By Rachel Sturtz
Kick off those shoes for some of your miles. Barefoot runners tend to strike with the ball of the foot first, which reduces the force of impact on their bodies, a recent study found. Try it with easy technique tweaks from Daniel Lieberman, PhD, professor of human evolutionary biology at Harvard.
Related: Run a Half-Marathon in 8 Weeks
Tip #1: Learn the Ropes
Start slowly, keeping your feet under your hips. Aim to touch down on the outside of the ball of your foot first, then gently lower your heel to the ground, says lead author Daniel Lieberman, PhD, professor of human evolutionary biology at Harvard.
Related: Running 101: A Beginner's Guide
Tip #2: Jog by the Seashore
You'll burn up to 60 percent more calories by running on the sand instead of the street. It's more challenging than going barefoot on a firm surface, Lieberman says. "You have to engage more muscles to stabilize your feet, so watch your form."
Related: Find Out How Many Calories You're Burning
Blog Posts by FITNESS Magazine
By Rachel SturtzRead More »from Get Footloose: Tips for Barefoot Running
By the editors of FITNESS; drills created by Dave KuehlsRead More »from Rev Up Your Run: 5 Training Drills to Try
Pushing the pace is not just for stopwatch nuts looking for faster times on race day. Speedier strides burn more calories per minute and boost your cardiovascular capacity, making everything you do -- from errands to exercise -- feel easier, says Dave Kuehls, author of How to Run a Personal Record. Follow his drills to stop huffing and start hauling.
Related: Run a Half-Marathon in 8 Weeks
Drill #1: Do speed work on a track -- the distances are measured out for you.
How to do it: Run ladders: Try a 200-meter sprint, 400-meter fast, 600-meter moderate, 800-meter slow. Reverse order back to start.
Why do it: Upping your tempo strengthens your legs and increases your lung capacity.
Related: The 7 Best Foods for Runners
Drill #2: Run at goal race pace for an entire workout.
How to do it: Check your watch every 1/4 mile to make sure you're being consistent.
Why do it: Practice helps your body memorize a desired speed.
By Jenna Bergen
Your afternoon pick-me-up doesn't come just from the corner coffee shop anymore. The latest energy boosters are concocted in high-tech labs and promise to give you a whole new kind of lift. But do they really work? Here, experts dish on which ingredients in your energy drink do what they actually claim.
Related: More Facts on Energy Shots, Sports Drinks, and Power Packs
Claim: Improves alertness and physical performance; reduces fatigue
The science: "Caffeine is a component of guarana, which is why it can provide similar benefits," says Kevin Clauson of Nova Southeastern University College of Pharmacy in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. But since the amount of caffeine varies from 2 to 8 percent, it's hard to determine exactly how big a boost you'll get.
Ingredient: B vitamins
Claim: Boost energy and metabolism
The science: "B vitamins help convert food intoRead More »from Do the Ingredients in Energy Drinks Really Work?
- FITNESS Magazine | Healthy Living – Tue, Oct 18, 2011 12:31 PM EDT
By Lisa HaneyRead More »from Biggest Loser's Olivia Ward's Tips for a Fit Marriage
Losing 242 pounds has made Ben and Olivia Ward's marriage stronger -- and spicier -- than ever. Here are secrets from The Biggest Loser's marriage makeover.
Related: Happily Ever Fatter? How to Avoid Post-Wedding Weight Gain
1. She Shed for Herself
While Olivia Ward, 35, the winner of last season's Biggest Loser, was busy sweating her butt off on the ranch, her husband, Ben, also 35, was at home in Astoria, New York, walking and eventually running on the treadmill every night, working to lose 113 pounds. Their marriage has always been like that: They gained weight together; they tried to lose it together. "Yet we always fell off the wagon together," says Olivia, who dropped 129 pounds on the show.
Now she knows why her previous attempts didn't work. "I never did it just for me," she explains. "It's important to have a partner, but at the end of the day it can't be about 'Ben and Olivia want to lose weight.' It has to be about 'Olivia wants to lose weight.' It sounds
By Tram Kim NguyenRead More »from The Truth About Where Germs Hide
Can you really catch a nasty bug from sitting on a public toilet seat or walking barefoot in a gym locker room? Unfortunately, yes, but there is a lot you can do to protect yourself. "Eighty percent of infectious illnesses like colds and flu are transmitted by contact. Good habits like washing your hands frequently can dramatically reduce the number of pathogenic, or illness-causing, germs you're exposed to," says Philip M. Tierno Jr., Ph.D., director of clinical microbiology and immunology at New York University Medical Center in New York City and author of The Secret Life of Germs (Pocket Books, 2001). We asked the experts for their tips on ways to stay healthy in the five most germ-ridden places.
Related: 12 Things You Need to Know About Germs
Wear flip-flops in the locker room and shower. This warm, damp environment is a breeding ground for fungi and viruses that cause conditions like athlete's foot and plantar warts.
