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среда, 10 мая 2017 г.

Is your iPod making you old? (And 6 other ageing enemies)

Feeling the effects of age? Forget smoking and sunbathing – there’s a new army of crinkle-culprits...

From niggling new aches and pains, to the wrinkle you're sure wasn't there yesterday, getting older is no fun. Fact.But we all know what ages us fast, right? No, it's not just a life of constant partying. Research has uncovered that culprits now include gadgets, health kicks, even 'miracle' creams.
"While genes play a role in how we age, lifestyle is a huge factor, too. Luckily, you can do something about that," says Dr Pixie McKenna from Channel 4's Embarrassing Bodies. Read on to find out what - then dust off your ID ready for the barman!
1: Ageing enemy:

Being so face fashionable

Yep, we're always leaving our sunnies in the park/office/pub, too - but buying a cheap pair to compensate could be a false economy as far as your eyes are concerned. "Many fashion sunglasses don't filter out the harmful ultraviolet rays that speed up the growth of eye diseases like cataracts," says Boots optometrist Carolyn Zweig. Not to mention the wrinkles from all that squinting

This season's wraparound specs - à la Sarah Jessica Parker - are perfect as they protect against harmful rays coming in through the sides, too. "Look for ones that filter both of the harmful tanning rays - UVA and UVB," advises Carolyn.
At full volume, MP3 players can reach 120 decibels - the same volume as a jet engine!

2: Ageing enemy:

Celeb-style workouts

You dutifully pound the park every morning to get a Teri Hatcher-style figure - but you could be adding years to your face. "Women take up running in the hope it'll make them look slimmer and younger, but too much jogging can strain skin," says diet and movement specialist Joanna Hall ( "The constant up and down motion pulls facial tissues, reducing elasticity and firmness."
Walk before you run! "Walking won't put your skin under the same pressure," says Joanna. Step out in a pair of new Reebok EasyTone Flip Flops, £45 ( Bouncy air pockets in the soles reduce the skin-sagging impact and improve muscle tone in your calves by up to 28 per cent.
3: Ageing enemy:

Your love of GaGa

Your quest to drown out fellow commuters with Poker Face puts you at risk of permanent and premature hearing damage. "In-ear headphones you get with MP3 players aren't always great quality, so you crank up the volume - but this can permanently damage hearing after 15 minutes," warns Emma Harrison of the Royal National Institute for Deaf People (RNID). Experts are calling for the maximum volume setting to be 85 decibels.
"Invest in a pair of noise-cancelling headphones (available at, which remove background sound so you don't need to turn the volume up as loud," recommends Emma. If you're worried about your hearing, take the RNID's online hearing check on its website to rate your ability to hear with background noise.
4: Ageing enemy:

Your gloomy outlook

Always double-checking you've been given the right change? Or likely to eye up your friend with a look of doubt when she offers you a compliment? It's time to loosen up, because not trusting people knocks years off your life expectancy. "Research shows that people who don't assume everyone's out to get them will live longer," says Phillip Hodson of the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy ( "By always being on guard, your body pumps stress hormones like adrenaline into your system to keep you alert, and this can take its toll on your heart. It's like constantly revving your engine and it will wear out."
Let your guard down. "If you're speaking to someone new, ask them lots of questions about their life," says Phillip. "This will shift the emphasis from you, so you won't feel defensive and suspicious."
5: Ageing enemy:

Crash dieting

Think ditching a couple of pounds will help you look younger? Have we got news for you. Research by Harley Street plastic surgeon Rajiv Grover found that the strain put on your body from crash dieting can cause an ageing spurt on your face. "Ditching meat, fish and eggs, which lots of dieters tend to do, can thin hair and make skin look old before its time," says Dr Pixie. "That's because they contain cell-boosting iron, which makes haemoglobin to carry oxygen to cells, and vitamin B12, a great cell regenerator. These are both essential for healthy skin and hair."
Ditch the 3pm chocolate fix. Sugar causes a process called glycation, where pesky sugar molecules attach to protein molecules (such as collagen, which is essential for plump, pert skin) and destroy them. The result is wrinkly, saggy skin. Nice.
6: Ageing enemy:

