Cheyenne Ellis/Fitness MagazineWhat do the world's top fitness authorities know about getting a better body? Plenty, thanks to hundreds of studies, thousands of hours in the lab, and countless real-life success stories. We've asked nine cutting-edge exercise experts for their favorite tips on blasting fat, sculpting muscle, and improving each and every workout. Choose your top fitness goals, then read on for the research-proven strategies that get results.
Related: The Firm and Burn Workout
Goal: Blast fat and firm muscle
Winning Strategy: Full-body cardio
Researcher: John Porcari, PhD, professor of exercise and sports science at the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse
Adding upper-body movements to activities like walking or running is a surefire way to both blast extra calories and sculpt more muscle. The most effective device, according to Porcari's research, is the power belt, a strength-building apparatus worn around the waist, featuring spring-loaded handles for pumping your arms ($90 at walkerswarehouse.com).
Blog Posts by FITNESS Magazine
Cheyenne Ellis/Fitness MagazineWhat do the world's top fitness authorities know about getting a better body? Plenty, thanks to hundreds of studies, thousands of hours in the lab, and countless real-life success stories. We've asked nine cutting-edge exercise experts for their favorite tips on blasting fat, sculpting muscle, and improving each and every workout. Choose your top fitness goals, then read on for the research-proven strategies that get results.Read More »from The 8 Most Effective Ways to Get Your Best Body
Paige Greenfield/Fitness MagazineBy Kelly L. PhillipsRead More »from Got Milk? Try Chocolate After Your Workout
When it's time to choose a liquid chug after a long, tough workout, there's a slew of options out there. Water? Gatorade, POWERade, or All Sport? Endurox R4? Physiologist Joel Stager, director of the Human Performance laboratory at Indiana University, has even one more potential workout recovery drink to add to the list: chocolate milk. His study, published in this month's International Journal of Sport Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism, names this kids' favorite an optimal post-exercise recovery aid.
Before your stomach recoils, take a look at chocolate milk's ingredient list. For a high-endurance athlete, Stager's team sees it as a catch-all workout recovery drink. Compared to plain milk, water, or most sports drinks, it has double the carbohydrate and protein content, perfect for replenishing tired muscles. Its high water content replaces fluids lost as sweat, preventing dehydration. Plus it packs a nutritional bonus of calcium, and includes just a little
Laura Doss/Fitness MagazineBy Jocelyn VooRead More »from The Health Benefits of Beer (and Booze!)
Red wine has long been touted as the drink du jour of health-conscious imbibers, but cocktail and beer lovers take note: It turns out that all alcohol has its upsides.
Related: Drink and Still Shrink: Our Healthy Drinks Guide
Healthy Hard Alcohol?
Drinking moderate amounts of any kind of alcohol -- be it beer, wine, or hard liquor -- will raise your good HDL cholesterol levels, says Lisa Young, adjunct professor of nutrition at New York University and author of The Portion Teller Plan. "That's a really big benefit to the people who do have cholesterol problems because it is hard to elevate your good cholesterol," she says.
The downside? Drinking all types of alcohol will also increase your risk for certain cancers, such as breast and liver cancer. In fact, a September study showed that women who averaged one to two drinks per day raised their risk for breast cancer by 10 percent, and those who drank three drinks a night raised their risk by as much as 30 percent. Risk
Sara Forrest/Fitness MagazineBy Carey RossiRead More »from 5 Ways to Reboot Your Exercise Routine
Don't let the mental hurdles standing between you and the body you want block your weight-loss progress. To steer around any slim-down speed bumps and excuses, follow these simple secrets for rebooting your mood and workout.
Related: See How Long It Takes to Lose a Pound
You Think: "The scale is stuck. Why bother?"
Rethink: "This pudge will budge."
Stick with the scale: Love it and you'll probably lose pounds. In a study at the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities, of 3,026 adults who were watching their waistlines, those who weighed themselves more frequently lost more weight over two years or regained fewer pounds. This research backs up the benefits of daily weigh-ins, but weekly may do the trick: Three-quarters of the successful long-term slimmers listed in the National Weight Control Registry step on the scale at least once a week. "Plateaus are part of the process," says Kim H. Miller, PhD, associate professor of health promotion at the University of Kentucky in
- FITNESS Magazine | Healthy Living – Fri, Aug 10, 2012 11:46 AM EDT
Laura Doss/Fitness MagazineBy Ginny Graves
A healthier, more satisfying sex life -- at any age -- isn't that what we all want? Here, a guide you can start using tonight.
Related: The Age-by-Age Guide to Fertility and Birth Control
What You Need to Know About Your Sexual Health
In your 20s: Your risk of STDs is at an all-time high. Almost half of sexually transmitted diseases occur in people 24 and younger, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. "Young people tend to have more sexual partners, which exposes them to more bugs," says Hilda Hutcherson, MD, an assistant professor of obstetrics and gynecology at Columbia University Medical Center and author of Pleasure: A Woman's Guide to Getting the Sex You Want, Need, and Deserve. In your 20s, the cells of your outer cervix are more fragile and susceptible to infection. The two STDs you should be most concerned about: chlamydia and human papillomavirus (HPV). If left untreated, chlamydia can scar your fallopian tubes, causing infertility --Read More »from Better Sex Now: The Age-by-Age Guide to Sexual Health
Ball SquatBy Nancy LePatourelRead More »from 5-Minute Core Workout: Strong Abs and Back
Sculpting your core will give you a beach-ready body and an edge on any outdoor sport. "Ab strength supports muscles and joints when you're golfing, swimming, or running outside," says Cathy Sassin, adventure racer and Intrafitt exercise performance specialist. Try this quickie workout from Sassin.
Related: 5-Minute Workout: The Brazilian Butt Lift
Ball Squat with Knee Lift
Targets: Glutes, Hamstrings, Quadriceps, Core, Chest, Shoulders
• Stand with feet shoulder-width apart, holding a weighted ball in front of chest.
• Bend knees 90 degrees.
• Hold for 2 counts.
• Slightly straighten legs, shifting weight to left foot as you lift right knee to waist height and extend arms overhead (shown).
• Return to start and complete 10 reps on each side.
Single-Leg LungeSingle-Leg Lunge
Targets: Glutes, Hamstrings, Quadriceps, Core
• Stand in a lunge with left foot in front, knees bent and left thigh parallel to floor.
• Lean forward from hip,
Laura Doss/Fitness MagazineBy Hallie Levine SklarRead More »from 10 Tips to Love Your Summer Workout
The only problem with hot weather is that, well, it's so darn hot outside. Put the cool factor back into your workout routine with these tricks from top fitness pros:
Related: Tips to Control and Reduce Sweat
1. Adjust your body temperature
Hop into a cold shower before your workout. A German study this year found that a pre-exercise cooldown improves performance in the heat -- probably because it lowers your heart rate as well as core and skin temperatures. Too chicken to try it? Even just cooling your neck or head with an ice pack may make a difference.
2. Check the map
Does your usual running route leave you broiling in the sun? Find a shady new one through the Road Runners Club of America (rrca.org), which features running routes around the country via Google maps. You can also log on to weather.com, which offers a local parks forecast, a fitness comfort index, and an hourly forecast to help you figure out the best time of day to exercise.
3. Keep tabs on
Cheyenne Ellis/Fitness MagazineBy Stephanie DolgoffRead More »from Make Your Move! 5 No-Fail Motivation Tricks
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
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