product, it doesn't matter.

Running your paws over an object makes you feel connected to it, and can even give you a false sense of ownership. This is exactly how Hitler started out.

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Oh, and it also makes a difference how the object feels under our hands. We don't just mean that we judge a new shirt based on how soft it is -- that sort of makes sense. We mean that one study showed that water in a firm cup tasted better than water in a flimsy cup, regardless of the fact that it was the same water.

Even when people were just told about the firmer cup, they declared its water superior -- just because the container felt better under their hands. Hey, do you think this is why super-expensive Fiji water comes in thicker bottles that contain twice as much plastic? Or why Perrier still uses freaking glass? If you want to know what the future of touch-based brainwashing is, well, it involves products that enjoy making you touch them. Sony tried this with their QRIO robot -- a vaguely canine mecha-creature that recognizes faces and responds to touch -- by letting it loose among a bunch of 2-year-olds.

Usually, toddlers treat robots like regular toys, tossing them around and using them as blunt weapons before quickly getting bored with them. But QRIO is different -- it senses touch and gives little giggles of pleasure.

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When it started doing that, the kids accepted it as a living being. Instead of throwing it around, the kids gently touched it, just like it was another child , and even put a blanket over it when it "laid down for a nap. We'll just let you make your own child molestation joke here. At some point you've probably seen that spinning ballerina GIF floating around online, the one that supposedly tells you whether you're "left-brained" or "right-brained. In reality, both hemispheres work together for pretty much everything.

It takes a full brain to make us as gullible as we are. However, it is true that your two hemispheres aren't identical. In the case of sound, it's long been known that your left hemisphere kicks ass at deciphering verbal information like speech, and the right hemisphere excels with tones and music. It is also known that your left brain controls the right side of your body and vice versa. But because the information between the hemispheres is shared through the corpus callosum -- yea, Latin , it shouldn't make much difference which ear you use to listen to things, right?

Each ear hears in a different way, and you can use that to your advantage. It turns out that because the left ear is always sending shit music to the right hemisphere and the right ear is always sending shit speech to the left hemisphere, the ears themselves have actually evolved in the way they process sounds. Which means you're paying 50 percent too much for headphones. As a result, your right ear is measurably better at processing speech, and your left ear more so at tones and music.

Now, don't go expecting that turning your head to give the appropriate ear will produce a surround sound digitally remastered version of what you've normally been hearing, but there will be an improvement. This is important to remember the next time you're sneaking through the air vents of an evil corporation, or just trying to figure out whether that is in fact a Peter Gabriel song you're hearing in the supermarket. If you want music to help you but refuse to stop smoking pot, perhaps you can at least remember where you put your car keys. Or, more applicably, if you have Alzheimer's , it could help you remember pieces of your past.

Medical practitioners have found that music shows the potential to unearth memories associated with music for patients, even ones in late stages of dementia. So if you had your first kiss to the dulcet tones of Jefferson Starship, their terrible, terrible music could bring that memory right back for you. Listening to music engages many areas of the brain in both hemispheres, which is why it can create brain activity other methods, like conversation, can't.


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Another area it engages is the hippocampus, which would be a hilarious name for a school for aquatic mammals but in reality is the less impressive region of the brain which handles long-term memory storage. When you listen to music you know, feelings associated with the song are returned by the hippocampus. Sometimes the memories even manage to come along with the relevant feelings, so hopefully no music was playing the first time anyone ever kicked you in the junk.

Even if memories aren't recovered, emotions and attitudes are, allowing people who can't even remember who they are from day to day or why they loathe the FOX network so much to at least laugh and sing along with off key hopefuls on American Idol. Maybe you're one of those hippy types who couldn't care less about the socioeconomic status of everyone around you.

We're really happy for you if that's the case. But for most of us, knowing where we stand among our peers actually helps us avoid embarrassing gaffes or rage-inducing insults. For example, if you're rolling in the benjamins daily and nightly, it would be nice if you didn't brag about a caviar breakfast to someone who's been looking for work for six months. No one wants to be that guy. Which is why it would be nice if you could tell how rich a guy is just by looking at him. Guess what?

You can! By looking at what kind of car he drives! In , two University of California psychologists performed a study on the relationship between nonverbal cues and socioeconomic status.


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  6. To do this, they placed participants in pairs and videotaped them talking as they got to know each other. What they discovered was that the richer person in the pair was more likely to display "disengagement" behaviors, like fidgeting or doodling or playing with a damned pencil while someone was trying to talk to them. The poorer of the two engaged in not being a jerk behaviors, like nodding and smiling and actually listening to the other person. Money is the root of all assholes.

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    Not only could the researchers pick out which conversationalist had the higher socioeconomic background, an entirely separate group of observers could watch the tapes and pick the richies as well. The theory goes that people of a higher socioeconomic status are less dependent on others, due to their wealth and higher education. As such, they aren't as invested in conversing with others, as they have no need for it.

    If the other person is acting that way and you know for a fact that they're broke, well, maybe they just hate you. Sometimes the simplest answer is the correct one. The human brain sucks at remembering lists. Think about it: When you go to the grocery store, how many items can you manage before you have to write them down?