By now you know that while, yes, sex is a lot of fun, it’s also a big part of keeping you healthy! To help celebrate Valentine’s Day today, Durex and British retailer Littlewoods conducted two sex surveys to see what people’s habits were and basically how you can get busy more. Some interesting tidbits below:
- It might be time to skip the champagne and pick up some sheets instead. Littlewoods found that people who decorated their bedroom with purple bedding or furniture have sex 3.49 times each week, compared to the average 1.8 times each week of those with a gray bedroom decor. Sounds like a fun home improvement project for your next date night, right?
- The bedroom is getting boring: Almost 75 percent of American adults have done the deed in an adventurous location.
- Top spots that seem like a good idea in theory but never really work out include the shower (38 percent), backseat of a car (25 percent) and on a beach (21 percent).
- When asked for the top dream destination for a sexy rendezvous, women answered the Eiffel Tower (33 percent) while men said the West Wing of the White House (31 percent)!
More from FITNESS: The Get It On Guide
All it takes is a looming deadline or spat with your roommate to get your heart pumping, but when it comes to the beat, which places have a higher heart rate? Azumio, mobile health app developer of programs like Cardio Buddy, Fitness Buddy and Sleep Time pulled some data from their heart monitor app Instant Heart Rate across 159 countries, 6 million data points and 500,000 users. Take a look below to see which countries and states are really the most frazzled, plus some other interesting findings:
- Too much on our plate? According to Azmuio’s data, the average global heart rate for women is 79.83 beats per minute (bpm). For men, it’s 74.02 bpm.
- When it comes to countries, India had the highest average heart rate at 80.5 bpm with the U.K. clocking in as the lowest at 71.9 bpm. The U.S. has an average heart rate of 77.3 bpm.
- The U.S. cities with the highest heart rate are Dallas (81.4 bpm), Atlanta (81.2 bpm), Houston (80.8 bpm) and Los Angeles (80.5 bpm).
But don’t be fooled–stress isn’t the only factor that can spike your heart rate. Factors like smoking, caffeine and some health issues like thyroid disease all play a part. Find your resting heart rate by using your index and middle finger to find your pulse on your inner wrist. Count the beats for 10 seconds and multiply that number by six. If you’re between 60 to 80 bpm, that’s considered normal.
More from FITNESS Magazine: How Healthy Are You? 10 Easy Self-Checks
As the start of cold and flu season swings into gear, you may find yourself heading to the doctor a little more than usual in the coming months. And while things like insurance coverage is important, a recent study of more than 7,700 Americans conducted by www.healthgrades.com, a site dedicated to helping consumers find medical professionals in their area, found that the average adult spends more time researching cars and refrigerators than their healthcare providers. In addition, over 50 percent of those asked said they felt that they had made the wrong choice in the past when selecting a doctor or hospital. Whoa! Archelle Georgiou, MD and former medical officer at United Health chatted with us about why this survey is so shocking and what you can do to make the right choice for your upcoming doctor visits.
What was the most shocking about this survey?
Aside from the fact that people spend more time researching appliances and their cell phone plans than the hospitals they are going to receive care at, it was surprising how many people looked at convenience first. Obviously insurance and payment for an appointment is an important piece, but convenience in terms of location does not equal quality. In the study, consumers said a hospital’s location is just as important as its mortality rate, 83 percent said it was important and 87 percent said it was very important! Read more
You already know that lack of sleep could lead to weight gain, but did you know that Maine, Montana and Idaho are the sleepiest states? They each clocked in at the average person getting over 6.6 hours of sleep a night, according to the study Gender Differences in a Naturalistic Observational Study of Sleep and BMI by BodyMedia, Inc. presented at the Obesity Society annual meeting this past September. States that got less than 6.3 hours of sleep included Maryland and New York. Some other interesting findings:
- Overall, people with higher BMIs had less sleep, but the increase in weight and sleep is more closely related in women than men. We know, life is not fair.
- The days people sleep the most are Saturday and Sunday. The days people sleep the least are Wednesday and Thursday, as they are most likely caught up in the mid-week work shuffle.
- Younger users got more sleep than older users.
- The recommended amount of sleep for adults is 7 to 8 hours, yet the average amount of sleep per night never enters that range, it’s always below. Case in point: We’re not getting enough sleep!
To help you start snoozing faster, check out the FITNESS Get-to-Sleep Guide. From foods to help you sleep to pre-sleep workouts and how technology messes up your sleep patterns, you can rest easy tonight knowing that more Zzzs are in your future!
More from FITNESS: Find Out What Your BMI Is
This week’s fit links from around the web:
- We’re downloading this app to that helps you stay active at your desk job. – iTunes
- Move over, pumpkin–sweet potatoes deserve a spot on your plate this fall. Try these 5 recipes. — FitBottomedGirls
- A new study found that athletes have more tolerance for pain, but it’s more about mind over matter. -- Greatist
- We need this today: The Rainy Day Runner’s Workout -- FitSugar
- A publisher has removed all smoking references in the Night Before Christmas. Some are against changing a historical figure. We prefer our Santa smoke-free. — LA Times
Written by Lisa Turner, editorial intern
With a seal of approval from the FDA yesterday, brand new diet drug Qsymia promises to help people shed unwanted pounds. Right now, it’s only approved for people who are not only overweight, but struggle with an accompanying condition such as high cholesterol or high blood pressure. Taking a pill sounds like an easy solution, but here at FITNESS, we believe in a prescription of exercise and healthy eating habits. We wanted to know if our Twitter followers felt the same way, so we asked them: Would you take a pill to make weight loss easier?
