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Category Archives: Health Facts
30 Minutes of Exercise May Not Be Enough For Heart Health
Fitness research often reveals that small amounts of low-intensity physical activity can be beneficial in many ways. For example, it’s been shown that just two minutes of walking every hour can lead to a longer lifespan. Short bursts of activity can be incredibly effective for senior citizens who may have a difficult time performing typical exercise routines. Also, a study published last month shows that simply fidgeting at your desk while sitting could potentially be considered a form of micro-exercise that helps contribute to a longer lifespan.
Study Casts Doubt on Effectiveness of Fitness Apps
As of January 2014, global measurement firm Nielsen reported that nearly one-third of smartphone owners in the U.S. are accessing apps in the fitness and health category. That comes out to be around 46 million people, and the number has likely grown since then. There are many different types of fitness apps out there, and they all offer varying fitness goals and techniques in realms such as cardio, bodybuilding, flexibility, yoga and weight loss. In general, fitness apps can offer exercise information, instructional articles and videos, calorie counters, fitness news, progress tracking, and exercise motivation. Some fitness apps even use unique motivation methods, such as Pact, which pays you money for meeting your exercise goals, or takes money away from you for missing them. Unfortunately, people who rely on these fitness apps may not be getting an effective workout.
Powdered Alcohol Continues to be Banned, May Hit Shelves This Year
Powdered alcohol might initially seem like a ludicrous idea, but it is a genuinely real product that could potentially end up in stores by the end of the year. The tidal wave of controversy surrounding powered alcohol didn’t stop it from being approved for sale by the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB) on March 10 of this year. The specific product in question, known as Palcohol, is essentially freeze-dried alcohol that comes in a small, portable pouch. The powder is available as vodka or rum, but ready-made cocktail options are also available, including Cosmopolitans, Lemon Drops and “Powderitas.” Simply adding six ounces of water (or a mixer such as Coca-Cola or orange juice) to the powder can create a standard mixed drink. Technically speaking, approval from the TTB is a green light for Palcohol to begin distribution, but there’s still plenty of pushback.
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Stress Eating: Study Says Stress Derails Diet by Lowering Self-Control
It’s a situation almost everybody has found themselves in at one time or another: you have a stressful day at work, you go home, collapse on the couch, and reach for the ice cream. Or potato chips. Or cookies. You end up eating most – if not all – of the pint/bag/box. If you’re trying to maintain a healthy diet, you’ve just obliterated any chance of meeting your daily goal. This phenomenon, commonly referred to as “stress eating,” “emotional eating” or, more colloquially, “eating your feelings,” is a real issue that’s been fairly widely studied. Most studies have shown that the stress hormone cortisol is responsible for stress eating. However, a new study published in the journal Neuron suggests that the problem is actually quite a bit more complicated. It also suggests that stress can lead to an overall reduction in self-regulatory behavior, which can affect more than just food choices.
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“Sunburn Art” Is An Overblown Trend, But Skin Cancer Isn’t
If you’ve spent any time on social media this week, you might have noticed a disturbing new trend – people who deliberately get sunburns in ornate and visually interesting patterns. A quick internet search of the term “sunburn art” would have you thinking that hundreds of people are risking dangerous sun exposure every day. However, when you really start to examine #sunburnart on Twitter and Instagram, it turns out that many of the pictures are photoshopped, accidents, or jokes. There only seems to be about 10-15 real examples of sunburn art – hardly a “sensational” trend. In fact, one of the most shared pictures is a clearly photoshopped image from an 11-year-old Onion article. But while sunburn art is not as big a problem as some media outlets may have you believe, it’s at least helping to spread the word about the dangers of sun exposure. Put simply, every time you get a sunburn, you increase you risk of skin cancer.
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