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20 Women Who Changed Up Their Exercise Routines For Their Own Body Positivity Goals

Let’s face it: we stan a babe who has the drive to commit to healthy eating and an empowering exercise regime. Especially since it takes a hell of a lot of hard work to get ripped. So, we’ve put together a list of amazing pictures of Latinas who stood up to the trials and tribulations of their health goals for you to see.

And for good measure, we’ve also thrown in some facts about healthy eating and exercise.

A brain workout is still a workout, right?

1. It takes at least 2.5 hours of moderate physical activity per week to improve cardiovascular health.

Instagram / @orozcoe2000

A brisk walk is enough to do this! But, how can you tell if your walk is “brisk” enough? Experts say that you should have trouble trying to carry out a conversation with a friend – you might be able to talk, but you’d be breathless if you tried.

2. You still get benefits from a 10-15 minute burst of exercise.

Instagram / @notdrinkinhorchata

So yes, if you dance like no-one’s watching to a couple of bangers, that’s still going to do you some good! The important thing is that you raise your heartbeat.

3. Not doing exercise has some pretty serious risks for heart health.

Instagram / @gelicashrinks83

Sedentary lifestyles, or, sitting at the computer all the time and watching too much Netflix, makes it more likely that you’ll develop heart disease, get high blood pressure, and have raised cholesterol levels … and even make it more likely that you’ll have a stroke!

4. Studies show that people put on 4-6 pounds in the colder months.

Instagram / @sj_wllg

One theory is that we turn to comfort food once it starts to get cold. It probably doesn’t help that the cold weather makes us want to stay inside!

5. Drinking coffee before exercising can improve your performance.

Instagram / @ladiva_getshealthy

Caffeine has been found to improve sports performance at a rate between 2-16 percent! It’s best to drink coffee about 45-90 minutes before exercising, and you’d need roughly two cups to really feel positive effects. That being said, if you’re not much of a coffee drinker, to begin with, you could probably feel a benefit from just one cup.

6. There’s a formula for working out your maximal heart rate during exercise.

Instagram / @fit_evolving_nurse

The formula is: HRMax = 208 – (0.7 x Age). So, for a 22-year-old, their maximal heart rate during exercise should be somewhere around 192 beats per minute (BPM). If you train at a level that gets you to your maximal heart rate, then that’s enough to start inducing physiological change. That means you may lose weight, build muscle, and generally improve your overall health!

7. You can’t lose weight just by exercising.

Instagram / @mean_i_lean

You have to have a good diet, too! But, that doesn’t mean that you should suddenly invest in a bananas-only diet … or whatever the latest trend is. No, amigos, this means that you should look at eating more fruit and vegetables and having smaller portions of carbohydrates and red meat. And yes, those soft drinks are doing you no good.

8. Exercise reduces the risk of developing quite a few diseases.

Instagram / @stephanielugoblog

Beyond cardiovascular diseases and conditions, regular exercise can also curb the development of type 2 diabetes, dementia, and even some cancers by 30 percent!

9. Restricting carbohydrate intake close to endurance training sessions can help muscle recovery.

Instagram / @vmmart

Restricting carbohydrates is also linked to weight loss. However, it’s not necessarily the best thing for your body to stop eating carbohydrates altogether – taking carbohydrate restrictions to the extreme can result in ketosis. This can cause headaches, weakness, nausea, dehydration, and dizziness. The main thing to remember is that not all carbohydrates are made equal: wholemeal bread, pasta, and rice are more nutrient-rich than the white varieties. 

10. Yes, pregnant people can exercise.

Instagram / @healthgothchic

But, it should be done in consultation with a doctor. And, if anything like bleeding, contractions, amniotic fluid leakage, excessive breathlessness, dizziness, chest pain, and swelling happens, then it’s important to stop exercising immediately.

11. For professionals, exercising in warm conditions can improve performance.

Instagram / @vero_loses_it

But are you a professional? Chances are you’re not, so if it’s really hot outside, then make sure to stay cool and hydrated!

12. Eating food enables you to prepare for, and recover from, exercise.

Instagram / @lilye110_getsfit

So if you’re afraid you’re going to get hungry when you exercise, have a bite about an hour before you decide to go for a run!

13. The best kind of food to eat just before exercising is a small amount of carbohydrate food.

Instagram / @vicki_lugo

This is because it can be digested relatively quickly compared to fat- or protein-based foods, and won’t leave you feeling discomfort while you sweat it out.

14. The best time of the day to workout … depends on your circadian rhythm.

Instagram / @un_erika

Basically, if you’re a morning person and workout straight after waking up, then you’ll feel the benefits of eating less throughout the day and may even maintain weight loss. But, if you’re a night owl, you may find that that evening workouts will give you better results since you’ll be inclined to work hard during the night. Basically, listen to your bodies, babes.

