MIND/BODY CONNECTION

Stress and Bad Breath

Becky Holman

We all know that stress and nervousness can increase cortisol, which can cannibalize muscle tissue. It turns out that muscle growth isn’t the only thing that goes bad—so can your breath. Stress produces more sulfur compounds and diminishes saliva production, both of which contribute to breath distress. Chewing gum or sucking on mints can help.


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The Secret

Becky Holman

The Secret

According to the item titled “Mind Over Med­icine” that recently appeared in IRON MAN, 45 percent of primary care physicians have given patients placebos. The reason is that if patients believe that something they’re taking will improve their condition, the condition often improves. It’s a case of the mind controlling the body—and that’s essentially what

Mind Over Matters

Becky Holman

Mind Over Matters

Bodybuilders know that stress can inhibit muscle growth, primarily due to the release of cortisol, a stress hormone that also suppresses the immune system. New research, however, suggests that it’s not so much the stress as how you perceive it. Some people don’t suffer any negative effects from stress but instead tend to thrive on it—a hectic life invigorates them. If you feel stress negatively, however, you’re probably not one of those few and should take steps to reduce life’s stresses. Daily meditation is one way—and yes, long walks and light workouts can count as meditative activities that relieve stress.

John Perry

Ian Sitren

John Perry

U.S. Navy Petty Officer Third Class John Perry went to sea in 2003 and became one of the first crew members of the USS Momsen, a guided missile destroyer. That job has enabled him to see Australia, Hong Kong, Malaysia and Guam and go through the Panama Canal. It also enabled him to get serious about lifting in 2006—when he cruised across BodyBuilding.com.

No Phone, Better Snoozing

Becky Holman

No Phone, Better Snoozing

Researchers at Wayne State University in Detroit have found that using your cell phone before bed can interfere with sleep. It appears that the low-level radiation emitted by cell phones reduces the secretion of melatonin, a hormone that helps induce sleep. Lesson: Turn off your cell phone at least an hour before bedtime.

Postworkout Cardio

Becky Holman

Postworkout Cardio

A number of writers in IRON MAN have recommended doing cardio after you train with weights rather than before. The reason is that lifting clears the bloodstream of sugar so you tap into fat stores almost immediately when you hit the treadmill. Now a study out of Japan says that doing cardio after weights also helps lower blood pressure, which tends to be higher after lifting. The postworkout cardio made blood vessels more elastic, which is a good thing, especially for older trainees.