How to shuck oysters in 3 simple steps

Oyster Shucking

It’s terrifying. It’s intimidating. It’s something you never thought you’d be able to do.

No, we’re not talking about a marathon, we’re talking about shucking oysters.

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Despite the stigma involved, the shucking process really isn’t as bad as you think, though it does take practice.

Ryan McPherson, owner of Glidden Point Oyster Farms in Edgecomb, ME, breaks the process down into three simple steps.  

Source: Health & Fitness

How UFC Gym can help you forge the endurance, strength, and tenacity of a fighter

MMA

As I clambered up the 41 steep steps to the UFC gym SoHo—every other stair emblazoned with motivational words like “strength,” “discipline,” and “determination”—I fought the urge to do an about-face.

I was there to try UFC’s Daily Ultimate Training strength and conditioning class, and I was…on edge. No, I wasn’t expecting the place to have the same peaceful aura of a eucalyptus-scented space like Equinox, but I also wasn’t too sure how I’d handle working out near the kind of bloody, cranium-crushing fisticuffs they show on pay-per-view.

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I worried for nothing. Well, not nothing.

“The name UFC is intimidating, but we’re not a fight gym,”—at least not in the sense that bruisers show up for the sole purpose of beating other dudes up, coach Jay Mark, P.T., told me as he showed me around.

A barrage of bags hung from the walls like pigs in a meat locker; a caged ring was set back in the middle. All the equipment, he said, had been cherry-picked to help students master their chosen MMA discipline—boxing, Muay Thai, Brazilian jiu-jitsu—without puking or tapping out.

Finally, I’d stalled long enough: It was time for class.

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The warmup of bear crawls, Spider-Man pushups, and inchworms was comically difficult, and made worse by the four minutes of burpees our group of 20 or so was penalized with anytime someone walked instead of ran back after a round.

But that was just a taste of the torture to come: 45 minutes filled with 45-second high-intensity intervals followed by 15-second (read: too damn short) rests. I “boxed,” rowed, slammed a med ball, swung a kettlebell, heaved battle ropes, blasted out single-leg stepups, and busted out goblet squats, all while my coach, Eminem, and Nicki Minaj pushed my sorry ass, constantly correcting my form and honing my technique.

The finisher was an Indian run—but one with a calf-cramping, lung-busting catch: We each had to haul a sled down the turf and back while the rest of the class hustled around them.

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I finished shaking and spent, but feeling electric after surviving almost an hour of such high-octane work.

After a few months of taking two classes a week (all my crippling soreness would allow), I’d unsheathed a leaner, more defined physique. I’d also come to love falling into post-class sweat puddles with my gang of MMA newbies, veteran metal movers, and average Joes.

But I think I’ll leave the cage fighting to the professionals.

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Source: Health & Fitness

Top Athletes On Why They Prioritize Sleep

This article is an excerpt from THE SLEEP REVOLUTION by Arianna Huffington. Copyright © 2016 by Christabella, LLC. Published by Harmony Books, an imprint of Penguin Random House LLC. It was originally published at Thrive Global.

One of the teams leading the way in capitalizing on the sleep advantage is the Seattle Seahawks, who won the Super Bowl in 2013 and came within two yards of repeating their victory in 2014. Head coach Pete Carroll is known as much for his innovation off the field as on it.

“When it comes to the precision and science of sleep for optimal performance,” says Carroll. “We’ve been fortunate to work with experts to help guide us on both the physical and mental strategies to enhance our recovery process.”

Two of the experts leading his science team are Sam Ramsden, the team’s director of player health and performance, and Michael Gervais, the director of high -performance psychology at the DISC Sports & Spine Center. Together, they educate both players and coaches on the importance of sleep.

“Fatigue and performance are intimately linked,” they tell me. “And sleep is one of the important variables to get right to help athletes sustain high effort and enthusiasm for the long haul.”

