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Archive for November, 2017

30 Airbnb Houses That Have Amazing Fitness Amenities

30 Airbnb Houses That Have Amazing Fitness Amenities

No hotel gym, no problem: These Airbnbs homes have some awesome fitness and wellness perks.
Source: 30 Airbnb Houses That Have Amazing Fitness Amenities

November 10, 20170 commentsRead More
11 Celeb-Approved Workouts for a Toned, Sculpted Butt

11 Celeb-Approved Workouts for a Toned, Sculpted Butt

Steal these exercises from stars like J.Lo and Khloé Kardashian to lift and tighten your rear.
Source: 11 Celeb-Approved Workouts for a Toned, Sculpted Butt

What Is Alopecia?

What Is Alopecia?

Alopecia is an umbrella term for many types of hair loss. Watch the video to learn what exactly alopecia is.
Source: What Is Alopecia?

Try this Reputation-themed Workout in Honor of Taylor Swift's New Album

Try this Reputation-themed Workout in Honor of Taylor Swift's New Album

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This article originally appeared on

Oooh, look what she made you do!

Taylor Swift‘s new album Reputation came out on Friday and to celebrate, Reebok put together a simple workout that you can do at home while listening to Swift sing about ex-boyfriends, rivalries and all of her wildest dreams. Just follow along with the moves in the GIFs below.

The only question left is, are you ready for it?

Every time an ex‐boyfriend is mentioned do 10 high knees.

High Knees: Start by running in place bringing your knees up close to your chest, one at a time. Try to move as fast as possible.

Every time she references “playing games” or being fake do three jump squats

Jump Squats: Start with your feet right under your hips. Keeping your chest up, drop into a squat and then jump up as high as you can. Lower right back down into your squat as you come down. Make sure your hips break parallel!

Every time she talks about dreams or fantasies do a five mountain climbers

Mountain Climbers: From your high plank position, run each leg toward your chest. The key to getting the most out of mountain climbers is to keep your hips down and shoulders stacked right over your wrists.

Every time you hear her sing the word “love” or “baby” do three burpees

Burpees: Bend over placing your hands on the floor in front of you. Jump both feet back while dropping your chest to the ground. Then, jump both feet back up towards your hands, explosively jumping up with your hands overhead, fully extending your hips.

Every time her reputation is mentioned do three skaters

Skaters: Jump sideways to your left, landing on your left foot. Bring your right leg behind your ankle, keeping it off the ground. Reach your right hand toward your left foot and stay low. Reverse this movement to your right and repeat.

Every time she talks instead of sings do tuck jumps until she stops

Tuck Jumps: Stand with both feet together. Jump up as high as possible bringing your knees up by your chest. Make sure to land with your knees bent so you’re ready for the next jump!

Source: Try this Reputation-themed Workout in Honor of Taylor Swift’s New Album

Aaron Hernandez's Brain Suffered Severe Damage From CTE, Doctor Says

Aaron Hernandez's Brain Suffered Severe Damage From CTE, Doctor Says

This article originally appeared on

(BOSTON) — Former New England Patriots player Aaron Hernandez suffered severe damage to parts of the brain that play an important role in memory, impulse control and behavior, a researcher who studied his brain said Thursday.

Dr. Ann McKee, director of the CTE Center at Boston University, said she could not “connect the dots” between Hernandez’s severe case of chronic traumatic encephalopathy, which is linked to repeated blows to the head, and his behavior. The 27-year-old hanged himself in April, while serving life in prison for murder.

But McKee said she says Hernandez experienced substantial damage to key parts of the brain, including the hippocampus — which is important to memory — and the frontal lobe, which is involved in problem solving, judgment and behavior.

“In any individual we can’t take the pathology and explain the behavior,” said McKee, who has studied hundreds of brains from football players, college athletes and even younger players, donated after their deaths. “But we can say collectively, in our collective experience, individuals with CTE — and CTE of this severity — have difficulty with impulse control, decision-making, inhibition of impulses or aggression, often emotional volatility and rage behaviors,” she said.

Hernandez hanged himself in prison days after he was acquitted in the 2012 drive-by shootings of two men in Boston and just hours before his former teammates visited the White House to celebrate their latest Super Bowl victory.

Prosecutors claimed he gunned the two men down after one accidentally spilled a drink on him in a nightclub — and then got a tattoo of a handgun and the words “God Forgives” to commemorate the crime.

He had been serving a life sentence without parole in the 2013 killing of semi-professional football player Odin Lloyd when he killed himself in April.

Hernandez, who said he was innocent, did not raise CTE in his defense at either trial.

