by Ysolt Usigan for SHAPE.com
Next time your guy gives you grief about cuddling, tell him it's good for your health!Next time your guy gets on your case about cuddle time--he says he's too hot, needs his space, doesn't feel like relaxing--present the evidence. Research suggests that there's more to cuddling than meets the eye. Lovey-dovey'ness aside, the health benefits of cuddling will surely convince him to make time for it.
Reason 1: It Feels Good
Cuddling releases oxytocin, which is also known as the feel-good hormone. "It increases overall happiness," says psychologist, physical therapist, and author of bestseller A Happy You: Your Ultimate Prescription for Happiness Elizabeth Lombardo.
"Cuddling, holding, and sexual play releases chemicals, like oxytocin, in the brain that create a sense of well-being and happiness," says Dr. Renee Horowitz, an ob-gyn who recently opened the Center for Sexual Wellness in Farmington Hills, Michigan.
RELATED: The Top 50 Hottest Trainers in America
Cuddling can also release endorphins, which is the chemical released after a good
Blog Posts by SHAPE magazine
by Ysolt Usigan for SHAPE.comRead More »from 5 Healthy Reasons to Make Time for Cuddling
by Heidi Pashman for SHAPE.comRead More »from Yoga: A Competitive Sport?
Should yoga be a competitive sport?Yoga is a very individual practice, with people practicing for the benefits of building strength and flexibility, de-stressing, mental clarity, or the amazing feeling afterward, or all of the above. But now a few talented yogis are looking to add one more benefit: winning a medal for your beautifully perfected postures.
Last weekend the USA Yoga Federation hosted the 10th Annual National Yoga Asana Championship in New York City, where more than 140 participants from 33 states were judged on their technical execution, level of difficulty, poise and composure, and grace of movement both into and out of their postures. Founded by Rajashree Choudhury (yes, she's married to Bikram), the Federation has been working for the past ten years to make yoga an Olympic sport.
This idea is so foreign to Westerners because, like the practice, it's rooted in India. Yoga competitions have been going on there for hundreds of years, Choudhury says, and are why she started
- SHAPE magazine | Shine Food – Thu, Mar 7, 2013 11:59 AM EST
by Tiffany Tse for SHAPE.comRead More »from 3 Tasty and Healthy Green Recipes for St. Patrick's Day
Key lime pieWhether you dress up in green or hit up your local watering hole for a pint of brilliantly colored beer, there's nothing like ringing in St. Patrick's Day with some festive cheer. This year, celebrate by cooking up some edible treats that are all SHAPE (and leprechaun)-approved! We rounded up our 3 favorite bright green dishes that serve up plenty of delicious flavor without packing in extra calories.
1. Key lime yogurt pie:
160 calories, 16 grams sugar, 4 grams fat, 26 grams carbohydrates, 5 grams protein
You won't need the luck o' the Irish when you're whipping up this low-cal key lime pie. Thanks to fat-free cream cheese and light yogurt, this no-bake dessert won't max out your daily calorie intake.
2 tbsp. cold water
1 tbsp. fresh lime juice
1 1/2 tsp. unflavored gelatin
4 oz. fat-free cream cheese, softened
3 containers (6 oz. each) Yoplait Light Thick & Creamy key lime pie yogurt
1/2 c. frozen (thawed) reduced-fat whipped
by Jay Cardiello for SHAPE.comRead More »from Train like a Man, Look like a Lady
Work out like a man, look like a lady!I have heard it so many times. Whether it's my female clientele or the many comments posted around the Internet, "I don't want to look like a man" is a popular statement. Women who say this then make a point to avoid workouts they perceive as masculine.
With that, many females choose single-joint, linear movements-but a woman's body is meant to move, twist, turn, and even carry a child. Training your body in a linear, one-dimensional fashion will only make you more susceptible to injury as you attempt to live your life in a multi-dimensional world. Think about it: A mother carrying her child is squatting, lunging, lifting, twisting, turning, and picking him or her up out of the crib, all while rotating in multiple directions.
Training "like a man" can actually prepare your body for these actions. Performing highly beneficial compound, functional exercises can literally decrease the chances of suffering from osteoporosis, increase lean muscle mass, and
by Greg Presto
by Jessica Girdwain for SHAPE.comRead More »from Your 6 Biggest Diet Mistakes
These diet mistakes could be messing with your metabolismThere you are working so hard to drop pounds: busting your butt at the gym, cutting back calories, eating more vegetables, maybe even trying a cleanse. And although you can find experts to recommend all of these efforts, your plan may actually be foiling your weight-loss goals.
