Identical Twin Study: What Happens When We Stop Working Out?

Written by RCSC Writer. Posted in Blog, Wellness Bites

men-311210_640Trying to figure out how exercise directly effects the body and brain, can often times be a timely and costly feat. However, scientists in Finland have found a way around this, by studying identical twins — and the results are eye-opening to say the least!

As the New York Times explains:

To prove that exercise directly causes a change in people’s bodies, scientists must mount randomized controlled trials, during which one group of people works out while a control group does not. But these experiments are complicated and costly and, even in the best circumstances, cannot control for volunteers’ genetics and backgrounds.

And genetics and upbringing matter when it comes to exercise. Genes affect our innate endurance capacity, how well we respond to different types of exercise, and whether we enjoy working out at all. Childhood environment also influences all of this, muddying the results of even well-conducted exercise experiments.

In this study researchers were able to find 10 sets of identical male twins (so they have the same DNA make-up) who were raised together (so they had similar upbringing) whose workout habits similar when they were younger, but diverged as the years went on. Another interesting factor – the twins’ still had similar dietary habits, it was only their exercise routines that diverged.

Results:

  • The sedentary twins hand lower endurance capacities, higher body fat percentages and signs of insulin resistance.
  • Plus, the active twins had “significantly more grey matter than the sedentary twins, especially in areas of the brain involved in motor control and coordination.”

And this was only a after a few years!

Read the New York Times article here: One Twin Exercises, the Other Doesn’t

Like it Hot? Good News – It May Increase Your Metabolism

Written by RCSC Writer. Posted in Blog, Wellness Bites

1280px-Large_CayenneEarlier this month, at the Biophysical Society Meeting in Baltimore, researchers from the University of Wyoming announced that capsaicin — the chief ingredient in chilli peppers – may help boost metabolism.

In a statement, Vivek Krishnan, a graduate student involved in the study explained that in our bodies there are white fat cells, which store energy, and brown fat cells, which serve as a themogenic machinery to burn stored fat. When we eat too many calories, and don’t engage in enough physical activity, there’s an imbalance in our metabolism that leads to obesity.

In a study, the researchers found that dietary capsaicin significantly increased the “metabolic activity and energy expenditure in wild type mice fed a high-fat diet.” So basically, even when the mice were fed a high-fat diet, the capsaicin kept them from gaining weight.

However – this doesn’t mean it’s time to start munching on a handful of chili peppers! This is a preliminary study and it was only a study undertaken in mice, but it is a starting point for researchers who said their long-term goal is to possibly develop a natural dietary supplement to prevent obesity.

“We envision a nanoparticle-based sustained-release formulation of capsaicin, which is currently under development in our laboratory,” added researchers. “In turn, this will advance a novel dietary supplement-based approach to prevent and treat one of the life-threatening diseases, obesity and its associated complications — in humans.

NYT: How Exercise Keeps Us Young

Written by RCSC Writer. Posted in Blog, Wellness Bites

spin-500-The reasons why we get older, and why are bodies change the way they do, for the most part, is still kind of a mystery. However, a new study shows how exercise can significantly slow down a number of the common symptoms of aging.

According to a recent article in The New York Times, scientists have had some problems distinguishing what kinds of affects getting older has on our bodies, from those of a sedentary lifestyle, because many older adults are more sedentary than younger adults.

Researchers from King’s College London and the University of Birmingham in England, decided to solve this problem by gathering a group of adults aged 55-79, who were considered “serious recreational bikers” – thereby removing inactivity as a factor.

They then tested the following:

  • Endurance Capacity
  • Muscular Mass and Strength
  • Balance
  • Memory Function
  • Bone Density
  • Reflexes

In addition, they also conducted a Up and Go test, which measures how long it it takes to get up from a chair, without using his or her arms, briskly walks about 10 feet, turns, walks back and sits down again.

The results are pretty amazing!

