Tuesday, 31 July 2012

Michael Phelps sets all-time Olympic record with 19th medal

LONDON – In the final 10 meters of his history-making race, Michael Phelps was alone in the open – a fitting margin for an Olympic icon who is now the most decorated medal-winner of all time.
Swimming the anchor leg of the men’s 200-freestyle relay, Phelps held onto a significant lead and delivered the United States another gold medal – the 15th of his career and the 19th time he has stood on an Olympic podium. He’s now alone in the overall medal count, having broken a tie with Russian gymnast Larissa Latynina as the most-decorated athlete in the history of the Games.
Phelps entered the night with 17 medals, wining silver in the 200-meter butterfly and then gold in the 4x200, swimming the two races a little over one hour apart.
Just before the 4x200 began, Phelps pulled his teammates into a huddle and expressed his gratitude for their part in the moment. He delivered one last request.
"I wanted a big lead," Phelps said. "I told the guys, 'Get me a big lead.' And they gave it to me."
The crowd in London’s Aquatics Centre thundered in applause for much of the race as the United States’ Ryan Lochte – one of Phelps chief rivals in the last four years – got the Americans off to a blazing start. It was a change of sorts for Lochte, who anchored the 4x100 silver medal effort – in which the U.S. was overtaken by the French in the closing moments. This time, U.S. men’s coach Gregg Troy put Lochte in the lead-off leg, offering him an opportunity to get Phelps the lead he desired.
He did just that, swimming the fastest lead-off leg and outpacing the French by 1.55 seconds over the first 200 meters.
"The past two days I wasn’t myself," Lochte said of his sprint struggles in these Games. "After [the 400 freestyle silver medal] my confidence was gone. Everyone kept telling me, 'You’re better than that.' I didn’t swim this morning and I think that helped. I was back to myself. I was that happy-go-lucky guy."
Shortly before Tuesday night's swim meet, Latynina told Yahoo! Sports' Martin Rogers that the medals she also won as a coach still separate her from Phelps.
"Do I think I am still the greatest Olympian?" she said in an interview translated by a Russian gymnastics federation official. "Why yes, but that is my opinion.
"Why do I think this? Well, I did not only compete in three Olympic Games and won many medals, but the Soviet Union team had very great success when I was the coach."
Latynina won nine golds and 18 total medals in her career that spanned three Olympics from 1956-64. The Soviet Union also claimed another 10 golds when she was coach during the 1970s. She also said Phelps has her respect.
"It is special what he has done," Latynina said.

In a tribute to Phelps and recognizing the speed he showed in the 4x100 relay earlier in the games, U.S. coaches shuffled their 4x200 order, placing Phelps in the closing leg. While some may argue it as grandstanding by the U.S., Phelps’s blazing 47.15-second split in the 4x100 relay actually made him an ideal anchor candidate. This despite Phelps' long-standing history as a leadoff man in U.S. relays. It was also clearly a nod of respect from the U.S. coaches for a career that has rewritten American and Olympic record books while lifting U.S. swimming to unprecedented heights.
The relay unfolded as dramatically as you would expect, with Lochte, Conor Dwyer and Ricky Berens giving Phelps the sizable lead he wanted. Phelps went into the pool and was never challenged, stretching the lead in the first 150 meters and then going into the wall nearly 10 meters ahead of the French.
Phelps moved into position for the history-making moment earlier Tuesday night with his second-place finish in the 200-meter butterfly, giving him 18 Olympic podiums. He looked poised to take gold in the race, charging out early and leading after all three of the turns, before appearing to labor in the final 25 meters. That allowed South Africa’s Chad le Clos to close the gap, with the two going stroke-for-stoke in the last 10 meters. Le Clos stretched at the end, out-touching Phelps for gold, in 1:52.96 against Phelps’s 1:53.01. Phelps looked at the video board and said some words to himself, appearing disappointed with what was ultimately a wrist-length from gold.
Phelps had reason to smile less than an hour later.

Monday, 30 July 2012

Dana Vollmer’s cap fell off during her gold medal swim

As if Dana Vollmer's 100 butterfly gold medal and world record weren't impressive enough, the 24-year-old American did all of that after one of her swim caps fell off during the race.
Vollmer told NBC after the race that her outer cap popped off during the race. It was later seen floating near the bottom of the pool next to a mobile tracking video.
Olympic swimmers often wear two caps during races. The first is used to cover their hair. The second conceals the goggles strap and smooths any cranial bumpiness. If the outer cap falls off there is the potential the goggles could slip, and without that second cap there is more drag in the water because the first one could wrinkle up. This all could add up to a loss of valuable split seconds in a world-class race.
"The top cap came off," Vollmer told Andrea Kremer after winning her first individual gold medal. "I have never had that happen before. I thought about it, and maybe it kept my mind off my legs hurting or something. I don't know."
The scene brought back memories of Michael Phelps' goggles filling up with water during his 200-meter butterfly victory at the Beijing Olympics. The goggles slipped during Phelps' start and immediately charged with water. As a result, Phelps couldn't see and was forced to count his strokes on each lap so he'd be able to find the wall.

