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Watch: First Unsettling and Intense 'Joker' Trailer Unveiled


Even if the Joker is one of the most recognizable villains in comic book history, the terrorizing clown has never starred in his own, solo film—until now. The first trailer for the Joaquin Phoenix-led Joker was finally released, and it looks as dark and grim as you’d expect. Throughout the comics, the Joker has had a varying backstory, but this film focuses on a man named Arthur Fleck (Phoenix), and his transformation into the villain we know best. In the trailer, we see an emaciated Phoenix taking a beating until he finally cracks. This trailer may look action packed, but it’s ultimately a character piece and will more likely play like a thriller or drama. 

Yes, Phoenix is the protagonist of the Martin Scorsese-produced project, but Joker features a handful of other standouts to round out the cast, including Robert De Niro, Zazie Beetz, and Brian Tyree Henry. Todd Phillips of the Hangover films takes the helm as director of Joker, which hits theaters October 4.


What Are the Best DNA Kits for Fitness?


Home DNA testing is all the rage these days. But once you discover where your ancestors came from, find your long-lost relatives, and learn every minute detail about your genetic makeup, what then? Which DNA kits are best for fitness? A new breed of DNA and at-home medical tests are out to help you find out. Now you can optimize your exercise regimen, tailor your diet to your body’s nutritional needs, and dial in your workouts. Check out these five at-home test kits designed to maximize fitness.

Easy and confidential, all of these tests offer far more than just ancestry. Whether it’s learning about your hormones that can affect your fitness routine, testing Omega-3 and cholesterol levels, or just using body’s genetic makeup information to determine what kind of workouts are right for you, an at-home test might be the easiest way to make sure you’re optimizing your diet, exercise, and overall fitness regimen.

The best part is, they’re all super-affordable, and done privately in your own home. Some offer proprietary apps that can aid your workouts and/or diet. Others provide insight into how your genetic makeup affects your overall health, and how to tailor your workout routine to target (or avoid) trouble spots.

But the science is also clear: You can absolutely improve on the activities you’re not predisposed to. You just have to pinpoint them, focus on them, and practice. Having the knowledge to gear your fitness regimen toward improving your weaknesses is an awesome tool, and definitely one of the most tangible benefits of taking a DNA test.

So take a look these testing services, and start maximizing your fitness routine. There’s no better time to start than right now.

Dentists name the most common brushing mistakes they see


I don’t have to tell you how important it is to brush your teeth. It’s something that was likely drilled into your childhood brain by your mom, dentist, and that catchy toothbrushing song from kindergarten and has taken hold in your adult life. But while we’ve always been taught that proper oral hygiene is a necessity for keeping your pearly whites glistening, avoiding cavities, and not scaring away friends and loved ones with bad breath, there’s another reason why you need to be brushing your teeth on the reg: The sake of your gums.

I know, I know—it isn’t exactly the sexiest topic, but it is an important one. The American Dental Association  recommends giving your mouth a good scrub down with a toothbrush twice a day and a once-over with floss to keep your teeth clean, which will help you avoid the buildup of plaque and tartar. These “wool sweaters” are packed with bacteria, which can cause gingivitis, an inflammation of the gums, which can lead to more serious gum issues ranging from mild to severe periodontitis. And in case painful, swollen gums (and the potential of loose teeth) wasn’t enough to cause you concern,  periodontal diseases have been linked to more serious issues like heart disease, diabetes, and stroke.

While the frequency of your toothbrushing is unquestionably critical (yes, your mom, dentist, and kindergarten teacher were right), there are other factors that also come into play. “Some of the best practices that gets overlooked are how you utilize the toothbrush,” says Lawrence Fung, DDS, founder of Silicon Beach Dental. “It’s not about how hard you brush but rather how efficiently you brush.  It’s best to angle the toothbrush with the bristles at a 45-degree angle to the gum line, as if you were sweeping under the gums. You want to roll the brush away from the gum line and avoid a back-and-forth motion as it can cause an accelerated wearing away of the gums, which is one of the major causes for exposed roots called gum recession.” He suggests investing in an electric toothbrush, such as the Quip ($25) or Sonicare Diamond Clean Toothbrush ($200), to do some of the heavy lifting for you.

“Some of the best practices that gets overlooked are how you utilize the toothbrush. It’s not about how hard you brush but rather how efficiently you brush.” —Lawrence Fung, DDS

And of course, the toothbrush itself is only half of the plaque-fighting duo—your toothpaste is also crucial in kicking gum disease’s ass. Dr. Fung notes that an ingredient called triclosan has been proven to fight gum disease, but research suggests that it may be detrimental to the body in certain concentrations. So unless a patient has very, very severe gum disease, he usually seeks out a more natural alternative.

