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    If You Stress More, You Need to Sweat More (for Your Heart)

    When it feels like depression is crushing you or anxiety is making you want to crawl out of your skin, the last thing on your mind is exercise. But hitting the ground running is just the thing you need—and you’ll be doing more than just blowing off steam. An analysis by Harvard University researchers of more than 50,000 people found that stressed individuals who get regular physical activity have twice the protection against stroke and heart attack compared to less-stressed exercisers. Stress was identified as those dealing with anxiety and depression.
    All exercisers were at 17 percent lower risk for heart attacks than non-exercisers, regardless of stress levels. But benefits were significantly higher in people with anxiety or depression, who had a 22 percent risk reduction vs. a 10 percent risk reduction in those without either condition.Physical activity affects stress-related neural mechanisms in the brain that have a direct impact on heart health, explains researcher Hadil Zureigat, M.D., a postdoctoral clinical research fellow at Massachusetts General Hospital and the study’s lead author.Aim for 150 minutes per week. That’s a 15-minute walk on your lunch break followed by 15 minutes of curls and crunches when you get home; a 30-minute daily bike commute to your office (bonus: save the environment); or three 50-minute spin classes a week.Added perk: Exercise itself is a mood booster, helping to melt some of that anxious energy off.

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    Does Working Out Make You Hungrier? Here's the Latest Science

    Dieting continues to be one of the hardest New Year’s resolutions to maintain, and every year it claims its share of victims. Even if you commit to a diet, there are infinitesimal ways to softly cheat—sugar-free diets come with their own zero-sugar sodas, intermittent fasters can nosh on sweets all afternoon, and even vegans can […] More

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    Should You Eat Breakfast Before or After a Workout? An Expert Weighs In

    Put down the peanut butter toast. Working out before breakfast burns twice as much fat as eating first, research suggests. Here’s what happens: Eating carbohydrates causes blood glucose levels to rise, which triggers a release of the hormone insulin. Work out after eating and the body uses the sugar to power your muscles. But exercising […] More

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    Here's Why You Should Do HIIT Before You Lift

    What should you do first: lifting or cardio? Many trainers recommend kicking things off in the weight room, since muscles are fresher and able to lift more, helping you progress. But a study in the Journal of Exercise Science & Fitness gives cardio top billing. Fourteen men in their 20s and 30s did two workouts. […] More

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    The Weird Way Mouthwash Might Hurt Your Workout (Really)

    Those huge locker room mouthwash dispensers should be banished, a U.K. study, published in Free Radical Biology and Medicine, finds. That minty swish hinders fitness gains. It has to do with nitric oxide, a naturally occurring substance in blood vessels, which increases during exercise to bring more oxygen to muscles. The vessels use nitric oxide as […] More