Connect with us

Lifestyle & Culture

Starting up your fitness regimen again

It is always possible to get your fitness regime up and running again, and in this article we are going to look at some of the ways you might be able to do that.

Published

on

We all know what it’s like: you start the year with the best of intentions, only to find that February comes around and you have already let something slide. Whatever it is that you have been trying to do, it suddenly seems impossible as other aspects of your life start to creep in instead. If you wanted to get fit this year and you feel you have already fallen off the wagon, don’t worry – it’s actually a perfectly normal part of the process, and something which you are going to want to consider as just another stepping-stone to move from.

Image Source – CCO Licence

It is always possible to get your fitness regime up and running again, and in this article we are going to look at some of the ways you might be able to do that. Hopefully it will be clear after reading this that it is actually not too challenging to start up your fitness regime, even after a long time away from it.

Redraw Your Goals

If you have specific goals that you would like to reach, then now is a good time to remind yourself of what those were. You might find that those goals are still relevant, or you might want to think about moving on to new goals now instead. In either case, you need to make sure that you are aware of what you are moving towards, as it is going to make the whole process just so much easier indeed. You might want to lose a certain amount of weight or fit into a particular dress – whatever it is, write it down and be clear on it.

Prepare

There is going to have to be a preparation phase before you get back into it. If you just jump into things head-first, it is possible that you are going to find it a little overwhelming. All that will happen then is that you will fail to stick with it, and you’ll find yourself instead having to draw away from it and try later on. So prepare in whatever way you feel you need to, and do anything you might need to do in order to feel as though you are truly ready and fit for purpose. That could mean buying some brand new sportswear like Adidas Y-3 in SVD or it might be that you want to think about getting yourself mentally prepared. Whatever you think you need, be sure to do it for yourself.

Image Source – CCO Licence

Schedule

It might be a good idea to draw up a schedule, as having a schedule is something that is always going to help you know how well you are doing. You can then compare your actual progress to the schedule itself, and that should often be enough to make sure that you are much more in line with what you want to be doing. This schedule need not be strict, or if you feel that you work best to a strict schedule then it might be. In any case, do whatever works for you, and make sure that you try your hardest to stick to it. It should help to give you some motivation too.

Find A Partner

If you want to make it much more likely that you will stick to your new regime, then you might want to think about finding a partner to exercise with. Studies show that working out with a partner makes the workout itself much more effective, and that you are more likely to find that you get a lot out of it, so that is something that you will certainly want to consider as a possible way to go about things. Bear in mind that this person should be someone you trust and enjoy spending such a lot of time with, of course.

Image Source – CCO Licence

Start Off Slow

No matter what your goals are or what schedule you have drawn up for yourself, you should remember how important it is that you start off slow, and gradually build your way up into more and more exercise. This is important for a number of reasons. Most of all, it is a safer way of doing things, and you are less likely to cause yourself harm. But it’s also something that ensures you are going to get less stressed about the whole thing, and therefore more likely to just carry on and do it. For that reason, starting off slow is one of the best things you can do for your ultimate success with regard to your fitness.

Health & Wellness

Trans women can safely maintain estrogen treatments during gender affirming surgery

The practice of withholding estrogen prior to gender affirming surgery was not necessary. Most transgender women can now safely remain on their estrogen therapy throughout surgery.

Published

on

Photo by @kylewilliamurban from Unsplash.com

There was no difference in blood clots when estrogen hormone therapy was maintained during gender affirming surgery.

This is according to a study (titled, “No Venous Thromboembolism Increase Among Transgender Female Patients Remaining on Estrogen for Gender Affirming Surgery”) helmed by John Henry Pang with Aki Kozato from Mount Sinai, and was published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism.

Historically, the lack of published data contributed to heterogeneity in the practice of whether doctors and surgeons advised transgender women to withhold their estrogen therapy before surgery. The sudden loss of estrogen in the blood was sometimes very uncomfortable with symptoms that amounted to a sudden, severe menopause.

So the researchers tapped 919 transgender patients who underwent gender affirming surgery at Mount Sinai’s Center for Transgender Medicine and Surgery between November 2015 and August 2019. Notably, including 407 cases of transgender women who underwent primary vaginoplasty surgery.

This study found that the practice of withholding estrogen prior to gender affirming surgery was not necessary. Most transgender women can now safely remain on their estrogen therapy throughout surgery.

