The Core Exercise Trainers Love (No, It’s Not A Plank)

We’re not here to play games: The truth is, there’s no magical workout move that does it all. However, there are certain exercises that set you up to move better and lift things more easily. Many of these involve strengthening your core, because a strong midsection is essential for every workout, sport, and fitness activity — not to mention daily life. And that’s where the core reach (also known as the dead-bug exercise) comes in.
This move — think of it as a flipped-over version of a moving plank — is functional, safe, and strengthens the same muscles you use for everything from doing squats to hauling groceries. It’s also especially useful for runners because it teaches trunk stability and control while you’re moving your arms and legs in opposition. This mirrors what you do when you’re walking and running, explains Ashleigh Kast, trainer at Drive Clubs in New York City and founder of Sophisticated Strength. This stability helps establish a more efficient stride pattern that controls breathing and prevents lower back pain often caused by poor running form.
You can include the core reach as part of your warm-up before a gym workout or run, or try it as a quick exercise first thing in the morning. Plus, it’s simple to increase or decrease the intensity level depending on where you are in your fitness journey. Just lace up a pair of supportive and cushiony adidas UltraBOOST X sneakers and follow along with brand ambassador Jera Foster-Fell. Time to kick-start your workout.
The Core Reach
Start lying on your back with arms extended straight in the air with wrists over shoulders. Bend your knees to a tabletop position, making 90-degree angles with your shins parallel to the floor. While pushing your low back against the ground, extend your right arm overhead and your left leg outward until they hover a few inches off the floor, but not so low that your back arches. Immediately return to the starting position, and repeat on the opposite side. Do 10 reps on each side, alternating arms and legs each rep.
“The most common mistake I see people make is beginning with the back arched,” Kast says. Fix this by flattening your back on the floor before you start moving, and be conscious to maintain that position throughout the entire exercise.
“This move is an amazing opportunity to begin linking your breath to your movement, which is key for mastering any exercise or sport,” says Kast. Inhale as you lower your arm and leg and exhale as you pull them back in.
Just Getting Started? Try This Beginner-Friendly Variation
Keep your arms extended by your sides on the ground or directly overhead. Bring your legs into that same tabletop position and — keeping your knees bent at 90 degrees — lower your right heel to tap the ground. Return your leg to the starting position, and repeat with your left leg. By shortening the length of your legs, you reduce the load on your core, thus requiring less stability, and you’re using your arms to help you balance. Do 10 reps on each side, alternating legs each rep.
For More Of A Challenge, Add Some Weight
While holding a five- to 10-pound medicine ball (a kettlebell or single dumbbell does the job, too), extend your arms directly above your head and perpendicular to the floor. Keep your arms in place while extending one leg at a time. The goal here is to create maximum tension in the body, so imagine you’re trying to crush the ball between your hands. This tension helps stabilize your core and adds work for your upper-body muscles. Do 10 reps on each side, alternating legs each rep.

Romantic love hormone may help treat psychosexual disorders


Romantic love hormone may help treat psychosexual disordersRomantic love hormone may help treat psychosexual disorders

Men who were given an injection of a naturally occurring hormone showed enhanced activity in brain regions involved with sexual arousal and romantic love, decline in negative moods as well as helping treat some psychosexual disorders that commonly occur in patients with infertility, a study has found.

Kisspeptin has been linked to sexy and romantic feelings and is essential to the body’s reproductive system.

“Our study indicates that kisspeptin plays a role in stimulating some of the emotions and responses that lead to sex and reproduction,” said lead author Waljit Dhillo, Professor at Imperial College London.

“Kisspeptin boosts sexual and romantic brain activity as well as decreasing negative mood. This raises the interesting possibility that kisspeptin may have uses in treating psychosexual disorders and depression which are major health problems which often occur together,” added Alexander Comninos from Imperial College London.

For the study, the team involved 29 healthy heterosexual young men who were given either an injection of kisspeptin or placebo who were shown a variety of images, including sexual and non-sexual romantic pictures of couples.

The findings demonstrated that men who received the injection of kisspeptin, had enhanced activity in structures in the brain typically activated by sexual arousal and romance.

This shows that kisspeptin boosts behavioural circuits associated with sex and love, the researchers said.

Further, the volunteers also underwent MRI scans where they were shown sexual and non-sexual romantic, negative, and neutral-themed images, and images of happy, fearful and neutral emotional faces.

Kisspeptin did not appear to alter emotional brain activity in response to neutral, happy or fearful-themed images.

However, when volunteers were shown negative images, kisspeptin did enhance activity in brain structures important in regulating negative moods, suggesting that then hormone might be used for treating depression, the researchers stated.

The study is detailed in the Journal of Clinical Investigation.


The Nexus 4 is getting some CyanogenMod love with 14.1 nightly builds

If you are the type of person, who tends to form attachments to particular tech and don’t really feel like moving on or upgrading regularly, then chances are you have already found your perfect phone years back and are still with it.

