01 HOUR TO BRUSH AWAY MUS­CLE SORE­NESS WITH A CUL­TURE FIX

Men's Health (UK) - - Time -

Legs day, was it? If you can feel your lower body seiz­ing up, don’t just sit there. Ac­cord­ing to re­searchers at the Univer­sity of Cal­i­for­nia, Berke­ley, soak­ing up some cul­ture on your lunch hour is your ticket to sooth­ing DOMS. The sci­en­tists linked a “sense of awe” to re­duced mark­ers of leg-pain-in­duc­ing in­flam­ma­tion. If that sounds a lit­tle woolly, don’t worry – the sci­ence re­ally does stack up.

By “awe”, we mean the pos­i­tive emo­tions we ex­pe­ri­ence while en­gag­ing with works of art or theatre. The emo­tional ef­fects of a lunchtime spent look­ing at paint­ings, for ex­am­ple, were found to be pow­er­ful enough to lower lev­els of in­flam­ma­tory pro­teins called cy­tokines – par­tic­u­larly in­ter­leukin-6, which sig­nals the im­mune sys­tem to work harder. DOMS oc­curs when your body trig­gers an in­flam­ma­tory re­sponse to mus­cle dam­age fol­low­ing a tough work­out. A trip to your lo­cal gallery, how­ever, curbs this ef­fect, in much the same way as an ibupro­fen tablet.

For those with lit­tle de­sire to con­tem­plate a dusty Re­nais­sance por­trait, the good news is that the sense of awe ex­tends far be­yond the Na­tional Gallery. Any sight or sound that truly in­spires you will suf­fice. Pick a favourite lunch spot in your lo­cal park and cue up a song that never fails to give you the chills (an awe-in­spir­ing sand­wich wouldn’t go amiss, ei­ther). It’ll take the sting out of to­mor­row’s cy­cle com­mute.

TREAT YOUR LEGS TO A RE­NAIS­SANCE AT LUNCH

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