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6 Core-Building Exercises You Can Do on a Standup Paddleboard




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How Owning a Dog Can Lower Your Risk of Heart Attack and Death

Do you need more reasons to own a dog? Researchers say it might save your life, and not just if you fall down a well and need Lassie to get help: There’s a 31 percent reduced risk of death from heart attack or stroke among people who own a dog, suggests a study by the American Heart Association. The Swedish study linking heart health and dogs was published in the association’s journal Circulation: Cardiovascular Quality and Outcomes.

The study built on previous research about the negative effects of social isolation and the lack of physical activity with new, canine-focused research. The study’s authors combed through Swedish health records via the Swedish National Patient Register and found nearly 182,000 heart attack victims and 155,000 ischemic stroke victims, all aged 40 to 85 with incidents between 2001 and 2012. Dog owners comprised only 5–6 percent of each group, meaning that the majority of these cardiovascular incidents occurred among non-owners.

An analysis from Mount Sinai Hospital declared that dogs were due at least some of the credit because they encourage daily social interaction and frequent physical activity. Dogs require regular walks, which keeps you in better shape, plus their unconditional love and endless affection help decrease depression. Compared to non-owners, dog owners also have a 24 percent reduced risk of all-cause mortality, as well as a 65 percent reduced risk of mortality after heart attack. If you’re looking to bolster your heart health and longevity, maybe you’re due for a visit to your local shelter.


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Bodyweight Workouts to Do When You Don’t Feel Like Going to the Gym






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Rob Gronkowski on Why Interval Training Is Key for His Post-NFL Fitness

Former NFL star Rob Gronkowski is ready for his next chapter. After putting up Hall of Fame-level numbers for the New England Patriots and winning multiple Super Bowl championships along the way, Gronkowski retired from football at the age of 29 after nine seasons.

But just because Gronkowski’s done with his football career, it hasn’t kept him from focusing on his fitness and staying in shape—something Gronk was known for during his playing days.

“Things have changed for me in my workouts,” Gronkowski told Men’s Journal. “With how things are now, I focus a lot on taking care of my body. I’ll try and do a lot of low-impact work and make sure I’m recovering from my injuries. During my NFL career, it was more heavy lifting and working with free weights. That put a lot on my body and now I’m trying to stay healthier. But apart from that, my mindset in what I bring to each workout hasn’t changed for me.

Gronkowski spoke with Men’s Journal about some of his favorite gear, his essential workouts, why he loves smoothies, and more. Check out the full MJ5 archives for more interviews with Chris Evans, Russell Wilson, Michael Strahan, Tony Hawk, P.K. Subban, Ewan McGregor, and more.

On his favorite workouts: ​”I gravitate towards interval training. I think it relates more to what I want to do. I am not a long-distance guy. I love to move from one station to the next and take a little break between each before going hard. Something like a series of four exercises where you go from one to the other, like the push sled to plyo jumps to bands to sprints. Then I take a little break and do it again. With those workouts, you are getting the cardio and strength at the same time and doing movements that relate to the game and how I want to build my workouts.”

On his favorite healthy drink: “​​​I love smoothies. Just blending a bunch of fruits and veggies up and having that. They’re healthy for you and have been great for my overall nutrition.”

On his favorite piece of gear: ​”With everything I am doing for recovery now, I like the Theragun. Those things are awesome.”

On his favorite meal to make: “I love​ grilling up some chicken wings. I’m from Buffalo, so I love chicken wings. But I think they are even better on the grill! Aside from that, I eat a lot cleaner now. It’s a lot of fruits and vegetables and other foods that reduce inflammation, like turmeric. It really makes a huge difference for me and my body.”

On his favorite travel spot: “I love traveling, especially out of the country. A good spot for me is Jamaica, being able to indulge in their fruit that they have there. It’s amazing how natural it is and just how good it is; just how sweet it tastes. Especially their mango—it’s just insane. And the fish and seafood are incredible.”


