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My Magazine Ruined My Workout
Just like the idea of shopping with a supermodel for swimsuits may deter you from hitting the local mall, experts say reading a fitness magazine while working out may keep you from reaping the positive benefits of exercise.
A recent study at the University of Wisconsin showed that women who read Oxygen magazine—a fitness read chock full of buff women—while exercising proved to be more anxious, depressed and in a worst mood than they had been before working out. On the other hand, the group of women who read a general interest magazine, like Good Housekeeping, or no magazine at all showed the psychological improvements that are typically reaped from exercising.
The study was followed up with a similar one for men in which the researchers determined that guys, too, felt anxious when looking at muscle magazines. The men did not, however, show signs of depressed feelings. And while the same feelings of unease may also occur when viewing images of thin models often featured in fashion magazines, researchers are currently focusing on the effects of muscular model photos.
Health experts say their biggest concern is that, ultimately, such discouraging feelings may cause people to stray from their workout plans. The verdict: Trade up for a non-fitness magazine or toss reading while working out altogether. The best results from a fitness plan are often obtained when you are focusing on the task at hand anyway. [MSNBC]