Compared to supposedly normal benchmarks of aging, these bikers had results much closer to that of younger people, than people of their own age. In fact, “even the oldest cyclists had younger people’s levels of balance, reflexes, metabolic health and memory ability.” Oh – and that chair test – the oldest participants averaged 2 seconds faster than what’s considered normal for their age, and 4 seconds faster than those considered frail.

Of course, some results did show that age alone did have some results on reduced endurance and strength.

All in all though, we have to say these results really show how being active can have some seriously positive benefits as you get older! More reason to keep moving and to keep coming into Rock Creek Sports Club!

The Sweet Life: What’s good, What’s bad, and a couple of tips

Written by RCSC Writer. Posted in Blog, Wellness Bites

Girl eating pastryWe all know too much sugar is a probably a bad thing, and that it can have some pretty serious effects on your health. But do we really know why? Should we avoid all it? And what about the artificial stuff? This month National Institute of Health released an article answering a lot of these questions for us.

The Good:

The NIH explains that our bodies do need one type of sugar – glucose, to survive.

“Glucose is the number one food for the brain, and it’s an extremely important source of fuel throughout the body,” says Dr. Kristina Rother, an NIH pediatrician and expert on sweeteners.

BUT WAIT! Rother further explains there’s no need to add glucose to your diet, because your body can make the glucose it needs by breaking down food molecules like carbohydrates, proteins, and fats.

The NIH also explains that some of the sugars which are found naturally in foods such as  fruits, vegetables, and milk, can be healthy additions to your diet because of all the extra nutrients and dietary fiber that come along with them.

The Bad

Too much sugar = more calories and all the effects that come with it, such as obesity.

Want to hear something pretty shocking? Fifteen of the calories in the American adult diet come from added sugars. That’s about 22 teaspoons of added sugar a day. You may not even realize how much sugar you are consuming, as it’s hidden in so many different types of food under a different moniker. For instance – go home and check that jar of pasta sauce you just bought. Some of the different names for sugar include:

  • corn sweetener
  • high-fructose corn syrup
  • fruit-juice concentrates
  • nectars
  • raw sugar
  • malt syrup
  • maple syrup
  • fructose sweeteners
  • liquid fructose
  • honey
  • molasses
  • anhydrous dextrose,
  • or other words ending in “-ose,” the chemical suffix for sugars.

The Artificial Stuff

Some say good, some say bad, in short – the studies are mixed.

The NIH explains:

People have debated the safety of artificial sweeteners for decades. To date, researchers have found no clear evidence that any artificial sweeteners approved for use in the U.S. cause cancer or other serious health problems in humans.

But can they help with weight loss? Scientific evidence is mixed. Some studies suggest that diet drinks can help you drop pounds in the short term, but weight tends to creep back up over time. Rother and other NIH-funded researchers are now working to better understand the complex effects that artificial sweeteners can have on the human body.

Some Tips from The NIH  for Cutting Added Sugars:

  • Choose water, fat-free milk, or unsweetened tea or coffee instead of sodas, sports drinks, energy drinks, and fruit drinks.
  • Reduce sugar in recipes. If a recipe says 1 cup, use 2/3 cup.
  • To enhance flavor, add vanilla, cinnamon, or nutmeg.
  • Eat fresh, canned, frozen, and dried fruits without added sugar. Choose fruits canned in their own juice rather than syrup.
  • Use fruits to top foods like cereal and pancakes rather than sugars, syrups, or other sweet toppings.
  • Read the ingredients list to pick food with little or no added sugar.
  • Use the Nutrition Facts label to choose packaged foods with less total sugar.

 

Words CAN Bring You Down – How to Stop It

Written by RCSC Writer. Posted in Blog, Wellness Bites

Take a minute to answer this question honestly: When it comes time to motivating yourself to workout, eat better, and make overall healthier decisions – do you tear yourself down, or build yourself up?

Time.com recently examined how positive thinking can make all the difference in an article titled “The Reason You Make Unhealthy Choices.”

