5 Surprising Things A Workout can Help You Do

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When is a workout not just a workout? Every time you do it!

1. OVERCOME CRAVINGS.
The next time you hear a candy bar calling your name, try taking a hike. In one recent study published in the journal Appetite, subjects who took a brisk 15-minute walk decreased their cravings for chocolate by 12 percent. Just be sure to choose a route away from the vending machine.

2. LOSE THE MUFFIN TOP.
Obvious, right? A study in the journal Obesity found that just 80 minutes of cardio a week slowed weight gain and stopped participants from gaining visceral fat (the dangerous kind inside the abdomen that’s been linked to diabetes and cardiovascular disease) a year after weight loss.

3. QUIT THE CANCER STICKS.
Research shows that 10- to 15-minute sessions of aerobic exercise trigger changes within the brain that help defuse nicotine cravings in smokers. What’s more, a separate study found that cardio activity can also make smoking-related images less likely to grab smokers’ attention.

4. KEEP YOUR SIGHT.
People who ran 1.2 to 2.5 miles a day had a 19 percent lower risk of developing age-related macular degeneration, while those who ran more cut their chance by 42 to 54 percent, according to a study from Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science. Vigorous activity may also decrease cataract risk.

5. REDUCE YOUR BREAST-CANCER RISK.
Women who did either moderate exercise for 2.5 hours or vigorous activity for 75 minutes a week cut their chance of dying from breast cancer by a third, according to a study from Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise. Women who did about twice as much cardio lowered their risk by 55 percent.

Can Dumbbells Make You Smarter Too?
New research says they do.

A recent study published in the Journal of Sport & Exercise Psychology found that people who did moderate- to high-intensity strength training showed a significant increase in how fast they processed information. “Doing a combination of aerobic and resistance exercise may offer the brain the biggest benefits,” says study coauthor Jennifer L. Etnier, Ph.D., an associate professor of kinesiology at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro.

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Written by By Karen Asp
Originally published at Women’s Health Magazine

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