Sunday, 29 July 2012

Bolt being mobbed; Four teammates acting as bodyguards

LONDON, England — Global sprinting star Usain Bolt is now being protected by four teammates on the Jamaican track and field squad at the Olympic Games here as he is being mobbed by athletes from other countries.
Such is Bolt's popularity that ever since arriving in the Athletes' Village on Thursday, the double world record holder in the 100m and 200m events has had difficulty moving about in public.
LONDON, England — Athletes from other countries crowd around Jamaican sprint star Usain Bolt trying to get his autograph and photos with him during the Olympics opening ceremony Friday night in London. (Photo: Bryan Cummings)

However, according to team manager Ludlow 'Luddy' Watts, who described Bolt as "the star of the entire Games", there are no immediate plans to move Bolt to a more private area.
"No, he is safe here and he does not mind, so we have no plans to move him," Watts told the Jamaica Observer yesterday.
The four teammates — discus thrower Jason Morgan, shot putter Dorian Scott, 400m hurdler Leford Green and decathlete Maurice Smith — have had to be performing bodyguard duties for Bolt, and according to Morgan, the de facto security chief, "The (team) management says they are happy to have us here."
Bolt was seen on television monitors taking photographs with fellow Olympians and signing autographs on the infield during the parade of teams at the Opening Ceremony.
The Sunday Observer later learnt that he had to be escorted by his teammates through a throng of athletes to get back to the Athletes' Village at the end of the ceremony on Friday night.
Watts said athletes from the team directly in front and behind the Jamaican delegation in the parade — Italy and Japan, respectively — started asking for photo ops and autographs almost as soon as they got off the track. He added that security personnel and volunteers were also a part of the frenzy.
Bolt was not the only big-name athlete in the ceremony as the American basketball team with superstars Kobe Bryant and LeBron James as well as several high-profile tennis players and swimmers were also there.
Watts told the Sunday Observer that when the Jamaican team was about to leave the village for the main stadium, which is in walking distance, a number of athletes descended on Bolt, "as if they were waiting for him to come out".
Bolt, who trained in seclusion in Birmingham before coming to London on Thursday with his track and field team members, appeared at a Jamaica Olympic Association/Puma press conference later that day and said he has not had the chance to see much of the Athletes' Village — "just the dining room" — but chances are he won't get to see much, given the demand on his time by other athletes.

Saturday, 28 July 2012

Lochte blows away Phelps to win 400 individual medley

LONDON, England  (AP) — Ryan Lochte turned his much-anticipated duel with Michael Phelps into a blowout, pulling away to win the Olympic 400-meter individual medley by more than 3 seconds Saturday night. Even more stunning: Phelps didn't win any medal at all.
After barely qualifying for the evening final in a performance that hinted at trouble ahead, Phelps struggled to a fourth-place finish and was denied his 17th career Olympic medal. When it was done, he could barely pull himself out of the pool.
Phelps...finished out of medal contention

"It was just a crappy race," Phelps said. "I felt fine the first 200, then I don't know. They just swam a better race than me, a smarter race than me, and were better prepared than me. That's why they're on the medal stand."
Lochte took the gold with a time of 4 minutes, 5.18 seconds. Brazil's Thiago Pereira (4:08.86) settled for silver, while Japan's Kosuke Hagino (4:08.94) claimed the bronze — beating Phelps by a fairly comfortable 34-hundredths of a second for the last spot on the podium.
It was the first time since the 2000 Sydney Games, when Phelps was a 15-year-old unknown who qualified in just one event, that he didn't win at least a bronze in an Olympic race. Since then, he was 16-of-16 — 14 golds and two bronzes.
Lochte climbed out of the pool with a big smile, waving to the crowd and looking about a fresh as he did at the start. He had predicted this would be his year and, for the first race of the Olympics at least, he was right on the mark.
"I think I'm kind of in shock right now," he said. As for Phelps, "I know he gave it everything he had. That's all you can ask for."
Phelps was trying to become the first male swimmer to win the same individual event at three straight Olympics. He'll have three more chances at a threepeat before he's done in London, having also won the 200 individual medley, plus the 100 and 200 butterfly, at Athens and Beijing.

