Sorry dude, no orgasms for you.
It’s a study that launched a thousand jokes. A new survey puts weight behind the seemingly too-good-to-be-true claim that women can orgasm during exercise.
(Bonus: the paper is published in a very Discoblog-friendly special issue of Sexual and Relationship Theory, all about the science of orgasms.)
Researchers collected online survey responses from over 300 women who reported orgasms or feeling “sexual” pleasure at the gym, even though they were not thinking sexual thoughts. But not all exercise is created equal, and some kinds are more pleasurable than others. Ab exercises, pole climbing (figures!), biking, and weight lifting were the most common orgasm-inducing activities. A piece of equipment called the “captain’s chair” made especially frequent appearances. (Just me or does it kinda sound like an S&M thing?) Anyways, the captain’s chair is used for knee-raising ab exercises like in the image shown here.
It should come as no surprise that scientists have spent many hours contemplating new tortures for the chocolate-addicted. After all, how else will science know how much, say, boredom, will affect chocolate intake? Or stress? Or watching a psychologist unwrap a chocolate bar? These are the important things, people.
The latest edition of this research addresses a question close to many a cubicle drone’s heart: will exercise reduce the amount of chocolate you eat while at work? Read More
A knightly stroll, with treadmill and respiration mask
Medieval knighthood was physically grueling work: Jousting with massive lances. Charging into battle. Jogging on a treadmill in a full suit of armor. You know how it is.
It’s no surprise that beneath their shining armor, knights shimmered with sweat. Running around in up to 110 pounds of armor, or even advancing at a stately walk, would take a whole lot of effort. But, a team of scientists wondered, just how exhausting was it?
Sex. Dark chocolate. Nintendo’s Wii. It seems like most anything can be correlated with health and longevity nowadays. Now, some researchers want to add shopping to that list, after they saw a possible link between daily shopping and death age. Not everyone agrees, though, with this “shop so you don’t drop” mentality (surprise!).
In the study, published by the Journal of Epidemiology & Community Health, the researchers followed nearly 2,000, independently living, Taiwanese citizens who were at least 65 years old. The researchers gathered their shopping habits by looking at a 1999-2000 survey that evaluated how often these Taiwanese geriatrics shopped, and then they used national death registries to keep track of the study groups’ deaths until 2008. After correcting for age, gender, health, ethnicity, financial status, and other factors, the researchers discovered that daily shoppers were 27% less likely to kick the bucket than their less shop-happy peers (aka those who shopped only once a week or less). Oddly enough, the best shopping-related survival record goes to the men, who reduced their chances of dying by 28% by shopping; women who shopped daily cut their chances by 23%. The effect was slightly more pronounced in men than women.
There are certain things you’re not supposed to do during sex and having a heart attack is one of them. We’ve known for a while that bursts of moderate to intense physical activity—including sex—increase heart attack risk, but a few scientists have now put number on that risk. And especially for out-of-shape folks, the diagnosis doesn’t look good (unless you’re aiming for death by sex, of course).
Studying death and sex is a tricky subject: Scientists can’t just round up volunteers, watch them make love, and then note which ones die. So instead they analyzed data from 14 different studies to single out connections between sex, exercise, and the risk of cardiac death or heart attacks.
As the researchers wrote in the Journal of the American Medical Association, “Acute cardiac events were significantly associated with … sexual activity.” When exercising, you’re 3.5 times more likely to get a heart attack, and when having sex (or immediately after sex), you’re 2.7 times more likely.
They say there’s no such thing as a free lunch, but a hotel in Copenhagen lets you get closer to that goal–it just asks for sweat equity.
The Crowne Plaza Copenhagen Towers wants its guests to hit the gym, pedal on special bikes, and generate power for the hotel to help it reduce its carbon footprint. If a guest generates a certain amount of energy via pedal-power, she’ll be rewarded with a free meal.
The eco-friendly hotel is already a carbon-neutral building that’s cooled and heated by Denmark’s first ground water-based cooling and heating system, and which has a facade covered with high-tech solar panels. And starting next week, The Guardian reports, the 366-room hotel will encourage guests to help out the environment by working on on new electricity-generating exercise bikes:
The bikes have iPhones mounted on the handlebars which monitor how much power is being produced and fed into the mains supply of the hotel. Any guest producing 10 watt hours or more will be rewarded with a free meal.
If want to go out for a jog outside but don’t want to get your sneakers dirty, here’s a unique solution for you. Now you can work out to your heart’s content on the new treadmill bike, a treadmill that has been rigged up to a bike–to offer a workout that can only be described as unnecessarily complicated.
Describing the contraption, The Red Ferret Journal writes:
Built with rugged design and all-terrain tires, this 2-wheeled wonder will take you anywhere a standard bicycle will, and give you a great cardiovascular workout with the burn of that walking treadmill you’ve got a love-hate relationship with in the gym.
Gizmag reports that by taking the workout outside, the machine makes sure you are buff and not bored:
The Treadmill Bike is for people who love the feel of a treadmill beneath their feet but don’t want to be stuck inside pounding away when it’s a beautiful day outside. Bicycle Forest [which sells the machine] says the creation has the same fat-burning benefits of a conventional treadmill without the gym membership fees (although you do have to buy the bike).
Here’s a product for anyone who has ever huffed and puffed on the treadmill, while wishing they had done a better job of keeping fit. A new device called Oxyfit claims to make the workout experience a little easier by pumping oxygen-rich air directly into your breathing space. (Air out in the wild contains about 20 percent oxygen.) The increase in oxygen flow, claim the makers, will maximize your workout.
Japan Trend Shop sells the product, and extolls the merits of Oxyfit:
Not only can this help with fatigue and other symptoms of low oxygen, but it can actually boost brainpower and metabolism as well. More oxygen lets you run farther, work longer, and even lose weight! An increased supply of oxygen speeds up your body’s metabolic engine, burning more calories and stimulating fat loss. Finally, the improved circulation from increased oxygen levels can produce nootropic (brain-stimulating) and anti-aging effects (through increased moisturization of the skin).
My high school physical education teacher had a nickname for everyone. (Mine was “Little One” because I was the runt of the class. Better than “Chicken Bones,” as one scrawny boy was dubbed.) It didn’t bother me, but according to research recently published in Qualitative Research in Sport and Exercise, I dodged a bullet–or maybe the dodgeball.
Billy Strean, a professor at the University of Alberta’s Faculty of Physical Education and Recreation, says “a negative lifelong attitude towards physical activity can be determined by either a good or a bad experience, based on the personal characteristics of the coach or instructor. For example, negative experiences may come from a teacher who has low energy, is unfair and/or someone who embarrasses students.”
It’s tough to get people to make healthier decisions about the way they live their lives. Public health officials have tried for decades to stem the obesity epidemic by getting people to exercise more, but all their tactics–lecturing, scolding, scaring, informing, inspiring, empowering–have had very little effect.
But at a subway station in Stockholm, a band of inventive social engineers had amazing results when they decided to get commuters off the escalators and onto the stairs. They asked themselves, “Can we get more people to choose the stairs by making it fun to do?” And then they turned the staircase into a piano keyboard, complete with black and white keys.
The project was part of a larger initiative sponsored by Volkswagen called “The Fun Theory,” which aims to prove that people will change their behavior for the better if you let them have a little fun in the bargain. Have you pulled off a similar trick? Tell Volkswagen about it and you can win more than $4,000.
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