Archive for the tag - image

Exercise Improves Body Image – Even If You’re Unfit! [Study]

ken1If you don’t like the way your body looks, you’re certainly not alone. Surveys have found that about 60% of adults are unhappy with the way their body looks.

With body image issues being so widespread, exercise is often touted as one tool for treatment. But is this claim backed up by science? And is it only true for people who actually get into shape?

According to a University of Florida study, the act of exercise itself – regardless of whether or not you achieve your fitness goals – has a positive impact on body image. According to one researcher:

You would think that if you become more fit that you would experience greater improvements in terms of body image, but that’s not what we found.

In other words, even if you’re not receiving many physical benefits from exercise (i.e., lowering your body fat percentage, etc.), you still may be receiving important psychological benefits.

Interestingly, the only variable that made the body image boost stronger was frequency of exercise – and not the duration, intensity or type of exercise being performed.

The study also found larger improvements for older people than younger people, and a bigger boost for women than men. Still the gap between women and men wasn’t as large as researchers hypothesized; this may be attributed to the rise in body image issues among men. Indeed, body image issues know no gender.

The bottom line: Anyone can feel better about their body by engaging in any type of exercise on a regular basis. And with so many people dissatisfied with the way they look, exercise can be a powerful tool in helping to overcome a difficult issue – even if they don’t end up with that six pack.

 

Video: Thick is In.

Screen-Shot-2013-07-29-at-9.11.06-AMLast week, I answered a question from someone wanting to lose weight from their thighs.

The truth is, the commentator isn’t alone. Every day, I get dozens of emails from both men and women about the desire to be thin. It’s not about being healthy or about being strong; it’s about being skinny. And though I understand where this desire comes from, I think all of us could use a reality check when it comes to body image.

Over the weekend, I decided to record a video on the topic – and posted it on my second YouTube channel, DaveyWaveyRaw. Because body image is so central to health and fitness, I wanted to share it with you.

Check it out. Let me know what you think in the comments below.

How to Get Veins to Pop on Your Biceps…

Dear Davey,

Something tells me it’s genetic, but I want those bad ass bicep veins!

A friend of mine has them and he doesn’t do any of the lifting and cardio that I do. Am I not lifting enough? Am I not running enough? Please help, Davey Wavey, it’s almost beach season.

Yours truly,
Nardo90

Dear Nardo90,

Getting visible veins wasn’t something that the instructors taught us during my personal training courses, but I know where you’re coming from. It’s admittedly superficial, but still quite sexy. Beyond the biceps, I also enjoy veins in the area just below the lower abs, leading down to the crotch. Shallow? Yes. But also a bit delicious.

First things first, the amount to which your veins “pop” is determined by both your genetics and your body fat percentage. Since you can’t change your genes, it makes sense to focus on what you can control: Leaning yourself out. To make your veins highly visible, target a body fat percentage of 6% – 8% through a combination of strength training (increased muscle mass will incinerate calories), cardio (especially interval training) and proper diet. At 9% – 12% most major veins should be visible.

While veins in the forearms are easier to achieve, it’s much more difficult with the biceps, triceps and shoulders. It will take time and dedication, but if it’s very important to you – it’s possible to make it happen.

Also, keep in mind that veins are more visible after you exercise and when your body is dehydrated. While I don’t recommend dehydration as a tactic – as it’s actually very detrimental – it is how many body builders achieve the effects you see in pictures and in magazines. That, and sometimes a little help from Photoshop. 🙂

Love,
Davey

Trade a Year of Your Life for the Perfect Body?

Would you trade a year of your life for the "perfect" body? Turns out, you don't have to.

According to a survey of British women aged 18 to 65:

Almost one in three would be willing to die younger [by at least one year] in exchange for the ‘ideal’ figure of the likes of model Kelly Brook or actress Scarlett Johansson. The finding is all the more shocking because almost all of those polled were in the normal weight range – or even underweight.

The study didn’t include men – or gay men, in particular. I suspect the numbers might be similar, as gay culture is very body-conscious and many gay men feel tremendous pressure to look a certain way.

If you would trade a year of your life for the perfect body, then I have two pieces of good news.

First, in this moment, you already have the perfect body. It may not look like the models whose muscles we so eagerly worship (see above picture), but your body – right now – is exactly as it needs to be. You can change the way your body will look and feel tomorrow, in a month or in a year – but you can’t change your body now; it is exactly as it must be in this very moment. Instead of resisting the way you look today, embrace and accept it. And then use your new-found energy to work toward creating a healthier tomorrow.

Second, while many people might trade in a year of their life for a healthier and stronger physique, the exact opposite is the reality. When you live a more active lifestyle, it has a significant impact on longevity and the prevention of debilitating disease. Work out and you’ll live longer – it’s really that simple. It’s why I like to remind my clients that they don’t have time not to work out.

You need not trade in a year of your life for the perfect body. Turns out, your body is already perfect. And making it stronger and healthier will cause you to live even longer. Looks like you can have your cake and eat it, too. So to speak.