A new study just gave you the most achievable fitness goal of your adult life: Spend just 150 minutes (or 2.5 hours) each week doing physical activity to become a far healthier human being.
Researchers found that people who spent just 2.5 hours per week exercising were far less likely to suffer heart attacks, stroke, or cardiovascular disease, and in general were far less likely to die. Specifically, the Lancet study - which followed 130,000 people in different countries over an average of seven years - found those who put in at least 2.5 hours of exercise each week had a 28 percent reduced risk of premature death and a 20 percent reduced risk of heart disease. The more someone exercised beyond that, the healthier they were.
And, adding to the good news, that exercise did not have to be at CrossFit levels of intensity, or even that of a 30-minute treadmill run. The paper suggested that just walking and doing household chores for those 150 minutes each week resulted in much healthier participants, just the same as putting that time in at the gym.
Basically, any physical activity that prevents you from sitting is extremely beneficial, including cheap(or free) physical activity.
“I would dispel the notion of having to put out money to be active,” Dr. Scott Lear, the study lead author, told Vox in an email. “Our findings indicate that non-recreational activity - work, housework, active transportation - is just as beneficial in reducing the risk for premature death and heart disease.”
Broken down, that's about 21 minutes of moving your body per day. There's really no way to argue that you don't have time and/or energy for this minimal fitness commitment. Just sweep the floors more or take a lunchtime walk.
And just so we're clear, if you're exercising to train for a marathon, or working out to get the glutes you always envisioned, you're probably gonna need to put in a little more effort. But if you're exercising to not die, then those 2.5 hours will do you wonders.
Have you ever skipped underwear to avoid unflattering panty lines? Turns out going commando is not only great for your personal style — it’s a doctor-approved sexual healthmove, too.
“It’s not good to always have the lady parts locked up,” Donnica Moore, MD, a Chester, New Jersey–based gynecologist and president of Sapphire Women’s Health Group, tells Health. “They need air like all other parts of your body.”
Covering up your pubic area with panties day and night makes it easier for heat and sweat to build up in your crotch, which boosts your risk of a yeast or other type of infection, she says. And that risk is even higher if your undies are lacy or made with non-breathable material, both of which irritate delicate vaginal skin and can cause rashes and allergic reactions.
“You run the risk of irritation and chafing when you wear garments not meant to come into contact with your vulva,” explains Dr. Moore.
Examples include the seam that runs along the crotch of your skinny jeans, those yoga pants that are so tight they sometimes leave you with camel toe, or tights made from itchy synthetic fabric. And it goes without saying that bottoms with zippers may not be your friend. Ouch.
Wearing irritating fabrics without the protection of underwear “can lead to very small nicks in the skin that act as portals for bacteria,” Dr. Moore says. So jeans and tight yoga pants, for example, should be paired with cotton underwear to minimize irritation, protect from zippers, and absorb sweat. The less sweat buildup you have, the lower your odds of infection.
And while it’s not a health risk (except to your mental health perhaps, since it’s so embarrassing), going commando also can leave you accidentally flashing your bare crotch in public, if you’re wearing a skirt or dress. As for contact with bugs, dust, or dirt particles, don’t be concerned. There’s nothing you can pick up, Dr. Moore says, assuming you’re covered at least by a miniskirt.
Get started tonight in the comfort of your own home after you’ve taken off your work outfit and put on a loose robe or nightgown. And if you don’t already sleep sans panties every night, now’s the time to begin, says Dr. Moore.
This article originally appeared in Health.com
Since we could always use another fancy health trend to remind us how important it is take care of ourselves, we’ve wholeheartedly embraced the newest REM-friendly nighttime activity known as “clean sleeping.”
But first things first: In case you have no idea what clean sleeping means or how to practice it, we assure you it has nothing to do with only going to bed on freshly laundered sheets (although that also sounds like something the body would *really* appreciate).
Actually, maintaining a clean sleeping regimen simply means to get an uninterrupted 7-8 hours of sleep every night. It also requires you to eat breakfast daily within 30 minutes of waking up, cutting back on caffeine, and drinking alkaline water.
In other words, clean sleeping leaves no room for waking up out of your slumber to have a midnight snack or staying up too late watching pimple-popping videos on your phone.
Ever since Gwyneth Paltrow gave clean sleeping her GOOP-y co-sign at the beginning of 2017, sleep-deprived folks everywhere have been rearranging their schedules and handing in their #TeamNoSleep cards. And hey, that’s nothing but a good thing.
If you, too, want to invite more quality sleep into your daily life, here’s how you can embrace the concept of clean sleeping.
The list of benefits that come from getting the best sleep of your life include, but certainly aren’t limited to: a reduced susceptibility to disease, more energy, less brain fog, an improved mood, better weight control, and better sex. Wins all around, ya know?
