Beat the Winter Blues Update

A couple of weeks ago I suggested taking a walk at lunchtime to get some midday sunlight and some healthy exercise.  We already know that exercise has significant benefits for mood and energy levels and has the potential for managing addictions.  Now there’s an even better reason to go for a walk.
According to research published by the University of Exeter, a 15 minute walk can cut your snacking at work by a half.  The researchers invited 78 regular chocolate eaters to abstain from chocolate for2 days and then enter a simulated work environment.  They were asked to take a brisk 15 minute walk on a treadmill and then they divided into four groups.  The first group was given an easy, low-stress task and the second was given a more difficult task.  The other two groups were asked to have a rest before being given the same tasks as the first two groups.  Chocolate was freely available to all the teams.
The groups who had exercised before working ate on average half the amount of chocolate eaten by the others.  The difficulty of the task made no difference to the amount of chocolate they consumed.
Professor Adrian Taylor, lead researcher, said: “We know that snacking on high calorie foods, like chocolate, at work can become a mindless habit and can lead to weight gain over time. We often feel that these snacks give us an energy boost, or help us deal with the stress of our jobs, including boredom. People often find it difficult to cut down on their daily treats but this study shows that by taking a short walk, they are able to regulate their intake by half.”
You can read more at Dec 7 2011