Cheyenne Ellis/Fitness MagazineBy Stephanie Dolgoff
Ah, the sofa. It's soft and cozy, and its cushions have conformed perfectly to the shape of your butt. On any given day the decision to get up off it and exercise can be a tough one to make. To help you kick any workout rut, we culled the best motivational tricks from scientists as well as from fit women whose flab-to-fierce successes will inspire you.
Related: More Ways to Bust Your Workout Rut
Rule 1: Consider exercise as more ta-da, less to-do.
"We always think we need to find willpower to do things we don't want to do, but what we really need to find is 'want power,'" says psychologist Kelly McGonigal, PhD, a lecturer at Stanford University and the author of The Willpower Instinct. In other words, to make exercise click, slap a mental sugarcoating on it. For Melissa Steinman, 28, of Findlay, Ohio, the incentive is her mission to raise money for the Arthritis Foundation, which has kept her running long after she lost about 70 pounds. Steinman, who has had
Blog Posts by FITNESS Magazine
Cheyenne Ellis/Fitness MagazineBy Stephanie DolgoffRead More »from Make Your Move! 5 No-Fail Motivation Tricks
Denise Crew/Fitness MagazineBy Krista Bennett DeMaio
How you apply sunscreen, the lifestyle choices you make, and even the foods you eat can determine how well your skin stands up to UV rays. To help boost your protection and reduce your risk of sunburn, wrinkles, and skin cancer, try these derm-approved moves.
Related: Fast Fixes to Rehab Your Bad Habits
Go for a Morning Run
The early bird gets the worm -- and possibly a reduced risk for skin cancer, according to a study from the University of North Carolina. Based on preliminary findings, scientists believe that a protein responsible for DNA repair is more active in the a.m., which may mean that morning sun is far less likely to damage your skin. But this isn't an excuse to ditch the SPF: "Rays are strong enough to burn your skin even at dawn," says Jeanine Downie, MD, a dermatologist in Montclair, New Jersey.
Account for GlareRead More »from 5 Ways to Up Your Skin Protection This Month
If you think you can skip the sunscreen just because you're sitting under an umbrella, think again. "Wearing a hat or
Laura Doss/Fitness MagazineBy Dimity McDowellRead More »from How Healthy is Your Heart? 4 Easy Self-Checks
You don't have to get your knee whacked with a rubber hammer or a vein poked with a needle to find out. Do these easy self-checks from the comfort of your own home. Then follow doctors' orders to boost your well-being -- no copay required.
Related: More Self-Checks to Test Your Health
1. Waist circumference
Belly blubber is a time bomb. Women whose waist measures more than 35 inches have a 79 percent greater overall risk for dying from all causes, including heart disease and cancer, than those with a 28-inch or smaller waist. Place a tape measure around the widest part of your middle, usually right near your navel.
> 35 inches = Poor
32 to 35 inches = Fair
"Abs are mostly made in the kitchen," says Malissa Wood, MD, a cardiologist at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston. Nosh on seven to nine servings of fruit and veggies and three servings of whole grains daily and two weekly servings of omega-3-rich fish, such as salmon. Aim to get 30 grams of
If ogling were a sport, we'd definitely get the gold. Take a look at some of the hottest Olympic athletes who are already winners in our little black books.
Ericka McConnell/Fitness MagazineFrom the editors of FITNESS MagazineRead More »from 6 Ways to Get Happy, Healthy Feet
From strengthening to massaging, fixing blisters and even icky odor, we've got tips for taking care of your feet.
Related: Post-Workout Feet Treats
Help! What can I do about my sweaty feet?
First, try spraying them with antiperspirant, and keep them bare (or in sandals) as often as possible. Choose leather shoes and absorbant cotton socks. "If that doesn't help,ask your doctor about Drysol, a prescription antiperspirant," suggests Mervyn Elgart, M.D., a clinical professor of dermatology at the George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences in Washington, D.C. Or try Drionic (from www.drionic.com) a device that uses a low battery current to temporarily plug sweat glands.
I have bad foot odor, and nothing seems to help. Could I have some sort of fungus?
It depends on what your feet look like. If you also have scaling or peeling on the soles or between your toes, you probably have athlete's foot -- the most common foot fungus,
- FITNESS Magazine | Healthy Living – Tue, Jul 24, 2012 12:20 PM EDT
Bonnie Holland/Fitness MagazineBy Stephanie DolgoffRead More »from As Seen on TV: Fitness Infomercial Gadgets to the Test
Our channel-surfing investigative reporter answers the siren call of late-night infomercials to find out which gadgets shape, slim, stir, poach, and primp as promised.
