The Health Benefits of Reducing Social Media Time

Too much social media isn't good for you, but you might not realize how much you can gain if you reduce time...

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Today’s Health Upgrade

  • Stop social media scaries

  • A cancer breakthrough?

  • The first set mindset

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Stop Social Media Scaries

By now, we know that too much time spent on social media isn’t good for us. But you might not realize how much better off you’d be if you tried to reduce your time scrolling. 

Research suggests that cutting back on social media led to significantly less anxiety, depression, and loneliness — and increased overall happiness and well-being. 

The study focused on limiting social media to 30 minutes per day — and that’s part of the magic. Instead of trying to cut out social media completely, the scientists focused on limits instead of full restrictions. 

Because the expectation wasn’t going cold turkey, even those who reduced their usage — but fell short of the 30-minute goal — saw a similar decrease in stress and increased positive mental health benefits. And it appears that simply working towards the goal and consciously putting in the effort to reduce social media had additional psychological benefits. 

If that’s not enough, those who succeeded in spending less time on social media had less “FOMO” (fear of missing out), felt more positive emotions, and developed a more positive outlook on life. 

If you’re trying to cut back on your social media, the participants achieved the goal by receiving daily reminders to stay off social. You can do the same by setting 3-5 reminders throughout the day — particularly at times of high use, such as the first thing in the morning and right before sleep. If you find yourself on social media, set a timer (such as 10 minutes) to go off and help you recognize when you should take a break and prevent endless doomscrolling.

On our Radar: A Cancer Breakthrough?

Colon cancer is one of the hardest cancers to catch early, but that might be changing in the future. 

New research suggests that bacteria in your mouth could be a new way to discover colon cancer.

This insight couldn’t come at a better time, as colon cancer rates are increasing in more young people. In the last 15 years, the percentage of people under 50 who are diagnosed with colon cancer has doubled. It’s why some physicians now recommend tests as early as 45 years old instead of 50. While scientists aren’t yet sure why, early detection and awareness are still a strong defense against the disease. 

Currently, the only way to detect colon cancer is with colonoscopy or surgery. Both are invasive (and necessary), but this new breakthrough could change how doctors test, target, and treat the disease.

A specific subspecies of the bacteria Fusobacterium nucleatum was linked to colon cancer growth and progression. It could help detect and develop new methods to target the bacteria to fight cancer.

More research is needed to verify the role of the bacteria in creating an environment that makes it easier for cancer cells to grow and develop in your colon. But, in the short term, it could play a role in providing an earlier screening method. For people at high risk for colon cancer, a simple mouth swab could be a way to determine if someone has that bacteria, and it could be an indicator used to determine if current models of testing (like a colonoscopy) are necessary. 

The First Set Mindset

Editor’s note: All week, we’ve been celebrating the 1-year anniversary of the launch of The Pump App. For anyone who is a member, we’ve been giving away thousands of dollars of prizes (you can join the app here; everyone gets a free 7-day trial to make sure it’s a good fit).

Yesterday, we looked back at the most popular exclusive content in the app. This includes articles on how to get lean, maximizing muscle gain, learning how to breathe correctly, the hierarchy of nutrition, and some incredible insights from Arnold himself. 

When we asked the village for their favorites, one mentioned by many was “First Set Mindset.” Not just because it changed how people approached their workouts, but it also left an impact on how people looked at life. 

Here is a small sample and a video from The Pump app on how to use the “First Set Mindset” to upgrade your training. 

We've noticed many questions about the workouts. But one stands out repeatedly -- the question about intensity and how you pace yourself through an entire session. 

We already talked about training to failure versus reps in reserve. But this is different. This is a tutorial on your approach to your workouts' first working set (non-warmups). And how approaching this in the right way sets the tempo for the entire workout. 

Muscle gain is about motor unit recruitment. Many things contribute to muscle growth, but at the end of the day, it's a question of how well you recruit those motor units. You can do it with heavy weights and moderate to low reps or higher reps and low to moderate weight. But, pushing intensity is the key. And many people underestimate the impact of what happens when you try to pace your entire workout versus thinking, "How do I recruit the most motor units possible on any given set?"

In other words, this is about giving your all to each set without obsessing over the amount of weight you're using. But giving your all does not mean pushing every set to the point you can’t even move the weight. Learning how to walk the fine line between not leaving so many reps in the tank and not destroying yourself every workout is exactly how you train hard, see incredible results, and support recovery so your next workout can be even better. 

Here’s a short video on how to build the “first set mindset.”

Publisher: Arnold Schwarzenegger

Editors-in-chief: Adam Bornstein and Daniel Ketchell