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.

Tuesday, 15 November 2016

Katie Austin's 6 Exercises to Get Fit in No Time

Watch this video featuring fitness expert Katie Austin as she teaches a quick routine made up of moves that strategically target two major muscle groups at once, like your legs and arms or abs and glutes! What's even better is you can crank out this convenient sequence any time, anywhere-whether that's your bedroom, office, or even outdoors (like we did here, by the Hudson!) 

Monday, 14 November 2016

Fitness Star Emily Skye Feels 'Happier, Healthier, Stronger and Fitter' After Gaining 28 Lbs.

Fitness star Emily Skye is speaking out to let her followers know that being thin does not make you healthier or happier.

Skye, 29, shared a photo of herself in 2008 at 47 kilograms (about 104 lbs.) and now at 60 kilograms (about 132 lbs.) in a side-by-side comparison on Instagram.

The Australian trainer explains that the first photo is from is before she started strength training.

“I was only doing cardio and I was obsessed with being as skinny as I could be,” she shares. “I was starving myself and was really unhealthy and unhappy. I suffered depression and had terrible body image.”

She has since gained 13 kilograms (about 28 lbs.) through focusing on lifting weights and doing some high-intensity interval training.

“I don't do any long cardio sessions and I eat more than I've ever eaten in my life,” says Skye. “I'm also happier, healthier, stronger and fitter than I have ever been. I no longer obsess over the way I look. I eat and train to feel my best, for overall health and longevity. I love having muscle and I feel more confident than ever.”

“I love my life and I'm so grateful I decided to make those changes several years ago and committed to my healthy lifestyle,” she continues.

Skye encourages her followers to focus on working out and eating clean for overall health, rather than for weight loss.

“Exercise and eat nutritious food because you love yourself and know that you deserve to be your best,” she says. “Try not to focus on being 'skinny' and just focus on your overall health - mental and physical.”

This article originally appeared on

Friday, 11 November 2016

5 Butt Exercises That Will Reinvent Your Rear

When it comes to the structure of your backside, genetics plays a huge role. Now, that doesn't mean you can't score a higher, firmer derrière, but it does mean you have to be realistic. The right exercises won't give you your favorite celeb's booty, but they can help you improve the one you have. The key is moving beyond squats-which heavily target your quads and hamstrings-and instead attacking the muscles that are hiding deep down under the glutes. This series does just that; it also hits the butt from every angle while working to extend your muscles through their full range of motion. Building a better bottom line starts right here.

Do 30 reps of each move in the series on one side, then repeat sequence on the other. And don't forget your 30 to 60 minutes of cardio six times a week.

RELATED: The Full-Body Workout That Keeps J.Lo in Amazing Shape

1. Arabesque Lift to Knee Balance

Start on all fours; rotate torso to the right, shifting weight onto right knee and hand. Extend left arm up and left leg straight back (A). Lift right foot, balancing on right knee, and pause (B). Lower right foot back to "A," then repeat.

RELATED: 5 Exercises to Work Off Your Waist

2. Foot Grab and Side Kick

Kneel, then lower right hand to the floor and lift left leg. Bend left leg back and grab left foot with left hand (A). Pull foot back to engage glutes, then release foot, kicking it forward (B). Return to "A" and repeat.

RELATED: The Best Exercises to Tone Your Butt and Back

3. Attitude Plank with Alternating Leg

Start on all fours with right knee pulled slightly forward (A). Extend right leg back and up (B), then return to "A." Push back onto right toes, then extend left leg back and up, bending left knee so left foot faces right (C). Return to "A" and repeat.

RELATED: Tracy Anderson's Moves for Killer Legs

4. Plank Hold with Attitude Lift

Start in a high plank with left ankle crossed over right. Rotate right shoulder outward so right hand faces sideways and right elbow is tucked under right hip (A). Lift left leg with knee bent and sole of foot facing up (B). Lower left leg back to "A," then repeat.

RELATED: Tracy Anderson's Full-Body Fat Blast Workout

5. Standing Plié Knee Tuck to Attitude Lift

Stand with right leg slightly in front of left. Bend knees, reaching left palm to the floor and placing right hand around right ankle. Lift left foot off the floor (A). Straighten right leg, coming onto left fingertips as you extend left leg up, bending left knee so left foot faces right (B). Return to "A" and repeat.


Tracy's wearing: Athleta Colorblock Bra ($50; Adidas by Stella McCartney Studio Zebra Leggings ($110; Nike Air Max 2016 Shoes ($190;


Looking for more Tracy Anderon butt workouts? Watch this video.


