Kate Hudson Hits the Reformer, Sofia Vergara Nails a Plank, and More Star Fitness Snaps You Missed Last Week

[brightcove:5342266505001 default]

If you're like us and spent most of the weekend cozied up inside, you may need just a little extra #MondayMotivation to get back into workout-crushing mode this week. Thankfully, these five A-listers were busy documenting their fitness efforts over the past few days, and all the inspo you need is right here. Check out their impressive snaps. Then pick your fave and go follow suit.

Kate Hudson tones up with Pilates

On Friday, the super-fit star smiled through a toning session with her Pilates trainer of nearly 20 years, Nicole Stuart. Her adorable matching sports bra and leggings? They are Fabletics, of course.

Shalita Grant bares her abs on a hike

The NCIS: New Orleans actress declared #strongisthenewskinny in an Instagram caption of herself stretching it out on a hiking trail. Grant is dedicated to her healthy lifestyle, and promised "more #fitness videos coming soon!!"

Nina Dobrev busts a move

Last Tuesday the actress and Reebok ambassador posted a clip of a hip-hop routine that made us want to get up and dance!

Sofia Vergara tops off a training session with a plank

The Modern Family stunner had a one-on-one session with celeb trainer Julio Cruz in Los Angeles over the weekend. We strongly suggest following Cruz on Instagram if you want more celebrity workout clips. Just watching his videos makes us sweat.

The Rock breaks out the chains

Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson was in for a shirtless sweat session with heavy chains on Sunday. And you can always count on the actor to share some words of motivation: "Let's get after it today on this hardcore Sunday," he says. "I always kick my weeks off on Sunday, not on Monday. I get a head start … Let's roll!"

Source: http://www.health.com/fitness/feed

"If You Ever Get That Fat, I'll Leave You": Real Women Share Their Experiences With Harassment on the "Wall of Shamed"

[brightcove:5614910445001 default]

It's no secret that most women experience some form of sexism, verbal abuse, or harassment starting at a young age—and while more and more women are finding the courage to speak out, many others don't have a safe space to tell their stories. Suzie Blake, a 37-year-old artist from Melbourne, Australia, is hoping to change that. With her latest installment, called "The Wall of Shamed," the artist is creating a powerful platform for women to anonymously open up about their experiences.

Located at the Victorian College of the Arts Masters Graduate Exhibition in Melbourne, Australia, Blake's installment is filled with derogatory comments made to women by their peers, boyfriends, husbands, and strangers. As a result, "The Wall of Shamed" reveals the deep emotional scars that body shaming and sexual harassment can leave on women. Some of the comments were directed at girls as young as seven.

"The man who raped me when I was fourteen told me I had 'charging rhinoceros thighs'," recalls one victim; another writes that after shaving her hair, "I was told boys would like me better with long hair."

"Women and girls are shamed throughout their lives for not living up to patriarchally prescribed ideals of 'womanliness'," Blake writes on her website. "Body shaming. Fat shaming. Slut shaming. Period shaming. Mother shaming. Food shaming. Gender shaming. Victim shaming. The list goes on."

The artist encourages women to share their experiences physically on the wall using marker pens, anonymously by submitting quotes through her website, or on social media with the hashtag #wallofshamed.

Although the comments are heartbreaking to read, Blake hopes the wall can help provide healing and closure to women who have gone through similar situations. "The stories are so sad, but seeing that there are so many of them and they are often so similar gives each woman a sense of mutual understanding—a sense of solidarity," Blake tells Huffington Post UK. "As individuals we are static, but as a group we can move mountains."

By encouraging women to come together, Blake hopes she can help put an end to society's misogynistic shaming of women. "Let’s talk about shame. And, more importantly, let’s put a stop to it."

Source: http://www.health.com/mind-body/feed

Clothing Company Criticized for Product Shots of 'Plus-Size' Tights: 'How Is This an Actual Ad'

[brightcove:5646469964001 default]

Clothing company Wish is drawing criticism for using straight size models to sell their “plus-size” tights.

Product shots on Wish.com show the models stretching out the tights with their arms, and bringing the fabric up to their face. On a listing for another pair of tights, the model has her entire body in just one leg of the tights.

Twitter users questioned why the company would advertise the tights this way.

“I’m so pissed off, how is this an actual ad for plus size tights??” asked one user. “Speechless,” added another.

Wish did not immediately respond to a request for comment.


Wish, which functions primarily as an app, sells Chinese merchandise to American consumers at bargain-basement prices, and some products are even free, with shoppers only paying for shipping. The “plus-size” tights the company is selling go for just $2. However, because the products are coming from China, it can often take two to four weeks for them to arrive.

