It's touted to relieve pain, lower stress and anxiety, and bolster cognitive performance, but does the practice of mindfulness physically change the brain — and if so, how do we know?
If you've been feeling a bit sweatier than usual lately, it's no wonder — Australia just copped its hottest month on record.
But perspiration does more than keep us cool. The watery stuff that oozes out of our skin can give us the lowdown on what's going on inside our body.
Most notably, sweat is used to test for cystic fibrosis, a genetic condition that thickens mucous in the lungs and digestive system.
The cystic fibrosis sweat test turns 60 next month. And the concept behind it has remained largely unchanged since.
So how can sweat diagnose cystic fibrosis — and what else can it be used for?
Corneel Vandelanotte, et al
Regular walking produces many health benefits, including reducing our risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes and depression.
Best of all, it’s free, we can do it anywhere and, for most of us, it’s relatively easy to fit into our daily routines.
We often hear 10,000 as the golden number of steps to strive for in a day. But do we really need to take 10,000 steps a day?
Not necessarily. This figure was originally popularised as part of a marketing campaign, and has been subject to some criticism. But if it gets you walking more, it might be a good goal to work towards.
For years, I was the person who kept paying a membership to a gym I never went to.
I'd sign up for early morning boot camps and press snooze when the alarm sounded.
I'd lug work-out gear around in my backpack all day, only to skip my run on the way home.
Despite having the capacity to exercise regularly, and even knowing the minimum amount you need, I didn't make it a priority.
Why was it so difficult for me to start — let alone stick — to an exercise routine?
Now almost a year into exercising consistently, I can pinpoint the fault. My previous motivation for exercising — to change my appearance — was counterproductive.
With my weight as the focus, I'd created a flawed habit loop — a typical cue would be to feel bad about my body, which would prompt the desire to build an exercise routine and lose weight, with the reward being to see instant improvement.
Partnering a reward to an unrealistic expectation made my exercise goals vulnerable to sabotage.
Turns out there are many, many opportunities to brand yourself a failure if you don't see instant results, or don't meet the narrow #fitspo ideal straight away… or ever.
For those of us who enjoy exercise, sometimes we don’t have time to make a meal out of it. Sometimes, an “exercise snack” has to suffice.