[brightcove:4824953130001 default]

Pin the entire workout:


Thursday, 10 November 2016

I Tried Rope Wall Yoga and It Wasn't as Scary as It Sounds

Rope wall yoga looks about as intimidating as you'd imagine. I came across it on Instagram, where I kept seeing impressive images of yogis suspended in acrobatic poses. Although they seemed so graceful floating in midair, I was having a hard time picturing myself attempting these gravity-defying feats. I worried I wasn't quite experienced enough as I made my way to Align Yoga in Brooklyn for my first class. But once it got started, I quickly realized there was no need to be nervous.

We started with a gentle warm-up in the cozy, light-filled studio. First our teacher, Cat Murcek, had us lay flat on our backs, feet planted on the floor, to find our neutral spine; then she led us through self-massage work with balls and foam rollers, and some basic poses. By the time we moved to the wall, my body felt loose and limber.

It turns out that the practice of using the wall as support was first popularized by B.K.S. Iyengar, one of the world's most influential yoga gurus, and founder of the discipline known as Iyengar. As Murcek explained, his focus was finding ways to perform poses in the healthiest, safest way possible. 

RELATED: Here's What Happens to Your Body During an Aerial Yoga Class

For our first pose, we faced away from the wall, arms at our sides, grasping the handles of our straps. Then we leaned forward, so our arms stretched behind us. As I lifted my chest and pushed my pelvis forward, I felt the best shoulder and chest stretch of my life. Next came what Murcek called “rope two." Picture a hanging backbend. Once I got over the fact that I wasn't touching the ground, I released my chest and sank into a much deeper backbend than I ever thought possible. 

From there we moved into a "hanging Downward Dog," with a harness supporting the tops of our thighs. Then we walked our feet up the wall and slowly lifted our chests. I was surprised by the strength in my back and hamstrings as I held this position, which literally made me feel like I was flying.

RELATED: 5 Yoga Poses You Can Do at Your Desk

For me, the most challenging (and also fun!) part of the class was a pose Murcek called "hang like a bat." It entailed hanging completely upside down, our heads inches from the ground, and the soles of our feet touching so our legs formed a diamond shape. (For a visual, see the photo at the top of the page.) “This is one of my favorite poses in the world,” Murcek says. “It's one of the best ways to traction your back because you're literally just hanging straight up and down.”

After Savasana (which was back on solid ground) I stayed to chat with Murcek, and confessed my initial concern that i wasn't strong or flexible enough for her class. She told me that's exactly the kind of fear she wants to put to rest. “I think people get distracted by the fancy acrobatics of yoga, and think that's what yoga is, so they can't do it,” she said. “But I want to impress upon people that everyone can do yoga, and using the yoga wall just makes it even more accessible to all levels.”

As for me, I'm sold.

Wednesday, 9 November 2016

5 BOSU Ball Exercises for Total-Body Strength

Basic bodyweight workouts are all well and good-until boredom sets in. But that doesn't mean you need to scoop up every piece of gym equipment that's ever been sold on late-night TV. You can mix up your session with the addition of a single, multi-faceted tool, like the BOSU ball. According to Sara Lewis, celeb trainer and founder of XO Fitness in Los Angeles, “the BOSU ball is so effective because of how it combines an unstable surface with a flat one, which makes it an incredibly versatile option.”

That translates to “hundreds of multi-purpose exercises at your disposal-from arm work, to ab and side body work, to leg moves and everything in between,” says Lewis, who's trained A-listers such as Ryan Gosling and Sofia Vergara.  We're not just talking one workout style, either. “You can focus on very specific stability work one day, and then decide to commit full-force to your cardio the next.” Or, you can get the best of both worlds with a double-duty circuit workout, like the one below, designed by Lewis exclusively for Daily Burn-with maximum burn in mind.

RELATED: 6 Killer Cardio Workouts That Don't Involve Running

5 BOSU Ball Exercises to Try Now

For these BOSU ball exercises, you'll start with a core activation move before firing up the obliques and stabilizer muscles. Next, you'll work the inner and outer thigh muscles and end with a burst of cardio, Lewis says. Complete the entire circuit, then switch sides the second time around. Repeat for a total of four rounds, so you're hitting each side twice. Five moves, one total-body circuit, let's ball!

BOSU Ball Exercises - Up Downs

1. Up/Downs

How to: Start in high plank with hands on the squishy side of the BOSU ball, fingers facing slightly outward, shoulders over wrists and feet flexed, legs strong (a). Inhale as you drop to your forearms, one arm at a time, palms facing up (b). Exhale as you plant your palms back on the BOSU and into high plank (c). Repeat for 10 reps, keeping spine long and core engaged.