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How to Actually Stick to Your New Year’s Fitness Resolutions


If you made some New Year’s fitness resolutions, maybe you’ll stick to them. Maybe not. Maybe you plan to cut 10 pounds, finish a Tough Mudder, or enter your first triathlon. Don’t worry, you’re not alone. But rather than bowing out in the first quarter due to lack of motivation or willpower, separate yourself from the masses and actually stick to your resolutions. With a little guidance, you can transform aspirations into long-term habits that extend beyond the first few months of the new year. Here’s six tips plus one app to help you do just that.

Enlist a Buddy

We’re hard-wired to be social. It’s in our DNA. There’s no medal or reward for working out solo, day-in and day-out. Sure it’s cool to be self-sufficient and it’s nice to never work around someone else’s schedule, but the benefit of finding a workout buddy is that you’re more likely to stay consistent with your training (nobody wants to be the guy who bails). Plus, there’s a good chance you’ll actually have more fun than going at it alone.

Bribe Yourself

Got your eye on a new surfboard or the latest GPS running watch? There’s no shame in that. It’s hard not to be seduced by all the latest fitness gear on the market. But put your money back in your pocket and make yourself wait 30 days. Say what? Yep, make a pact with yourself that you’ll get those new ski goggles only after you complete a month’s worth of consistent progress toward your new year’s fitness resolution. And then, once you’ve achieved that, reward yourself. Though it sounds strange, there’s nothing wrong with “encouraging” a disciplined mind.

Write Down Specific Goals

Bet you’ve heard this one a million times: Write your goals down. Have you actually done it? Doing so makes you think in detail about what it is you want to achieve. And rather than something generic, make your goals specific so you have a finish line to work toward. Reshape the typical “I want to get fit” resolution to something like, “I want to run a mile in under eight minutes and do 10 pull-ups.” Oh, and once you’ve come up with a couple of specific goals, put them where you have to look at them every single day, like on the fridge or on your bathroom mirror.

Use Social Media to Your Advantage

Some people love to hate on social media. They say it creates jealousy, FOMO (fear of missing out) and in some cases, depression. Well, there is a silver lining if you can use the platform to your advantage. Post about your fitness resolutions and goals: See if you don’t have more than a few of your friends and family (and even strangers if you have a public account) cheering you on. Who knows, you may even inspire some of them. Plus, there’s a key internal byproduct when we make our hopes and dreams public: accountability. If you tell your entire network about your plans to run a marathon in 2020, it makes it more difficult to skip a workout and potentially fall short. There’s something more compelling about lacing up, facing the elements — and then posting a photo post-run of your workout in the snow. Don’t believe it? At last count, 7.1 million posts on Instagram were posted with the hashtag #motivationmonday.

Sign Up for Something

Speaking of running a marathon, perhaps one of the best ways to stick to your fitness resolutions is to sign up for an event and get it on the calendar. Maybe it’s a marathon, maybe it’s a 5K. Not into running? That’s also not a deal-breaker. There are tons of adult sports leagues, yoga classes and boot camps that you can register for. Check with your local gym to find a list of upcoming classes.

Forget Perfection

Life happens. If you get sick and need to take a week off of training, or you get slammed at work and literally can’t carve out a block of time to get in the pool, acknowledge it and move on. Literally. Get back into your routine as soon as possible rather than staying away because of one small blip. Allow yourself to mess up rather than getting caught up in the need to be perfect.

Way of Life App

Spotify can help with motivating workout tunes (they’ve got an entire section of playlists under their Workout section). If you need another push, download the Way of Life App. It’s a simple and easy-to-use app that allows you to track anything and everything you can think of. Are you drinking enough water? Are you sticking to your weight training routine? The app helps you track your behavior and shows you trends via graphs over periods of time. It’s available for both iPhones and Android devices.

Erin McGrady is a freelance photographer-writer based in Asheville, N.C. Follow her adventures at authenticasheville.com and on Instagram at @e.mcgrady


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Summertime Calls for These Skincare Tips


Longer days, cloudless blue skies, not too cool nights—summer’s on the horizon. And nicer weather means more time spent outside in the heat and sun. As you plan your outdoor adventures, whether it’s a weekend camping trip or afternoon soccer game, it pays to keep skincare in mind. Here are five tips to keep your skin healthy while indulging in some of that sweet, sweet sunshine this summer.