London protesters march against 'capitalist' Games

LONDON, England (AP) - About 500 people critical of the economic impact and corporate flavour of the London Olympics marched Saturday near the Olympic Park, determined to send a message that Britain is not united in backing the games.
The protest march came hours after police arrested more than 130 bicyclists who had defied an order to avoid cycling in groups around the stadium during Friday night's opening ceremony.
Police said they had ordered the protesters to remain south of the River Thames, to keep them from blocking thousands of ticket-holding guests from attending the opening ceremony. The cyclists said they were held in a cordon by police, and later arrested, for trying to cycle in lanes restricted for official Olympic traffic.
Occupy London, part of a global movement that has waged demonstrations against financial institutions and capitalist policies, said some cyclists were members of the movement. They said police cordoned off more than 100 cyclists at one road junction near the stadium as Friday's ceremony was beginning and held them there several hours.
Saturday's protest, the largest so far against the games, drew a mix of left-wing and green activists who decry the Olympics as a corporate juggernaut rolling over residents and their civil rights.
They marched peacefully, chanting against what they called the "Corpolympics," watched by police officers on foot and motorcycle.
The protesters contend that the often-cited Olympic boost to traditionally gritty, working-class east London is an illusion, whereas major corporate sponsors such as McDonald's and Coca-Cola gain from the 9.3 billion pound ($14 billion) games. They said the mass arrests at the cycling demonstration, and limits on corporate branding designed to protect sponsors, show that the games are a threat to civil liberties.
Underscoring that message, the marchers passed one of the apartment buildings that have had British army ground-to-air missiles deployed on its roof. That security measure, designed to stop a hijacked aircraft from being crashed into an Olympics venue, has drawn fierce local opposition.
Olympics organisers and the government say the games will leave a legacy of thousands of new homes and jobs, and a major new park in a long-deprived area.
One protester, Michael Coulston, said the British government chose to spend billions on attracting visitors "to one location for a couple of weeks" rather than to build infrastructure of lasting benefit to all Londoners.
Like many on the march, Coulston said he doesn't object to the games themselves, but feels that recession-hit Britain was sending out a false message: "Let's pretend to the world that we're happy."
Many Britons were initially unenthusiastic about the games, a pessimism bolstered by pre-Olympic headlines about security troubles and feared transit chaos. But the mood has lifted now that the event is happening, especially after director Danny Boyle's spectacular opening ceremony.
East End resident Leonard Grieves, who came out of his house to wave an Olympic flag at the passing protesters, said the games had brought real benefits to the district.
"We've seen the area go from almost a wreck to a really nice place," he said.

Squats: The Best Exercise To Lose Belly Fat

It may surprise many people – maybe even you – but the best exercise to lose body fat isn’t even an abdominal exercise at all! See, stomach exercises (such as crunches) only work your mid section, which is fine for strength and condition the abs, but in terms of dropping unwanted body fat, it has a long, LONG way to go to beat this classic:

Squats: The Best Exercise For Losing Body Fat

I can hear the moaning already, and some of you might already be saying: “What? Squats don’t even work the abs, how in the heck can they help drop unwanted stomach flab?”
Technically, this isn’t true at all, as squats do work the mid section, albeit mostly as a stabilizing function throughout the movement. But for the sake of the bigger picture, let’s remember that our muscles burn calories at a tremendously faster rate than body fat, and furthermore, the larger the muscles you use, the more hungry muscle tissue you’ll have begging for some of those stored calories (i.e. belly fat). Add in the fact that the Squat actively uses muscles in the lower body, midsection and even the upper body, and not only are you recruiting big muscles, but you’re recruiting them in mass.
I should mention that any workout or exercise routine should include exercises from every major muscle group, but since you probably ended up here looking for the one BEST exercise – the movement you should perform if you could only do one – you won’t find anything better than this one.

How To Perform The Squat

Ready to kick your unwanted belly fat to the curb for good? Get ready because you’re probably going to sweat.
Why? Because all of those big, fat-breathing muscles also demand oxygen as they fire, which means you’ll quickly find yourself in “Oxygen Debt” (a fancy way for saying “out of breath”). But more importantly, it means your big muscle fibers are devouring calories and stored fat like an NFL lineman sizing up an all-you-can-eat buffet.
You can perform squats with or without weights. The two most common ways of using weight are to place a barbell across the top of your back (called a “Back Squat”) or to hold dumbbells in each hand. As an unweighted, or “body weight” exercise, most people either interlace their fingers behind their head (called a “Prisoner Squat”) or hold them straight out in front of them, parallel to the floor. Experiment and find out what works best for you.
Step 1: Stand facing forward with your feet a little less than shoulder width apart. Also make sure your toes are lined up facing forward.
Step 2: Keeping your back straight, bend at the knee and lower yourself until your thighs are parallel to the floor. Don’t let your knees go any farther forward than your toes; it often helps to envision sitting down in a chair, with the back of your legs already brushing up against the front edge.
Step 3: Drive through your heels (not toes!) and return to the starting position.
See, not so bad, eh? And if you incorporate these into your exercise routine, you’ll get much better results than those silly folks flailing on the ab equipment thinking crunches are the best exercise to lose body fat.

