Karen Pearson/Fitness MagazineBy Melissa Romero
Ah, sleep. It's something we relentlessly crave, but we never seem to get enough of it. Aside from the daily stressors in life, there's one big thing that can keep you from snoozing -- your diet. Here, the best and worst foods to eat for sleep.
Related: The Top 10 Foods for Flat Abs
Best: Cereal and Milk
Your go-to breakfast staple can also moonlight as the perfect pre-bedtime snack. Eating a combination of carbohydrates and protein enables our bodies to produce the "happy hormone" serotonin, which in turn produces melatonin, a neurotransmitter that has a calming effect, explains Danielle Omar, a DC-based registered dietitian. Just stay away from sugary cereals to avoid getting a sugar high right before bed. Other safe nighttime snack bets include cheese and crackers, cottage cheese and fruit, or oatmeal with milk for a similar soothing effect.
While protein is a vital part of our daily diets, too much of it means less sleep at the end of the day.
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Karen Pearson/Fitness MagazineBy Melissa RomeroRead More »from The 10 Best and Worst Foods for Sleep
Andrew Parsons/Fitness MagazineBy Stacey ColinoYeah, a toxic day at work or a major fight with your boyfriend can give you a killer headache. But did you know that other symptoms like painful periods, memory problems, and hives could also be due to stress? "Anxiety can cause hormonal, immunological, and muscular changes that can occur silently at first," explains Bruce Rabin, MD, PhD, medical director of the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center Healthy Lifestyle Program. "People often aren't aware of them until they produce uncomfortable, disruptive symptoms." Don't ignore the seven signs; they're your body's way of telling you to relax.
Related: Beat Stress, Weigh Less: Calorie-Burning Yoga Workout
Sore, Bleeding Gums
Tension weakens your immune system, which can allow bacteria in the mouth to gain more of a foothold and eventually cause gum irritation and inflammation, explains Kimberly A. Harms, DDS, consumer advisor for the American Dental Association.
Nix It: Now is not the time to slack off on the Read More »from 7 Signs You're Way Too Stressed
Denise Crew/Fitness MagazineBy Richard LaliberteRead More »from Heal Better: Smart Workout Pain Solutions
A real pain in the butt (hamstring, ankle, or shoulder) doesn't have to put your active routine on ice. Here are smarter ways to ease the aches.
Related: How Healthy Are You? 10 Quick Self-Checks
How to Overcome Workout Pains and Injuries
A few years ago Megan Brady, 36, signed up for a half-marathon near her town of Waterloo, Iowa, and launched herself into a training program. But during a six-mile run five weeks before the big race, she had an uh-oh moment. "My right hamstring suddenly felt tight and started cramping," says Megan, who put on her game face and kept running. She hoped the pain would go away once she got home, but no such luck. Her leg ached for weeks. "Whenever I stood up, I'd have to limp because I was so sore," she says. "When I'd start running, the pain would get really intense."
Megan, an athletic trainer at a local university, knew what the problem was: tendinitis, an overuse injury that would heal only if she rested her muscles for at
- FITNESS Magazine | Healthy Living – Thu, Feb 28, 2013 12:02 PM EST
Kenji Toma/Fitness MagazineBy Juno DeMeloRead More »from FITNESS Healthy Food Awards: The Best Soups from the Store
Soup seems virtuous enough; after all, an entire diet was built around the cabbage kind. But some contain more bloat-inducing sodium than you should consume in a day, while others (we're talking to you, "cream of" anything!) pack more saturated fat than a doughnut. To help you get your comfort-food fix minus the snug waistband, we worked with our team of nutritionists to choose seven soups that taste great but have no more than 5 grams of fat, 150 calories, and 690 milligrams of sodium per serving. Get ready to be bowled over.
Related: The Best Greek Yogurts to Buy
What Makes a Winner
Companies submitted 59 new soups to FITNESS. Our experts -- Anar Allidina, RD, a dietitian in private practice in Toronto; Keri Gans, RD, the author of The Small Change Diet; and Marissa Lippert, RD, the author of The Cheater's Diet -- analyzed the ingredients and nutrition facts to help us determine which deserved to move to the next round. Those finalists were sampled and voted on by
Amy Postle/Fitness MagazineBy Nicci MiccoRead More »from 4 Ways to Lose the Weight and Stay Stress-Free
You snap at coworkers for no reason. Feel bitter every time your thin friends order dessert. Beat yourself up after losing an hour-long standoff with a chocolate-chip cookie. Dropping extra pounds is supposed to make you healthier and happier -- but it doesn't always feel that way. In fact, according to a study at UCLA, dieting may actually cause chronic stress. Here, four signs that you're at risk for diet-induced anxiety, plus simple fixes to help you lose weight without losing your mind.
Related: Weighty Matters: Women's Top Weight Secrets
1. Guilt Trips from Cravings Cave-Ins
The Sign: You give yourself a mental flogging every time you cave in to a craving.
The Cause: Having unrealistic goals.
Set your expectations too high -- trying to lose 20 pounds in a month or vowing never to eat chocolate again -- and you're likely to slip up often, making you feel defeated and hopeless.