If that is the case and taking into account you are currently on a tech-centric site, chances are you are familiar witch CyanogenMod and might even be running the custom OS. Then, you will also be happy to hear that despite the recent calamities over at Cyanogen Inc., the dedicated custom ROM group is still alive and well and constantly expanding its device reach.

The team appears to currently be working mostly on CyanogenMod 14.1, which is based on the bleeding-edge Android 7.1 Nougat. Their dedication must really run deep, as nightly builds will soon be available for the four-year-old LG Nexus 4 (mako) as well. In the meantime, there is an experimental build already up and you can also get said software for a few other devices:

  • ASUS ZenPad 8.0 Z380KL (P024)
  • LG G3 (T-Mobile) (d851)
  • LG G Pad 8.3 (v500)
  • Nexus 5 CAF (hammerheadcaf)
  • Samsung Galaxy S5 AU (kltekdi)
  • Sony Xperia M (nicki)

If you are not in the know, however, it is worth noting that, like the name suggests, nightly builds come out on a daily basis and contain all the code the CyanogenMod team has been working on up until that point. That makes them inherently unstable and susceptible to bugs. That being said, if you plan on updating your main handset, you might be better off waiting for a stable release down the road. And another quick note to any Nexus 5 users wondering about the CAF notation in the list. It is there to indicate that only units running on a Qulcomm sourced CAF kernel can install the ROM. If that raises more questions than it answers, a quick Google search for “AOSP vs CAF” will likely clear things up.


Your love for sugary beverages may cause prediabetes

Individuals who regularly consume sugar-sweetened beverages such as soda, colas and other carbonated beverages, and non-carbonated fruit drinks such as lemonade and fruit punch, may be at an higher risk of developing prediabetes, new research has revealed.

Prediabetes is a condition in which blood sugar is high, but not high enough to be Type 2 diabetes. If diagnosed early, it is reversible through lifestyle changes such as diet and exercise.

“Our results suggest that high sugar-sweetened beverage intake increases the chances of developing early warning signs for Type 2 diabetes,” said Nicola McKeown, Associate Professor at the Tufts University, Massachusetts in the US.

“If lifestyle changes are not made, individuals with prediabetes are on the trajectory to developing diabetes,” McKeown added.

The findings showed that adults who drink a can of soda per day or a median of six 12 fluid ounce servings a week are at 46 per cent higher risk of developing prediabetes.

Further, the highest consumers of sugar-sweetened beverages had nearly eight per cent higher insulin resistance scores, compared to low- or non-consumers.

On the other hand, diet soda — defined as low-calorie cola or other carbonated low-calorie beverages — intake was found with no associations with risk for either prediabetes or insulin resistance, the study said.

However, and further studies are needed to reveal the long-term health impact of artificially sweetened drinks, the researchers noted.


Spare Tires, Love Handles May Worsen Heart Disease Risk: Study

Spare Tires, Love Handles May Worsen Heart Disease Risk: Study

Spare Tires, Love Handles May Worsen Heart Disease Risk: Study
In general, the higher the fat content, the lower the attenuation, or fat density.
WASHINGTON: Having ‘spare tires’ – hidden fat in the abdomen – as well as ‘love handles’ or visible flab, may worsen heart disease risk factors, a new study has found.

The study by US National Heart Lung and Blood Institute also found that the density of the stomach fat is just as important as how much fat you have.

In general, the higher the fat content, the lower the attenuation, or fat density.

These adverse changes in cardiovascular risk were evident over a relatively short period of time and persisted even after accounting for changes in body mass index (BMI) and waist circumference, two commonly used methods to estimate whether someone is a healthy weight or not.

Previous studies showed that people who carry excess abdominal fat around midsection or so-called ‘spare tire’, tend to face higher risks of heart disease compared to people who have fat elsewhere.

“We show that an increase in the amount of stomach fat and a lower density fat is associated with worse heart disease risk factors, even after accounting for how much weight was gained,” said Caroline Fox, who was at the US National Heart Lung and Blood Institute during the research.

“Measuring fat density is a new measure that we are still working to understand and warrants further investigation. We used it as an indirect measure of fat quality and found that lower numbers were linked to greater heart disease risk,” she said.

Researchers sought to determine whether there was a link between anatomical changes in belly fat – both its volume and density – and changes in a broad array of cardiovascular disease risk factors during the average six-year study period.
They reviewed CT scans to assess how much abdominal fat had accumulated, its location and its density in 1,106 participants.

Average age of participants was 45 years and 44 per cent were women. Both subcutaneous adipose fat, the fat just under the skin, which is often visible “flab” or love handles, and visceral adipose fat, the fat inside the abdominal cavity, were measured.

Over the six-year follow-up period, participants had a 22 per cent increase in fat just under the skin and a 45 per cent increase in fat inside the abdominal cavity on average.

Increases in the amount of fat and decreases in fat density were correlated with adverse changes in heart disease risk.

Each additional pound of fat from baseline to follow up was associated with new onset high blood pressure, high triglycerides and metabolic syndrome.

Even though increases in both types of fat were linked to new and worsening cardiovascular disease risk factors, the relationship was even more pronounced for fat inside the abdominal cavity compared to fat just under the skin.

The study appears in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.