15. Completing vigorous exercise just before bed can have benefits.

Instagram / @summergirl0804

Swiss researchers found that working out one-and-a-half hours before sleeping can encourage you to fall asleep faster, prevent waking up throughout the night, and improve your mood. 

16. Sex is a form of exercise.

Instagram / @jugosalatina_13

But unfortunately, it’s not the best kind of exercise if you’re looking to get real results. It gets your heart pumping, which is important. But, a solid bonk is about as good as walking gently for six minutes. So while it does get you moving, you can’t give up on exercising altogether just because you’ve been in bed.

17. An estimated 50 percent of people who start a new exercise program will give it up within six months.

Instagram / @nicollejthompson

The best way to make sure you stick to it is by making it a part of your routine.

18. “No pain, no gain” is a myth.

Instagram / @jazflete

While intensity is good for building fitness, pain is the body’s way of telling you that you need to stop what you’re doing, or you’ll do damage to yourself. If you’re feeling a lot of pain regularly from your exercise regime, you may have to change your routine.

19. “If you don’t use it, you’ll lose it” is not a myth.

Instagram / @pbbsuccess

Even if you feel like you’re not seeing massive gains from your exercise regime, the reality is that exercising regularly still maintains your fitness and health!

20. You gain muscle, you don’t transform it

Instagram / @beautiespcoslife

People often think that fat molecules turn into muscle but this is simply not the case. Fat burns and muscles grow.

Birth Control May Not Make You Gain Weight, But It Does Change Your Body Shape

Entertainment

Birth Control May Not Make You Gain Weight, But It Does Change Your Body Shape

@tanzacochran / Twitter

Like anatomy in general, birth control can be intimidating, confusing, and even a little scary. But it doesn’t have to be! While there are endless ideas about how birth control affects the body (it gives you acne, it makes you gain weight, it changes your moods, lo que sea), the truth is that everyone’s experience is different. For some, all of these claims might be true—and for others, none of them may be. Yet although each form of birth control impacts individuals in unique ways, there are definitely certain trends to watch out for. So if you’re curious about how birth control might affect your body, get ready for some seriously helpful—and possibly surprising!—information.

For years, many healthcare providers and users of birth control have believed that hormonal methods can lead to excessive weight gain. While bodies fluctuate and weight gain happens naturally for lots of different reasons, people often avoid this type of contraception—which includes the patch, the pill, monthly shots, and some IUDs—in order to avoid that alleged extra poundage.

However, many decades of research seem to dispel the myth that hormonal birth control leads to weight gain.

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A 2014 review of 49 trials comparing 52 different birth control methods led to the conclusion that neither pill nor patch caused significant weight gain. Although “the evidence was not strong enough to be sure that these methods did not cause some weight change,” the reviewers found “no major effect on weight.”

Some studies focused on the combined pill (a version of the pill that contains many different—and often synthetic—hormones), while others investigated pills containing real progesterone, a hormone that our bodies naturally produce. The result was clear: no matter the contents, neither type of pill has a side effect of weight gain. Why, then, do we associate a higher number on the scale with the use of contraception?

According to Maria Gallo, an endocrinologist at Ohio State University who co-authored the review, the notion of weight gain as a symptom of birth control is rooted in a natural human bias.

Credit: Womenshealth.gov

Gallo suggests that when people are influenced by certain ideas or patterns (for example, if a small number of people report gaining weight after starting a new medication), those ideas seem to manifest in real life—even if the data doesn’t support those observations.

“It’s the same reason why there’s this idea that vaccines can cause health problems,” says Gallo. “If you give them to a population, you’re going to have some people who have health problems, whether they’re linked to the vaccine or not.”

In regard to the connection between weight and the pill, Gallo acknowledges that adults of both sexes gain roughly a pound each year, beginning in our early twenties. She points out that this is also the age when people start using contraception. Yet while Gallo asserts that the pill-weight connection is ultimately a myth—and that weight gain is likely attributed to different external factors—she confirms that the pill definitely does change the body in other ways.

Reviews indicate that birth control can change a body’s shape and composition, affecting muscle growth, fluid retention, and overall fat distribution.

Credit: Pinterest

A 2009 study showed that women taking a pill with a certain type of synthetic progesterone were unable to achieve their desired muscle gains. The fake progesterone, it turns out, was competing with a natural hormone called DHEA, which helps promote muscle growth. The impact of the synthetic progesterone kept women from meeting their desired fitness goals, because without a certain amount of DHEA, their bodies were incapable of supporting new muscle development.

On top of that, another study found that different hormones have different effects on fat cells. Estrogen and progesterone are responsible for feminine features, like wide hips, breasts, and booty. The fat that lives on these parts of the body is called subcutaneous fat, and it contains a large number of estrogen receptors. So, the study demonstrated that pills with higher estrogen levels often resulted in more subcutaneous fat and, therefore, a more “pear-shaped” silhouette.