GAME ON! Olympics opens with royalty and rock

LONDON, England (AP) — The Queen and James Bond gave the London Olympics a royal entrance like no other yesterday in an opening ceremony that rolled to the rock of the Beatles, the Stones and The Who.
And the creative genius of Danny Boyle spliced it all together.
Fireworks explode above the Tower Bridge over the river Thames during the Opening Ceremony at the 2012 Summer Olympics yesterday.

Brilliant. Cheeky, too.
The highlight of the Oscar-winning director's $42-million show was pure movie magic, using trickery to make it seem that Britain's beloved 86-year-old Queen Elizabeth II had parachuted into the stadium with the nation's most famous spy.
A short film showed 007 driving up to Buckingham Palace in a black London cab and, pursued by her majesty's royal dogs — Monty, Willow and Holly, playing themselves — meeting The Queen, who played herself.
"Good evening, Mr Bond," she said.
They were shown flying in a helicopter over London landmarks and a waving statue of Winston Churchill — the queen in a salmon-coloured gown, Bond dashing as ever in a black tuxedo — to the stadium and then leaping out into the inky night.
At the same moment, real skydivers appeared in the skies over the stadium throbbing to the James Bond soundtrack. And moments after that, the monarch appeared in person, accompanied by her husband Prince Philip.
Organisers said it was thought to be the first time the monarch has acted on film.
"The Queen made herself more accessible than ever before," Boyle said.
In the stadium, Elizabeth stood solemnly while a children's choir serenaded her with God Save the Queen, and members of the Royal Navy, Army and Royal Air Force raised the Union Jack.
Much of the opening ceremony was an encyclopedic review of British music history, from a 1918 Broadway standard adopted by the West Ham football team to the Rolling Stones' I Can't Get No Satisfaction to Bohemian Rhapsody, by still another Queen.
The evening started with fighter jets streaming red, white and blue smoke and roaring over the stadium, packed with a buzzing crowd of 60,000 people, at 8:12pm — or 20:12 in the 24-hour time observed by Britons.
An explosion of fireworks against the London skyline and Paul McCartney leading a singalong were to wrap up the three-hour opening ceremony masterminded by one of Britain's most successful filmmakers.
Boyle, the director of Slumdog Millionaire and Trainspotting, had a ball with his favoured medium, mixing filmed passages with live action in the stadium to hypnotic effect, with 15,000 volunteers taking part in the show.
Actor Rowan Atkinson as Mr Bean provided laughs, shown dreaming that he was appearing in Chariots of Fire, the inspiring story of a Scotsman and an Englishman at the 1924 Paris Games.
There was a high-speed flyover of the Thames, the river that winds like a vein through London and was the gateway for the city's rise over the centuries as a great global hub of trade and industry.
Headlong rushes of movie images took spectators on wondrous, heart-racing voyages through everything British: a cricket match, the London Tube and the roaring, abundant seas that buffet and protect this island nation.
Boyle turned the stadium into a throbbing juke box, with a nonstop rock and pop homage to cool Britannia that ensured the show never caught its breath.
The throbbing soundtrack included the Sex Pistols' Pretty Vacant and a snippet of their version of God Save the Queen — an anti-establishment punk anthem once banned by the BBC. There were The Who's My Generation and other tracks too numerous to mention, but not to dance to.
Opening the ceremony, children popped balloons with each number from 10 to 1, leading a countdown that climaxed with Bradley Wiggins, the newly crowned Tour de France champion.
Wearing his race-winner's yellow jersey, Wiggins rang a 23-ton Olympic Bell from the same London foundry that made Big Ben and Philadelphia's Liberty Bell. Its thunderous chime was a nod to the British tradition of pealing bells to celebrate the end of war and the crowning of kings and queens, and now for the opening of a 17-day festival of sports.
The show then shifted to a portrayal of idyllic rural Britain — a place of meadows, farms, sport on village greens, picnics and Winnie-the-Pooh, AA Milne's bear who has delighted generations of British children tucked warmly in bed.
But the British ideal — to quote poet William Blake, of "England's green and pleasant land" — then took a darker, grittier turn.
The set was literally torn asunder, the hedgerows and farm fences carried away, as Boyle shifted to the industrial transformation that revolutionised Britain in the 18th and 19th centuries, the foundation for an empire that reshaped world history. Belching chimneys rose where only moments earlier sheep had trod.
The Industrial Revolution also produced terrifying weapons, and Boyle built a moment of hush into his show to honour those killed in war.
Olympic organisers separately rejected calls for a moment of silence for 11 Israeli athletes and coaches slain by Palestinian gunmen at the 1972 Munich Olympics.
Two of the Israelis' widows appealed to audience members to stand in silence when International Olympic Committee chief Jacques Rogge rose to speak later at yesterday's ceremony. The Israeli culture and sport minister planned to do just that.
The parade of nations featured most of the roughly 10,500 athletes — some planned to stay away to save their strength for competition — marching behind the flags of the 204 nations taking part.

