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Study Finds Physical Exercise Makes You Feel Excited and Enthusiastic

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Have you ever wondered for no particular reason, without any thought process involved? You can feel enthusiastic and excited, especially if you’re one of those people who likes to exercise regularly.

Well, now, researchers have found this to be the case this will be good news for people who suffer from depression or fluctuating moods and want to use something in order to make themselves feel better.

According to what the researchers say people are more likely to feel this way, particularly on the days when they do some kind of physical activity. Furthermore, you may be pleased to know that you don’t have to do tons of exercise in order to reap these kind of benefits, which will be a relief to some people, no doubt.

People often make the mistake of making long-term goals rather than short ones, which can turn to make you feel a bit overwhelmed. However, all is not lost if you do it on a day-to-day basis, and gradually make it part of your life. Not only will you reap the benefits you start to enjoy it more and look forward to doing it. Think of exercise as a reward for feeling good at the end of the day. Some students were monitored in order to back this theory up, and a study was put together to see how it affected them and their moods from day-to-day.

A hundred and ninety students were asked to log their living experiences during the course of the experiment. They logged the following free time physical activity, and sleep quality and quantity. Furthermore, they noted their mental states, which included states of stress and feeling states.

The participants were asked to record only instances of physical activity that went over 15 minutes or more, and also make a note of whether it was vigorous, mild or moderate exercise. The participants returned their diaries to the researchers at the end of the day for eight consecutive days. The researchers used this data and published it in the Journal of Sport and Exercise Psychology.

The team conducting the research split the student’s feelings into four states, which were pleasant activated feelings exemplified by excitement and enthusiasm, pleasantly activated feelings exemplified by satisfaction and relaxation, unpleasant feelings exemplified by anxiety and anger, and unpleasant activated feelings exemplified by depression and sadness.

Here is what one of the researchers had to say about their findings;

“Our results suggest that not only are there chronic benefits of physical activity, but there are discrete benefits as well. Doing more exercise than you typically do can give you a burst of pleasant-activated feelings. So today, if you want a boost, go do some moderate-to-vigorous intensity exercise.”

“Knowing that moderate and vigorous physical activity generates a pleasant-activated feeling, rather than just a pleasant feeling, might help to explain why physical activity is so much more effective for treating depression rather than anxiety,” he said. “People dealing with anxious symptoms don’t need an increase in activation. If anything, they might want to bring it down some. In the future, we plan to look more closely at the effects of physical activity on mental health symptoms.”

So if you know somebody who is very buoyant and enthusiastic and whom also works out, then you will probably know the reason why this is, and I can categorically say myself that I have experienced this. After doing a reasonable workout, the feel good factor can last for ages. And as the researchers noted when they were collecting the data once you go over 15 minutes that’s when things really start to kick in.

It is something you have experienced yourself. I would be interested to know how exercise makes you feel and whether you have any of the feelings like the students did in the study.

Sources and references

Multiple Benefits Of Hoola Hooping

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Getting Started
I started hooping a couple of years ago. I was a pole and burlesque dancing teacher for Polestars and was super excited that they were going to be offering hula hooping too. I’d seen people hooping in the parks and on the seafront in Brighton where I lived then and thought it looked like a lot of fun. I looked online and found that there was one class in Brighton and it wasn’t Polestars.

I went along, sat outside a church with some other beginners and discovered that basically, the teacher wasn’t going to turn up. Annoyed, I took myself down to Oddballs jugging shop and just bought an adult weighted hoop in blue and orange.

After lots of broken promises to learn to hoop together from friends, I gave up and bought the Hoop Girl beginners DVD online. The wait for it to arrive seemed as long as the wait for a cereal box coupon toy when you’re 8. Eventually it turned up – a whole reel of 30 tricks or so. But here’s the problem, I couldn’t even hoop round my waist yet and I got super frustrated. I decided to time myself every day, and every day, I would eek a few more seconds out of my personal best.

