Monday, April 9, 2012

5 ways to feel better naked

Get body confidence

If the thought of wearing a swim suit on a beach fills you with dread and you undress under the bedcovers, then it might be time to admit you’ve got some body confidence issues. Here are five ways you can end the embarrassment and feel better naked:

Get active

Feeling good about being naked doesn’t necessarily mean losing weight or bulking up; it can be about the way you perceive your body. Taking up a new activity, like dancing, spinning or weight lifting can do just that. By using your body to move more gracefully or cycle faster you should begin to relate to it on a physical level, opposed to a purely aesthetical one. You will be able to see the perks of your long arms or your bulky ankles and hopefully break some of the negative associations you currently have. If you try to see your body as a tool, rather than a symbol of attractiveness, your perception and judgement should alter and your confidence will soar.

Stop comparing

Yes, your friend may have arms like Arnold Schwarzenegger or a stomach like Jennifer Aniston, but you are not your friend and this is not a competition. If you’re one of life’s “comparers” take a deep breath and try to suss out why you’re thinking this way. Have you had a rough time recently? If you have, then chances are you’re feeling shaky and when that happens it’s easy to think everyone else is perfect; but they’re not. You should try to remember this when you next get body envy and work on solutions to overcome this shaky patch. Address any issues you may have head on and use any resources available to tackle your predicament. Fingers crossed, with some determination, creativity and bravery you can beat your blues and feel body confident again.

Buy clothes that fit

If you want to feel confident when you’re naked you need to feel confident when you’re dressed too. Although it’s tempting to wear your favourite shirt that you’ve had for five years, check whether it still fits. Wearing ill-fitting clothes, whether they’re too tight or too baggy, is one of the most common mistakes people make when it comes to body issues. If something doesn’t fit, it can be uncomfortable and make you look far worse that you do in reality. The best way to sort out your wardrobe is to have a clear out. Work out what your measurements are first then root through your clothes and chuck anything that no longer fits. When shopping for new clothes, if you can try to get measured by a professional; especially for those bras, ladies.

Jump on a horse

Okay, if you’re terrified of horses or have as much balance as a hyperactive toddler at a birthday bash, then it might not be a wise idea to jump on a horse. However, to feel great naked you have to be proud of who you are. You should not be basing your self-worth on how you look, but by what you can achieve and who you are as a person. To work on your sense of worth take on a new challenge, start a project or do some volunteering. Learning something new or giving something that you fear a go will also help you stop judging yourself on the way you look on the outside.  The truth is if you’re feeling good about other areas of your life, then you will feel proud of every part of you, even the bits that jiggle and wiggle.

Avoid the bloaters

If you know that you are going to be getting naked, then there are some foods you should definitely avoid in the run-up to unveiling yourself. As tasty as they are, avoid things like chocolate, cakes or cookies. All of these foods have a lot of unrefined sugar, which means trouble for your tummy. Also, although it may sound odd, try to avoid fruit for a little while too, as fruit has high levels of fructose and may also balloon your stomach. Swap these foods for fresh vegetables, lean protein and complex carbohydrates like brown rice or quinoa. A tasty, bloat-free dish could be salmon, with asparagus and rice in a tomato and basil sauce. Or why not make a fabulous vegetable chilli. If you try to eat meals like this, you’ll minimise the likelihood of looking bloated.
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Top 10 inspirational mums

10 inspiring celebrity supermums

Motherhood is the most challenging role many of us will ever take on, yet these supermums have risen to the challenge while managing to continue to achieve their goals and make a difference to others. Here are our top 10 inspirational celebrity mums.

Jennifer Lopez

Superstar J-Lo has not let giving birth to her twins, Max and Emme, slow her down. Although she is adamant that her children will always come first, the 42 year old mum’s career has continued to go from strength to strength, with her releasing her seventh studio album, gaining a regular judging role on American Idol and appearing in the romantic comedy The Back-up Plan all since giving birth. The super-fit star also impressively managed to complete a triathlon to raise money for Children's Hospital Los Angeles just seven months after giving birth.

Michelle Obama

First Lady Michelle Obama may have a lot of strings to her bow, but the dedicated mum puts her role as a parent above all others, describing herself first and foremost as Malia and Sasha’s mother. However, Michelle is not only dedicated to her own girls, she has also devoted much of her time to helping the youth of America, launching a nationwide campaign to fight childhood obesity through healthy eating and healthy living.

Jennifer Garner

Jennifer Garner is frequently being snapped out and about with husband Ben Affleck and daughters Violet and Seraphina and, more recently, her burgeoning baby bump, running errands, hanging out at farmer’s markets and enjoying family days out. Yet, as well as being a devoted mother and wife, Jennifer seems to have mastered the work/family balance perfectly and has managed to continue in her flourishing acting career, starring in roles in many hit movies including Juno and Valentine’s Day as well as making her Broadway debut as Roxanne in Cyrano de Bergerac.

Reece Witherspoon

Reece Witherspoon may be a busy actress, mum of two and owner of her own production company, but the working mum also finds time to help others. As a woman and a mother, the Hollywood star admits to seeking out opportunities to make a difference to other women and children throughout the world, and she has put this in to practice through her long-term support of Save the Children and by serving on the board of the Children's Defense Fund. Reece is also a global ambassador for Avon, helping to support their campaign against domestic violence and breast cancer.

Kate Hudson

While most Hollywood actresses can afford to buy their kids anything they want, down-to-earth Kate Hudson has described herself as a strict mum who refuses to spoil her children. Claiming to have had a strict upbringing herself, the actress has stated that she will raise her children in a similar way and not give them everything they ask for. Kate, who spent several years as a single mum following her split from Chris Robinson, has admitted that life as a single mum can be challenging, yet she hasn’t let that deter her from following her chosen career path while still putting her children’s needs first.

Kate Winslet

She may be an Oscar-winning actress starring in critically-acclaimed movies, yet Kate still manages to find plenty of time to spend with her two children, who she states are the most important thing in her world.  Furthermore, Kate – who claims to be completely comfortable with her body and who has publicly spoken out against airbrushing and women’s obsession with skinniness – has some positive values to pass on to her children. The actress says that she has started subtly praising her body to her daughter Mia in a bid to help her daughter love her own body as she grows older.

Victoria Beckham

Mum of four Victoria Beckham is rarely pictured without at least one of her brood in tow and, despite claiming to be exhausted by juggling motherhood with her fashion career, Victoria is dedicated to her parenting role, telling The Mirror, “I'm up with the baby as all mums are, and I wouldn't have it any other way. There's not a team of people doing it for me." Since having children the working mum has impressively released a solo album, written two books and launched her own clothing lines – all while wearing seven inch heels!

J.K. Rowling

Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling may be hugely successful today, but less than twenty years ago things were entirely different. In 1993, having separated from her husband, been diagnosed with clinical depression, contemplated suicide and having found herself jobless with a dependent child, Rowling saw herself as a failure. However, the writer found a determination to succeed – to create a better life for herself and her daughter – which spurred her on to finishing her first novel. Since then, her books have gone on to win multiple awards and been the basis for a series of hit movies.

