Let's put this archaic idea to bed, once and for all: Your physique is not destined for a downhill slide as you age. Sure, your body changes as the decades go by, but there's plenty of proof that good diet and exercise habits can override your chronological age, says Barbara Bushman, Ph.D., an exercise physiologist at Missouri State University. "By simply staying active, it's amazing how you can slow down the decline that would otherwise happen," says Bushman.
The key to maintaining your hotness as you rack up birthdays is knowing your body's ever-evolving strengths and weaknesses. (Need an updated baseline? Try these 6 Mini Fitness Tests for areas that matter most.) Things that can be a struggle at 20, like finding a routine you enjoy, can be second nature by your forties. And stuff you took for granted early on, like recovering quickly from a workout, doesn't come as easily in future decades. Knowing what you'll encounter will help keep you looking your best at any, and every, age.
Blog Posts by The Editors of WOMEN'S HEALTH
Let's put this archaic idea to bed, once and for all: Your physique is not destined for a downhill slide as you age. Sure, your body changes as the decades go by, but there's plenty of proof that good diet and exercise habits can override your chronological age, says Barbara Bushman, Ph.D., an exercise physiologist at Missouri State University. "By simply staying active, it's amazing how you can slow down the decline that would otherwise happen," says Bushman.Read More »from The 3 Rules of Staying Fit at Every Age
Stephanie Yi, 29, had a body most women would kill for. She never had to work hard to maintain her long-limbed, flat-bellied frame-weekend hikes near her northern California home and lots of spinach salads did the trick. She could easily afford to indulge her sweet tooth with the occasional buttery, sugary snack. At 5'7" and 120 pounds, she had, she figured, hit the good-genes jackpot. (Genes play a mixed role in determining your body shape. Are You Destined to Inherit Your Mother's Body Type?)Read More »from Women Who Are Trim, Young,...And Diabetic?
But everything changed two years ago, when a crippling fatigue left Stephanie sidelined from college classes. Listless, she dragged herself to a doctor, who suspected a thyroid imbalance. A blood test and a few days later, she received the alarming results: Her thyroid was fine; her blood sugar levels were not. She was prediabetic and on the cusp of developing type 2.
Stephanie was stunned. Of course, she'd heard diabetes was a health crisis. (At last count, 26 million Americans had the
For decades, the eating disorder lexicon had two main entries: anorexia and bulimia. And indeed, recent weeks have put those particular disorders back in the headlines. (Celebrities who've revealed or discussed their history with disordered eating in the past two weeks include Lady Gaga, Katie Couric, Demi Lovato, and Stacy London.) But modern research reveals that the definitions of anorexia and bulimia fall woefully short of encompassing the many facets of disordered eating. In the early '90s, the American Psychiatric Association introduced a new diagnostic category: eating disorders not otherwise specified (EDNOS). A catch-all label that includes dozens of subdiagnoses, EDNOS applies to patients who don't meet the exact criteria for anorexia or bulimia but still have very troubled relationships with food or distorted body images. (New ways to Boost Your Body Confidence). Today, EDNOS diagnoses significantly outnumber anorexia and bulimia cases. "The atypical has become theRead More »from The New Types of Eating Disorders
Spending hours on end in a chair isn't just murder on your back--it can literally kill you. And if you're like the average person, you clock almost 55 hours a week on your duff.Read More »from The Dangers of Sitting Disease
Three years ago, Women's Health was among the first to expose sitting disease. The gist: Too much inactivity can leave you prone to such deadly ailments as heart disease and obesity. The advice: Get moving. But Americans haven't budged much. The only real momentum has been in the lab, where research has found that inactivity can also damage your mind, sleep cycle, and organs. It could even shorten your life: Women who sit for more than six hours a day have a roughly 40 percent higher risk of dying from any cause, regardless of their fitness level, versus those who sit for fewer than three hours. Are you reading this at work? Here are 4 Ways to Reboot Your Work Health, Starting Now.
"The human body evolved to move around," says James Levine, M.D., Ph.D., a professor of medicine at the Mayo Clinic. "Yes, there
Use a stability ball to round out your ab-sculpting routineChances are, you've already elevated your ab work onto a stability ball. Smart move: Research shows that crunches atop a ball are approximately twice as effective as those done on the floor. But stop there and you're selling this multitasking tool short. "Most people think a stability ball is just for strengthening their core, but training with a ball can tone muscles throughout the entire body," says personal trainer and fitness author Larysa DiDio. "It also improves flexibility, balance, posture, and coordination." Plus, by swapping your old go-to moves for the following innovative workout, you'll wake up your body and shock it into burning more calories. You'll also increase cardio and muscular endurance (how long your heart and muscles can push before calling it quits). Speaking of burning calories and amping up your metabolism, snag this list of 15 Ways to Burn More Fat.Read More »from 4 Fresh Flat-Belly Moves
Three times a week, complete this workout, created by DiDio, as a fast-paced circuit, moving from one move to
Oddly enough, your natural hair color offers insights into your mental and physical wellbeingOur hair is our most noticeable trait--and we obsess over it accordingly. But even though we spend lots of time enhancing and re-enhancing our tresses, we probably haven't considered something pretty cool: What's underneath all the glosses and highlights can be a health barometer of sorts.Read More »from What Your Hair Color Says About Your Health
If You're a Blonde...
