Grab your gym clothes and walking shoes because your friend is probably right. While there haven't been many studies on exercise protecting against infections, the few that exist all suggest it does.

The biggest study on this, done by Harvard Medical School, was published in JAMA Network Open in February 2024.

The study tracked almost 62,000 adults aged 45 and above from before the COVID pandemic started in early 2020 until the end of 2022. Researchers gathered information on factors like chronic diseases, income levels, and lifestyle habits that might affect the risk of infection. They also kept an eye on who got COVID-19 and how severe their symptoms were.

Out of all the participants, 69% were considered "sufficiently active," meaning they did moderate to vigorous exercise for at least 150 minutes every week. Another 11% were "insufficiently active," and 20% didn't exercise at all.

The results showed that those who kept up with enough physical activity were 10% less likely to get COVID-19 and 27% less likely to be hospitalized because of the virus compared to those who didn't exercise. This protective effect was especially clear among women. Interestingly, people who exercised a little (but not enough to meet the recommended amount) didn't see much better results than those who didn't exercise at all. These findings suggest that a good amount of physical activity is needed to protect against COVID-19.

Do you need a little extra push to increase your daily steps? According to a study published online on April 7, 2024, by Circulation, reminders or rewards might help. In the study, researchers asked over a thousand people (average age 67) to wear activity trackers, walk daily, and set step goals. They were then randomly placed into one of four groups, each receiving different encouragement to exercise: the chance to win game points, earn money, get both money and game points, or receive a daily text message with their previous day's step count. After one year, all groups increased their daily steps by at least 1,500.

In contrast to the message-only group, participants in the money or game points groups walked over 500 more steps daily, while those in the combined incentives group walked nearly 900 more steps daily. Would you like to give this a try at home? Use a walking app that gives game points and incentives, and set a phone reminder to work out.

Photo by Boys in Bristol Photography

12 Tips to help you lose weight by walking

Without a gym membership, walking is an excellent way to get exercise and lose weight. It's simple to fit into your everyday schedule and used for talking with friends or listening to music while strolling. These easy suggestions will help you shed extra pounds.

Be consistent.

For weight loss to progress, consistency is essential. Make it a point to fit in a quick walk each day.

Set goals

Establish clear objectives for your walking regimen, such as a daily step total or a particular distance to cover.

Change the terrain and your speed.

To put your body to the test and burn more calories, vary your walking pace and the terrain you choose, such as hills or sand.

Use technology

Apps on your phone or wearable devices like fitness trackers can help you monitor your progress and maintain motivation.

The classic sit-up is a popular workout move. Whether you saw a Rocky training montage or learned how to perform the exercise in gym class, you've undoubtedly done numerous sets of it in an effort to get washboard abs over the years.

When the mood strikes, you can perform sit-ups almost anywhere on the floor, and you can perform a lot of them because the exercise only requires your bodyweight. How do you know when to give up, particularly if you're the kind of person who enjoys pushing the boundaries to achieve your objectives? Is there an optimal number of sit-ups you can complete in a day, or is it primarily based on your level of fatigue tolerance? This is the lowdown on sit-ups.

Just how many sit-ups a day are recommended?

Although everyone has different objectives, levels of fitness, and situations, most people should aim to complete 40 sit-ups per day, according to Men's Health fitness director Ebenezer Samuel, C.S.C.S. Even though that might not seem like a lot of repetitions—especially if your ultimate goal is to develop a six-pack of abs—he clarifies that quality always comes before quantity. Samuel says, "Those who are abs users will tell you to slow down on the way down."

'You end up curling up and laying back down really quickly if you try to bang out 50, 60, or 100 reps.' Put another way, it's not worth the compromises you'll probably have to make in order to complete a significant number of reps.

Kurt Ellis, C.S.C.S., owner and coach at Beyond Numbers Performance, says that age and general health and fitness level would also be taken into consideration when figuring out how many sit-ups are too many. Keep in mind that performing a lot of sit-ups may result in poor form, compensations in the movement pattern, and overuse injuries, says Ellis. Translation: Don't aim for a world record if you want better outcomes and long-term health.

How to Perform a Sit-Up Correctly

Speaking of bad form, analyzing your sit-up form is a necessary part of paying attention to quality reps. To execute a conventional sit-up:

Start by lying on your back with your feet flat on the floor and your knees bent. In order to prevent pulling on your head and neck when you sit up, Ellis advises keeping your hands by your sides, palms facing up, as opposed to behind the neck.

Exhale as you raise your upper body toward your knees while using your core.

Breathe in, then slowly lower your upper body while keeping your composure.

Important Sit-Up Form Advice

Take your time.

Take care not to strain your neck when curling up.

Elbows should be spread wide if hands are behind the head.

Keep your hands extended throughout the movement if they are in front.

Imagine removing each spinal vertebrae from the ground one at a time.

Do you want a body that is stronger, faster, and healthier? Toning your body is about more than just losing weight; it's about having more energy, a clearer mind, and the confidence that comes from knowing you're in the best form you can be. Tone your body by eating and drinking healthily, exercising, and cleansing your body and mind.