By the end of the week I could do a solid five minutes of waist hooping. I had bruised hips and scuffed walls, but I was thoroughly hooked. These days when I teach a Polestars party or class, it makes me laugh when girls worry they don’t get it in the first few minutes – they’re all much better than I was on their first go!

Choosing a hoop

Size – For an adult, you’ll need a hoop that’s a lot bigger than you’re probably expecting. A good guide is to choose one that comes up to your hip – for most people, it will be around 38-40 inches in diameter

Thickness – the thickness of the hoop determines how hard it is to use (and how many calories you’ll burn), for beginners, we recommend a thick (circa. 25mm) hoop, and once you get the hang of it, graduate to a thinner one (around 20mm)

Weight – heavy hoops are great if you’re a beginner or are hooping for exercise; Lighter hoops are better for doing tricks (particularly if you’ll be doing them on your legs or neck!)

Where to buy a hoop?

When you were a kid, the hoops at the nearest toy shop or discount store were probably perfect; but for an adult, we recommend buying your hoop from a specialist dance or fitness store. There are many to choose from, we recommend Polestars. They sell adult hula-hoops on their website and offer free nationwide shipping on every order.

Health Benefits of Hula Hooping

I’m not much of a fit-aholic. In fact, if I am at all aware that I’m working out, I immediately want to go home and eat pizza. Give me a challenge to learn a new trick on the other hand and I’m game. Reps just don’t cut it for me, so when I see someone do something that looks a little bit like circus magic, I want in. When I started out, all I could dream of was to keep the hoop going, then I desperately wanted to learn chest hooping, then hooping on my legs.

By the time I’d conquered these I was teaching a beginners course and with all the practice I honed my tricks from gangly passes to fluid expressions of movement. It was super satisfying and my whole class was enjoying themselves. Those that were there to lose weight or keep fit, quickly forgot about it and just had a really good time. They were also thrilled at the end of the 6-week course to learn that they had lost on average an inch and a half off both hips and waist and burned 100 calories every fifteen minutes. That’s a Jaffa Cake every five minutes. Sometimes I will stop to have a Jaffa Cake every five minutes.

The Numbers

A recent study by the American Center for Exercise found that hula hooping burns around 210 calories per 30-minute session – a similar amount to a boot camp or cardio-kickboxing session. The ACE study suggests that given the variety of movements in hooping it should be considered a total-body workout that has the potential to improve your flexibility and balance while strengthening and toning the muscles of the back, abdomen, arms and legs.

Social Hooping

Not only is hula hooping a great fitness pursuit, but it really brings people together. I was temping a while back and didn’t really have time to get to know any of the other girls on my floor. I popped an email around and invited the girls to hoop at lunchtime. Within a few weeks there was a veritable army taking 10-minute de-stress hooping breaks, 1hr hooping lunch breaks (Jaffa every 5) and even going up onto the roof of the building on sunny days and hooping out there while we looked out over London.

Last winter three of us went up to the roof in several inches of snow and hooped with joy as the snowflakes fell around us! Some of the gang liked to learn the tricks, some just liked to chat and waist hoop, but everyone was having fun. During days in the park over the summer, I would constantly find that hooping was a great way of meeting new people. Some would come over and say ‘can I have a go?’ and others would just like to watch me hoop dance and ask me about it.

I once inadvertently sat near a group that had also bought hoops to the park and we trick-swapped over our picnics. A friend of mine took a theatre show to the Edinburgh Festival Fringe this year and I promised him a 1:1 hoop lesson to give out as an auction prize. A few weeks ago the winner – a lovely bloke called Olly – came to the car park round the back of my house to learn a few tricks. The light faded and there were fireworks going on locally.

For the last 15 minutes as a little treat, I wheeled out my LED hoop and Olly smiled broadly as he showed off his new moves with light dancing around him. I even took my travel hoop to Turkey for the last two years of holidays and my holiday chums are getting into it. There we are in our bikinis, hooping by the pool, or drunk and strangely better at it… Last weekend I was hooping in my Dad’s back garden with my Dad in his mid-60s, my sister at 40 and both my nieces under 10. What a brilliant sight!

