Carly Ries/Fitness MagazineAs told to Andrea Buchanan
When Margaret W. Smith -- mother, wife, soldier, and marathoner -- had a double mastectomy at age 29 as a preemptive strike against cancer, she chose not to reconstruct. She says it was the smartest decision she ever made.
Related: How to Do a Breast Self-Exam
I always had big boobs. I would wear two sports bras and my breasts would still bounce when I ran.
That changed on June 2, 2009. I walked into the army's Walter Reed Medical Center with D cups that morning; by afternoon I was flat chested, wrapped in gauze and sobbing. The loss was tremendous. But mostly I felt overwhelming relief; a physical and emotional burden had been lifted.
For 17 years I'd been carrying around breast cancer baggage. My experience with the disease began in sixth grade. While other kids were snickering at the word boobs, I had to face the harsh reality that my mother had lost one of hers. I would get so embarrassed whenever I spotted her on the sidelines at my
Blog Posts by FITNESS Magazine
Carly Ries/Fitness MagazineAs told to Andrea BuchananRead More »from "Why I Gave Up My Breasts"
Gabrielle Revere/Fitness MagazineBy Jeannette MoningerRead More »from 7 Ways to Stop Your Achy, Breaky Back Pains
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: Minor Ache or Major Problem? 6 Warning Signs to Pay Attention To
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.
- FITNESS Magazine | Slim & Fit for Fall – Mon, Oct 1, 2012 11:12 AM EDT
Reggie Casagrande/Fitness MagazineBy the Editors of FITNESS MagazineRead More »from Take-It-Off Tricks: Burn More Calories at Every Workout
Skipped a few workouts? You may need to boost the calorie burn on your next workout. Our experts have tips and tricks to help you burn more calories the next time you lace up your sneakers.
Related: 10 Tone-Up Tweaks to Get a Better Burn
Your Workout: Power Walking
If you normally power walk: 3.5 mph pace = 243 calories/hour
Then add... A Weighted Vest Carrying the extra load requires more calories per step but won't alter your form, like carrying dumbbells can, trainer Jari Love says. We found one for $70 at walkvest.com.
Bonus Burn: 45 more calories/hour
Related: Walking Workout: Get a Firmer Butt in 30 Minutes
Your Workout: Running on the Treadmill
If you normally run on the treadmill: 6 mph pace = 640 calories/hour
Then add... An Incline Alternate 5 minutes running flat and 10 minutes running on a 3.5 percent to 6.5 percent incline, maintaining the same speed throughout, trainer Keli Roberts says.
Bonus Burn: 74 more calories/hour
Peter Ardito/Fitness MagazineBy the Editors of FITNESS MagazineRead More »from How to Prevent 3 Common Workout Injuries
On top of taking it slow (don't up your total mileage by more than 10 percent every three weeks), reduce your injury risk with these tips from Luke Humphrey, owner of Hanson's Coaching Services in Lake Orion, Michigan.
Related: Injury-Proof Your Shoes
Ouch! Shin Splints
The culprit: Tight calves -- as they get stronger, they also get tighter. This often strains tendons and muscles along the sides of the legs, causing tendinitis.
The fix: Stretch your calves after every workout. Stand in front of a wall, feet hip-width apart. Step right leg forward (knee bent, left leg straight), place palms on wall, and lean forward. Hold for 30 seconds; switch legs and repeat.
Related: 7 Common Causes of Back Pain and Easy Solutions
Ouch! Plantar Fasciitis
The culprit: The plantar fascia, a band of tissue along the bottom of the foot. If overstretched, tiny tears can develop, causing inflammation.
The fix: Roll a golf ball with the bottom of your foot for 5 to 10
Karen Pearson/Fitness MagazineBy Nicole GrayRead More »from 5 Minutes to a Better Body
Your best workout starts in the locker room. Spending a few minutes calming your mind and reviewing your routine boosts your motivation and endurance and primes your body to burn calories and build muscle. Get the most out of your exercise plan by following these steps.
Related: Get Fitter, Firmer, Faster! 18 Fitness Shortcuts
Step 1: Breathe deeply while you change.
If you're rushing to the gym to make a class or squeeze in a workout, you're usually taking quick, shallow breaths by the time you get there, which increases muscle tension and anxiety. "As you undress, start breathing in through the nose and exhaling fully through your mouth," says Mark T. Cuatt, assistant general manager at Club Fit in Jefferson Valley, New York. Taking deeper breaths speeds up oxygen delivery to -- and carbon dioxide elimination from -- your muscles, increasing energy levels and helping you think more clearly.