Maintaining Healthy Eating and Drinking Habits

1 Eat more vegetables than you believe you require. You've heard that you should eat your vegetables; now is the time to put this advice into action. Vegetables give your body important vitamins, help digestion, provide extra hydration, and provide nutrients without consuming too many calories. Eating vegetables at every meal will help you look toned faster.
  • Make a salad or cook green vegetables as the main course of each meal. Eating plenty of leafy greens such as dandelion greens, spinach, kale, collard greens, mustard greens, broccoli, or Brussels sprouts will fill you up while also nourishing your body with vitamins A, C, and K.
  • Consume a variety of other vegetables such as sweet potatoes, carrots, cauliflower, squash, green beans, cabbage, onions, and so on on a regular basis. Eat vegetables when they are in season since they are the most nutritious.
  • A vegetable breakfast smoothie is a great way to start the day. Instead of pancakes and bacon, make a robust green smoothie with almond milk, a couple handfuls of spinach or kale, and a kiwi or banana. Replace regular snacks with a smoothie of raw carrots, broccoli, or another vegetable.
2 Nourish your body with fruit. Eating whole fruits is another excellent way to provide your body with the nutrients, water, and fiber it requires to begin looking more toned. Try to eat several servings of fruit every day, preferably when they are in the season where you live.
  • Instead of buying fruit juice, eat full fruits such as berries, bananas, apples, pears, oranges, and melons. Eating fruit whole provides the fiber advantage; without it, you wind up taking too much fructose, the type of sugar present in the fruit.
  • Replace traditional sweets with fruit salads or try healthy fruit-based desserts. Try this really simple dish for a delightful, light spin on ice cream: freeze a banana solid, then place it in a food processor or blender and whip until creamy. The consistency will be similar to ice cream or custard.
3 Select lean proteins. To achieve muscular tone, you must feed your body a lot of lean protein. Meat contains protein, but vegetables, legumes, and nuts also contain it.
  • Eat lots of fish. Fish contains all of the protein your body needs, as well as important fatty acids that help your body stay strong and lean.
  • Eat beans and tofu. If you're a vegetarian, you can get your protein from chickpeas, black beans, fava beans, and other legumes. Tofu is another healthy option. 
  • Eat red meat in moderation. Steaks, hamburgers, bacon, and other beef and pork products are great on occasion, but they should not constitute the majority of your everyday diet if you want to obtain a toned body.
4 Remember to include fats and grains. A well-balanced diet also includes healthy fats that improve organ and skin health, as well as grains that provide fiber and minerals to your body.

  • Instead of processed flours, choose whole grains such as steel-cut oats, barley, buckwheat, and quinoa.
  • A healthy diet should include nuts, avocados, olive oil, grapeseed oil, and other healthy oils.

There’s a mini-chemistry lab in every cell of us, transforming food into fuel around the clock. It will affect our energy, weight, and even mood. Think of ourselves as cars. Cars run on gasoline, and we run on calories, i.e., the unit of energy. Even while sleeping, we’re also burning calories.

Most ladies who want to slim down will think about fat, carbohydrates, energy, and how to add an exercise plan to their schedule. But many have this confusion: why can’t I lose weight even though I plan exercise and control the amount of food? In fact, at this time, you need to have a certain understanding of metabolism because it is a matter of weight loss. Today, we are going to look at how to boost it and lose weight effectively. Here are some tips.
Interval exercises
For a simple example, you can walk for 2 minutes and then run or walk briskly for 1 minute instead of walking at a constant speed. Repeating the above method of walking for 20–30 minutes can help you improve your metabolism and efficiently burn fat. High-intensity interval training (HIIT) works on the same principle: give the body a high intensity of stimulation in a short time to achieve the effect of high-efficiency fat burning.
Healthy fat intake
Some people think they have to avoid fat intake to lose weight, but that’s terribly wrong. You need to eat healthy fat, such as omega-3 and unsaturated fatty acids, which can boost your metabolism while eating. You can absorb these healthy fats in nuts, fish, some olives, and so on.
Eat high-protein food.
Protein plays an important role in losing fat. First, it increases your metabolic rate because your body needs to consume extra energy to digest it. Second, it can maintain and help your muscles grow, and muscles will burn much more calories than fat. Finally, eating high-protein foods can increase your satiety and help you reduce your calorie intake. High-protein foods come mainly from meat, such as beef, lamb, and chicken, as well as eggs, soy products, and so on. Eating multiple small meals can also boost metabolism compared to three larger meals.
Eat more vegetables.
Vegetables such as spinach, purple cabbage, and broccoli can boost your metabolism because they may aid digestion. Black vegetables are rich in iron, which is very important for women and can increase the number of red blood cells in the blood to help the body transport nutrients.
Eat some spicy food.
Studies have shown that spicy foods can increase the body's level of fat burning. The spicy food contains capsaicin, which may increase body temperature to burn fat. But you should eat in moderation because eating too much spicy food may hurt your stomach.

Eat apples
Apples are rich in vitamins and dietary fiber, which can help boost metabolism and reduce the sense of hunger. It can also aid digestion between two meals.
Drink green tea.
Green tea contains tea polyphenols, which can help boost metabolism. Besides, green tea can also enhance its antioxidant abilities and strengthen its defenses against cancer.
Drink more water.
By increasing the amount of water you drink, you can increase your metabolic rate by up to 30%. According to your own situation, you must drink more than 2 liters of water per day. If you don’t like pure water, add lemon or lemon juice to it.