Find a Hula group

If you’re a complete beginner, there are plenty of hula hooping courses and one off lessons throughout the UK. Hula hoop classes have even become a popular hen party activity. Once you’ve got a little experience under your hoop, you can generally find regular hooping groups at a local gym or online.


So, what’s the big draw? Is it the bright colours, the fitness, the sociability? I think it’s more than that, it’s primal, we’ve all been dancing since the dawn of humanity and with a bit of plastic you can be caught up in the wheel of life, turning and throwing and spinning. In the greater part of my time I am an improvisational comedian. It means that I exist only in the moment, I listen and remember and feel what is going on around me and tune in with it. Hooping does the same thing for me and it’s lovely to be lost in concentration and flow. Pick one up, drop it, pick it up and get hooping!

Written by Katy Schutte. When she’s not hooping, Katy teaches a variety of dancing styles and improv comedy workshops in London for Polestars.

Why Exercise With Kettlebells ?

kettlebellWhy would you want to exercise using a kettlebell? And what exactly are they two good very relevant points about which we are about to find out.

A kettle bell if you haven’t seen one looks like a cannonball with a handle on it.

So if you imagine what an old cast iron kettle looks like in your mind with a handle on it or a cannonball with a handle on it.  That is what they look like.

So what are the benefits of training with a kettle bell:

  • They are very effective when it comes to burning fat.
  • Once you have bought one that’s it. there are no expensive gym memberships to pay for on a monthly basis.
  • You can do your exercise indoors or outdoors it doesn’t matter weather permitting of course.
  • Kettle bells take up very little space, so they are easy to store.
  • It will improve your overall body strength so you will be a lot stronger.
  • In a Russian magazine they were quoted as saying that kettle bells “Not a single sport develops our muscular strength and bodies as well as kettle bell athletics,”
  • They come in various weight sizes to suit your own needs.

[Read more...]

What Are Your Favourite Running Songs?

3416139096_837c380969_bAs you are probably well aware it won’t be long before the London marathon is being held which is in April. So a company called Audio Fuel is looking to find out which are your favourite songs that you like to run to while listening to your iPod. [Read more...]

Why Is Interval Training So Effective?

2798736890_2f34300e46You may recall that in my last post, which was how Hannah Waterman lost three stones in five months that in order to maximise her workouts, she used interval training. In order to get the maximum fat burning potential possible.

So she sustained more fat loss in comparison to other forms of exercise, which are commonly known as (steady-state exercises) so how do we define a steady-state exercise? A steady-state exercise is one where you exercise at a steady pace.

[Read more...]

Regular Exercise Keeps Harmful Visceral Fat at Bay

If you’re trying to maintain a constant weight, exercise needs to become part of your lifestyle, there are two reasons for this number one it will keep your weight in check and the other is exercise is good for you anyway.

But are there any other factors that come into play if you don’t maintain a regular exercise routine? Many people when they first start exercising go at it gung ho and are very enthusiastic to start off but once we get to our target weight we can tend to slack off somewhat.

Then sometimes what can tend to happen is we get complacent somewhat, we start exercising less because we don’t think we need to do it so much as we used to and the weight starts to pile back on which isn’t what we want.

Or we may get into a pattern of doing some one week but very little the next week, so does this particular behaviour do anything to our bodies, it would seem so according to some recent research which has been released.

Which looks into the facts about visceral fat which is the layer of fat which tends to be around the abdominal area of your body. Visceral fat tends to be more harmful than other fats because it tends to surround organs which isn’t good.

One of the reasons for this is the more you have of it, you may far more likely to get type two diabetes. In this particular study there were three groups of people, which did the following aerobic training, resistance training and no training.

They were all put on a 800 calories a day diet, across all three groups they lost 24 pounds on average, after which the researchers measured their visceral fat, subcutaneous fat. After the study was over the group that did no exercise was excluded and the other two groups, which exercised, were told to keep exercising for a year just to see what would happen.

