Shorter workouts sounds nice, but there seems to be a caveat. Exercise can help with depression, but what about when you stop exercising? Anxiety sucks, but there’s a certain type of music that could help. The keto diet is trendy right now, and while it does have its benefits, there could be a downside too. Fasting is another big one, but we could be doing it entirely for the wrong reason.
As we quickly approach 2019, here’s what new research from 2018 tells us about some of the topics we care about the most.
1. 13 minutes might be all you need to build stronger, but not bigger muscles
New research in Medicine and Sciences in Sports and Exercise observed 34 resistance-trained athletes that followed a workout plan that involved a total of seven exercises, three times per week for a total of eight weeks. One group performed one set of each exercise, one group performed three sets, and another group performed five sets. What they found was that all groups experienced an increase in strength and endurance, however, for the higher volume groups (three and five sets) saw more muscular hypertrophy (size).
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2. Taking more than 3 days off from working out could increase depression
An analysis in the Journal of Affective Disorders reviewed a series of studies and determined that three consecutive days without exercise increased depressive symptoms. Women experienced more depressive symptoms than men.
You might also like: What a “rest day” actually looks like
3. Your pre-sleep playlist (or lack thereof) could be giving you more anxiety
A study of 149 people were broken into three groups: one group listened to “yoga music” before bed, another group listed to “pop music” before bed, and another group didn’t listen to any music before bed. Levels of anxiety fell significantly in the “yoga music” group, rose significantly in the “pop music” group, and increased in the group that didn’t listen to any music.
You might also like: The 10 best ways to get better sleep
4. Going “keto” is probably killing your performance
A study published in the Journal Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness observed the athletic performance of 16 men and women that followed three different types of diets during a four day period. The three diet types were: low carbo, keto, and high carb. Anaerobic performance decline in the low carb/keto group. This means if you’re dragging in the gym, the super-low-no-carb thing doesn’t work for you.
Still confused about food and eating right? Check out our story about intuitive eating for lean muscle and update your grocery shopping list with the 25 best muscle-building foods.
5. If you’re going to follow a fast, do it for your intestines, not weight loss
According to new research published in the journal Cell Stem Cell, a 24-hour fast help regenerate intestinal stem cells in young and old mice, but it may hold true for humans too.
As we age our intestines do not recover as well from past infections and illnesses, so a 24-hour fast, once per week may be beneficial.
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