Away with the Shoes! The Barefoot Movement

The idea of walking around - let alone running - barefoot can seem strange and even dangerous. What about the dirt, broken glass, hard concrete? And yet, the barefoot movement is growing fast. Image Credit: piranha13 / stock.adobe.com It's all about our evolution It may seem that people have always worn shoes, so having something on our feet is completely natural. And yet, at an earlier stage in our history - when humans were still confined to Africa - everyone went around - and hunted - barefoot. Our upright p...

Why Playing Football is Dangerous for Your Brain

Researchers have obtained scientific evidence proving that hits to the head, which are characteristic of playing certain sports and especially football, can result in CTE. That is why, they say, many professional football players suffer from dementia and other kinds of cognitive impairment after they retire. Do you still want to be the next Jerry Rice? Image Credit: Stephen Dunn / Getty Images Suspect: concussions Until recently, there was no evidence to prove that it’s hits to the head that trigger changes in...

Four Minutes of Suffering: Tabata Training

High-intensity interval training (HIIT) has long been many people's favorite - short bursts of activity allow to burn fat without wasting time. But one type of HIIT - tabata training - takes the concept to the limit. Image Credit: miamifitnesstv / flickr.com Extreme idea from Japan Tabata was created in Japan by Dr. Izumi Tabata (who works at the University of Sports in Tokyo) circa 20 years ago with the goal to train professional athletes. After observing Olympic skaters train, he concluded that short peri...

Why Water is Better Than Sports Drinks

When it comes to sports and performance, almost every athlete wants to support his or her body with something that can help restore its resources and provide energy. Sports drinks seem to be a better or even more professional choice, but researchers say good old water is still much better. And here is why. Image Credit: Joshua Huston What are sports drinks? Sports drinks, while advertised as having been designed to supply your body with electrolytes, carbohydrates and vitamins, may not be the best option when ...

Useful Tips to Improve Your Running Experience

It’s Sunday morning, and you’re ready to put on your favorite running shoes and go for a distance. Just a couple of tips before you go – we have plenty of ideas to make your running and jogging routine even better, actually turning routine into a rewarding and pleasant habit. Image Credit: illawarramercury.com.au So you still skip stretching? Say hello to cramps and pain, if you still believe warming up is for dummies. It’s almost strange to repeat it again, as every exercise instruction has it, but warming up ...

Whole Body Vibration: Can you Vibrate your Way to Fitness?

Whole body vibration is widely touted as a superefficient method of "passive exercise" that can replace squats, weights, and running. Some gyms already have expensive power platforms... but is there good basis to the claims? Image Credit: 123rf.com What are power plates? You may have seen them on TV or in your gym: a large platform on which you can stand, sit, or lie, and which sends up to 50 vibrations per second through your body. You can stand idly or do your normal exercises at the same time, and ...

Working out while Sitting: Seated Workstations as Effective as Standing Ones

Prolonged sitting, which is associated with ill effects and increased risk for a variety of diseases, has become an integral part of our life – at least for those of us who spend days in offices. More and more employers are trying to introduce standing desks to counteract the effects of sedentary lifestyle. However, there is a better option which can increase metabolic rate even more – seated workstations. Image Credit: shutterstock.com The perils of prolonged sitting Failing to stick to recommended fitness ro...

It’s Time to Hit the Snow! Winter Workout Basics

Exercising outdoors in winter may seem like a scary idea or something for hardcore fitness fans. It is cold and dark most of the time, and all that ice looks like the easiest way to break your ankle. However, experts are unanimous - winter exercise is the best! Image Credit: michelangeloop / istockphoto.com Benefits of exercising in the cold Sure, many go on training in the gym even in the winter months, but there are specific advantages to training outdoors in the cold season: Burn more - your body has to...

Exercise Intensity Matters More than Amount for Patients with Heart Failure

Those who suffer from a heart disease are often told to exercise, as physical activity can benefit health even in people with heart failure. Yet it is unclear what is more important – high intensity or high amount of training – in such patients. A new study carried out by the Charité Universitätsmedizin Berlin sheds light on this issue. Image Credit: Depositphotos.com What did the study reveal? The study in question analyzed what approach can be more beneficial for the patients diagnosed with heart failure with p...

Keeping Joints Healthy: How Physical Activity In Middle Age Can Benefit Your Health

How many of the middle-aged women you know exercise regularly? Most of us cannot name at least a dozen of them, and it’s no wonder: the majority of middle-aged people feel too tired or lack motivation to do sports. Yet if they did, it could benefit their health: according to researchers, exercising can help people keep their joints healthy even when they get older, and muscle weakness symptoms can also be reduced, if regular exercises are made daily routine. Image Credit: shutterstock.com Don’t let your joints ...

