by Charlotte Andersen for SHAPE.com
These underwear facts might surprise you!To wear or not to wear underwear (in addition to your black stretchy pants) is only one of many questions fit ladies have. But whether you're a commando convert or a boy short believer, there are a few things you should know about health and hygiene when it comes to your wonder down under. We asked our panel of experts to offer panty-related advice for ladies who lunge (and crunch, bike, hike, run, and swim).
1. Bare or wear? Don't care! Whether or not you skip undies is up to you-panty lines are totally a personal preference-but there are some compelling reasons to consider covering up.
"Bacteria and yeast love a moist and warm environment," says Doerthe Brueggmann, M.D., of Health Goes Female. "So a very effective and simple protection is to wear any underwear under your workout gear to catch sweat and developing moisture. This is why it's not a good idea to go commando!"
RELATED: 7 Things Your Nails Can Tell You About Your Health
Blog Posts by SHAPE magazine
by Charlotte Andersen for SHAPE.comRead More »from 7 Things You Didn't Know About Your Underwear
- SHAPE magazine | Secrets to Your Success – Tue, Aug 27, 2013 12:34 PM EDT
by Locke Hughes for SHAPE.comRead More »from 10 Ways to Be Happier at Work Without Changing Your Job
Make these small changes to feel happier at work--without changing jobs.Can eating the same thing for breakfast, turning off the radio, or telling a joke make you happier in your job? According to a new book, Before Happiness (available September 10, 2013), the answer is yes. We spoke with author Shawn Achor, a happiness researcher, leading positive psychology expert, and distinguished former Harvard professor, to find out how simple actions like these can in fact help you become happier, healthier, and more successful at work and in your everyday life.
1. Ask a coworker out for a drink: If you've been feeling down at work, doing something nice for someone else can help you feel better. In fact, the greatest buffer against depression is altruism, Achor says. His research found that people who put more effort into their work relationships were 10 times more likely to be highly engaged in their work and twice as likely to be satisfied with their jobs. Most notably, these pro-social workers were more successful and had more
by Charlotte Andersen for SHAPE.comRead More »from Do You Have What it Takes to Be a Hero?
Antoinette TuffAfter talking down a gunman who'd invaded the Georgia elementary school were she works last week, Antoinette Tuff has gone from district bookkeeper to national hero (even President Obama called her). And she certainly is deserving of the accolades: Her quick-thinking likely saved the school-and the country-from another horrific massacre.
But her bravery wasn't bravado, rather it came from a deeper place insider her. Talking both to an emergency dispatcher and the 20-year-old gunman, Michael Brandon Hill, she sympathized with Hill's story of mental illness, telling him, "It's going to be all right, sweetie. I just want you to know I love you, though, okay? And I'm proud of you. That's a good thing that you're just giving up and don't worry about it. We all go through something in life. I thought the same thing, you know, I tried to commit suicide last year after my husband left me. But look at me now. I'm still working and everything is okay."
by Jessica Smith for SHAPE.comRead More »from 11 Nutrition Myths that Cause Weight Gain
Our experts set the record straight on common myths to help you lose the weight--for good!
These common nutrition myths may be sabotaging your weight-loss progress!1. Going vegan is a healthy way to lose weight.
"While various research shows that vegetarians and vegans, on average, consume fewer calories and less fat than omnivores (a 2009 Oxford study found that vegetarians weigh 3 to 20 percent less than their meat-eating counterparts, and a National Cancer Institute study found that subjects who consumed four ounces or more of red meat weekly were 30 percent more likely to die of any cause than those who ate less), these numbers may be misleading," says Rania Batayneh, MPH, a certified nutritionist and owner of Essential Nutrition for You.
Going vegan solely for weight loss can backfire, big time. If you aren't vigilant with a vegan diet, it's easy to lack in vital nutrients, vitamins, and proteins, which give you energy and help keep your metabolism stoked. Many first-time vegans may also find themselves reaching for more
by Cristina Goyanes for SHAPE.comRead More »from 7 Times Food Really is the Answer
Stuffing your face can be bad, but here are seven instances in which it actually helpsYou know that stuffing your face can often lead to a vicious cycle of overeating, weight gain, and guilt, so in most cases it does more harm than good. But in certain situations, noshing can actually help. When life bites, here's how and when to bite back--in a healthy manner.
1. You're in a funk
Eat: Sweet potatoes
When you're feeling low, resist the urge to reach for chips or candy, and bake an orange tater instead. "Sweet potatoes are one of the most nutritious sources of carbohydrates, and when you consume carbs, they create an instant surge in serotonin, a feel-good chemical that lifts mood," says Lyssie Lakatos, R.D., co-author of The Secret To Skinny. And thanks to the fiber in the tubers, the carbs will enter your blood stream at a more gradual rate, helping keep your energy level stable. Read: You won't crash later and revert to being a grumpy pants, as can happen after a peanut butter cup binge.