Avoid eating before bedtime.
Your metabolism slows down at night and doesn’t burn as many calories as during the day, so the calories you absorb during this period are easily converted to fat.
Reduce stress
When you’re stressed out, it’s hard for the body to burn fat. Try to reduce your stress levels and relax your mind with relaxation techniques and regular exercise to dissolve fat!
Promise enough sleep.
Lack of sleep will lead to endocrine disorders and slow down your metabolism. This is not a good thing. At the same time, it will increase your desire for high-calorie foods.
Go to the doctor.
If the above tips don’t work for you, you’d better go to the doctor. The situation of each person’s metabolism is much more complicated than controlling weight. Your family medical history, thyroid, hormones, and so on are all possible influences. If you can’t tell for yourselves, go to the doctor for a scientific evaluation of your body!
Our desire to hibernate and stay at home, feeling cozy in the middle of winter, is well expected. A brisk hike in the cool, fresh air is the perfect remedy for being cooped up indoors.

The winter season is usually bleak, peaceful, and breathtaking. There might be fewer people on the trail, which means you could see more wildlife. Additionally, according to Dr. Stuart Harris, head of Massachusetts General Hospital's Division of Wilderness Medicine, it's a fantastic chance to interact with the changing seasons and the living world around us. However, he points out that a multi-mile hike in difficult, icy conditions is very different from hiking in warm weather and calls for careful attention to safety and health. Before you go winter hiking, be aware of the following:

How to enjoy winter hiking safely

Before going on winter hiking, always put safety first.

When hiking in the winter, you need a totally different strategy, which is different from hiking during the summer season, and this is because the terrain is a little harder. However, it allows us to fully engage with the living environment around us. It is a part of our long history.

Prioritizing safety is very important, especially when traveling with people of varying ages and skill levels, such as elderly relatives or young children. For everyone to have fun and stay safe, it's important to have the right equipment and mindset.

How to Plan and Prepare for Winter Hikes

Make sure you are well-prepared ahead of time, particularly if you will be going with individuals of varying levels of fitness. Carefully prepare your itinerary.

Elderly or very young people are more susceptible to freezing temperatures, and hiking in the winter can be more physically demanding. Winter conditions can be harder on the heart than a perfectly-temperatured day," explains Harris. Consider the physical limitations of each member of your group and allow them to guide your actions. The goal of the exercise is to have fun, not to punish yourself.

Before setting out for hiking:

Dr. Harris suggests that you plan your route in terms of knowing the distance, height, and route. You should also review the local forecast for the hiking area and consider factors like wind speed and chill. The weather can change drastically in an hour, especially at higher elevations, so be aware of what to expect in terms of temperature and precipitation.

Make sure you know if you'll have access to emergency cell coverage if anything goes wrong.
Never go hiking without sharing your plans with someone. This is extremely important. If you are missing something or have an injury that affects you during your hike, the team can give you an idea of where to start looking. Fill out trailhead registers so park rangers will also know you're on the trail in case of an emergency.

Effective Strategies for a Healthier You

As we step into a new year, many of us are determined to prioritize our health and make positive changes. One common goal that tops the list is losing weight. However, with countless fad diets and conflicting information available, it's crucial to approach weight loss with a sustainable and science-backed approach. In this article, we will guide you through the most effective strategies to help you shed those extra pounds and achieve a healthier, happier you in 2024.

1. Set Realistic Goals:

Begin your weight loss journey by setting realistic and achievable goals. Avoid setting unrealistic expectations that could lead to disappointment or frustration. Consult with a healthcare professional or a registered dietitian who can help you set personalized and attainable targets based on your current health, body composition, and lifestyle.

2. Adopt a Balanced and Nutritious Diet:

Focus on making sustainable changes to your eating habits rather than following restrictive diets. Incorporate a balanced mix of macronutrients, including lean proteins, healthy fats, and complex carbohydrates. Fill your plate with colorful fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and lean protein sources. Prioritize portion control and mindful eating to avoid overeating.

3. Hydration is Key:

Don't underestimate the power of staying hydrated. Drinking an adequate amount of water not only helps curb hunger pangs but also improves digestion, boosts metabolism, and supports overall well-being. Aim to drink at least 8 cups (64 ounces) of water per day and reduce your consumption of sugary beverages.

4. Regular Exercise Routine:

Engage in a regular exercise routine tailored to your fitness level and preferences. Incorporate a mix of cardiovascular exercises, such as jogging, swimming, or cycling, along with strength training exercises to build lean muscle mass. Find activities you enjoy to make exercise a sustainable part of your lifestyle.

5. Prioritize Quality Sleep:

Sleep plays a crucial role in weight management. Aim for 7-9 hours of quality sleep each night to support hormonal balance, reduce cravings, and maintain energy levels. Establish a consistent sleep schedule, create a calming bedtime routine, and create a sleep-friendly environment to optimize your rest.