As contradictory and exasperating as it seems, some common diet mistakes can hamper your metabolism, your internal furnace that incinerates calories 24/7, whether you're sprinting in spin class or sitting on your derriere in front of the TV. That doesn't mean you should quit your gym membership and go buy a pint of chocolate chocolate chip. Keep up the work and keep losing with these easy fixes.
1. Eating a high-carb breakfast: You've been told over and over that people who eat a morning meal tend to have smaller waistlines, but some find that noshing in the a.m. actually makes them hungrier. If you can relate, it may be that the "healthy breakfast" you're eating-such as cereal
by Joe Donatelli for SHAPE.comRead More »from What No One Ever Tells You About Stress
Everyone tells you to avoid stress, but they may be doing you a disservice!Books, daytime talk shows, Jack Johnson-everywhere we turn someone is telling us to avoid stress. But those authors, experts, and mellow crooners might be doing everyone a disservice. Stress can be good.
Alia Crum of Columbia University and her colleagues will publish research in the April 2013 edition of The Journal of Social and Psychological Sciences that shows training people to view stress as a positive thing can significantly improve job performance and health.
Crum defines stress as the experience or anticipation of a threat or challenge in one's goal-related efforts. "We don't get stressed about things that don't matter to us," Crum says. "I think that's critical because we're spending all of our time and money and energy trying to get rid of our stressors. What we're really doing is throwing out the baby with the bathwater. Somewhere underneath there is something you really care about."
RELATED: 7 Stress-Relieving Workouts that Aren't
by Jené LucianiRead More »from 7 Bad Beauty Habits You Need to Break
Bad beauty habits to break, stat!1. Wrapping wet hair up in a towel: The strengthening shampoo and conditioner you use aren't going to help much if you gather your wet locks in a turban on top of your head post-shower. "When wet, hair shafts are like loosened springs that stretch and break more easily," says New York-based dermatologist Jessica Krant, M.D. So rubbing your tresses with a towel, pulling them into a too-tight wrap, or brushing or combing them too vigorously can all break the hair shafts and lead to damaged, frizzy strands, Dr. Krant says.
Break it: Treat your locks with love by moving down your mane in sections, gently squeezing and blotting out excess water with a towel, says Maryland-based dermatologist Arleen Lamba, M.D. If only a wrap will do, use a white cotton t-shirt instead of a towel, as the fabric is gentler on hair. For tangles, first apply a de-tangling or conditioning spray, and use a wide-tooth comb, which won't rough up the cuticle as much as a brush does.
by Tiffany Tse for SHAPE.comRead More »from 3 Fun Ways to Eat Eggplant
Fun and healthy new ways to eat eggplantIf the soft, tender flesh and glossy purple skin of eggplants don't appeal to you, then the veggie's rich health benefits will! Thanks to nasunin, an antioxidant in eggplant peels that helps protect brain cells, and a host of other vitamins and minerals, this wholesome veggie is an ideal brain food. And since it's also low in calories and carbs, eggplant makes the perfect base for a variety of delicious entrees, side dishes, and snacks.
We asked healthy food bloggers for their most mouthwatering eggplant recipes, so you can start working this nutrient-dense vegetable into your diet right now!
1. Summer chicken and eggplant pasta:
494 calories, 10.75 grams sugar, 15.6 grams fat, 66.6 grams carbohydrates, 29.45 grams protein
It may not be summer just yet, but this flavorful pasta is perfect all year long, especially when you want to indulge your carb cravings. Though the mouthwatering dish is on the heavier side, it includes plenty of fresh veggies
- SHAPE magazine | Shine Food – Fri, Mar 1, 2013 11:03 AM EST
by K. Aleisha Fetters for SHAPE.comRead More »from 25 Easy, Delicious Ways to Flavor Your Popcorn Without Salt
Healthy, flavorful ways to season your popcorn without salt.The next time you pop in a movie, rethink your snack habit: Even if you split the bag of microwave popcorn, you'll down 20 percent of your daily allotment of sodium-plus oftentimes trans fat and scary preservatives or colorings. And OD'ing on sodium has been linked to higher blood pressure, heart disease, stomach cancer, and weak bones, in addition to water retention and bloating.
That doesn't mean you have to swap your treat for plain air-popped corn. Virtuous as it is-three cups provides as much fiber as a cup of cooked brown rice and more antioxidants than a serving of fruit or vegetables for less than 100 calories-it's also pretty bland. Luckily that blank canvas means it's perfect for crafting a snack to satisfy your craving, whether that's savory, spicy, or sweet.
These mouthwatering ideas from top nutritionists, food bloggers, and healthy chefs are so good, you'll start having movie night more often. Simply pour 3 cups freshly popped corn