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Fun Workouts Boost Weight Loss

workout fun

So you’ve been exercising for years and still aren’t losing as much weight as you’d expect? Get this: Science is now telling you to have more fun and to see better results. A new French and American research study is now suggesting people may lose more weight during physical activity that feels more like playtime than a torture session at the gym. This study suggests that your attitude toward physical activity influence what you eat after a workout and ultimately whether or not you drop pounds.

Many people who start exercising do not lose as much weight as expected. In fact, some people actually gain weight after starting a workout routine despite the extra calories burned at the gym. Here’s why: A lot of people who push their physical limits eat whatever they’d like after an intense gym visit. Previous studies have explained this phenomenon as an increase of appetite hormones post sweat session—that people really were ravenous after working hard. While this may explain the physiological part of it, this new study is hoping to prove that psychology can explain the rest. (Try these 7 ways to keep your appetite in check.)

Scientists recruited 56 overweight women and tasked them to complete the same one-mile outdoor course, with lunch to follow. Half of the women were told that this course will be rigorous exercise and to monitor their exertion levels. The rest were told that this is meant to be a walk for pleasure where they can listen to music and enjoy themselves. Upon completion of the course, the women were asked to estimate her mileage, calorie expenditure, and mood. Women in the first group reported feeling much grumpier and more fatigued even though the two groups estimates of mileage and calories burned were almost identical.
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9 Reasons Why You Hate to Exercise

By now I think we all know we’re supposed to exercise, and quite a few of us have figured what exercise works best for us. However, that doesn’t mean that we all love it.

Starting, and sticking to, an exercise plan can be more difficult than expected. This is especially true if you dread your workout before you’ve even started.

exercise with ball

There may be a good reason you aren’t enjoying your workout, and a simple fix to make exercise enjoyable. If you find yourself groaning every time you lace up your shoes or strap on your bike helmet, it may be time to take a look at why you don’t like to exercise and do something about it.

It’s hard to get started
For some, just getting a new exercise program started is the biggest hurdle. Not knowing what to do and making the transition from sedentary to more active can be a daunting task. If you find yourself in this situation, call on a friend to be your workout buddy. Getting started will be a lot easier when you don’t feel like you’re on your own.


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5 Beauty Trends Everyone Wants, Not Everyone Has, and Everyone Needs to Calm Down About

I bet if you pick up your phone or grab your computer right now, you can’t spend five minutes on the Internet without running into a beauty or fitness trend that ask women to alter the shapes of their bodies in ridiculous (and sometimes dangerous) ways.

women in silhouette

 

Our friends at Shape Magazine have spoken with experts about these beauty trends and what trying to achieve them will cost you. We’ve got our own take on the beauty and fitness buzzwords that seem to be sweeping social media.


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5 Films About Body Image Every Man and Woman Should Watch

Body image is a tricky subject. It’s something we deal with every day, whether we realize it or not. “Do I look ok in these pants?” “Wow, she’s gotten thin.” “He has great muscles, why don’t mine look like that?”

We have thoughts like these so many times per day, we barely even notice any more. Even those who normally have great body image can catch themselves having negative thoughts about their bodies, or someone else’s.

Sometimes it takes an outside perspective to remind us that you can be happy and healthy without being supermodel thin or bodybuilder built. Here are five films that we think are worth your time to watch.

Embrace

Though this documentary isn’t out yet, we were inspired by Taryn Brumfitt’s story and her now infamous non-traditional “before and after” photo. In it, the before image is Taryn during a fitness competition, the very picture of a “perfect body,” but unhappy with how she looked. The after photo is her today, less “fit” but much happier.

“The day I learned to unconditionally love my body was the day I became unstoppable.” <– CLICK TO TWEET THIS QUOTE

After making that realization, she decided to create a positive body image movement and share it through, among other channels, a documentary she’s crowdfunding on Kickstarter, Embrace.

taryn


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Research Proves that the Crunch is the Most Effective Ab Exercise

crunch

Achieving 6-pack abs is pretty much the holy grail of physical fitness and strength, even though much of your abdominal appearance is decided by genetics, not effort. But whether you have 7% body fat or a layer of “insulation” over your abdominal muscles it’s extremely important to keep those muscles strong. Working the muscles that make up your core strong (the abdominals, obliques, and mid- to lower-back) will make your entire body feel stronger, give you better posture, and improve your balance. However, the question remains—what’s the best technique to building and managing core strength?

We’ve been presented with so many different options for strengthening the abdominal muscles that it’s hard to know what works best. Should we be lying on our backs, balancing on our hands and toes, standing up, squatting, or using a contraption like the ab flyer or ab rocket?

Luckily, a group of fitness experts commissioned by the American Council on Exercise recently conducted the research to answer that very question. ACE reached out to experts at the University of Wisconsin, La Crosse to conduct research determining the effectiveness of the most popular equipment and exercises compared to the traditional crunch. The team incorporated several different varieties of popular equipment including the Ab Circle Pro, Ab Roller, and others, as well as exercises including yoga’s boat pose, the stability ball crunch, decline bench curl-ups, the captain’s chair crunch, the bicycle crunch, the side plank, and a standard plank.
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