This practice helps you keep your balance and works the muscles on the inside and outside of your thighs. Not only that, but it teaches your body to move forward and backward, not just back and forth. Start by standing straight up with your arms at your sides and your feet together. Moving: Keep your right foot still and take a big step to the side with your left foot. Put most of your weight on your left leg as soon as your left foot hits the ground. Then, lean forward at the hips and bend your left knee to lower into a lunge. Hold on to your left thigh with your hands, and keep your right leg straight. To get back up, press with your left foot, shift your weight to your right foot, and lift your left knee to hip level. As soon as you feel stable, take another step out with your left leg to do another lunge. Keep going for 30 seconds. Do the steps again, this time moving to the right for 30 seconds.

Some tips and tricks:

During the move, keep your back straight (neither arched nor bowed), your shoulders back and down, and your abs tight.

When you lunge, don't let your knee go further forward than your toes.

What Is Kombucha?

Kombucha is a fermented tea beverage that has grown in popularity. Fermentation happens when microbes such as yeast and bacteria break down carbohydrates into simpler molecules. Beer, wine, bread, kimchi, yogurt, and, of course, kombucha are all produced using this method.

You can buy it in a bottle in a variety of flavors at most grocery shops or create your own at home. Aside from its wonderfully acidic flavor, kombucha has health advantages and is high in bacteria and antioxidants.
Kombucha is manufactured from a symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast (SCOBY), which is also known as the "mother," and is similar to the "mother" found in vinegar. The SCOBY is added to brewed black or green tea with sugar, fermentation occurs, and kombucha tea is created! While homemade kombucha isn't often carbonated, many store-bought versions do for a fizzy soda pop-like feel.

Kombucha was first used for its medicinal benefits in Northeast China circa 200 B.C. Kombucha gained popularity and expanded throughout Russia, Eastern Europe, and Germany before arriving in the United States in the early twenty-first century. Kombucha is now available at practically every grocery shop!

5 Kombucha Health Benefits
The health advantages of kombucha are mostly attributable to fermentation, which results in a probiotic-rich beverage. Kombucha's health advantages originate from the fact that it is a tea-based beverage. While kombucha may be brewed with any caffeinated tea, including white, black, oolong, or green tea, research indicates that green tea kombucha provides the most advantages.

The evidence-based health advantages of consuming kombucha are listed below.

1. High in Probiotics
Kombucha, like many fermented foods, is high in probiotics.1 Probiotics are bacteria and yeasts that, when taken, provide health advantages. Consuming probiotic-rich foods like kombucha, kimchi, sauerkraut, and sourdough might help promote microbial diversity in your gut and general gut health. Gut health is important because it affects immune health; in fact, 70 to 80% of immune cells dwell in the gut. A healthy stomach also promotes regular bowel movements, digestion, cognitive function, and immunological health.

2. High in antioxidants
Green tea kombucha is high in antioxidant molecules known as polyphenols, which are prevalent in green tea. Green tea use may help minimize the risk of chronic illness. Green tea may also improve cognitive function, assist control blood sugar levels, and aid in fat burning.

3. Promotes Heart Health
Green tea beverages, such as kombucha, have been demonstrated to reduce the risk of heart disease. Researchers believe this is due to green tea's antioxidant components.

4. Aids in the reduction of blood sugar levels
Green tea has also been demonstrated to help regulate blood sugar levels. However, because some kombuchas include a lot of sugar, read the nutrition label and pick a kombucha that has no sugar added after fermentation.

5. Helps with Metabolic Function
Green tea includes epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG). EGCG is a potent antioxidant that combats free radical damage. EGCG also has anti-inflammatory effects and may aid in the suppression of pro-inflammatory substances in the body.

Side effects of Kombucha
Kombucha has grown in popularity as a healthy beverage alternative. While Kombucha is more healthful than high-sugar drinks, the fermenting process results in caffeine, sugar, and trace levels of alcohol. Keep these warnings in mind, and drink kombucha in moderation.

Sugar content is high.
Some store-bought kombuchas may include a lot of sugar, depending on the brand. To select a kombucha with low added sugar, always check the ingredient list and nutrition data panel.

Mold and Pathogenic Bacteria
Proper fermentation and sanitation are critical for preventing hazardous bacterial development, especially in homemade kombucha. To limit the possibility of mold or other hazardous bacteria development, properly sanitize all glassware, wash your hands often, and sterilize your workplace.

The alcohol content
As a result of fermentation, kombucha naturally includes alcohol. Because most store-bought kombucha contains.5% alcohol or less, it may be advertised as a non-alcoholic beverage. Traditional beer has roughly 4.5% alcohol by volume.

To find out how much alcohol is in the kombucha you're drinking, always read the ingredient list. Also, bear in mind that some manufacturers purposefully create kombucha with a greater alcohol content as an alternative to beer.

Homemade kombucha also contains a trace of alcohol, ranging from 1% to 2.5% by volume.

Those suffering from IBS or other digestive difficulties should restrict their kombucha use since additional fruit juice and carbonation can aggravate digestive issues such as gas and bloating in some people.