After the year period was over they were split into five groups, the people that maintained aerobic training those who had ceased to do aerobic training, those who carried on with their resistance training, those who ceased resistance training and another group which did no exercise at all.

And once the results were in one of the researchers said;

“What we found was that those who continued exercising, despite modest weight regains, regained zero percent visceral fat a year after they lost the weight,” Hunter said. “But those who stopped exercising, and those who weren’t put on any exercise regimen at all, averaged about a 33 percent increase in visceral fat.

“Because other studies have reported that much longer training durations of 60 minutes a day are necessary to prevent weight regain, it’s not too surprising that weight regain was not totally prevented in this study,” Hunter said. “It’s encouraging, however, that this relatively small amount of exercise was sufficient to prevent visceral fat gain.”


So it would seem from this once you have done some exercise and you do gain some weight, you are far less likely to have the harmful visceral fat which is associated with type two diabetes.

Which is quite good news really because even if you do put on some weight it won’t be the harmful type of fat. For anybody who has diabetes already this will be good news or anybody who has exercised before put on some weight and may be worried about if they are carrying harmful fat.


Having a Walk May Stop Chocolate Cravings

If there’s one thing wrong with us human beings, is we can have bad eating habits and eat foods that are not particularly good for us, and as we know one of these particular things tends to be chocolate and there is one big downfall to eating chocolate and that is the amount of sugar that it tends to contain.

Because of the ingredients that are used in chocolate such as fat and sugar. It can be very easy to become addicted to these substances, and hence we tend to eat too much of it far more than we should do normally.

A lot of people have difficulty in breaking addictions to chocolate, but when you realise what is actually inside it it’s no wonder why. So is there another alternative we can use to stop our cravings of chocolate? Well perhaps there is and it’s not as complicated as you may have thought it would have been.

Some researchers in Exeter , discovered that if you take a brisk walk for 15 minutes, it will stop the cravings for chocolate. Twenty-five people, who would normally eat chocolate didn’t eat any for five days and also exercised for 15 minutes.

Then walked then rested, and at the same time they were asked to do things, which would normally make them want to eat chocolate. Which included having some sort of mental challenge and they were asked to eat a bar of chocolate to see if they wanted it or not. After having there 15 minute walk.

After the exercise period the participants said that there craving for chocolate was a lot lesser but not as much when they were resting. Which proves the theory, this may be a similar effect, which has discussed in a document recently about exercise and smoking cigarettes, the same mechanism seems to be in effect.

The scientists who conducted the study seem to think that somehow exercise alters the brain chemistry, so you no longer crave food or any other substance that you may desire. So you could probably apply this to other things as well as chocolate, so when that box of chocolates or chocolate biscuits is saying “eat me eat me” all you need to do is ignore the cravings go for a walk and you’re set or is it that simple.

Have you yourself noticed that the more exercise you do the less likely you are to crave sweet foods? it’s always nice to know that the theory works in the real world as it were.


20 Reasons Why Bouncing Is Good For You

Just so there is no confusion about what this post is about it doesn’t mean that you have got to, run-around bouncing around everywhere like a kangaroo. Or for that matter by a pogo stick. This post is about mini trampolines and the benefits of why they are a very good form of exercise.

It may actually seem that you are just bouncing up and down but you may be unaware of the amount of exercises you can do and the benefits that you can get from them.