“In my practice for gum disease prevention, it’s more important to clean the gums than to detoxify,” he says. “Removing the plaque layer that accumulates on the teeth surface gets rid of the bacteria that causes gum disease (gingivitis, periodontitis). Because of that, I personally am a big fan of the new Hello Antiplaque and Whitening Toothpaste ($5). Their active soft natural ingredients including tea tree oil and coconut oil are just what we need to help remove the layers of bacteria that cause gum disease eliminating the need to remove the bacteria chemically.”

FWIW, Hello’s products happen to be editor tested and approved. “I’ve tried my fair share of ‘wellnessy toothpastes’ and, honestly, a lot of them either taste like baking soda or I don’t feel really work,” says Well+Good’s Senior Writer Emily Laurence. “I’m really into this one because it works and it’s not too strong or overpowering on my gums, the way I feel some other whitening toothpastes can be. Plus, the tube is so pretty that I purposely leave it out on the sink instead of stashing it in the medicine cabinet.”

And she’s not alone: Other editors chime in that they’re on-board with the cleaner toothpaste options, as well. “I love what Wildist is doing with their toothpaste line,” says W+G Beauty and Fitness Director Ali Finney. “They have a ginger-spiked morning toothpaste and a chamomile-flavored evening option, as well as a works-all-the-time minty fresh tube. Maybe it’s the beauty editor in me, but it’s nice to have different flavors at different times of the day.” When seeking out a natural, gum-treating toothpaste of your own, look for the phrase “anti-plaque” or “plaque-fighting” on the label. Or, use our cheat sheet and test our one of our favorite natural toothpastes for gums.

Originally published December 6, 2018; updated on April 6, 2019.

That’s not all you need to know about oral hygiene, though: Here are 6 mistakes you may making with your mouth, and the real reason why — yes — you need to be flossing every day

Keep Your Instant Pot Handy, Because You'll Want to Make Every 1 of These Low-Carb Soups


The Instant Pot is a lifesaver. There’s no quicker way to whip up dinner than to pop it in your pressure cooker, and preparing meals at home is essential when you’re trying to lose weight, especially on a low-carb plan. While the Instant Pot is great for making pasta and rice, there are plenty of other dishes to try, including low-carb soups. They’re perfect for Instant Pot beginners, and while some consider soups an appetizer, we’re adamant that they can be the whole damn meal. The ones here, ranging from classic French onion to a hearty bean soup with pesto, are filling and flavorful. Get your spoon ready.

The little-known Instagram tweak that’s basically a double-tap for your mental health


In a definitive ranking of habits that most benefit my mental health, scrolling through Instagram would come in dead last. I can’t recall a time I actually felt joy post-appsturbation, and yet, the social media platform’s built-in activity monitor tells me I spend an average of 32 minutes each day idly liking handstand videos, quasi-inspirational quotes, and color-coordinated stacks of books. My digital relationship is far from perfect, but lately, I’ve found one small way to reclaim the habit for myself: interacting with the ads rather than swiping past them at warp speed.

I know, I know—sounds bananas. But I have a thesis statement and everything, so please allow me to present my unofficial TED Talk about reclaiming targeted ads to bolster digital autonomy.

By now, you’ve probably noticed that Instagram’s new M.O. involves placing an ad between every two or three posts on your feed. According to The New York Times, the platform first announced its plans to commercialize feeds back in 2015, but based on my personal non-scientific experience, the promos have hit an all time high in just the last few months. I mean, I can’t even read about my favorite foodstagramer’s buckwheat waffle recipe without also having earrings, a crystal-shaped water bottle, and hair-growth vitamins clogging up my scroll.

So a few week’s ago, when Instagram’s algorithm dared to slide a $1200 gym bag (something I personally have never dreamed of affording) into my social check-in, I decided on a whim to click the “…” button in the top right corner of the ad. Putting my communications major to good use, I combed through Instagram’s terms of service. (Fun!) Within minutes, I found that, 1. Users totally have the power to remove ads (such as beautiful but unattainable locker-room gear), and 2. Once you click the “hide ad” option, you can also tell Instagram exactly why that ad isn’t working for you.

Or, in the official technical jargon: “We want to show you ads from business that are interesting and relevant to you, and to do that, we use information about what you do on Instagram and Facebook (our parent company) and on third-party sites and apps,” reads the on-app “About Ads” material. If you so desire, you can restrict Instagram from scouring some of your data using your iOS and and Facebook settings. But if its still blowing up your normally scheduled scrolling routine with things that just aren’t relevant to you, tell Insta. It’s your right as a scroller.