Ingredients for Kombucha SCOBY: The bacterial and yeast symbiotic culture has an orange-yellow jelly-like consistency. If you have a kombucha-making acquaintance, peel a layer known as a "baby" off their SCOBY "mother." You may also buy a SCOBY from a health food store, online, or even create one from scratch at home.
Filtered Water: Spring water or filtered water works best. When possible, avoid using tap water.

Cane sugar, turbinado sugar, or brown sugar work well. Artificial sweeteners, maple syrup, honey, and agave nectar should be avoided.
Caffeinated Tea: Black tea, white tea, or green tea are the finest options. Avoid herbal teas and teas infused with essential oils, which can disrupt the fermentation process and promote the growth of bacteria or mold.
Prepared Kombucha: You may use unflavored store-bought or homemade kombucha as a starting point for your own kombucha. Avoid sweetened kombucha, which can introduce harmful germs and increase the likelihood of mold formation.
If you don't want to brew your own kombucha, you may check for starter kits or kombucha powders online!

Keeping your muscles strong, especially in your core, is important for maintaining an active and independent lifestyle. Our ancestors had strong muscles from their daily activities, but nowadays, we need to make a conscious effort to strengthen our muscles.

You should aim to do a core workout two or three times a week, but it can also be beneficial to incorporate daily core-boosting activities into your routine. Here are some simple ideas to get you started:

1. Sunday: Marching
March around your house or neighborhood, lifting your knees high and moving your arms to the music. If you need support, march near a countertop or try marching while seated on a stability ball.

2. Monday: Resistance band workout

Invest in some inexpensive resistance bands and follow a resistance band workout video on YouTube. One example is doing rows by sitting on the floor with your legs stretched out in front of you, looping a resistance band around the soles of your feet, and pulling the ends of the band toward you, like rowing a boat.

3. Tuesday: Water workout

Swim laps or walk in the shallow end of a pool to work your core muscles. Treading water, swimming with a kickboard, and water aerobics are other effective options.

Plyometrics are dynamic exercises that can help improve strength, power, balance, and agility. It's important for beginners to start slow and with simple exercises.

What are plyometrics?
Plyometric training involves engaging in short, intense bursts of activity that specifically target fast-twitch muscle fibers in the lower body. These fibers play a crucial role in generating explosive power, which can enhance speed and jumping ability.

Competitive athletes in sports like basketball, volleyball, baseball, tennis, and track and field often incorporate plyometrics into their training routines. Additionally, plyometrics can also enhance coordination, agility, flexibility, and provide a great cardiovascular workout.

Who can safely try plyometrics?
There are various types of plyometric exercises, and many people are familiar with gym plyometrics that involve jumping onto boxes or over hurdles. However, these advanced moves should only be attempted under the supervision of a trainer once you have developed some skills and muscle strength.

It's essential to note that even the beginner-level plyometrics mentioned in this article can be challenging. If you have experienced joint issues, particularly in the knees, back, or hips, or struggle with balance, it's advisable to consult with your doctor before attempting any plyometric training.

How to maximize effort while minimizing the risk of injury
To ensure safety during plyometric exercises, consider the following tips:

1. Choose a surface with some elasticity. Opt for a thick, firm mat (not a thin yoga mat), a well-padded carpeted wood floor, or grass/dirt outdoors. These surfaces can absorb some of the impact upon landing. Avoid jumping on hard surfaces like tile, concrete, or asphalt.

2. Start with small jumps. Begin by jumping just a few inches off the ground. Remember, the higher you jump, the greater the impact upon landing.

3. Maintain proper form. Bend your legs when you land and avoid locking your knees. Aim to land softly, distributing the impact throughout your feet rather than solely on your heels or toes.

As one of the most popular and exciting film genres, action movies have countless fans and enthusiasts around the world. No good action movie would be complete without jaw dropping stunts, too; this article covers the history of stunts in film, as well as five of the most dangerous movie stunts of all time.

Background: the History of Stunts in Movies

The origins of professional stunt performers go back further than you might think; we can probably consider acrobats, circus actors, and combat performers to be just a few examples of stunt work before it was considered stunt work. While perhaps not quite as dangerous as some of the death-defying stunts you see in modern, big-budget Hollywood movies, it was still very much commonplace for actors in these professions to get hurt or injured as badly or even worse than comparing with professional sportsman.

And, back in the early 1900s, films started to hire performers to handle dangerous stunts on set. Cinema was more or less a brand-new field at the time, and an absolute novelty as a result; because of this, there were usually so many people who would willingly volunteer to perform stunts in a film, just so they could be part of the production, that it actually wasn’t necessary for professional stunt performers to be hired at all.

But, as the film industry continued to grow and the productions themselves became more elaborate and sophisticated, there was a greater need for stunt performers who could safely and reliably carry out high-risk stunts for the big screen.

As this change took place, the men who can probably be considered the first true professional stuntmen started getting hired to appear in movies. These were clowns and comedy performers like Buster Keaton and Charlie Chaplin; it probably goes without saying that the stunts these men had to perform were not quite on par with what you’d see in a big-budget action movie today.

It was action movies that created demand for professional stunt performers, too. As the genre grew in popularity, higher-risk stunts became increasingly the norm as a means of entertaining and shocking audiences. This led to more work for stunt performers, as well as the development of safety measures and devices that would help them to keep the risks inherent to their work as low as possible.

