HomeTagsPosts tagged with "exercise"


It's time to get off the couch and make an effort, according to this study.

Our lives of inactivity seem to be catching up with us, as a quarter of the world's population is becoming less and less active.

The figures on global inactivity have been released after scientists studied data collected by the World Health Organisation (WHO) – and it's not good news.

Researchers analysed data from 358 surveys across 168 countries, including 1.9 million participants.

They investigated trends in inactivity worldwide from 2001 to 2016.

And as you can probably guess, we didn't do so well.

Shockingly, almost 40 percent of Irish women didn't get enough physical activity in 2016.

The lads did only slightly better, with 30 percent of them not moving enough.  

This is compared to global figures in 2016 with indicates that 27.5 percent of the world population aren't getting enough physical activity.

There is an eight percent different between men and women. Almost 32 percent of women do insufficient exercise, compared to 23.4 percent of men. 

Sufficient exercise was classified in the report, as an individual doing at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity, or 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity physical activity per week, or any equivalent combination of the two.

The surveys took note of physical activity in work, at home, for transport and during leisure time – so we have no excuses.

Although Ireland didn't do so well, women in Latin America and the Caribbean had some of the highest levels of inactivity in 2016.

Some 43.7 percent of the their females populations weren't getting the required exercise.

The study suggests that living in a high income country, you're twice as likely not to get the exercise you need (36·8 percent), than in a low-income country (16·2 percent). 

Additionally, it reports that insufficient activity has increased in high-income countries since 2001.  

Our inactivity could be having serious health implications, according to the researchers.

The report published in The Lancet Global Heath journal, says: "Insufficient physical activity is a leading risk factor for non-communicable diseases, and has a negative effect on mental health and quality of life."

It warned if our current habits of insufficient activity continues, we will not reach our 2025 target.

"If current trends continue, the 2025 global physical activity target (a 10% relative reduction in insufficient physical activity) will not be met."

"Policies to increase population levels of physical activity need to be prioritised and scaled up urgently," it added.

Every little bit of movement makes a difference, so grab a friend or your favourite playlist and get out and about!

Or challenge yourself by joining a class or a team sport, you'll have some fun and might even make some new friends.


Ah, breakfast.

Our love/hate relationship with the first meal of the day is all too real.

However, this latest study has shown that chowing down in the morning before hitting a workout can "'prime" the body to burn carbs.

The findings also suggest that fuelling your workouts will allow the body to digest your post-workout meal much more efficiently. 

The research was conducted by scientists from at Department for Health, in collaboration with experts from the universities of Birmingham, Newcastle and Stirling.

As many fitness junkies will know, fasting is becoming a hot trend amongst the Insta-fit population.

The scientists have taken note.

The researchers tested the blood glucose levels and muscle glycogen levels of the 12 healthy male volunteers who took part.

Participates were split into two groups, those who ate breakfast and those who were fasting overnight. 

The scientists studied the volunteers before and after an hour’s cycle.

Those who ate brekkie were treated to porridge made with milk two hours before exercise. 

The results were in and it's time to kick fasting to the curb.

Their evidence shows eating breakfast increases the rate at which the body burnt carbohydrates during exercise.

Furthermore, it boosts the rate at which the body digests and metabolises food eaten after exercise too.

Dr Javier Gonzalez, senior lecturer in the Department of Health who co-led the study, said:

“This is the first study to examine the ways in which breakfast before exercise influences our responses to meals after exercise.

"We found that, compared to skipping breakfast, eating breakfast before exercise increases the speed at which we digest, absorb and metabolise carbohydrate that we may eat after exercise.”

Rob Edinburgh, PhD student also in the Department who co-led the study, said:

“We also found that breakfast before exercise increases carbohydrate burning during exercise, and that this carbohydrate wasn't just coming from the breakfast that was just eaten, but also from carbohydrate stored in our muscles as glycogen.

"This increase in the use of muscle glycogen may explain why there was more rapid clearance of blood sugar after ‘lunch’ when breakfast had been consumed before exercise."

If this study is anything to go by, it's time to become well acquainted with breakfast again.

Nevertheless, my fellow fitness fans will know we are constantly bombarded with conflicting evidence.

This study shows that fasting before exercising can lead to burning extra fat during a session.

If you're undecided, it's best to speak to your doctor before embarking on a new diet or exercise plan.