But after his death and September CTE diagnosis, his attorneys filed a lawsuit against the NFL and football helmet maker Riddell, accusing them of failing to warn Hernandez about the dangers of football. The lawsuit, which seeks damages for Hernandez’s young daughter, said he experienced a “chaotic and horrendous existence” because of his disease.

Hernandez inherited a genetic profile that may have made him more susceptible to developing the disease, McKee said. She said Hernandez had the most severe case of CTE they’ve seen in someone his age. Hernandez was diagnosed with Stage 3, out of 4, of the disease.

While the outside of Hernandez’s brain appeared normal, the inside showed evidence of previous small hemorrhages, which experts associate with head impacts. Other parts of his brain had begun to shrink and show large holes in the membrane, McKee said.

“Individuals with similar gross findings at autopsy were at least 46 years old at the time of death,” McKee said.

Source: Aaron Hernandez’s Brain Suffered Severe Damage From CTE, Doctor Says

Olympic Gymnast Aly Raisman Reveals Sexual Abuse By Team Doctor Larry Nassar

Olympic Gymnast Aly Raisman Reveals Sexual Abuse By Team Doctor Larry Nassar

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This article originally appeared on

Aly Raisman, a six-time Olympic medalist and one of the most accomplished gymnasts in U.S. history, says she was sexually abused by Dr. Larry Nassar, who worked as the women’s gymnastics national team doctor for decades.

Raisman is the second member of the gold medal-winning 2012 Olympic women’s team to accuse Nassar of abuse. In October, her teammate McKayla Maroney tweeted that Nassar molested her for years, beginning when she was 13. Raisman disclosed the abuse in an interview scheduled to air Sunday on CBS’ 60 Minutes, as well as in her new book, Fierce.

Nassar, who worked as a volunteer doctor for USA Gymnastics, is currently in jail awaiting sentencing after pleading guilty to child pornography charges in Michigan. He is also named in more than 100 lawsuits filed by gymnasts and athletes he treated while working with USA Gymnastics and at Michigan State University. Those suits claim he sexually abused athletes under the guise of medical treatment. Nassar resigned from USA Gymnastics in the summer of 2015.

In the interview, Raisman says she spoke to FBI investigators about Nassar after competing at the Olympic Games in Rio de Janiero in 2016, after an investigation by the Indianapolis Star revealed that USA Gymnastics had a policy of not reporting sexual abuse reports unless they were filed by the victims or a parent.

Raisman, who competed on the 2012 and 2016 Olympic teams and is the nation’s second most decorated female Olympic gymnast, is pushing for change at USA Gymnastics, which governs the sport and oversees the selection of world and Olympic teams.

“I am angry,” she said in the 60 Minutes interview. “I just want to create change so [that young girls] never, ever have to go through this.”

In a statement to the program, USA Gymnastics said it has adopted new policies that require “mandatory reporting” of any potential abuse. “USA Gymnastics is very sorry that any athlete has been harmed…we want to work with Aly and all interested athletes to keep athletes safe.”

Source: Olympic Gymnast Aly Raisman Reveals Sexual Abuse By Team Doctor Larry Nassar

How I Learned to Tell the Difference Between Being Lazy and Being Safe at the Gym  

How I Learned to Tell the Difference Between Being Lazy and Being Safe at the Gym  

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I once took a face-plant in the middle of a set of plyometric push-ups. One second, I was a machine, effortlessly clapping between each rep and springing into the next one. The next second, my arms gave out and I went face first into the gym floor. I was a little stunned at first but I quickly laughed it off—endorphins are a hell of a drug—and gleefully launched into my next set. 

As a fitness professional in the prime of youth (I was in my mid-20s when I face-planted) and the peak of shape, I considered limits the enemy. It felt good to push them. It felt even better to ignore them, or insist that they didn’t exist at all. So I’d write off any signs of fatigue as weakness and keep pushing through that next set, sprint, or session. And when my trembling muscles and broken brain did finally force me to give up, I told myself that I’d have to do better the next time.

RELATED: Yes, It’s Possible to Exercise Too Much—Here Are the Signs

Then I started teaching a number of high intensity interval, martial arts, and cycling classes. I’d blast songs like “No Limits” by 2 Unlimited and guide my students through the exact same process. 

It wasn’t until I was in charge of other people’s wellbeing that I started to question my fraught relationship with limits. I’d been happy to beat up my own body beyond all rationality in the pursuit of toughness—and then beat my brain up when my body failed—but I had both a professional and moral obligation to keep the people who took my classes safe, healthy, and challenged in responsible ways. A lot of what I was doing to myself, it turned out, was none of those things.

