Category Archives: Health & fitness

Health & fitness

5 Steps To Finding A Workout You Actually Like 

LAUREN ROSS

1. Make a List of All the Possible Activities You Think You Might Ever Enjoy 

Get a piece of paper and write down every physical activity you enjoy now or think you might enjoy–gardening, hiking, kayaking, learning to salsa dance, training for a 5K, doing the elliptical, weight lifting, taking a Spin class or trying a pole-dancing class.

If you belong to a gym or like the idea of working out in a gym, write down exercises, classes and machines that you know about.

2. Try at Least One New Workout for 20 Minute Every Week
Make it your goal to try at least one new workout every week for one month. Don’t feel pressured to like whatever you try right away–you probably won’t. Your purpose right now is simply to explore and find what you think you might want to try again.

There’s just one rule: You can’t count something as “trying it” if you do a workout for only five minutes–that’s not long enough to give your body time to warm up, let alone adapt to the movements you’re doing. Try to sustain any cardio-based workout for 20 minutes, easing into the exercise at first by going slower than you think you should. If you’re trying new strengthening exercises or lifting weights, warm up your muscles beforehand by walking or riding a bike for at least 5 minutes, then rotate through different sets, or exercises, for 10 to 15 minutes.

3. If You Give Something 5 Stars Out of 10, Try It Again Next Week
If you dislike something, cross it off the list. If something seems even remotely interesting, circle a date on your calendar the following week to try it again. On the other hand, if something made your body hurt or you just weren’t enjoying yourself after 20 minutes, you don’t have to try it again. The goal here is to find one or two exercises that you enjoy–and it’s icing on the cake if you discover more.

4. Four Is the Magic Number
Try any workouts that you think you might like at least four times before deciding if they’re a good fit for you. Four sessions should be enough to determine whether a workout has the potential to positively affect your body and mood.

If nothing excites you, though, that’s okay. Sit down again to make a new list–and this time, get more creative. Think outside the gym to outdoor sports, athletic clubs, adult pickup games and dance classes that you might enjoy. Or if you like the idea of exercising at the gym but still haven’t found something you like to do there, consider looking for a new gym with different class offerings, machines or even atmosphere. I know some people who don’t like to work out at gyms without personal TVs or those that don’t have any windows near the cardio equipment.

5. Keep the Adventure Alive
Keep the spirit of adventure alive because exercise, no matter how much you like it, can get monotonous and boring at times. It’s a lot like food, in fact: If you had to eat the same meal every day, even if it was your favorite meal, wouldn’t you eventually get sick of it and want to try something different? Continually experimenting will keep your workouts fresh, help you stay motivated and challenge your body in new ways so that you continue to get strong and lean without ever getting stuck in a rut.

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Source: 5 Steps To Finding A Workout You Actually Like

How Boys’ And Girls’ Brains Process Trauma Differently 

MACIEJ FROLOW VIA GETTY IMAGES

Traumatic events may affect the brains of boys and girls differently, a new study finds.

Among boys in the study, a brain area called the anterior circular sulcus was larger among those who had symptoms of a trauma, compared with a control group of boys who did not have any trauma symptoms. But among girls in the study, this brain region was smaller among those who had trauma symptoms.

The region is associated with emotional awareness and empathy, the researchers said.

The scientists said they were surprised to see that “the boys and girls were so clearly on different ends of the spectrum,” said Megan Klabunde, the lead author of the study and a psychologist and neuroscience researcher at Stanford University School of Medicine. [10 Things You Didn’t Know About the Brain]

The researchers compared the size of this brain region in the boys in the control group with that of the girls in the control group, finding that the region was of approximately similar size in both groups.

A potential explanation for these results is that “exposure to traumatic stress may impact brain development rates” differently in boys than in girls, the researchers said. However, because the study was conducted at a single point in time, it’s not possible to know whether there is a cause-and-effect relationship — in either girls or boys — between trauma and the size of this brain region, the investigators said.

In the study, the researchers scanned the brains of 59 children ages 9 to 17, using a type of scan called structural magnetic resonance imaging (sMRI). There were 29 children total in the control group, and there were 30 children in the group that had symptoms of trauma, such as mood changes, and mentally re-living their traumatic events. These children had experienced a traumatic event more than 6 months prior to the start of the study.

The researchers compared the size of the anterior circular sulcus, located within a brain region called the insula, which plays a role in people’s emotions, awareness and empathy.

However, “the insula doesn’t work in isolation,” Klabunde told Live Science. Rather, this region is connected to other parts of the brain, which are also involved in emotion processing and empathy, she said.

Previous studies have shown that about 8 percent of girls and 2 percent of boys develop post-traumatic stress disorder sometime during their lifetime. Girls, in general, are more likely to develop the condition than boys are.

