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The Problem with Skipping the Gym Too Many Times

Taking time off from working out can be a slippery slope. While adding a recovery day to your routine is generally a good practice, too much time between workouts could lead to potential setbacks. According to a small new study, it’s actually much better for your body at the genetic level to not fall off the fitness wagon in the first place.

It’s no secret that heading to the gym after some time off is difficult. You might notice that you’ve lost some of the gains you worked so hard for or that your regular number of reps is suddenly super challenging. According to researchers from the Karolinska Institutet in Sweden, that struggle goes to the genetic level — taking time off in favor of travel, work and holiday festivities can actually impact your genes and make it harder to get back on the horse. Published in the journal PLOS Genetics, the study looked at muscle biopsies of 23 participants while they trained only one leg for three months. They found that while the participants were working on their fitness with a strength-training routine, their genes actually started to change. In total, more than 3,000 genes were positively altered by the exercise.

HOW MUCH TIME OFF IS TOO MUCH?

The researchers then had the participants take nine months off the exercise program. After their hiatus, the researchers could find none of those changes in their genes — it was as though the exercising had never happened. The scary part is the majority of the gene-enhancing effects were lost after just a month or two of not training, according to the study’s authors. In other words, checking out of your gym routine for even just a few weeks has the potential to erase all the progress you’ve made at a cellular level. Yikes.

DOES IT HELP IF YOU’RE NORMALLY ALWAYS FIT?

You might assume that if you’d been regularly working out, it would be easier to get back on the horse than if you’d never taken up a gym routine at all. But that’s not the case, according to the study. After the time off, the researchers had the participants get back on the exercise program, this time training both legs. After performing another set of muscle biopsies, they found no difference between the leg that had been trained before and the leg that was just getting into the training routine. In other words, the previously fit leg didn’t retain any muscle memory — it was like starting from scratch.

A PRACTICAL APPLICATION: THE HOLIDAY SEASON

The results make a super-compelling point as we head into the holidays: Rather than fall off the wagon and lose all your progress, get out in front of your New Year’s resolutions so you can stay on track. There’s nothing like starting off with a little muscle-memory momentum as you hit the gym for Day One of your resolution.

The post The Problem with Skipping the Gym Too Many Times appeared first on Under Armour.

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10 Tricks to Keeping Kids from Eating Too Many Halloween Treats

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For parents, Halloween is often a zero-sum game between trick or treat. Sure, the costumes are adorable and the spending time with your kids can’t be beat.

But then there’s the candy. Oh goodness, is there the candy.

Steering clear of sweets is hard enough on our own — how are we supposed to set a good example when the very nature of our kids’ favorite holiday is about bags and bags full of chocolates, candies and all forms of sugar in mass quantities?

Well, we asked, you answered. We threw the question out to our Facebook community: Is the spookiest thing about Halloween your kids’ sweet tooth? What’s your trick to keeping them from eating too many sweets?


Want to join the conversation? Follow us on Facebook.


Below are 10 of our favorites of the strategies you submitted. Good work, parents! And Happy Halloween from all of us at Under Armour Connected Fitness!

1. Meet the Switch Witch…FTW!

2. Or maybe a visit from the Halloween Fairy?

3. The genius move… if they go for it!

4. The “Binge & Purge” approach.

5. Train your kids up in the art of negotiation.

6. Play some Halloween Hide and Go Seek.

7. Save the stomachaches for yourself.

8. The “Bear-Proof Bag” method.

9. Reduce, recycle, reuse!

10. Next year, we’re coming to your house.

The post 10 Tricks to Keeping Kids from Eating Too Many Halloween Treats appeared first on Hello Healthy.

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Your Many Options to Walk for Breast Cancer in October and Beyond

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For Americans across the country, October is known for cooler temperatures, trick-or-treating and — as of the last three decades — pink ribbons, 3-day walks and coming together to raise money and awareness for breast cancer research. In 1985, October was designated National Breast Cancer Awareness Month in hopes of increasing awareness of early detection methods like mammography as the most effective way to combat breast cancer. And it’s really made a positive impact.

Now, more than 30 years later, people around the world don their best pink every October to shine a spotlight on this disease and its impact. With a new case of breast cancer being diagnosed every two minutes in the United States, the need to raise both funds and awareness is as important as ever.


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One of the best ways for runners and walkers to get involved is to do a race. Races are not just in October, either. Running and walking events benefitting breast cancer are held all around the country on nearly every weekend of the year. If you’re looking to get involved, it’s pretty easy. We’ve put together a few of the heavy-hitters:

Race for the Cure

Susan G. Komen, one of the country’s largest and most widely known breast cancer organizations, hosts 146 races each year to raise funds for a cure and support those affected by the disease. It started in 1986 with 800 participants in the first race today’s events that annually host more than 1 million racers combined. Komen’s events attract walkers, runners and — the most inspiring attendees — breast cancer survivors.

According to the Komen website, 75 percent of the net income from each race benefits the local community hosting it. Since the races began, there’s been more than $ 2 billion raised nationwide. Some of the largest races are in Columbus, New York City, Houston, Denver and even Rome. Taking the 5K events even further, Komen offers 3-Day options in seven U.S. cities where participants walk 60 miles over three days, camp in pink tents and clean up in mobile shower trucks.

To find a Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure near you, search their website for a date and location.

Making Strides Against Cancer

The American Cancer Society offers countless fundraising walks to support those impacted by breast cancer. Making Strides Against Cancer events can be found in more than 270 communities across the country — offering distances from 3–5 miles and hosting more than 11 million participants since the first event in 1984 in Boston. Since then, these events have collectively raised over $ 685 million in the fight against breast cancer.

With the American Cancer Society based in Atlanta, the event held in Georgia’s capital city is one of the organization’s largest and most popular races. The 2015 event brought out more than 25,000 people and raised $ 1 million to fund research, education and support for those with breast cancer. This year, the event will be held on October 29 for a non-competitive 5K walk in Atlanta’s landmark Piedmont Park.

Sign up for the Making Strides Against Cancer event of your choice on the American Cancer Society’s website.

DIY Fundraising

Naturally in 2016, you can race virtually! The National Breast Cancer Foundation’s VRace enables you to log miles on your own schedule, and at your own pace. Simply sign up for the campaign, use a fitness tracker to count your miles and fundraise on your own along the way.

There’s an App For That

Charity Miles uses your daily activity levels — anything from walking your dog to a daily morning run — to earn money for the charity of your choice. The app currently has 37 charities to choose from (including Stand Up To Cancer), and they are working to add even more in the near future.


MORE TO GET YOU MOVING

> Heart Rate Monitoring Basics
> So You Want to Start Fitness Walking
> Low Impact High Intensity Interval Training Routine for Walkers


The post Your Many Options to Walk for Breast Cancer in October and Beyond appeared first on Hello Healthy.

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