The change won’t magically heal your relationship with likes, favorites, or other draining aspects of 21st-century communication, but if I’m going to be on social media, I might as well do my best to curate my feed the way I would my closet, bookshelf, or refrigerator. That is, with the utmost care for what makes me happy—and also what doesn’t.

One writer found happiness by deleting Instagram altogether. And yet another overhauled her relationship with the platform to promote better mental health.

Experience Westeros in the Real World With the ‘Game of Thrones’ Studio Tour


Even though Game of Thrones is ending, the sets, the weapons, and costumes will continue to live on for fans in the real world. HBO is turning one of the studios the show used in Northern Ireland into a tourist attraction where fans will be able to interact with full-scale sets of the epic locations from the series, according to The New York Times.

The tours will launch in spring 2020 and will be based out of the massive Linen Mill Studios in Banbridge (located 25 miles from Belfast, where the main production was based). The studio will have exhibitions and showcases based around the show, so if you want to take a look around Castle Black and all the spots where Jon Snow went when he was in the Night’s Watch, you’ll be able to do it. You’ll also get some up close looks at weapons like Longclaw, Needle, Oathbreaker and other well-known swords from the series, as well as some of the badass cloaks, capes, armor, and gloves characters wore throughout the series.



“It’s going to be an immersive experience where fans will feel like they are inside their favorite sets from the show,” Jeff Peters, HBO’s vice president for licensing and retail, said to the New York Times.

Tyrion and Jon Snow on the HBO Series Game of Thrones
Courtesy of HBO

Along with the Northern Ireland studio, the report says that HBO is also considering cheating similar studio tours for other areas in Belfast and near the studios where the show filmed, including the King’s Landing set in Belfast, and The Wall set located in a “quarry outside the city.”

While the show has done on-location shooting in countries like Iceland, Croatia, Malta, Morocco, Spain, and Scotland, the Northern Island studio and surrounding areas also had sets built to film scenes for the show that could not be done on-location, like battle scenes and other interior scenes.

The Game of Thrones Studio Tour will give you some incredible looks at the series, but if you do want to travel to the actual locations the show filmed at around the world. Our handy “Game of Thrones Travel Guide” can help you do it. Here are just a few options if you’re looking to make the trip:

  • Visiting The North: The show filmed in places around Iceland, including Lake Myvatn, Esjan Mountain, and areas in and around Reykjavik.
  • Visiting Essos: The show filmed in Malta, including on the island of Gozo.
  • Visiting The King’s Road: The show filmed in Northern Ireland and used The Dark Hedges as a location.
  • Visiting Winterfell: The show used Scotland, including Doune Castle and areas near Edinburgh for the show.
  • Visiting King’s Landing: The show filmed in Croatia for the real-life look at this location, including in Dubrovnik.

Walmart's Running Sneakers Are Almost Too Good to Be True – Starting at $25


If you’re in the market for a new pair of running sneakers, there’s one retailer worth shopping: Walmart. The affordable store carries so many names you know and love for great prices. To make finding your match easy, we uncovered its 11 best picks ahead. From brands like New Balance to Asics, keep reading to shop our favorites.

Express Scripts Offers Diabetes Patients a $25 Cap for Monthly Insulin


Drug makers, insurers and pharmacy benefit managers face mounting pressure from Congress and the public to reduce the high list prices of drugs like insulin.

On the Ground at the Dakar Rally, the Toughest Motorsport Race on Earth


In January, hundreds of competitors traveled to Peru for the Dakar Rally, widely considered one of the toughest motorsport events in the world, given its length and treacherous off-road terrain.

Since the race, which changes location each year, began in 1979, 19 motorcyclists have died; as a result, riders must now write their blood types on their helmets, in the event of a bad spill. This year, about 70 percent of the 3,100-mile rally took place on sand dunes, such as these about 40 miles outside the city of Pisco.

It was here that Fabien Duhamel wanted to photograph the motorcyclists as they began the penultimate stage in a rare mass start. He got into a prime position before dawn, but knew he would still need a bit of luck.

“Shooting in the desert is always a challenge,” he says. “There’s no road and an athlete may come near your position, then be completely hidden, just the top of a helmet dashing between two dunes.”

While this year’s route was significantly shorter than in previous years—the 2018 edition covered nearly 5,900 miles—the sandy course made things difficult.