Wish isn’t the first company to get in hot water over how they market clothing for curvy women. Forever 21 drew ire for using “average” models for their Forever 21 Plus line in 2016, and the same year, H&M had Ashley Graham model their “plus-size” clothes but did not offer the items in stores, only online.

Source: http://www.health.com/mind-body/feed

Mom Body Shamed By a Stranger at the Supermarket: 'How Are People So Rude?'

[brightcove:5639788712001 default]

This article originally appeared on People.com.

An Ohio mom was shocked after a stranger body shamed her on a recent trip to the supermarket.

Charli Stevens was shopping with her 5-month-old son when she noticed a woman staring.

“I honestly thought she was going to tell me ‘Go Buckeyes’ as I was wearing an Ohio State top and they were playing later that night — and we were in Columbus, Ohio. I never thought for a second she would say anything about my appearance besides that,” Stevens, 27, tells PEOPLE.

Instead, the woman told Stevens, “I think your clothes are a little too small on you.” Stevens was taken aback and responded with, “Excuse me?” The stranger followed with, “Well no offense, but you’re just a bit big to wear those types of clothes.”

At that point Stevens, a medical assistant, started to cry. But the stranger would not let up. “I’m not trying to be mean, but you should reconsider your outfit before leaving the house,” she said.

Stevens decided to share her story on Facebook — along with a photo of her outfit that day — in the hopes of reducing body shaming.

“How are people so rude? It’s no secret that I’ve gained weight throughout life. I’ve birthed two kids so it’s bound to happen. Do I realize I’m overweight? Yes. Do I want to be smaller? Yes. But am I okay with the way I look? Yes!!” she posted on Facebook. “Why would a complete stranger go out of their way to insult someone? What if I was severely depressed? Or what if I was constantly made fun of for my weight and that one comment from that stranger pushed me over the edge?”

Stevens also adds that she’s glad her 4-year-old daughter wasn’t with her that day.

“She would’ve seen me be weak. And cry. I never want her to see my like that. Not for something out of my control,” Stevens says. Plus, she adds, “because I don’t want her to see how evil and disrespectful some people can be. I tell my daughter every day that she is beautiful and that I’m so proud of her.”

Her daughter is also the main reason why Stevens decided to speak out about the hazards of body shaming.

“I teach my daughter every day to love everyone and to not judge anyone,” she says. “Once our kids are born, they learn everything from us. Whether we think about it or not, our kids are watching. They’re picking up on everything we do. Our kids learn to hate and be mean from us. I said [on Facebook] that I feared for my daughter to grow up in this world and I truly meant it.”

And she says sharing her story on Facebook has made a difference.

“I am very humbled by all the kind words,” Stevens says. “I didn’t post the story for sympathy nor was I fishing for likes and comments. I just felt so compelled to speak out against this woman and be a voice for others who have gone through this similar situation.”

“I really hope those that read my post will just remember to instill kindness in their children’s lives, because our children are our future.”

Source: http://www.health.com/mind-body/feed

Why the Cropped Elbow on "Time's" Person of the Year Cover is So Powerful

[brightcove:5614910445001 default]

This article originally appeared on HelloGiggles.com.

I woke up earlier than usual this morning to the familiar ping-ing of my phone. In my semi-asleep state, I wondered what was so important to warrant such an early wakeup call. It was Twitter, alerting me that Time had named its “Person of the Year.” I was instantly wide awake after reading who exactly was given the honor: The Silence Breakers. Women and men who have stood up and called out the rampant sexual abuse in their respective industries have been named “Person of the Year.” These brave individuals birthed and strengthened the #MeToo movement while uncovering sexual predators in Hollywood and Washington D.C., and in the worlds of business, journalism, academics, agriculture, medicine, hospitality, and more.

The decision to name The Silence Breakers as “Person of the Year” may not come as a surprise to some considering the current (and much needed) swell of victims coming forward with their stories, but it’s much more significant than you might realize. This acknowledgement from one of America’s most respected publications brings validation to so many people who have faced abuse, doubt, blame, shame, and ridicule when they’ve come forward with their own reports.

But more than that, it gives recognition to victims who suffer silently; unable to come forward with their stories of harassment for deeply personal reasons.

Looking at Time’s cover, many faces associated with the fight against sexual assault stare back at readers — stoically united in both their pain and the power of their cause. We see actress Ashley Judd, singer-songwriter Taylor Swift, migrant worker Isabel Pascual (name changed), corporate lobbyist Adama Iwu, and former Uber engineer Susan Fowler — and then we see an extremely significant, very purposefully cropped elbow placed at the bottom right corner of the cover.



