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Negative Impact Of Email On Your Body Is Beyond Expectation, Research Finds

Negative Impact Of Email On Your Body Is Beyond Expectation, Research Finds

Let’s make a bet, shall we? I bet you’re reading this on your smartphone right now. Was I right? Okay, send the money to: Matt Duczemi—just kidding.

My point is that, in today’s busy world full of technological advances, it’s almost a guarantee that even if you’re sitting completely alone in your apartment, you’re no more than a couple steps away from being able to contact almost anyone in the entire world. While this is definitely an amazing accomplishment for mankind, there are certainly many drawbacks to it as well.

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How many of you immediately grab your phone whenever it starts beeping or buzzing, even if you know it’s going to be a meaningless email from that website you signed up for last week? I’m guilty of it as well. But what we’re not realizing is that even taking a quick ten-second glance at our phones completely disrupts us from whatever we were engaged in before the Pavlovian response kicked in. Even worse, the content of the email or message we received has the potential to completely take us away from our previous activity, especially if the email is work-related.

Research and Study

A recent study conducted by the University of Hamburg discovered that having 24/7 access to communication devices results in elevated stress levels across the board. This is due mostly to the fact that our bosses just assume that we should be available at all times, regardless of whether or not we’re on the clock. Not only do our employers expect it, but we also succumb to it as well.

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The study involved 132 workers from 13 different places of business, who were given a stress-related survey every day for 8 days. Of these days, the participants were expected to work and be available on 4 of them. The other 4 they had to themselves. Some of the participants also gave saliva samples in order to measure their cortisol levels, the hormone which regulates stress in the body.

As you can imagine, those who were expected to be available reported higher stress levels, and their saliva samples showed the same. However, even though those who were not expected to work reported feeling less stressed out, their cortisol levels also increased as well. Despite knowing full well that they were completely free to do whatever they pleased, they still may have been affected by the possibility of an emergency call or message coming through on their smartphones.

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What gives?

It seems that our idea of “relaxation” has completely changed. As a freelance writer, I can certainly attest to this: When I went on vacation this summer with my wife, there were still a couple of times I felt compelled to respond to clients immediately when they emailed me, even if it was just to say “I’m away for the week and will get back to you soon.” Rather than completely ignore them, I felt it was in my best interest to give them an update so they didn’t end up passing me over and moving on to someone else. Regardless of my reasoning, for at least a couple of minutes during my one week of vacation, my mind was back on the grind rather than on the ocean waves.

We keep our smartphones within reach at all times. We immediately read and respond to emails, regardless of their true importance. We do all this, as I alluded to in my personal anecdote, in order to keep from falling behind. But we seem to be forgetting that, by putting our career and professional life ahead of our personal life, we end up falling behind in one way or another anyway.

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What do you think? Is it worth sacrificing a couple of minutes to reply to a work-related email? Or are we sacrificing too much by anticipating the next buzz from our phones?

Featured photo credit: Two Dreamers and a Smartphone Addict / Jake Stimpson via farm8.staticflickr.com

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Matt Duczeminski

A passionate writer who shares lifestlye tips on Lifehack

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Last Updated on September 18, 2020

7 Simple Rules to Live by to Get in Shape in Two Weeks

7 Simple Rules to Live by to Get in Shape in Two Weeks

Learning how to get in shape and set goals is important if you’re looking to live a healthier lifestyle and get closer to your goal weight. While this does require changes to your daily routine, you’ll find that you are able to look and feel better in only two weeks.

Over the years, I’ve learned a lot about what it takes to get in shape. Although anyone can cover the basics (eat right and exercise), there are some things that I could only learn through trial and error. Let’s cover some of the most important points for how to get in shape in two weeks.

1. Exercise Daily

It is far easier to make exercise a habit if it is a daily one. If you aren’t exercising at all, I recommend starting by exercising a half hour every day. When you only exercise a couple times per week, it is much easier to turn one day off into three days off, a week off, or a month off.

If you are already used to exercising, switching to three or four times a week to fit your schedule may be preferable, but it is a lot harder to maintain a workout program you don’t do every day.

Be careful to not repeat the same exercise routine each day. If you do an intense ab workout one day, try switching it up to general cardio the next. You can also squeeze in a day of light walking to break up the intensity.

