Alexa Miller/Fitness MagazineBy Dorothy Foltz-Gray
Pecan pie. Eggnog. Aunt Norma's famous sweet potatoes. Candy canes. Holiday "sugar plums" can undo us. Still, what's merriment without a bit of sweet indulgence? Splurge a little-then follow our easy tips for burning off those extra calories.*
* Note: The calories burned are estimates based on a 150-pound woman. What you burn depends on your height, weight, and how vigorously you work out.
Related: 10 Strategies to Lose Fat and Keep It Off
1. A Slice of Pecan Pie (500 calories)
"Oh the pie! Pecan, pumpkin, apple, pecan, chocolate, pecan. Did I say that already?" asks Krista Maurer, a writer, photographer, and designer in Bountiful, Utah. "I could eat an entire pecan pie by myself."
Burn It Off This Way: Shoveling Snow
Pie-loving Maurer, who has recently lost 35 pounds, undoes her pecan pie calories by shoveling her driveway for at least an hour. "It's a hefty workout, especially when we get a wet snow," she says.
"Eighty minutes of show shoveling will burn
Blog Posts by FITNESS Magazine
Alexa Miller/Fitness MagazineBy Dorothy Foltz-GrayRead More »from 7 Ways to Burn Off Holiday Treats
Sara Forrest/Fitness MagazineBy Jan SheehanRead More »from 5 Ways to Party-Proof Your Diet
The holidays are a scary time for dieters, but you can stick to your diet though Thanksgiving and Christmas. Here's how to regain control after common seasonal slip-ups -- so you might even lose weight this year.
Related: 100 Days of Guilt-Free Holidays
You drank too much eggnog at the office party.
Undo the damage. You can blame your wicked hangover and pounding headache on dehydration and the toxins your body had to release to metabolize all that booze. "Alcohol also increases the secretion of acid in the stomach and irritates the stomach lining," says Robert Swift, MD, PhD, associate director of the Brown University Center for Alcohol and Addiction Studies in Providence. Relieve your misery by eating a piece of toast with honey. Greasy foods, like fried eggs and sausages, will only overtax your irritated digestive system and make it pump out more acid, Dr. Swift says. Honey is an excellent source of fructose, a sugar that research shows may help your body get rid
Darren Keith/Fitness MagazineBy Amy Paturel
The best news we've heard all year: Chocolate boosts your metabolism. When we combed through the research, the sweet treat wasn't the only surprise standout. While calories are the key to diet success (or failure), certain ingredients can help speed up your slim-down.
Related: The 10 Healthiest Foods on the Planet
A particularly sweet study found that daily consumption of roughly one and a half ounces of dark chocolate -- about the amount in a Hershey's bar -- reduced the stress hormone cortisol. (Stress has been linked to a sluggish metabolism.) Researchers suspect that certain compounds in chocolate, like caffeine and theobromine, may be responsible. Another reason to indulge: A study in the Archives of Internal Medicine found that adults who ate moderate amounts of chocolate regularly were actually thinner than those who didn't, even though they consumed more calories and exercised the same amount.
Look for chocolate that contains at leastRead More »from The Latest 6 Fat-Fighting Superfoods
Karen Pearson/Fitness MagazineWorkout by Kathy Smith, creator of the Kathy Smith: Total Body Lift DVDRead More »from The 10-Minute Arm Workout
Do these five fast arm exercises and celebrate by going sleeveless! All you need is a pair of 3- to 5-pound dumbbells and a stability ball.
Related: Our Top 10 Arm Exercises
Targets: Abs and butt
• Sit on ball with knees bent 90 degrees, holding a dumbbell in each hand.
• Walk feet forward until upper back and head rest on ball. Lift hips, forming a straight line.
• Extend arms toward ceiling, then bend elbows to lower dumbbells behind you. Straighten arms.
• Do 15 reps; roll back up.
Karen Pearson/Fitness MagazineDouble-Bell Row
Targets: Shoulders, upper back, and biceps
• Stand with feet hip-width apart, holding two dumbbells in right hand.
• Step back with right leg, bending knees slightly, and hinge forward from hips. Place left hand on left thigh.
• Extend right arm below shoulder. Bend elbow to bring weights to ribs; extend.
• Do 12 rows. Switch sides; repeat.
Related: The Little Black Dress Workout: Get Slim, Strong
Jemal Countess/Getty ImagesBy Colleen MoodyRead More »from The Hottest Celebrity Bodies of 2012
Trying to hit the gym more frequently? We've got just the inspiration. Take a look at which A-listers made our fit list for having the best arms, legs, abs, and more in 2012.
Related: The Best Celebrity Makeovers
Best Revenge Body: Katie Holmes
This Broadway star and overall badass mama keeps her shape in check with frequent Soul Cycle classes -- a FITNESS editor favorite! She was even spotted at a class on her 32nd birthday. Now that's dedication.
Runner-up: Katy Perry
Best Legs: Blake Lively
Good genes, yes. But those long and lean stems are the result of hard work, too! The bombshell perfects squat jumps and lunges to keep her gams looking great. Now if only we could forgive her for taking Ryan Reynolds off the market....