The elbow belongs to a hospital worker who has experienced workplace harassment, but remains anonymous and unable to come forward with her story.

Her inclusion on the cover represents the countless number of women who experience abuse, but are forced to remain silent.

She isn’t the only anonymous member included in The Silence Breakers cover story. Other featured survivors utilize fake names (like migrant worker Isabel Pascual) or remain nameless. Regardless, their stories are no less important to the narrative.

As someone who has only recently told my own story of sexual harassment, I was once — not long ago — that anonymous woman.

Before I found my voice, I was anonymous. When society told me I was overreacting, I was anonymous. When I was afraid to tell my story because of judgement and backlash, I was anonymous.

In fact, every woman and man who has shared their story was once that same anonymous person. We all know the forced silence. We all remember being compelled to hide our hurt and leave injustices unreported.

But it’s important to remember that even when we were anonymous, we were valid.

The individuals who remain anonymous are as important to the #MeToo movement as the ones who can share their stories. Including them as part of The Silence Breakers was Time’s acknowledgement of their strength. In short, this is a big deal for all of us.

As I read more coverage of this monumental cover, I can’t help but see it as another step towards a society that believes women, a society where we won’t be forced into anonymity any more.

Source: http://www.health.com/mind-body/feed

6 Exercises That’ll Seriously Improve Your Posture

[brightcove:5361870003001 default]

This article originally appeared on DailyBurn.com.

One thing most gym-goers probably don’t focus on enough: body alignment outside the studio walls. While you may work on cardio and strength, paying attention to your everyday posture is also crucial. “If you have pain or movement issues, checking posture can give you insight into what needs to be fixed and why,” says Nike coach and S10 trainer Joe Holder. “Looking at the way someone stands, from the feet all the way up to the neck, can give a lot of insight into over or underactive muscles in the body,” he adds. And while your posture doesn’t need to be perfect, improving it can reduce pain issues and boost your athletic performance.

Luckily, certain exercises do just that. The exercises below, chosen by Holder, include a mix of both strengthening and stretching moves, which will help correct imbalances and keep you aligned. For instance, when it comes to the shoulder rotation exercise, this helps remedy internally rotated shoulders associated with tight pecs and a weak back. (Computer junkies and text addicts, we’re looking at you.)

Set yourself straight and balance out your body by checking out the six exercises below. It’s your complete guide to standing stronger and taller.

RELATED: 7 Ways Exercises Helps Relieve Back Pain

6 Posture Exercises to Help You Stand Straighter

Exercises to Improve Posture: Scarecrow

GIFs: Daily Burn

1. Scarecrow

How to: Start standing with feet hip-width apart. Holding light weights, hinge at the hips to begin in a starting position similar to a bent-over row. Your back should be flat and arms straight down in front of you, just above your knees (a). Row your elbows back using your upper back muscles, so you hit a broken T shape (b). Rotate your hands up toward your shoulders (c). Staying in the hinge position, extend your arms straight forward and up to your ears (d). Then return them to the starting position (e). That’s one rep. Perform 3 sets of 8 reps.

RELATED: 50 Ab Exercises to Score a Stronger Core

Exercises to Improve Posture: Swimmers

2. Swimmers

How to: Begin lying on your stomach, with arms and legs extended. Keep your head in a neutral position by looking down to the floor in front of you (a). In a swimming motion, swing your arms down by your sides (b). Then bring them back up and overhead by your ears (c). Focus on keeping shoulders relaxed and moving from the lats and mid back. That is one rep. Perform 3 sets of 8 reps.

RELATED: 5 No-Equipment Back Exercises You Need in Your Life

Exercises to Improve Posture: Shoulder External Rotation

3. Shoulder External Rotation

How to: Grab a dumbbell in each hand or wrap a light, looped resistance band around your hands. Palms face up. Bend your elbows and keep them against your torso (a). Rotate your palms away from your torso until your arms are almost facing outward. You should feel your back and shoulder muscles fire (b). Slowly bring your hands back together (c). Perform 3 sets of 10 reps.

RELATED: 5 Yoga-Inspired Shoulder Openers

Exercises to Improve Posture: Seated T-Spine Opener

4. Seated T-Spine Openers

How to: Begin sitting on a bench, hands behind your neck and elbows in close to each other (a). Lift your chest and elbows toward the ceiling, moving from your upper back. Try not to arch from your lower back (b). That’s one rep. Perform 3 sets of 8-12 reps.

