I saw this link on the Daily Spark and thought it was worth a look. Here's a link to the PubMed summary too: www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23121339
Short version - rats who normally like running a lot were placed in 4 groups:
~ running however they liked on a wheel
~ forced to run on a wheel but in a pattern/rhythm known to be natural for their species
~ on a fixed speed treadmill
After a few weeks of this "training" they were... um, basically tortured into being stressed, then tested to see if any of the activity groups correlated with less overall stress. Not surprisingly (at least to me), both of the wheel-runner groups fared much better than the treadmill or sedentary rats.
Now here's the weird part. The conclusion states "These data suggest that... exercise perceived as forced may still benefit affect and mental health."
I did NOT get that from the description. The wheel-running may have been technically "forced" but it's an activity that they would have willingly done anyway. The treadmill-running was both "forced" and unpleasant - a whole different matter.
I would interpret that to mean that, if I tried to make myself participate in an activity that didn't intrinsically make me happy I would not be getting the full benefit out of it. So, for instance, a spinning class for me would be sheer drudgery and I would find myself dreading it and only going because it was "good for me" - the same way I would have eaten tofu, if I ever could have brought myself to eat tofu. XD
However, an activity that I DID actually enjoy, like Zumba, would still benefit me, even if I ended up going to a class because my niece showed up at my house and dragged me off to the YMCA (ie, forced me).
I think that's good information to keep in your mental arsenal. Make yourself do the activities that you actually kinda like, even when you sometimes don't want to, but don't give another thought to doing something that you tried and didn't like.
Edited by: WOUBBIE at: 3/17/2013 (13:54)
Challenge 1: Add activity at home to my must-do list.
Challenge 2: Bedtime is now going to be 11:30.
Challenge 3: Leave work on time. It'll all be there in the morning. Whatevs.
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