Why we push ourselves too hard

I was hardly alone when it came to my limits issue. Many of my students shared it. Most of my colleagues did, too. In fitness, it’s often hard to find the line between being strong and being reckless. The messages we receive are all about pushing beyond our limits, not quitting, and achieving the impossible, which doesn’t always leave room for things like listening to your body and knowing when it is actually time to slow down or stop. There are no cool t-shirt slogans or high-BPM pop songs about backing off of your resistance training when you can no longer execute a move with proper form, or slowing down when your pulse starts climbing too close to your maximum heart rate. 

Even if you can manage to accept that you are a mortal with at least some limitations, it isn’t always easy to recognize these limits as you approach them. A lifetime of being encouraged to push yourself to the extreme in phys ed, in the gym, and in life in general leaves many of us so disconnected from our bodies and brains that we don’t recognize the signs of fatigue when they start to approach.

There’s also a layer of guilt and self-doubt that comes along with trying to figure out when it’s time to quit. On the rare occasions when I did recognize the signs in myself during my workouts, I’d immediately start to wonder whether I was just being lazy or weak, or whether I was possibly subconsciously sabotaging myself, and then I’d keep going. 

RELATED: The Best Online HIIT Workout Videos

Forget “no pain, no gain”

In my classes, I started to talk about how our bodies felt when we exercised. I would give examples of what it should look, feel, and sound like when we were exercising within responsible limits and I’d stress how important it was to know the difference between testing those boundaries and rejecting them completely. Most people who want to exercise know that it’s human to want to avoid discomfort and there is always a risk that we won’t reach our full potential during a workout because of that, but the opposite risk is just as serious.

I’d argue the value of the old “no pain, no gain” ethos, pointing out that discomfort can be an acceptable part of a workout that responsibly pushes your boundaries, but outright pain usually means that you’re either injuring yourself or on the verge of doing so. 

If we were working in the aerobic zone, I’d point out that we should still be able to talk with some amount of comfort. Being completely out of breath, I’d stress, was only for very short periods of high-intensity interval training like sprints. I was also very anti-vomit. It might make you feel tough to push yourself to those limits, but puke is your body’s particularly unpleasant way of telling you that something is going very wrong in your workout.  “You want to push yourself, but you don’t want to kill yourself” I’d tell my students. 

RELATED: What to Know About Rhabdomyolysis, the Potentially Fatal Condition Caused by Extreme Exercise

Respecting my limits

It took me years to listen to my own advice, both at the gym and in the rest of my life. I started getting sick more often. Then I started having panic attacks, which would often hit right before I had to leave home to teach a fitness class. It wasn’t until I had a meltdown and was finally diagnosed with autism in my late 20s that I started to think it was time to be a little more gentle with myself. 

I’ve made a lot of changes since then—and none of them came easily. Each workout I skipped, each class I stopped teaching, felt like a fatal character flaw. Maybe if I could just be a little better, I’d think, I’d be able to push through. Once I worked through the guilt, though, I was able to step back and start to reassess my life. I started to think of myself as a human being with a unique set of issues and skills that needed to be accepted as a whole. After a while, learning to work within my limits no longer felt like failure. It felt like relief. 

Two years ago, during another rough patch, I took a solid look at my career in fitness and decided that it wasn’t working for me anymore. I quit teaching fitness, and I also took a break from my own workouts.

WATCH THE VIDEO: How to Recharge on Rest Days

When I finally started exercising again, I found that I no longer had the desire to push myself as hard as I once had. Sometimes I miss feeling like a cartoon superhero the way I used to when I was crushing reps, but there’s also something really exciting about getting to know your body well enough to be able to actually feel when it’s had enough.

Thanks to the years that I’ve spent looking for the signs of other people’s limits, I’m starting to get a little better at spotting those symptoms in myself. I know what the difference is between feeling my breathing start to elevate and starting to feel a pain in my chest when I’m running. I know when my muscles are burning because I’m challenging them and when they’re starting to twinge because I’m misusing or abusing them. I know that feeling a click in my left elbow during certain strength exercises means that I need to alter my range of motion, because no good has ever come from ignoring a malfunctioning tendon.

I no longer do push-ups to the point of face-plants. Now I do them until I can no longer maintain good form. It might not be as “tough” as what I used to do, but it’s smart training—and it’s sustainable. If I’d started doing this a decade ago, I probably wouldn’t have had to learn this lesson the hard way at all. If I keep it up, I won’t have to learn it again.

Source: How I Learned to Tell the Difference Between Being Lazy and Being Safe at the Gym

November 9, 20170 commentsRead More
The Surprising Fitness Tool That Ashley Graham Uses to Tone Her Thighs

The Surprising Fitness Tool That Ashley Graham Uses to Tone Her Thighs

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One thing we admire about Ashley Graham is her commitment to fitness. The 29-year-old consistently posts her exercise exploits on Instagram—and we are here for all of it. We also love that when she’s getting her sweat on, she doesn’t always use “typical” gym equipment. (Remember that time she was slamming massive tires with sledge hammers?) Her latest get-fit tool of choice: the prowler, which Graham has been spotted using in her Stories.