The author explains:

People often think that they are motivated by self-criticism, but a burgeoning area of research suggests the opposite. Being kind to yourself, as opposed to tearing yourself down, leads to fewer bad feelings and, in turn, healthier actions.

One research example they give is an analysis 15 different studies and discovered a link between self-compassion and four key health-promoting behaviors:

  • Eating better
  • Exercising more
  • Getting more restful sleep
  • and Stressing less.

Conclusion: People who were more self-compassionate, practiced the above habits more often.

So what are some of these ways to practice self-compassion? Another Time.com article – 10 Ways to Gear Up for Weight Loss – gives some excellent tips.

  1. Don’t Beat Yourself Up:  We all make mistakes, we all break a rule or two. We’re human! Acknowledge it, move on.
  2. Celebrate Every Success, this includes all the small milestones along the way to your goal.
  3. Don’t Focus Solely on Your Weight – examples improvements in sleep quality, mood, blood pressure, etc. (Check out 5 Reasons to Eat Healthier that Have Nothing to Do with Weight.)
  4. Find positive support – don’t let others tear you down either!
  5. Don’t set unrealistic expectations – just like in number 1, focus on progress.

Apple’s New Products Focus on Health

Written by RCSC Writer. Posted in Blog, Wellness Bites

Source: Apple

Source: Apple

As  Apple unveiled its new iPhone and smartwatch today, one thing stood out to us tech-geeks here at Rock Creek Sports Club – the company’s focus on tracking health and fitness.

The new iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus for instance, includes the M8 motion coprocessor “that gathers motion data from the accelerometer, gyroscope, compass and the new barometer, which senses air pressure to provide relative elevation.”

In short – it offers the user motion data that will appear in the health app  so you can see how many flights of stairs you’ve climbed, or how far you’ve walked or run.

The new Apple Watch, which comes out next year, “unites the capabilities of an all-day fitness tracker and a highly advanced sports watch in one device you can wear all the time.”

The Activity app on the watch will measure three aspects of movement. The movement ring-  the calories you’ve burned, the exercise ring measures the brisk activity you’ve done, and the  stand ring shows how often you’ve stood up to take a break from sitting.

Even if you’re not a fan of Apple, we have to say, it’s exciting just to see the many different types of innovations being created to help people take an interest and control over their health.

Sore from Workout? Don’t Worry – Study Shows You’re Building Up Your Pain Tolerance

Written by RCSC Writer. Posted in Blog, Wellness Bites

stretchOof! – Did that last workout leave you feeling sore the next day? Well good news! Not only were you building up your muscle, you may have also helped build up your tolerance for pain!

In a new study recently published in Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, researchers compared the pain tolerance levels between two different groups. One group used a stationary bike for 30 minutes, 3 times a week, for 6 weeks. The other group did not do any extra exercise.

After six weeks, they were retested, and the group that had to ride the stationary bike seem to have developed “a greater ability to withstand pain.” The control group experienced no changes from the first time they were tested.

Researcher Matthew Jones from the University of New South Wales to the New York Times:

The results remind us that the longer we stick with an exercise program, the less physically discomfiting it will feel, even if we increase our efforts, as did the cyclists here. The brain begins to accept that we are tougher than it had thought, and it allows us to continue longer although the pain itself has not lessened.

Check out the Full Article Here: How Exercise Helps Us Tolerate Pain

Study: People who ran or jogged for as little as five minutes a day lived three years longer than non-runners

Written by RCSC Writer. Posted in Blog, Wellness Bites

RunningRunning may not be everyone’s favorite activity. Heck, many a Cross-Country teams’ motto is actually “Our sport is your sport’s punishment.”  But a new study released by the American College of Cardiology may convince you to at least get a little jog in every day.

According to the researchers, running, even 5 to 10 minutes a day and at slow speeds (less than 6mph) can reduce your risk of premature death by nearly one-third and extended your life by about three years!

Carl Lavie, a cardiologist and co-author of the study, told  USA Today that running consistently can even balance out other mortality risk factors, which include obesity, high blood pressure and smoking.