Friday, 27 July 2012


When you and your partner are ready to try to conceive a baby, it is important to eat the right foods so that your body can make healthy semen, which increases your chances of success. According to Baby Centre, 32 percent of infertility issues are linked to men. Change your diet to incorporate foods that promote healthy reproduction before you begin trying for a baby to ensure that your semen is as healthy as possible.


Oysters are high in zinc, a nutrient that is vital to producing more semen. Zinc plays an important role in male reproduction by promoting healthy semen production and function, reports MayoClinic.com. If you are trying to conceive a baby with your partner, add some oysters to your diet to help you meet your zinc needs. If you don't like oysters, zinc is also available in seeds, nuts, red meat, wheat, barley, turkey and lamb. Talk to your doctor about taking a supplement that contains zinc if you are still having trouble meeting your recommended daily quota, which is 11 mg, according to the National Institutes of Health Office of Dietary Supplements. Six oysters contain about 76 micrograms of zinc.


MayoClinic.com recommends eating plenty of fruits and vegetables, which will contribute to a healthy amount of semen. However, asparagus is a particularly good choice because it is high in folate, or folic acid, according to MaleEnhancement.org. This nutrient is often associated with the reduced risk of neural tube birth defects in a pregnant woman's diet. However, folate is also important for healthy semen volume. Asparagus contains antioxidants that help sperm stay healthy and increases the amount of healthy semen that is available for conceiving a baby. Okra, broccoli and citrus fruits are other good sources of folic acid that can help you create more semen. A multivitamin will also help you meet your daily needs of 400 mg per day.


Tomatoes are a good source of lycopene, a substance that aids in the increase of semen, reports MaleEnhancement.org. Adding tomatoes and tomato products to your diet on a regular basis increases semen volume, but also keeps sperm healthy so that your odds of conception are higher. If you don't care for raw tomatoes, pasta sauce and pizza sauce are both good ways to incorporate tomatoes into your diet. Other good sources of lycopene include guavas and pink grapefruits. It is important to eat lycopene-containing foods because it is not available from the standard multivitamin you may already be taking. In addition, a diet high in fruits and vegetables, including tomatoes, promotes a healthy weight, another factor in producing a good amount of quality semen.

Michael Angarano, the first heart Kristen Stewart broke

Stewart and Angarano in 2008.(Jeffrey Mayer/WireImage)Before Kristen Stewart “devastated” Robert Pattinson’s by cheating on him with her “Snow White and the Huntsman” director, she similarly broke the heart of Michael Angarano, the boyfriend of four years she dropped for her “Twilight” co-star in 2009. The young couple first got together in 2005 when they were teens after they met on the set of the indie drama “Speak” and quickly fell in love. Although they were relatively unknown at the time, the two grew up – and grew their acting careers – together over the years. But their idyllic relationship got its first test in 2008 when Stewart was cast as Bella Swan in “Twilight” opposite the equally brooding heartthrob Robert Pattinson, who she hand-picked as her leading man. Perhaps that’s why Angarano – who played Jack’s son Elliot on “Will & Grace” – was often seen visiting his girlfriend on the film’s Vancouver set.
Once the movie was released in November 2008, reports were rampant that there had been off-screen sparks between the two during filming as well as on its promotional tours, but both Stewart and Pattinson, who was single at the time, chalked it up to fans just wanting to turn them into their romantic characters. "Rob and I are great friends," she told E! Online in March 2009. "But I understand why you would assume that when we lean on each other for support, there must be something more.” Stewart added that even Angarano didn’t think anything of the rumors, saying that they “laugh about it.”
But just one month later, Stewart and Pattinson were back in Vancouver to begin production on the sequel, “New Moon,” and in addition to the on-set flirtations and reports of sleepovers in their hotel rooms, the locals were also getting a front-row seat to the co-stars budding relationship. In onereport, the two were spotted holding hands while grocery shopping, but quickly went their separate ways when they realized people noticed who they were. Angarano wasted no time heading up to Vancouver the very next week and he and Stewart, now 22, were seen holding hands and laughing together – he even gave her a piggyback ride at one point – all over town. But the PDA turned out to be just one final hurrah for Stewart and Angarano because one month later in June, the two split – and Pattinson seamlessly transitioned into the role of her boyfriend.
That is, until this week when Stewart admitted to cheating on him. A day later, on Thursday, Pattinson left their Los Angeles home. Whether or not he plans on returning remains to be seen.