RELATED: The 5 Best Barbell Exercises to Build Total-Body Strength

Exercises to Improve Posture: Farmer's Walk

5. Farmer’s Walks

How to: Hold a dumbbell in each hand, with arm extended down by your side. Make sure to keep your shoulders down away from your ears (a). Walk forward, keeping your core engaged and taking strong and deliberate steps (b). Walk for 30-50 yards, then rest. That’s one rep. Perform 5-8 sets.

Exercises to Improve Posture: Halos

6. Halos

How to: Hold either a kettlebell or dumbbell in each hand at your chest (a). Pull your shoulder blades back and down away from your ears, as you move the weight up and around your head in a circle, returning them back to your chest. Keep your head upright and neck neutral (b). Do 10 rotations one way, then 10 the other. That’s one set. Perform 3 sets.

Source: http://www.health.com/fitness/feed

Women Are Naturally Fitter Than Men, Study Says

[brightcove:5413493151001 default]

This article originally appeared on Time.com.

Conventional wisdom holds that men have the natural advantage when it comes to physical ability. But in one key measure of fitness, women actually come out on top, finds a small new study published in the journal Applied Physiology, Nutrition and Metabolism.

Researchers from the University of Waterloo in Canada directed nine women and nine men—all 18-30 year olds who were of similar body mass index—to walk on the treadmill. After a short warm-up, they were asked to walk at gradually increasing speeds and inclines, going until they had reached 80% of their maximum heart rate. Each person wore a face mask to measure how much oxygen they used and how much carbon dioxide they produced.

“The specific measurement we did in this study was to look at how quickly oxygen uptake increases when you go from a rest to exercise transition,” says study author Richard Hughson, kinesiology professor at the University of Waterloo. “If people are unfit, they adapt more slowly to exercise, they perceive it as being a greater load and therefore they back off and they become progressively less fit.”

In that way, Hughson says, oxygen uptake is a great indicator of overall physical fitness—and one in which women excel. The researchers found that women adjusted to exercise after about 30 seconds, while men took 42 seconds. That translates to a roughly 30% faster rate of oxygen processing, and a clear advantage when it comes to physical efficiency. The researchers also found that the female athletes were better at transporting oxygen to tissues throughout their bodies, and that their tissues, in turn, were better at using the extra oxygen.

So while men may be inherently a little stronger and faster than women, they can’t claim to be universally fitter, Hughson says.

“Fitness can be defined by that maximal aerobic power, or it can be defined by some other indicators,” he says. “If you monitor how quickly a person adapts to an exercise level, it really is an indication of fitness and health.”

Next up, says lead author Thomas Beltrame, the research team plans to expand the research to include elite athletes, not just recreational exercisers. “In the future,” Beltrame wrote in an email, “studies are needed to determine if our results from recreationally active men and women, who were matched for fitness, will also apply to the fittest women compared to the fittest men.”

Source: http://www.health.com/fitness/feed

Pollution Could Cancel Out the Health Benefits of Walking, a New Study Says

[brightcove:5402485219001 default]

This article originally appeared on Time.com.

Simple though it may be, walking is one of the best things you can do for your body. Research has shown that it can extend your life and improve your heart health, along with a host of other health metrics.

A new study published in the Lancet, however, suggests that where you walk matters. Strolling along heavily polluted streets, researchers found, may actually cancel out many of the benefits associated with walking.

A team of researchers recruited 119 people over age 60. Of these, 40 were healthy; 40 had chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), an inflammatory lung disease; and 39 had ischemic heart disease, which is caused by a narrowing of the arteries.

Some of the people were instructed to walk for two hours per day along London’s Oxford Street, a downtown thoroughfare heavily trafficked by buses and cars, while the others spent the same amount of time walking through a quiet part of the city’s Hyde Park. Three to eight weeks later, the groups swapped routes. After each outing, researchers measured pollutant concentrations in each environment, along with a number of health markers in the participants, including lung capacity, breathlessness, wheezing, coughing and arterial stiffness, which is related to high blood pressure.

After walking through Hyde Park, the healthy people saw big improvements in their lung capacity and arterial stiffness. But after walking along Oxford Street—and breathing in a number of airborne pollutants—people saw only modest improvements in lung capacity and a worsening of arterial stiffness, suggesting that the air quality nullified many of walking’s health benefits, according to the paper.