Salma Hayek

Although Salma Hayek has continued to take on film roles following the birth of her daughter Valentina in 2007, she is very clear where her priorities lie, claiming that she was born to be a mother and wife and would be happy if she were to never work again. However, the inspirational mum of one has not rested on her laurels since becoming a mother, but has balanced parenthood with her work to help mothers in developing nations, having become a global spokesperson for Pampers and UNICEF’s campaign to help stop the spread of maternal and neonatal tetanus.

Heidi Klum

Recently single Heidi Klum seems to effortlessly manage to balance her career as a supermodel and businesswoman alongside her role as a mother. A hands-on mum, Heidi is frequently photographed out and about with her four children, whether on family days out or picking them up from various classes and school. The model also sets aside time to help others by visiting patients at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles and helping to support their fundraising efforts.
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Top 10 celebrity body turnarounds

Impressive celebrity weight loss

You may think celebrities always look their best but they are only human after all, and so they can put on weight like the rest of us. It’s no wonder really; all of those lavish celebrity events with delicious food and champagne – it’s all calorific stuff! Here are the top 10 celebrities who have gone from flab to fab:

Renée Zellweger

From ballooning up twice for her role as Bridget Jones and shrinking back down as soon as the director shouted ‘that’s a wrap!’, ‘A-lister’ Renee is a definite weight loss wonder. Her intense two hour workouts, which include interval sprints and cycling, mean she can snap back into shape as quickly as you say ‘gym’. A fan of the macrobiotic diet, Renée eats low fat, high fibre foods with plenty of fish and raw veggies to stay slim.

Jennifer Hudson

Jennifer Hudson shed an astonishing 80lbs and is now looking better than ever. She used Weight Watchers to help her lose the weight and has since become the company’s spokesperson. Admitting to now feeling more comfortable in her own skin, svelte Jennifer now oozes with body confidence which she never had before. She achieved her new figure through learning how to eat in moderation (usually palm sized portions), so she can now enjoy the food she loves without compromising her figure.

Jonah Hill

The comedy actor Jonah Hill managed to lose over 40lbs and now looks a far cry from his former self. His new found jawline and overall trimmer physique is down to the help of a nutritionist, who advised him how to change his eating habits. The actor admits that there is no miracle solution to weight loss – you just have to eat more healthily and exercise. So, the star enjoyed a light diet full of Japanese food such as sushi which aided his weight loss.
woman lost weight

Kelly Osbourne

The rock and roll daughter of Ozzy Osbourne shed an amazing 42lbs in weight. The first 28lbs she managed to lose was down to her involvement with Dancing with the Stars, as all the training she did helped melt away the weight. Her trick for her continued weight loss is to have a small snack of something containing no carbs or sugar before bed to maintain metabolism. Once 161lbs at her heaviest, Kelly is now a trim Pilates-addict who can confidentially slink about in tight dresses.

Janet Jackson

Janet Jackson reportedly lost 60lbs through changing her eating patterns to a sensible three meals and two snacks a day diet, and by including protein with every meal to avoid hunger pangs. She limited herself to around 1,300 to 1,600 calories a day which helped her shed the weight, as well as including interval training into her exercise plan. She also has the diet plan Nutrisystem to thank for her weight loss, which Janet is now a spokesperson for.

Kirstie Alley

The former Dancing with the Stars contestant managed to shift a staggering 100lbs in weight through an organic inspired diet and basic healthy living habits such as taking supplements, getting eight hours of sleep and enjoying moderate and frequent exercise. She has since created her very own weight loss plan to inspire others to achieve and maintain the same results and to boost energy levels and metabolism, which she feels are the key to weight loss.

Seth Rogen

Actor and writer Seth Rogen lost 30lbs in nine months, transforming him from his chubbier Knocked Up film character. Seemingly, he lost the weight for a new film role, albeit reluctantly, as he finds healthy eating and exercise quite a gruelling challenge as he enjoys his ‘treats’ a bit too much. But the fact is that he was dedicated to lose the weight in the first place, with the help of a celebrity trainer. He now dons a healthier look, so let’s hope he maintains it!

Alec Baldwin

Having a scare of diabetes was enough to spur this actor into a new weight loss regime. He managed to shed 30lbs in four months by saying goodbye to the sweet stuff and taking up Pilates, yoga and the renowned calorie burning activity of spinning. Perhaps he took inspiration from his fitness freak girlfriend too, but it was his health scare that encouraged him to give up his favourite sweet treats and pizza.

Jack Osbourne

Like sister, like brother, Jack is another of the Osbourne family to have shed the excess weight – 49lbs in fact. The rock star son developed a passion for outdoor pursuits including rock climbing, helping the self-confessed adrenaline junkie lose weight through extreme sporting activities. He lost the initial weight during training to climb El Capitan, a huge Californian cliff. His weight loss ignited inner confidence as he even pursued photo shoots in the buff since losing weight!

John Goodman

At his heaviest, the family favourite actor weighed in at 400lbs, which he can ‘thank’ his love of beer for. But the much-loved US star managed to shed over 100lbs by quitting the booze and hiring a health coach to guide him into a better, healthier lifestyle. To really burn those pounds, the actor also gave up sugar and works out moderately six times a week – enough to keep him trim without exerting too much pressure on his naturally large frame.
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10 celeb beach bodies and how to get one

Top 10 hottest celebrity bodies

We’ve all been there; ogling at immaculate images of celebs on their holidays, with their near to perfect bodies. They are a fine breed, indeed, but there’s no reason why you can’t look the same with a little bit of work and dedication. Take inspiration from these ten celebrity beach bodies and turn your envy into your own body confidence.

Cameron Diaz

Cameron Diaz is the ultimate beach babe – true to her Californian roots she is a surf chick and ‘at one’ with the sea. Since her bikini-clad entrance in Charlie’s Angels, women have admired her tight torso and sculpted upper arms. To achieve a bod like hers, become a fan of outdoors exercise; she enjoys surfing which is a huge calorie burner and stomach toner. Cameron also mixes up her exercises, such as snowboarding or assault courses to give her body all over tone.


With toned curves like Beyoncé, there’s no wonder she is top in the beach body stakes. Even when she’s not on the beach, Beyoncé’s stage outfits can be just as revealing as a bikini so she keeps in shape with hours of dancing as well as weight training. She embraces her natural curves while maintaining discipline by exercising regularly and only having the occasional treat – there are no short cuts to a body like Beyoncé’s so be disciplined.

Matthew McConaughey

Matthew McConaughey is not camera shy when it comes to revealing his toned torso; many a film role has seen him shirtless and his holiday snaps always reveal his six pack. This beach hunk is a fan of circuit training and combines exercises such as sprints and pull-ups. He shows that you don’t need high-end fitness equipment to get into shape as he uses his own body weight to tone up with exercises such as push-ups and single-leg squats. Often seen running with his dogs, cardio also plays an important part in his regime.