8 Diet and Exercise Mistakes That Age You

Eating too much sugar certainly isn't wise for your waistline, but did you know that overindulging in dessert can add years to your face? And even if you do strenuous cardio workouts each week, you'll be missing out on potential anti-aging body benefits if your schedule doesn't include yoga, weight training, and rest.
"Good nutrition is a fundamental building block of healthy skin," explains Leslie Baumann, MD, a Miami Beach dermatologist. The natural ingredients in whole foods such as romaine lettuce and strawberries help increase cell turnover, and boost production of collagen fibers to help keep skin smooth and firm. Conversely, foods with little-to-no nutritional benefits, like sugar-packed doughnuts, can actually damage the collagen and elastin that keep skin firm and youthful. These aging effects start at about age 35 and increase rapidly after that, according to a study published in the British Journal of Dermatology.
Even if your diet is wholesome, you could be making exercise mistakes that age you as well. For example, if you only do cardio at the expense of other types of exercise, like yoga and strength-training, you could be missing out on skin-protective benefits.
Find out if you're making one of these 8 common aging diet and exercise mistakes, and get smart prevention strategies that can keep you slim and youthful for years to come.

The breakdown of sugars, called glycation, damages the collagen that keeps skin smooth and firm. To prevent this natural process from careening out of control, Naila Malik, MD, a derm in Southlake, TX, sticks to low-glycemic carbs like whole grains; they're naturally low in sugar, and the body processes them slowly to limit the loss of collagen. If you want to sweeten up your tea or oatmeal without making your skin look older, try all-natural stevia. It's an easily digested herbal sweetener that doesn't trigger glycation, according to board-certified dermatologist Nicholas Perricone, MD, an adjunct professor of medicine at Michigan State University's College of Human Medicine.

Taking your work angst out on the Spinning bike or treadmill might make you feel better for a little while, but incorporating yoga into your fitness routine regularly may help you look younger and prevent breakouts while whittling away stress. Sounds like a winning workout to us! "Yoga moves like Child's Pose, Downward-Facing Dog, and Sun Salutations improve circulation--the boost of oxygen is what gives skin that lovely yoga glow," says Hema Sundaram, MD, a Washington, DC - area dermatologist. New research finds regular yoga practice may reduce the inflammation and stress that speed skin aging. If you need another reason to om away your stress: High levels of tension can spike hormone production that leads to breakouts or aggravates conditions like psoriasis. "Controlling stress keeps your skin calm," says Annie Chiu, MD, a derm in LA
Research suggests that green and black tea contain protective compounds--like EGCG and theaflavins--that help prevent skin cancers and the breakdown of collagen, the cause of wrinkles.
Following a regular strength-training routine that creates better, more supportive muscle tone will help you firm sagging skin from the neck down. "I am religious about strength-training, and I always tell patients to do it more as they get older," says Patricia Farris, MD, a dermatologist in Metairie, LA. "It's like adding volume to the face with fillers, except on your body," says Dr. Farris.

"Hormones in traditionally produced dairy, poultry, and meat may contribute to acne," says Katie Rodan, MD, a dermatologist in the San Francisco Bay area. She says that her patients who eat those less frequently--or at least choose grain-fed beef and poultry and organic dairy--often notice their skin looks better.

When your exercise routine is so intense that you're tired all the time but can't sleep at night, you're setting yourself up for overuse injuries--not to mention dark circles and bags under your eyes from those sleepless nights. These symptoms could be a sign of overexhaustion, says Ryan Halvorson, personal trainer, IDEA Health and Fitness Association expert, and author. Other clues that you're working out too much include extreme muscle soreness that persists for several days, unintended weight loss, an increased resting heart rate, interruptions in your menstrual cycle, or decreased appetite. "Plan your rest as well as you plan exercise," says Polly de Mille, RN, a registered clinical exercise physiologist at the Hospital for Special Surgery in Manhattan. "If there is no balance between breakdown and recovery, then the muscle is in a state of chronic inflammation and what may start as a simple case of soreness after a hard workout can turn into an actual overuse injury."

When your diet isn't balanced, your skin, hair, and nails will suffer. Cutting calories can deprive your body of certain nutrients that promote healthy cell division, cell regeneration, and overall skin tone and texture, explains David E. Bank, MD, FAAD, director of the Center for Dermatology, Cosmetic and Laser Surgery in Mount Kisco, NY. "The skin also requires essential fatty acids--which the body can't produce on its own--to maintain hydration. A diet that's too low in fat could cause dry skin, hair loss, and brittle nails." Other key youth-boosting nutrients include vitamins A, C, and E. Being deficient in A can cause acne, dry hair, dry skin, and broken fingernails. Get your daily vitamin A fix by eating five baby carrots each day. A lack of vitamin C can affect collagen synthesis (the "glue" that binds our ligaments, bones, blood vessels, and skin), impair wound healing, and make you more likely to bruise. Incorporate vitamin C - rich foods in the form of citrus fruits, brussels sprouts, peppers, and leafy greens. Low levels of vitamin E can result in easy bruising and cause chronic skin conditions such as eczema and psoriasis to flare up. Get more vitamin E in your diet by eating almonds, hazelnuts, peanuts, spinach, and fortified cereals.
Kimberly Snyder, a Los Angeles nutritionist and author of The Beauty Detox Solution ($9.77; amazon.com), says she sees a big improvement in her clients' skin and hair when they eat more alkaline-forming foods, such as parsley, almonds, kale, pears, lemons, and apples. "If your body is too acidic, which can happen when your diet is unbalanced, it leaches the alkaline minerals, such as calcium, potassium, and magnesium, that allow us to have strong, healthy bones, teeth, and hair," Snyder explains.