The bottom line: This study found that most transgender women can  safely maintain their estrogen hormone treatments during gender affirming surgery.

Continue Reading

Love Affairs

Dating apps don’t destroy love

Contrary to earlier concerns, a UNIGE study has shown that people who met their partners on dating applications have often stronger long-term relationship goals, and that these new ways of meeting people encourage socio-educational and geographical mixing.

Published

on

Photo by Neil Soni from Unsplash.com

As dating apps escalated in popularity, so has criticism about them encouraging casual dating only, threatening the existence of long-term commitment, and possibly damaging the quality of intimacy. There is no scientific evidence, however, to validate these claims.

Now a study by the University of Geneva (UNIGE), Switzerland – and which was published in the journal PLOS ONE – indicates that app-formed couples have stronger cohabitation intentions than couples who meet in a non-digital environment.

What is more, women who found their partner through a dating app have stronger desires and intentions to have children than those who found their partner offline. Despite fears concerning a deterioration in the quality of relationships, partners who met on dating apps express the same level of satisfaction about their relationship as others.

Last but not least, the study shows that these apps play an important role in modifying the composition of couples by allowing for more educationally diverse and geographically distant couples.

“The Internet is profoundly transforming the dynamics of how people meet,” confirms Gina Potarca, a researcher at the Institute of Demography and Socioeconomics in UNIGE’s Faculty of Social Sciences. “It provides an unprecedented abundance of meeting opportunities, and involves minimal effort and no third-party intervention.”

These new dating technologies include the smartphone apps like Tinder or Grindr, where users select partners by browsing and swiping on pictures. These apps, however, have raised fears: “Large parts of the media claim they have a negative impact on the quality of relationships since they render people incapable of investing in an exclusive or long-term relationship. Up to now, though, there has been no evidence to prove this is the case,” continues Dr. Potarca.

Facilitated encounters

The Geneva-based researcher decided to investigate couples’ intentions to start a family, their relationship satisfaction and individual well-being, as well as to assess couple composition. Dr. Potarca used a 2018 family survey by the Swiss Federal Statistical Office. The analysis presented in this study looks at a sub-sample of 3,235 people over the age of 18 who were in a relationship and who had met their partner in the last decade.

Dr. Potarca found that dating websites – the digital tools for meeting partners that preceded apps – mainly attracted people over the age of 40 and / or divorcees who are looking for romance.

“By eliminating lengthy questionnaires, self-descriptions, and personality tests that users of dating websites typically need to fill in to create a profile, dating apps are much easier to use. This normalized the act of dating online, and opened up use among younger categories of the population.”

Searching for a lasting relationship

Dr. Potarca sought to find out whether couples who met on dating apps had different intentions to form a family. The results show that couples that formed after meeting on an app were more motivated by the idea of cohabiting than others.

“The study doesn’t say whether their final intention was to live together for the long- or short-term, but given that there’s no difference in the intention to marry, and that marriage is still a central institution in Switzerland, some of these couples likely see cohabitation as a trial period prior to marriage. It’s a pragmatic approach in a country where the divorce rate is consistently around 40%.”

In addition, women in couples that formed through dating apps mentioned wanting and planning to have a child in the near future, more so than with any other way of meeting.

But what do couples who met in this way think about the quality of their relationship? The study shows that, regardless of meeting context, couples are equally satisfied with their lives and the quality of their relationship.

Couples with a diverse socio-educational profile

The study highlights a final aspect. Dating apps encourage a mixing of different levels of education, especially between high-educated women and lower educated men. Partners having more diversified socio-educational profiles “may have to do with selection methods that focus mainly on the visual,” says the researcher. Since users can easily connect with partners in their immediate region (but also in other spaces as they move around), the apps make it easier to meet people more than 30 minutes away – leading to an increase in long-distance relationships.

“Knowing that dating apps have likely become even more popular during this year’s periods of lockdown and social distancing, it is reassuring to dismiss alarming concerns about the long-term effects of using these tools,” concludes Dr. Potarca.

Continue Reading

Health & Wellness

Bisexual men more prone to eating disorders than gay or straight men – study

80% of bisexual men reported that they “felt fat”, and 77% had a strong desire to lose weight, both figures higher than the 79% and 75% for gay men, respectively.