With that being said, even today, stunt performing is far from being a safe line of work. Regardless of the safety measures that might be in place when someone performs a particular stunt, there’s still a significant level of risk that the stuntman or woman simply has to accept as part of the job. Tragically, serious injury and even death are both possibilities that professional stunt performers have to accept every time they show up on set.

Of course, the risks inherent to working as a stunt performer pretty much speak for themselves. While the actual danger a performer is exposed to depends on the nature of the stunt and the production, broken bones are all too commonplace.

It’s also the norm for stunt performers to work with explosions and fires, creating a particular need for them to be able to protect their skin from burns wherever possible. Abrasions are another form of injury that many stunt performers have to deal with at some point in their careers, as are cuts and lacerations.

The Most Dangerous Movie Stunts of All Time

The Car Jump in Smokey and the Bandit

Smokey and the Bandit is a comedy action film revolving around the efforts of two bootleggers who are trying to transport hundreds of cases of beer across the USA. Its car jump scene is iconic among stunt enthusiasts, too; not only were there virtually no safety measures taken during production, but the stunt performer in the scene had to wear a cowboy hat; a crash here likely would have been fatal.

Photo by cottonbro studio from pexel.com

Running is known to have positive effects on our overall well-being. It helps increase endurance, reduce body fat, build muscles, strengthen the heart, and improve cardiovascular health. It can also improve our mood, sleep, and confidence.

However, running may also have downsides, especially if you do it excessively. As with everything, knowing both sides of the story is crucial to deciding how much you should be running.

For starters, here’s how running may “potentially” harm you.

Damage to Weight-Bearing Joints

According to Harvard Health Publishing, there’s mounting evidence that running is beneficial to reducing the amount of wear and tear on weight-bearing joints (e.g., hip, knee, and ankle-foot) and the risk of arthritis. It doesn’t cause osteoarthritis or any other joint disease. However, in 2021, a group of professional physiotherapists explained that there are two major risk factors that increase damage to weight-bearing joints during a run.

The first is obesity. The heavier a person is, the more impact they have on their knees. This leads to more friction and abrasion of the knee joint’s lining. If the aim of the running programme is weight loss, it’s recommended to start with a combination of walking or brisk walking and other non-weight-bearing activities, such as bike riding, for cardiovascular training. This helps in developing good strength in the knees, allowing load management and knee protection.

Another factor is poor biomechanics, particularly a lack of strength in the major propulsion muscles. These include the calf muscles, quadriceps, and glutes, which all support the lower limbs when on a run. If these muscles have poor strength, the position and loads on the knee during a run are typically changed, increasing the chance of injury.

To reduce the risk of joint damage, seeking professional help and getting routine preventive care are necessary. Licenced experts will often recommend using specialised treadmills and incorporating non-impact exercises.

Everywhere you look, there are warnings: the coffee you're going to drink is hot! There will be construction! This item may contain peanuts!

The reasons for these cautions are often obvious. However, cautions can sometimes generate more issues than they solve. When I was at the gym lately, these warnings in bold red text on the exercise bike and treadmill were difficult to miss:

  • Before commencing any workout regimen, have a medical exam.
  • Excessive activity might cause significant damage or death.
  • Stop exercising immediately if you feel faint, dizzy, or in pain.
What did "any exercise program" precisely mean in the warning? What exactly is overexercise? Is it necessary to stop working out if you have any pain?

Finally, I wonder if these cautions create undue anxiety, discouraging individuals from exercising.

Is it okay to start working out without consulting a doctor?

Most of us don't need a doctor's consent. The majority of people can start an exercise routine safely at a low level and gradually increase their efforts over time. Select activities that would enable you to have a discussion, like:
  • utilizing manageable, low weights for you to lift
  • Taking it easy when walking
  • slow (less than 5 mph) bicycle riding
  • Balance and stretching exercises
  • mild housekeeping or gardening.
If your level of fitness is modest to begin with, gradually increase your routine. For instance, if you begin by walking for 10 minutes each day, gradually increase your stroll by one minute every week or two. Once you've been walking for 20 minutes a day, consider increasing your pace a little.

Who needs to exercise caution?
Exercise is undoubtedly dangerous for people with specific medical issues. If you're worried about your health or have any of the following conditions, it makes sense to consult a health care provider for exercise advice:

Coronary artery disease, which includes angina or prior heart attack symptoms. Too much exercise too quickly could strain the heart and result in a heart attack or a risky heart rhythm. Until it's obvious that you can handle more, lower-intensity exercises (such as quick, easy walks) could be preferred.
asthma brought on by exercise. Just before or during activity, your doctor may advise using an inhalation medication to open up the airways in your lungs.
such as a metabolic myopathy, affects the muscles. Your doctor might advise against doing specific workouts, such as long-distance running or sprinting.
back ache. For those with back problems, low-impact exercises like biking or swimming may be preferable to high-impact ones like jogging or basketball.
Mud runs are Dirty, challenging, and next-level fun.

Remember when you were a kid and you used to climb monkey bars, swing from ropes, and jump across streams? Rain only added to the excitement, leaving you soaking and filthy.

