Power napping at your desk? Hit the gym instead! Swedish research has found that those who train during office hours have more energy and are more productive. The study at the Karolinska Institute found that 2½ hours of training a week also made employees happier and healthier, leading to fewer sick days. Now that’s a reason to ask your manager for a gym pass!
Sick with stress
Have you noticed how you always catch the flu at the most inconvenient times, especially when you’re overworked and stressed beyond recognition? It’s not a coincidence. A meta-analysis comparing all available studies on the topic has concluded that stressed people are twice as likely to catch the flu as their relaxed counterparts.
Fad diet warning
The Heart Foundation has issued a specific warning about low-carb diets such as the popular Dukan Diet. “Very low-carbohydrate diets don’t provide the body with adequate nutrition, especially when it comes to antioxidants, calcium and fibre,” says Dr Robert Grenfell, national clinical issues director at the National Heart Foundation of Australia. “If followed in the long term, they can also raise your levels of so-called ‘bad’ or LDL cholesterol as you often end up eating foods that are high in unhealthy saturated fat.” Dr Grenfell adds that the key to healthy weight loss is to enjoy a variety of foods and be active every day.
A doctorate thesis at the Karolinska Institute in Sweden has found that people with high levels of physical activity are less likely to develop respiratory tract infections, such as colds, compared to those with inactive lifestyles. Lack of sleep was also associated with lower natural killer cell activity, which can harm the body’s ability to fight infections. The moral of the story? Exercise more and get a good night’s sleep!