Related: Get the Full List of Infomercial Products Tested
The Ab Doer Twist
In my opinion a great abdominal device is one that does the exercises for you. If I can't have that, I would like one that makes them marginally more enjoyable so I at least want to do them.
The first contraption to arrive was the Ab Doer Twist, a sort of swivel chair with a flexible back rod and high armrests that allows you to pivot away your muffin top by targeting those often-missed oblique muscles along the sides of your waist. Not complicated. And I did feel the sit-and-cinch sensation as I ran through the recommended exercises, just like the girl in the infomercial.
Only the thing is huge, bigger than any piece of furniture in my house except the sofa. Sure, you can use it to firm other muscles -- it comes with
Fitness MagazineBy Jeannette MoningerRead More »from 7 Common Causes of Back Pain and Easy Solutions
Are you in a world of pain? You're not alone. Four in five people suffer from an achy, breaky back. Here are the surprising culprits and how to feel better fast.
Related: The Fit Girl's Guide to Common Exercise Pains
Back breaker: You're a screen queen.
Nine hours -- that's how long the average person spends hunched over or slouched in front of a screen each day. A Temple University study suggested that increased texting on our latest tech obsessions -- smartphones and tablets -- is creating more aches and pains in our shoulders, necks, and backs. "It's important to take breaks, do neck exercises, and occasionally hold your phone or tablet out in front of you," says Deborah Venesy, MD, a doctor of physical medicine and rehabilitation at the Cleveland Clinic Center for Spine Health. For a simple neck reliever, hold your head for 10 seconds in each of the following positions: forward, back, left, and right. Repeat this five times a day.
Sitting all day is
Amy Postle/Fitness MagazineBy Leslie GoldmanRead More »from 8 Ways to Fix Your Summer Workout Body Bummers
Don't let these 8 workout woes sabotage your summer fitness plans.
There's nothing like the sweet relief of peeling off a sweat-soaked sports bra after a long outdoor workout. But those little red and white bumps that crop up along your bra line? Not so much. If the bumps are white or colorless and don't hurt, they're probably blocked sweat glands, says David J. Leffell, M.D., a professor of dermatology at the Yale School of Medicine and author of Total Skin: The Definitive Guide to Whole Skin Care for Life. Try airing out the area as much as possible, and alternate between racerback and tank styles to avoid irritating the same area of skin. If the bumps are red and tender, they're likely pimples; apply an OTC acne treatment with salicylic acid or benzoyl peroxide to dry them out, he says.
Wet swimsuits, kayaks, sweaty gym shorts? They can irritate your vagina, says Melissa M. Goist, M.D., assistant professor of obstetrics and gynecology at The Ohio
Laura Doss/Fitness MagazineBy Dana HudepohlRead More »from 9 Tips to Unleash Your Inner Winner
The road to winning isn't always pretty -- it can be downright uncomfortable at times -- but staying stagnant in a boring job, a bad relationship, or a workout rut is worse. When you have a nagging feeling telling you it's time for a new challenge, go for it. Use these research-backed strategies to help reach the winner's podium, whether you're aiming to change from microwave zapper to five-star chef or from couch potato to marathon runner.
Related QUIZ: Are You Ready for a Change?
Tip #1: Determine your gold medal.
Jacqueline Depaul set her sights on modeling -- at age 38. "I felt uninspired with my life and needed a creative outlet," says Jacqueline, a salesperson for an engineering company. She read self-help books; volunteered as a model for charity events, photographers, and designers; took runway classes; studied nutrition; and began exercising five to six days a week. "I basically attacked my hobby," she says. At 42, she beat out 5,000 women in a 40-and-over
Sophie Pangrazzi/Fitness MagazineWorkout by Jackie Warner, FITNESS advisory board member and creator of the Personal Training with Jackie: Crunch-Free Xtreme Abs workout DVDRead More »from Jackie Warner's Top 5 Crunch-Free Exercises
Ab flatteners that cinch and sculpt -- no crunches required.
Related: Watch a Video of This Workout
Side-Bend Shoulder Press
What you'll need: a 5- to 8-pound dumbbell
Targets: Shoulders, abs, and obliques
-- Stand with feet slightly wider than shoulder-width apart, dumbbell in right hand by side, and bring left hand to touch back of head, elbow bent out to side.
-- Hinge at waist to side bend to right, reaching dumbbell along outside of right leg toward knee. (Do not allow torso to tip forward.)
-- Return to upright posture, raising dumbbell to right shoulder and then pressing it overhead, palm facing left.
-- Lower dumbbell to shoulder; return to start.
-- Do 30 reps. Switch sides and repeat. Do 3 sets.
Sophie Pangrazzi/Fitness MagazineWeighted Twist
Targets: Abs, obliques, butt, and legs
-- Stand with feet wide apart in a semi-squat position, holding dumbbell in front