MORE: Here’s How Many People Die from Pollution Around the World

People with COPD and those with heart disease both experienced negligible improvements in lung capacity after walking in either location. However, people with COPD showed more respiratory issues—including coughing, wheezing and shortness of breath—after walking along Oxford Street, as well more arterial stiffness. People with heart disease also saw more severe arterial stiffness after walking through the urban environment, unless they were taking cardiovascular drugs, which appear to offer some protective benefits.

“You should avoid polluted areas for doing any form of exercise, specifically walking,” explains lead researcher Kian Fan Chung, a professor of respiratory medicine at Imperial College London’s National Heart and Lung Institute. “In London, we have a lot of open spaces, green space, where the amount of pollution is going to be less than what it is outside the park. If that’s not available, people should probably exercise indoors.”

Without a sedentary control group, the researchers note, it’s not possible to say that walking was directly responsible for the physical changes observed in the study. But the results suggest that where you exercise matters, perhaps as much as the activity itself.

Source: http://www.health.com/fitness/feed

If Thigh Gap and Hip Dip Weren't Enough, Now Women Are Supposed to Worry About Having 'Arm Vaginas'

[brightcove:5305635850001 default]

I’m a woman with three vaginas. You probably are too. Let’s check: Go to a mirror, take off your top, and see if there is any skin where your inner arm meets your upper body.

If there is—and there should be, because you are a human female—then you have “arm vagina.” We can thank Jennifer Lawrence for coining this phrase in 2014. “I know I have armpit fat,” she confessed on the red carpet at that year's SAG awards. “It’s okay… it’s armpit vaginas, it’s awful!”

RELATED: These Are the Top Causes of Vagina Pain

Lawrence's blithe self-deprecation served as the birth canal for a butterfly effect, spiraling women into despair and body dysmorphia. One celebrity stylist has even declared that this apparently unsightly and completely natural fold of skin is among her female clients’ greatest insecurities.

Some have even turned to cosmetic surgery. A plastic surgeon named Hagen Schumacher (because of course his name is Hagen Schumacher) told a UK newspaper that patients seek “correction of this laxity.”

Laxity? First of all, let’s not put the word “laxity” near the word vagina. That’s never good. Second, Dr. Schumacher, how can our arms move up and down if there is not a little bit of “give” in the area?

RELATED: 13 Body-Positive Influencers You Should Follow on Instagram

If you’re like me, you didn’t even know you had arm vaginas. I personally have always thought one set of lady parts down below was enough, although it would have been nice to have a back-up vagina during and after childbirth. Now when I think of how handy my armpits are for holding stuff while my arms and hands are otherwise occupied, I’ll congratulate myself on doing my Kegels.

Ladies? Do we really not have enough going on, what with muffin tops, hip dips, thigh gap, underboob, and side boob that we needed to hit ourselves with arm vagina?

I’m not sure I even understand the dis. Are we now supposed to loathe our body parts for merely existing? Because arm vaginas don’t necessarily have to do with excess fat. There’s an actual muscle underlying—or in some cases entirely comprising—your arm vagina. It’s called the “teres minor.” It flexes. So if you’re someone who does a few planks now and then, don’t be surprised when someone says, “Whoa, have you been working out? Your upper body’s looking…vaginal!”

And is calling something a vagina an insult? My real vagina has come in pretty handy and has produced more things than my armpits ever have. I have a pretty deep cleft in my chin, and someone once told me it looked like a vagina chin. I took it as a compliment but only after asking him to call it “yonic.”

RELATED: Kim Kardashian Says She Has Body Dysmorphia—but What Does That Really Mean?

Look, naming things is powerful. It can lead to solutions. For example, “Hey dude, when you spread your legs on the train, pretending that your bald-and-wrinklies deserve their own seat, that’s called manspreading.”

But when you name something for which there is no solution (even if you’re the beloved, irreverent J. Law), you’re not helping. You’re not helping women at large when you diminish us into body parts—parts which invariably fall short of anatomically impossible standards.

There’s a culinary movement called “nose to tail” in which folks pride themselves on consuming all parts of a pig. I feel like women have created our own nose to tail movement, except rather than using all our parts, we abuse them—making ourselves sexist pigs in the process.

To get our best wellness tips delivered to you inbox, sign up for the Healthy Living newsletter

We’ve spent so much energy trying to keep predators and lawmakers out of the business of messing with our vaginas that the last thing we should be doing is identifying more of them on our bodies and attacking them ourselves.

And I’m sorry if I was the one who introduced you to the notion of arm vaginas. At least we aren’t expected to wax them.

Source: http://www.health.com/mind-body/feed