 

Skincare is Seasonal

Hotter weather requires a skin routine rethink—lighter product during the day and heavier creams at night. Lightweight day moisturizers will absorb quickly, perfect to avoid your creams mixing in with sweat and naturally produced oils. Plan for any sun exposer situation by switching to a daytime moisturizer with a broad-spectrum SPF of 15+, skin tone depending. Whether your skin is naturally more oily or dry, there’s a product for every skin type, like this Protective Day Lotion and Cream from Celavive®†. And as the heat rises, lighten up on the makeup. Use bronzer on just the high points of your face and reduce your routine to only the essentials to show off a beautifully natural look.

After a long day of sweating—er, glistening—and sun exposure, nothing feels better than some nighttime skin rejuvenation. Throw your favorite sheet mask in the refrigerator for 20 minutes to enjoy a chillingly refreshing facial treatment. Take a cool shower to reduce your core body temperature, then use a moisturizer before completely drying off for added hydration. Your skin will feel nourished and you’ll sleep better, too.

 

Rethink Your Sunscreen

It’s true you can get a healthy dose of vitamin D from direct exposure to ultraviolet (UV) rays, but fairer-skinned folks may only need a quick 15 minutes to get their vitamin fix. And it’s no mystery that excessive exposure to those UV rays is a contributing factor for melanoma, a form of skin cancer. We all know it, yet we still painfully avoid putting on sunscreen—mention the acronym SPF and you can practically taste the bitter overspray in your youth.

Great news: you don’t need to resort to the same old sunscreen you grew up with. Turns out, there are some pretty bougie sunblocks out there, from mineral blends to lathering foams. I used Coppertone’s foaming sunscreen lotion on a recent trip to Arches National Park, and I’m completely sold. Plus, when you establish good sunscreen habits, your kids will, too. Remember to apply early and often, reapplying throughout the day as needed. And limit your UV time during the noon hours, when the sun’s rays are the strongest—and most damaging.

 

Make the Habit to Hydrate

Each one of your organs needs water to function properly, and your skin—comprised of the epidermis, dermis, and subcutis—is the largest organ of all. A lack of proper hydration, especially during the sweltering summer season, may leave skin itchy or dull, exaggerating the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. I struggle to keep my H2O intake up outside of the office, so here are a few suggestions I use to keep hydration top of mind:

  • Have a water bottle handy, which is easier to do when they can blend so beautifully with the décor.
  • Keep a variety of naturally flavored sparkling waters in your home and wherever you work or play.
  • Commit to drinking one full glass of water with, or before, every meal.
  • Wake up to a glass of warm lemon water, and treat yourself to some tea and a good book as you prep for bed.

Whatever keeps you sipping is a win.

 

Take Your Vitamins

The right nutrients and minerals go a long way to promote healthy skin, even protecting from UV damage. Many vitamins promote a wide-range of skin benefits. In addition to being a powerful antioxidant, vitamin C plays a role in collagen synthesis and neutralizing free radical damage. Vitamin E compounds are commonly found in moisturizers and serums. Early studies show combined vitamin C and E supplementation may help protect against UV damage by supporting photoprotection from UV light in skin. Vitamin B12 helps your body with protein metabolism and helps to regulate the production of pigment in the skin, and B6 keeps skin clear by supporting normal hormone regulation.

Vitamin K may help balance skin coloration by supporting blood circulation. Vitamin A is a fat-soluble antioxidant which helps maintain healthy collagen by neutralizing free radical damage stemming from both external and internal sources, including sunlight. Vitamin D is vital to help the epidermis lock in moisture, keeping skin soft and hydrated.

To get all these vitamin benefits, you could try to manage umpteen separate supplement bottles, or you could opt for something a little simpler. USANA Health Sciences®†, a leading company in the nutritionals industry, has a daily AM/PM supplement pack called the HealthPak™†, featuring an ideal blend of vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients.