Zac Efron

After years of those high-energy dance routines and basketball games for the High School Musical films, Zac is definitely in good shape. But now that his dancing days are behind him, Zac is a fan of using his own body weight in resistance manoeuvres to tone him chest and upper arms. By using harnesses on kiddies’ playground frames he gains muscle tone by using his whole body as a resistance weight. Zac enjoys exercise so when bulking up for film roles he is the trainer’s dream client.
celeb body on beach

Ryan Reynolds

The owner of one of the world’s most envied rippled stomachs, Ryan Reynolds first appeared on the beach body radar after appearing in the film Blade: Trinity, after transforming his body for the role by gaining 20 pounds in muscle. This star follows a healthy, protein rich diet, eating small meals every two to three hours to keep his energy levels up without storing fat. The key to his abs, though, is using them to anchor him when doing leg raises using an exercise ball between his feet.

Daniel Craig

When he emerged from the sea in his James Bond debut, everyone’s eyes were focused on two things; Daniel Craig’s torso and his bulked-up arms. Circuit training is what is said to explain the hunk’s beach bod, with a combination of squats, barbell curls and bench presses. By eliminating refined carbohydrates after 2pm he was able to use the energy he consumed immediately and maintain his metabolism.

Jennifer Aniston

Jennifer Aniston certainly holds the years back through her squeaky clean diet and fitness regime. A fan of the Atkins diet, her years of yoga – including hatha yoga – have given Jennifer the strong and slim figure that make her beach-babe worthy. She does her exercising first thing in the morning as she feels that is the best way to kick-start your metabolism and keep you in a healthy mind set for the day.

David Beckham

An obvious choice, perhaps, but David Beckham is more than worthy of a beach body title. Unfortunately, a ripped torso like David’s doesn’t appear overnight meaning you will need to put in the same amount of cardio as he does. The hours of training Beckham endures is the reason for his immaculate physique, and running around after his kids is sure to keep him trim, so the key here is to stay active and constantly on the go.

Jessica Alba

This Hollywood starlet is a regular in beach paparazzi shots – but who would blame photographers for wanting to capture those killer abs and teeny waist? Alba is famed for snapping so quickly back into shape post pregnancy, which she achieved through long gym workouts and 1,200 calorie meals. To ensure she makes the most of her time in the gym she will listen to music, read magazines, chat with fitness buddies and watch television to prevent boredom and make her work for longer.

Kim Kardashian

Renowned for her curves, Kim Kardashian’s tiny waist and toned thighs are the result of eating a balanced diet with the occasional treat, but minus the alcohol, which usually is the bloat culprit. She aims to stay fit for the long term so she is not one for fad diets and quick fixes. However, she is fan of following how she feels in her own skin, and not by weighing herself. To her, the size of her clothes doesn’t matter –it’s all about balance.
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Top 10 inspirational women and their most inspiring quotes

Inspiring women and quotes through the decades

Take a look at this list of 10 inspirational women and some of their most inspiring quotes. From Rosa Parks to Billy Jean King, these inspirational women will leave you feeling inspired, confident, and ready to make the most of your life.

Mother Teresa

For those of you asking "who is Mother Teresa?" - shame on you! After a life dedicated to charity and humanitarian work, she is regarded as one of the most selfless people to have ever lived, and her efforts were recognised in 1979 when she won the Nobel Peace Prize. However, one of the most admirable things about Mother Teresa is that she wasn't doing it for the recognition – she spent nearly 30 years of her life helping others before anybody even knew who she was. She believed in doing whatever was possible to help, whether big or small, with her philosophy being; "If you can't feed a hundred people, then feed just one."

Joan of Arc

“Stand up for what you believe in” is a great phrase to live by, and nobody did this more so than Joan of Arc. She campaigned for the instatement of the ‘true king’ to the French throne because she believed it was God's will, and led the French armies in fighting their English invaders. Joan of Arc was a great believer in destiny, once claiming "I am not afraid, I was born to do this." At a time when a woman on the battlefield was unheard of she eventually led her army to victory, fearlessly fighting and eventually dying to defend her country and strong beliefs.

Marilyn Monroe

Norma Jean Baker, or 'Marilyn Monroe' as she is better known, made a hugely successful career out of her good looks and uncanny ability to understand what the world wanted to see. Despite her ditzy blonde image and demeanour, Norma Jean knew exactly what she was doing and it's no coincidence that she became as famous as she did. Not content to let leading men hog the spotlight, she took extensive acting lessons to improve herself, because in her opinion; “Women who seek to be equal with men lack ambition.”

Oprah Winfrey

Simply through being compassionate, caring and charitable, Oprah Winfrey has made an astronomically successful career for herself. She shot to fame as an interviewer when her ability to emotionally connect with her guests struck a chord with the American public, and since then has gone from strength to strength. In 2003 she became the first African-American woman to be classed as a billionaire, yet in true Oprah style shares her wealth with those who need it most, having personally donated over $300 million to charitable causes. Oprah's wealth and fame is certainly no accident, as she believes that luck is simply "preparation meeting opportunity".

Amelia Earhart

Amelia Earhart's is a story of both success and tragedy, full of adventuring and pioneering for women's rights. She was the first woman to fly solo across the Atlantic, and was rewarded with the Distinguished Flying Cross for her efforts – again, she was the first woman to receive this. While other women were being held back by a male dominated society, Amelia was soaring through the clouds, breaking records, and having the time of her life. Her message to other women was that "the woman who can create her own job is the woman who will win fame and fortune."

Billie Jean King

With 39 Grand Slam titles to her name and 6 separate spells as world number one, Billie Jean King is undoubtedly one of the greatest female tennis players to ever grace the game – however, it is her battle for equal rights for sporting women that she will be truly remembered for. In 1973 she took on and defeated self professed chauvinist Bobby Riggs in 'The Battle of the Sexes’. A former world number one himself, Riggs' defeat proved once and for all that women deserved both respect and equality in the world of sport. This wasn't just about tennis though, as Billie Jean King described sports as "a microcosm of society", and believed her actions could help improve women's rights all over the world.

J. K. Rowling

From single mother living on benefits to multi-millionaire author in the space of a few years; if ever you needed proof that you should follow your dreams, J. K. Rowling is just that. After multiple rejections from publishers she finally secured a print run of 1,000 copies for her first book, which you just might have heard of – Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone. Fast forward a few years and the Harry Potter series has sold over 400,000 copies, spawned a whole film franchise, and almost single-handedly made reading cool again for kids. If you feel inspired by this story then be sure to take her belief that "anything's possible if you've got enough nerve" to heart.

Princess Diana

After marrying into the royal family, Princess Diana could simply have sat back and enjoyed a life of relaxation and luxury without a care in the world. However, she took it upon herself to use her celebrity status to help as many people as possible, becoming the figurehead for charity campaigns around the world. Someone who had everything and was eager to share it with is many people as possible, Diana was an inspiration to people in all walks of life, and her death was met with worldwide mourning. Diana's selfess attitude is summed up by one of her most famous quotes; "Anywhere I see suffering, that is where I want to be, doing what I can."