Published

on

Photo by Nicholas Swatz from Pexels.com

Bisexual men are more likely to experience eating disorders than either heterosexual or gay men. This is according to a report from the University of California San Francisco, published in the journal Eating and Weight Disorders.

A handful of studies have actually indicated that gay men are at increased risk for disordered eating, including fasting, excessive exercise and preoccupation with weight and body shape. This newer study, however, suggest that bisexual men are even more susceptible to some unhealthy habits.

For this study, the researchers surveyed over 4,500 LGBTQ adults, and a quarter of the bisexual male participants reported having fasted for more than eight hours to influence their weight or appearance. This is higher when compared to 20% for gay men.

The research also found that 80% of bisexual men reported that they “felt fat”, and 77% had a strong desire to lose weight, both figures higher than the 79% and 75% for gay men, respectively.

Now this is worth stressing: According to study co-author Dr. Jason Nagata, not everyone who diets or feels fat has an eating disorder. “It’s a spectrum — from some amount of concern to a tipping point where it becomes a pathological obsession about body weight and appearance,”Nagata was quoted as saying by NBC News.

For Nagata, several factors may be at play here, including “minority stress” (the concept that the heightened anxiety faced by marginalized groups can manifest as poor mental and physical health outcomes).

“LGBTQ people experience stigma and discrimination, and stressors can definitely lead to disordered eating,” Nagata was also quoted as saying. “For bi men, they’re not just facing stigma from the straight community but from the gay community, as well.”

Of all the respondents, 3.2% of bisexual males were clinically diagnosed with eating disorders (compared to 2.9% of gay men). For heterosexual men, it’s only 0.6%.

For the researchers, there is a need to conduct eating disorder research on various sexual identities independently. This is also to raise awareness on this issue (and how it affects different people of various SOGIESCs).

Continue Reading

Lifestyle & Culture

Ways to stay fit and fabulous over 40

Keep reading to discover how you can keep yourself mentally and physically strong as you hit the big 4-0.

Published

on

40 is the new 30! Or is it 50 is the new 40?! Either way, it has never been more socially acceptable to be entering into your middle-aged years.

That being said, as you hit 40 and beyond, you are likely to notice certain changes to your body, even if you pride yourself on staying in shape. 

Fortunately, if you are worried about the signs of aging, there are several techniques that you can adopt to keep yourself feeling fit and fabulous for longer. 

Interested to know more?

Keep reading to discover how you can keep yourself mentally and physically strong as you hit the big 4-0. 

Cut back on cardio

Have you heard of runner’s face? If not, now is the time to find out. Although cardio is a great fat burner and can help keep your heart healthy, it is not the best choice when it comes to your skin. Prolonged periods of running as you age can lead to “runner’s face”, a condition where your skin starts to droop and sag. Not what you want as you come into your 40s.

Instead, focus on strength training exercises such as yoga, weight lifting, or swimming if you have issues with your joints. 

Focus on follicles

Hair loss is a frequent problem in men aged 40 and over and can manifest itself in thinning or bald patches. Now, unless you think you can rock the shaven look a la Bruce Willis, you may want to look into hair loss prevention and hair loss treatments. 

Hair transplantation is one of the most effective hair loss treatments on the market, especially given new developments in technology, making hair transplantation even quicker and more successful. If you choose this option, look to hshairclinic.co.uk for expert advice and for the latest in hair transplant innovation. 

Move more 

Just because you are cutting back on your cardio doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t be trying to hit your recommended 10,000 steps a day. Take regular walks in the fresh air, try running up and down the stairs in your home, getting off public transport a few stops early, or simply trying to lead a less sedentary lifestyle

If you don’t want to be counting all day long, you may want to invest in a pedometer or smartwatch that will do all the tracking for you. You can find fitness watches that will count your steps and calculate calories burned and monitor your heart rate.

Schedule sleep 

Although you might have been able to get away with only a few hours of shut eye in your 20s and maybe even into your 30s, once you hit 40, your body needs the recommended 7-8 hours’ sleep per night. 

A lack of sleep can make you feel irritable and tired, but it can also make you crave sugar, which in turn can lead to weight gain and lackluster skin. Focus on creating a good sleep routine, and don’t be afraid to take an afternoon nap if you feel like it and your lifestyle allows it. 