 

Avoid the Burn

It can’t be overstated. Whatever you do, avoid any kind of sunburn and, while you’re at it, tanning in general—the effects are far from short term. Tan skin might look attractive in your 20s, but the effects of the tanning bed can be harsh in the long run. Premature aging of the skin and a 75 percent increased risk of melanoma make “sun-kissed” sound passé. Focus on your skin’s health through nutrition, lifestyle habits, and proper skincare to reveal your true radiance in the long run.

Everyone’s skin has varying tolerances to UV rays, but some medications may actually increase your risk, causing adverse reactions in the form of photoallergy and increased sun-sensitivity due to phototoxicity. If you do find yourself the victim of too much sun, you can alleviate the pain of the burn with a cool bath, aloe vera moisturizers, and lots of water, since sunburns draw fluid to the skin’s surface.

 

Go Forth and Enjoy Your Summer

This blog might have you feeling like a vampire, ready to burn up at the first sign of sunlight. But it isn’t so bad when enjoyed responsibly. In fact, a bit of sunshine every day is good for you—Harvard said it themselves. Grab your water bottle, pack your SPF, and head out to savor the warmer weather!



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New Research Suggests Green Tea Could Help You Live Longer


A hot cup of tea can soothe your throat and sinuses when you’re battling a cold, but emerging research shows the health benefits of the beverage actually go much deeper. A new study published in the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology has found that drinking tea at least three times a week is linked with a longer lifespan and a significantly decreased risk of cardiovascular issues like heart attack and stroke.

The study analyzed 100,902 participants in the China-PAR project, a comprehensive health assessment in China. Participants were screened based on their tea drinking habits (including green and black varieties) and were divided into two groups: habitual tea drinkers who had a cup three or more times a week, and those who drank less or none at all. The researchers followed up with them for a median of 7.3 years to assess their health over time.

Across the board, people who drank tea habitually showed more healthy years of life and lived longer than the those who drank tea less frequently or didn’t consume it at all. The regular drinkers showed a 20 percent lower risk of incident heart disease and stroke, and had a 22 percent lower risk of fatal heart disease and stroke. On top of that, they also showed a 15 percent lower risk of all-cause death. In addition, the data showed that 50-year-olds who drank tea regularly would develop heart disease and stroke symptoms 1.41 years later and live 1.26 years longer than their non-tea drinking counterparts.

The health benefits were strongest among those who had a lifelong tea habit. Those who kept it up over the years showed a 56 percent lower risk of fatal heart disease and stroke, and a 29 percent lower risk of all-cause death compared to those who didn’t drink the beverage, or drank it sporadically. Interestingly, the researchers didn’t see any health benefits among those who started drinking tea during the follow-up period, and the researchers noted that the health benefits were strongest for green tea.

The reason for this might have something to do with the active compounds in tea that improve heart health. They’re called polyphenols, and they’re a class of naturally occurring compounds that help give plants their color and taste. For humans, they’re a micronutrient and a prime source of antioxidants. The researchers theorized that because of the way black tea leaves are processed, their polyphenols might be less potent. And according to Dongfeng Gu, a senior author of the study, evidence shows that polyphenols don’t stick around long in the body once ingested.

“Thus, frequent tea intake over an extended period may be necessary for the cardioprotective effect,” he said in a European Society of Cardiology press release.

So go ahead and put the kettle on the stove—you’ll be doing your heart a favor.


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What Are They and What Are They Used For?


As an essential prop designed to expand and enrich poses and practice, this piece of equipment is a crowd-favourite. As thick, padded wheels that add support, weight, and an extra challenge during exercise, they allow for a variety of muscle groups to be engaged throughout the workout.

Their large size makes them ideal for increasing flexibility, allowing for extra reach during stretches, and adding new variations on existing poses – like the yoga wheel backbend and headstand.

From its beginning as the Dharma wheel, this invention has made its mark

These accessories have grown in popularity over the last few years and are quickly becoming an essential item for fitness-goers. From its inception in 2014 as the Dharma yoga wheel, the range has grown and diversified, offering a variety of styles and sizes, with accessories to match.