Rosa Parks

Refusing to give up a seat on a bus may seem like a simple feat, but when Rosa Parks did it in 1955 it was nothing short of unheard of. As an African American, Parks was legally obliged to give up her seat at the request of a white person – something she simply wasn’t willing to do. The courage she showed in that instance sparked the civil rights movement in America, and her simple act of defiance changed the lives of millions of people. "I'm tired of being treated like a second-class citizen" was the quote that Rosa Parks best used to describe the reasoning behind her act of defiance.

Kelly Holmes

Kelly Holmes' was a career full of set-backs and challenges, but one that ultimately had a happy ending. After years of trying for Olympic gold, her last chance came at the 2004 Games – a chance that was almost taken away from her by a leg injury. Despite suffering severe depression as a result of this, Kelly was able to battle through the injury through sheer determination, and ended up going above and beyond her wildest dreams by winning double Olympic gold in the 800m and 1500m, describing it as something she would "never ever forget". We don't blame her!
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Top 10 healthiest celebs

10 celebrity role models to inspire your healthy living

They may be renowned for their faddy diets, party lifestyles and stints in rehab, yet not all A-listers put their health on the back burner. To get inspiration from some super-fit and healthy stars, check out our top 10 healthiest celebs.

Jennifer Lopez

With her toned body and glowing skin, J-Lo clearly demonstrates the benefits of a healthy lifestyle. Having begun her career as a dancer, Jennifer has always been a fan of exercise yet she still has a healthy, relaxed attitude to diet and fitness, claiming to eat everything in moderation and stating that, while she tries to fit in regular exercise, her babies will always come first. Yet, despite this relaxed approach, super-fit J-Lo – who is also a strict non-smoker and teetotaller – impressively managed to completed a triathlon just seven months after giving birth to her twins.

Cameron Diaz

Cameron Diaz is the classic California girl with her outdoorsy nature and love of exercise. Cameron has an extremely active lifestyle and perfectly toned physique and has recently embarked on a healthy eating regime to help fuel her lifestyle. As well as regularly hitting the gym, Cameron takes part in a variety of outdoor activities including surfing, snowboarding, running and skiing. The actress is also a poster-girl for good self-esteem, claiming to love her body more than ever since she hit her late thirties.

Jessica Alba

If you think that your weight is determined by your genes, take note of Jessica Alba who proves that this need not be the case. You would never know it by looking at her, but Jessica has admitted to coming from a heavily overweight family. However, rather than following in her family’s footsteps, Jessica defied her genes and took her health into her own hands by starting to cook healthy meals for herself at the age of 12. Now a long-term healthy eater, the Hollywood actress follows a strict healthy eating regimen that cuts out processed foods in favour of organic, fresh ingredients.

Kate Beckinsale

When it comes to healthy eating and exercise, many celebrities clearly go to extremes. It is refreshing, therefore, to see a celebrity who has conquered her demons and emerged with a healthy body image and lifestyle to match. While Kate Beckinsale famously battled an eating disorder during her teen years, the British actress has since settled at a healthy weight. While Kate follows a sensible, balanced diet and partakes in regular exercise, she steers clear of excessive training and refuses to get hung up on a pursuit of the perfect body.

Jennifer Aniston

Jennifer Aniston is a renowned health icon who embraces the perfect healthy combo of both regular exercise and a good diet. The Friends star reportedly cuts out processed foods from her diet and stocks up on protein and plenty of fresh fruit and veg. On top of this, Jennifer is dedicated to a varied exercise routine, incorporating cardio training, weight lifting and plenty of yoga and Pilates into her regular routine.

David Beckham

As a professional football player and model, David Beckham is pretty much obligated to be fit. However, on top of his intense training sessions, Beckham is also an advocate of a healthy diet and lifestyle and has recently launched a range of healthy meals to help get kids eating well too. To complement his healthy lifestyle, Beckham has also made the decision to remain teetotal; a decision which no doubt helps towards maintaining those famous abs.

Jessica Biel

No one can accuse Jessica Biel of not being up for a challenge. The A-list actress is almost frighteningly fit, regularly taking part in intense workouts with her personal trainer consisting of weight training, stretches and cardio. However, the activity doesn’t stop there. Jessica recently took part in a six-day journey to the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro and has now set her sights on climbing Mount Everest as her next fitness goal.

Tobey Maguire

Spiderman actor Tobey Maguire is not only concerned with keeping his own health in tip-top shape, but the Hollywood star also joined America’s Healthy School Lunch Campaign to help campaign for healthier school lunch options; an act that is demonstrative of his passion for healthy living. Tobey also ensures his own diet is in great shape by following a healthy vegan diet and abstaining from drinking alcohol.

Gwyneth Paltrow

Gwyneth Paltrow is a star who has always carefully monitored her health and diet. While in the past the actress may have taken healthy eating to the extreme with her allegiance to the Macrobiotic diet, Gwyneth has more recently relaxed her restrictive diet while still following some of its healthier principles. Gwyneth is also an advocate of good home-cooking, having recently released a cookbook packed with healthy options.

Jake Gyllenhaal

As well as being a dedicated barefoot runner who has set himself the goal of running a marathon, Jake Gyllenhaal has a strong interest in healthy eating. In fact, the actor not only admits to being a keen cook with an obsession with recipe books, but he makes sure to include lots of fresh food in his diet. So much so that Jake is a regular at farmers’ markets and also grows his own vegetables in his garden at home.
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Our best health and fitness tips

Are you looking to boost your health but not sure where to start? First, drop the notion that workouts have to be dull and repetitive to be effective. Our illustrative photo gallery offers the latest in fun fitness trends – you'll be finding local classes and gathering your friends to join along in no time at all.

Our second article can help you discover which of the six most common fitness personalities you have. This is a must-read for any woman who loves a good workout, but may be feeling a little bored by the same routine. Here you'll find fitness tips and workout recommendations tailored just for your specific personality type.

Is your busy lifestyle is the main deterrent keeping you away from a solid workout routine? Read about our on-the-go plan that will keep you fit no matter where you are, or how limited your time is. Best of all, these effective exercises don't require you to buy any new equipment, so you can do them whenever the mood hits.

Last up: Keep your health and fitness motivation strong! Experts dish on keeping (or finding) fitness momentum to help you lead your strongest, healthiest life.

Photo gallery: 5 amazing health and fitness trends

Tired of your usual fitness routine? Here are 5 hot fitness trends that will boost your weight loss.

Are you suffering from a stagnant fitness routine? Can't seem to break through a weight-loss plateau? Still searching for love at first sweat? If you answered yes to any of these questions, it's time to step outside the conventional world of treadmills and step class to reinvigorate your love of exercise.

6 fitness personalities: Which one are you?

Forget slaving away at exercise you don't enjoy. Find your health and fitness personality and we'll show you your perfect workout.