Making sex-cuses

OK, so we're not saying you need the sex drive of a Premiership footballer - but saying no to nookie could take its toll on your complexion. New research by Dr David Weeks, a neuropsychologist at Royal Edinburgh Hospital, has found that couples who are at it at least three times a week look around a decade younger than those who have sex less often. "Sex releases endorphins, which improves circulation to your skin and boosts your immune system - making you look younger and helping you to live longer," confirms Dr Pixie.
Get wed! If you're married this could lengthen your life expectancy by five years - experts believe the security of a relationship makes people less stressed.
7: Ageing enemy:

Your designer moisturiser

Many moisturisers contain sunscreen to protect against the ageing effects of UV rays - but cutting out the sun can age you, too.

"We need sunshine to make vitamin D, which protects us from certain illnesses. Not getting enough could make you prone to ones linked to old age, such as brittle bones," explains Dr David Grimes, a consultant physician at Royal Blackburn Hospital. "Be careful, but try to get five to 10 minutes a day in summer without wearing sunscreen."
Keep wrinkles at bay with the new Slendertone Face (£300,, which emits pulses of electric current that tone droopy face muscles. After 12 weeks, 94 per cent of testers had firmer skin*.

вторник, 9 мая 2017 г.

Why big thighs save lives

And 5 other reasons to love your wobbly bits!

Ditch those too big, too small or too chunky thoughts - those bits come with health benefits, too!
Next time you're giving that lucky cow with the Kelly Brook cleavage and Elle Macpherson pins -the evil eye - stop! Turns out our 'eww' areas (yes, even your jigglier-than-J-Lo bum!) could help us live a longer, healthier life. British women think 36 bad thoughts about their bodies a day (with noses and boobs topping the loathe list), according to a recent experiment by ITV's Tonight programme. But, health expert Dr Kem Thompson says: "If there's a part of your body that can't be changed by healthy lifestyle habits, chances are you need that part just as it is." So it's time to get the body bits you hide back on side...
1: Health hero - Barely B-cup boobs

So your bust consists of more padding than anything else? Well, your modest Keira Knightley-sized assets are actually a health benefit. Canadian researchers have found that those with D-cups or larger at 20 years old were one and a half times more likely to develop type 2 diabetes later on in life than their flat-chested mates. Experts don't know exactly why, but breast fat is thought to release hormones that make us resistant to the sugar-balancing hormone, insulin. Small boobs also mean you're less likely to suffer aches and pains, too. "Large breasts pull down on the middle of the back, which can cause headaches, backache and neck pain," says physiotherapist Sammy Margo. "If you're big busted, try swimming to firm the muscles that support your breasts."
2: Health hero - Super-sized thighs

You may have palpitations at the mere mention of the words 'hot' and 'pants', but when it comes to lowering your risk of heart disease, being more Beyoncé than Paris Hilton is good news. "Fat on your thighs and hips locks in harmful fatty acids that would otherwise collect around organs, such as your heart, which increases your risk of having a heart attack," says Dr Konstantinos Manolopoulos from the Oxford Centre for Diabetes, Endocrinology and Metabolism. Whatever your thigh size, taking quick bursts of exercise before mealtimes reduces your amount of unhealthy fats. Try taking a 10-minute speedy walk three times a day.
3: Health hero - Lots of moles

You might hate them, but it's time to think of your moles as friends not foes! According to research by King's College London, ladies with 100 or more moles have super-long telomeres. These are DNA structures that stop chromosomes fraying and breaking down - so the longer your telomeres, the slower you'll age. "It could mean fewer age-related diseases, such as heart disease and osteoporosis," says Dr Veronique Bataille, who worked on the trial. But if you're lacking in moles, you're not doomed to premature wrinkling. Doing 15 minutes of vigorous exercise every day keeps telomeres long and healthy. If you notice any changes in your moles, see your GP.
4: Health hero - Being a mini me

