Laura Doss/Fitness MagazineBy Dana Hudepohl
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
Blog Posts by FITNESS Magazine
Laura Doss/Fitness MagazineBy Dana HudepohlRead More »from 9 Tips to Unleash Your Inner Winner
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
Peter Ardito/Fitness MagazineBy Karen Ansel, RDRead More »from Shake Up Your Snacks: 5 Fun Ideas to Try
Our readers say the snacks they're most sick of are low-fat yogurt and apples with peanut butter. Revolutionize the 3 p.m. munchies with these seven ideas -- each with less than 150 calories.
Lemony Chickpea Salad
Whisk together 1 teaspoon olive oil, 2 teaspoons lemon juice, 1/2 teaspoon lemon zest, 1/8 teaspoon Dijon mustard, and 2 teaspoons chopped fresh chives. Toss with 1/2 cup drained and rinsed canned chickpeas.
Related: Flat-Belly Foods: More 150-Calorie Snacks
Peter Ardito/Fitness MagazineCinnamon Dippers
Cut a 6-inch corn tortilla into wedges, brush with 1 teaspoon melted low-fat butter, and sprinkle with a pinch of cinnamon. Bake in a 350-degree oven for 10 minutes. Dip cooled chips in 1/3 cup nonfat vanilla yogurt.
Peter Ardito/Fitness MagazineAvocado Hummus
Puree 1/4 avocado, 2 tablespoons store-bought hummus, and 1/2 teaspoon lemon juice in a food processor. Stir in 1 teaspoon chopped fresh chives. Serve as a dip with 1 sliced red or yellow bell pepper.
Related: 10 Skinny Foods You Should Have in Your
Peter Ardito/Fitness MagazineBy Karen Ansel, RDRead More »from Dinner Recipes to Beat Diet Boredom
Cook, eat, repeat. It's easy to put meals on autopilot when you're trying to slim down, but monotony is a recipe for weight gain. Shake up your eating plan with these delicious dinner recipes.
Related: More Recipes to Mix it Up
If You're Tired of Baked Chicken Breast...
Keep it juicy.
Rub 1 ounce herbed goat cheese between skin and meat of 1 bone-in chicken breast. Bake in a 375-degree oven for 35 to 40 minutes, or until internal temperature reaches 165 degrees. Remove skin before serving.
Nutrition facts: 211 calories, 30g protein, 0g carbohydrate, 9g fat (4.8g saturated), 0g fiber
"Cooking bone-in, skin-on chicken locks in moisture and flavor," says Claire Robinson, the host of 5 Ingredient Fix on the Food Network.
Related: Healthy Grilled Chicken, Seafood and Vegetable Recipes
Peter Ardito/Fitness MagazineIf You're Tired of Turkey Burgers...
Mix 4 ounces ground turkey with 1 tablespoon reduced-sodium soy sauce and 2 teaspoons each grated ginger, rice wine vinegar, and
Antoine Verglas/Fitness MagazineBy Krista Bennett DeMaioRead More »from Play On! Beauty Tricks from Top Olympic Athletes
Look and perform at your personal best with these clever beauty tricks from Olympic athletes. Oily skin, dry hair, and melting makeup don't stand a chance.
Related: 10 Ways to Double Your Sun Protection
Kerri Walsh, 34, two-time Olympic gold medalist and beach volleyball player, Manhattan Beach, California
Serve and protect
Walsh never hits the beach without sunscreen and a lip balm with SPF. "My mom had skin cancer on her chin, so I know that sun protection is important," she says. In her bag now: Coola LipLux SPF 30 ($12, coolasuncare.com).
Get plenty of zzz's
"For me, sleep is the ultimate pampering," the busy mother of two says. "Whenever I can work in a short nap, I feel amazing."
Invest in good grooming
Walsh stays stubble-free with laser hair removal. "I live in my bikini, so it's really nice not to have to worry about shaving or waxing," she says.
Getty Images SportNatalie Coughlin, 29, 11-time Olympic medalist and swimmer, Vallejo, California
Double your efforts
Eye Candy ImagesBy Lindsey EmeryRead More »from 8 Diet Tips from Olympic Nutritionists
If you want to perform like a pro athlete (and who doesn't, really?), news flash: It's not all about the training. You are what you eat, too. "The intensity of women's training has increased, and with that, the need to refuel correctly is more vital than ever before," says sports nutritionist Dawn Scott, a fitness coach for the U.S. Women's National Soccer Team. So we asked the experts to serve up some of their favorite nutrition advice to help you get stronger, faster, and fitter than ever before, no matter what you're trying to master.
Related: QUIZ: How Competitive Are You?