There are as many ways to get cardiovascular exercise as there are ways to move your body, so expand your horizons. Look for opportunities to move your body whenever you can. Not sure where to start? I find that most clients have a certain "fitness personality." They are (not surprisingly) attracted to activities that jive with who they are. It sounds like common sense, but most of us don't think of fitness that way.

Fitness on the go

6 go-anywhere exercises you can do while on vacation or at the office -- no equipment required!

You've worked hard to develop a respectable level of fitness and now you see your summer holidays looming and think, "Can I find the time to keep this up?" Or you've just begun a particularly busy time at work and you wonder, "Can I get by with less?" The answer is yes!

Remain on the health and fitness train

Three steps to get back on track when a motivation slump derails you.

So many of us make plans to lose weight, eat better and decrease stress. We tell ourselves that, starting tomorrow, things will be different. But when it comes to starting a new health and fitness plan, for many, it's a challenging proposition. When motivation starts to drop – fear not. An energy injection is as easy as one, two, three. Here's how to get back on track when a motivation slump derails you.
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Smile Science: The Anatomy of a Smile


BEAUTY may well be in the eye of the beholder, but when it comes to a winning smile, it also in the numbers—in the length of your teeth, the amount of gum showing, and many other measurable factors. We checked in with several local dentists—Tom Hilton and Juliana da Costa, professors in OHSU’s School of Dentistry, as well as Bling Dental’s smile makeover specialists Raymond Frye and Katie Ball—to give us some insight on just what makes an ideal smile. While the answer varies with tastes and trends (the favored look in Hollywood today, for instance, shows significantly more teeth than smiles 20 years ago), some basic principles apply. Of course, one of the most important factors in creating an ideal smile is a healthy foundation. (So brush, floss, get regular cleanings.) And equally important to attaining an ideal smile? The confidence with which you wear it.


In an ideal smile, 100 percent of your central and lateral upper incisors and your canines should be visible, Hilton says. Usually your upper premolars and part of your first molar should be on display. Men tend to show less of their upper teeth (hence the expression “stiff upper lip”). Veneers—essentially custom-made slipcovers bonded to your teeth that can be cut to any shape and size—can elongate teeth so more of them show in your smile.


Not only should your central incisors meet in a straight line, but the teeth also should be mirror images of each other. Ditto for the lateral incisors and canines.


Most central incisors (your two front teeth) are between about 10.5 and 12.5 mm long and are roughly 20 percent longer than wide. Another interesting tidbit: rounded teeth shapes are considered more feminine, square teeth more masculine. If you’re not happy with yours, veneers are one way to alter the shape of your teeth.


In an ideal smile, no more than 2 mm of gums should show above the teeth. More than that creates a “gummy” smile a la Jon Heder in Napoleon Dynamite. Gummy smiles are sometimes caused by overactive levator labii muscles, Ball explains, which raise the curtain on your grin just a little too high. One solution: a shot of Botox ($50 a pop) can tame your burly lip lifter.


You want a little bit of negative space between the corner of your lips and your upper back teeth. Anatomists gave this the sexy name “buccal corridor.” Balance is everything when it comes to buccal corridors: too little and you’ve got a toothy grin, too much and your smile could end up looking narrow. (Broader smiles are considered more attractive.)


White is right. Or at least right now. Today’s aesthetics call for lighter-colored teeth, although to be realistic, says da Costa, the shade should transition from slightly darker along the gum line to lighter toward the edge of the tooth. Among the most popular whitening products are custom-crafted whitening trays, fabricated to fit you perfectly. How white? Da Costa offers this advice: “Teeth ought not be whiter than the sclera (white part) of the eyes.”


Another term to add to your Architecture of the Smile glossary: “incisal embrasure,” the notch where the edge of one tooth meets the edge of the next tooth. It is usually small where the central incisors meet, Hilton explains, then wider where the central incisors meet the lateral incisors and even wider where the lateral incisors meet the canines. This gives a (highly desirable) rounded shape to your teeth. Teeth with uniform or little incisal embrasure form more of a straight line and don’t look natural.


Specifically, the curve of your upper front teeth should be roughly parallel to the curve of your bottom lip. This is called your smile arc.

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Top 10 ways to gain control of your life

Take control and avoid burnout

Don't feel you have enough control over your life? Here are 10 great tips to help you declutter your life and gain control once again.  

Establish daily priorities

Each day, establish a list of the things you have to do and then decide which are most important to you. Then do the most important things first. Also, ask yourself if everything on your list really needs doing and if it’s going to concern you too much if it doesn’t get done. Eliminate the unimportant things by being ruthless about it — which will be easier to do if you recognise that there are many activities which will only waste time and won’t add much value to your life!

Streamline your life

Take a look at how you spend your time over a typical week. You may find that you spend too much of your life in the office, or spend too many hours doing the housework, or even do a combination of both. If this is the case, determine what areas can be streamlined. For example, do you really need to put in an extra hour every day at work? (Remember that once you start doing extra at work, it almost becomes expected of you!). Consider what you really want to do with your time, and be a bit more selfish about it.

Minimise and make use of your commuting time

Too much time can be spent fighting your way to work — especially if you always end up sitting in traffic in your car or squeezing onto packed public transport services. Try minimising the time it takes to get to work by leaving earlier in the morning and doing the same in the evening so that you avoid the rush hour. Also, make use of your journey time by listening to some motivational music or that instructional CD you’ve always wanted to get into. If you are using public transport, your journey could even be a good opportunity to catch up a few matters or compile a ‘to do’ list for that day.

Share the load at home

If you’re constantly being pulled in different directions by family members, then it might be time to establish some firmer rules for how you spend your time. For example, if you’re always the person who does the driving around for everyone — such as dropping off one of your children and their friends at an after-school activity, and then taking another of your children to a completely different place — then why not let someone else take the strain for a change? You could consider sharing the duties with your partner, a relative, a friend or a neighbour, so that it’s not always you on call.

Consider different work options

Depending on your job, you may be able to reduce a lot of wasted travel time by working from home. It may be that you spend a lot of time at home anyway doing work-related tasks — and this could be a good reason to use when persuading your boss to let you operate in such a way. You may even be able to lighten your load by delegating work more frequently instead of trying to be some kind of superman or superwoman! If possible, you could even think about switching to part-time work to give you more time for other things.


Declutter your surroundings to help you operate in the home and workplace in a more organised manner. Getting rid of the clutter in your home and your office will save time — and when your surroundings are decluttered, your mind will have more chance to relax and focus. It’s certainly a great idea to get rid of the majority of things that you never use or don’t need — and everything that you do need should be given a permanent location so you know where to find it.

Cook more food and save it

One thing we are guaranteed to have to do each day is sort out some food for ourselves. Obviously the simple solution would be to get a takeaway every night, but a more affordable and healthier option would be to use your time in the kitchen more wisely. For example, if you cook something one night, consider making more than you need so that you can freeze some of it and use the extra amount on another occasion. It doesn’t generally take you much more time to make the extra, but it will save you plenty of time in the long run.