You had to endure short-arse taunts at school, but who's laughing now, eh? Petite ladies (if you're under 5ft 6in, that's you) have up to 30 per cent lower risk of skin cancer than taller girls, according to experts at London's St Thomas' Hospital. It's not known why, but science bods believe there's a link between growth hormones and cancers. Until it's proven, eat more garlic - it blocks lipid peroxide, which triggers skin cancer growth*.
5: Health hero - A pearly white complexion

Pale skin reduces your risk of osteoporosis, breast cancer, multiple sclerosis and infertility. These occur less in people rich in vitamin D, and pale skin has higher levels than darker skin.
"We produce vitamin D from UV sunlight, but melanin - which gives dark skin its colour - blocks UV light," says Dr Helen Cooper of Birmingham University.

6: Health hero - Chunky calves

French scientists have proved that people whose calves are large in relation to the rest of their body have less artery-furring than those with leaner limbs, possibly because calf fat is good at removing nasty fats from the bloodstream, stopping them from doing any harm. That doesn't just help your heart; atherosclerosis (as the furring is known) has also been linked to an increased risk of Alzheimer's disease. If you're still determined to slim your pins, low-carb diet plans, such as the new Atkins diet, have been found to reverse artery clogging by five per cent after two years**.

The capsule curve-loving wardrobe

How to ace all your assets:
1) Slim thighs with tailored trousers: Pleats flatter larger thighs. Trousers, £35, Stone Paper Bags at Oli.
2) Boost small boobs with frills: Give yourself a killer cleavage with flouncy frills and a deep neckline. Top, £25, A Wear.
3) Beautify your bum with an A-line skirt: This shape skims hips and bums while cinching in waists. Skirt, £22, Next.
4) Smooth out chunky calves with a jumpsuit: Skims calves and ankles so they look slimmer. Jumpsuit, £38, Dorothy Perkins.
5) Look taller with a high waist: Petites look great in raised waists as they lengthen legs. Dress, £25, Be Beau at Matalan.

понедельник, 8 мая 2017 г.

Super-size your exercise! Want to maximise your workout in half the time?

Want to maximise your workout in half the time? Lose weight without realising? Course you do...

Call us lazy, but the problem with working out is that it's just, well, a lot of hard work! If only there were simple ways to revamp your shape without having to put in huge amounts of nearly-kill-yourself effort... Well, hello regime-dreams! "If you want to improve your body through exercise it's about working smarter, not harder and certainly not for longer," explains personal trainer Daniel Newman. Shake up your usual routine with the power of these small changes and watch those muscles tone up and the pounds drop off.
1 Burn fat. Faster!

No one has the time - or the inclination - to spend ages in the gym (there are far more less-sweaty things to be doing), and now it seems shortening your sesh can make you fitter, not fatter. Professor Jan Helgerud from the Norwegian University Of Science And Technology has discovered that working out in quick bursts at max effort is as effective as a non-stop low-intensity routine that takes twice the time. "The intense bursts of exercise encourage your body to build a type of muscle fibre that uses up oxygen and fat faster, burning extra calories in the process," explains Professor Helgerud. Try alternating four, four-minute bursts of running at maximum effort with three-minute recovery periods at a lower intensity (time to talk about last night's 'Enders). Add a low-intensity six-minute warm-up and cool-down, and you'll have spent just 30 minutes exercising but burned the same amount of flab as an hour-long sesh.
2. Stop the weights worry

Time to overcome your fear of the weights section - it's not going to turn you into an oiled-up meat-head, it'll actually do the opposite. "Using weights encourages your body to turn fat into muscle and, for every pound of muscle you gain, your body uses around 50 extra calories a day, because active muscle needs more fuel than fat cells," explains Daniel. In fact, researchers at Tufts University in the US found that using weights boosts metabolism by 15 per cent, so you'll still burn energy after your workout, even while you're on the sofa reading this.
3. Exercise al fresco