At first glance, this simple mass of metal, which typically weighs between 60 and 80 pounds before being loaded with weight plates, doesn’t look like much. But don’t be fooled. “It is one of the most effective tools whether you’re training for performance, functional fitness, or fat loss,” explains Frank Baptiste, founder of FranklyFitness in New York City. “Pushing it works the anterior muscles, while pulling it works the posterior ones. No matter what, though, the legs are driving the movement.”

Intimidated? Don’t be. Pushing or pulling weight across the floor can feel pretty empowering. Give her sled power row a try. (Note: Baptiste advises nailing the form and technique for squats, deadlifts, and inverted rows before progressing to this exercise.)

“It’s a total-body combination that works your entire lower body, back, arms and core,” says Baptiste. “It starts with a powerful hip hinge that generates momentum for a forceful horizontal pull, which is great for developing total-body power and power endurance. And its high intensity will send your heart rate through the roof, and ignite your metabolism.”

Another plus: It’s a good move to help combat all that slouching we do at our desks all day.

RELATED: 18 Moves to Tone Your Butt, Thighs, and Legs

How to do it

Holding straps taut, without slack, step back two or three steps so you are pulled into a bent over position with knees bent, a hinge at your hips, and a neutral spine.

Keeping shoulders held tightly down and back, lean back and drive through heels and feet to push the floor away. As hips and knees extend, follow through with a row, holding hands tight and pulling elbows straight behind you; straps and forearms follow the same line. Finish with a tall body position, glutes squeezed, hips tucked in, core braced, shoulders fully abducted and extended, and squeezing shoulder blades. Repeat movement. 

Your space will dictate how long you are working. For example, it takes 45 seconds to complete a 30-yard distance. After completing, rest for 90 seconds to 1 minute. Repeat for 3-5 rounds.

This may be the only time you’ll want to be saddled with dead weight!

Source: The Surprising Fitness Tool That Ashley Graham Uses to Tone Her Thighs

What You Need to Know About Deep Vein Thrombosis Before Your Next Flight

What You Need to Know About Deep Vein Thrombosis Before Your Next Flight

DVT can lead to pain and swelling in the calf.
Source: What You Need to Know About Deep Vein Thrombosis Before Your Next Flight

Women Pose Nude in Glittery Body Paint for Body Positivity: 'They Feel Freed of Their Shame'

Women Pose Nude in Glittery Body Paint for Body Positivity: 'They Feel Freed of Their Shame'

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This article originally appeared on

Each year, a group of around ten women gather in Queensland, Australia to strip down and cover themselves in glitter body paint, all in the name of body positivity.

“Women are taught from a young age that we’re not good enough, we need to be fixed. There’s a dozen industries telling us we can pay for a cure to our shame,” photographer Jill Kerswill, 27, tells PEOPLE. “The message of this shoot is all about being body positive, celebrating what you have and letting go of your insecurities.”

Kerswill says the women came up with the idea and then reached out to her to photograph their annual meet-up. At first, Kerswill says, the women are nervous to undress, but the insecurities soon fall away.

“There’s always a moment right as the girls strip down where they seem hesitant. They might touch their bellies or lift up their boobs because it’s something they’re self conscious about. Then they look around, see a girl with a flat tummy or perkier boobs is covering something she’s self conscious about and suddenly all that fear melts away,” she says. “It’s so beautiful.”

“Watching women in their most vulnerable state relax into their own skin, seeing strangers become sisters, is something I wish everyone could experience!”

And after the shoot, many of the women feel reborn.

“The feedback I’ve received from the girls after each shoot has been overwhelmingly positive,” Kerswill says. “Many of them have spoke of feeling freed of their shame. I think every girl takes something different and unique away.”

The shoot is also transformative for Kerswill, who says it’s forever changed her relationship with her body.

“Seeing these women so comfortable and free in their own skin has really helped me to deal with a lot of my own hang-ups,” she says. “I no longer care about my cellulite or my flabby tummy. Those things can’t hurt me! Why worry about something that has absolutely no baring on who I am or what I can achieve?”

Kerswill, who specializes in boudoir and pinup photos, wishes all the women she shoots were this body positive.

“I get so tired of how women I photograph apologizing for their cellulite or scars or flabby bits,” she says. “Your body does amazing things! It carries you through everything you achieve, it bears your children and without it you wouldn’t exist. Praise it! Appreciate it! Love it for every bump and bruise!”

Source: Women Pose Nude in Glittery Body Paint for Body Positivity: ‘They Feel Freed of Their Shame’

November 7, 20170 commentsRead More