#1: Don't Skip Breakfast
"One of the biggest mistakes athletes make is heading out for a run in the morning without eating anything first," says Dan Benardot, PhD, RD, director of the Laboratory for Elite Athlete Performance at Georgia State University in Atlanta, who works with Olympic distance runners (10,000m and up) and oversees the nutrition program for U.S. Figure Skating. Your blood
Jeff Harris/Fitness MagazineBy Richard LaliberteRead More »from Slim for Life: 6 Strategies to Lose Fat for Good
Trying yet again to lose those last 10 pounds? We hear you. In fact, 50 percent of women say that within six months they gain back any weight they've managed to ditch. And more than a quarter have dieted so many times they've lost track of the number. Well, get ready to stop the endless yo-yoing: Science has finally come up with simple, groundbreaking solutions for lasting weight loss. We checked in with the top experts in the field and scoured the latest research to bring you the skinny on everything you need to reach your slim-down goals and stay there.
Related: More Science-Proven Ways to Keep the Weight Off
#1: Make your fat burn fat.
Seriously: Your flab can help you shed pounds. How? Just as there's more than one kind of fat in food, there's more than one type in your body. White fat is the bad stuff you want to zap. But a second kind, brown fat, actually torches calories. "Up to 80 percent of adults have brown fat deposits in their bodies," says Aaron M.
- FITNESS Magazine | Healthy Living – Mon, Jul 9, 2012 11:15 AM EDT
Jason Lee/Fitness MagazineBy Julia SavacoolRead More »from Pain-Free Guide: 3 Ways to Fix Common Running Pains
You've worked hard to get in shape, but suddenly you're feeling more achy than athletic. Prepare for a speedy recovery with our drug-free DIY treatments.
Related: More Ways to Fix Common Exercise Pains
The sole of your foot and heel are tight and tender.
Here's why: With overuse, the connective tissue that runs the length of your sole can become inflamed or suffer microscopic tears. Known as plantar fasciitis, it usually feels worse early in the morning, better during exercise, and painful once you stop.
Feel better: Sit in a chair and place a cold can of soda on its side on the floor in front of you, says Christopher John Anselmi Jr., a chiropractor at the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York City. Put your foot on top of the can and, applying medium pressure, roll it back and forth. The cold will reduce swelling while the massage eases the pain.
Your new game plan: Buy shoes with arch support; women with high arches are especially prone to this
- FITNESS Magazine | Healthy Living – Fri, Jul 6, 2012 1:10 PM EDT
Thomas B. Shea/Getty Images SportBy Colleen MoodyRead More »from Healthy Eating Secrets and Motivation Tips from Olympic Athletes
It's time to get your game face on. As the 2012 Summer Games gear up, we scored the secrets to success from the Olympic athletes making the trip to London. From their diets and travel tips to how they mentally prepare, here's how they make it happen.
Related: 13 Female Olympians to Watch This Summer
Nap and Nosh
That's how Olympic bronze medalist, 10,000-meter runner and marathoner Shalane Flanagan preps for a race. "When I'm heavy into training, I try to get eight to ten hours of sleep a night, which is quite a bit for most people. I also take a nap on top of that, which can vary from 30 minutes to two hours. With that nap I don't need any caffeine later in the day -- just getting off my feet for an hour does the trick."
Flanagan also credits her energy levels to always having a snack ready. "I munch on a piece of fruit, a banana or apple, or Gatorade G Series Pro Carb Energy Chews; they taste just like gummi worms."
Motivation Mantra : "I'm part of a training
- FITNESS Magazine | Healthy Living – Thu, Jul 5, 2012 3:17 PM EDT
Lisa Shin/Fitness MagazineBy Sharon LiaoRead More »from Get to Know Your Greens: 5 Veggies to Add to Your Plate
If you think escarole refers to Jay-Z's SUV, it's time for a veg-ucation. Get to know seven produce powerhouses that deserve a spot in your crisper.
Related: 10 Vegetarian Meals to Make for Meatless Monday
This mild staple of Southern cuisine may be better at lowering artery-clogging cholesterol than broccoli or spinach, research has shown.
Fresh ideas: Try a lighter take on collards, which are traditionally cooked with pork fat: Remove the stems and slice the leaves into two-inch pieces; meanwhile, fry turkey bacon in olive oil. Crumble bacon and sauté it with the collards and garlic. Add enough chicken stock to just cover the greens, reduce the heat to low, and simmer for an hour, or until tender. "Cooking collards for a long time breaks down the tough fibers," says Aliza Green, a chef in Philadelphia and the author of Field Guide to Produce. Finish the dish with a splash of apple cider vinegar and red pepper flakes.
Collards resemble wide, flat