4 ways to motivate yourself to get active

Reading Time: 8 minutes Try these four ways to get a workout in, even when you don’t feel like it.

Suffering from a setback? How to take advantage of failure

Reading Time: 6 minutes We all need failure to grow. The key is learning how to respond to failure to make it work for you. Here are 4 ways you can turn your setbacks into success.

Ask the health educator: Are there physical benefits to sex?

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—Carson G., University of North Dakota
(*Name changed)

Yes!

First, it’s important to define sex. Sex can be with yourself (masturbation) or with others. It’s a consensual act between partners engaging in any agreed-upon activity. Here are some of the physical benefits:

Moderate workout

Sex is a form of exercise—though it may not be as rigorous as some other aerobic activities. Sex can get the heart rate up and it requires the use of various muscles. While I’m not suggesting that we use sex as an alternative to workouts, it can supplement them.

Reduced risk of certain diseases

Fun fact: Males who ejaculate frequently (at least 21 times a month) are less likely to develop prostate cancer, studies suggest. While the research isn’t complete, there is no known harm associated with ejaculating this often. Unless masturbation takes a person away from work, academics, commitments, relationships, or friendships, it’s healthy.

Increased bladder control

This has been shown for women. Sex can be a good workout for the pelvic floor muscles, because contractions of those muscles before and during orgasm can help strengthen them. That strengthening protects against incontinence, or the loss of bladder control, which affects about three in ten women during their lives.

Pain relief

Orgasms can help reduce pain from migraines or cluster headaches, according to a 2013 study in the journal Cephalalgia.

Relaxation and sleep

Various studies have shown that sex (including masturbation) can help reduce stress and assist with sleep. There’s some research to suggest that sex can help lower blood pressure (one study specifically states that this benefit comes from sex with a partner).

Protection from overwork

People who have less sex tend to accept more assignments at work, compensating for their frustration, according to a study by German researchers.

Random acts of kindness week

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How are you honoring Random Acts of Kindness Week (February 9-15)? Most people would agree that kindness has many benefits. Did you know it’s good for your health? It’s true: Kindness relieves stress. Kindness also improves mental health, test scores, and behavior. It’s contagious: Kindness leads to more kindness.

So what are some simple acts of kindness you can do every day? Try these:

  • Walk a dog for a local senior (especially if it’s snowing, wet, or icy)
  • Hold the door open for someone
  • Pay it forward when buying coffee, donuts, or lunch
  • Tell people how great they are
  • Collect jeans for homeless youth or cell phones for domestic abuse survivors
  • Let someone in line in front of you
  • Be warm and supportive online
  • Donate used textbooks and sporting equipment
  • Become an organ donor
  • Smile at strangers
  • Don’t litter (and pick up other people’s litter)