The Fix: Make it as easy as possible to achieve small successes on a regular basis,
Courtesy of iStockPhotoBy Dana HudepohlRead More »from 7 Secrets of Super-Sexy Couples
A hot sex life is like a hot body: You gotta work for it. "In the first six months to two years of a relationship, the newness creates all the passion for you," says Sheryl Kingsberg, PhD, a professor of reproductive biology at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine in Cleveland. After that, you need to keep the sizzle from fizzling. "A lot of couples think, If we have to work at it, there's something wrong with us. Smart couples, though, know that long-term relationships require effort to keep the energy alive," Kingsberg says. We talked to top experts and tracked down the latest research to find out what the happiest and most sexually satisfied couples do. Read on to make their habits your own -- and to sexify your life.
Related: 10 Foods That Boost Your Libido (and 3 That Kill It)
Secret 1: They never stop dating.
Couples who play together, stay together. In a recent relationship survey of nearly 100,000 people, 88 percent of "extremely happy" couples
- FITNESS Magazine | Healthy Living – Fri, Feb 22, 2013 11:00 AM EST
Brian Bowen Smith/Fitness MagazineBy Patty Adams MartinezRead More »from We Love Lucy: How Lucy Liu Discovered the Right Workout for Her
After years of doing tough-girl routines like kickboxing and martial arts, Lucy Liu finally discovered the secret to shedding the last five pounds. All it took was the right workout and a little help from her friends.
Related: Try Lucy Liu's Lean Pilates Routine
Lucy Liu's Stay Motivated Secrets
Lucy Liu is known for kicking butt in such flicks as Charlie's Angels and Kill Bill. But offscreen she's more likely to be getting her butt kicked -- by her Pilates instructor.
"Pilates introduced me to muscles I never even knew I had," says Lucy, who stars as Dr. Watson on the hit CBS show Elementary. "Soon I started to feel longer and leaner. Ten years of Pilates has really changed my body for the better."
In fact, at 44 the actress says she is fitter and healthier than ever. "I'm smarter, stronger, and more confident than I was in my twenties," Lucy says over lentil soup at ABC Kitchen in New York City. "I know who I am now, and I'm more accepting of myself." Read
Sara Forrest/Fitness MagazineBy Marianne MagnoRead More »from 10 Ways to Sneak in a Workout
In a perfect world, we'd all have at least an hour a day to devote to our fitness. But in the real world, 24 hours a day doesn't seem like nearly enough time to fit in work, school, and family. Stop stressing! Here, 10 ways to sneak a workout into your super busy schedule.
Related: 15-Minute Fat-Burning Cardio Workout
Turn Your Commute into a Workout
On days that Monica Vazquez, 27, a master trainer for New York Sports Clubs in New York City, can't do her usual run, she stuffs her essentials -- keys, cash, credit card, phone, and ID -- into a fanny pack and jogs home from work instead. "Running is a great workout, but it's also great transportation," she says. "Sometimes I get home even earlier than I normally do taking the subway."
Not a runner? Bike to work, get off your bus or train a few stops earlier, or park the car farther away to extend your walking time.
Set Your Alarm Early
Becoming an A.M. exerciser means you get to cross your workout off your to-do
Laura Doss/Fitness MagazineBy Stacey ColinoRead More »from Hormones and Your Body: 6 Surprising Effects
Despite all those tired that-time-of-the-month punch lines, hormones are no joke. Scientists now say that fluctuating hormones can boost your emotional well-being -- and they can exacerbate chronic health conditions and increase your risk of injury while exercising. "They affect your entire body, not just your reproductive system" says Hadine Joffe, MD, director of endocrine studies at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston.
Related: More on Hormones and Your Body
Surprise #1: Your hormonal shifts may make you susceptible to an exercise injury.
Research suggests that women are four to six times more likely than men to experience a painful knee injury, such as tearing the knee's anterior curciate ligament (ACL), while playing sports such as soccer, basketball, or volleyball. One reason: "Hormones appear to affect a woman's neuromuscular control -- the order and timing in which your muscles contract," says Gregory Dedrick, ScD, an assistant professor in the
Laura Doss/Fitness MagazineBy Bethany GumperRead More »from The Best Natural Remedies to Treat PMS
TTYL! BRB! LOL! In a sea of cutesy acronyms, PMS does not fit in. In fact, these three letters can be downright scary. Studies show that at least 85 percent of women experience premenstrual syndrome symptoms, which can include mood swings, breast tenderness, cravings, fatigue and irritability before their period. The good news: "It's absolutely possible to manage PMS symptoms with lifestyle changes," says ob-gyn Christiane Northrup, MD, author of Women's Bodies, Women's Wisdom. We've got four easy strategies to help you feel good all month long. Period.
Related: More Tips to Beat Your Period Woes
PMS plan of attack: Maximize your magnesium intake.
Researchers at the University of Reading in England found that supplementing with magnesium reduced water retention and bloating. "I recommend 400 to 800 milligrams of magnesium per day," says Dr. Northrup. You can also add Epsom salt (aka magnesium sulfate, available at most drugstores) to a hot bath, and you'll absorb