It's still not too late to get strong, lean, and sexy for summer!Happens every year: You're all gung ho in the beginning of the summer, hitting the gym like it's your job and dutifully counting calories. After all, you have the big bikini reveal to prepare for! But once the season hits its stride, it's easy to fall off the wagon and onto a lawn chair--and before you know it, the heaviest thing you're hoisting is an icy cocktail.
Fortunately, tearing off that cover-up with confidence doesn't mean choosing between having fun and staying fit. The key to scoring a hot body? Committing to a plan that's easy to fit into your busy summer schedule (we're talking 30-minute workouts here) and lasts exactly 21 days. Why? Experts say you can start to form a habit in as little as three weeks, and as anyone who's ever been hooked on something knows, habits are hard to break. In other words, once you complete this program (which has built-in days for rest and recovery--yay!), you'll be motivated to keep going.
9 Fitness Rules You Should Break
How the Plan Works
Blog Posts by The Editors of WOMEN'S HEALTH
It's still not too late to get strong, lean, and sexy for summer!Happens every year: You're all gung ho in the beginning of the summer, hitting the gym like it's your job and dutifully counting calories. After all, you have the big bikini reveal to prepare for! But once the season hits its stride, it's easy to fall off the wagon and onto a lawn chair--and before you know it, the heaviest thing you're hoisting is an icy cocktail.Read More »from The Ultimate Bikini Body Shape-Up Plan
Get firmer, stronger, sexier arms and shoulders with this fast-acting circuit workoutWith summer heating up, it's time to break out the essentials: sundresses, tanks, and lots of skin. If your arms aren't ready to see the light just yet, don't freak. New York City personal trainer Hannah Davis has a plan that will get you toned and tight in no time at all.Read More »from The 15-Minute Armed for Summer Workout
The trick: Most women focus on single-joint exercises, like biceps curls, which work primarily one muscle, says Davis. "Doing complex moves recruits more muscle fibers and works your upper body to total fatigue." That means you'll burn more calories and shed arm fat faster, so your arms, shoulders, and upper back will be sleek in time for their big reveal.
Proven Ways to Burn Fat Faster
Follow this workout two to four times a week: Warm up with three sets of the inchworm, resting for no more than one minute between sets. Perform the remaining three exercises as a circuit: Complete 15 reps of each move, rest two to three minutes, then repeat for a total of three sets.
Stand with your feet hip-width apart,
Get to know the perfect serving size for fast weight loss!Read More »from Healthy Summer Dessert Recipes
By Lisa Drayer, R.D.
Easy AffogatoEasy Affogato
1/2 Tbsp Kahlua coffee liqueur
2 Tbsp hot espresso
1/2 cup vanilla frozen yogurt
Scoop frozen yogurt into a serving dish. Stir liqueur into espresso, then pour over frozen yogurt. Serve immediately.
Makes 1 serving.
Per serving: 131 cal, 1 g fat (0.9 g sat), 64 mg sodium, 22 g carbs, 0 g fiber, 4 g protein
Blueberry-Almond TurtlesBlueberry-Almond Turtles
7 Tbsp (2.5 oz) 60% cocoa bittersweet chocolate chips (such as Ghirardelli)
1/4 cup dried wild blueberries (sold in produce section)
1/4 cup sliced almonds
Microwave chocolate in a glass bowl for 60 to 75 seconds or until melted. Stir in blueberries and nuts, then drop 5 rounded tablespoons onto parchment paper. Cool in refrigerator for 2 to 4 minutes or until firm.
Makes 5 turtles.
Per turtle: 104 cal, 8 g fat (3.5 g sat), 0 mg sodium, 9 g carbs, 1 g fiber, 2 g protein
Moroccan Pomegranate Mint YogurtMoroccan Pomegranate Mint Yogurt
1/2 cup nonfat Greek yogurt (such as Fage)
Here's something you'll love to learn: Your shoulders and upper back tend to carry less fat than the rest of your body, so the right arm exercises can give this area a nearly instant makeover, says Ramona Braganza, a celebrity trainer who has worked with stars such as Anne Hathaway and Jessica Alba. Braganza's upper-body workout, below, hits every major muscle and will help stabilize your shoulder joints, improve your posture, and build that strong, toned look you're after.
For this arm workout, use five-to eight-pound weights, perform 15 to 20 reps of each exercise and go from one move to the next with little or no rest between. Do two or three sets three times a week. Learn to do the moves with correct form: Watch fitness editor Jen Ator in the video how-to below.
1. Reverse Fly Grab a pair of dumbbells and stand with your feet hip-width apart and your knees bent. Bend forward at the hips and let your arms hang straight down from your shoulders, palms facing. Raise both arms out Read More »from 4 Ways to Sculpt Sleek, Sexy Arms for Summer
By Brittany Risher, Women's HealthRead More »from The Best Low-Priced Summer Wines
Looking for a perfect bottle of affordable wine? Here are five $20-or-under bottles of summery vino that guarantee satisfaction.
