Alex Palombo/FITNESS MagazineBy Sarah Hepola
A headstand gone wrong taught me what a poseur I'd been.
Related: Find Your Fit: The 5 Most Popular Yoga Styles
Not So Bendy
I was halfway through a Saturday morning yoga class when the substitute teacher suggested we try a headstand. Actually it wasn't a mere headstand. It was a baffling contortion that appeared to be one part break dancing and one part Cirque du Soleil.
"Come on, give it a try," she said to the roomful of reluctant spectators.
The woman had just started teaching yoga; I didn't want to be difficult. So I hoisted myself into this absurd position and hoped for the best. First I thought I couldn't do it. Then I thought I couldn't get out of it. The whole left side of my body seized up. Do you know those cartoons where somebody gets electrocuted and his skeleton lights up like a Christmas tree? That's what it felt like. But I didn't scream. In fact, I didn't say anything. I tumbled out of the pose, smiled at the substitute and spent the next four
Blog Posts by FITNESS Magazine
- FITNESS Magazine | Healthy Living – Tue, Oct 15, 2013 10:03 AM EDT
Alex Palombo/FITNESS MagazineBy Sarah HepolaRead More »from Om Schooled: How Yoga Taught Me to Listen to My Body
- FITNESS Magazine | Healthy Living – Mon, Oct 14, 2013 10:07 AM EDT
Brian Klutch/FITNESS MagazineBy Paige Greenfield
Ever since you first donned a training bra, you've probably fixated on your breasts' appearance. But how much have you thought about what's happening inside your dynamic duo?
"It's important to get really familiar with your breasts and know what's normal for you," says Therese Bevers, MD, director of the Cancer Prevention Center at the University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston. "Pay attention to any lumps, discomfort, and changes in texture and color. The more aware you become, the easier it will be for you to pick up on something that needs to be checked out."
Most lumps and bumps are nothing to worry about. "Throughout your lifetime, it's likely that any abnormality is due to something other than cancer," says Mary Jane Minkin, MD, an ob-gyn at Yale University School of Medicine. In fact, more than 80 percent of suspicious lumps that are biopsied turn out to be benign.
You don't often hear about noncancerous breast conditions, becauseRead More »from Your Guide to Healthy Breasts: What Those Lumps, Bumps, and Weird Conditions Really Mean
Karen Pearson/FITNESS MagazineBy Karla WalshRead More »from Find Your Fit: The 5 Most Popular Yoga Styles
Ready to get your om on but not quite sure where to start? Whether your goal is to loosen and limber or tighten and tone, yoga can help you get there. Read on for the most popular styles of yoga to see which one is right for you.
Related: Yoga 101: Poses for Beginners
Celebrity fan: Miranda Kerr
Best for: Active rest days
This is the "grandmother of yoga," according to Desiree Bartlett, yoga instructor in Los Angeles and creator of the Yoga for Beginners DVD. The base moves used in many other classes, such as downward dog, mountain, and chaturanga, were originally developed as part of this practice. Expect a gentle routine that's attainable for those who are just dipping their toes into the yoga world.
Celebrity fan: Lady Gaga
Best for: A real sweat
Performed in a room heated to 105° with 40 percent humidity (to simulate the environment in yoga's home country of India), Bikram aims to boost the meditation factor by repeating the same 26-pose routine
- FITNESS Magazine | Healthy Living – Thu, Oct 10, 2013 12:11 PM EDT
Alex Palombo/FITNESS MagazineBy Jessica GirdwainRead More »from Workouts Gone Wrong: Ways to Injury-Proof Your Sweat Sessions
It was a seemingly normal workout: a high-powered circuit of pull-ups, push-ups, and squats. "Difficult, yes, but done in 20 minutes," says Shari Becht, a 40-year-old chef in Highland Ranch, Colorado. Seventy-two hours later she knew something was seriously wrong. "I couldn't believe how big and heavy my arms looked," she says. They were so swollen and sore she could barely straighten them, and her fingers tingled. Worried, Shari rushed to her doctor, who did blood work. "The next afternoon, I got a call saying, 'We have a hospital bed waiting for you,'" she remembers.
Shari was diagnosed with exertional rhabdomyolysis, a condition brought on by intense activity in which muscle fibers break down and release electrolytes and proteins into the bloodstream. One of the proteins, myoglobin, can occur in such high concentrations that it overwhelms the kidneys, which can lead to kidney failure or death. Shari spent three days in the hospital hooked up to a saline IV drip
- FITNESS Magazine | Healthy Living – Wed, Oct 9, 2013 2:40 PM EDT
Karen Pearson/FITNESS MagazineBy Stephanie DolgoffRead More »from Wisdom of the Ages: How I Discovered the Value of a Good Workout
What sweating with the oldies and alongside pretty young things taught me about the real value of a good workout.
Related: How to Choose the Right Workout for You
Playing the Field
I am cheating on my gym. We've had some good times involving heavy breathing and sweating over the past 20 years or so. But people grow. They change. They want different things, and one gym might be insufficient to meet their needs. I didn't intend to stray from this long-term relationship, but now that I have, I will not stop. If frequenting my new gym is wrong, I don't want to be right.