Related: The Ultimate Lunch-Hour Workout
Step 2: Drink some water.
By Marianne Magno
These leading ladies make us laugh and cry, but they also get us motivated to get off the couch and on the treadmill. Learn about their workouts and fitness routines here.
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Read More »from Fittest Women of Fall TV
Ned Frisk/Jupiter ImagesBy the editors of FITNESS MagazineRead More »from 5 Steps to a Good Night's Sleep
We'll keep this short because we know you're exhausted. According to a recent poll by the National Sleep Foundation, 60 percent of women say they get a good night's sleep just a few days a week or less, and nearly half admit they're so beat that it interferes with daily activities. "We live in a 24-7 society with a huge amount of pressure and commitments," says Helene A. Emsellem, MD, medical director of the Center for Sleep & Wake Disorders in Chevy Chase, Maryland, and author of Snooze...Or Lose! "It's very easy to sacrifice sleep time for other things we think are more important."
Then there are all those nights we can't nod off, no matter how hard we try. Research shows that women's sleep tends to be disrupted during menstruation, pregnancy, and perimenopause. Women are also more likely than men to suffer from insomnia (about 7 out of 10 women reported having it in a recent poll). Given all this, it's no wonder that the amount of money we spend
Denise Crew/Fitness MagazineBy Caroline HwangRead More »from 8 Ways to Burn More Fat, Faster
News flash: You don't have to overhaul your life to work off mega calories. Here are our eight simple rules for squeezing the most out of your everyday routine to score the silhouette you've been sweating for.
Related: Get a Firmer Butt in 30 Minutes
Rule #1: Be an early bird to get the workout.
Lace up first thing and you'll increase your odds of exercising today threefold. A study of 500 people at the Mollen Clinic, a preventive medicine and wellness center in Scottsdale, Arizona, found that 75 percent of those who worked out in the morning did so regularly, compared with just half the afternoon exercisers and a quarter of the post-work crowd. "At the beginning of the day, you have the fewest excuses for skipping exercise," says clinic founder Arthur Mollen, DO. Not waking up early enough, of course, is the main one. "Limit using the snooze button to only five minutes so that you don't fall into a deep sleep again," Dr. Mollen advises. Bonus! You'll go to work
Ericka McConnell/Fitness MagazineBy Ethan BoldtRead More »from 5 Ways to Fast-Track Your Strength Training
If you've stopped getting results from your strength-training routine, it's time to shake things up. Pick any of these five simple strategies to wake up your muscles.
Related: 5 Exercises for Stronger Arms Fast
1. Move Quickly from Upper to Lower Body
Alternate upper- and lower-body exercises without rest in between to up your caloric burn exponentially, says celebrity trainer Gunnar Peterson, whose clients include Jennifer Lopez. Moving quickly from biceps curls to squats, for example, can raise your heart rate by forcing blood to shunt from your arms to your legs. Work this technique into your routine once a week.
2. Drop the Weight
Squeeze every ounce of effort out of your muscles with drop sets, says Mark Jenkins, owner of International Fitness in New York City. This technique recruits more muscle fibers for faster results. Start with a weight heavy enough to fatigue muscles in 10 reps. Use a slightly lighter weight for a second set. Then go even lighter for a
Laura Doss/Fitness MagazineBy Melissa DalyRead More »from 6 Ways to Solve Common Fitness Woes
Expert solutions for nagging fitness obstacles so you can finally get fitter, faster, stronger.
Related: How to Do a Yoga Headstand, a Pull-Up and More
How to Choose and Anchor a Resistance Band
A piece of stretchy rubber seems like simple enough equipment. But then, how stretchy is too stretchy? And where in your house are you supposed to tie the thing? Kit Rich, a Los Angeles-based celebrity Pilates instructor, clears up the confusion: If you're new to exercise, choose the lightest band to start, usually the equivalent of a three-pound dumbbell. If you already work out, go with the next level, five to seven pounds of resistance. (Bands are typically color coded. Try the GoFit Power Loops kit to get three levels of resistance; $15, gofit.com.) "To increase the resistance of any band, just shorten it, by holding it closer to where it's anchored," Rich adds. Depending on the exercise, you can anchor the band under your feet or tie it around a doorknob, a sofa leg, or a