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Health

70 STASHED IDEAS

  • Social exercise provides a sense of autonomy, making us feel more self-reliant.
  • It increases connectedness with others and promotes better mental health.
  • It makes the process easy and habit-forming, with your friends becoming both your cue and your reward for your actions.
  • When one sees others sweating hard, it provides a raw motivation and renewed confidence, making you go the extra mile. This would not be possible alone.
  • Friends provide reminders and regular doses of encouragement, helping us stay on track.
  • It is easier and more fun to travel with friends to the gym.
  • Friendly challenges and competition boost the intensity of our effort.
  • Exercising can become a life-long habit due to the social aspects.
  • Social exercising results in people attending regular sessions, coming on time and not dropping out in between.
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Health

The Benefits Of Exercise And Social Aspects

It is a well-known fact that exercise is beneficial for our health and well-being. It also lowers blood pressure, improves our sleep and leads to better glycemic control.

New research on exercise reveals that group exercising may have other positive effects that were overlooked before. Our thoughts and attitudes are influenced by the people around us, and when we get to know people who exercise regularly, we start to view the activity as desirable, doable and appealing.

The pandemic has severely affected social exercising, but there are few ways out. Several yoga classes have participants at safe distance from each other, and there are many running clubs where people wear masks.

Virtual classes for Yoga or aerobics are the next-best thing and offer several new benefits like flexibility of schedule and connecting with people all over the world.

If the motivation we have to exercise is intrinsic (coming from our inner being), we are more likely to continue with the behaviour or activity, as it is both enjoyable and satisfying by itself. If the motivation is extrinsic (an obligation or just to lose weight) it becomes difficult to maintain the same.

Group exercise is enjoyable and rewarding even if it is difficult. The social aspect turns the otherwise boring and monotonous activity into fun.

Agoraphobia has many symptoms:

  1. Fear of being alone.
  2. Being afraid to go to a place where escaping may be hard.
  3. Depending on others, and feeling helpless.
  4. Feeling detached or separated from others.
  5. Feeling that our body or our environment is not real.
  6. Being agitated or angry for no reason.
  7. Staying inside your home or room for long periods.

The act of avoiding something scary can itself turn fearful. Panic attacks amplify agoraphobia, and the pandemic has increased the anxiety levels of the general population according to many new studies.

The pandemic has in fact normalized agoraphobia and getting back to normal requires some time.

One can break the fearful cycle by forcing oneself to go outside, and not avoiding certain situations out of fear.

If the problem is out of hand, consult a mental health expert. Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) is generally prescribed to patients, along with medication.

It also helps to take a walk in nature outside, preferably with a friend, trying to lessen the anxiety.

Agoraphobia: Being Confined To A Room

Agoraphobia is a mental health condition that makes one experience an intense fear of leaving their premises. The person is terrified of going outside their homes, and can also feel that it is hard to escape a certain place. Agoraphobia can take many shapes and is accompanied by chronic anxiety and panic attacks.

Example: If a person has a panic attack at a subway, they may start to avoid going to a subway, associating it with fear.

The first NCAA tournament in 1939 included eight teams. The first collegiate basketball national champion was the University of Oregon, who defeated Ohio State University.

68 teams of the 1,000 collegiate basketball teams play in the annual March Madness tournament. The best college teams from each conference compete for a place in the Sweet 16, Elite Eight, Final Four, and the national championship.

Origins of basketball
  • In 1891, James Naismith, a physical education teacher, created a new game to keep his students engaged during the winter months. The game had to be playable indoors and accommodate several players at once. It needed to provide exercise without a chance for more severe injuries.
  • Two peach baskets nailed to the lower rail of the gymnasium balcony served as goals. The students would play on teams to try and get a ball into their team's basket. The first game was a complete brawl.
  • During the first game, the students were tackling, kicking and punching. One boy was knocked out, some had black eyes, and one had a dislocated shoulder. Afterwards, they nagged Naismith to let them play again.
  • He created some rules and continued to modify them into 13 rules - known as the original 13 rules. Some of the original rules are still part of the modern game today.
  • The sport was introduced at the 1904 Olympic Games as a demonstration event and recognised as a medal event in 1936. The 1976 Montreal games included women's basketball.
  • The first professional league was the National Basketball League (NBL) in 1898 and consisted of six northeast teams. It lasted five years. The league was reintroduced in 1937 with a new support system and 13 teams.
  • At first, basketball was segregated. The sport was only integrated in 1950 when the Boston Celtics drafted Chuck Cooper.

The first public game of basketball was played on March 12th, 1892, in a YMCA gymnasium where the teachers played against the students. About 200 spectators attended.

Within weeks the sport's popularity grew. Students from other schools introduced the game at their own YMCAs, and then it was introduced to many foreign nations. High schools began to teach the game, and by 1905, basketball was officially recognized as a permanent winter sport.

Moving away from three meals might at first feel unnatural, but that eating schedule is both very recent and born out of social convenience. We don't eat three meals because of nutritional science or a natural human inclination.

It is mostly the consequence of industrialization, which took the population away from home regularly. Before that, people worked during daylight, pausing midmorning and later in the afternoon. It was a two-meal schedule based on outdoor physical labour.

The three-meals-a-day was created to bend human life around the necessity of leaving home to work elsewhere.

Now with online working and turning back to home-life-work, people are bending once again around an entirely new set of challenges. Our old eating schedules are changing to fit our new circumstances.

Adjusted eating patterns are more useful or satisfying in the conditions people are living in.

It is hard to see how life might be made more flexible after the pandemic. For now, eat when you feel like it. There is no reason to eat when you're not hungry or to force yourself to cook when you're tired and would be happy with a lighter meal.

Changing the three-meals-a-day norm

Many people eat three meals a day. But we don't have to eat this way.

In trying to find a new routine while working from home, many Americans are drawn to eating a Big Meal once a day when they're ready to have it. A Big meal is large and can be eaten at any time of the day, typically in the late afternoon. It is not a diet, just a convenient way of eating.

  • One possibility is that the effects of weather on mood are mostly physiological. Heat causes discomfort by taxing our bodies to regulate temperature, leading to irritability and aggression.
  • Sunlight produces vitamin D and promotes the production of serotonin - which is a mood lifter.

However, the weather will only influence us if we expose ourselves to it. In industrialised societies, people only spend 7% of their time outside.

Temperature can affect our mind and behaviour separately of sunshine.

  • The more the temperature moves away from 20°C, the more discomfort we feel. Higher temperatures are linked to physical and verbal aggression.
  • Humidity tends to make people more tired and irritable.
  • Atmospheric pressure fluctuations can alter moods and trigger headaches.
  • On rainy days, some people report lower satisfaction with their lives.
Sunshine is intimately tied to mood

Sunshine has repeatedly been found to increase moods, dampen negative moods and reduce tiredness.

People are happier and more helpful when the sun is out. A study showed that Minnesota diners tip more generously in sunny weather and American studies observed better daily stock returns on sunny days. Sunshine also affect our mental sharpness.

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