By Tram Kim Nguyen
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
Blog Posts by FITNESS Magazine
By Tram Kim NguyenRead More »from The Truth About Where Germs Hide
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
By Emily DomRead More »from Rules to Run By: Smart Eating Habits for Runners
If you're just kicking off a new running program, follow these five nutritional guidelines. They'll help you get the most out of you workout -- and your body.
Related: 9 Tips to Reach Your Fitness Goals Faster
Tip #1:Go for Lean and Green
Introducing a running regimen makes it more crucial to feed your body the heart-healthy foods routinely touted by nutritionists. Melinda Manore, the chair of the department of nutrition at Oregon State University, recommends centering your diet around whole grains, fish, lean meats, fruits, vegetables, and low-fat dairy. These foods will meet your basic nutritional needs and will help your body recover after exercise.
Related: The Healthy Heart Cookbook
Tip #2: Timing is Everything
When it comes to fueling up for a workout, the when is just as important as the what. If you hit the pavement in the morning, you might not have time to down a big breakfast and digest it, but Manore suggests that you still need something light before
By Caroline TigerRead More »from 4 Ways to Have a Fit and Healthy Marriage
Who knew that saying "I Do" meant agreeing to buy bigger jeans? It's called the "newlywed spread," and it affects a majority of married couples. In fact, according to a University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill study the average newly married woman piles on about nine extra pounds over five years compared with a single woman. Here, how to get you and your hubby back on track to a happy, healthier life together.
Related: What Causes Post-Wedding Weight Gain
Get back on track by planning your meals with your husband and shopping for the week on Sunday, Cheryl Forberg, RD, nutritionist for The Biggest Loser and author of the cookbook Flavor First suggests. You'll end up eating much more healthfully with some advance prep than you will if you get home from work and have to ask each other, "What's for dinner?" Find a few easy, healthy go-to recipes that you both like and keep the pantry stocked with ingredients for those meals so you can whip them up
- FITNESS Magazine | Healthy Living – Fri, Oct 7, 2011 6:18 PM EDT
By Sharlene K. JohnsonRead More »from The Whole (Grain) Truth: How to Pick the Best Fiber
Always hungry? Research shows that filling up on foods with fiber can boost your health, keep you from overeating, and help you lose weight. The average American woman consumes about 10 to 15 grams of fiber a day -- about half of what's needed to meet the basic recommendation of 25 grams. And experts say that more is even better -- about 30 to 40 grams a day, according to David L. Katz, MD, MPH, an associate professor adjunct of public health and director of the Prevention Research Center at Yale University School of Medicine.
But not all grains were created equal! Before you put that healthy-looking loaf of bread in your shopping cart, be sure you know what you're getting, advises FITNESS advisory board member Kathy McManus, RD, director of nutrition at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston. Read the label carefully -- and check the fiber content. In bread, for instance, look for at least 3 grams of fiber per serving (one brand we like: Nature's Own 12 Grain).
- FITNESS Magazine | Healthy Living – Fri, Oct 7, 2011 6:00 PM EDT
By Lindsey Emery
Yes, you can get slim without the gym. Here, the top tips and tools you need to tighten and tone right at home when you're on a tight budget.
Related: I Did It: "I Dropped 30 Pounds with My At-Home Gym!"
Basic Workout Tools for Less Than $100
1. In a Jamb
Loop your resistance band or tubing through the Xergym Door Attachment to anchor your rows and other reps. ($4, spri.com)
2. Feather Weights
The GoFit Flat Band Kit includes three bands of varying resistance -- light (equivalent to a 5-pound dumbbell), medium (10-pound), and heavy (15-pound) -- as well as a clip to attach, lengthen, or shorten them, so you can sculpt at every level. ($20, store.gofit.net)
TIP: "This is a good move to start with if you're new to bands," trainer Michelle Lovitt says: Stand with feet hip-width apart on the center of the band, holding the band's ends in each hand, arms by sides. Bend elbows by sides, curling hands up to shoulders, palms facing you; then turn palmsRead More »from The Best Fitness Tools for Your Home Gym Under $100