39 Simple Habits That Protect Your Eyes

Limit screen time

Simple Habits That Protect Your EyesSmartphones, laptops, and other devices are a big part of our lives today, and while they help us do everything from working to staying connected to loved ones to shopping, they’re not doing anything to protect your eyesight. Staring at the screen for extended periods of time can cause computer vision syndrome, which is marked by eye strain, blurred vision, headaches, and dry eyes. “Take frequent breaks during the day by way of the 20-20-20 rule,” says Morgan Statt, a Health & Safety Advocate at consumersafety.org in Syracuse, New York. “Every 20 minutes, look away at something else for 20 seconds that’s at least 20 feet away,” to give your eyes a break from using your near vision.

8 Moves for Stronger, Healthier Feet

It’s no surprise there’s an uptick in foot injuries come summer. You can strain your feet walking or running in the sand or even stepping on something sharp. But even switching from laced-up footwear to flat sandals can cause problems, because your feet aren’t prepared for the lack of support. “We see so many cases of plantar fasciitis (swelling of the tissue in the sole of the foot) and sprains at the start of summer,” says marathon runner and sports podiatrist, Marybeth Crane, DPM. “And it’s most often due to overuse — simply too much, too soon.”

Fortunately there are ways to strengthen, stretch and prep your feet for barefoot steps in the sand. Here, Crane offers a pre-beach warmup that can double as a strengthening session, along with some post-walk or run stretches, to soothe your soles.

1. TAKE A QUICK WALK

Step around your house barefoot for five minutes, to warm up and bring circulation into your feet.

2. DO YOUR ABCs

Take a seat and draw the alphabet with each foot, using your big toe as the ‘pen.’ Complete the alphabet one or two times with each foot. This move activates nearly every muscle in your foot.

3. SCRUNCH A TOWEL

This simple move strengthens the tiny muscles between your toes, which helps protect them from strains. Grab a dish or hand towel, and place it on the floor beneath your foot. Ideally, you can place the towel on a hard surface, like wood or tile, for easiest slip. Start scrunching the towel beneath your toes, pulling it completely toward you before switching feet and repeating on the other side. As you get stronger, graduate to a larger towel or repeat the scrunches three times.

4. WALK ON YOUR HEELS

Flex your feet and walk around your home on your heels for 30 seconds. Rest for 10 seconds and repeat three times. You’ll strengthen the muscle along the front of your shins, which helps stabilize your foot.

5. PERFORM DEEP SQUATS

Squat down while simultaneously lifting your heels, so you finish with your knees deeply bent and your weight balanced on your forefeet. Hold for 30 seconds, release and rest and repeat up to three times. This helps build the muscles along the soles of your feet.

6. BALANCE ON YOUR TOES

This move works your proprioception — which means, it helps your brain understand where your foot is in space — and literally strengthens all the small stabilizing muscles in your foot.

7. STRETCH YOUR CALF MUSCLES

Either lay on your back with a strap looped around your flexed forefoot, and draw your leg toward you, or lean up against a wall, with your foot behind you, pressing your heel toward the ground. Keeping your calf muscles pliable can help your foot move better with each stride.


READ MORE > 5 POST-RUN STRETCHES TO BOOST PERFORMANCE


8. ICE & ROLL

This feel-good treat helps reduce any inflammation generated from walking on sand’s unstable surface. (Read: This move helps stave off plantar fasciitis.) Fill a small plastic water bottle with water and freeze it. Roll it under your foot for a minute post-walk or run, or anytime your feet feel tired.


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Feeling Better About Your Body Could be a Workout Away

Not loving the way you feel in your favorite jeans? You’re not alone. A 2016 survey calls low confidence and appearance anxiety a “critical issue” and reports that 85% of women have opted out of important life activities such as joining a team or spending time with loved ones when they didn’t feel good about how they looked.

Hitting the gym could help. New research shows a single sweat session could buff up your body image.

A 2017 study published in the journal Psychology of Sport and Exercise found that women who engaged in moderate-to-vigorous physical activity for 30 minutes felt stronger and had better body image than those who were sedentary for the same period of time.

“We think that the feelings of strength and empowerment women achieve post exercise stimulate an improved internal dialogue. This in turn should generate positive thoughts and feelings about their bodies which may replace the all too common negative ones,” lead author Kathleen Martin Ginis, PhD, professor at the University of British Columbia’s Okanagan School of Health and Exercise Sciences said in a statement.

Heather Hausenblas, PhD, associate dean for the School of Applied Health Sciences at Jacksonville University in Florida, believes body image could be a powerful motivator for exercise. “Perception is very powerful,” she says. “Exercise results in improvements in mood and self-esteem, which are related to body image.”

But Hausenblas notes that the effects of exercise on body image are transient. In the Psychology of Sport and Exercise study, the body image boost lasted for 20 minutes after a workout. A separate study found that active women who took a 72-hour break from exercise had higher levels of body dissatisfaction than those who maintained their workout routines. In other words, maximizing those feel-good vibes requires engaging in regular exercise — but that doesn’t necessarily mean working out to achieve weight loss or developing a chiseled chest or six-pack abs.

In 2009, Hausenblas co-authored a study in the Journal of Health Psychology that found exercisers did not need to hit workout milestones like losing fat, gaining strength or even boosting cardiovascular fitness to feel good about their bodies. In fact, she believes, “Messages promoting exercise need to de-emphasize weight loss and appearance. The key to long-term exercise is finding deeper motivation than washboard abs. We need to set healthy and realistic exercise goals and stop focusing on what we think is wrong with our bodies [and] focus on becoming fit and healthy for life.”

The post Feeling Better About Your Body Could be a Workout Away appeared first on Under Armour.

The Lower-Body Exercise Selena Gomez Swears By

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Want to steal Selena Gomez’s leg-sculpting secret? Now you can: For strong stems, the 25-year-old star relies on toe circles, hot potato, pulses, and hydrants. “They tone small muscles and make legs lean,” says her trainer, Amy Rosoff Davis, who suggests you start with 20 to 30 reps of each, working up to 60. Do the full series four to six times a week for maximum results.

RELATED: The Vibrating Foam Roller Khloe Kardashian Swears By

Selena Gomez’s Leg-Sculpting Workout

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Lie on right side with hips stacked, right elbow on floor, and right hand under head; push left hand into floor. Pull shoulders down and activate abs. Lift left leg 8 to 10 inches (A). Circles: Isolating butt and thigh, trace circles with left big toe (B). After reps, reverse motion. Hot potato: From “A,” tap left toes to floor 3 inches in front of you, lift foot back to “A,” then tap toes 3 inches behind you (C). Pulses: From “A,” pulse left leg up and down (D). Hydrants: From “A,” bend left leg to 90 degrees (E); lift leg, then lower it in front of you (F). Repeat entire series on other side.

 

Pin the full workout for later:

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