The researchers noted that their study had a relatively small number of participants. In addition, the research did not specifically study the impact of factors such as the time since the trauma, the age of the participant when the trauma first occurred, the severity of the trauma and other potential stressors that may also affect changes in the brain.

Future studies may shed light on how trauma affects other brain structures related to empathy, and whether these effects also show gender differences, the researchers said.

Additionally, further research may also help scientists determine whether these physical differences in the brain in turn lead to behavioral differences between boys and girls, the scientists said. Such research could help psychiatrists develop gender-specific treatments for boys and girls who have suffered traumatic events, the researchers said.

Source: How Boys’ And Girls’ Brains Process Trauma Differently

Untreated Depression Is A Growing Problem Among American Teens 

FATCAMERA VIA GETTY IMAGES

 

The number of U.S. adolescents and young adults with untreateddepression may be on the rise, a recent study suggests.

For youth ages 12 to 17, the prevalence of depression increased from 8.7 percent in 2005 to 11.3 percent in 2014, the study found. Among adults aged 18 to 25, the prevalence climbed from 8.8 percent to 9.6 percent during the study period.

But there hasn’t been much change in the proportion of teens and young adults seeking mental health treatment, the study also found.

“We already know that teens have much more depression than is currently being recognized or treated,” said Dr. Anne Glowinski, a child psychiatry researcher at Washington University in St. Louis who wrote an editorial accompanying the study.

“What this study adds is that rates of youth depression have significantly increased in the last decade and that the proportion of recognized/treated young people appears unchanged despite efforts to encourage pediatricians to focus on suicide prevention which includes more recognition and treatment of youth depression,” Glowinski added by email.

Each year, about 1 in 11 teens and young adults suffers at least one episode of majordepression, researchers report in Pediatrics.

To examine trends over time in the prevalence of depression and mental health treatment, researchers examined nationally representative survey data from more than 172,000 teens and almost 179,000 young adults.

Among other things, researchers asked participants if they had experienced a variety of symptoms that can point to depression, whether they had experienced an episode of major depression in the past year, and if they had seen a doctor or other health professional about these symptoms.

They also assessed whether the participants received treatments such as counseling or prescription medication.

Compared to teens who didn’t report a major depressive episode, those who did were more likely to be older, not in school, unemployed, in households with single parents or no parents, and have substance abuse issues.

Among young adults, those with depression were more likely to be female, black and have a substance abuse issue.

One limitation of the study is that researchers relied on young people to accurately recall and report any symptoms of depression or treatments for the condition, the authors note. The study didn’t include medical records and researchers couldn’t verify whether clinicians diagnosed depression in individual participants who reported symptoms or said they received treatment.

Even so, the findings suggest a growing number of teens and young adults havedepression and don’t receive treatment, the authors conclude.

This suggests there’s room for parents, pediatricians and school and college counseling services to step up efforts to identify and help youth with mental health problems, the authors argue.

“Many children do not tell their parents about their depressive symptoms, they may not even recognize them as such,” said lead study author Dr. Ramin Mojtabai, a public health researcher at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore.

“Parents should be alert to changes in academic or social functioning of their children and to other manifestations of depression such as social withdrawal, long periods of sadness, frequent crying spells, anger outbursts and irritability, suicidal ideations or gestures, significant changes in appetite and weight, and significant changes in energy level,” Mojtabai added by email.

Source: Untreated Depression Is A Growing Problem Among American Teens

Why some make so much noise during sex 

By Ian KernerAll you have to do is watch nearly any depiction of female orgasm on screen to get an idea of how a woman is “supposed” to react during sex.

From “When Harry Met Sally” to “Sex and the City” to your basic porn film, women in the throes of passion aren’t just shouting their ecstasy from the rooftops, they’re moaning with pleasure. Loudly.
But is this just cinematic license, or is there really something to noisy sex?
The ancient evolutionary origin of the elusive female orgasm

