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The Easiest Way to Resist Every Temptation

Man working out

Who doesn’t need help with this?

Keep working out and you’ll kiss more than just extra pounds goodbye. New research published in the journal Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise finds that aerobic exercise can actually dampen your desire for the excess things you crave—more money, or even that fast food burger.

Researchers asked volunteers to run on a treadmill or remain inactive for 30 minutes. Then, everyone played a game in which they had to press buttons to gain—or avoid losing—money. The results: The brain area that controls rewards (like the want for cash) was much more active in those who stayed sedentary than those who worked out.

What gives? A neurotransmitter called dopamine spikes when you’re anticipating a reward. But exercising floods your brain with even moredopamine—and the lift can last for hours. Since the levels are already elevated in your brain, the dopamine spikes from a reward are blunted post-sweat session, making you less likely to crave them.

Your move: Next time you find yourself longing for those things you don’t have, run it off. Thirty minutes of movement could rid your mind of wanting, making you more appreciate what you actually got going for you.

 

by Cassie Shortsleeve October 24, 2012

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