Dharma yoga wheel basic guidelines for the best quality

With the range of accessories on the market, it can be difficult to select one for your needs. We like to give you some insight into our factors for selecting our quality stock, so you understand what makes a good product, and how important the quality is for your daily needs.

 

Our selection features:

  • Quality materials that are shock resistant and fully support your activities: We also have cork yoga wheels in stock; which are eco-friendly options that make for great yoga wheels and safe daily practice. Textured plastic is also a good option.
  • Excellent construction: they’ll need to hold your body weight, and the force of your movement. With a smooth finish that has plenty of grip to hold the wheel in place, these basic manufacturing factors ensure safety when handling and using your wheel. Having hand grips on the sides also makes it great for use with different positions – so look for one that gives you versatility.
  • Flexibility and strength : these accessories need to give a little, yet, at the same time, support weight and movement from intense poses.

These basic factors are what make a quality yoga wheel that you can use with confidence in your practice.

 

Cork yoga wheels are one of the best options for daily practice

Cork is a material that has many uses of which these tools use as a foundation. Eco-friendly, anti-microbial, flexible, and shock-resistant, cork varieties are fantastic for daily use.

With their strength and flexibility, they’re able to impart these qualities within your practice, with little added maintenance to go with their use. As a result, they’re practitioners who want to make a healthy routine that is low impact on both their lives and the environment, thanks to the biodegradable nature of this wonderful material.

 

Designed to provide support for all workouts

With the stimple, sturdy nature, these products are designed for all workouts in mind. Their size, weight, and supportive materials can allow you to rest your entire body weight on the wheel as you perform challenging poses, and hold up to the task. Often made of cork, this accessory usually has flexibility, bounce, and strength featured in its craftsmanship. These are all qualities that yoga practice can give you as you immerse yourself within it.

 

Cheap yoga wheel options, equipped with quality

Low cost doesn’t mean low quality with our selection. As a dedicated provider of information, tips, and techniques that help you be at your fittest and healthiest, you can expect nothing less from our range.

Our products have been conscientiously sourced to give you great value for money,  alongside ease and convenience. That means you can select your wheel, have it shipped directly to your door, and find out exactly how to put it to use straight away from our carefully curated content.

For a few initial ideas, read the tips below and see how this playful accessory can aid you in deeper yoga practice and poses, as well as alleviate back pain and amplify core strength in the process.

The best yoga wheels are those that fit your flexibility and form

As a large accessory, they aren’t a one size fits all design. To get the most out of your accessory, you’ll have to factor in your physical form and level of flexibility; making sure that your practice is made safe. For those that aren’t highly flexible (yet), starting with a smaller diameter may be the best option in order not to overstretch your limits. With time and use, you may find that a larger diameter is something you can work up to, and amplify your practice even more.

 

4 ways to use a yoga wheel

  1. For support that air won’t give you

As far as round objects go, they aren’t always the most reliable to lean on. But, with the extra addition of weight anchoring them to the ground, they’ll stay perfectly put for your purposes. Like, for example, massaging your back – the padded arc of the design is perfect for stretching out the spine and giving it a heavenly massage.

 

  1. To push you beyond your body’s stretching limits

If you think you’ve stretched as far as you can go and aren’t feeling it anymore, these tools might come as a pleasant surprise. Incorporating it into exercises can both slightly modify the activity to reach different muscles and areas, and literally push you past the limits of what your body can do on it’s own.

 

  1. For better core strength

Being on a shaky surface makes your whole body work to keep in balance. This type of equipment is padded and round, and is a dream for activating the core to extra levels.  Yoga wheels also allow the chest to open up fully, allowing for space between the chest and abdominals, and stretching your core at the same time. This helps both in recovery and also aids in better breathing over time – both valuable in daily movement and health.

 

  1. As a prop to add weight and bulk throughout poses

Performing a challenging pose can be tricky on it’s own; but an extra prop pushes the limits. With a large diameter, the challenge of keeping your grip on it throughout the exercise makes it work muscles throughout the body that much more. From activating the arms and core to engaging lower body muscles that would otherwise stay relaxed during each pose, this piece of equipment pushes your practice to another level in all the versatile ways in which it can be used.