Know your limitations

All too frequently we expect too much of ourselves and try to take too much on board. Remember that no one can do everything, and be realistic in your expectations of yourself. Also, avoid comparing your abilities with those of others, as some people will be just naturally better at doing certain things than you. Once you accept that it’s not possible to do everything that you are trying to do, then you’ll realise the only way round it is to get your family and friends to help with or take on tasks in the home, or your work colleagues to help with or take on tasks in the workplace.

Consider running your own business

If you feel the demands on you at work are far too much and you’re not getting the job satisfaction you’re seeking, it might be a good idea to consider working for yourself. It takes a brave person to set up their own business, and while initially it might involve you having to put in long hours, it may ultimately pay off and help you to get more control over your life. How much you put in and how much you get out of your business will largely be your choice — which means that working for yourself is a great way of taking control of your life.

Be more decisive

When there is an option, it pays to be decisive. For example, at work there may be a task that needs to be allocated — and if it is something that you want to or don’t want to take on, then say so! All too often people end up saddled with something they don’t want to do — or alternatively not doing something they did want to do — because they didn’t speak up at the time. And you can be decisive in your personal life too. If you don’t make decisions then someone else will make them for you — and so you end up having to go along with something that you don’t want to do.

Taking control …

Gaining and maintaining control over what happens in your life is never straightforward, but by following our top 10 tips you will be well on your way to improving the amount of control that you have — which will ultimately make you far happier!
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Top 10 ways to boost your confidence's top tips to boost your morale

Confidence is affected by many factors — including our own feelings of self-worth or perceived degree of success. If you’re lacking in these areas then you should check out the following top ways to boost your confidence — which will have you feeling able to tackle any given situation!

Get a new image

It doesn’t matter whether you are male or female — what you look like will always affect your confidence. Your everyday appearance — including what clothes you’re wearing, how your hair looks and what make-up you’re wearing — will make a massive difference to how you feel. All of us know how much our confidence can be knocked when having a bad hair day, or by having unsightly spots appear overnight smack bang in the middle of our faces!
It’s well worth investing in your appearance with new clothes or a new hairstyle, as this will really boost your confidence. Wear some colours that cheer you up and make you feel good about yourself, or go for a smarter option if you think this will make you feel more confident.

Get a new job

It might be your job that is causing you to lack confidence. If you’re in a place where you’re constantly undermined or lacking a challenge, then your confidence is hardly going to be sky high. If that’s the case, then it’s probably time to move on and find a more challenging role.
Look for that job out there that you really want, and then apply for it — rather than constantly thinking about going for it and then doing nothing. If you get the job then you’ll feel extremely uplifted and much more confident. Admittedly, there is always a risk that your level of confidence will go down if you don’t get the job, but don’t let that bother you; instead, be proud of the fact that you tried — and then try again.

List your good points

Write out a list of all the things that you are good at, to act as reminder to yourself that you are least good at some things! Then, when you’re feeling that your confidence is on the wane, take the list out, read it, and add something new to it. If you’re struggling to think of things to add to your list, then it’s possible you’re missing the obvious or being too harsh on yourself.
It’s also worth remembering some of the things you have achieved so far in your life. They don’t have to be earth-shattering achievements, but could still be something to be proud of — such as passing your driving test, raising a family, getting fit, or successfully saving up for a trip away.

Work on your small talk

Some people really struggle in social situations such as parties because they feel they lack the confidence to engage in small talk with people they do not know. They constantly avoid these situations and therefore their confidence does not improve — and nor does their circle of friends.
Our advice is: if you get invited somewhere, make sure you go! The more social situations you get in, the more comfortable you’ll feel making small talk to people you’ve only just met. Remember: most people probably feel the same way, and will probably be so relieved when you break the ice that they’ll open up and talk to you in kind.

Mix with positive people

Being around positive people will rub off on you and will get you in a positive frame of mind — as well as brimming with confidence! If you’re surrounded by happy, smiling faces and laughter, then isn’t that going to be infectious?
Being positive is all in the mind — so you have to make yourself think positively. But if there are positive people around giving you advice, building you up, and pushing you in the right direction, then thinking positively will come more easily and your confidence will naturally increase as a result. So, if you are aware that the people you mix with tend to bring you down a lot, then do something about it by getting some new friends.

Get fit and eat healthily

Your body shape and weight can have a major impact on your confidence levels — although we’re not saying that everyone who is overweight, underweight or needs to tone up is always lacking in confidence, of course. But getting more exercise and following a healthier diet will boost your sense of well-being — and this in turn will have a positive effect on your confidence.
Getting fitter and eating more healthily will definitely make a difference to your confidence levels — no matter how much or little you improve. Remember the saying ‘healthy body, healthy mind’? Well, it’s true!

Be assertive

Assertiveness breeds confidence in yourself and gains the confidence of others around you. If you take control of a situation, you will gain confidence from that, and any positive feedback you get from others will surely help with your levels of confidence too.
Being assertive doesn’t have to mean being rude or bossy. You could start by making yourself stand tall so that people take notice of you and your oozing confidence. Then decide that each day it’s going to be you that makes everyday decisions at home and in the workplace, rather than waiting to be told what to do or being passive.

Take on a challenge

Doing something new — such as learning a language, learning to play a musical instrument, or taking a class in some other discipline. Learning anything new is great for your confidence — and the added bonus is that you’ll meet lots of people who you’ll have at least one thing in common with.
If you are in interested in taking on an extreme challenge, why not consider running a marathon, or doing a sponsored bungee jump? Overcoming any major challenge will give you more confidence and will improve your self-esteem too. You will always have a sense of, ‘If I can do that, then I can do anything!’ after overcoming a personal challenge such as those suggested here.

Keep a diary

Do a ‘Bridget Jones’ and keep a diary that you can go back to and read or add to frequently. Diaries are a great way of raising your sense of self by reinforcing the fact that you and your opinions count.
Reading about what you’ve done in the past can help you realise what you’ve managed to overcome and how you’ve dealt with situations in your life — and you should be able to take some confidence from the fact that you survived or that you handled something in a positive manner. We can all learn things about ourselves by looking back; after all, experience breeds confidence.

Be philosophical

Being philosophical about things means that if things don’t quite go the way you planned, you can put events into perspective and you won’t let the experience knock your confidence. For example, if you don’t get that job you had hoped for, then why not think about what else is round the corner, rather than ruminating too much on why you failed? Also, you should remember that failing to overcome a problem rarely means that it’s the end of the world!
Being positive and philosophical about things can be an attractive trait to have, because having a negative outlook can make other people want to shy away from you. It’s best to try to turn negatives into positives and not be too self-critical.

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Top 25 tips to change your life

Tips to help you get more out of life

Stuck in a rut? If you feel it's time to make a fresh start then take a look at our top 25 tips to help you change things for the better and get more out of life.
The following guide gives you 25 top tips to change your life for the better — so get reading and start making some changes!