“Fitness largely negates adverse effects of other cardiological risk factors,” Lavie said. “Fitness may be the strongest predictor of survival.”

So, how many minutes of running will you get in today? Tell us in the comments!

Read the full USA Today Article Here: Running of any length or speed reduces risk of death

 

 

 

Successful “Dieting” is All About Attitude (and Self-Monitoring)

Written by RCSC Writer. Posted in Blog, Wellness Bites

iStock_000016156464XSmallIf weight-loss is one of your goals and you’ve struggled to achieve lasting results, you’re not alone. That’ doesn’t mean it’s time to give up – according to a recent article on Competitor.com it’s time for an attitude change.

Competitor recently took a look at a number of the people on the National Weight Control Registry, a database of men and women who lost at least 30 pounds and maintained it at least a year, and discovered what they had in common.

Here’s a hint – it’s not a specific kind of diet. Low fat, low carb, vegetarian, Weight Watchers – some work for some, some fail for some, some work for some, another for others.

Another interesting characteristic of NWCR members is that the vast majority of them failed with weight-loss diets a few times before finally succeeding. The combination of these two characteristics—variety in successful diet approaches and failures preceding success—suggests that different ways of losing weight work best for different people. A certain amount of trial and error is required to find a system that’s a good match for one’s individual needs, preferences, personality, and lifestyle.

So if the diet itself doesn’t matter, what does? After exercise, the behavior that is most powerfully associated with successful weight-loss maintenance among NWCR members is self-monitoring.

Most NWCR members count calories or at least track their food intake. This can be done informally, as in aiming for a quota of five fruit and vegetable servings daily or limiting oneself to one sweet per day. But, one way or another, these folks are paying attention to, and quantifying, their intake. And almost all of them are weighing themselves at least once a week and as often as daily.

Read more at http://running.competitor.com/2014/06/nutrition/want-to-lose-weight-then-get-serious_24583#ABRaG15XLtS1C30i.99

Do you have a weight-loss success story? Tell us in the comments or e-mail Sharon.Sellers@RockCreekSportsClub.com

Cantaloupe is Awesome – Trust Us

Written by RCSC Writer. Posted in Blog, Wellness Bites

cantaloupe melonOK, admit it, you’ve been there. In your effort to make healthier choices you have at one time or another substituted those fries for a side of fruit, only to be disappointed when you received nothing but cantaloupe. Don’t be sad! Cantaloupe, which are actually in season right now, are full of awesome nutrition!

Cantaloupes contain:

Fiber – Helping you to feel full

Potassium: Prevents muscle cramps, been known to help control blood pressure, regulate heart bean and prevent strokes.

Folate:  Promotes healthy growth and maintenance of cells, and for you mothers-to-be, helps reduce the risk of neural tube defects.

Vitamin C:  Known to protect against immune system deficiencies, cardiovascular disease, prenatal health problems, and eye disease. Plus – it’s awesome for your skin.

Carotenoids: antioxidants that are known to help prevent some forms of cancer and heart disease. They are also known to help with your vision.

Vitamin A: Also good for vision, a healthy immune system, and cell growth.

Plus…. 1 cup contains only 53 calories. So, go ahead and order that side of fruit, it’s worth it.

Benefits of the Bench Press

Written by Sharon Sellers. Posted in Blog, RCSC News, Wellness Bites

The Bench Press is the most popular lift in the gym. It’s the upper-body exercise that lets you lift the most weight and builds upper-body strength like no other exercise since it activates so many muscle groups in the upper-body. These muscles include the pecs, deltoids, triceps, forearms, hand muscles and abdominals.Sharon-bench

If done correctly, the bench press can increase range of motion in the upper body and increase bone density. Bench Press is a free-weight exercise, requiring more activation of smaller stabilizing muscles in the shoulders, vs a chest press machine that guides the movement through a fixed plane. In a fixed environment balancing and stabilizing is not required, making the chest press machine a good learning tool for the elementary movements of a chest press. But to fully develop the strength and flexibility of the upper body a move to the Bench Press is necessary.