 

How to use yoga wheels for back pain

The suppleness and shape of these designs makes them fantastic for helping relieve back pain. Other than incorporating them in poses that help to straighten the spine, they can allow you to drape your back around them, and straighten and elongate your spine in the process.

Poses like the yoga wheel backbend allow your vertebrae to fully stretch out and lengthen, as well as massage your back in order to relieve the muscles. This brings blood flow to nerves, as well as letting the spinal fluid flow freely.

These items are also highly useful even for those who haven’t yet fully committed to regular practice. Using them to relieve back pain and improve posture for working at the computer is a simple and effective way to prevent degeneration of the back and spine.

A simple massage of the spine with the yoga wheel can last only a few minutes, but relax your entire lower back, shoulders, and neck to enable your posture to straighten itself after hours of strain at the desk.

 

4 different exercises with the yoga wheel

1. The yoga wheel backbend

If stretching your spine and opening up the heart sounds appealing to you, the yoga wheel backbend will be a pleasure to perform.

Start by placing it underneath your lower back, and pressing against it until you lift all but the soles of your feet off the floor, then gently roll backwards and forwards. This action will open up your chest and back, helping you straighten your posture, reduce back pain, and help promote clearer breathing.

This simple pose if perfect for beginners to masters alike, and can even be used by those who haven’t yet discovered the benefits of yoga to alleviate back pain and improve posture.

2. The yoga wheel handstand

If you’ve already mastered the classical headstands on their own, this exercise might just be the next step. This extra level is perfect for those who have mastered the original headstand, and are looking to bring extra core work and stability by using a prop to boost their pose.

With your hands tightly clasping the wheel and elbows in, bring the wheel right up against your head. Lean your chest over the curve of the design, and slowly bring your legs up to reach the headstand. You’ll feel the difference it makes in the core.


 

3. The puppy pose

Similar to child’s pose, this position gives added stretch to arms and back muscles.

Come into child’s pose, and, with your yoga wheel in front of you, place both hands on either of the flat sides of the tool. Raise your chest, hand, and back so that your spine is straight. Allow your head to drop between your arms and breathe into the stretch – you’ll feel it from your beck to your glutes.

 

4. Pull-forward plank crunches

Planks are challenging to hold and add stability to the core. With the addition of this accessory, you can add an extra level of intensity by placing both shins on top of the wheel, and pulls your legs backwards and forwards as you breathe into the exercise. This added instability forces the core to work even harder, stay engaged, and also works the glutes and thighs as they propel the legs forward.

They’re also playful prop that can deepen your poses and give you extra stretch when you need it most. The tips we’ve outlined on this page are poses and exercises that cover the basic use of these products.

As a relatively new tool, the use of the yoga wheel is constantly evolving with time. New ways of improving poses and bringing an extra level to fitness through yoga are rapidly coming to the forefront; and we’re committed to bringing them directly to you.

We regularly showcase the many ways in which you can incorporate this item into your practice and get the best from your investment and poses alike. Follow our channels and website to see more ways in which this delightful item can improve your posture, practice, and life; and make sure to put your wheel to daily use.

 

Your best source to buy yoga wheels online

Our site is a one-stop source to bring them into play within your next workout.

Women’s Health and Fitness Online are always looking for ways to bring greater satisfaction through helping you expand your fitness practice and reach your goals. Letting nothing stand in the way between becoming the best you, we source and select the best products to do exactly that – with quality, value, and performance meeting our criteria.

As dedicated providers of health, fitness, and beauty, we test the waters and find what works best. This range is no exception. Simply select the size that best suits you, and buy with confidence.



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5 Self-Help Tips That Actually Work, According to Experts


Relationships. You have them with your partner. Your boss. Your buddies. Your dog. But when’s the last time you worked on your relationship with… yourself? Never, you say? Self-help only sounds woo-woo; it actually has a remarkable impact on your mental health and well-being.

