A legitimate reason to skip the gym

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AN UNEXPECTED REACTION: Most of us are familiar (some of us more personally than others) with the idea of being allergic to certain foods or drugs or other substances. But did you know that some people can be allergic to exercise?

SPONSORED POST: Pets are cute and great for stress relief, but what can you do when you don’t have the time and energy to commit to adopting one?

PICTURE OF THE DAY: WARNING: This story is pretty macabre, so if you haven’t got a sense of morbid curiosity, you might want to sit this one out.

AN UNEXPECTED REACTION

The Big Idea:
Most of us are familiar (some of us more personally than others) with the idea of being allergic to certain foods or drugs or other substances. But did you know that some people can be allergic to exercise?

The best excuse to get out of PE

We’ve all tried to get out of PE class at some point or other — period cramps and “injured” limbs come to mind as some of the more common excuses we gave as teenagers. But some people have the best and most legitimate excuse not to exercise: they’re allergic to it.

Having an exercise allergy

We all know somebody with some sort of allergy — peanuts, pets, pollen, you name it. We might even know someone unlucky enough to be allergic to basically everything. It sounds weird for someone to be allergic to exercise, but it’s estimated that it happens to at least 50 out of every 100,000 people.

Exercise-induced anaphylaxis (the fancy term for being allergic to exercise) can present as things like hives, vomiting, difficulty breathing, or fainting during a workout. The effects last for a few hours and, in some cases, can even be fatal. 

Sometimes, exercise-induced anaphylaxis is triggered by the consumption of certain foods that wouldn’t otherwise cause a person to have an allergic reaction. This is known as food-dependent exercise-induced anaphylaxis.

A more common type of exercise allergy is cholinergic urticaria, which is essentially a heat rash. It only affects the skin, and is, therefore, less serious than exercise-induced anaphylaxis.

How to get your workouts in safely

To be honest, a lot of things are still unknown when it comes to exercise allergies, so there isn’t really a cure available right now. But if any of this sounds familiar to you, you might want to consult a medical professional to see if you need antihistamines or even an epi-pen. 

And definitely take a break if you’re experiencing any symptoms. Don’t push yourself too hard, guys!

SNIPPETS

5 Singaporean stories to catch up on

1️⃣  Option B: Singapore has approved Moderna’s Covid-19 vaccine.

2️⃣ Cheap (plant-based) meats: Impossible Foods will soon cut their retail prices in Singapore by 30%.

3️⃣ ICYMI: Yesterday was World Cancer Day, and 21 Singaporean companies pledged to raise awareness of the fight against cancer.

4️⃣ Much-deserved praise: 2020’s Singaporean of the Year Award will collectively go to all front-line fighters against Covid-19.

5️⃣ Covid-19 setbacks: The World Economic Forum has been pushed back from May to August 2021.

And 5 facts to spice up your life:

1️⃣ Say no to drugs: Horse tranquilizer is involved in almost one-third of fatal drug overdoses in Philadelphia, USA.

2️⃣ I’m lovin’ it: McDonald’s is testing plant-based meat burgers in Denmark and Sweden.

3️⃣ Making (mush)room: In the future, homes might be made out of mushroom bricks.

4️⃣ Explosive e-cigarettes: A man’s vape exploded in his mouth, causing him to lose several of his teeth.

5️⃣ A dream job, literally: Mattress reviewers Sleep Junkie are looking to hire a “Sleeping Beauty”, who will be paid to sleep on various mattresses.

The Big Idea:
Pets are cute and great for stress relief, but what can you do when you don’t have the time and energy to commit to adopting one?

Man’s best friend

Animals are great — some would even argue that they’re better than people. There’s just something about dogs, cats, and other furry (or feathery or scaly) creatures that can set our minds at ease when everything is terrible and we don’t seem to have anyone human-shaped to turn to.

How pets relieve anxiety

Many studies conducted over the years have shown how interacting with animals can benefit our state of mind. It makes us less stressed and can even help with anxiety and depression.

What happens during an interaction with an animal is that we experience a surge in our oxytocin levels — basically, we start to think of the animal as our baby and go all mushy with parental feels. 

If you’re a dog-lover, you’ll be happy to know that a Japanese study from 2015 showed that both dogs and their owners get into an oxytocin-gaze positive loop when looking into each other’s eyes, so there’s almost no chance that your love for your pup is unrequited.

The lowest-maintenance furry friend

If you feel like you’d benefit from having a pet, but don’t have the time or energy to commit to adopting one, we have the perfect solution for you.

The Qoobo is a therapeutic robot in the form of a furry pillow with a tail. It comes in 2 sizes, original, and the more portable petite size, as well as a variety of colours. Whichever colour and size you decide to get, its tail wags differently depending on how you pet it, just like a real pet. 

Studies conducted by the Qoobo team in Japan showed a strong correlation between the use of a Qoobo and decreased stress levels. Start your new life with the easiest pet you’ve ever taken care of and get your Qoobo here today!

SHOWER THOUGHTS

Weird & Wonderful

  1. Buying food is technically an energy bill.
  2. Our whole lives are spent collecting guests for our future funerals.
  3. Speedbumps were made because of trust issues.
  4. A real sign of getting older is when you slip and fall and instead of laughing, everyone gets very concerned.
  5. If something was right under your nose, you probably wouldn’t be able to see it.
PICTURE OF THE DAY

A pair of shoes made from the skin of Big Nose George, an infamous thief who lived in the 1800s.

The Big Idea:
WARNING: This story is pretty macabre, so if you haven’t got a sense of morbid curiosity, you might want to sit this one out.

A use for human skin

Throughout history, there have been a small number of people who were fascinated with creating objects out of a material most of us would baulk at using — human skin. But not all of them have been born of the kind of twisted minds we might imagine being interested in that sort of thing.

In fact, books bound in human skin were not entirely uncommon in the 19th century. There’s even a term for the practice — anthropodermic bibliopegy. It was often carried out by well-respected book-loving doctors of the time, who thought that a human skin binding would add a unique touch to a particular book. Other doctors were known to fashion wallets or shoes from the skin of criminals.

IRL horror movies

On the other hand, human skin objects were also made by the kind of people you wouldn’t want to be stuck in a creepy basement with.

One of the most well-known examples would be Ed Gein, who was the inspiration behind many movie madmen, such as Norman Bates and Leatherface. His house was found to be full of furniture fashioned from human skin, and he even had a “woman suit” that he would sometimes wear when he wanted to pretend to be his mother.

Ten years ago, there was also a bit of a buzz surrounding a lampshade supposedly made from the skin of Jews during the Nazi era. Testing in the 1990s had confirmed it to be made of human skin, but a second test done later on revealed it was actually made of cowhide.

Making human leather a thing

Now that we can make artificial human skin, it’s also made an appearance in the fashion world. In 2016, designer Tina Gorjanc made waves with her conceptualisation of a set of luxury human leather clothing and accessories grown from Alexander McQueen’s DNA. The project hasn’t moved beyond the conceptual stage, but researchers agree it can actually be done.

Still, we’re not sure we’re entirely comfortable with the idea of wearing someone else’s skin (not that we can afford it), so we’re glad human leather isn’t the norm — for now, at least.

Vanessa

Vanessa is a go-getter and knowledge-seeker with way too many hobbies. On weekends, she can be found enjoying a lie-in and pretending she doesn't have anything else she should be doing.