This isn’t news to the New England Patriots’ quarterback Tom Brady, who managed to beat the Seahawks in the last Super Bowl — and win the MVP title. Brady goes to bed at 8:30 p.m. and is still managing to play at the highest level, even as he approaches forty.

“The decisions that I make always center around performance enhancement,” he says. “I want to be the best I can be every day.”

The Chicago Bears are employing a similar strategy. Their sport-science coordinator, Jennifer Gibson, teaches players how to develop good sleep habits and proper napping techniques as a way to maximize performance, and provides them with memory-foam mattresses during training camp.

Pro Bowl guard Kyle Long has become an enthusiastic sleep advocate. “Getting that eight, nine hours is just as important as weightlifting and studying your playbook,” he says. “I can know all the plays like the back of my hand. I can lift all the weights in the world. But if I get five, six hours of sleep, I’m going to have that doubt in my head and that sluggish nature, and you can’t have that when you’re trying to block these elite guys. I’d absolutely say sleep is a weapon.”

As former NBA All-Star Grant Hill puts it, “People talk about diet and exercise, [but] sleep is just as important.”

“Sleep is one of the important variables to get right to help athletes sustain high effort and enthusiasm for the long haul.”

Four-time NBA MVP LeBron James swears by twelve hours a day when practicing.

Two-time NBA MVP Steve Nash believes that “napping every game day, whether you feel like it or not, not only has a positive effect on your performance that night but also a cumulative effect on your body throughout the season.”

Professional triathlete Jarrod Shoemaker describes sleep as “half my training,” while Usain Bolt, the world’s fastest man, explains, “Sleep is extremely important to me. I need to rest and recover in order for the training I do to be absorbed by my body.”

Volleyball player Kerri Walsh Jennings, a three-time Olympic gold-medal winner, admits that sleep “could be the hardest thing to accomplish on my to-do list, but it always makes a difference.”

But tennis great Roger Federer trumps them all. “If I don’t sleep eleven to twelve hours a day, it’s not right,” he says. “If I don’t have that amount of sleep, I hurt myself.” Before Wimbledon in 2015, he even rented two houses: one for his family to sleep in and one for him (and his training team), so the family activities wouldn’t wake him.

This recognition of sleep’s impact on performance is now a worldwide phenomenon. In the United Kingdom, the Southampton soccer club has its own sleep app, which players use each morning to log the previous night’s sleep. If a player’s sleep-quality level drops, team officials will intervene. The Manchester City soccer club has a new £200 million training center that includes eighty bedrooms. The team sleeps in the training center the night before home matches — a recognition by the coaching staff that sleep isn’t just for training, but an integral part of game-day preparation.

Nick Littlehales, a sleep coach for Manchester United, as well as other top soccer clubs, rugby teams and the UK cycling team, will often go to a venue ahead of the players to make changes to their hotel rooms.

“I had been preparing with various teams for the 2016 Rio games,” he says. “A key part of that is ensuring the hotels being used in the run up to the games are ticking all of our recovery boxes.”

At the college level, making the sleep/performance link is even more important, since the athletes are younger and even more likely to be in the ‘I’ll sleep when I’m dead’ phase of life. A 2015 Wall Street Journal headline read, “College Football Wakes Up to a New Statistic: Sleep.” in 2012, Pat Fitzgerald, the head football coach for Northwestern University, noticed that many of his players seemed especially tired during afternoon games. It turns out the reason was that the games occurred right when his players were used to taking afternoon naps. So he started a policy of mandatory game-day naps. That year, the team won ten games for only the third time in the history of Northwestern football.

“At first, we didn’t really know much about sleep and we were just curious,” say then-defensive end Tyler Scott. “But we really embraced it, and after a while, we got really competitive about sleep efficiency. We started checking our data every day.”