Swapping the stuffy gym for your local park not only means no more sweaty splashback from that beefy bloke on the cross-trainer, but you'll burn five per cent more calories, too. According to Phil Hayes, an exercise physiologist at Northumbria University, the outdoor combination of wind resistance and uneven ground means your muscles work harder than they do on a treadmill, using up to 300 extra calories during a one-hour run. Definitely worth getting blustered around for.
4. Sup to slim

A cool water might not have the same ring to it as a cold beer, but taking the tap stuff super-cold burns off 75 extra calories a day (shame the same isn't true for a G&T). It's all down to how hard your body has to work to consume it, and the colder, the better. "Your body uses one calorie to heat a litre of water by one degree, so heating a litre of iced water (zero degrees) to body temperature uses 37 calories - and double that for your recommended two litres," explains Professor Mike Gleeson from Loughborough University. Drink at least 500ml before your workout as being dehydrated will halve your stamina.
5. Boost your burn

Fed up with sacrificing your post-work pub sessions for gym workouts? While it might sound tough, switching your snooze off for an early-morning run around the park instead of an evening one burns 100 extra calories - even if you spend the rest of the day sat on your butt. How? It's because exercise boosts your metabolic rate (the speed at which your body uses calories) for almost 20 hours afterwards, so if you're on the go for the rest of the day, you'll burn more calories than if you just crawl into bed in the evening. "Exercising before 9am for an hour boosts metabolic rate by 13 per cent for the first three hours, then four per cent for the following 16, which could add up to an extra 100 calories burnt off by the end of the day," explains online personal trainer James Griffiths.*
6. Belt up

Seems the humble belt works in fashion and fitness. OK, so it might not look as good as your favourite Topshop skinny, but wearing a weighted belt can help you shift a muffin top while you walk. "For every 1kg of weight carried over 1km, your body needs one calorie," explains Professor Gleeson. It might not sound like very much, but simply pull on a 10kg belt for a 30-minute brisk walk (try it on your way to work) and you could burn an extra 150 calories in one week (that's the three jaffa cakes you end up scoffing when you're feeling bored, FYI). Try the Adjustable Waist Belt, £39.99,
7. Max your motivation

You don't need us to tell you that getting hot and sweaty with an international rap-star-cum-sex-god would be good for you. Sadly we can't whisk him into your bed, but putting him on your iPod will help keep your motivation levels up. Experts at Brunel University have discovered that runners listening to tunes with beats that matched their heartbeats were distracted into working out for 15 per cent longer without even realising. Good warm-up tunes are around 80-125 bpm, like Kylie's All The Lovers; then build up to 130-150 bpm, with songs such as Usher's OMG. Work out to your perfect playlist by downloading the BPM Analyzer (, which is a free app that calculates the BPM of your fave tunes in seconds.

воскресенье, 7 мая 2017 г.

The World Cup Workout!

Look as hot as an England pro with this shape-up plan from ex-Spurs player Paul Ellis.

Buns of steel. Thighs that could crack a walnut if you need one reason to watch the World Cup it's for the beauty that is the players' bodies. But as much as we admire their toned physiques, there's a part of us that's a bit, well, jealous. If only we could look as foxy in shorts as them but wait - now we can!
We've called in a pro-in-the-know to get you footie fit in just two weeks. "Every footballer trains for a game with a full body workout," explains Paul Ellis, 28, a former Spurs and Wales player who now trains Joe and Carly Cole, Michael Carrick and he helped Jessie Wallace shed 2st.
"My exclusive workout for Fabulous replicates the training I did as a pro-footballer," he says. "It only takes 20 minutes every other morning (the best time of day to kick-start your metabolism) - and by the time our lads kick off you'll be a dress (or shorts!) size slimmer." Here, in Paul's capable hands, writer Helen Bownass gives his workout a whirl
1. The stomach shrinker

