By Jessica Smith for SHAPE.com
Mix up your running routine with these free expert ideasHas your running routine become, well, routine? If you've exhausted your go-to tricks to get motivated--a new playlist, new workout clothes, etc.--and you're still not feeling it, you're not doomed to a lifetime of colorless cardio. We asked running experts to share their most creative (and totally free!) ideas to up the fun factor and help you look forward to lacing up your sneakers.
1. Run with a frisbee: Instead of steadily plodding along the well-worn path at your local park (how many times have you done that before?) head to an open grassy area, toss a Frisbee (as if you had a partner), and sprint after it. See how long you can go before letting it touch the ground-you'll be forced to change directions quickly, run in different patterns, and vary your speed, all of which can help you burn more calories and engage your muscles in a new way. Plus, it's fun!
RELATED: 30 Reasons It's Great to Be a Runner
"By making it more of a game, the time flies
Blog Posts by SHAPE magazine
By Jessica Smith for SHAPE.comRead More »from 7 Tricks to Make Running More Fun
- SHAPE magazine | Healthy Living – Fri, May 17, 2013 11:34 AM EDT
by Alanna Nuñez for SHAPE.comRead More »from The Surprising Reason People Are Turning to Plastic Surgery
Would you go under the knife to look good on social media?The constant presence of social media in our lives certainly has its upsides, but more downsides keep emerging, including lower personal growth, Pinterest stress, and, now, an increase of plastic surgery, according to a poll from the American Academy of Facial Plastics and Reconstructive Surgery (AAFPRS).
The survey asked 753 AAFPRS board-certified facial plastic surgeons to describe trends they were seeing in reconstructive and cosmetic surgery. One finding stuck out: Surgeons are seeing a 31-percent increase in plastic surgery requests as a result of how people want to present themselves on social media accounts.
"We live in a very visual world, and have come to expect that we will be 'Googled' or 'Facebooked' even before actually meeting someone socially or professionally," Sam Rizk, M.D., an AAFPRS member and director of Manhattan Facial Plastic Surgery in New York, told Time. "I see a lot of men and women who are executives or high-profile so they
- SHAPE magazine | Healthy Living – Thu, May 16, 2013 5:53 PM EDT
by Jessica Smith for SHAPE.comRead More »from When Your Weight Fluctuates: What's Normal and What's Not
Stop being a slave to the scale!Although you know a number is just a number, it's hard not to worry when you see the scale jump a pound or two overnight or-worse-during the same day. But take a deep breath: Most weight fluctuations are normal.
Since most of us can't eat enough in a day or two to actually gain 5 or 10 pounds, if you notice a dramatic increase on the scale, chances are it's due to water, says Anita Petruzzelli, M.D., doctor for BodyLogicMD.
"Eating, drinking, urinating, having a bowel movement, and exercise can all impact your body's water composition and therefore weight," she says. For example, high-carb and high-salt foods can cause water retention and a boost in poundage, while exercise can lead to temporary water and weight loss.
So don't get too excited-or freaked-if you weigh yourself after a meal or workout. "Weight gain due to water fluctuation should normalize in a day or two when you resume exercising and eating a healthy diet that's low in salt, refined
- SHAPE magazine | Healthy Living – Wed, May 15, 2013 10:49 AM EDT
by Charlotte Andersen for SHAPE.comRead More »from What No One is Telling You About Angelina Jolie's Mastectomy
Angelina JolieAngelina Jolie has always been a trendsetter, and now she is using her powers of persuasion to bring awareness to a very sensitive topic with her announcement in yesterday's New York Times that she had a prophylactic (preventative) mastectomy and breast reconstruction surgery after finding out that she has the BRCA1 gene.
The decision was a powerful one on a personal level for Jolie, who had watched her mother fight and then eventually succumb to ovarian cancer. But people everywhere are applauding her for making her choice public as well.
"What Angelina has done is hugely powerful and courageous," says Niki Barr, Ph.D., founder of a psychotherapy practice dedicated to working with cancer patients and author of Emotional Wellness: The Other Half of Treating Cancer. "It encourages women to explore their options and makes this option much more viable."
The BRCA gene increases the risk of breast cancer from the normal lifetime average for most women
by Charlotte Andersen for SHAPE.comRead More »from What to Do when a Dog Attacks While Running
What to do if man's best friend attacksWhether you run in the park or around town, chances are you've come across a dog or two during your miles. And while some are friendly, leashed, and only want to play with you, others can cause panic as you wonder if you're going to be attacked.
For one 63-year-old female, that nightmare came true last week. The unidentified woman was found dead, mauled during her morning run in Littlerock, CA. Police quickly seized eight dogs that were identified by an eyewitness as the attackers, though DNA tests need to be run to verify if the dogs were the killers.