There was nothing specific that caused me to stray. It was more of a feeling that I no longer quite belonged at my basic chain gym, with its smiley trainers, shiny new equipment, and young, fit junior-exec types, who arrive after work, exhaust as many large-muscle groups as they can in as little time as possible, and then reapply full makeup before meeting their friends for drinks and dinner. In
Laura Doss/FITNESS MagazineBy Stacy BakerRead More »from 7 Things You Should Never Regret
Breaking out of your comfort zone-asking out the cute guy in sculpting class or saying the "L" word first-can pave the way for more meaningful relationships.
Related: The 10 Best Resolutions to Make Any Time of Year
1. Devouring dessert. Rather than obsess over a few (hundred) empty calories-and possibly throw in the diet towel for the day-focus on the positive. Indulging in sweets when the urge hits can short-circuit a binge later, says Lisa Dorfman, R.D., a Miami-based nutritionist. "Plus, it's mentally soothing to treat yourself," she says, explaining that carbohydrates produce serotonin, a relaxation-inducing hormone. Sure, scarfing a pint of ice cream may be overkill, but having just a scoop or two? That's just good (and cheap!) therapy.
2. Cutting someone loose. Breaking up with commitment-phobic boyfriends, narcissistic pals or got-their-degree-by-mail shrinks is about self-protection, not selfishness. "Acknowledging that you deserve better opens your mind to new
J. Ryan Roberts/FITNESS MagazineBy Ayren Jackson-CannadyRead More »from 7 Things You Didn't Know About Your Breasts
The most interesting stats and figures, plus a few facts that could save your breasts (and your life).
The Best Time to Do a Breast Self-Exam Is After Your Period
So you don't freak at the feel of a random lump (which are totally normal thanks to fluctuating levels of hormones), keep your self-exams consistent. The most effective time to exam your breasts is three to five days after your period starts, when they are not as tender or lumpy. Gone through menopause? Just make sure to do the exam on the same day each month. Examine your breasts -- using your middle fingers -- lying down, sitting, and looking in a mirror so that you can check for changes in all of your breast tissue. Pressed for time? Give yourself a quick check when you're in the shower.
Related: How to Do a Breast Self-Exam
Implants May Lower Breast Cancer Risk
"Women with breast implants actually have a lower breast cancer rate than women without," says Daniel Careaga, MD, a plastic surgeon
Amy Postle/FITNESS MagazineBy Leslie GoldmanRead More »from To Be or Not to Be Gluten-Free?
What do celebs like Zooey Deschanel, Emmy Rossum, Elisabeth Hasselbeck and Chelsea Clinton have in common? They all follow gluten-free diets, thanks to severe wheat allergies that, if left untreated, can result in bloating, diarrhea, fatigue, malnourishment and even infertility and osteoporosis.
Related: 5 Surprising Superfoods You Should Be Eating
"Going g-free" has been trendy for a few years now, with proponents claiming that ditching wheat can melt away pounds, elevate sports performance and evaporate mental fogginess. The industry has exploded, mushrooming 27 percent since 2009 and surpassing $6 billion in sales in 2011, according to Mintel research. "Gluten-free is the new low-carb," says Wendy Bazilian, DrPH, RD, author of The SuperFoodsRx Diet (Rodale) and a nutrition advisor at Golden Door Fitness Resort and Spa in San Marcos, Calif. But unless you are one of the 1 percent of Americans who truly suffer from actual Celiac disease, an autoimmune disorder
Lucas Zarebinski/FITNESS MagazineBy Nicole Yorio JurickRead More »from 5 Ways to Lose the Last 5 Pounds
Eat less fat. No, wait: Eat more fat, just the healthy kind. Eat only when you're hungry. Actually, eat every three hours. Enough already! There are so many rules to follow when you're trying to stick to a healthy diet, and some of them are downright contradictory. To find out what really works, we rounded up the best weight-loss advice from nutritionists, psychologists, trainers, and other health gurus and then asked five women to abide by the strategies for six weeks. Read on to discover how to lose the weight for good and feel better than ever.
Related: 6 Foods That Fight Off Belly Bloat
Give Up the Booze
"Alcohol is a double whammy," says Madelyn Fernstrom, PhD, a FITNESS advisory board member and the author of The Real You Diet. "Because liquid calories don't make you feel full, they add up fast. Plus, alcohol lessens your willpower to resist unhealthy food."
Our tester: Rebecca Rodriguez, 39, Brooklyn
"I'm a publicist and blogger in the music industry.
F. Scott Schafer/FITNESS MagazineBy Cristina GoyanesRead More »from Get Out! Fall Exercise Tips for Fresh-Air Fun
Fall is prime time for fresh-air fun, so let's move. To look like a natural, not a newbie, as you hit the trail, court, road, or lake, follow our oops-proof guide.
Related: Best Road Trip Ever: Active Vacations Across the Country
Take a Hike
Play Nice with Mother Nature: When you're tramping where the wild things are, it's best to practice this do-not-disturb policy.
• Say hello. The sound of snapping twigs got you spooked? Stop, listen, and look to size up the situation, says Kary Sommers, a field instructor and marketing manager for the National Outdoor Leadership School. "Then call out 'Hello,'" she advises, to scare off any skittish creatures. "Most animals are more scared of you than you are of them and will probably run away when they hear or see you," says Rebecca Bear, an outdoor programs and outreach manager for REI.
• Try not to be a home wrecker. "Don't urinate in the bushes," Sommers says. "You could disturb a bee's nest or anger an animal who lives