RELATED: 3 Common Plank Mistakes (And How to Fix Them)

BOSU Ball Exercises - Knee Tuck

2. Waist Eliminator

How to: Return to high plank position, hands on the BOSU ball (a). Maintaining a strong core, draw your right knee to right elbow, then return foot to the floor (b). Repeat for 10 reps, then tack on 10 pulses, knee to elbow (avoid putting foot back down between pulses) (d). Step back to plank and drop to knees into child's pose for a quick 15-second recovery stretch.

RELATED: 7 No-Crunch Exercises for Six-Pack Abs

BOSU Ball Exercises - Giant Clam

3. Giant Clam

How to: Starting with the BOSU ball to your left, come to your knees and place your left forearm in the center of the BOSU (a). Rise up into a side plank variation, with your bottom (left) leg straight out to the side and your top (right) leg behind you, bent at 45-degrees for support. Raise your right arm to the sky and keep hips lifted (b). Inhale to prepare, then exhale as you bring your right hand and left foot together, keeping your leg straight. The emphasis should be on the straight leg lifting higher than the arm lowers (c). Return to start and repeat 10 times.

RELATED: 5 Better Ways to Sculpt a Stronger Butt

4. Side Kick Kneeling

How to: Return to knees, this time with the left knee in the center of the BOSU and right leg extended, foot resting on the floor and arms at your sides (a). Facing front, lean left to plant your left hand to the left of the BOSU. Be sure to position the left shoulder over the wrist and left hip over the knee. (b). Next, extend your right arm to the sky while simultaneously raising your right leg up to hip-level (c). Lift your leg a few inches above hip-level, then lower back to hip-level (d). Repeat for 20 reps. End in downward dog for a quick 15-second stretch.

RELATED: Are You Foam Rolling All Wrong?

5. Side-to-Side Squats

How to: From a standing position, place the right foot on the center of the BOSU (a). Lower hips into a deep squat position (b). Step both feet together onto the BOSU ball, staying low in your squat (c). Next, step your right foot off the BOSU, lowering deeper into your squat. Repeat the moving squats for 20 reps on the same side (we'll hit the other side in round two!) (d). End with 10 squat jumps on the BOSU for an extra cardio-strength blast.


This article originally appeared on

Tuesday, 8 November 2016

This App Lets You Run the NYC Marathon in Virtual Reality

If you weren't among the 50,000 people who ran the New York City Marathon last weekend, it's not too late to experience what it's like to participate in the iconic race (minus all the sweat and aching muscles).

During Sunday's event, Sports Illustrated teamed up with veteran runner Alex Christison to film a 360 virtual reality video of his journey across the five boroughs-from the Verrazano Bridge in Staten Island, through Brooklyn and Queens, up 1st Avenue in Manhattan to the Bronx, and back down to the finish line in Central Park. The clip captures the inspiring energy along the 26.2-mile course lined with millions of cheering spectators.

The trailer below offers a sneak peek. But for the full, immersive experience, download the free mobile app Life VR (launched by Time Inc., Health's parent company) and watch the video on your smartphone. As you move your device around, you'll get a 360-degree view from Christison's perspective as he makes his way through the streets of New York.

RELATED: This Video Shows What Happens to Your Body During a Marathon

Life VR is available for both iOS and Android.


Friday, 4 November 2016

This Video Shows What Happens to Your Body During a Marathon

This weekend, 50,000 runners will toe the line at the New York City Marathon (the world's largest 26.2!)-and we're guessing that, throughout their training, many of them could relate to the narrator in the quick flick below: “I'm 15 miles into this run,” he says, groaning. “I have another seven to go. I'm losing steam, my legs are cramping, I can barely breathe. I don't know if I can make it another mile!”

While we hope the marathoners feel better than that on Sunday morning, we'll admit it: We've been there.

The video, from the American Chemical Society, goes on to explain the science behind why we “bonk,” “hit the wall,” or, if we're lucky, catch the drug-like runner's high. (Hint: It's got a lot to do with proper training.)

If you've ever wondered why it's important to carbo-load, what that burning feeling in your legs really means, why you sweat so much, and whether you can drink too much water, the answers are here.

RELATED: The 50 Most Gorgeous Running Races in America, State by State

Whether you're racing this weekend or not, give it a watch. Then get out there and go chase that dopamine rush-through NYC's five boroughs or wherever you love to pound the pavement. Good luck, marathoners!


Thursday, 3 November 2016

Lighter Running Shoes Really Can Make You Faster

If you're gunning for a new 5K PR, you may want to check the scale-for the weight of your shoes, that is. A new study shows that people run slower when wearing heavier sneakers, even if the difference is just a few ounces.

