Keep this in mind the next time your significant other tries to make you stay up to binge-watch The Walking Dead. After studying the sleep habits of 210 healthy adults, researchers at Duke University found that a lack of sleep affects women more than men. Women who tossed and turned on the reg experienced weight gain, increased stress and more health issues such as diabetes and heart disease. The guys, not so much. The reason? Probably testosterone. This hormone, which is obviously found in greater concentration in men, is thought to protect the body’s cells.
A few minutes (of exercise) a day can keep the doctor away
Attention, fellow lazy girls. Apparently, a few minutes of high-intensity exercise can give you the same health benefits as longer, moderate-paced sweat sessions. Before you cancel your gym membership, let me explain. Scientists at McMaster University asked men to complete the following 10-minute cycling workout three times a week: warm up for 2 minutes, sprint for 20-second intervals and cycle moderately for two minutes. They repeated this two more times and then cooled down for three minutes. Another group cycled at a normal pace for 45 minutes straights. After 12 weeks, those with the shorter workout experienced the same cardiorespiratory benefits as those in the longer classes. It’s theorized that this principle extends to most high-intensity workouts, so we asked personal trainer Adrian Frai to give us three interval workouts. (Note: be sure to warm up and cool down properly before.)
Treadmill intervals: Walk for two minutes to warm up. Depending on your fitness level, increase the speed to 8-9 mph (sprinting) for a total of 20 seconds. Follow with a two-minute walk at 3.5 mph. Repeat two more times.
Push-up intervals: Set a timer for 20 seconds and perform as many push-ups as possible. Instead of using the break to rest, incorporate alternating side planks for the next 30 seconds. Repeat the intervals two more times. Try to increase the number of push-ups each round.
Bodyweight intervals: Perform 20 seconds of burpees and follow with two minutes of total rest. Repeat two more times. If you hate burpees (who doesn’t?!?) try jumping jacks.