Travel the world

If it’s possible, then you should make sure you fit some travelling in. Okay, so you might not have the time or the funds to go on a round-the-world trip, but it certainly is a truism that ‘travel broadens the mind’. If you can’t manage that backpacking trip around the globe, then consider going to some far away location where the experience will be totally different — perhaps even life-changing — rather than settling for the usual two weeks in the same destination.

Change your job

If your job is getting you down, then change it. The only thing preventing you finding something that you’ll enjoy more is you. If only people could put as much energy into finding a new job as they do into moaning about it, then they could make a major change to their lives. Your workplace is where you spend a large proportion of your time, so it’s important to try and be as happy there as you can be.

Sell your house

Your home and affording it might be one of your greatest sources of worry, so a simple solution would be to remove that worry from the equation. Do you really need that spare bedroom when you could quite easily cope in a smaller house? Downsizing and moving to a smaller (and likely cheaper) property will make it a lot easier to manage, will remove one of your major worries, and may free up some funds for you to actually start enjoying yourself a bit!

Do volunteer work

Volunteering makes us feel good about ourselves while we do something practical to help others. Volunteering also inevitably means having greater opportunities to meet other people. You could think about volunteering for an overseas project in a Third World country — which is bound to have an impact on your outlook — or you could simply give up a few hours a week to help an elderly person do their shopping. In any case, realising you are more fortunate than others while you do your charity work will have a profound and lasting effect on you.

Change your routine

Having a regular routine can be a safe option, but can make your life a little more exciting as well. Try changing something in your routine, such as taking a different route or method of transport into work. If you’re one of those people who usually says ‘I can’t do that on Tuesday because I normally do … .’, then break that cycle and try to do things in a more spontaneous manner. Just because it’s Friday doesn’t mean you always have to eat fish!

Have a goal

Always have a goal in mind — whether it is saving up for that new car or that trip around the world, or alternatively realising some career ambition. If you don’t have anything to look forward to, then you can quickly become bogged down and will be effectively just living to work rather than the other way round. Having a target to work towards keeps you motivated and helps prevent you from just drifting along and falling into a rut — so make sure you always have a particular goal in mind.

Do something that scares you

There’s nothing that quite makes you feel as good about yourself as overcoming a fear by completing a challenge. If there’s something that you’ve perhaps always fancied doing but have been too scared to do it, then just go for it! There are many people out there who have been skydiving, for example, and described leaping out of a plane as a ‘life-changing experience’ — and then have gone on to complete challenge after challenge because of the buzz they get from it.

Write your autobiography

Putting down in writing your own life will inevitably make you think about it — including those things that have gone right so far and those that haven’t. Although you’ll not necessarily intend to let other people read it (although it might let others understand you better if you do!), it will help you to reassess your life and think about the direction in which you want it to go. It may also be a good way of exorcising some of your demons and reinforcing your beliefs.

Get more active

If your lifestyle has consisted of coming home from work and slumping in front of the TV every evening, then it might be time for a change of tack. We’re not necessarily talking about becoming an Olympic athlete, of course — but we are suggesting you get more active. You could introduce some exercise into your day simply by walking — for example by taking the stairs instead of the elevator. And if you take some more rigorous exercise, then it’s likely you’ll start feeling a lot healthier in a short space of time.

Get a new image

Your image might be the one thing you feel is holding you back and making you lack confidence. If you’ve had the same old tired look for ages, then it may be time to change your appearance in some way. Spend some money on yourself and get a new hairstyle, buy a new wardrobe of clothes, and just do things to make you feel as though you are special. It amazing how you can feel more comfortable and confident in certain clothes when you make the effort — so make an effort more often!

Sleep more/less

Some people just don’t get enough sleep, while others have far too much — the end result of which will be a feeling of constant tiredness. Getting the right amount of sleep will leave you more alert and able to relish doing things and get more out of experiences during your waking hours. Plus, one added bonus of sleeping less is that it enables you to fit more things into your day. After all, as they say, ‘you can sleep when you’re dead’

Change your diet

‘You are what you eat’ is a much-used phrase, and it may be that your diet is making you feel pretty rotten. Just changing a few things can have positive health benefits as well as give you more energy and make you feel better all round. Of course, there’s a lot of advice out there (some of it contradictory!) — but generally, eating everything in moderation is the best way to go. Also, making sure you drink enough water and get your five portions of fruit and veg are two of the golden rules to follow.

Change your outlook

If you think negative thoughts all the time then that’s exactly how you’ll feel! Smiling a lot and being positive will transform you into a more optimistic person. It has been said that people are only as happy as they allow themselves to be — and if you can put aside negative thoughts and be more optimistic, then that will transfer itself to how you feel about life in general. There is even evidence to suggest that people who smile a lot actually live longer!

Change your friends

There are some people who can just drag you down or use you as an emotional crutch for their negativity. While we may want to be there for people when they need us, there is no need to be constantly brought down to their level. Some people can be just plain bad for you and surround you with so many negative vibes that you just don’t want to listen to them anymore. If that’s the case, then don’t put yourself through it and get some new friends instead!

Read more

Books are often a great source of inspiration, and new ideas and can often have a major impact on you. There are people who will swear by certain ideas put forward in a book and actually live their life by them. Autobiographies of people who have overcome insurmountable odds or had that certain stroke of luck that we’re all looking for can often act as a great inspiration — and may even lead you to consider making some life-changing decisions.

Buy a pet

Owning a pet is thought to have health benefits such as helping lower blood pressure and being good for your general mood. Having a pet — in particular a dog — will lead to increased activity levels because they need to be taken for regular exercise. Pets can also help to relieve your stress and anxiety by promoting laughter and affectionate behaviour.

Have a baby

Many people consider this to be perhaps the most life-changing experience of them all! The birth itself can be such a significant moment in people’s lives — including the mother, father and other relations. Of course, parents often spend much of the rest of their lifetime caring for their children, even when they’ve fled the nest — so you need to recognise the impact it will have on you (emotionally, physically, and financially) before you decide to have a baby. However, the positives of having children far outweigh any negatives.

Say ‘yes’ more often

Don’t be the sort of person that is always turning an invitation down. If you say ‘no’ that often, then people will eventually stop asking! So, stop looking for excuses not to go out, and make a promise to yourself never to turn an invite down (within reason, of course!). You never really know what is going to happen — and it’s quite often the nights out that you initially have low expectations of that end up being the most enjoyable.

Watch less television

The number of hours of television being watched by many people these days is so great that, after the time you spend asleep and in work, it is probably the one activity that takes up most of your time. Watching less TV will free you up to follow other (hopefully more healthy) pursuits. Making this change will have a positive and radical impact on your life — and also on your general health.

Give up alcohol

Too many people rely on alcohol as a means of relaxation or escapism, and while there are some health benefits from drinking alcohol in moderation (red wine being a good example), the benefits of not drinking cannot be stressed enough. Try giving up alcohol — even just for a trial period — to see if you feel any better. Realistically, most of us are not going to become teetotallers, but the there are many people who have given up and not regretted it whatsoever.