2. You can't sleep
This Middle Eastern dip
- SHAPE magazine | Healthy Living – Fri, Aug 23, 2013 10:42 AM EDT
by Cristina Goyanes for SHAPE.comRead More »from No, the Thigh Gap's Not Really Possible. Here's Why
The thigh gap-it's like the latest Hermes bag: Seemingly every woman wants it, yet not everyone can have it. But that doesn't stop women from hitting the gym or, at times, taking more drastic measures to try to turn their bodies into their "ideal" figures.
And while working out and eating well can help you fine-tune your body, some goals can only be achieved if you're genetically blessed or have a certain bone structure. So rather than pushing yourself to your breaking point (perhaps literally), find out what's realistic for your body.
RELATED: 10 Refreshingly Honest Celebrity Body Confessions
Is the elusive thigh gap really possible? Maybe not.1. Thigh gap: Seeing Victoria Secret models strut the length of a runway without a single thigh rub is enough to make you seethe with jealousy, but simmer down because for most women the only way to not have your inner thighs touch is to refashion your skeleton.
"No dieting or fitness regimen is going to change your bone structure," say Polly de
by Kate Kelly and Sharon Liao for SHAPE.comRead More »from Your Top 6 Sex Questions, Answered
All your most personal sex questions, answered!Chatting about orgasms, lagging libidos, or STDs can be intimidating. So we stepped in and did the asking. Our experts insights may reassure you, surprise you, and even inspire you to turn up the heat on your sessions in the sack.
1. I had unsafe sex. What are the chances I really have an STD? You have good reason to be concerned: Sexually transmitted diseases are on the rise, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, with 19 million new cases occurring each year. Unfortunately, infections aren't detectable in your body immediately, so you'll have to wait an anxious week or so before you can see your doctor to get screened for chlamydia and gonorrhea, says New York City gynecologist Carol Livoti, M.D.-and then another three to seven days for the results. "A course of antibiotics will nix these bacterial infections," says Livoti. "But if left untreated, they can cause long-term damage and harm your fertility." You should
by Mike Roussell, SHAPE Diet Doctor, ph.D., for SHAPE.comRead More »from MSG: Not as Bad as We Thought?
Is MSG as bad as we all thought?We've been told for years that MSG is this horrible thing to avoid, but is it really any worse than say, table salt? We went to SHAPE Diet Doctor Mike Roussell, ph.D., and author of The 6 Pillars of Nutrition, for the answer. Here's what he had to say.
Monosodium glutamate is one of the most avoided food additives in our food supply. It is potentially more polarizing than trans fats. But unlike trans fats, the science behind the MSG doesn't reveal anything that will cause you to gain weight or drop dead. This may be surprising to you, so let's look a little at the history of MSG, if there are any health effects you should worry about, and how your can use the flavor-boosting properties of MSG with your own cooking.
MSG is just a salt molecule combined with the amino acid L-glutamate. The salt molecule is used to stabilize the glutamate molecule, and the amino acid's glutamate is responsible for umami, the savory
by Charlotte Andersen for SHAPE.comRead More »from Why Exercise Isn't a Quick Fix for Insomnia
Will exercise cure your insomnia?We've been told exercising can help improve sleep quality and may even be the cure for insomnia. So why were you staring at the ceiling until 3 a.m. last night (well, this morning) when you did a strength-training session yesterday at lunch? You may need to stick with that fitness routine for a while before you see snooze-time benefits, according to a new study.
Until now, researchers haven't been sure exactly why exercisers sleep better. So Kelly Glazer Baron, Ph.D., director of the behavioral sleep program at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, analyzed a small 2010 study of 11 women that showed that aerobic exercise improved sleep over a 16-week period.
"The results of this new study tell us that exercise is not a quick fix for insomnia and that it takes a while to improve sleep," she says, adding that many factors are at play.
RELATED: 10 Unbelievable Diet Rules Backed by Science
1. Consistency is key. In the study, the women
by Cristina Goyanes for SHAPE.comRead More »from The Case for a 20-Minute First Date
How long should a first date last? You might be surprised!You know if a first date is going to Nowheresville the minute you walk in the door. But when you've already committed to a dinner, it's impossible to turn around and run like hell out. So you suck it up, have a horrible time, and leave feeling discouraged and exhausted, which makes you reluctant to want to meet anyone new ever again.
Rather than drop out of the dating game, what you need to do is learn to play smarter. Renowned biological anthropologist and Match.com's scientific adviser Helen Fisher, Ph.D., says the trick is to keep your first dates, especially if you met online, to 20 minutes. (If it's a setup, like your bestie's brother or you already met once at a party, aim for 45 minutes to an hour max.)
RELATED: 40 Free Date Ideas You'll Both Love
"You size up someone physically in less than one second-too tall, too short, too fat, too thin, too old, too young, too stuffy, too scruffy," says Fisher, author of Why Him? Why Her? In that