Put a towel on the locker-room
By Sally Kuzemchak, RD
Superfoods are like superstars. Brad Pitt may steal the spotlight, but Gerard Butler works just as hard. What does that have to do with your grocery cart? Well, simply that it doesn't have to be full of A-listers to be award winning. "People get fixated on the idea that it's one particular type of fish, cooking oil, or nut that will change their health," says FITNESS advisory board member Mark Moyad, MD, MPH, author of Dr. Moyad's No BS Health Advice. "They don't realize that similar foods also have solid research and may cost less." Give these foods a chance to shine in your kitchen.
Related: More Superfoods to Start Munching On
The superstar: Blueberries
They rose to fame after researchers discovered that they have one of the highest antioxidant capacities of any fruit.
The understudy: Strawberries
These berries are another exceptional pick. They're bursting with antioxidants; one 53-calorie cup has more vitamin C than a navel orange.Read More »from 5 New Superfoods to Add to Your Diet
By Colleen Moody
Ah, motherhood. You've gained a new little bundle of joy -- and to go with it, some extra pounds. Don't let food worries add to your stress and sleepless nights as you adjust to your new schedule. We sought out the best foods to keep you going and slim you down in the process.
Related: The Best Moves to Get Your After-Baby Body, Fast!
Rev Up Your Engine
The key to your energy isn't just how much (or little) you sleep each night, but instead, what's on your plate. "One of the main things a healthy diet can do is give new moms energy," says Kathy McManus, RD, a FITNESS advisory board member and director of the department of nutrition at Brigham Women's Hospital in Boston. "It's important to spread food throughout the day so that you get an even amount of calories. This will give you lasting power to take care of your baby and yourself."
When you eat foods rich with nutrients, you'll notice that your calories go a long way. You'll feel fullerRead More »from The Best Foods to Eat After Having a Baby
By the editors of FITNESS MagazineRead More »from Expert Tricks to Beat Jet Bloat
Flying doesn't have to mean walking off the plane with that all-too-familiar puffy feeling: jet bloat. Three experts tell you how to beat it.
Related: A 2-Minute Travel Tension Tamer
The Doctor Says...
"Take bathroom breaks whenever the fasten-seat-belt sign goes off to keep blood and other body fluids circulating," says Sandra Fryhofer, MD, a clinical associate professor of medicine at the Emory University School of Medicine in Atlanta. "Avoid caffeine, alcohol, and salt -- all of which cause water retention -- and drink at least 8 ounces of water for every hour in flight. Once on the ground, drink a cup of hot green tea and take 500 milligrams of vitamin B complex; both are natural diuretics."
Related: The Best Foods to Eat on the Road
The Trainer Says...
When you can't get up and stretch, shift position in your seat at least every half hour -- cross your legs, prop your feet on your carry-on, or lean forward and interlace your fingers in front
By Jessica Baumgardner
You work too hard at losing weight to let the weekend blow your diet. Stay on track -- and still have fun -- with these smart-eating tips for avoiding cravings and overeating in social situations.
Related: 6 Ways to Supersize Your Self Control
FRIDAY: Happy Hour After Work
You're in the mood to unwind, but the more you drink, the more you munch. "Alcohol makes you hungry because it lowers your blood sugar," Lichten says. "Plus, it lifts your inhibitions, so you'll eat just about anything."
Related: A Better Brew: FITNESS Light Beer Taste Test
Don't order your usual. You're more likely to have a second round when you're drinking your fave. "To keep it to one serving, get something you can nurse for the time you're there," says Marissa Lippert, RD, author of The Cheater's Diet. For example, if you guzzle white wine, order a light beer instead. Related: Drinks on Us: Low-Cal Cocktail Recipes
Go solo. Sharing a pitcher of margaritas with your friends mayRead More »from 3 Ways to Weekend-Proof Your Diet
By Lauren E. BaileyRead More »from 10 Ways to Make Sex Sexier
Ready to light your fire? These moves will make sex hotter, happier, and just plain sexier.
Related: Sex Positions That Double as Exercise
1. Like Yourself Naked
Women who have the best sex lives feel good about their bodies, says Joy Davidson, PhD, a sex therapist in New York City and the author of Fearless Sex. "They see themselves as strong and sexy." Unfortunately, according to Laura Berman, PhD, director of the Berman Center in Chicago and author of The Passion Prescription, up to 80 percent of women in the United States suffer from a negative body image. "Typically, when a woman looks at herself, her eyes go straight to her problem areas," says Berman. "She carries that feeling into the bedroom, and when her partner's kissing her thighs, she's busy thinking, 'God, I'm so fat!'" To boost your body confidence, give yourself a reality check. The next time you're at the store or in the gym, take a look around you at all the attractive women who are a variety of