Here’s what it entails: “Building a healthier relationship with yourself means having a relationship with the parts of yourself that you like and the parts of yourself you don’t like,” says Avi Klein, LCSW, a New York-based therapist who specializes in men’s mental health.

It matters, too. “People who have a healthy relationship with themselves are generally happier, experience less anxiety and depression, are more forgiving of themselves, and trust themselves more,” explains Konstantin Lukin, Ph.D., director and co-founder of the Lukin Center for Psychotherapy. “They also tend to make better choices, have more satisfying work lives, and experience more authentic connections with others.”

On top of that, with an increased awareness of your own inner workings, you’ll likely be able to cultivate better relationships with all of those other people.

So it’s time to get to know yourself and employ some self-help principles. Here, five ways to do it, according to experts.

Self-help Primer: Check Your Basic Health Boxes

You know how the airlines tell you to fasten your safety mask before helping others? That’s because you can’t take care of others if you’re not taking care of yourself. “On the simplest level, developing a good relationship with yourself initially involves taking care of your basic needs,” explains Lukin.

What to do: a lot of what you’re already likely doing — just becoming more accountable about it.

Eating healthy, staying hydrated, and keeping up with exercise and sleep helps you help yourself—a key self-help puzzle piece in tackling everything your days bring with them.

Keep Track of Your Not-So-Good Traits

Maybe you’re always late. Perhaps you can’t, for the life of you, remember to call the insurance/mortgage/insert-administrative-task-here company when you need to.

Even if it’s in the ‘Notes’ app on your phone, start a running list of things about yourself that you’d like to improve upon (bad habits, problems you’ve been avoiding, constructive feedback you’ve gotten).

“When you make these unconscious things conscious by writing them down, you have more control over them,” says Klein.

Example: If you don’t take a compliment well, that could rub people the wrong way ultimately isolating you from others, but if you can start noticing this within yourself, you can change your actions.

Keeping track of your ‘improvables’ on a regular basis can also help you notice ‘triggers’ or times that you tend to slip up or act in ways you’re not proud of. This helps you act differently in the future.

Tally Up Your ‘Wins’

You likely dole out all kinds of compliments to other people — but it’s easy to overlook our own accomplishments.

Keeping a list of what makes you feel good about yourself (strengths and accomplishments) as well as wins you’re proud of can actually help you get to know yourself better and help you hit your goals.

“Taking time during the day to notice like things you feel proud of helps you take risks and do harder things,” says Klein.

Go Home

Not to your house or apartment—to those places/things/times that help you feel most comfortable (the middle of a long run, a trip somewhere new, a get-together with your best friends).

Making time for the things that help us feel most like ourselves can be grounding, explains Klein.

Without it? Your other relationships suffer. “If you don’t feel grounded, you can’t be there for other people. Making time for yourself is a prerequisite to being generous to other people.”

If you’re just giving and giving, eventually you’re going to burn out—or get angry at others, he says.

Meditate

It really does work: Noticing your thoughts, what comes up again and again (and again) allows you to get a better understanding of yourself, what bothers you, what inspires you, or what worries you.

Without that kind of information, it’s harder to enact change.


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Do HIIT Before You Lift


What should you do first: lifting or cardio? Many trainers recommend kicking things off in the weight room, since muscles are fresher and able to lift more, helping you progress. But a study in the Journal of Exercise Science & Fitness gives cardio top billing. Fourteen men in their 20s and 30s did two workouts. In the first, high-intensity sprints were followed by strength circuits. In the second, subjects switched between weights and cardio. A round of continuous weight circuit training was interrupted by several bouts of HIIT.

The guys reported feeling equally fatigued, explains study author Tony Nuñez, an exercise scientist at Metropolitan State University of Denver. But doing intervals before weights netted higher energy expenditure and greater post-exercise oxygen consumption—which means the workout challenged the body more during and after. By measuring the blood lactate concentration, Nuñez and his team tracked the exercises’ intensities. The segmented exercise, where weights and cardio were mixed together, gave the guys recovery time between the HIIT rounds, so they expended less energy. The study’s results show that, if you want to maximize your super-session, go hard with short bouts of cardio first, then finish it off with strength-training moves.



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