Michael Matthews Bigger Leaner Stronger The Simple Science of Building the Ultimate Male Body.pdf

Instead you want to engage in activities that elicit

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Instead, you want to engage in activities that elicit a specific type of physiological response: your heart rate slows, your blood pressure drops, your muscles relax, and your mind stops analyzing and planning. Everything just slows down. Research has shown that there are various ways to enter this state, such as going for a walk outside, reading, drinking a cup of tea, listening to soothing music, doing yoga, lying down and focusing on breathing and relaxing your muscles, and even gardening. 21 Another important part of keeping stress levels low is getting adequate sleep. If you sleep too little too regularly, you’ll find yourself more susceptible to stress and temptation and lacking the “energy reserve” needed to keep your good habits in play and your bad habits in check. In fact, research shows that sleep deprivation causes symptoms similar to ADHD: distractibility, forgetfulness, impulsivity, poor planning, and hyperactivity. 22 These are hardly the types of behavior conducive to good self- control. Reducing your consumption of pessimistic, fear-mongering media can reduce stress levels as well. Research has shown that exposing yourself to a constant barrage of bad news, scare tactics, and morbid reminders of our mortality increases the likelihood of overeating, overspending, and other willpower failures. 23
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If you really want to “stress-proof” yourself and build up your willpower reserve, however, you want to start exercising. Research shows that regular exercise reduces cravings for both food and drugs, increases heart rate variability, makes us more resistant to stress and depression, and even optimizes overall brain function. 24 The bottom line is that nothing seems to improve self-control in all aspects of our lives like exercise. 25 Its effects are immediate, and it doesn’t even take a lot to reap its willpower benefits: research shows that even five minutes of low-intensity exercise outdoors is enough to improve your mental state. 26 If you want a willpower “quick fix,” exercise is it. So the next time you’re feeling too tired or short on time to work out, remember the bigger picture—every workout you do replenishes your willpower and energy. Think of it as your “secret weapon” for staying on top of your game. DON’T CARE HOW, I JUST WANT IT NOW I want the works I want the whole works Presents and prizes and sweets and surprises Of all shapes and sizes And now Don’t care how I want it now Don’t care how I want it now Those words were sung by Veruca in Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, and many people sing along every day, regardless of whether they realize it. The problem is that when we think about rewards, the longer we have to wait, the less desirable they become. Psychologists call this “delay discounting,” and it explains why in the moment of having to make a decision regarding an immediate reward versus a future one, one bird—or Big Mac—in the hand can be worth an inordinately large number of other things in the bush.
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  • Winter '17
  • Santos O'Neill Garcia
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