If the prospect of being healthier doesn’t move you to do give clean sleeping a whirl, maybe we should’ve led with how gorgeous getting more sleep will make you. A good night’s rest can help reduce those under-eye bags and dark circles (your favorite concealer could never) not to mention all the wonderful things good sleep can do for your complexion.
Sometimes we get busy with super important stuff like scrolling Instagram until the wee hours of the morning. In those moments, we could really use a friendly reminder to shut everything down and go to bed. If you have to set a reminder to keep you on track with getting the full 7-8 hours of shuteye that the clean sleeping method requires, do whatever it takes to make it a permanent habit.
So, we get it: You’re life is so exciting that you don’t want to go to sleep for fear of missing out on all the great stuff that might happen while you’re counting sheep. But if you become more intentional about what you do before getting in bed, it might help you go from seeing sleep as something that takes away from your life to something that adds to it.
You don’t have to dive in the deep end: Start out small with something like a commitment to stay off your phone for at least an hour before sleeping or taking a bath or reading a few pages before bed. Pretty soon you’ll find yourself looking forward to your nighttime ritual (and the satisfying sleep that follows) instead of dreading it.
Listen, we track everything else, so embrace clean sleeping with open arms by adding it to the list of behaviors/habits/activities you keep up with.
After you’ve done it for a few days, pay attention to the positive impacts it has on your life. You’ll know clean sleeping is working for you when you no longer feel the need to binge sleep your weekends away. You might even start to wake up feeling more refreshed than ever and with a TON of energy too.
However your journey with clean sleeping goes, just know that the positives of trying it seem to far outweigh the negatives. This is definitely one health trend you should maybe embrace with open arms — and most importantly — closed eyes.
What do you think of carrots and how often do you eat them?
Meditation could possibly help ward off heart disease, experts say.
The 7,000-year-old practice has the potential to reduce some risk factors for heart disease, according to a new review from the American Heart Association (AHA). Still, the AHA emphasized that meditation shouldn't replace the approaches that are considered the gold standard for preventing heart disease: leading a heart-healthy lifestyle and following medical recommendations.
More than $200 billion is spent on heart disease patients in the U.S. each year, so there's great interest in looking for inexpensive ways to help reduce people's risk of the disease, according to the review. [Mind Games: 7 Reasons You Should Meditate]
One potential option is meditation. About 8 percent of Americans report that they practice some form of meditation, according to the National Health Interview Survey, conducted by the National Institutes of Health. And 17 percent of heart disease patients have expressed interest in participating in a clinical trial looking at the effects of meditation, the review said.
To better understand how meditation may reduce risk factors for heart disease, experts at the AHA reviewed existing research. The findings were published today (Sept. 28) in the Journal of the American Heart Association.
The researchers included studies on many different types of meditation, including mindful meditation, Zen meditation, relaxation response and transcendental meditation. In general, most forms of meditation that the researchers looked at are practiced for at least 20 minutes, or once or twice a day.
The researchers found that meditation may be linked to decreased levels of stress, anxiety and depression, as well as improved sleep quality and overall well-being. Stress, anxiety, depression and poor sleep may be linked to heart disease risk, according to the review. Meditation may also help people stop smoking, the review found.
In addition, the practice may help lower blood pressure, although the researchers noted that there's not enough evidence to show how much it would lower blood pressure in a given individual, if at all.
Finally, the review noted that although there is some evidence that meditation may decrease a person's risk of a heart attack, more research is needed before any conclusions can be made.
The review found that overall, meditation may have a "possible benefit" on lowering heart disease risk, but more research is needed to conclude that "it has a definite role," lead author Dr. Glenn Levine, a professor of medicine at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, said in a statement. Until more is understood about the role of meditation in heart health, the best ways to prevent and treat heart disease include controlling blood pressure and cholesterol levels, quitting smoking and getting regular physical activity, Levine said.
But because meditation comes with few, if any, risks and is easy to learn, it's something that interested individuals could try in addition to the proven approaches to heart disease prevention, Levine said.
Originally published on Live Science.
Here is a hard truth: Too many of us are getting out of shape due to unhealthy habits like binge drinking and eating excessive fast food.
In fact, according to recent media reports, obesity is estimated to have cost Singapore at least $614 million in 2016, in terms of healthcare and lost productivity.
Expensive gym memberships doesn’t seem to alleviate the problem too. The last we checked, gym memberships these days can cost a bomb, ranging from $70 per month onwards (if we exclude the cramped ActiveSg neighbourhood gyms).
On our end, we feel that there is a better, more affordable way around this – watching our diets and keeping tracking of our physical activity through the use of apps. With that, here are four free apps that are specifically designed to help you on your fitness journey.
