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We’ve all experienced stress manifesting in physical symptoms. For example, you may notice that your allergies or asthma get worse when you are stressed. You may wonder whether the stress from work is making the allergy or asthma attack worse. Wonder no more: a massive study spanning 30 years of data and examining over one million people has found a strong connection between stress and an increased risk of developing autoimmune diseases such as, allergy, asthma, arthritis and Crohn’s disease.
This extraordinarily large-scale observational study followed over one million people in Sweden for a period of 30 years. Over 100,000 people were ultimately diagnosed with a stress-related disorder, from PTSD to acute stress reaction and adjustment disorder. This population is compared with another one million subjects who over the 30-year period were not diagnosed with any stress-based disorder. The study found that those suffering from a diagnosed stress-related disorder were 30 to 40 percent more likely to be diagnosed later with autoimmune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, psoriasis, Crohn’s disease and celiac disease.
Previous research has shown that too much stress can affect the immune system. This study clarified the link between stress and autoimmune diseases. The study conclusively draws a strong link between psychological stress and physical inflammatory conditions.
Work related stress may be unavoidable. However, learning to manage stress using stress-relieve practices such as meditation or yoga may be benefiting you more than just simple stress relieve. Those practices may be relieving your allergy or asthma symptoms too.
Journal Reference: Huan Song, MD, PhD1,2; Fang Fang, MD, PhD2; Gunnar Tomasson, MD, PhD3,4,5; et al Association of Stress-Related Disorders With Subsequent Autoimmune Disease JAMA. 2018;319(23):2388-2400. doi:10.1001/jama.2018.7028

With health and diet fads coming and going faster than a toupee in a hurricane, the need to innovate is constant. The juice cleanse—specifically the green variety—has been the latest, and perhaps longest running health-oriented “cleanse.” It’s meant to reset your gut, and get you on track for your health goals.  A recent Washington Post article is claiming that juice cleanses are ‘so last year;’ supposedly the latest movement is the so-called “gummy bear cleanse.” Since our name is Seattle Gummy Company, our interests were certainly piqued.

We wanted to understand exactly why this would work, and what the effects might be (nasty, is what we discovered). After some research it seems the company offering this week-long cleanse, Sugarfina, is offering more of a tongue-in-cheek gimmick. However, there is, perhaps, a more niche trend out there that involves “sugar-free” gummies; more specifically, gummies that contain pass-through sugars. “A pass-through sugar is a type of carbohydrate that is not absorbed by the digestive track,” says Brenden Carlson, our resident gummy scientist.

The more niche version of this cleanse works because one notable property of these sugar-substitutes is that they aren’t absorbed by the digestive tract. These sugars are also very hydrophilic and can lead to more water being absorbed into the colon. Without going into too much graphic detail, this may lead to gastric distress. “Long after eating about 20 of these all hell broke loose. I had a gastrointestinal experience like nothing I’ve ever imagined,” said a reviewer of some sugar-free gummy bears.

To be clear, none of our products should be taken to fulfill your gummy cleanse; they won’t have any of the above-mentioned effects.

Did you know that the perfect training partner could be one who can offer you emotional support, rather than strictly practical? The benefits of exercising with a partner (or even a larger group) have long been discussed. From the motivational benefits to the opportunity to learn new techniques and making sure you never miss a session – all things you can miss out on when you’re responsible for motivating yourself. Whether that’s a regimented gym regime, a simple jog or home circuits, it’s common wisdom that having a partner to motivate you is a great boon to your effectiveness.

There are, however, great benefits that can be gathered from trying out something new and doing exercise with your significant other, something which the research shows can boost you to an even higher level.

A Competitive Edge

Aside from the obvious benefits of being able to motivate one another and behave competitively to enhance your workouts, there have been studies demonstrating the specific benefits of exercising with your partner.

Your body releases endorphins and various other hormones when exercising. Merely being in the presence of your partner when you’ll be feeling on top of the world is reason enough and can help to strengthen your relationship.

Diversifying Activity

Working out with a person you are intimately involved with on all levels can bring the benefit of diversifying your workout. Imaginative fitness exercises for partners can become second nature with someone you feel physically comfortable in the company of, as opposed to a close friend or partner you might feel physically awkward with, regardless of the depth of your relationship.

Building Mutual Interests

The benefit of exercise via sports cannot be underestimated, either. Couples frequently report not being interested in their opposite halves’ interests, and the common trope we see is the disdain with which a stereotypical girlfriend views a stereotypical boyfriend’s football interests.

By playing a mutual sport or doing a mutual activity, however, you can build a hobby together; a shared interest and a chance to share your passions, or rivalries, and always have something to enjoy and debate together. Researchers have even suggested that mutual activities of this type are crucial to a long relationship. That’s not to say every interest should be cooperative – you still need ‘you’ time.

The Long Term

Bear in mind that physicality is not the be all and end all to a happy relationship. Whilst research has showed that, in under 35s, weight is very important, over that age it’s seen as less of an issue.

If you put aside the obvious issue of physicality and think about the holistic benefits, exercise with your partner is a very effective and versatile way to get you feeling closer and enjoying your time together even more than you may already be.

Thanks for reading.

by blog contributor Jackie Edwards