And finally, the puffy feeling we all know too well—bloating—may also be a symptom of the pill. While we might feel bloated after un par de tacos or a big bucket of movie popcorn, that sensation is different than bloating caused by hormones. Estrogen impacts the way our bodies metabolize water, so high-estrogen birth control methods can make the body retain more fluid. Sometimes, this fluid seeps into fat cells, causing them to swell and create the illusion of weight gain. This means that while we may not actually be gaining weight, our clothes might fit differently, and we may feel sort of uncomfortable.

All in all, birth control can absolutely impact the way your body functions—it’s designed to do that! The trick is understanding your own body and finding a method that works for you and keeps you feeling healthy.

Latina Actress At the Center of the Viral Peloton Ad Says She is Finding “Humor” In The Situation

Entertainment

Latina Actress At the Center of the Viral Peloton Ad Says She is Finding “Humor” In The Situation

Peloton / Youtube

It’s not every day that you see an ad for an exercise bike taking the world by storm, but this viral commercial for Peloton did just that.

Three weeks ago Peloton, the company that is well known for being an fitness empire and a media juggernaut that was being touted as the “Apple of Fitness”, posted a Holiday ad for the cult-favorite bike to Youtube. The ad seemed innocuous enough: the 30-second spot followed the fitness journey of a young wife and mother who is gifted a Peloton bike for Christmas by her husband.

As the woman’s fitness journey continues, we see her documenting her daily workouts for her husband to watch. She congratulates herself for working out “five days in a row”, asking her husband if he’s “surprised”. We see her getting up at 6am to hop on the bike, lamenting her early wake-up call. At the end of the spot, we see the young mom watching the footage with her husband in the present. “A year ago, I didn’t know how much this would change me”, she says to the camera. In the present, we see the wife looking looking nervous and fidgety as she watches her husband watch the footage. Some viewers interpreted her behavior as if she were working out for her husband’s for approval.

A few weeks after the commercial was posted to Youtube, the ad went viral–and not for the brand’s intended purpose. 

Critics immediately called out the ad for what they perceived as its sexist messaging. Not only that, some viewers interpreted Ruiz’s face throughout the advertisement as “terrified”. As one Twitter user put it, the ad tells the tone-deaf story of a “thin, gorgeous woman transforming into a still-thin, still-gorgeous woman who’s terrified her husband won’t think she’s grateful”.

Credit: @amyhoy/Twitter

After the ad seemed to take over the internet over the weekend, the identity of the “Peloton Wife” actress was finally revealed to be Monica Ruiz, a California-based actress of Latina descent. Ruiz, for her part, seems to be rather rattled by all of the negative attention aimed at the ad. 

In a statement to People magazine, she called the Peloton team “lovely to work with” and said she was “grateful” for the job opportunity. As for the the backlash, she seems to be surprised by it. “Although I’m an actress, I am not quite comfortable being in spotlight,” she said to People. “So to say I was shocked and overwhelmed by the attention this week (especially the negative) is an understatement”.

In a hilarious turn of events, Ryan Reynolds recruited Ruiz to star in a commercial for his company, Aviation Gin. The catch? She’s playing the same character as in the Peloton commercial.

In a spot titled “The Gift that Doesn’t Give Back”, Ruiz is seen at a bar surrounded by two girlfriends. They look at her warily as she stares off into the distance, nursing a martini. They tell her she’s “safe here” and that she “looks great”. Ruiz, ostensibly traumatized by her husband’s controlling behavior, can only say that the gin is “really smooth” before chugging her cocktail as well as her friend’s. 

Naturally, the Aviation Gin ad went over like gangbusters on social media, with viewers calling it “genius” and “brilliant”. As for Ruiz, she seems to be much more at peace with the entire Peloton debacle. “When Ryan and his production team called about Aviation Gin, they helped me find some humor in the situation,” she told People. “I am grateful to both Peloton and now Aviation Gin for the work and giving me the opportunity to do what I love to do”.

Of course, since the ad originally went viral on Twitter, there are no shortage of Tweets riffing on the bizarre saga of the Peloton commercial.

Honestly, you could spend hours scrolling through hilarious memes and #hottakes centered around this one 30-second commercial. Something tells us Peloton didn’t intend this sort of reaction when they were brainstorming this ad.

This person summed up the weird vibe of the commercial perfectly:

There’s something off-putting about how she seems to be embarking on this year-long fitness journey to please her husband. 

This Twitter user had to explain why people were so irritated at the tone-deaf commercial:

It’s definitely the subtext of the ad that rubs people the wrong way. 

This Latina didn’t really understand the outrage

It’s definitely true that a lot of people workout to feel strong and healthy–their appearance has nothing to do with it.

This person was highly complimentary of Ruiz’s acting skills

We definitely agree. If commercials had their own Oscars, we think there’d be no contest.