Sign up for a mud run to recreate those adventures. These outdoor team events involve maneuvering through military-inspired obstacle courses while becoming muddy.

The most well-known mud races are Tough Mudder and Spartan events. However, similar mud runs may be found in the majority of states. Some provide shorter distances and varying levels of difficulty. Others are only for women, children, or families.

How do mud runs work?

Typically, these events follow the same basic concept: participants cross a course that ranges from three to ten miles (or longer) and encounter 10 to 25 obstacles.

While some mud races can be done alone, the majority are designed to be team-oriented activities. Teams of five to ten persons are frequently coed. There is no time limit, however depending on the distance and number of obstacles, most teams complete the course in less than an hour to three hours or more.

The hurdles are difficult enough that most people require assistance navigating over, under, and across them, both physically and emotionally. This is when the "we're-all-in-this-together" comradery comes into play.

What kinds of obstacles are there in mud runs?
Common roadblocks include

Climbing over spider-web-like cargo nets

scaling walls of various heights

dangling from ropes with handles

strolling across beams or logs, carrying logs

sandbags slithering under barbed wire.
Then there is all the mud to contend with. Prepare to slog through muddy pits, crawl through muddy tunnels, and slide down mud-slick slides.


What advantages does a mud run provide for your health?
The advantages of these events stem from their design, according to Dr. Aaron Baggish, creator of the Cardiovascular Performance Center at the Massachusetts General Hospital, which is connected with Harvard.

"Obstacle racing combines large-muscle, whole-body resistance exercises superimposed on a long-distance endurance race," he explains. "You need strength, stamina, and mobility, so they are a snapshot of overall conditioning."

In addition to the physical advantages, mud races present emotional pleasures and psychological challenges for completing tasks that call for organization, coordination, and strategy.

How should one get ready for a mud run?
Mud races demand vigorous exercise, so talk to your doctor about your safety and ability before registering for an event. While practically everyone of any age can take part in these events, finishing them and lowering the chance of injury both require a minimum level of conditioning.

"Training for obstacle races incorporates many aspects of fitness and performance," claims Dr. Baggish. "Therefore, it's best to train with a coach or trainer who is aware of the fundamental skills required to finish these races," says the author.

Regardless of whether you work with a trainer, you should concentrate on:

aerobic exercise. Although you won't be running as steadily as you would in a regular road race like a 5K or half marathon, you still need to move quickly from obstacle to obstacle. "Optimal training for such obstacle races involves a combination of steady-state aerobic base training, like jogging or cycling, coupled with interval work that simulates the start-and-stop nature of competition," claims Dr. Baggish.
grip toughness. The only way to overcome gravity is to grip, hold, and pull oneself. Pull-ups and farmer carries, in which you walk back and forth while holding dumbbells or kettlebells in each hand, are two exercises that can be beneficial. To prevent injury while performing these workouts, proper form is crucial. When using weights, keep in mind to start slowly.
Plyometrics. A lot of obstacles require powerful jumps and swift movements. These actions can be mimicked with exercises like jump squats, burpees, and box jumps.

Muscle dysmorphia: what is it?

The obsession with having a lean and muscular physique characterises muscle dysmorphia. While only a small percentage of boys and young men exhibit the more extreme behaviours that characterise this disorder, it may affect many more people's perspectives. A quarter of boys and young men engage in muscle-building activities of some kind. In the United States, about 60% of young boys say they've altered their diet to build muscle. Even though that might not fit the definition of muscle dysmorphia disorder, many young men are affected by it. There is a social norm that links masculinity and muscle." "Today, even Halloween costumes for boys aged 4 and 5 include padding for six-pack abs. They are constantly told that their bodies should look like this.

Do boys and girls with body dysmorphic disorder have different symptoms?

Body dysmorphia, once thought to be a girl's thing, can manifest as eating disorders like bulimia or anorexia. Muscle dysmorphia is not an eating disorder in the strictest sense. However, it is much more pervasive and sneaky in males.

The prevalent belief is that body dysmorphia only affects females and doesn't affect men.

What are the symptoms of male body dysmorphia?
Parents may find it challenging to tell whether their son is just acting like a teenager or deviating into dangerous territory. Parents should watch out for these warning signs:
  • A noticeable change in exercise habits, such as going from working out once per day to working out for several hours each day.
  • Following a set schedule for their workouts or meals, such as restricting their food intake or placing a strong emphasis on high-protein foods.
  • Avoiding regular activities, like spending time with friends, in favour of working out.
  • Taking pictures of their abdomen or muscles obsessively to document "improvement."
  • Repeatedly weighing himself each day.
  • wearing clothes that emphasise a more muscular physique or hiding their physique with baggier clothing because they don't think it's good enough.
This is different because they are persistent; they don't just give it a shot for a week before abandoning it. These boys have been engaging in this behaviour for weeks or even months, and they are not adaptable.

A study shows that some obese people find it harder to exercise because they are afraid of falling or getting hurt

Exercise, a common term we all hear frequently, causes many individuals to cringe. Physical discomfort, guilt, or a challenge finding time for or enjoying hobbies could all be contributing factors to unhappy childhood memories of school sports or gym lessons. Recent research indicates that fear of falling or injury is a significant barrier to physical activity for certain obese individuals.