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If you’re a morning person, check out these morning exercises that will start your day off right.

2. Duration Doesn’t Substitute for Intensity

Once you get into the habit of regular exercise, where do you go if you still aren’t reaching your goals? Most people will solve the problem by exercising for longer periods of time, turning forty-minute workouts into two hour stretches. Not only does this drain your time, but it doesn’t work particularly well.

One study shows that “exercising for a whole hour instead of a half does not provide any additional loss in either body weight or fat”[1].

This is great news for both your schedule and your levels of motivation. You’ll likely find it much easier to exercise for 30 minutes a day instead of an hour. In those 30 minutes, do your best to up the intensity to your appropriate edge to get the most out of the time.

3. Acknowledge Your Limits

Many people get frustrated when they plateau in their weight loss or muscle gaining goals as they’re learning how to get in shape. Everyone has an equilibrium and genetic set point where their body wants to remain. This doesn’t mean that you can’t achieve your fitness goals, but don’t be too hard on yourself if you are struggling to lose weight or put on muscle.

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Acknowledging a set point doesn’t mean giving up, but it does mean realizing the obstacles you face.

Expect to hit a plateau in your own fitness results[2]. When you expect a plateau, you can manage around it so you can continue your progress at a more realistic rate. When expectations meet reality, you can avoid dietary crashes.

4. Eat Healthy, Not Just Food That Looks Healthy

Know what you eat. Don’t fuss over minutia like whether you’re getting enough Omega 3’s or tryptophan, but be aware of the big things. Look at the foods you eat regularly and figure out whether they are healthy or not. Don’t get fooled by the deceptively healthy snacks just pretending to be good for you.

The basic nutritional advice includes:

  • Eat unprocessed foods
  • Eat more veggies
  • Use meat as a side dish, not a main course
  • Eat whole grains, not refined grains[3]

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Eat whole grains when you want to learn how to get in shape.

    5. Watch Out for Travel

    Don’t let a four-day holiday interfere with your attempts when you’re learning how to get in shape. I don’t mean that you need to follow your diet and exercise plan without any excursion, but when you are in the first few weeks, still forming habits, be careful that a week long break doesn’t terminate your progress.

    This is also true of schedule changes that leave you suddenly busy or make it difficult to exercise. Have a backup plan so you can be consistent, at least for the first month when you are forming habits.

    If travel is on your schedule and can’t be avoided, make an exercise plan before you go[4], and make sure to pack exercise clothes and an exercise mat as motivation to keep you on track.

    6. Start Slow

    Ever start an exercise plan by running ten miles and then puking your guts out? Maybe you aren’t that extreme, but burnout is common early on when learning how to get in shape. You have a lifetime to be healthy, so don’t try to go from couch potato to athletic superstar in a week.

    If you are starting a running regime, for example, run less than you can to start. Starting strength training? Work with less weight than you could theoretically lift. Increasing intensity and pushing yourself can come later when your body becomes comfortable with regular exercise.

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    7. Be Careful When Choosing a Workout Partner

    Should you have a workout partner? That depends. Workout partners can help you stay motivated and make exercising more fun. But they can also stop you from reaching your goals.

    My suggestion would be to have a workout partner, but when you start to plateau (either in physical ability, weight loss/gain, or overall health) and you haven’t reached your goals, consider mixing things up a bit.

    If you plateau, you may need to make changes to continue improving. In this case it’s important to talk to your workout partner about the changes you want to make, and if they don’t seem motivated to continue, offer a thirty day break where you both try different activities.

    I notice that guys working out together tend to match strength after a brief adjustment phase. Even if both are trying to improve, something seems to stall improvement once they reach a certain point. I found that I was able to lift as much as 30-50% more after taking a short break from my regular workout partner.

    Final Thoughts

    Learning how to get in shape in as little as two weeks sounds daunting, but if you’re motivated and have the time and energy to devote to it, it’s certainly possible.

    Find an exercise routine that works for you, eat healthy, drink lots of water, and watch as the transformation begins.

    More Tips on Getting in Shape

    Featured photo credit: Alexander Redl via unsplash.com

    Reference

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