Runner-up: Heidi Klum
Best Arms: Michelle Obama
In what many considered to be a risky move, the First Lady donned a sleeveless dress at the Democratic National Convention this year, sparking quite a buzz. But really, with biceps like those
Brian Klutch/Fitness MagazineBy Mindy WalkerRead More »from What's Your Fitness Motivation?
Find out how to tap into your inner workout drive (yes, you do have one!) with our customized get-up-and-go plan.
Related: 10 New Rules of Fitness
1. You've been exercising...
A. Only since your sister-in-law was diagnosed with heart disease -- at 40. That's way too close to your age!
B. Regularly, since you tried your gym's popular boot camp class.
C. Like crazy before swimsuit season, intermittently the rest of the year.
D. Forever. Exercise has always been a part of your life.
2. Which situation most closely describes your ideal workout?
A. A session on the elliptical or treadmill, during which you monitor your heart rate, miles covered, and calories burned.
B. Playing soccer on a Saturday morning or walking with a friend.
C. Alone in your living room, doing a body-sculpting DVD.
D. Kickboxing class, to release stress and tension.
3. Warming up for your routine, you...
A. Sneak a peek at the Pilates class at the gym. You've heard that core-strengthening can help
Stockbyte/VeerBy K. Aleisha FettersRead More »from The 10 Best Resolutions to Make
Scrounging for a resolution that will stick? Take a tip from our list of healthy (and totally doable) changes to make this year.
Related: 9 Reasons You Need to Unplug
Cut Refined Carbs
Carbs aren't the enemy. But consider refined carbs your frenemy. They seem harmless, until they're not. Refined carbs (like white bread, white sugar, and candy) have been stripped of their macronutrient content and reduced to a simple sugar that your body quickly digests. The result? You blood sugar spikes, your body pumps out tons of insulin to get the sugar into your cells, your blood sugar plummets, you get très sleepy, and any sugar the insulin didn't deal with gets converted into fat -- typically around your belly. And that abdominal fat can do more than make your skinny jeans look like a poor fashion choice. It can lead to polycystic ovary syndrome, diabetes, and heart disease, says David Grotto, RD, author of The Best Things You Can Eat. On the flip side, well-controlled
Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.comBy Rebecca BrownRead More »from 8 Tips for Germ-Free Travel
Whether you're going by boat, plane, train, or automobile, travel bugs are bound to greet you. Here, some cringe-worthy stats on germs and traveling -- and tips on how you can take a trip unscathed.
Related: Look Good on the Go: Best Travel Beauty Products and Tips
1. Stay Hydrated
According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the air inside planes has anywhere from 10 to 20 percent humidity, which can dry out mucous membranes and make people more susceptible to germs. Staying hydrated throughout the trip can prevent nasal passages from being irritated, so load up on water and skip the carbonated beverages and booze. "Alcoholic and caffeinated drinks should be followed with water or fruit juice to rehydrate because they are diuretics and can cause water loss," advise Ray Fillmore Garman, MD, MPH, and Susan Spengler, MD, both associate professors with the Department of Preventive Medicine at the University of Kentucky. Sipping on water assists with immune
Alexa Miller/Fitness MagazineBy Leslie GoldmanRead More »from 12 Ways to Warm Up to Winter Workouts
When the temperatures plummet and the sun makes only cameo appearances, the couch can seem infinitely more inviting than a jog around the block. But winter exercise does a body good: The hit of sunlight can boost your SAD mood and vitamin D levels, and it will make springtime bikini shopping more bearable. We bet you'll enjoy a few fun childhood flashbacks too. So swap your fleece-lined slippers for waterproof running shoes and head on out!
Related: The 10 New Rules of Losing Weight
Warm Up First
When Old Man Winter rears his ugly, icy head, warming up is even more crucial. Your body needs extra time to prepare for the frigid temps ahead, says Pete McCall, an exercise physiologist with the American Council on Exercise. "During the first six to 10 minutes of your workout, your respiratory and cardiovascular systems haven't caught up to your muscles yet," he explains. "A warm-up enables your lungs to start oxygenating your blood with the nutrients your muscles
Jeff Harris/Fitness MagazineBy Abbie KozolchykRead More »from Look Good on the Go: 6 Travel Beauty Tips
Whether you're jetting off to a beach vacation or heading home for the holidays, you'll want to look your best without packing the entire bathroom cabinet. To help you stay gorgeous -- and spill- and crumble-free -- we asked experts and some glam globe-trotters for ingenious tips for maintaining your beauty regimen on the fly.
Related: Beat-the-Clock Beauty: 21 Shortcuts from the Pros
1. Choose your travel companions wisely.
Save space in your luggage by leaving body wash and moisturizers at home. Whatever you find in your hotel room -- or Mom's bathroom -- will probably do the trick. That is, unless you have a fave product that seriously multitasks: "My must-have is Neutrogena Body Oil [$10, drugstores]," says celebrity makeup artist Amy Oresman. "It serves as my daily hydrator, my skin soother after too much sun, my shaving cream stand-in, and my frizz-and-flyaway tamer." As for shampoo, BYO only if you have damaged and/or color-treated hair, says Rita Hazan,