Will you or Won't you? A study in Willpower

You know all those things you mean to do? Remember that feeling of resolve to change something for the better? How many times have you sworn you'll start jogging in the mornings, you'll eat a salad everyday for lunch, and you'll call grandma every weekend? Furthermore - how many times have you followed through?

You have probably learned from experience that there is a distinct difference between knowing what you should do, and actually doing it. According to psychologist Richard Wiseman, out of every resolution we make, only 88% will succeed. Don't be too hard on yourself though, because now science suggests weak willpower is not entirely our fault:  Blame it on the prefrontal cortex.

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This area of the brain, located directly behind the forehead, is the region that has grown the most throughout the history of humanity, and it also happens to be the source of our willpower. Unfortunately, according to studies, it seems we still have some growing to do there.  


Science confirms beer goggles effect

Beware the Beer Goggles this Festive Season!

  New studies are now looking into the phenomenon humorously referred to as "beer goggles", which causes drinking people to perceive others as more appealing than they normally would. The results both confirm what many of us already believed and shed more light on the effects alcohol has on sexual attraction. 
Beer goggles do appear to be real. Says researcher Marcus Munafo, experimental psychologist at the University of Bristol, "Everyone knows about beer goggles... but some of our results suggest that there's more going on than we might have thought."

The Beer Goggle Formula Revealed

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Touch toes, help heart?

 Sample Image Stretching Could Increase Arterial Flexibility by 23%, One Study Found

While it's true that some people are simply born more flexible than others, regular stretching exercises can dramatically extend your range of motion. By stretching, you increase the elasticity of your muscles -- but could you also be stretching and increasing the elasticity of the arteries? Quite possibly.   

That's the surprising conclusion of a University of Texas at Austin study which examined how exercise impacted arterial stiffness among 42 sedentary men and women ages 40 to 83.

Weight-lifting -- whether combined with aerobics or on its own -- had little effect on arterial flexibility.

The biggest benefit was enjoyed by the so-called "control" group, who were put on a stretching regimen: After 13 weeks, the stretching group increased arterial flexibility by 23%. "Although this particular finding is rather surprising," observe the study authors, "stretching may be capable of modifying arterial compliance [stiffness]."

Possible explanations: Stretching increases the collagen and elastin content of artery walls -- and has also been found to help lower blood pressure (chronic high blood pressure contributes to artery hardening).

While further research is needed to confirm these findings, other larger studies have linked poor flexibility with arterial stiffening. Stretching offers a multitude of other benefits: Stretching may reduce post-exercise soreness by as much as 23%, while also protecting against muscle/tendon injury. You'll get plenty of stretching with yoga, a practice found to ease hot flash symptoms by 31% and help curb middle-age weight gain.

Top 18 benefits of weight training

Reminder of the benefits of weight training if you haven't yet been romanced by the thrill of pumping iron and why you need to start!
  1. Weight training tones your muscles which looks great and raises your basal metabolism ...which causes you to burn more calories 24 hours a day. You'll even burn more calories while you're sleeping.

2. Weight training can reverse the natural decline in your metabolism which begins around age 30.

3. Weight training energizes you.

4. Weight training has a positive effect on almost all of your 650-plus muscles.

5. Weight training strengthens your bones reducing your risk of developing osteoporosis.

6. Weight training improves your muscular endurance.

7. Weight training will NOT develop big muscles on women...just toned muscles!

8. Weight training makes you strong. Strength gives you confidence and makes daily activities easier.

9. Weight training makes you less prone to low-back injuries.

10. Weight training decreases your resting blood pressure.



 11. Weight training decreases your risk of developing adult onset diabetes.

12. Weight training decreases your gastrointestinal transit time, reducing your risk for developing colon cancer.

13. Weight training increases your blood level of HDL cholesterol (the good type).

14. Weight training improves your posture.

15. Weight training improves the functioning of your immune system.

16. Weight training lowers your resting heartrate, a sign of a more efficient heart.

17. Weight training improves your balance and coordination.

18. Weight training elevates your mood.

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