“Each kilometer in the sand pretty much equals three kilometers on hardpack,” says Toby Price, 31, an Australian rider for Red Bull KTM (seen here at the far left). “It’s hard to control the motorcycle in those conditions. You never know what’s going to be over the next dune or how compact or solid the sand is going to be.”

Further complicating matters: A few weeks before the race, Price, the 2016 champ, broke his right wrist while in training. But he refused to sit out the rally. “The Dakar Rally is an event you can’t miss,” he says. “I had to line up and try and make it work.”

Throughout each stage, his wrist felt as though it were on fire, forcing him to operate the throttle with his opposite hand at times. But at the end of the 11-day ordeal, he still managed to claim the overall title.

“It was an unreal feeling, especially under the circumstances,” he adds. “Racing the Dakar Rally is always difficult, but you can never count yourself out. Anything can happen.”


Those sore muscles? Yeah, they actually might be inflamed


After a particularly grueling sweat sesh (looking at you, SLT), you’re pretty much guaranteed to wake up the next morning with sore muscles. And, if I’m being honest, I kind of like that feeling, because it’s how I know whatever workout I did was actually working.

Instead, though, you may be dealing with inflamed muscles, which is technically something different than sore ones. They tend to happen post-workout or after repetitive use,  and are an important part of the muscle building process. “Muscle tissue breaks down and ‘microtears’ in the muscle occur, and this is part of the rebuilding process and how muscles become stronger,” explains Austin Martinez, director of education for StretchLab. “These ‘microtears’ create an inflammatory process that is actually needed and beneficial.”

However, inflammation can also occur due to injury, which is decidedly not beneficial to getting stronger. “This occurs because the above outlined process becomes ineffective,” says Martinez. “When the muscle breakdown process outpaces the muscle rebuilding process, then injury occurs.”

Soreness, on the other hand, is more common and is usually correlated with post-workout. “Common signs are muscle fatigue, tenderness, and lack of mobility,” says Martinez. “Soreness is beneficial and part of the muscle rebuilding process. Inflammation pertaining to injury is different, and you will notice increased pain, redness, and potentially swelling.”

The more you use certain muscles in your daily activities, the more likely they are to become inflamed. “Smaller muscles in the shoulder, such as a the rotator cuff muscles and biceps muscle are more prone to inflammation, especially in individuals that are completing repetitive overhead motions,” says Martinez, also noting that the muscles in your ankle and shin tend to suffer from overuse, too.

If you find yourself feeling inflamed, the good old RICE method (rest, ice, compression, and elevation) is the first course of action, followed by a conversation with your healthcare provider. “If the situation pertains to post-workout, then the focus needs to be on recovery and rebuilding the muscle,” says Martinez. “Activities such as stretching, foam rolling, massage, and light movement are all beneficial and can expedite this process.” And when in doubt, give yourself an excuse to take the day off. Trainer’s orders.

Inflammation isn’t the only thing worth being aware of after your workout: Delayed muscle soreness is a thing, and here’s what you need to know. And if you need more recovery inspo, try these trainer-approved tips for beating soreness after your workout. 

Los músculos que participan en la respiración: estas son sus funciones y así puedes entrenarlos


Los músculos que participan en la respiración: estas son sus funciones y así puedes entrenarlos

La musculatura respiratoria puede ser una de las grandes olvidadas a la hora de entrenar para deportes que requieren de una gran resistencia aeróbica como natación, triatlón o maratón. Esta musculatura se encarga en primer lugar de facilitar la ventilación pulmonar bombeando aire de la atmósfera a nuestros pulmones y de facilitar en última instancia el intercambio de gases necesario para la respiración celular. 

¿Cómo funcionan nuestros músculos respiratorios?

La primera fase de la respiración es puramente mecánica y consiste en la activación alterna de diversos músculos para realizar las fases de inspiración y espiración, es decir, del bombeo de aire desde la atmósfera a nuestros pulmones y viceversa. 

Estos son los músculos que intervienen durante la inspiración

  • Diafragma: es una estructura muscular que separa la cavidad torácica de la abdominal. Durante la inspiración empuja el contenido abdominal hacia abajo y hacia afuera, permitiendo la expansión de los pulmones y aumentando el volúmen torácico.
  • Intercostales externos: músculos situados entre las costillas que apoyan la acción del diafragma de expandir la cavidad torácica al rotar las costillas hacia arriba y hacia afuera. 
  • Escalenos: son tres porciones situadas en el cuello que principalmente se encargan de elevar la primera y segunda costilla lo que cumple una función accesoria durante la inspiración, sobre todo cuando esta es forzada.
  • Pectoral menor: aunque interviene solo como accesorio, ayuda en la elevación de las costillas.
  • Serrato anterior: su función principal es estabilizar la escápula pero también sirve como accesorio a la hora de elevar las costillas. 
  • Esternocleidomastoideo: junto con los escalenos, es un músculo accesorio del cuello que participa durante la inspiración forzada elevando las costillas, el esternón y las clavículas. 