With proper progression and safe practices the Bench Press can be very effective. Start with just the bar to build strength in the small muscles. Always use collars on the bar when plates are added. A spotter is strongly recommended, especially when attempting maximum weights. Learn proper form to avoid injuries to the shoulders, wrists and lower back.

RCSC’s free 15-minute clinic for the month of May is instruction in the Bench Press. Three different days and times are available, making this clinic accessible for everyone. Sign up at the front desk for one of the following times: Mondays at 9:30am with Sharon, Thursdays at 6:00pm with Robert or Saturdays at 11:00am with Devin. Sharon is a former competitive bodybuilder and Devin and Robert have each won medals in several PowerLifting competitions and they are excited to share the secrets to proper Bench Pressing! Then compete in our Bench Competition to be held May 28! See the front desk for more details.

Studies: Working Out Keeps your Skin Young Too!

Written by RCSC Writer. Posted in Blog, Wellness Bites

calmLive longer, move better, think faster, and now… we know that exercise may even keep your skin younger! A recent article in the New York Times — Younger Skin Through Exercise — examines a few studies that may show proof that working out may slow down your skin’s aging process.

In one study, scientists gathered male and female volunteers ages 20- 84, about half were active, while the other sedentary, and tested skin from their buttocks (an area not often exposed to the sun.)

“When compared strictly by age, the skin samples overall aligned with what would be expected. Older volunteers generally had thicker outer layers of skin and significantly thinner inner layers.”

However.

“They found that after age 40, the men and women who exercised frequently had markedly thinner, healthier stratum corneums and thicker dermis layers in their skin. Their skin was much closer in composition to that of the 20- and 30-year-olds than to that of others of their age, even if they were past age 65.”

But wait, you say. What about all the other factors that can affect a person’s skin – like genetics and diet?

Well in another study, scientists gathered sedentary volunteers 65 or older (with normal skin of their age,) and took skin samples from their buttocks before starting them off on an endurance training program.

The results: The outer and inner layers that looked very similar to those of 20- to 40-year-olds.

“I don’t want to over-hype the results, but, really, it was pretty remarkable to see,” said Dr. Tarnopolsky, himself a middle-aged exerciser, told the NYT. Under a microscope, the volunteers’ skin “looked like that of a much younger person, and all that they had done differently was exercise.”

Read the full article here: Younger Skin Through Exercise

5 Common Cardiovascular Training Mistakes to Avoid

Written by Marc Rothschild. Posted in Blog, Wellness Bites

Getting your heart in shape matters.  That’s why cardiovascular training should be part of your workout. Some people think cardiovascular exercise is boring and monotonous, something they begrudgingly do without enthusiasm, just to get it done. Cardio CAN be monotonous if you approach it the wrong way. Here are five common mistakes people make when they do cardiovascular workouts. How many of these do you do?

Use Cardio to Compensate for Diet

You spent an hour sweating through a cardio session. Then you head to the kitchen for a snack – the wrong kind of snack. Of course you need to refuel, but don’t think an hour of cardio means you can eat what you want. Think like that and you’ll end up with problems controlling your weight. Sure, you may have burned 400 calories during your cardio session, but you can compensate for that calorie deficit quickly if you eat the wrong foods. Research also shows people overestimate how many calories they actually burn when they work out. If you compensate for every poor food choice with cardio, you’ll quickly end up overtrained or injured. You can’t out train the wrong food choices. Be smart – plan what you eat and keep it clean.

Overdo the Cardio

Cardio overkill is a common problem, especially for women. Visit a gym and you usually see more men pumping iron while women are staking out the cardio machines. Don’t follow the crowd. There’s a smarter option. Devote at least as much time to strength-training as you do to cardio – and maybe more. Cardio won’t change the shape of your body. It may help with weight loss, assuming you watch your diet, at least until your body adapts to the stress of the cardio you’re doing. Most research shows steady-state exercise doesn’t lead to appreciable fat loss. Plus, long periods of cardio and calorie restriction leads to loss of metabolically-active muscle tissue. Ultimately, that works against you when your metabolism slows in response. Don’t make strength-training an afterthought. Make it the primary focus if you want to see real change in how your body looks.