 
Experts wondered the same thing. In 2011, Gayle Brewer of the University of Central Lancashire and Colin Hendrie of the University of Leeds published their research on the topic — technically known as “copulatory vocalization” — in the Archives of Sexual Behavior. In the study, they asked 71 sexually active heterosexual women between ages 18 and 48 for more details about vocalization during sex.
The researchers found that many of the women did make noise but not necessarily while they were having an orgasm. Instead, 66% said that they moaned to speed up their partner’s climax, and 87% stated that they vocalized during sex to boost his self-esteem.
“While female orgasms were most commonly experienced during foreplay, copulatory vocalizations were reported to be made most often before and simultaneously with male ejaculation,” the researchers wrote. Women also reported making noise to relieve boredom, fatigue and pain/discomfort during sex.
So is female vocalization during sex just a performance for a guy’s benefit? (After all, Meg Ryan’s over-the-top moans were meant to prove a point to “Harry” that men are easily duped by a fake orgasm.)
“There isn’t a lot of research in this area,” said Kristen Mark, a sexuality researcher at Indiana University, “but we’re bombarded with images through mainstream media that tell us moaning is associated with orgasm and sexual pleasure. So it would be a fairly wise faking strategy to moan since men already tend to associate moaning with orgasm.”
Of course, there’s nothing smart about faking it.
“If you’re faking an orgasm, you are signaling to your partner that he is doing everything right, when in fact he isn’t,” sex educator and author Patty Brisben said. “Use moaning as a way of signaling that you are excited and things really are feeling good, not as a way to hide that they aren’t.”
Want better sleep, better mood and better sex? Cut calories

Fake or not, women aren’t the only primates who vocalize during sex. Research in the animal kingdom reveals that female baboons, for example, have a variety of copulation calls, which appear to relate to their fertility: The vocalizations tend to become more complex when the females are closer to ovulation and vary when a female is mating with a higher-ranked male baboon. Female macaque monkeys give a shout to help trigger their mates’ orgasm, too.
Performances and primatologists aside, vocalizing during sex can actually be a great tool to help women get what they want in bed. As I discussed in my columnon the topic of talking about sex, it isn’t always easy to translate sexual thought into action, so a little strategic moaning can definitely help get the point across.
“Women are learning to take responsibility for their own sexual needs and wants in the bedroom,” Brisben explained. “We need to take this one step further and give ourselves permission to become teachers. Use vocalization to teach your partner what feels good. It can help you say, ‘stop, go, yes, more please,’ without sounding like a traffic cop.”
How much sex should you be having?

And when it comes to noise, “partner benefit isn’t the only piece of the puzzle,” Mark said. “Perhaps making noise turns some women on and helps them experience pleasure.”
Brisben concurred: “I think there are many women who need to be vocal to help themselves achieve orgasm. It helps move them and their orgasm along. There are certainly phases. As a woman gets into it, she may become extremely vocal and then move into a period of quiet as she is on the verge.”
So do what feels right to you. Any other benefits are just a great bonus. And when it comes to “copulatory vocalization,” perhaps men should take a lesson from the ladies.
Join the conversation
“Women understand that moaning is a turn-on for guys, and many women ultimately enjoy it because they’ve made an effort to push a little beyond what comes naturally,” said Logan Levkoff, a sex educator and author of a guide for men entitled “How To Get Your Wife to Have Sex With You.”
“But sexual self-esteem is a two-way street, and, for their part during sex, guys should aim for more than a single grunt at the end. It’s not about faking or doing something you don’t want to, but more about being sexually present and in sync with each other.”
So let’s all make some noise.

Source: Why some make so much noise during sex 

Does marijuana weaken heart muscles? 

Your brain on weed

Your brain on weed

Just last week, five more states voted to legalize recreational marijuana, but users may want to be cautious. A study released Sunday suggests that marijuana use can weaken heart muscles, particularly in young men. The study was presented at the annual scientific conference of the American Heart Association in New Orleans.

Recognizing the possible adverse health effects of smoking pot to get high, the researchers examined the link between marijuana use and heart health.
Voters in California, Massachusetts and Nevada approve recreational use of marijuana

