Must Reads: Boost Workout Performance with This Simple Trick

Want to get a better burn while you’re working out? According to new research, a little distraction might help you push harder during your next sweat session. Plus, find out how technology can help you uncover calorie counts at your favorite restaurant chains. Read on for these stories and others that caught our eye this week.

Photo: Pond5

Photo: Pond5

The New Performance Enhancer?

Multitasking is often tied to lower productivity, but a new study reveals there might be unexpected benefits to keeping your mind moving, especially when you’re working out. Researchers found that cyclists pedaled 25 percent faster when they were asked to complete easy mental tasks, like memorizing numbers.

But attempting that Sunday crossword on your stationary bike probably won’t do you any favors. When given tougher puzzles, the cyclists pedaled at the same rate as when they were concentrating on their workout alone. (Scientific American)

Instagram for Your Health

It’s no secret that we’re obsessed with Instagram. But can the photo-sharing network offer more than pretty pictures? The new Healthmeter app works in conjunction with Instagram to track the eating habits of diabetic patients via a photo food journal. The tool allows medical professionals and family to stay in the loop and get in touch if necessary. (Fast Company)

Photo: Jobmouse/flickr

Photo: Jobmouse

The New Labeling Controversy at Whole Foods

Get a peek at what really goes on from “farm to table” with a new rating system from Whole Foods. Called “Responsibly Grown,” the labels aim to reflect farms’ water conservation efforts, energy use, worker welfare and more. But some organic farmers are protesting the system, since the paperwork to get rated isn’t cheap, and many farmers aren’t receiving the highest marks. Still, we’re digging the transparency of knowing more about how our groceries got to that shelf. (NPR)

google-nutrition-duo-new

Nutrition at Your Fingertips

Looking up calorie counts for restaurants is usually a drag. But a new function in Google search is about to make your life easier. By typing in “nutrition at McDonalds” or another restaurant chain, Google will automatically display the nutritional content for popular meals. No more living in blissful ignorance when ordering those fries, folks. (The Next Web)

Runner at Dawn

Photo: Pond5

Why Rest Days Matter

If we train harder, we’ll be faster and stronger, right? Not necessarily. When you exercise excessively without letting your body rest, you might be at risk for overtraining syndrome. If your body doesn’t have time to recover properly, you could suffer from chronic dehydration, anemia and even depression. Even if you aren’t an ultrarunner, don’t forget that recovery is just as important as training. (Outside Online)

How Stress Affects Men's Health

Gif: Aetna

Stress Less, Man

From low testosterone to a higher risk for heart disease, stress can have long-term consequences on men’s physical and mental health. This handy guide outlines seven effects of stress on men. With Father’s Day coming up, this Sunday is the perfect time to help dad (and the other men in your life) learn to relax. (Aetna)