by Harmony Heffron

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“An apple a day keeps the doctor away.”  Though it sounds like something your grandmother might tell you, could it really be true? Can something as simple as eating an apple actually improve your health?

High in fiber, apples are definitely a good health food for athletes, but the benefits of apples far exceed just being “regular.”

A new study shows apples can be particularly beneficial for older women. Dr. Bahram H. Arjmandi, PhD, RD and Margaret A. Sitton, Professor and Chair, Department of Nutrition, Food and Exercise Sciences at The Florida State University have recently studied the cardioprotective properties of apples and have found large benefits for post-menopausal women. The women in their study that consumed an apple a day showed a remarkable 23% reduction in bad cholesterol after six months.

Dr. Arjmandi also added another benefit of eating apples to the list, ”Reducing body weight is an added benefit to daily apple intake.” This could possibly be due to the pectin content of apples which has also been linked to improved lipid metabolism in other studies.

For Spartans trying to slim down and improve their heart’s health, this little piece of folk wisdom may just be the key.

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by Harmony Heffron

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Talking to yourself may seem a little strange, but it also may help you exercise better self-control. A study done at the University of Toronto Scarborough shows that when people talk to themselves, they improve their rational decision making.

Using a series of tests, researchers studied the difference in participants’ behavior depending on whether or not they could speak to themselves with their ‘inner voice’. Participants who could talk to themselves (either mentally or aloud) showed a greater degree of self control than participants that could not.

The lead author of the study, Alexa Tullett, summed up the researchers’ findings. “It’s always been known that people have internal dialogues with themselves, but until now, we’ve never known what an important function they serve. This study shows that talking to ourselves in this ‘inner voice’ actually helps us exercise self control and prevents us from making impulsive decisions.”

Next time you are trying to make a rational decision, try coaching yourself in your head. Repeat after me, “I WILL be a good Spartan. I will NOT eat all the potatoe chips. I WILL go for a run…” A few inner words of encouragement can really help you make the right choices.

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