Other teams are taking note. At their 2015 training camp, University of Tennessee football coach Butch Jones introduced his team to a new part of their practice routine — sleep trackers and sleep coaches. The team worked with Rise Science, a company that helps athletes improve performance through sleep. They paired each athlete with a sleep coach and monitored everything — from the amount of time players sleep to how long it takes them to fall asleep to the quality of their sleep — with the results sent directly to a smartphone app. The players also wear orange-tinted glasses an hour before they go to bed to help eliminate the blue light from screens that can disrupt sleep.

“It was very powerful to see the cultural shift at the University,” says cofounder Leon Sasson. “It went from who can sleep less and still do well at practice to it being cool if you show up to practices with nine-plus hours of sleep under your belts.”

At the University of Pittsburgh, coach Pat Narduzzi makes sure his players get enough sleep by coming into their dorms and tucking them in at night himself.

“We’ve got lights out at 10:30 and bed check at 10:45 every night, so we’re trying to get them down early. We can’t close their eyes at night for them, but you can see it on the field that I think our kids are getting better rest.”


GEAR UP FOR SLEEP

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The post Top Athletes On Why They Prioritize Sleep appeared first on Under Armour.

Source: Health

13 jaw-dropping photos of Beyoncé

Beyonce

There’s no denying Beyoncé is one of the hottest—if not the hottest—female artists in the business.

With an estimated 100 million records sold as a solo artist, according to the Chicago Tribune (not including the 60 million records sold as a member of Destiny’s Child), 22 Grammy Awards, and a slew of critically acclaimed film performances, Beyoncé crushes every single thing she does.

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To celebrate her incredible artistic achievements, here are 13 of Beyonce’s most stunning looks throughout the years.

Source: Health & Fitness

5 most noteworthy wearable and smartwatch announcements from IFA Berlin 2017

Garmin

Apple and Fitbit make a lot of waves in the wearables industry, but Samsung, Garmin, and TomTom are ready to make a big splash, as evidenced by the annual IFA Berlin 2017 conference.

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Fitbit may have gotten a head start by announcing its newest smartwatch, the Ionic, a few days ago, but some other major players are using Europe’s biggest technology trade show to reveal their fall lineups.

We’ve rounded up five of the biggest announcements thus far.

Source: Health & Fitness

What Lizards Can Teach Us About the Effects of Training

It’s safe to say comparing yourself to a lizard has probably never crossed your mind. And for good reason. But, we actually have more in common with these ancient, cold-blooded reptiles than you may think — especially when it comes to athletic ability.

Humans are often compared to closer animal relatives like primates, but when it comes to humans and reptiles, similarities are harder to wrap our heads around — especially when we think about training. It’s hard to see commonalities between us, and, say, an iguana. However, research led by Jerry Husak, PhD, an assistant professor at the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, Minnesota, is beginning to open our minds to the possibility we’ve got more in common with lizards than we realize.

“My work is essentially about trying to see what kinds of trade-offs lizards make regarding athletic performance, because the responses lizards have are shared across all vertebrates, including humans,” Husak explains. “Lizards have their entire genome sequenced, so we know that they have all of the same genes [as humans] that turn on and off during exercise.”

THE LIZARD-HUMAN CONNECTION

Because of this shared response and their sequenced genome, lizards are actually an ideal specimen to study to understand the effect exercise has on our bodies. Related factors, like diet, can be manipulated in a drastic way in lizards that isn’t possible for humans. “We give the lizards different exercises, but by also restricting their diet, we can really get at metabolic things like the mechanism behind obesity and how it might work on the molecular level since we can manipulate these conditions extremely in lizards,” Husak explains.

After exposing the lizards to endurance training, “their oxygen carrying capacity [also known as RBC] increases, their hearts get larger [like we see in human athletes], and we notice changes in their muscle fibers. The big-level effects are the same.” Knowing  about the bigger effects means scientists can study the small-scale, molecular effects. They’re exploring whether the molecular pathways in lizards are the same as they are in humans. This is important because molecular pathways essentially define what our cells do and how they function at the most basic level.