Continue Reading

Health & Wellness

Timing and intensity of oral sex may affect risk of oropharyngeal cancer

Love giving head? Consider this: Having more than 10 prior oral sex partners was associated with a 4.3-times greater likelihood of having HPV-related oropharyngeal cancer.

Published

on

Photo by Dainis Graveris from Unsplash.com

Human papillomavirus (HPV) can infect the mouth and throat to cause cancers of the oropharynx.

This is according to a study published in CANCER, a peer-reviewed journal of the American Cancer Society, which has found that having more than 10 prior oral sex partners was associated with a 4.3-times greater likelihood of having HPV-related oropharyngeal cancer. The study also shows that having oral sex at a younger age and more partners in a shorter time period (oral sex intensity) were associated with higher likelihoods of having HPV-related cancer of the mouth and throat.

Previous studies have shown that performing oral sex is a strong risk factor for HPV-related oropharyngeal cancer. To examine how behavior related to oral sex may affect risk, Virginia Drake, MD, of Johns Hopkins University, and her colleagues asked 163 individuals with and 345 without HPV-related oropharyngeal cancer to complete a behavioral survey.

In addition to timing and intensity of oral sex, individuals who had older sexual partners when they were young, and those with partners who had extramarital sex were more likely to have HPV-related oropharyngeal cancer.

“Our study builds on previous research to demonstrate that it is not only the number of oral sexual partners, but also other factors not previously appreciated that contribute to the risk of exposure to HPV orally and subsequent HPV-related oropharyngeal cancer,” said Dr. Drake. “As the incidence of HPV-related oropharyngeal cancer continues to rise… our study offers a contemporary evaluation of risk factors for this disease. We have uncovered additional nuances of how and why some people may develop this cancer, which may help identify those at greater risk.”

Continue Reading

Health & Wellness

Sexual, gender minority youths more likely to have obesity, binge eating disorder

Findings suggest that weight and eating disorder disparities observed in SGM adolescents/adults may emerge in childhood. As such, “clinicians should consider assessing eating- and health-related behaviors among SGM youths.”

Published

on

Photo by Rosemary Ketchum from Pexels.com

Sexual and gender minorities (SGM) youths were more likely to have obesity and full-threshold or subthreshold binge eating disorder. This is according to research – “Obesity and Eating Disorder Disparities Among Sexual and Gender Minority Youth” by Natasha A. Schvey, PhD; Arielle T. Pearlman, BA; David A. Klein, MD, MPH; et al -published in JAMA Pediatrics.

SGM are those who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual and/or transgender, or whose sexual orientation and/or gender identity/expression do not conform to societal conventions.

For this study, the researchers noted that as it is, “obesity and eating disorders in youth are prevalent, are associated with medical and psychosocial consequences, and may persist into adulthood. Therefore, identifying subgroups of youth vulnerable to one or both conditions is critical.”

For them, one group that may be at risk for obesity and disordered eating is SGM.

In total, 11,852 participants were considered (aged 9-10 years), derived from the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development Study. The mean age was 9.91, and 5,672 (47.9%) of the total number were female. The sample comprised 1.6% (n = 190) probable sexual (n = 151) and/or gender minority (n = 58) youths, of whom 24.7% (n = 47) responded yes and 75.3% (n = 143) responded maybe to the SGM queries.

The researchers found that one in six youths (1,987 [16.8%]) had obesity and 10.2% (n = 1,188) had a full-threshold (86 [0.7%]) and/or subthreshold (1103 [9.4%]) eating disorder.

They also reported that adjusting for covariates, SGM youths were more likely to have obesity (odds ratio, 1.64; 95% CI, 1.09-2.48) and full-threshold or subthreshold binge eating disorder (odds ratio, 3.49; 95% CI, 1.39-8.76).

SGM and non-SGM youths did not differ in the likelihood of full-threshold or subthreshold anorexia nervosa or bulimia nervosa. The same pattern of results remained when limiting SGM youths to those responding yes to the SGM items, although significance for the likelihood of obesity was attenuated.

For the researchers, the findings suggest that weight and eating disorder disparities observed in SGM adolescents/adults may emerge in childhood. As such, “clinicians should consider assessing eating- and health-related behaviors among SGM youths.”

Continue Reading
Advertisement
Advertisement

LIKE US ON FACEBOOK

Most Popular