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exercise

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.

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It's easy to feel motivated about the idea of exercise, but when it comes to bringing this idea to life, most of us end up at the same conclusion – 'I just don't have the time.'

But, before you convince yourself that a healthy workout out regime is out of your reach, think again.

We're all busy people, and while it can be tempting to put it off for another day, making time for exercise is vital for increasing energy levels.

Here's our top tips to help you stay on track while working full-time.

1. Prioritise exercise

Even if you're working a 40+ hour week, chances are you've got a couple hours to spare each day – use them wisely.

Choose 3-4 days a week when you will commit to making exercise your number one priority. 

You'll be shocked how easy it is to make time when exercise is at the top of your to-do list. 

2. Schedule your workouts

Plan your sweat sessions like you would plan a doctor's appointment.

Put aside some time throughout the week and schedule it in you computer/ phone/ diary as a repeat event.

You're much more likely to commit to a workout if you've planned it well in advance. 

3. Recruit a workout buddy

Find a friend, colleague or family member who shares a similar fitness goal and encourage each other to find the time to make it happen.

Exercise does not have to be a solitary activity and you'll probably find it's much more enjoyable when you've got someone to share those highs and lows with.

4. Keep your gym shoes handy

Whether its the boot of the car, or your locker at work, having your gym gear at the ready can make all the difference it comes to keeping fit.

Not only will you be ready to go should a burst of energy come over you after work, but the daily visual reminder will encourage you to stay on track.

5. Switch up your screen time

For those evenings when you do want to take it easy in front of the television, make the most of the time you have.

Why not make use of those quick ad breaks and do some squats, lunges or pushups?

Sure, it's only three minutes here and there, but it all adds up.

 

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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.''

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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."

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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. 

 

 

 

 

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If you're the type of person who is eager to keep fit, but bored silly on the treadmill or jaded by lengths in the pool, then it's time to inject a little more fun into your fitness routine!

It's very easy to become tired of the same regime and if you're determined to maintain a regular programme, then you need to combat boredom before it wreaks havoc on your goals.

If you're looking to have a little fun while blasting some serious lbs, then it sounds like you need to pop along to your local Zumba class!

Zumba is an energetic dance/ fitness programme which focuses on music, fun and cardiovascular exercises.

Here are just five reasons why Zumba may be right up your street!

1. Weightloss

If you find that endless running on the treadmill has done little to affect the change you want, then it's time to turn your attention to a higher octane exercise.

The average person burns between 600 and 1,000 calories while busting moves in these energetic classes- not too shabby!

2.Teamwork

If you find your standard gym routine or daily jog a lonely endeavour then you will certainly benefit from participating in a Zumba class.

By working in unison with a group of equally enthusiastic people, you'll find yourself spurred on by their energy and vigour.

3. Upbeat atmosphere

The atmosphere created in these classes cannot be rivalled.

By focussing on the beat and rhythm provided by the music, you will soon forget your working out and find yourself more interested in nailing those moves.

4. Improves mood

If you're looking to combine exercise with stress relief, then look no further!

Studies have shown that high energy cardiovascular exercises like dancing releases the highest amount of endorphins!

5. Boosts metabolism

If you want to burn calories as quickly as possible, it's vital you find a way to boost your metabolism and Zumba is incredible for this!

Your body will quickly adjust to Zumba's method of burning calories meaning you will notice results sooner than you might think!

It may take a couple of classes before you feel completely comfortable, but before you know it you'll be a Zumba convert so give it a shot!

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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.

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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.

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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. 

 

A post shared by Khloé (@khloekardashian) on

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. 

 

A post shared by Khloé (@khloekardashian) on

'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. 

 

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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. 

 

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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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You don't need us to tell you that exercise is good for you.

At this stage we all know that in addition to improving your physical health, breaking a sweat on the regular also does wonders for your mental and emotional wellbeing.

But did you know that regular exercise can also impact on your cognitive ability? In other words, your work-out sessions can actually positively impact the ol' noodle.

According to a review of studies published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine, getting active for just 45 minutes a day can help to boost your brain health and improve your cognition.

Researchers from the University of Canberra established that regardless of the form of exercise the individual chooses to partake in, exercise of moderate intensity was linked to improved cognition.

But there's more!

Different exercises were linked to different areas of the mind, with aerobic impacting positively on thinking, reading and learning while resistance training helped with memory, planning, and organising.

And, perhaps unsurprisingly, the more often the individual works out, the greater the cognitive effects!

And we thought our lunges were only working our thighs…

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