Meeting the girls for a coffee this weekend? Why not throw in a quick gym session with Niamh Cullen beforehand? Two birds and all that. 

This weekend sees the 9th instalment of GYM+COFFEE’s 2018 Summer Stretch Series, in association with Healthcoach by Laya Healthcare

The free outdoor workout series has been a huge hit across the country, and this event is set to be a big one!


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Irish influencer Niamh Cullen and Sean Harding, owner and head performance coach at Back2Basics Fitness Studios, will be there to put you through your paces with their Tabata style HIIT workout.


Taking place in Dundrum Town Centre from 11am, the 45-minute workout is open to everyone, and you'll definitely work up a sweat with their heart-pumping moves. 


The session will then be followed by coffee and chats with Niamh and Sean. 



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Coffee will be supplied and served by GYM+COFFEE at the very first pop-up store for the brand on the 3rd Floor of Dundrum Town Centre.


To register, follow this link and hit INTERESTED.


Working out may be the last thing on your mind when you're feeling a bit down on yourself, but research has suggested that even a small about of exercise can have a hugely positive effect on a woman's body image.

A study published this month in the journal, Psychology of Sport and Exercise, found that just 30 minutes of exercise left women feeling slimmer and stronger afterwards.

Researchers gathered 75 college-aged women who said they were unhappy with their appearance in order to test exercise's effect on body positivity.

Participants were given a questionnaire that asked about their exercise habits, energy and stress levels, as well as how they felt about their appearance and how much they enjoyed working out.

The group were then divided in two, with one half instructed to exercise on a stationary bike for 30 minutes, while the other half sat in a room reading a National Geographic magazine.

When the 30 minutes were up, the participants repeated the questionnaire directly after the workout, and then again 20 minutes later.

Interestingly, the women who worked out showed signs of improved body image in both questionnaires when compared to those who didn't.

The authors of the study reckon that the positive effect could last beyond the 20 minutes mark – although they did not test for that.

What's more, the results could suggest that physically active people have better self image, regardless if there's a change in their appearance.

The study adds to the growing body of research that indicates exercise can have a positive influence on a person's mental health and body acceptance.

So, the next time you find yourself in need of a little confidence boost, why not get that heart rate going?

You'll feel better in more ways than one.



Vogue Williams has revealed that her old anxiety trouble has been rearing it's head again since becoming pregnant. 

She and her fiancé, Made in Chelsea star Spencer Matthews are expecting their first child together. 

The 32-year-old model and TV presenter admitted in and interview that her pregnancy has aggravated her battle with anxiety. 

"I get quite bad anxiety and it's come back a bit while I've been pregnant," she told Closer magazine.  "I don't know why I have it – it's just general life anxiety. If I knew what it was about, that would be the first step in getting rid of it. But exercise keeps that in check and makes you feel better about yourself. It's more under control now than it has been in the past.''

But there are other side-affects of her pregnancy that she's happier to indulge in- cravings: 

''I'm having a lot of cravings – I can't get enough of dairy. Ice cream, milk, yoghurt, cheese – I want it all. Orange juice is also a big one – and, weirdly, my mum said she craved orange juice when she was pregnant with me.''

Williams, who was previously married to former Westlife member Brain McFadden, is already planning a family-filled future with Matthews. 

''We always wanted to have a baby before a wedding and obviously right now the baby is the priority. But I'm excited about getting married. It will probably be next year and we want a big party.

''In five years' time, I want to have had baby number two with Spencer. I want a family and I just want us to be happy, which I'm sure we will be.''


We all know how important regular exercise is for maintaining a healthy mind and body, but when it comes to proper brain function, it looks like a certain diet could actually be more beneficial than hours spent in the gym.

Research has shown that following a low-fat diet may help preserve brain cells as we age. 

Scientists at the University Medical Centre Groningen in The Netherlands discovered that a diet with 40 per cent fewer calories than the recommended intake contributed to reduced inflammation of subjects brain cells, as well as the maintenance of brain tissue. 

The research, published in Frontiers in Molecular Neuroscience, looked specifically at the Microgalia call, which keeps the brain functioning properly. 

And while the term 'proper brain function' might seem slightly vague, the research becomes highly significant when you consider that inflammation in brain cells has been linked to diseases such as multiple sclerosis, Rasmussen's encephalitis and dementia. 