  • Elevadores de las costillas: son doce músculos situados entre las costillas y unidos a la columna que se encargan de elevar las costillas.
  • Trapecio superior: músculo situado en la parte posterior del cuello y sobre las escápulas. La porción superior o ascendente rota la escápula y eleva hombro y costillas.

Como podemos observar, los músculos que participan a la hora de bombear aire a los pulmones se centran en expandir la caja torácica elevando y rotando las costillas para permitir una mayor entrada de aire. 

Estos son los músculos que intervienen durante la espiración

El diafragma también participaría aquí volviendo a su posición original aumentando el espacio en la cavidad abdominal.

  • Intercostales internos: músculos situados al lado de los intercostales externos. Se encargan de deprimir y cerrar las costillas.
  • Oblicuo interno: situado en la cara lateral del abdomen, su acción principal es deprimir la parte baja del pecho aunque también rota y flexiona el tronco.
  • Oblicuo externo: misma localización y función que el anterior. 
  • Triangular del esternón: se encuentra por detrás del esternón y tiene una estructura ramificada. Se encarga de descender las costillas superiores, sobre todo la primera. 
  • Transverso del abdomen: situado a más profundidad que los oblicuos, deprime la parte baja del pecho.
  • Recto abdominal: músculo superficial del tronco que se encarga también de comprimir el pecho, aunque también de flexionar el tronco.

Como vemos, los músculos encargados de la espiración se coordinan igual que los músculos inspiratorios para realizar una misma función, en este caso volver a comprimir la cavidad torácica y descender las costillas para favorecer la expulsión del aire de nuestros pulmones.

¿Qué importancia tienes los músculos respiratorios?

La fatiga de los músculos respiratorios es un factor limitante durante actividades de resistencia aeróbica, no siendo estos capaces de mantener una presión pulmonar estable. Pero esto no es solo un limitante mecánico sino que tiene importantes consecuencias a nivel metabólico, debido a una estrecha comunicación entre la fatiga de estos músculos, el sistema nervioso y la musculatura locomotora que se encarga del movimiento, ya sea de las piernas en el caso de la maratón o de los brazos en el remo. 

Es lo que se conoce como reflejo metabólico de la musculatura respiratoria o o RMMR. Este reflejo comienza cuando estos músculos se fatigan, enviando una señal al sistema nervioso que provoca una vasoconstricción de la musculatura encargada del movimiento. Es un círculo que se retroalimenta ya que a más fatiga de los músculos respiratorios, más fatiga de los músculos locomotores que mantienen la actividad, ya que el flujo de sangre a los mismos se reduce. 

Según algunos investigadores este reflejo se produce en situaciones de gran competencia entre músculos respiratorios y locomotores donde compiten para hacerse con más volúmen de sangre bombeada por el corazón. 

¿Cómo puedo entrenar estos músculos?

Ser capaces de entrenar para producir una mejor adaptación ante la respuesta metabólica mencionada antes es complicado ya que requiere de entrenamientos donde se dé esa competencia entre músculos respiratorios y locomotores, lo que requiere de esfuerzos equivalentes o incluso superiores a los encontrados en competición. 

Al final, este tipo de respuestas metabólicas se acaban dando, independientemente del nivel de preparación del atleta por lo que la experiencia tanto en competiciones como en el entrenamiento es un factor clave para mejorar nuestro rendimiento. 

¿Y las máscaras de hipoxia servirían de algo?

Las máscaras de hipoxia se venden como un accesorio capaz de emular los beneficios del entrenamiento en altura, pero esto no es cierto ya que la máscara no genera hipoxia, debido a que aunque el volumen de aire que entra en nuestros pulmones es menor, la presión del mismo es la misma por lo que no genera ningún tipo de adaptación a nivel sanguíneo. Pero aunque fuera capaz de generar hipoxia, harían falta de 10 días a 8 semanas para producir adaptaciones a nivel hematológico

Pero este no es el tema. El tema es que las máscaras de hipoxia sí pueden servir para entrenar los músculos respiratorios aunque debe usarse con prudencia y cautela, ya que la máscara de hipoxia provoca una respiración forzada y poco eficiente por lo que limitaría su uso a personas con mucha experiencia y con un patrón respiratorio bien automatizado. 

Imágenes | Pixabay

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Ángel Gardachal