@KateSchlag: Research proves it–there’s no quick fix for weight loss. Not even in a pill.
@redcurlgurl: No. I like to lose weight the old fashioned way with diet and exercise. I want to earn those “You look great!” compliments.
@Trhi10: We need more whole foods and less pills; it’s another Band-aid.
@xtinamcknight: They also approve of highly processed death trap food like McDonald’s. So thanks, but no thanks.
Now tell us: What do you think about the FDA approving Qsymia?
You might not want to sit down for this. Researchers found that too much sitting can lead to a shorter life. OK, so you probably already know that being more active is better for you, but this study found that even if you get the 150 hours a week of recommended activity, the rest of the time that you spend on your tush could still count against you. Researchers also concluded that sitting less than three hours a day would lead to a gain in living two years longer.
We know, “sitting less” is easier said than done when you have a desk job, and not all of us can get treadmill desks. To add more movement to our daily work routine, we’ve tried sneaking in a workout at lunch, standing at meetings and conference calls and covertly doing some moves in our cubicles. Yet we still need to sit down to get most of our work done. Guess we’ll just have to make up for our 9-5 desk jobs by moving around the rest of the day. Thank goodness for TVs on exercise machines at the gym!
Now tell us: Would you be able to cut your sitting time to three hours a day? How?
It’s always been important to get girls involved in sports (thanks, Title IX!) but according to The Women’s Sports Foundation it’s more important now than ever: If a girl doesn’t participate in sports by the time she is 10 years old, there is only a 25 percent chance that she’ll be involved in some sort of physical activity by the time she is 25. In this previous study the foundation also found that girls who do play sports are more likely to go further in their careers, schooling and pursue non-traditional jobs like science, law and medicine. By staying active during adolescence and young adulthood they are 20 percent less likely to develop breast cancer later in life.
That’s why Playtex Sport has donated $150,000 to The Women’s Sport Foundation to further their work in getting girls involved in physical activity and sports. And you can help too! By visiting the Playtex Sport Facebook page you can pledge your support of the mission with one click, while also getting tips to improve your own workouts, coupons to Playtex tampons and motivational wisdom from athletes like Jessica Mendoza, softball player and two-time Olympic medalist, Leslie Osborne, World Cup soccer medalist and more. So start clicking! And then take your little sister/cousin/niece outside and get them running around!
It’s no secret–we’re pretty busy these days. Between work, family, friends and chores around the house, we often forget to pay attention to the most important person, ourselves. And when we do give ourselves a break, it’s a pretty weak attempt at one. In a recent survey of 3,000 people in 10 major cities conducted by Keurig, Inc. and Green Mountain Coffee Roasters, Inc. people admitted to sneaking away for a ten-minute breather in their closets, the elevator at work and even the zoo! (That seems a bit ironic, don’t you think?) To help put the world on ice, Sissy Biggers, past host of the Food Network’s Ready, Set, Cook! and ABC’s Extreme Makeover and Donna Smallin Kuper, author of Organizing, Plain and Simple share their tips on how to stay sane through summer entertaining and your daily routine.
- Plan your route. When running errands, map out where you need to go to avoid backtracking, says Kuper. “Trip chaining” saves gas and gets you home faster. Before you head out, prepare an iced beverage at home with a Keurig brewer to save time and avoid unnecessary stops.
- Organize your day to maximize productivity. Whether it’s first thing in the morning or late at night, Kuper says there is a time of the day that’s generally your most productive time. Find out when that is and use it to tackle the things on your to-do list that require the most energy and brainpower.
Working a nine-to-fiver is mandatory for most people, and unfortunately, a long commute often comes with the territory. According to a study published today in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, those who travel 16 or more miles each way weigh more and have higher blood pressures than those with less than 10-mile commutes.
Of the almost 4,300 residents from Dallas and Austin involved in the study, researchers discovered that for every 10-mile increase in driving distance, the commuter’s BMI (body mass index) rose .17 units. People with lengthy commutes are nine percent more likely to be obese, either because they didn’t exercise as much, are eating fast food while driving, or they’re not getting enough sleep because their long commute forces them to wake up early.
Weight isn’t the only thing affected by a long drive to work. Spending that much time in the car, especially stuck in traffic, also makes a person tired, moody, and stressed out, which is one reason 52 percent of those in the study with a longer commute suffered from high blood pressure.
So what’s a commuter to do? Quitting your job is obviously not an option, and if working at home part-time isn’t feasible and neither is finding a job closer to where you live, here are some things commuters can do to avoid weight gain and other health issues.
- Make time to move: With an extra hour or two stuck in the car, it may be tough to exercise before or after work, so set aside 30 to 60 minutes during your day to hit the gym. Make it a priority just as you would any other scheduled appointment. Follow our time-saving tips for a lunchtime workout.
- Get enough Zs: Not getting enough sleep is linked to weight gain, so if you know you have to get up early to hop in the car, be sure to hit the hay early enough to get at least seven to eight hours of shut-eye. Here are some tips on how to get quality sleep.
Keep reading to learn what else commuters can do to avoid weight gain.
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