THE EFFECTS OF EXTREME EXERCISE

“[Through our lizard research], we’ve been able to see the whole molecular cascade [i.e., what’s happening at the molecular and cellular level when we exercise] and we can get a sense of all the benefits of exercise for us, like decreasing obesity and even the cognitive benefits that actually change the metabolic structure of the human brain,” Husak explains. Additionally, his work can begin to model and point to the long-term effects of extreme exercises like HIIT and CrossFit on human bodies.

“[Extreme exercises] don’t just affect a couple of things — they have really widespread effects in the [entire] body,” Husak notes. His lizard research also shows it’s possible to advance athletic ability to the detriment of other vital body functions. His work has illustrated that, even when their immune systems are repressed and their ability to reproduce has been compromised, lizards continue to improve their endurance skills. We can see this in humans, too, when women do extreme exercise, overtrain and lose the ability to menstruate.


READ MORE > GOT 15 MINUTES? SHORTER WORKOUTS MIGHT BE BEST


Therefore, it’s likely our athletic ability has evolved over time, pointing to the idea that training is an inherent, important trait for all humans, regardless of how often we work out. Our athletic ability isn’t some kind of bonus talent only elite humans possess. “Because the response to exercise is seen across all vertebrates, it’s really implied that our ability to exercise the way that we do is something we inherited hundreds of millions of years ago — it must have been adaptive at some point in the past,” Husak hypothesizes.

The post What Lizards Can Teach Us About the Effects of Training appeared first on Under Armour.

Source: Health

While public sex, role-play, and threesomes are appealing, romance and affection are most common

Sex in Bed

There’s certainly no shortage of variety when it comes to sexual preferences: kinky sex; sex in crazy, off-the-wall places; vanilla sex.

You’ve probably got some favorites. But have you ever wondered if your sexual habits are normal?

Researchers at the Indiana University School of Public Health-Bloomington and the Center for Sexual Health Promotion set out to identify the number of sexual behaviors men and women engage in, as well as their level of appeal, to see what’s most common.

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In the study, 2,021 men and women reported how often, and if they enjoyed three categories of sexual behaviors:

  1. Solo and partner activities (e.g., masturbation, vaginal sex, oral sex, wearing sexy lingerie)
  2. Behaviors involving sexual enhancement products and/or media (e.g., using sex toys, sharing nudes, watching porn)
  3. “Social” sexual behaviors (e.g., threesomes, group sex, sex parties) 

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More than 80% of men and women had masturbated, participated in vaginal intercourse, and gave or received oral sex. These behaviors were most common. Here’s how “normal” and appealing other behaviors are:

  • Wearing lingerie: 75% women, 26% men
  • Sending/receiving nudes and scandalous pics: 54% women, 65% men
  • Reading erotic stories: 57% of all participants
  • Public sex: about 43%
  • Role-playing: about 22%
  • Being tied up or tying up a partner: about 20%
  • Spanking: about 30%
  • Watching porn: 60% women, 82% men
  • Threesomes: 10% women, 18% men
  • Group sex, sex parties, BDSM parties: less than 8%

“Contrary to some stereotypes, the most appealing behaviors, even for men, are romantic and affectionate behaviors,” lead study author Debby Herbenick said in a press release. “These included kissing more often during sex, cuddling, saying sweet/romantic things during sex, making the room feel romantic in preparation for sex, and so on.”

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All in all, while men and women think certain sexual behaviors are appealing, few admit to actually participating in them.

“These data highlight opportunities for couples to talk more openly with one another about their sexual desires and interests,” said Herbenick. “Together they may find new ways of being romantic or sexual with one another, enhancing both their sexual satisfaction and relationship happiness.”

Use these tips to find out what she likes in bed.

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Source: Health & Fitness

Photos: Chrissy Teigen and John Legend enjoy sexy vacation in Italy

Chrissy Teigen and John Legend

John Legend and Chrissy Teigen may be two of the busiest people in the business, but that doesn’t mean they don’t ever take time off to unwind and relax.