It should be noted, however, that the best results were seen with a combination of a low-fat diet and limited calorie intake, and simply reducing the your fat intake may not be enough to prevent these change in the brain. 

Dr Bart Eggen who was the lead author of the study is quoted by PsyBlog as saying: "A low-fat diet per se was not sufficient to prevent these changes."

"Nevertheless, these data do show that, in mice, the fat content of a diet is an important parameter in terms of the detrimental effects of ageing on the brain, as well as caloric intake."


OK, at this stage we all the how important exercise is when it comes to maintaining our general health and well-being. 

Increased energy levels, decreased risk of disease and improved mental health are just some of the benefits enjoyed by those who engage in regular physical activity, and while we've always known that exercise can make us look more youthful as we age, science has now proven that regular workouts can actually reduce a person's biological age. 

Researchers at the University of Birmingham and King's College London studied 125 amateur cyclists between the ages of 55 and 79.

84 of the participants were male and 41 were female. 

The study found that, despite their age, the cyclists' managed to maintain the muscle mass and strength of a much younger person. 

What's more, the participants' immune systems showed little to no deterioration. 

Speaking about the results, Professor Janet Lord, Director of the Institute of Inflammatory and Ageing at the University of Birmingham, said we are under the false assumption that ageing automatically makes us weak and frail. 

"Hippocrates in 400 BC said that exercise is man’s best medicine, but his message has been lost over time and we are an increasingly sedentary society," she said.

"However, importantly, our findings debunk the assumption that ageing automatically makes us more frail.

"Our research means we now have strong evidence that encouraging people to commit to regular exercise throughout their lives is a viable solution to the problem that we are living longer but not healthier."

Researchers hope to continue the study to find out whether or not the same affects can be seen as the cyclists get older. 

So basically, if you're searching for the real secret behind enteral youth, ditch the anti-ageing creams and hop on a bike instead. 






If you look good, you're not working hard enough… or so they say.

And while most of us know a full face of make-up is a big no-no in the gym studio, many of us can't resist a quick concealer or foundation top-up.

Whether it's to alleviate the exercise flush or simply for a burst of confidence, the vast majority of us have worked out with our make-up on. 

And while many women associate break-outs with wearing make-up to the gym, how many of us have drawn a correlation between heat rash and our decision to top up our foundation before our weight session?

According to a report in Cosmopolitan, wearing make-up doesn't only cause spots, but is also responsible for miliaria, better known as heat rash.

Dr Preethi Daniel of London Doctors Clinic elaborates on the condition, saying: "Heat rash or miliaria which are small itchy bumps on the skin can develop from not letting your skin breath."

"Sweat needs to evaporate off the body, cooling it and lifting impurities. By not allowing this you have more of a chance of developing these small itchy bumps."

So, if you've been lucky enough to avoid the pimple break-out, but have fallen victim to a heat rash, it's likely something to do with your pre-gym cosmetic routine.

Something to keep in mind, ladies.


Remember the last time you were working out in public, and decided that the whole experience could be improved if only you could shed every stitch of clothing you had on?

Yes, us neither.

But it sounds like someone out there has had such a thought if the Hanson Fitness Nude Workout Session is anything to go by.

This New York gym is all about injecting a little excitement into your standard exercise sessions, and it involves ditching your clobber.

"Rihanna's favourite celebrity trainers Hanson Fitness are going to be running naked fitness sessions to celebrate the New Year," reads their Facebook page.

"These naked personal training sessions are all about creating a ‘new (‘nu-de’) you’, as guests burn the calories whilst nude."

Elaborating on the science behind the madness, they continue: "Working out without clothes provides a number of benefits to your exercise including skin breathing, the release of endorphins due to Vitamin D from sunlight and complete body awareness so you can see if you're cheating on your exercise routines."

The event page contains the standard information, with talk of long and short-term goals, but finishes with a disclaimer we've yet to see in an Irish gym – 'nude underwear can be worn if desired'.

Good to know, guys…. we think.


Khloe Kardashian broke the internet with her recent pregnancy revelation. 

Amidst the joy and well wishes from fans, came some unexpected criticism for the mum-to-be. 

Avid viewers of the KUWTK star's online content criticised the reality TV personality for continuing to work out and exercise while being six months pregnant. 