1) Healthy 365
An initiative by the Health Promotion Board in Singapore, the Healthy 365 app is a great companion to your health and weight loss journey.
Free to download, it helps you to track your calorie intake for the day as well as your physical activity. It also gives you in-depth information about how you are going for the day in terms of calorie deficits and weight loss goals – a handy thing to save you from counting calories.
It even has local foods in the database with their calorie content. And the best thing about this app? It has inbuilt challenges to keep you motivated and on track towards your goals, and list health and exercise events in your local area.
To grab this very helpful app, click here.
Another free fitness app that comes with outstanding reviews is the MyFitnessPal app. It even took Lifehacker.com’s Best Food and Tracking App award.
While it is not designed to help keep track of your physical activity, those looking to curb their poor eating will appreciate this app greatly.
It has a searchable database containing millions of food products so that you can enter your meals and not have to count the calories yourself. On top of that, you can even add your own foods and recipes at any time and access them from anywhere with an Internet connection.
Last but not least, it provides a personalised diet profile, customised to your unique weight loss goals.
If you are someone who likes to set specific goals, measure them and achieve them, this app is for you!
LoseIt tracks your food and exercise daily, allows you to set a caloric budget (and stick to it) and it also encourages you to set a weight loss plan that is best for you. Not a one-size-fits-all model, but the opportunity for you to devise and create a plan that is going to suit your lifestyle and set you up for success.
The calorie intake option for the LoseIt app allows you to search for the food, scan the barcode of the product or even take a picture of it to get the best match! Best of all, it comes with a community of like-minded people who are all in the same position as you – or have been.
This one is also free, but you have the option of unlocking an amazing array of extra features for a small monthly fee.
We’ve all seen the FitBit Trackers to count steps taken during the day, but did you know that FitBit also has a free app available for your smartphone?
Working in a similar fashion to the tracker, FitBit tracks your steps and movements using your phone, calculates your distance covered and calories burned – all based on of the data you put in.
The FitBit app allows you to stay inspired on your fitness journey by sharing stats and challenging friends and family. What better way to keep you motivated than a little friendly competition – backed by science!
Dietary fats get a bad reputation but adding some fats in your diet is paradoxically the key to helping you drop the pounds
Researchers reported a link Monday between PMS and drinking alcohol, but could not conclude whether premenstrual suffering causes women to hit the bottle, or the other way round.
A trawl of data from 19 studies in eight countries found a "moderate association" between premenstrual syndrome (PMS) symptoms such as cramps, breast tenderness, fatigue, moodiness, and depression on the one hand, and a tipple on (in) the other.
The link was "more pronounced" with heavy drinking -- equivalent to one average-sized drink per day or more -- the researchers said.
This suggested drinking may be the cause, rather than the consequence, of some PMS cases, they said.
But the data "cannot strictly rule out that PMS causes women to drink in order to mitigate their symptoms," study co-author Bahi Takkouche of the University of Santiago de Compostela in Spain told AFP.
Either way, the findings "are important given that the worldwide prevalence of alcohol drinking among women is not negligible," the team wrote in the online journal BMJ Open.
The data used in the meta-analysis was taken from studies conducted in the United States, Britain, Poland, Switzerland, Turkey, South Korea, Taiwan and Australia.
PMS symptoms, which vary from woman to woman, usually last one to a few days before menstruation.
According to the NHS, about one in 20 women suffer symptoms so severe they interrupt their lives or work.
- 'Not surprising' -
In the United States, previous research has found, the economic cost can reach $5,000 (just over 4,000 euros) per PMS case per year due to women staying away from work, and seeking medical pain relief.
The majority of cases are never recorded, however, as many women simply carry on as best they can.
Worldwide, the proportion of women who drink alcohol is about 29 percent, said the research team. "Heavy" drinkers made up about six percent of the female population.
In Europe and America, these figures are "much higher" -- about 60 percent of women drink in Europe, and 13 percent heavily.
Based on these figures and the study findings, the team estimated that about one in 10 PMS cases may be associated with drinking worldwide, and one in five in Europe.
"Furthermore, heavy drinking may be associated with four percent of the PMS cases in the world and over nine percent in Europe," the researchers concluded.
In a comment on the study, gynaecologist Nick Panay of the Queen Charlotte's and Chelsea Hospital in London said the "potential causal association" between alcohol use and PMS was "interesting".
It was, however, "not surprising given the impact of alcohol on hormones and neurotransmitters" -- the body's chemical messengers, he said via the Science Media Centre.
Treadmills are the go-to when it comes to working out, and they can be effective for toning your body and keeping fit. However, there are some common mistakes that will prevent you from achieving your fitness goals