What is it? "These sit-and-throw sit-ups work harder than a crunch," says Paul.
Do it: Lie on your back with your knees bent and your stomach taut, then sit halfway up. You'll need a helper to stand a metre away and throw the ball to you. Catch it and lie back, keeping your stomach taut, and lift the ball over your head. Lift back up, exhale and throw the ball back. Do 20, working up to 30.
2.The bingo-wing blitzer

What is it? "This half-press-up move is probably the toughest in the workout, but worth it for defined upper arms," says Paul.
Do it: Put your knees on the floor, bend your legs behind you and push your arms out in front of you, shoulder-width apart. With a ball under one hand, push your body up and down, keeping your abs taut, working from the elbows. Do this 10 times on each side.
3.The butt booster
The secret to Carly Cole's bum!

What is it? "Nothing boosts problem areas such as butts and thighs like backward lunges -- it's how Carly Cole got such a great bum," says Paul.
Do it: Place your feet hip-width apart. Hold a football tight to your chest to help you clench everything in, then take a large step backwards with one leg, bending your knee down towards the floor. Hold for a couple of seconds, then tense your stomach and step back to the start position. Do 15 sets on each leg.
If you fancy more of a challenge, swing the ball upwards and over your head as you bend. Increase to 30 repetitions on each leg.
4.The thigh trimmer

What is it? "Squats are great for an all-over leg workout, from your calves to hamstrings and quads," says Paul.
Do it: From a standing position (and holding the ball for extra tension), bend your knees and lower your body down as if to sit on a chair- stick that bum out! Then clench everything tightly and snap back up. Repeat 15-20 times.
5. The core cruncher

What is it? "The balance plank is an ab-solute marvel," Paul says.
Do it: Lie flat on your stomach with ankles together and forearms on the floor in front of you. Lift yourself up on your toes and arms keeping your back flat. Get someone to balance a football on your back - then hold the 'plank' position for 30 seconds, working up to 1 minute.
6. The lower-leg honer

What is it? "These pin-loving side jumps are great for a cardio workout," Paul promises.
Do it: Place a ball or cone on the floor. Jump over the top, moving from left to right, and keep jumping back and forth for one minute. Put three markers in a row and jump diagonally forwards and back. "Carly Cole's got so good at these she can text while she's at it!"
7. The co-ordination cure

What is it? "Sprinting between two cones boosts your speed and co-ordination and tones up those leg muscles," says Paul.
Do it: Put down two markers 10 metres apart and sprint between them, bending down to touch them as you pass. Start with three, 30-second sprinting sessions, build up to one minute with the markers 20 metres apart.
8. The all-over toner

What is it? "These jumps and kicks are a perfect workout finish," Paul says.
Do it: With hands behind you, kick your heels back to touch them. Repeat for 30 seconds. Then with arms out in front, jog on the spot, bringing your knees up to meet them for 30 seconds. Finish with 30 seconds of high star jumps. Add 10 seconds to each exercise a day.

Helen reveals all...
"I'm fit - I cycle to work and go to the gym, but I avoid workouts where I have to repeat things or get shouted at, so I was ready to loathe Paul's session. But I didn't - being trained by a hunk was a motivator. I'll keep it up till June 11, when I can watch someone else put in the hard work."

суббота, 6 мая 2017 г.

9 Diet Tweakments

Make these blink-and-you’ll-miss-’em diet changes and drop a dress size without realising

Fact: most of us don't get fat eating hundreds of calories for a few weeks. Instead, weight gain creeps up slowly, with studies* revealing it can be attributed to eating as little as 50 extra calories each day - think nibbling a Jaffa Cake while the kettle boils. But fret not, the good news is that losing the added weight can be easy, too.
"When you integrate a small change into your diet it doesn't disrupt your life, it just modifies it in a tiny way," explains Dr James Hill, advisor to the American Small Changes Movement - an organisation that aims to get people to dump fad diets and focus on little changes to drop the pounds. "You don't notice a difference, but done day in, day out, the results of a small change really add up."
Small changes = smaller bikini, so here's how to tweak, like, now!