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Khloe has had a well documented fitness journey, which saw her lose weight and hone her body the way she wants it over the past few years. 

Now that she is pregnant, the Good American entrepreneur has had to defend her training sessions to mum-shamers. 

According to E! News, the 33-year-old took to Twitter to fight her corner. 


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'For the ones who think they are physicians all of a sudden but MY doctor and I communicate and my workouts are cleared and highly recommended,' she tweeted.

'Thanks kiddos! Don't make me stop sharing sh**.'

With a doctors recommendation, we don't think the critics have a leg to stand on. 



For those of us without a gym membership, staying in shape during the winter months can seem like a daunting task. 

As evenings get shorter and temperatures begin to drop, it often becomes harder and harder to find the motivation to get stay active – but it is possible. 

No fancy equipment, no extra costs – all that's required is a little determination and creativity. 

Here's some tips on how to keep your exercise routine in check all winter long. 

Get into the right frame of mind 

The cold never stopped any professional athlete from achieving their dreams and it's not going to stop you either. 

Sure, curling up in front of a warm cosy fire is nice, but just think about how much better it will be after a quick sweat session. 

Wrap up well

When it comes to winter work-outs, preparation is key – and if you're serious about keeping up a steady routine, it might be time to invest in some decent outerwear. 

Padded jackets, running gloves and thermal leggings will make those cold evenings much more bearable – and let's face it, they'll probably come in handy even when you're not exercising. 

Oh, and don't forget the high-vis jacket!  

Prepare with an extra long warm up 

While a proper warm up is an essential part of any work out routine, it is especially important during the winter months.

Consider doing a few stretches/ light exercises indoors to prepare for the harsh conditions that await you outside.

Your body will thank you for it!  

Keep it short 

Let's face it. Winter isn't exactly the most relaxed time of year, and finding the time to exercise daily can seem impossible at times. 

But just remember that you don't have to set aside long periods of time for one big work out. 

Instead, try to stagger your activities throughout the day.

A 10 minutes walk at lunch, a quick hula hoop session before dinner, and a short jog in the evening time – it all adds up. 

Recruit a workout buddy

Bonus points if they're a fitness fanatic. 

You'll be more inclined to stick to a routine if you've got someone to share (and complain about) it with. 

No doubt you'll end up falling out once or twice, but hey, there's nothing a like a good friend to give you motivation when you need it the most. 

Mix it up 

If the thoughts of running on the slippy wet ground fills you with overwhelming dread, there are plenty of activities you can try instead. 

Bring it back to basics and make use of any green spaces you may have available to you, treat your dog to the ultimate game of fetch or even grab a racket and head down to your local tennis court. 

Now is the time to try something different – and as long as you're moving, that's all that really matters. 



As holiday season rolls around, it's safe to say a lot of us what to ditch our, er… rolls in time to don an itzy bitzy bikini.

But as ALL of us know, it's not that easy, and sometimes we have to be super honest with ourselves in order to achieve our goals.

So, if you're determined to drop those extra few inches over the next couple of months, here are a few tips to help you along the way.

Sleep is QUEEN

Nabbing at least seven hours of sleep every night helps you manage your appetite (and keeps you sane).

Late nights and extra early mornings can mess with your hunger hormones and lead you down a path of munching on those very-tempting greasy foods.

10pm Dominos, how are ya?

Image result for sleeping


Losing weight and a healthy diet go hand in hand

Unfortunately, no matter how hard you workout, you can't trick your body.

No matter how many hours you spend at the gym it won’t work if you consume more calories than you could possibly burn.

So, be kind to your body and give it the best nutrition you can.

Sliced Oranges Kiwi Melon Blueberry and Dragonfruit on White Ceramic Platter


Mix it up

Being an expert in yoga might give you a confidence boost, but if you get too comfortable you’re going to stop seeing results, so try and mix it up.

Fitness instructors often suggest doing a mix of cardio, weight-training and aerobics.

If anything, it'll make things interesting.

Low Angle View of Woman Relaxing on Beach Against Blue Sky


You DO have the time

Making the time to look after your health will help you develop better habits that your future-self will thank you for.

We know it can be difficult if you work long days, or go to college at night, but trading in an episode of Riverdale for a 30 minute gym sesh will make your mind and body feel so good.

Archie is getting super annoying anyway…

Woman in White Jacket Holding Silver Iphone

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