Never Vary the Intensity

Have you ever seen someone who runs at the same steady pace every day on an elliptical machine or treadmill? Chances are their body composition or weight hasn’t changed much over time. Working out at the same intensity doesn’t challenge your body enough to trigger significant fat loss unless you’re watching your diet very closely.

Research shows high-intensity interval training, where you work out at a high intensity and then recover, activates fat-burning hormones like adrenaline and growth hormone that help you shed body fat. In one study, researchers looked at the growth hormone response to steady state endurance exercise versus a high-intensity sprint. Growth hormone release was greater in the sprinters and was elevated up to 10 times above baseline an hour after recovery. High-intensity exercise creates an after-burn effect that forces your body to oxidize fat for hours after you’ve stopped.

There’s also some evidence that high-intensity exercise suppresses appetite more than exercising at a steady state. In addition, studies show high-intensity exercise is more effective for overall fat loss and loss of deep belly fat. Isn’t it time to up the intensity and infuse new life and fire into your workout? A little “cardio shock” can do wonders for your cardiovascular health – and your physique.

Do the Same Old Boring Cardio

Ever seen anyone in a “cardio rut?” Their eyes are glazed over as they go through the motions. Every few minutes they dart toward the clock to see how much time they have left. With so many ways to do cardio, cardio ruts should never be an issue. Spin and cycling workouts, step training, kickboxing, bootcamp and circuit workouts, high-intensity intervals including Tabatas are all ways to get your heart rate up and burn fat. Why do just one? If you do the same cardio workout every day, your body will become efficient at doing it and you’ll burn fewer calories. Mix it up and add variety. Variety is as good for your mind as it is for your body.

Do Cardio before Weights

Doing cardio before weights isn’t always a bad thing. It depends on the intensity and duration of your cardio session. If you weight train after an intense or long cardio session, you probably won’t have the energy to train with enough intensity. If you’re exhausted it can also affect your form and increase your risk for injury. To get the most out of resistance training, do it before cardio while you’re still refreshed or do cardio and resistance training on opposite days – unless you’re doing a light cardio session. Don’t resistance train when you’re already tapped out.

The Bottom Line

Cardiovascular exercise is important, but approach it the wrong way and it’ll make it harder to shed fat and change how your body looks. Cardio isn’t “king” when it comes to changing your body composition and moderate-intensity cardio isn’t necessarily the most effective way to make your body change. Keep doing cardio but avoid making these five all too common mistakes.

 

Source: cathe.com

How Alcohol Effects Muscles Building

Written by RCSC Writer. Posted in Blog, Wellness Bites

Women OutdoorYou probably don’t need a scientific study to tell you that if you’re trying to stay healthy, build muscle, etc., you probably shouldn’t drink copious amounts of alcohol.  But does alcohol effect the recovery process? That’s what one group of Australian scientists decided to find out.

Runner’s World explains the experiment as such:

“The basic idea of the study was straightforward. Put volunteers through a rigorous exercise routine (it was a mix of weights, sustained cycling, and high-intensity sprints, designed to simulate the demands of a team-sport match); have them do it three times. After two of the trials, give them the “optimal” post-exercise nutrition: 25 grams of protein immediately after, a carbohydrate-rich meal two hours later, and another 25 grams of protein four hours later. During this recovery period, have them drink a bunch of drinks, either containing placebo or a total of 1.5 grams of alcohol per kilogram of body weight. In a third trial, give them alcohol but replace the protein with calorie-equivalent carbohydrate.”

The Findings:  Not really surprising —  the scientists found that even when the men ate well,  alcohol can impair the recovery process AND adaptation to training and/or subsequent performance. Just something to keep in mind the next time you’re celebrating on a Saturday while you’re in the middle of training for that 5K or weightlifting competition.