1. Bouncing on a mini trampoline will help to prevent cardiovascular disease e.g. heart problems etc

2. When you’re bouncing up and down your breathing becomes heavier so you will strengthen your respiratory system having good lung capacity is a good thing

3. It will help to flush out your lymphatic system

4. Will help to flush toxins out of your body

5. If you weigh 100 pounds and jog for 12 minutes you will burn 47 calories if you bounce for the same amount of time you will burn 58 calories

6. Regular bouncing will strengthen the function of your glands especially the thyroid which in turn will help with its overall output

7. There is no need to go to the gym, you can do back squats jogging on the spot, push-ups and many other exercise’s on a mini trampoline and they aren’t that expensive

8. Bouncing up and down on a trampoline is great fun, combine that with some music and you can’t go wrong

9. A mini trampoline hardly takes up any space at all, some you can buy are foldable or you can take the legs off for easy storage

10. It’s a very low impact exercise see don’t have to worry about putting stress on your joints or knees

11. They 68% more efficient for burning calories than jogging

12. NASA are quoted as saying “that rebounding on a mini trampoline is the most efficient and best exercise yet known to man”

13. You will be able to fight fatigue more efficiently because it works on three important glands the thyroid pituitary gland and your adrenal glands

14. If you enjoy doing exercise,and I am sure you will if you decide to have a go at mini trampolining then you will far more likely be willing to stick to it

15. Mini trampolines are suitable for people of all ages, although it’s advisable to consult your doctor if you haven’t exercised for a while

16. You experience different states of gravity whilst bouncing this has quite an effect on your body

17. Will help with balance and coordination

18. Help relieve stress and depression

19. You will have more energy and will sleep better

20. Helps with overall cellular health

21. When you bounce on a mini trampoline your is subjected to gravity your body is subjected to the forces of acceleration and deceleration plus gravity.

When you do this by bouncing your body weight becomes double to what it is. Your body cells respond to this and become stronger as a result of the action forced upon them. Which isn’t the sane action as pumping iron in the gym.

Here some videos of people using mini trampolines and the various exercises you can do. So get bouncing.

Exercise Does It Affect How We See Ourselves?

Even if you’re not the right shape that you would like to be, and you are exercising does it actually affect the way you see yourself mentally?. In the news today some researchers seem to think so.

What they say is even if you do some exercise you convince yourself that you look better even if nothing has changed from a physical perspective.

Also they say that we cannot tend to feel any better about ourselves the more we do in other words we get used to what we are doing, perhaps because we want to look shapelier, quicker this is one of the downfalls of our instant gratification society that we live in these days

The researchers claim that when we have worked out, we can tend to think that we look fitter. Even though we may not have done enough in our exercise routine to justify doing so.

Professor Heather Hausenblas who conducted the research said that;

“You would think that if you become more fit you would experience greater improvements in terms of body image, but that’s not what we found ”

“It may be that the requirements to receive the psychological benefits of exercise, including those relating to body image, differ substantially from the physical benefits”

It’s it’s a well-known fact what the physical benefits of exercise, but there is another aspect which we probably don’t think about sometimes which is the psychological aspect of it. When were not particularly happy with our own body image certain addictions can come to the surface, like smoking, drinking, overeating etc.

When the results came back from the study they found that people thought no different of their body image who exercised five days a week for 30 minutes.

How we see ourselves these days can start at a very young age as young as five years of age and this can be in both men and women. Can you relate to this at all yourself how do you feel after your workout? does it affect how you see yourself. Or do you just feel fitter mentally as in exhilarated.

Or have you just lost quite a lot of weight and do you like your new body image? be interesting to see what people say about this and if it relates to you at all.

Source and references

Aerobic Exercise Vs Resistance Training Which Is Better?

So we may be a person who hasn’t exercised for a long time, and maybe slightly overweight with eating the wrong foods etc. Now we need to start doing something about it so which type of exercise will give us more bang for its buck.

Is it aerobic exercise or resistance training? Which really is the better of the two? And does it make a difference whether you do one or the other or a combination of both. Along the way somewhere, we should find out the answers.

Sometimes it can be a bit of a dilemma knowing which is best for you, the problem is you can often get overloaded with information from various different sources, media outlets etc saying different things so it can be hard to know what to do.

Many lay person in the healthcare industry say that aerobic exercise is more than sufficient for any one particular person. So what is the overall difference of doing other types of exercise like resistance training.