Unfortunately stories of runners being confronted by dogs are becoming more common as irresponsible owners dump their unwanted pets or improperly restrain them. But you don't need to stop your workout to stay safe. Roo Yori, a dog trainer who specializes in pit bull rehabilitation and the proud owner of the famous and beloved therapy pit bulls Wallace and Hector, offers advice on how to deal with an
by Elizabeth Goodman Artis for SHAPE.comRead More »from 6 Things You Didn't Know About Your Muscles
How your muscles can keep you healthy, happy, and disease freeFull disclosure: As the executive editor of Muscle & Fitness Hers, I'm vehemently pro muscle. It keeps your metabolism revved, takes up less space than fat, protects your joints, and allows you to lift heavy objects without the help of a guy.
Full disclosure number two: I almost never weight train. Like most women, I typically choose cardio (my go-to workout is Bikram yoga) over strength training, not because I'm afraid of bulking up, but I'm a sweat addict and hate figuring out the correct weights, reps, muscle groups to target, and so on. But I should. I really really should, for the reasons listed above, as well as the surprising muscle-related facts that follow.
1. Muscle is like scaffolding for your entire body: Without muscle, your bones, joints, and ligaments are considerably more vulnerable to age-related decline and injury, according to Dr. Kenneth Hansraj, an orthopedic and spinal surgeon based in New York City. Building core strength
by Charlotte Andersen for SHAPE.comRead More »from Do You Suffer from Pinterest Stress?
Pinterest Fail!Nothing is simple on Pinterest. I know this because I am a Pinterest addict. As are my mom, my sisters, and most of my friends. Where else can you find a recipe for the perfect brunch quiche, a pattern to sew a brunch-appropriate dress, a twisty-braided hairstyle to complement the dress, and a 30-minute total-body workout to help you fit into that dress? And hey, while you're waiting for the guests to arrive you might as well spruce up your digs by making a new coat rack out of old baby doll limbs. (Think I'm exaggerating that last one? It's real.)
The site is wildly addictive, but as anyone who has ended up silently weeping into a birthday cake that looks more like a pile of poo than Pooh Bear knows, pins often don't turn out exactly like the picture. And then the guilt and shame set in.
But don't fret---if you too have been pickled by Pinterest, know you are not alone. In a TODAY Moms survey of more than 7,000 women, 42 percent said they suffer
by Jené Luciani for SHAPE.comRead More »from 7 Things Your Nails Can Tell You
You spend so much time trimming, shaping, buffing, and painting your nails (or having someone else do all of that for you), but you probably don't spend much time looking at them bare. And that means you may be missing spots, stripes, and odd colors that could indicate that something's up-in a bad way-with your body.
While nothing replaces a visit to your physician for a proper diagnosis, checking your fingernails for the following abnormalities can help you spot early warning signs, so wipe off that polish and take a glance.
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Pale nailsPale Nails: The problem isn't so black and white when it comes to white nails. If your fingernail beds are looking a little ghostly, you may have anemia, a blood disorder characterized by a low red blood cell count. "Anemia resulting from low levels of iron can lead to inadequate oxygen in the blood, which causes the skin and tissues to become pale, particularly the tissues under the
by Keri Gans, R.D., for SHAPE.comRead More »from Your Biggest Grocery Shopping Mistake
Are you making this mistake at the grocery store?Something I have been telling my patients for years is finally backed up by research: Do not go food-shopping hungry!
Researchers from Cornell University had 68 adults fast for five hours and then gave some of them crackers before setting everyone loose to grocery shop. Those who didn't have a snack bought about 19 percent more food, including more higher-calorie foods. The study also found that healthier food choices were made between the hours of 1 and 4 p.m. and 4 and 7 p.m.
Clearly this means it's best to grab a snack before shopping. But there are more things you can do to pre-empt the purchasing of high-calories foods and make healthier choices when you stroll down the aisle.
RELATED: The Top 20 Artery-Cleansing Foods
1. Make a list. This seems like a relatively easy thing to do; however, I cannot tell you how many of my patients don't do it. Start by looking to see what you already have and don't have in the house, and then plan your meals and snacks
by Jessica Matthews for SHAPE.comRead More »from Fitness Secrets from a Figure Competitor
Fitness secrets from a female figure competitorWith the weather warming up, who doesn't want to sport a sculpted physique and look and feel great in a swimsuit? I chatted with ACE-certified personal trainer and National Physique Committee (NPC) competitor Riana Rohmann to learn the fitness tips and tricks that she follows to get in competition-ready shape.
Jessica Matthews (JM): What exercises and training techniques are a must in your workout routine?
Riana Rohmann (RR): Lunges and shoulder presses are the two exercises that have made the biggest difference in my physique. Lunges are one of the best exercises for targeting that stubborn glutes and hamstrings tie-in. It is by far my weakest area, but since adding various weighted lunges to my routine, I have seen my booty lift and my hamstrings develop. Shoulder presses and Arnold presses using dumbbells or barbells are also really effective for shoulder strength. The key is to lift hard and heavy, and no matter how many repetitions you do, try to