Read the full Runner World’s story Here: How Alcohol Effects Muscle Building

Simple Exercises to Boost Your Balance

Written by RCSC Writer. Posted in Blog, Wellness Bites

cardio and toneWhile many of us probably don’t start thinking about possible problems with our balance until much later on in life,  experts say its a good idea to start working toward improving it as early as your 30s and 40s.

“People don’t usually think about balance until they fall, but little signs such as relying on handrails to go up and down stairs can be early warnings that stability is starting to go,” Jason Jackson, a physical therapist at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York, explained to the Wall Street Journal.

The article went on to say that experts suggest doing exercises in a couple of 5- to 10-minute bouts each day.  Here’s a few of the examples they included:

  • For people in cities with public transportation, avoid clutching tightly on to the poles in subway cars. A lighter grip will challenge your body to maintain stability on its own.
  • At home, create an unstable surface by using either a Bosu ball or a couple of thick pillows. Stand on top of the ball or pillows and balance on one leg while swinging the other leg back and forth. Then switch legs and repeat. (If standing on a Bosu ball or pillows feels too challenging, try sitting on the ball with your legs straight in front of you and shift your weight from side to side.)

  • For office workers, simply getting up from a chair 10 times in a row can be useful, says Mr. Jackson. Alternate between getting up with your feet in wide stance, which provides more support, and getting up with a narrow stance with your feet touching.

For more tips, check out the full article: Boost Your Balance; Avoid Falls | Wall Street Journal

 

Playing Tetris Can Reduce Cravings

Written by RCSC Writer. Posted in Blog, Wellness Bites

tetrisKeep thinking about those chocolate chips cookies cooling in the kitchen?  It may be time to bust out that old Nintendo, or let’s be serious,  downloading Tetris to your phone.

According to a new study in the journal Appetite, cravings have a lot to do with imagery, so “therefore a visually based task should decrease craving and craving imagery.”  To test this, scientists asked participants to rate their cravings, and then they broken up into groups. One group played Tetris, the other, had to wait fora computer program to load, that was designed to never load (worst group ever.)

Results: The group that played Tetris had significantly lower craving and less vivid craving imagery.

“You look at the brightly colored shapes and have to manipulate them to make them fit the gaps,” study author Jackie Andrade, a psychology professor at England’s Plymouth University, told the New York Daily News. “It occupies the same mental process that you need for imagining the food, drink or drug that you are craving. You can’t do both at once, so the craving suffers, which is good if you want to abstain from what you crave.”

What do you do to avoid giving into your cravings?

Olympians Love Yoga!

Written by RCSC Writer. Posted in Blog, Wellness Bites

yoga.dogWhat do figure skaters, skiers, and snow boarders all have in common? BESIDES the Olympics? They love Yoga!

The Huffington Post recently profiled several female athletes competing in the Winter Olympics and found that many of them can’t get enough Yoga.

“In a judged sport, you’re always comparing yourself to others,” Shannon Deanne Bahrke, freestyle skier, said. ” Yoga has really taught me to be OK with what I have and to work within myself.  (Check out the whole article, plus some pretty cool photos of each of these athletes in various yoga poses here.)

Is it really any surprise thought?  Here are just a few of Yoga’s many benefits:

  • Stress Reduction
  • Increased Flexibility
  • Lower Blood Pressure
  • Improve Energy Levels

Discover some of these benefits for yourself in one of Rock Creek Sports Club’s Yoga Classes! Check out our Schedule! 

The Wonderful World of Watermelon

Written by Paul. Posted in Blog, Wellness Bites

Summer is here! And you know what that means, tons of fresh fruit and vegetables are in season. And we don’t know about you guys, but here at Rock Creek Sports Club, one our favorite summer-time treats is definitely watermelon.

Why? Well, not only is it delicious, but it’s packed with so many amazing nutritional benefits, you’ll want to pick one up on your way home from work after reading this list.