“Hot Mom” Facebook Photo Sparks Controversy

Happy Wednesday, dear readers! At this point, you guys are old hat at this: Gather ’round, grab your favorite beverage, and let’s meet over the metaphorical office water cooler to catch up on our favorite health-related stories this week. Don’t forget to let us know what you’ve been reading this week!

1. “Hot” mom stirs controversy on Facebook. Because what is social media for, if not for instigating? Maria Kang, a California resident and fitness enthusiast, posted a photo of herself in a sports bra and matching booty shorts surrounded by her three kids with the caption, “What’s your excuse?” The picture has since gone viral with more than 6 million views on Facebook and 12,000 comments ranging from “You go, girl” to “Not that I need an excuse for NOT working out, but here’s mine: fibromyalgia!” Check out the full photo on Yahoo! Shine, and then tell us what you think in the comments below or @Shape_Magazine.

2. Herbal supplements may not be as pure as you think. More proof that “natural” doesn’t guarantee that something is healthy: Canandian researchers tested 44 herbal products from 12 companies and found that 60 percent of them contained plant substances not listed on the label, and 20 percent included unlisted fillers such as wheat, rice, and soybeans. These hidden ingredients could cause problems for people with allergies and decrease the effectiveness of the supplements, researchers say.

3. Chicken plants in California will remain open. Despite calls to shut down three Foster Farms plants in California associated with the salmonella outbreak last week that sickened 300 people and sent half of them to the hospital, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) will allow them to remain open. However, the USDA and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention sent warning letters to Foster Farms, and the company had to present a plan to address the many violations found at the plants, including unsanitary surfaces, improper dressing procedures for employees, and fecal matter found on chicken carcasses.

4. Need a quick pick-me-up? Call your mom! You know how your mother is always nagging you to call her more? Turns out, she knows best after all (as always does seem to be the case). Recent research shows that interacting with people you love such as close friends or family members act as “microbursts,” or little things you can do to give you an instant shot of energy, and might even be more effective than coffee. It’s important to note that this research is preliminary and hasn’t yet been peer-reviewed, but if you’re close with your family, it can’t hurt, right?

5. Running may not help you lose weight. In frustrating news for runners everywhere, it turns out that it may not be the best form of cardio if you’re specifically looking to shed pounds. Fitness expert Adam Bornstein explains why here.

Read more:http://www.shape.com/blogs/shape-your-life/shape-shares-hot-mom-facebook-photo-sparks-controversy

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The Best Running Tips of All Time

Many runners hold tension in their upper body, which can make your regular run feel twice as hard. Try this simple trick to check yourself: Roll up a sheet of paper and run with it for a few minutes (as if you were holding a baton in a 400-meter relay). If the paper comes back crunched, you are squeezing too hard! Allowing your hands to loosen up translates into reduced tension in the shoulders and less wasted energy.

Your feet are the only thing that comes into contact with the ground every single time you walk and run yet they’re almost always hidden away in shoes and never shown any love. To improve proprioception and loosen the tissues on the bottoms of your feet, place a small ball (a lacrosse ball, golf ball, or tennis ball work best) on the floor and gently roll from the heel to the ball of the foot. Try performing this simple massage technique (or flossing) for 30 seconds on each foot every morning and night. Make it part of your daily routine by flossing your feet every time you brush your teeth.

When you run, your brain is constantly communicating with your muscles to figure out how you can run more efficiently (i.e. with less muscle activation). This involuntarily process explains why all runners become more economical with experience. But you may be able to speed up the process.

Research shows that the neuromuscular system is most likely to discover more efficient ways to move when you push your limits (i.e. fatigue). To do this without risk of overtraining, end some of your easy runs with a “fast finish.” Wait until the last five or 10 minutes of a longer run and then speed up to an effort level of six or seven on a scale of one to 10.

For perfect running form, your legs should move like the hands on a clock (Imagine tracing a clock with your pedal stroke on a bike. That’s where this clock would be in relation to your body.) When you run, think about bringing your foot up to the 12 o’clock position, reaching out to 3 o’clock, striking the ground directly beneath your body at 6 o’clock, then pushing off to 9 o’clock behind you. This circular motion mimics cycling and allows fast turnover.

read more:http://www.shape.com/fitness/training-plans/best-running-tips-all-time/slide/5