Fifty shades of debauchery

IF one were to judge by the sale of over 30 million copies of the book Fifty Shades of Grey, that women are fascinated with the idea of being dominated, bound and seduced into submission, then it would go against the new age post bra-burning theory that women want to be liberated, equal to their partners, and to be met halfway in the control department.
Fifty Shades of Grey is a 2011 erotic novel by British author EL James, the first in a series labelled "mommy porn" for their sexual content and large, cult-like, mostly female following.
Author E L James holds a copy of her erotic fiction Fifty Shades of Grey at a book signing in Coral Gables, Florida. (Photos: AP)

The romance between main characters Anastasia Steele and Christian Grey is surprising because of its unconventional nature, the Associated Press (AP) reported in April. Grey asks Steele to sign a contract, and she agrees to be his "submissive" and to partake in a range of erotic activities.
The ticker for many women is that Grey actually does what Steele wants — he takes charge, has power, and does everything she desires emotionally and sexually without being asked.
The stories were first published online, and as word of mouth spread, droves of people — many of them not traditional readers of romantic or erotic fiction — began downloading them on iPads and Kindles.
Women of all ages and backgrounds have turned up for each of the author's book signings and the author is at a loss to explain why the books have become so popular, so quickly. Fans who have written or spoken with her at events, she said, have had different reactions, including that their sex lives have improved.
Though public libraries in several states pulled the racy romance trilogy saying the books are too steamy, moms, students, housewives, conventional women are still fascinated.
Sex therapist Dr Sidney McGill says he is surprised at the type of women who are reportedly reading the novel.
"I would think that you would have more professional women who just want to submit to their men who would be reading — women who are normally in control and just want to be controlled in the bedroom," he said.
But this hasn't been the case as reported.
McGill said most women want to be able to submit to their partners, as long as that partner is trustworthy and they both have a good and loving relationship.
However, he said, he too is taken aback by the fact that these readers seem empowered by the type of dominance sold by the book.
"But what I realise is that it is more than just women giving men control or being in charge, it's about [enjoying] sadomasochism," he said.
He said in many cultures, getting pleasure form pain is something that is enjoyed by women.
"I can see how a women who has been playing the role of mother, wife, running the household, etc, would want to let down her hair and give control to the man," he said.
Ask any woman and she'll tell you that a whipping here, and hair pulling there, done by a powerful lover who attends to her every fantasy is many a dreary housewife's dream.
According to the AP report, in Florida in April at the launch of the US leg of the book tour, "a broad swath of mostly women, of all ages and backgrounds, showed up at the bookstore in Miami''s upscale Coral Gables neighbourhood... [and] exchanged giddy stories about their experiences reading the books.
"Emilia Diaz, a 57-year-old aesthetician, said it was a man who introduced her to the books. They had been talking online and over the phone for months and finally agreed to meet in person. On their first date, he suggested she read the books.
"Diaz came in a group of four women, the eldest being 87-year-old mother Cathy Perkins. Perkins, who was married for 60 years, said she usually reads Danielle Steele but wants to take up Fifty Shades of Grey and its two follow-up novels next. "Stephanie Madison, 59, a bioterrorism coordinator at Jackson Hospital, said her boss had recommended the books to her. She then approached her daughter, Chantele Cogdell about buying her a copy for Mother's Day.
"Cogdell, who works in medical billing and coding, went online to find out what the book was about. Cogdell usually buys her mother flowers, purses or gift cards.
'I said, 'You really want this?' Cogdell recalled.
"Yes!" her mother enthusiastically replied."
For local Cecelia Brown, 33, the book, recently bought for her by her boyfriend on a trip abroad, "gives me a chance to re-live that fantasy life promised by Mills and Boon in my teens".
"You know how you read these books in school and they promised that you'd feel fireworks, and that the earth would move... all my life I've been waiting for the earth to move.
"This books makes that possibility seem more realistic. I finally feel that I can chart my own destiny in the bedroom, with a little encouragement to my man about what I want, and what he can do."
For her part, 26-year-old Petra Barnes said the book "sells the art of teasing, of dominance in a way that draws the reader in, and makes everyone wants to experience what Steele does".
"It's what every woman dreams about," she said. "We all want that mind blowing experience, over and over, and this book is so real, so detailed, that it makes you believe again that you can achieve it, even if it means oiling up your broke down man."
And being the dominant partner is attractive to some men, who take pleasure in being obeyed.
"I like it when my woman obeys me in the bedroom," Carl said. "I like it when I order her around and she does exactly what I tell her."
"Not only is that sexy for me but the sound she makes during the whole dominant act is a real turn on," he added.

