I love the natural high of exercise. To me, it serves as a kind of pseudo anti-depressant* that puts me in an instant good mood, and I like to alternate new workout plans to give me something to look forward to during dull or stressful stretches of time (like, say, the bulk of winter). For most of my life, largely because of Lululemon models that looked nothing like me and my overall hatred of gym class, I thought of myself as the opposite of a “fitness person.” I was on a sports team for a few years of high school, but I still felt like I’d never be someone who exercised of my own accord, and I dreaded “mile run day” in school like it was the plague. At that point, I figured I’d be doomed to choose between either a sedentary life or one full of countless miserable, wasted hours forcing myself to break a sweat when I’d rather be reading a book. I can’t pinpoint exactly when that changed, but sometime within the last few years, I started to kind of like going to the gym. I started to realize (and this is going to sound painfully obvious, so don’t laugh) that exercise is not just for those among us who are ultra-thin and have $200 Nike fitness gear, or something that only some people are “good” at. Instead, it’s an amazingly simple, egalitarian way to improve your life and practice keeping promises to yourself (for real, this was an actual surprise to me). These days, I get twitchy after a few days without a workout, which has me in a bind, because I just injured my foot and am totally out of commission. Keep reading »
Stop settling for weak ass orgasms, ladies. Women everywhere aren’t getting the most out of their sack (and solo) sessions, and now there’s a new product that can help increase the strength and length of orgasm: consider it a personal trainer for your vagina, but without the misery. YES, PLEASE. Keep reading »
According to a new study published in Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, positive self-talk is the key to a quality workout. The study found that cyclers who rooted for themselves pedaled longer than other exercisers, and reported a lower rate of perceived effort. So, telling yourself “I can do this” or rocking some other kickass workout motto makes your sweat session feel a whole lot easier! It’s almost like applying a real-life version of a vision board to your morning run — except this time, you’re putting it into words instead of looking at pretty pictures. Could this apply to self-loving song lyrics too? Guess I’ll have to blast “Boss Ass Bitch” on the elliptical and report back! [Refinery 29] [Image via Shutterstock]
The journal Pediatrics published research today that suggests — pretty strongly — that physical activity is important for kids who have ADHD because it increases executive control and inhibition, much in the way that ADHD medications do. Exercise: Possibly the best thing for all mental health?
No word as to how it affects adult ADHD, but I’d wager that it’s also beneficial. James Hamblin at The Atlantic raises a really important point about how we treat kids with ADHD:
“‘If physical activity is established as an effective intervention for ADHD,” they continued, “it will also be important to address possible complementary effects of physical activity and existing treatment strategies …’ Which is a kind of phenomenal degree of reservation compared to the haste with which millions of kids have been introduced to amphetamines and other stimulants to address said ADHD. The number of prescriptions increased from 34.8 to 48.4 million between 2007 and 2011 alone. The pharmaceutical market around the disorder has grown to several billion dollars in recent years while school exercise initiatives have enjoyed no such spoils of entrepreneurialism.”
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The results of a UK study on depression and exercise show that it’s possible that exercise is as effective for treating depression as therapy or medication. The researchers caution, of course, that better studies need to be done to come to a conclusion.
But cool! Maybe that’s one of the reasons we get depressed in the winter (I was not going to the gym during the Endless Winter this year, that’s for damn sure). Medical News Today goes on to review the chemical reasons that exercise helps with depression: It increases our levels of a protein called PCG-1a1 that purges substances from the body that are harmful to our mental health, and also helps our enzymes to speed up the conversion of a stress-linked metabolite called kynurenine into kynurenic acid. Keep reading »
Gladys Misiewicz of Grand Rapids, Michigan almost never goes a day without exercise. She and 16 other residents of Villa Maria Retirement Community, where she lives, are training for a 5K — her very first! At age 100, she credits her long life with years of focus on activity and nutrition, and growing up without a car during the Great Depression. A fast walker who’s light on her feet, Gladys gets up at 4:30 every morning and attends every fitness class offered at the retirement home. When asked about her tai chi classes by local news station WZZM 13, Gladys says, “Guess how many mornings a week I go? Always.” Keep reading »