Research

Here's the latest on what science has to say about fitness, nutrition and overall health.

Study: Exercise For Better Sexlife.

gay_kiss_by_joseljl-d6tm8peThere are a lot of reasons to exercise. And a healthier sex life is certainly among them.

Researchers at Harvard examined 31,742 men ages 53 to 90. Physically active men, according to the researchers, had a 30% lower risk of erectile dysfunction (ED). And the more you exercise, the more that risk goes down.

It makes sense. A leading cause of ED are clogged arteries that steal blood and oxygen away from your organs and tissues. By engaging in regular exercise, you enjoy the benefits of a healthier heart and cardiovascular system. This keeps the blood flowing… to all areas of your body.

But the sex-related benefits of exercise don’t end there.

A lack of physical activity and increased TV viewing has been linked to decreasing semen quality. Not to mention, if you workout regularly, you’re more able to handle the physical challenges of sex. No one wants to stop because they’re too tired, sore or winded.

With people often struggling to find the motivation to hit the gym, the promise of improved or better sex can be the kick-in-the-butt that some of us need.

The bottom line: Exercise for your health, heart and… for better sex.

Is Saturated Fat Good For You?

ButterFor decades, we’ve been told that unsaturated fats are healthy – and that unsaturated fats should be minimized. In the 1960s, studies showed that unsaturated fats raised LDL cholesterol levels. LDL is the bad type of cholesterol that clogs your arteries. Because saturated fat raises LDL cholesterol, the assumption was that this type of fat must increased the risk of heart disease.

However, research is showing that this assumption might not be true. The link between heart disease and cholesterol is, according to researchers, much more complicated.

Over the past 40 or 50 years, researchers have tracked saturated fat intake and followed individuals to examine their risk of heart attack or stroke. After all these years, researchers haven’t been able to prove a clear correlation between the two.

The latest theory holds that an individual’s ratio of good cholesterol (HDL cholesterol) to bad cholesterol is a clearer indicator. In terms of heart disease risk, saturated fats may actually be neutral.

Of course, this isn’t a free pass to load up on bacon and ice cream. Indeed, many products high in unsaturated fat are calorie dense and often lack other important nutrients. But this latest finding does illuminate a broader, more complicated approach to nutrition that doesn’t focus on just one nutrient.

When dieters focused on low fat foods in the 1980s and 1990s, for example, we got even larger than ever. A reductionist approach to nutrition just doesn’t seem to work.

Instead of focusing just on fat or just on calories or just on carbohydrates or so on, a wiser approaching is to eat a balanced and colorful diet that focuses on whole foods like vegetables, nuts, fruits and some lean meats like fish or chicken.

 

 

Watching Adult Content Helps Your Workout.

Computer-Man-Laptop-300-001A0770This is the study for which you’ve been waiting. According to researchers, watching adult videos before working out can improve athletic performance. And we’re not just talking about stronger forearms.

For the study, researchers showed various types of video clips to male athletes and then studied their testosterone levels and performance. Clips that were erotic, humorous, training-themed or aggressive resulted in increased testosterone in the athlete’s saliva.

In videos with a sad theme, on the other hand, testosterone levels decreased significantly.

The increases or decreases in testosterone levels correlated with performance improvements as measured by squats.

The researchers concluded that the pre-workout environment offers unique opportunities for hormonal change and athlete performance.

In other words, watching some erotic videos before you hit the gym can give your workout a boost. As if you needed any encouragement.

Study: Exercise Helps Work-Life Balance.

**EXCLUSIVE** A shirtless Kellan Lutz goes on a rigorous workout by the beach in LA - jogging along the boardwalk before showing off his skills on the ringsEveryone knows that exercise is good for your mind. And most of us know that exercise helps the brain, too. But a fascinating new study shows that exercise can help balance out conflicts in life – like the push and pull of work and family life.

The study, which will be published in an upcoming issue of Human Resource Management, surveyed 476 working adults about their exercise behavior and their confidence in handling conflicts at home and in the work place. The adults worked an average of 40 hours per week, and just under a third had at least one child at home.

According to the findings, the participants who exercised regularly experienced a greater feeling of competence. This feeling of competence carried over into other areas of life, including work and home. Russell Clayton, author of the study, noted:

We found that [participants] who exercised felt good about themselves [and] that they could accomplish tough tasks…

In other words, these participants felt empowered to handle and manage the difficult situations and conflicts that most of us encounter in life.

Of course, this study isn’t hard evidence. And it doesn’t necessarily prove a cause and effect relationship between exercise, empowerment and work-life balance. Instead, it’s a good starting point… and another reason not to skip the gym today.

Don’t Clean Your Plate.

Life-With-Mom-Week-14-Clean-Your-PlateWhen I was growing up, my mother taught me to clean my plate. Especially if I wanted some ice cream or cake for dessert. And so, I learned to become a human garbage disposal.

It’s not particularly surprising that I started gaining weight. And still, I kept clearing my plate. By 2nd and 3rd grade, I was severely overweight.

My mother’s “clear your plate” strategy was certainly well intentioned. But, as it turns out, it’s not particularly helpful in creating a healthy or balanced lifestyle. In fact, quite the opposite. In addition to resulting in overeating, it teaches all of us to ignore feelings of hunger or fullness.

11048180Eating everything on your plate is a dangerous game to play. That’s especially true when going out to eat.

According to one study, portion sizes increased for every category of food except pizza between 1977 and 1996. Hamburgers increased in size by 23%. Mexican food portions are 27% larger. Sodas increased by 52%.

Another study found that today’s steaks exceed USDA serving recommendations by 144%. Not to be outdone, muffins are 233% larger. With all that in mind, clearing you plate is a recipe for disaster – and it’s no wonder that more than a third of American adults are obese.

And not clearing your plate doesn’t mean wasting food. You can certainly store food in the refrigerator or freezer and save it for subsequent meals.

It’s time to resign from the clean your plate club. Despite what your mother said, it’s okay to leave food behind. In fact, it’s a very good thing.