How to Identify Healthonism



Combine “health” and “hedonism.” Yes, “healthonism” is a portmanteau, the combination of the sounds and concepts from two other words (for instance, “smog” as “smoke” and “fog”).,
Understand the phenomenon.,
Find examples of healthonism.,
Consider if there are deeper connections to this pairing.,
Consider why exercise and drinking seem to go together.,
Look into your brain’s response to both activities.,
Beware of excessive drinking after exercise.,
Remember your calorie balance.

Creating new words in this way in order to identify new trends seems to be all the rage, and the seemingly growing trend of combining healthy activities with social drinking has joined the club.Hedonism generally refers to a belief system that emphasizes personal pleasure and its pursuit above other concerns. Typically, you don’t think of a hedonist being concerned with exercise routines or diabetes risk factors, so healthonism appears to refer to a trend with elements that come from opposite ends of the spectrum.;
, The trend-tracking organization J. Walter Thompson Intelligence included healthonism as part of its JWTI Future 100 for 2016, and, like many of the trends on the list, sees it as being driven primarily by millennials. Who exactly fits in the category of a “millennial” is up for debate, but for JWTI’s purposes, it refers to people roughly between the ages of 18 and 35 as of 2015.At its core, healthonism seems to derive from the growing awareness of the importance of health-conscious living, paired with the eternal desire of young people in particular to throw caution to the wind and live for today. It’s a modern spin on the old notion of “work hard, play hard” — be responsible enough of the time that you can be a bit irresponsible some of the time.

, Healthonist activities can take the form of “beer runs,” as you might find near a college campus, or wine-tasting 10k races. In particular, though, it tends to be associated with events at nightclubs, breweries, or other establishments where special events that combine planned exercise and party elements can occur.For instance, a club might hold an event that begins with an hour-long yoga session, followed by a drink-tasting event, followed by dancing. To add a bit more to the “health” side of things, the alcohol may focus on seemingly healthier mixers that use antioxidant-rich, organic, cold-pressed juices, for instance., Even J. Walter Thompson Intelligence notes that healthy behaviors (like eating better and exercising more) tend to pair together — as do unhealthy ones, for that matter — as opposed the the healthy / less healthy teaming of exercise and moderate-to-heavy drinking. Yet the organization also recognizes that there does seem to be something more than a new fad behind this pairing. After all, there have been “beer leagues” in softball and bowling far longer than millennials have been around.It turns out that scientists have also wondered about whether the anecdotal pairing of exercise with increased alcohol consumption has a basis in fact. And, the results indicate that there is indeed a correlation — on days when people exercise more, they are more likely to consume more alcohol than normal., Legitimate scientific research shows that, notwithstanding factors like age group or day of the week, increased exercise and increased alcohol consumption tend to happen on the same day. The trickier question, it turns out, is “why?”.At first blush, it may seem like some combination of “celebration” and “guilt” is the likely cause. That is, an individual wants to congratulate himself for completing a triathlon, so he enjoys a party and drinks heavily. Or, a person knows she’s going to be out all night partying, so she schedules a hard-core workout either the day before or after to make up for it.These factors can play a role in the pairing, but don’t seem to tell the whole story.

, Researchers have determined that the same area of the brain is stimulated by both physical exertion and alcohol consumption. Both of them activate your “neural reward circuitry,” creating feelings of pleasure. Exercise triggers this response because of the advantages of physical activity since humankind’s earliest times. Alcohol was embraced by our ancestors in part because they found that it just happens to trigger the same pleasure response based on its chemistry.Both exercise and alcohol spur a release of dopamine as well as endorphins, both of which stimulate the euphoric feeling you can get after a vigorous workout or a few drinks with friends.Since the two activities tend to make us feel the same, it is seemingly natural for us to want to pair them in order to multiply the effect — or to “keep the good times rolling.”

, Exercise and alcohol consumption may in fact be a natural pairing instead of the “odd couple” you might have assumed. This doesn’t necessarily make healthonism “healthy,” however. Too much of either activity (but especially drinking) — or too much of both — can have negative consequences, regardless of whether your brain rewards you with a pleasure response.

Excessive alcohol consumption after exercise impairs protein synthesis in your muscles, a process that is critical to muscle repair and building. So, basically, if you drink too much after exercising, you won’t physically recover as quickly, and any muscle-building benefits will be decreased. Moderate alcohol consumption should have limited or no negative impact in this area., Always keep in mind that alcoholic beverages are almost entirely empty calories without nutritional value. Also, don’t underestimate the calorie counts of alcoholic beverages, and the amount of exercise required to balance out those calories. Without burning off at least as many calories as you are taking in, there isn’t that much “health” to healthonism, after all.For instance, a pint of beer has approximately 180 calories, meaning it takes the average person about one-half hour of running to burn off two pints. Some simple math will tell you that if you go on a drinking binge, you’ll need to do a lot of running to make up for it.
Also, because alcohol is treated as a toxic substance by the body (hence the term “intoxication”), your body will focus on getting rid of the alcohol instead of other typical functions. This means, for example, that you may burn less fat by way of your workout if you consume excessive alcohol.

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