The stunning Sports Illustrated cover model and notorious foodie was recently spotted with her Grammy Award-winning husband on a luxurious yacht off the coast of Sardinia in Italy. The couple happily soaked up the sun, enjoyed playing with a few pool toys, and even shared a jet-ski ride together.

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Here are some of the sexiest shots from Teigen and Legend’s romantic vacation in Italy.

Source: Health & Fitness

Watch: Vince Vaughn is unrecognizable in badass 'Brawl in Cell Block 99' trailer

If the teaser for Vince Vaughn’s upcoming flick, Brawl in Cell Block 99, is any indication of the comedic actor’s new role, don’t expect a whole lot of laughter.

Vaughn’s usual affable charm, quick wit, and, well, full head of hair are nowhere to be seen in the film. The plot focuses on Bradley Thomas (Vaughn), a boxer-turned-drug-runner who finds himself imprisoned after a deal goes horribly awry. Things continue to unravel as the violence ratchets up, and survival becomes the only goal.

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From the looks of it, Vaughn is really convincing—disturbingly so. It also appears he’ll be using his fists to solve problems rather than his mouth.

Watch for yourself:

Brawl in Cell Block 99 premieres September 2.

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Source: Health & Fitness

Recipe: High-Protein Chicken Salad [Video]

If you have leftover rotisserie chicken or cooked chicken breast, make this high-protein chicken salad as an easy lunch option. Lean shredded chicken is combined with creamy yogurt, crispy apples and sweet grapes for a tasty, tangy combo. Serve between 100% whole grain bread and you have a satisfying, packable lunch. If you’d rather go low-carb, you can sub in a side salad instead of the bread.

High-Protein Chicken Salad

Ingredients

  • 1 pound (454 grams) cooked chicken breast or rotisserie chicken, shredded (about 4 cups shredded)
  • 1/2 cup diced red onion (about 1/2 medium red onion or 60 grams)
  • 1/2 cup diced apple (about 1/2 small apple or 75 grams)
  • 2/3 cup (100 grams) quartered or halved grapes
  • 2/3 cup (165 grams) plain 2% fat Greek yogurt (certified gluten-free if necessary)
  • 2 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice, or more, to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 12 slices of 100% whole grain bread (about 100 calories each)
  • 6 medium lettuce leaves

Directions

In a large bowl, combine shredded chicken, red onion, apple, grapes, Greek yogurt, lemon juice, garlic powder, salt and pepper. Mix until well combined.

Using a 3/4 cup measuring scoop, portion out the chicken salad. Serve with a lettuce leaf and 2 slices of 100% whole grain bread.

Nutrition Information

Serves: 6 |  Serving Size: 3/4 cup (about 5 ounces or 142 grams) + 2 slices whole grain bread + 1 medium lettuce leaf

Per serving: Calories: 364; Total Fat: 6g; Saturated Fat: 1g; Monounsaturated Fat: 1g; Cholesterol: 65mg; Sodium: 412mg; Carbohydrate: 44g; Dietary Fiber: 7g; Sugar: 10g; Protein: 34g

Nutrition Bonus: Potassium: 249mg; Iron: 17%; Vitamin A: 1%; Vitamin C: 7%; Calcium: 12%

Energizing Tips (optional)

  • Add 1/3 cup dried cranberries into the chicken salad before mixing to increase calories, carbs and sweetness. (Per serving: Calories: 384; Total Fat: 6g; Carbohydrate: 50g; Dietary Fiber: 7g; Sugar: 15g; Protein: 34g)
  • Add 1/2 cup chopped almonds or nut of choice into the chicken salad before mixing to increase calories, protein and healthy fats. (Per serving: Calories: 420; Total Fat: 11g; Carbohydrate: 46g; Dietary Fiber: 8g; Sugar: 11g; Protein: 36g)

The post Recipe: High-Protein Chicken Salad [Video] appeared first on Under Armour.

Source: Health

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