All pumped up! Powell vows to make runners eat his dust

LONDON, ENGLAND — In what could be his final appearance at an Olympic Games, a relaxed Asafa Powell declares himself ready to give his all, while vowing to prevent men's 100m gold medal favourite Usain Bolt from repeating the massive victory he achieved in Beijing, China, four years ago.
At a press conference hosted by the Jamaica Olympic Association (JOA) and team kit sponsors Puma in London yesterday, Powell said he was "pumped up" for these Games. "I am not getting any younger and this might be my last one."
Asafa Powell at the JAAA/Puma press conference in London yesterday. (Photo: Bryan Cummings)

The 29 year-old Powell, who laughed and made jokes throughout the event that started about 30 minutes after the scheduled 4:00 pm (UK time) start time, shrugged off questions about his health and said he trained well over the past two weeks.
While saying he can't predict what will happen in the final of the men's 100m at the Olympics, Powell said: "It will be exciting, I don't know what will happen in the final, but a lot of people are expecting Usain to win, but it won't be as easy as that."
Only Powell and Bolt managed to make it to the press conference as Yohan Blake and female sprinters Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce and Veronica Campbell Brown were all no-shows and Jamaica Olympic Association president Mike Fennell apologised on their behalf and explained that the team had just arrived in London from their Birmingham camp and had some logistics to sort out.
Powell, who held the world record before Bolt ran 9.72 seconds at a Diamond League meet in New York in 2008 to set the first of his three world records, said he had learnt from Bolt how to relax and not take on too much pressure on himself.
"Before, I used to have a lot of pressure on my head, before Usain (came on the scene), I used to have the entire pressure of Jamaica, but Usain taught me to relax," Powell said. "He told me that I should (think that) I am doing it for myself and it seems to be working."
Powell, who was third in the final of the men's 100m at the JAAA/Supreme Ventures National Trials last month, said he would be disappointed if he did not make it to the final of the 100m here on August 5.
"Nine months I have been training for this," he said. "I know I have what it takes and it is just up to me to go out there. I have been working very hard and will make a lot of guys eat my dust."

‘I’m ready to go,’ declares Bolt

LONDON, England — Double sprint world record holder and defending 100m and 200m Olympic gold medallist Usain Bolt, has declared that it’s now all about the Olympics having completed his preparation.
Bolt, who set four world records, two of his three 100m world records and his two 200m world standards in either the Olympic Games or the IAAF World Championships, says he is ready to roll.
Usain Bolt and teammate Asafa Powell converse during the press conference.

Reggae music in the background set the mood as members of the media, that would rival a major track and field meet anywhere in the world with at least 40 TV crews and dozens of photographers, waited patiently for Bolt to show up for his first major interview since Trials in Jamaica last month. Bolt had trained in seclusion in Birmingham at the pre-Olympics camp.
The journalists came from all over the world, from as far as China, Japan, Russia, France, The Ukraine, Brazil, and Chile, and included Jamaican, American and British media personnel. They packed an auditorium in London yesterday and waited for over an hour to hear Bolt, who suffered back-to-back losses to teammate Yohan Blake at the Jamaican National Trials.
In front of a backdrop that said ‘Run Jamaica Run’, Jamaica Olympic Association president Mike Fennel welcomed the media horde. “Welcome to Jamaica, you are in Jamaica now,” before handing over the proceedings to British television broadcaster and Olympic silver medallist Colin Jackson.
Bolt, who will lead the Jamaican contingent out during tonight’s Opening Ceremony, said: "Carrying the flag is an honour. For my country Jamaica, I'll do anything, I will be on TV, highlighted. I'm happy. I'm looking forward to tomorrow."
He blamed his less than spectacular showing at the Jamaican National Trials on a stiff lower back, explaining that the problem had affected his hamstrings, adding that he was back to full fitness and had been training very well.
Bolt is reported to have visited his sports doctor Hans Muller Wolfarth in Germany right after the Trials for one of his five annual checkups.
In response to why he trained behind closed doors with tight security in Birmingham, Bolt said it was a decision taken by coach Glen Mills. “Coach determines everything, he does not like the cameras at training.”
He said, however, he was “ready to go” and added he knew he was excited to be at the Olympics as he said he “felt a tingle when he arrived in the Athletes Village” earlier that day.
The athlete admitted that he would “definitely be disappointed” if he did not win, or at least came second. “This has been my goal for the past three years, this is what I want and this is my goal right now. Mentally I am always a strong person, I know what I want, I never worry about anything and I have a great team around me that always keeps me focused.”
If he repeats the double it would make him more relaxed going into next year. “I won’t have to work so hard but I will have to make new goals,” he said while repeatedly ruling out stepping up to the 400m.