Find a new hobby/enrol on a class

There’s probably something you’ve always wanted to have a go at but keep putting off. But there’s nothing to lose by trying something out — and it may be that if you do enjoy whatever activity you choose, it will become a regular part of your life. Many people become so ‘addicted’ to certain activities that they become obsessive about them — in a good way! — or even end up following a career path connected to that hobby or pastime. So why not check out what classes there are in your area and sign up to one of them?

Employ the ‘three-minute rule’

Write down three things you have been trying to achieve — whether it’s changing bank, sorting out your photo album or a career change — and give yourself a month to get them done. When you decide to tackle one of your chosen tasks, set your alarm clock to buzz you in three minutes, then concentrate on the task in hand. You’ll find that once you have broken the fear of starting something, you’ll be fired up to get it done.

Conquer stress

It sounds simple, but if you stop worrying about something then that will eradicate much of the stress. Some people are naturally able to cope better with stress than others, but at the end of the day what good does stressing out about something do you? If you calmly look at the problem and ask yourself, ‘Can I do something about it?’, then there either will or won’t be a solution to a particular problem. Things usually work out in the end, making all the stress that went before it seem so unnecessary — so quit stressing!

Treat yourself

It’s not always possible to put yourself first, and all too often people actually forget that they deserve to be treated well too. If you keep waiting for others to treat you well, then it might never happen. Make a resolution to treat yourself every now and again by putting yourself first, so that you get what you deserve at regular intervals. It’s the one way of guaranteeing that at least one person is going to be good to you in your life — and that person is you!

It’s your life, so live it!

Keep reminding yourself that it’s your life and you are the one responsible for making yourself happy. Other people can add to your happiness, but ultimately it comes down to you to get the most out of life, as nobody else can force you into making positive changes which may improve your lot. So, don’t keep waiting for things to happen for you, as life may just pass you by. Instead, take each day by the scruff of the neck, and learn to make the most of the time you have.

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Top 10 health and fitness world records

10 world records to inspire your healthy living

Lacking motivation for healthy living? Get inspired by these incredible world records which push the boundaries of health and fitness.

Youngest person to complete a marathon on all continents

Tim Harris achieved a Guinness World Record in 2007 for becoming the youngest person to run a marathon on all seven continents. Tim, 23, completed this impressive feat in just 95 days, starting his challenge in Argentina before moving on to marathons in New Zealand; Palermo, Italy; Seattle, USA; Singapore; Marrakech, Morocco; and Antarctica. Despite facing a 5,000 foot climb, snow, wild dogs and illness along the way, Tim completed his challenge on 12th December 2006 – before celebrating with a 100K race across Antarctica, just for fun!

Oldest person to climb the seven summits (including Carstensz)

Climbing the seven summits (the highest mountains of each of the seven continents) is a huge accomplishment for anyone of any age, but completing this extremely difficult fitness challenge at the age of 73 is doubly impressive. Roman Blanco began his climbing challenge when he was 42 years old by climbing Aconcagua. However, he went on to climb all six other mountains – including Everest – following his 60th birthday. Roman finally completed his challenge at the age of 73 years, 357 days, proving that you are never too old to reach your goals.

World’s largest salad

In 2010, residents of the island Crete, in Greece, entered the Guinness Book of World Records when 500 volunteers created the world’s largest Greek salad, which weighed in at a massive 13,417 kg – beating the previous record of 10, 260 kg. The salad, which contained almost 7000 kg of tomatoes, 3000 kg of cucumbers and 800 kg of Feta cheese, was created to raise awareness for the local trade and area, and was contributed to by local farmers and their families.

Heaviest aircraft pulled by a man

If you thought lifting weights at the gym was tough, imagine pulling the weight of a 416,299 lb aircraft several metres across the ground! This is exactly what Kevin Fast accomplished in 2009 when the Reverend Doctor broke a world record by pulling a CC-177 Globemaster III a distance of 8.8 metres across the Canadian Forces Base in Ontario, using a home-made harness. This is just one of thirteen world records currently held by Kevin, who also broke records for the heaviest house pulled by an individual and the heaviest vehicle pulled with an arm wrestling move.

Longest time spent laughing

Ethiopian Belachew Girma claims to hold a Guinness World Record for laughing nonstop for a total of three hours and six minutes. While it may seem like an unusual achievement, Belachew has a serious goal behind his record. In a country where there is often little to laugh about – and where Belachew himself has lost two wives to HIV and businesses to fire and flooding – Belachew’s aim is to help minimise stress and pain and promote healing through laughter. The world record holder has now set up what he believes to be the first laughter class in Africa to further his cause.

Most marathons run in a calendar year

Running a marathon is a huge achievement, but if running one marathon a year is no longer a challenge for you why not go for a world record? The most marathons run in one year currently stands at a truly impressive 106 races. IM Chae Ho broke the male world record by completing his 106 marathons in 2009 at the age of 59 (a record later matched by 67 year old R. Laurence Macon), while Yolanda Holder broke the female record by completing 106 marathons in 2010.

Longest bouncy castle marathon

It may not seem the most obvious fitness challenge, but bouncing on a bouncy castle is not as easy as it looks – especially when done for 26 hours at a time! In March 2011, as part of the fourth birthday celebrations for Hero’s the Party Experience in Ohio, five members of staff set themselves a challenge of beating the record for the longest time spent bouncing on a bouncy castle. After a night and day of bouncing they succeeded in setting a new record of 26 hours, scoring themselves a place in the Guinness Book of Records as well as raising money for Diabetes Youth Services.

Fastest mile on a space hopper

When it comes to breaking unusual records, Ashrita Furman has it covered. The New Yorker has set more than 300 world records and currently holds the record for the most current Guinness World Records held at the same time by an individual. Specialising in taking childhood activities to the extreme, in 2010 Ashrita broke the record for fastest mile on a space hopper in 13 minutes flat. Some of Ashrita’s other records include fastest time to hula hoop 10 km, fastest one mile sack race, fastest mile piggy back race and fastest mile on a pogo stick whilst juggling three balls.

Longest kiss

Kissing has a wealth of health benefits; it can lower stress hormones, produce endorphins and even burn off calories. All this may come as good news to Ekkachai and Laksanka Tiranarat, who locked lips for two days to break a kissing record. The Thai couple took part in a contest organised by Louis Tussaud's Waxworks in Pattaya, Thailand, where couples were required to continually kiss with no sleeping or sitting permitted.  The husband and wife team were eventually announced the winners for their kiss, which lasted 46 hours and 24 minutes.

World’s oldest person

Most of us would class getting into our 90s as a long life span, yet Jeanne Louise Calment far surpassed this by living a total of 122 years and 164 days – the oldest verified age of any human being ever. Jeanne – who lived on her own until shortly before her 110th birthday, took up fencing at the age of 85 and rode her bicycle up until the age of 100 – was believed to be in good health right up until she died in 1997. Jeanne put her good health down to olive oil, which she used on her food as well as rubbing it into her skin, and her diet of nearly one kilogram of chocolate a week – although she was also renowned for her active lifestyle and unflappable nature.
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