Marijuana users vs. non-users

The researchers, from St. Luke’s University Hospital Network, focused on patients with stress cardiomyopathy, a sudden temporary weakening of the heart muscle that prevents it from pumping. Patients with the condition, which has been said to mimic a heart attack, can experience acute chest pain, shortness of breath and dizziness.
The muscle weakness is most often caused by acute stress or grief, such as a breakup or the death of a loved one. However, according to Dr. Amitoj Singh, the lead investigator of the study, at least two cases of stress cardiomyopathy in medical literature have been related to marijuana use.
“There have been many reports of heart attacks, strokes and the two cases of (stress cardiomyopathy) that have been linked to marijuana,” Singh said.
Greater availability of marijuana, particularly for recreational use, has heightened concern in the medical community about cardiac risks, sparking Singh’s interest.
Doctors face medical marijuana knowledge gap
Using Nationwide Inpatient Sample data from 2003 to 2011, the researchers tracked hospital admissions and outcomes of 33,343 patients with stress cardiomyopathy. The data were taken from across the country and represented both men and women of varied ages. Two groups were formed from the data: one group of marijuana users (which had 210 patients, or 1% of the total study pool) and a group of patients who did not use the drug.
Each group was strikingly different in terms of demographics, medical histories and outcomes. The marijuana users tended to be younger and more often male, a finding that was surprising to Singh, because stress cardiomyopathy most often occurs in older women, he said.
Marijuana users also had fewer risk factors that typically cause stress cardiomyopathy, such as acute stress, hypertension, diabetes, migraines and hyperthyroidism. The non-marijuana-using group had much higher rates of these conditions.
Colorado visitors are using pot and ending up in the ER
“Even though these young people had less cardiac risk factors, they still had high cardiac risk,” Singh said.
Marijuana users also suffered more severe cardiac problems. “Despite being younger and with fewer cardiovascular risk factors than non-users, during stress cardiomyopathy, the marijuana users were significantly more likely to go into cardiac arrest (2.4% vs. 0.8%) and to require an implanted defibrillator to detect and correct dangerously abnormal heart rhythms (2.4% vs. 0.6%),” the American Heart Association said of the study in a news release.
Investigating further, the researchers created a model that excluded all of the known causes of stress cardiomyopathy to see whether marijuana use alone could trigger the condition. They found a statistically significant relationship between the drug and stress cardiomyopathy, Singh said.
“Someone who uses marijuana is almost two times more likely to develop stress cardiomyopathy,” he explained.
Weed users found to have poorer verbal memory in middle age
However, the report also found that marijuana users were more likely to use tobacco and illicit substances, as well as suffer from depression, than non-marijuana users.
Dr. Ann Bolger, a professor of clinical medicine at the University of California, San Francisco School of Medicine and a spokeswoman for the American Heart Association, said these factors can contribute to stress cardiomyopathy. “It’s hard to know exactly that you can account for all of these other contributors” when determining causation of the condition, she said.

Should you avoid marijuana?

Bolger agrees with the overall concern raised by the new study. “It does give me some very appropriate worry that exposure to (marijuana) may not be as benign as some people seem to think.”
Colorado marijuana's potency getting 'higher'
She added that “If this is in some way predictive of poor outcomes or indicative that we need to have concern about the cardiovascular health and outcomes of patients using marijuana, I think it’s a very good thing to start to think about.”
Singh acknowledges that marijuana has several benefits in medicine, particularly with treatments such as chemotherapy. “We don’t want to underestimate the benefits of medical marijuana,” he confirmed.
Still, Singh wants to draw attention to the potential harms of recreational use. The lack of regulation makes it difficult for users to know the amount of THC, the psychosis-inducing chemical in marijuana, contained in a dose, which can be dangerous. Singh is still not certain whether THC is principally responsible for users’ cardiac problems; that is a topic that needs to be further studied, he said.
Join the conversation
As a whole, more research needs to be done regarding the effects of marijuana on heart health, Singh emphasized.
“This is a retrospective study, so we cannot determine causation” between marijuana and weakening heart muscles, he concluded. “Further research is needed to evaluate this study, especially considering the current increase of recreational marijuana in our country.”

Source: Does marijuana weaken heart muscles? 

Winter Beauty Trends

Having trouble bidding warm weather a bittersweet goodbye? Turn all your attention toward this winter’s beauty trends and you’ll find yourself psyched for a drop in temperatures in no time! Dramatic and elegant looks were all the rage on the fall/winter 2016 runways and we no longer have to wait to experiment. Here are 6 beauty trends that are going to be a huge deal this winter.

[Photo: Imaxtree]

Source: Winter Beauty Trends

You Have to See This Woman Contour Her Butt 

butt contouring
PHOTOGRAPH COURTESY OF INSTAGRAM/LIVEGLAM.CO
First came leg contouring, then came boob contouring, now here’s…butt contouring? Um, WTF? In case you’ve gotten this far into your day without wondering what is wrong with society, this wacky beauty trend is sure to snap you back to reality.

Liveglam.co, a makeup tutorial account followed by some 1.6 million ‘grammers, posted a video yesterday of a girl using Benefit’s Hula Bronzer and Anastasia Beverly Hills Glow Kit to contour each butt-cheek into an admittedly perkier version of its former self.

Check out the video:

We’d like to thank Sir-Mix-A-Lot, Meaghan Trainor, and Kate Upton for championing curves in the midst of stick figure-saturated media, but this trend seems a little less “Yay, all shapes and sizes” and more “If your cheeks don’t look like melons, you should fix that.”

But don’t call us haters—we have nothing but sympathy for our butt-contouring friend. Not only does she have to fear that the makeup will rub off on her pants, should she choose to wear any; her chair, should she choose to sit; or someone else, should she make human contact—but she’s also missing out on the most applause-worthy aspect of a high, tight butt. Knowing that you worked for it.

Source: You Have to See This Woman Contour Her Butt