1.Take your time
Forget chewing your food till it's mushy. It might aid digestion, but Marco Morgenstern, the author of a New Zealand study, says it's a killer for weight loss. "The more that starchier foods like cereal or bread are chewed, the faster they're digested - and fast digestion triggers a rise in blood sugar," says Morgenstern. After a sugar rush comes a trip to the biscuit tin, as the sugar triggers cravings. Chew moderately and you digest up to three times slower, creating a gradual sugar rise that won't trigger cravings. Cut out the chocolate you would have eaten and lose up to 6lb in three months.

2.Stop the sugar
Dr Hill says sugar as a major weight-loss player. You can save 100 calories by cutting out those 6tsp a day you use in tea and on cereal. Instead, swap to natural sweetener xylitol, which is made from tree bark. "Xylitol is associated with reduced tooth decay as it seems to stop bacteria sticking to the teeth," says nutritionist Antony Haynes.

3.Get up, get on up!
Always barging on to the bus to get your bum on that last seat? Chill. Studies from the Pennington Biomedical Research Center in the US have found that women who are 'naturally' thin stand for roughly two hours more a day than others. Why? More muscles are engaged when you stand, so you burn more calories - 100 an hour. Dr James Levine, author of Move A Little, Lose A Lot (Three Rivers Press, £9.08), advises you to get up on your feet for 10 minutes every hour. Do that each working day and that's 5lb gone in just six months.

4.Leave three bites behind
You may have been told to clear your plate as a child, but leaving just three bites behind will save precious calories. Try it with the average fast-food burger and you'll save100 calories a time. "Leaving food will help you become more aware of the quantities you're really eating," says nutritionist Mary Strugar (

5.Get your afternoon oats
This is just one secret of new book The Dukan Diet (Hodder & Stoughton, £12.99). "When oats reach the stomach they swell, making you feel fuller for longer," says Dr Pierre Dukan. Eating two Nairns Oatcakes instead of a chocolate bar will save 170 calories, which could help you lose 1/3lb a week.

6.Have a mushroom Monday
When a team of researchers from the Johns Hopkins Weight Management Center in the US asked people to swap meat in just one of their daily meals for mushrooms for four consecutive days, they found the calorie savings added up to a whopping 420 calories less a day! If you can't live without meat for that long, then quitting it for one meal, once a week, could help you lose up to 6lb in a year.

7.Forfeit the fizz
Love a (non) Diet Coke break? Whether yours brings a hot man with it or not, if you sup one less fizzy drink a day (based on a 250ml glass - and no, not champagne!) you can save around 105 calories - and therefore lose a pound every 33 days. And that's just the start of the new, slimmer you. Researchers from Johns Hopkins University in the US say that because liquid calories are less filling, you're more likely to crave food after fizz. Dump it altogether and you can say bye-bye to post-thirst cookie cravings. Huzzah!

8.Eat your steak rare
It's BBQ season - but this summer switch to eating your steaks rare rather than well done, as it will help your body burn more calories. Why? "Meat contains collagen fibres that our body finds hard to break down in their raw state, so we expend more energy eating it, meaning more weight loss. Cooking softens fibres so you use less energy eating it," explains Dr Stephen Secor from the University of Alabama.

9.Draw the curtains
Got a tubby tummy? Weight around the middle is linked to high levels of the stress hormone cortisol, which helps regulate blood sugar. Sunlight naturally increases cortisol production in your body, and too much exposure can send blood sugar levels soaring, causing you to pile on the pounds. Draw your curtains and try to get an early night, since sleeping more can help to encourage weight loss too - ever reached for a choccie bar when you're tired? In one trial, women who got at least 7.5 hours' sleep a night lost an average of 10lb in 10 weeks.
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