This discovery has significant ramifications for health and well-being. Hence, what are some ways that we might make activities both safe and enjoyable for people of varying weights?

Why must you be active?
Physical activity, as you may know, helps overcome anxiety and despair. It prevents bone loss, strengthens muscles, promotes sleep, reduces blood pressure and blood sugar, and boosts cholesterol levels. Many drugs would be required to accomplish everything that regular physical activity may achieve.

Exercise is usually a component of weight-loss strategies. According to research, exercise aids in weight maintenance and may aid in weight loss. Regular exercise not only burns calories but also builds muscle mass. This is significant because metabolically active muscles release proteins that reduce hunger and food intake.

What does this study reveal?
The study showed that many obese people are afraid of getting hurt or falling, which makes them less likely to exercise. In Sydney, Australia, doctors watched 292 people who were taking part in an eight-week medical weight loss program. Everyone satisfied the requirements for obesity or morbid obesity. There was an average age of 49 among the participants, with men making up one-third and women making up two-thirds of the group.

At the start of the trial, the people taking part answered 12 questions about how they felt about injuries. Most of the people who answered said they were afraid of getting hurt or falling and thought their weight made them more likely to get hurt. One-third of respondents claimed their fear prevented them from exercising. During the first, fourth, and final sessions, the researchers also measured weight, height, and waist circumference and gave strength tests.

At the conclusion of the study, the researchers discovered that the individuals who feared injury the most had not shed as much weight as those who did not share this concern. Individuals who had not lost as much weight showed the highest levels of despair, anxiety, and drowsiness.

Have two minutes to work out? Then you have sufficient time to reduce your risk of heart disease, cancer, and potentially premature death, according to a study published online by the European Heart Journal on October 27, 2022.

Researchers examined over 72,000 adults, with an average age of 62, who lacked cardiovascular disease or cancer. The participants wore a wrist-worn activity monitor for one week. The device measured their total activity, vigorous activity, and the frequency of at least two minutes of vigorous activity. (During vigorous exertion, it is typically impossible to speak in complete sentences.)

Black girl running

One of the routines I find very difficult to restart is my exercise routine. The importance of exercise to our overall health cannot be overemphasized.

I haven't exercised for a while, and it has been very difficult for me. When I started trying to start exercising again, I ran, and I felt so much pain and exhaustion that I wasn't able to reach my set goal for the day. I ended up feeling so weak that I wish I could just take a cab home. I slowed down and walked home.
When you want to start running, this is a habit you need to put in place first, which will help you get set for your new routine. Whether you are beginning to run or attempting to rediscover your love for it, the initial step is typically the most challenging. When you commit, however, running offers both physical and mental advantages. Running increases longevity by preventing osteoporosis, cardiovascular disease, and diabetes. Additionally, it can enhance brain function and increase the size of the hippocampus, the region of the brain responsible for verbal memory and learning.

How to begin running

A month before you start you need to set your eating habits straight and eat healthily. This will help your body to build up its strength.

Walking is the best way to begin running. Walking develops the muscles and tendons so that they can withstand the force of running. Do not rush: it should take around two weeks to build up to 30 minutes of vigorous walking, done two to four times per week. Then, move to run-walk intervals, alternating five minutes of running with one minute of walking. For the duration of three weeks, commit to running for 30 minutes, no less than four times per week.

"Patience is the best trait of a beginner runner." "Too rapid an increase in time or speed can lead to dissatisfaction or exercise-related injury [fast running places increased stress on the musculoskeletal system - ligaments, tendons, and other connective tissues], so focus on endurance before speed."

How do you maintain motivation?
"Begin by keeping things really simple," and establish a goal that you can achieve and cannot fail at. Choose a reasonable number of times per week that you believe you can run, then stick to it for four weeks to allow your body to adapt. Three times every week for four weeks equals 12 runs. When you reach 12 ticks, give yourself a physical treatment to serve as a constant reminder of your success.

What is the proper running technique?
Good posture reduces stress and impacts the joints, lowering the chance of injury and enhancing performance, allowing you to run for longer with less effort. Maintain an elevated chest and lowered shoulders while running. Your feet should land behind your hips, aligning your body from head to toe in a straight line. Avoid forward tilting from the waist, which can strain the lower back, and keep your hands open to avoid extra tension. Since running is a forward motion, it is inefficient to swing your arms across your body; instead, tuck your elbows into your waist so that your arms go forward and back. Lastly, pay attention to how your feet fall. If they sound heavy, try landing softer.


How can I avoid injuries when running?
Complement your running with additional workouts.
"Pilates generally increases core strength; spinning is good for stamina; and swimming stretches tired muscles." "To continue jogging without pain, focus on your glutes and lower abdominals." Both of these muscles are responsible for your running posture. When your glute muscles are functioning optimally, you will run faster, and your lower limbs will move effectively and safely. "The lower abdominals maintain the right alignment of the hips and pelvis to prevent excessive strain on the lower back." Squats will help you avoid ankle difficulties and knee pain, which are frequently caused by weak glutes.

Muscle soothers

No content on this site, regardless of date, should be used to replace direct medical advice from your doctor or another trained practitioner.
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