Wednesday, 30 November 2016

These 3 Sports May Help You Live Longer, Researchers Say

Looking for a new hobby? Try tennis, swimming, or dance, and you may just extend your lifespan, suggests research published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine. In an analysis of six sport and exercise categories, researchers found that people who pursued these activities actually lived longer than those who got their fitness on in other ways.

The study surveyed more than 80,000 adults in England and Scotland, ages 30 and up, who were asked about the physical activity they had done in the last four weeks. Along with things like housework and walking, they were also asked about racquet sports (such as badminton, tennis, and squash), swimming, aerobics (including dance and gymnastics), cycling, running and jogging, and football and rugby.

Participants were followed for about nine years, during which 8,790 people died, including 1,909 from heart disease or stroke. When the researchers compared mortality rates of people who did different sports (after taking into account factors such as age, gender, and medical history) they discovered a few interesting findings.

RELATED: 15 Eating Habits That May Help You Live Longer

In the racquet sports category, people who said they'd played in the past four weeks had a 47% lower risk of death from any cause compared to those who hadn't, as well as a 56% lower risk of death from heart disease or stroke.

People who swam and did aerobics also saw significant benefits compared to those who didn't: they were 28% and 27% less likely to die from any cause, respectively, and 41% and 36% less likely to die from heart disease and stroke.

Cycling gave participants a 15% lower risk of all-cause death compared to non-cyclists, but didn't offer protection against heart disease and stroke deaths.

The other sports did not appear to independently protect against death, from any cause or from cardiovascular problems-meaning that mortality rates of those who participated in them were not statistically different from those who didn't. 

There are some caveats, however. For runners and joggers, the researchers did find a 43% lower risk of all-cause death (and a 45% lower risk of cardiovascular death)-but that link disappeared when the results were adjusted for other factors (such as long-term illness, body mass index, drinking and smoking status, and weekly volume of other physical activity).

The relatively small number of deaths in the running group-and the fact that participants were only asked about activities they'd done in the last four weeks-may have skewed results, the researchers say. “It seems, therefore, that while not significant, our result adds to the body of evidence supporting beneficial effects of jogging/running on all-cause and [cardiovascular disease] mortality, rather than contradicting it,” they wrote.

As for football and rugby, only 6.4% of men and 0.3% of women had played these sports in recent weeks. Such a small sample size could explain why no benefit was seen in the study, say the researchers.

RELATED: 21 Reasons You'll Live Longer Than Your Friends

Still, the fact that only certain sports showed statistically meaningful benefits is worth investigating further, the researchers say. "Our findings indicate that it's not only how much and how often, but also what type of exercise you do that seems to make the difference," said senior author Emmanuel Stamatakis, PhD, associate professor of exercise, health, and physical activity at the University of Sydney, in a press release.

Of course, doing any type of exercise is still better than none. This is an especially important point, considering that only about 44% of study participants met the national guidelines for physical activity.

And speaking of how much and how often, participants were quizzed about frequency and duration of their exercises. They were also asked whether the activity was enough to make them breathless and sweaty. For some sports, it appeared that the longer and more intense the workouts, the better protection against death. For others, lower intensity seemed to be a better option.

But more research is needed, the authors say, since there weren't enough deaths for each intensity level to tease out meaningful trends. They also note that the study, as a whole, was only able to prove an association between different sports and longevity-and not necessarily a cause-and-effect relationship.

Tuesday, 29 November 2016

Tone Up With the Workout Taylor Swift Swears By

Want to sweat it out like fashion runway models Karlie Kloss and Gigi Hadid? Then this high-repetition, low-impact workout from ModelFIT is just what you're looking for. ModelFIT was created to help models achieve the toned, lean physiques they need to do their jobs, but the classes offered at the studio are open to anyone and everyone.

Monday, 28 November 2016

Try This 18-Minute Yoga Flow To Feel Strong and Refreshed

Want to get zen without leaving your house? This stress-busting vinyasa yoga sequence by CorePower Yoga instructor Claire Ewing is just what you need.

Thursday, 24 November 2016

Courtney Paul's 12-Minute Resistance Band Workout

Resistance bands and cords are especially great for training because they're so easily portable. Toting dumbbells is an obvious no-go, but throwing a rubber resistance band in your bag is simple-and the exercises you can use it for are versatile. From barre moves that lengthen the lower body to curls that target the arms, resistance bands can be used for almost any type of activity and muscle group.

Monday, 21 November 2016

This 45-Minute Burn Boot Camp Workout Builds Strength and Stamina

Who needs equipment anyway? Research shows that bodyweight training can be just as effective as a stint in the weight room, since it requires you to utilize the muscles throughout your entire body. Bodyweight workouts are also a great way to sweat because they're free of charge, easily modified, and can be done just about anywhere (your bedroom included).    

Friday, 18 November 2016

This Morning Yoga Sequence Will Boost Your Energy in 15 Minutes

Do you find yourself waking up in the morning feeling tired, irritable, and already stressed by the upcoming day? Consider adding a short but effective yoga sequence to your a.m. ritual. Irina Ovsiannikova, a yoga instructor from YG Studios in NYC has created this awesome 15-minute routine, designed to help you start off the day feeling energized and ready to take on the world. Check out this video for her easy-to-follow invigorating yoga sequence sure to brighten up your morning!

Thursday, 17 November 2016

11 Fitness-Themed Mannequin Challenges That Made Our Jaws Drop

Search #MannequinChallenge on social media and you'll land on hundreds of videos of folks posing stock-still in the middle of a staged action scene-like the clip of Michelle Obama and the Cleveland Cavaliers frozen mid-conversation at the White House, and the one of Rob Kardashian and Blac Chyna "on pause" in the delivery room. While we're impressed that anyone can remain still so stoically (the challenge is technically one long isometric hold, right?), we're seriously in awe of those who have nailed the viral craze in poses that require impressive strength and balance. Below, some of the most gravity-defying, core-blasting, and stability-testing mannequin challenges we've come across (so far).

Team USA gymnastics

These athletes all deserve gold medals for not falling (let alone blinking) while holding these bendy poses.


Brass Butterflies pole and aerial studio in Ontario, Canada

Watch as these super-strong ladies take the challenge quite literally to new heights. (There's even a longer version on YouTube.)


Brigham Young University gymnastics team

Warning: Don't try this at home.


Kevin Hart and crew in the weight room

Now THAT'S a gym face, Kevin Hart!


A Physique 57 barre class

Our seats can feel the burn from here.


Trinity Valley Community College cheerleading squad

Three cheers for the members of this spirit squad, who must reaaaaaally trust each other.


Soul Cycle

The one exception to the "ride to the beat" rule.


CrossFit Solace in New York

Nope, we're not impressed. Not at all. Not even a little. Nope.


Britney Spears and her back-up dancers

This is the closest we'll ever come to joining Britney's dance troupe on stage (and we'll take it!).


Victoria's Secret models

The ladies hit pause while toning up for the VS Fashion Show next month.