Body & Fitness

Lowering stress: talking versus emailing

Researchers have discovered that a quick chat with your mother significantly lowers stress hormones. But only in person or the phone...

Mother knows best

We all know that there is no-one like Mum for dispensing pearls of wisdom or calming words. But a new study has warned against having electronic chats with her as it turns out they’re no substitute for the real thing.

Researchers have discovered that a quick chat with your mother significantly lowers stress hormones. However, they say text messages or emails have almost no effect.

The study discovered that when stressed teenage girls talked to their mums before exams, either face to face or on the phone, levels of the stress hormone cortisol dropped, while the comfort hormone oxytocin soared.

“Instant messaging isn’t really a substitute for in-person or over-the-phone interaction,” says psychologist Leslie Seltzer, one of the study’s co-authors. “People still need to interact in the way we evolved to.”

Instant messaging, such as Facebook, texts or emails, will never have the same effect as real conversations, she says, no matter how many smiley faces you put in.

**Try it

**Long-distance running. A recent study showed marathons do not increase the risk of a fatal heart attack. However, the scientists advised older runners get their hearts checked for clogged arteries, as training can accelerate damage.

**

Ditch it**

Avoiding restaurants when you’re on a diet. Research on 35 women who ate out twice a week found that half of them, given counselling about kilojoules and attitude to food, lost more weight than the others, who were not offered any advice.

Switch it

Swap your teen’s pizza for a steak. After studying the brains of 615 youngsters, US scientists found a low intake of iron (found in red meat, pulses and green leafy veges) in adolescence causes weaker connections between brain cells, which may affect intelligence.



**Tiny tweaks

**Small lifestyle changes, which can make a very big difference:

  • Eat soya nuts instead of salted peanuts

As well as being kinder to your waistline, eating a 25g handful of soya nuts (420 kilojoules) instead of roasted or salted peanuts (665 kilojoules) will also help your heart. The protein in soya nuts – roasted soya beans – has been shown to lower blood cholesterol, and their high fibre content means they are more filling, and will keep your appetite curbed for longer.

  • Swap gentle walks for more intense exercise

We’re told we should exercise moderately for 30 minutes five times a week, but you’ll get just as much benefit doing three 25-minute bouts of more intense exercise such as running, football or swimming.

Get The Australian Woman’s Weekly NZ home delivered!  

Subscribe and save up to 38% on a magazine subscription.

Related stories

The supplements experts say we should actually be taking this winter
Health

The supplements experts say we should actually be taking this winter

As winter officially arrives and we reach for those little bottles to boost our immunity, we ask the experts: are supplements really necessary? Or are we handing over our hard-earned cash for the privilege of generating brightly coloured pee?  “In theory, we should be getting everything we need from eating a healthy varied ‘real food’ […]