Yoga is Beneficial for Health in a Variety of Ways, Researches Show

Yoga became popular quite a long time ago, and nowadays it’s difficult to surprise someone by saying you practice it on a daily basis. While the spiritual part of yoga is controversial, the physical aspect is the one which definitely benefits our health, researchers say. Several recent studies showed that yoga poses can help reverse scoliosis curves, improve heart health, and even reduce sleep disturbances in patients suffering from breast cancer! Image Credit: yoga213.com.au Yoga Helps Reverse Scoliosis Curves ...

Keep on Running

Many doctors recommend that we devote at least 30 minutes a day to physical exercises. Today there are lots of opportunities to improve your health – you can go to a gym, do yoga, swim or go for aerobics! Despite the impressive variety of options, you have to have some money in your pocket to afford it. So, if your budget is pretty tight, but you still want to keep fit, you should absolutely turn your attention to running. Basically, it’s just you that you need for this kind of sports. Image Credit: Filip Mroz /unsp...

A 15-Minute Walk Can Make a Difference

Most of us know that exercise is a must, but nevertheless few manage to find time for morning jogging or some other routine that would benefit their health. Whatever the reason, it can be way easier to help your body, mind and spirit: regular 15-minute walks can be as good as a full-scale workout, researchers say. Image Credit: telegraph.co.uk How Walking Affects Disease Risk There have been a number of studies which proved walking is as good an exercise as workouts. According to one of them, walking for only ...

Why You Should Learn How to Surf

People living at the coast are the lucky ones to have an opportunity to do surfing. While it is widely known that surfing is quite an entertaining activity that gives a person a lot of good feelings, is it possible that this activity can be used to bring health benefits, both physical and psychological ones? The answer is yes! Here are the reasons why you should definitely consider surfing as a part of your life, even if you are not that close to the coast. Image Credit: Old Tripod / unsplash.com Mental health iss...

Why Men Should Do Yoga?

There is an opinion that yoga is an activity for women. Perhaps such stereotype appeared because yoga is usually considered to be a set of exercises focused on relaxing. We believe that working out in a gym is a more suitable occupation for men. But in fact yoga may have an even greater impact on men’s body. Image Credit: Monkey Business Images / Dreamstime The positive influence of yoga on the body has been proved by thousands of years. The word “yoga” itself means “unity” with yourself, with nature, and with e...

Proprioception: Better Posture, Better Balance

Have you ever heard of proprioception? Although the term may look like rocket science, it is used to describe an ability of a person to feel where his or her body is located in space. It is even considered to be the sixth sense by some researchers. The ability can be improved by means of special exercises aimed at enhancing a person’s sense of balance. Let’s take a closer look at what proprioception can offer. Image Credit: learn.genetics.utah.edu New Horizons Proprioception has become popular only recently, w...

Too Intensive Workouts Can Harm Health

No one can argue that physical activity is good and actually essential for health. Sports speed up metabolic processes, help to keep fit, and prevent a variety of health issues, such as cardio-vascular diseases, problems with skeletal and immune systems. But how much time should one devote to sports to keep a healthy balance, so that workouts were for health benefit, rather than caused harm? Image Credit: James Michelfelder / M+F Magazine If you have become obsessed with sports, and every day you jog too much a...

Yoga Classes for Chronic Back Pain: a Miracle or a Reality?

We’ve been observing growing popularity of yoga classes worldwide for a few years. Most of us stay rather skeptical as it seems like a new tendency enjoyed by celebrities. What makes this ancient practice interesting indeed is scientists’ points of view and numerous researches. They tell us that yoga can be a key point in treating really bad states of health. Let us examine how just doing yoga is able to improve your not so optimistically looking problems with back. Image Credit: da-kuk/Istock.com A great numbe...

Graceful, Light, Strong: Try Water Aerobics

For a long time, exercising in water was perceived as something for seniors, pregnant women, or people with injuries. But times are changing, and ever more intense and varied aquatic workouts are developed. You may be reluctant to pay extra to join such a class: indeed, does water aerobic have advantages over working out on land? Image Credit: istockphoto.com Not just for seniors The benefits of exercising in water have been used in medicine for decades. Reduced weight makes it ideal for people who suffer from a...

Is Exercise Always Good for You?

WHO recommends 150 minutes of light aerobic activity a week to stay healthy and reduce the risk of chronic diseases. Two and a half hours - is it enough? Can it be too much for some people? And are there cases when you should not exercises at all? Image Credit: source.colostate.edu Exercise against disease TIme and again research proves that people who exercise regularly have a lower risk of developing heart disease, diabetes, liver disease, arthritis, asthma, cancer, and other chronic conditions. The risk redu...