Protect Your Peepers Women have a higher risk than men of developing age-related macular degeneration (AMD), an eye condition that can cause blindness. And fair-haired females are especially prone to AMD, says Svetlana Kogan, M.D., founder of Doctors at Trump Place in New York City. A diet rich in the natural compounds lutein and zeaxanthin--found in kale, spinach, and snow peas--can help fend it off. Kogan suggests munching on one cup of the green veggies every day.
Cover Up Melanin gives skin its color and helps shield it from harmful UV rays, says dermatologist Joel Schlessinger, M.D., president emeritus of the American Society of Cosmetic Dermatology and Aesthetic
Even if you snored your way through physics class, once you realize that all those textbook equations can be used to sculpt a phenomenal physique, science suddenly becomes sooo much more interesting!Read More »from 5 Lessons from Science to Get You Lean, Fast
Your body is a highly technical machine, governed by the same laws of science and principles of physics that make an apple drop from a tree or a seesaw teeter up and down. With simple tweaks to your fitness routine--like how you position your hands and feet during an exercise--you can get better results in less time. (Here's how: Use any of the Body-Shaping Routines in our Big Book of 15-Minute Workouts) The best part? You don't have to be Sir Isaac Newton to ace this lesson. Here, five simple concepts to put into motion.
1. Shake It Up Ever wonder why a single-leg squat is so much harder than a regular one? It's the biomechanics of stability. The less an object's surface area (in this case, your feet) touches a solid base (the floor), the less stable the object is, says Stephen Stanley,
These surprisingly simple flat-belly tricks will encourage your abs to come out of hidingFor all the effort you've put into toning it--and for all the cupcakes you've given up to maintain it--your midsection should be as rock-hard as a diamond and just as much fun to show off. So why does it seem like your quest for a sexy stomach always hits a bump...right about belly-button level?Read More »from 10 New Flat-Belly Food Rules
You're not alone in feeling frustrated: Sixty-two percent of women say the body part they're most self-conscious about is their belly. But don't give up hope--just change your thinking. Turns out, some of the old food advice you've been following for years may actually be working against you, says Alan Aragon, a nutritionist in Westlake Village, California. The latest research is full of new culinary strategies for shrinking your stomach (and slimming down all over). After wading through the data to answer your most common questions, Aragon presents his core counsel.
The No-Crunch Ab Workout
Will eating smaller meals curb my hunger?
Contrary to what you've heard, the five-small-meals-a-day
If the only time you zoom in on your anatomy is when you're tweezing your unibrow or popping a zit, then you could be missing out on some crucial information about your health.Read More »from 10 Self-Checks Women Should Do Every Morning
One of the many wonderful things about your body is that it has built-in sickness sensors, and experts say you can spot early warning signs of even serious conditions simply by taking a few minutes to bond with the image in the mirror.
So go ahead, take a closer look. In the immortal words of Ice Cube: It's time to check yourself before you wreck yourself.
Guide to Your Yucky Bodily Functions
If you see dark lines on the nail beds
It could mean Texas-sized moles aren't the only red flags for skin cancer--the disease can also develop under your nails. Yellowish, brown, or black stripes are a sign of cell damage, possibly from melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer, says Ariel Ostad, M.D., a dermatologist in New York City.
With early detection and treatment, though, about 95 percent of cases
A few years ago, a video emerged showing Tiger Woods driving a golf ball like the pro that he is. The only catch: He was just 2 years old at the time. (Two years old!)Read More »from Should Kids Lift Weights?
The message to parents: If you want your kids to excel in sports, you need to start them young. Of course, beyond developing specific skills--such as throwing, kicking, and swinging--improving strength, power, and speed are key components of sports performance training.
How to Teach Your Kid Anything
Which leads many parents to wonder, should my kid lift weights?
Some experts warn that weight training at a young age can damage a child's growth plates. And that concern has merit. "The dangers to growth plates--found at the end of long bones--are real," says Michael Meija, C.S.C.S., Men's Health fitness adviser and owner of B.A.S.E. Sports Conditioning, an organization that specializes in youth athletic training.
However, Mejia is quick to point out that these injuries are almost always the