No matter what, as long as you are doing some kind of exercise that is the most important factor, as far overall things are concerned. Exercise is a key component when you’re trying to lose weight, it may be slighty harder to lose it quicker if you are relying on a calorie deficit alone.

Research which has been conducted in the past revolving around these particular elements has very often being very inconclusive, the reason for this is there can be so many factors to take into consideration. Like dietary habits amount of times the person exercises, how much intensity they put into it and what type of foods they eat consistently.

Whether or not they exercise regularly or not. When studies have been done in the past regarding weight loss and exercise these particular variables haven’t been taken into account, so this can tend to lead to misleading results.

Dietary habits were not scrutinised enough in studies done in the past, where participants were doing various types of exercise. For instance aerobic exercise and resistance training, or resistance training on its own or aerobic exercise.

There were two studies done which we can use as case studies to see exactly what happened.

Someone called Kramer and his associates did a study to see what difference there were between various exercises and combinations of them. They monitored people who dieted for three months, who dieted and did aerobic exercise, and dieted and did a combination of resistance training and aerobic exercise.

Their calorie intake was 1200 calories per day, the people in the group who dieted and did aerobic exercise, did approximately 30 to 50 minutes of supervised exercise and they trained at a rate of 70 to 80 percent. In addition, those who did aerobic exercise and resistance training did the following.

After having a break later on that day they did 11 types of different resistant training exercises, working from quite intense rules. And here are the results of the first study.

Throughout the three groups all of the participants lost weight and reasonable amounts of body fat, now this is where it gets quite interesting there was no significant difference between all three groups.

Which to conventional wisdom is quite surprising, it was found that there was no significant change as far as fat loss was concerned. In fact some studies have found that if people can manage to have a 500 calorie deficit from food alone they can actually lose weight, without needing to do any exercise.

This can be achieved if you use a system something called intermittent fasting and a calorie reduction, I have wrote about this in the past.

So let’s see what study number two uncovered someone known as Ballor and his colleagues conducted their own research. They monitored people whom had lost weight already and for a period of three months monitored two groups, one group did resistance training while the other did aerobic exercise.

One group exercised at 50 percent capacity for 60 minutes in intervals of three times per week doing aerobic exercise, and the second group did progressive resistance training. The resistance-training group had no further weight loss. Now don’t forget one of the criteria of this from the beginning was that they had lost weight already.

So what this is trying to say, its to  emphasise the fact that if you are doing resistance training and you have lost weight already, you might not notice any difference if you are doing it progressively as they where. The aerobic group however lost an additional 2 1/2 kilograms.

There were no different measurements in resting metabolic rate, although in the weight training group there was an upward trend in what is called the absolute resting metabolic rate.

So between the two both resistance and aerobic exercise, when you’re doing it three times a week for one hour per day the differences between the two can be marginal.

This is probably due to the fact of the high calorie deficit that most studies impose when monitoring people. So when the calorie deficit is lower through diet alone, then the exercise will have a greater impact in keeping weight off.

So in conclusion there can be many factors as to why you may not necessarily be losing weight by what you are doing.

If you are still eating more than you should be and exercising. You may just hit a plateau, if you exercise throughout the week and generally move around more you will probably have more effect overall.

The thing is these days, we do our three or four hours a week and think it is sufficient, but that seems to be the standard that’s laid down by health professionals as to how much we need to do. So what can we take away from this, well any exercise is better than none. But why not combine it more into your everyday life.

Here is how:

  • Instead of taking the car walk instead if it isn’t too far
  • When you’re at work walk around more
  • Instead of e-mailing somebody in your office go and talk to them instead
  • If you have about an hour for your dinner break once you have eat your food go for a walk
  • If where you work has stairs use those instead of the lift if you are able to
  • Buy a bike and go to work on that instead you probably find it less stressful as well
  • Wash your car more often, do gardening don’t get on at the nearest bus stop walk further
  • When you’re doing your shopping don’t just go to one place go to all the shops

You can do just a few these things, that you may not be doing already and it all adds up. The thing to do is get moving.

Sources and references