It's long been known that wearing heavier shoes makes runners work harder, and experts have theorized that that would slow them down. (One oft-cited estimate is that for every ounce a runner shaves off her sneakers, she'll run one second faster per mile.) But researchers at the University of Colorado Boulder wanted to find out for sure if this was true.]]

The researchers recruited 18 competitive runners to complete 3,000-meter time trials (about two miles) on an indoor track, once a week for three weeks. Unbeknownst to the runners, small lead pellets were sewn into two of the three pairs of racing flats they wore.

By themselves, the shoes weighed 7 to 8 ounces each, depending on size. The pellets added about 3.5 ounces (or the weight of a deck of cards) per shoe for one pair, and about 10.6 ounces per shoe for the second pair.

RELATED: 3 Signs You Need a New Pair of Running Shoes

To help prevent the runners from detecting extra weight, the researchers put their shoes on for them. Still, the runners noticed the difference: In their time trials, they paced themselves differently-and ran about 1% slower-for every 3.5 ounces of lead added per shoe. The researchers calculated that elite runners wearing shoes 3.5 ounces lighter than normal could potentially run a marathon about 57 seconds faster.

The study also measured how much energy the runners expended by testing their oxygen consumption and carbon dioxide production as they ran on a treadmill wearing each pair of shoes. The results compared well with previous studies-and matched the results of the indoor-track time trial-showing that energy costs rose by about 1% with each 3.5 ounces of extra shoe weight.

RELATED: How to Train for a 5K Race in Just 4 Weeks

Don't go out and buy a new pair of running shoes just yet, though. The researchers note that lighter shoes won't necessarily make a runner faster. The team's previous research has shown that proper cushioning also reduces the energy cost of running-so swapping out foam or other padding for a super-streamlined design could potentially backfire. (Studies have also found that switching to barefoot-style minimalist shoes can raise some runners' injury risk.)

Lighter is not always better,” said lead author Wouter Hoogkamer, PhD, a researcher in CU's Locomotion Laboratory, in a press release. He recommends that shoppers keep this trade-off in mind when choosing a running shoe that feels good-lightweight still but adequately cushioned-on their feet.

The study was funded by Nike and published in the journal Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise.

Wednesday, 2 November 2016

Yes, It's Possible to Exercise Too Much-Here Are the Signs

Hitting the gym almost daily and still not seeing results? Here's how to tell if you're OD'ing on this healthy habit and working out too much-and what to do instead. 

Tuesday, 1 November 2016

What's the Difference Between LISS and HIIT Workouts?

HIIT (high-intensity interval training) has been the most buzzed-about sweat method for a while, but there's a new approach gaining momentum: LISS, or low-intensity, steady-state cardio. OK, it's not really new (hello, elliptical!). So why the sudden spotlight?

"People are burned out; they're fed up with always pushing to their limits," explains Joe Holder, a Nike running and training coach and a performance training at S10 in New York City. "LISS is a less intense alternative that allows you to decompress while offering full health perks."

You don't need to pick one or the other, adds Anna Victoria, a certified NASM trainer and creator of the Fit Body Guide regimen: "It's about alternating between the two and taking advantage of the fat-burn benefits of all heart-rate training zones," she says.

RELATED: This Is the Best HIIT Workout, According to Science

Here's the essential info on both practices:


What it is: Cardio performed at a low to moderate intensity-50 to 65 percent of your max heart rate-for a minimum of 45 minutes. Think jogging, swimming, biking to work, or going for a brisk walk. 

Benefits: The relaxed pace of this training method is easier on the joints, helps lower your resting heart rate, and is a great stepping stone for those looking to increase their intensity.

The downsides: Not only is it time-consuming, but as your body adapts, you'll have to up your exercise time to continue to see changes. And it won't boost your muscle mass or strength.

Burn potential: A 150-pound woman can expect to crush about 350 calories in 45 minutes.

RELATED: Here's Why You Get Out of Breath Walking Up the Stars (Even If You're Fit)


What it is: A cardio interval technique in which you alternate 20- to 30-second bursts of all-out intense effort (80 to 90 percent of max heart rate) with recovery periods.

[brightcove:5085201009001 default]

Benefits: You don't have to spend massive amounts of time getting sweaty, and you'll rev your ticker, recruit more muscles, and burn calories even after you've stopped.

The downsides: You can't really reap the benefits of HIIT without an aerobic base. Translation: You still need to get your LISS on. And it may not be safe if you're unfit.

Burn potential: A 150-pound woman can torch roughly 190 calories in 20 minutes.

16 Perfect Yoga Gifts for Women

Say om: These are the perfect gifts for yoga lovers this holiday season.