THINK YOU KNOW EVERYTHING ABOUT EXERCISE? HERE ARE 6 FITNESS FACTS THAT MIGHT CHANGE THE WAY YOU THINK ABOUT YOUR WORKOUTS:
1. GREAT ABS AREN’T DUE TO CRUNCHES ALONE
You probably consider crunches an essential part of your routine. But according to fitness experts, great abs don’t come simply from these endless sit ups.
Instead, what works is a combination of interval training, correct carb intake, managing stress levels and performing exercises that engage your entire core.
2. MUSIC AND EXERCISE ARE THE BEST FITNESS COMBO
Research continually shows that listening to music whilst working out distracts athletes from their exertions and pain. In some cases performance has been enhanced by up to 15%.
The best music is found to be upbeat, fast-paced, with motivating lyrics that trigger positive emotions. This inspires people to put in more effort and makes them feel great.
3. RUNNER’S HIGH IS REAL
It sounds like a myth, but a study done in Colorado showed that intense workouts 3-5 times a week can treat moderate depression. For years we thought endorphins were responsible. Now it’s emerging that endocannaboids, the same receptors that allow cannabis to trigger a feel-good response, are the real culprit.
Whatever the reason, it’s another excuse to hit the gym!
4. MISSING SLEEP CAN CAUSE WEIGHT GAIN
If you can’t figure out why you can’t lose weight, take a look at your sleep patterns. An American study showed that women who slept less than seven hours were more likely to gain weight .
This is because even partial sleep deprivation increases the production of ghrelin - the hormone which triggers hunger.
5. A FEW MINUTES EXERCISE MAKES A BIG DIFFERENCE
Those little choices you make each day make a hefty difference. Making the decision to be active for just 5 minutes can have a major impact on your health over a few years. Just five minutes running a day significantly reduces your risk of dying from cardiovascular disease.
Not sure what to do? Try out ‘micro-workout’ apps, do a quick HIIT session or just run up and down the stairs ten times!
6. EXERCISE MAY BE BETTER FOR YOUR BRAIN THAN THINKING
Fed up with doing mental-training games? Take the easier, fun route of exercise. The latest scientific findings make it clear that exercise appears to ‘bulk up’ your brain by jump-starting neurogenesis – the creation of new brain cells.
Mice left to play with either mentally-stimulating toys or run on a wheel only showed cognitive improvement if they used the running wheel. Exercise made them smarter.
I love little inspirational pieces like this to keep me going. 5 mins running up and down the stairs reduces heart disease risk?Easy! Keep them coming!
Hmmm, I tend to only get 7 hours of sleep most nights. I wonder now if this is making it harder for me to lose weight. I had never considered this might be a problem. Great excuse for an early night tonight.
I definitely agree about the music and exercise combo, and don't need research to tell me they work well together!
I love a list like this. If exercise makes mice smarter, there's hope for us all!