Elio Perrone Moscato d'Asti Sourgal 2010
Summer isn't the season to sip a heavy dessert wine. "This white wine is only slightly sparkling-not fully, like champagne-with notes of apricot, peach, honeysuckle, and clementine," says Laura Maniec, master sommelier and cofounder of Cork Buzz Wine Studio in Manhattan.
Pair with: Light desserts, like sorbet with fresh fruit. The wine's airiness and gently sweet notes will be overpowered by something denser and richer.
Bogle 2009 Old Vine Zinfandel
"This California classic is amped up with ripe plums, berries, and notes of sarsaparilla and brown sugar," says Evan Goldstein, master sommelier and president of Full Circle Wine Solutions in San Carlos, California. And don't be afraid to try it slightly chilled-the cold makes it extra refreshing.
Pair with: Kicked-up happy-hour staples
Change can be a truly beautiful thing. Think about it: When you change the way you eat, you can change the way you feel, and change the way you look! With bikini season right around the corner, now is the perfect time to invest in positive changes that improve all of the above and result in a sexier you.Read More »from 5 Foods to a Healthier, Hotter You
Begin by incorporating omega-3 fatty acids into your diet. They play an essential role in both physical and mental health, but since your body cannot produce them, you can only receive these essential fatty acids through a healthy diet. Here are my favorite omega-3-rich foods and how they change your body for the better while keeping your brain in tip-top shape:
The Best Vitamins for Women
Walnuts are packed with omega-3 fatty acids and contain cancer fighting, anti-inflammatory properties that may help aid in weight loss and provide other superb benefits like the promotion of bone health. Serve them mixed into your morning muesli, alongside a cup of green tea, or paired with
There's a popular saying among fitness experts: "The best exercise is the one you're not doing." The take-home message? To achieve the best results, you need to regularly challenge your body in new ways. So while classic movements like the pushup, lunge, and squat are the staples of any good workout plan, varying the way you perform these exercises every 4 weeks can help you avoid plateaus, beat boredom, and speed fat loss. You can start today, with this list of the best new exercises for every part of a woman's body.Read More »from The Best New Exercises You’re Not Doing
Fitness Rules You Can Break
Mountain Climber with Hands on Swiss Ball
The benefit: It's one of the simplest yet most effective ways to tighten your tummy. In fact, you'll barely have to move a muscle.
How to do it: Assume a pushup position with your arms completely straight, but place your hands on a Swiss ball instead of the floor. Your body should form a straight line from your head to your ankles. Tighten your core and hold it that way for the duration of the
If you're what researchers call a short sleeper (i.e., you sleep for 5.5 to 6 hours or less a night), you'll have trouble losing weight, no doubt about it. In a 7-year study of 7,022 middle-aged people, Finnish researchers found that women who reported sleep problems were more likely to experience a major weight gain (defined as 11 pounds or more).Read More »from How Your Sleep Schedule is Making You Gain Weight
You know that sleep and weight gain may be linked, but why is that?
Here's what the earth-shattering new research has revealed, and why lack of sleep could be stalling your ability to lose weight and keep it off:
Sleep less, burn less. In a study at the department of neuroendocrinology at the University of Lübeck, Germany, published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, researchers had a group of men sleep for 12 hours a night but didn't allow them to sleep the next night, and then had them eat an opulent buffet the following morning. Then the researchers measured the subjects' energy expenditure-the calories you burn just by
Girl's Guide To Grilling
Cooking lobster, clams, mussels and more. WH's guide to making perfect grilled fish.
Pick the Right Kind
Salmon, tuna, and swordfish steaks are easiest to prepare because they're thick and compact with less tendency to crumble. They also have more fat than other kinds of fish - good for grilling "because their fat prevents them from drying out," Raichlen says.
Buy Fish Thats Good For The Earth And You
Before You Grill
When it comes to fish, less is more. "There's no need to overpower expensive cuts with strong marinades," says Hinnerk von Bargen, associate professor at the Culinary Institute of America. A little salt, pepper, and lemon juice can be all the flavor you need. If you do use a marinade, brush the fish with any extra only during the last few minutes of grilling - the marinade will caramelize without burning, von Bargen says.
The Heat Is On
Invest in a fish basket. This tool is useful for flimsy whitefish like flounder because it keeps everything intact when Read More »from How-To Grill Fish
- The Editors of WOMEN'S HEALTH | Healthy Living – Tue, May 22, 2012 12:06 PM EDT
Tank tops, shorts, and swimsuits… oh my! It's May, which means you'll have to peel off your winter clothes soon. While only you know what you've been hiding underneath all those layers, you're not the only one who feels insecure this time of year.Read More »from 7 Ways to Get Your Body Swimsuit-Ready, Starting Now
Although you can safely lose only about 1 to 2 pounds of body fat a week, you can feel more confident by swimsuit season if you begin making changes today. Here are 7 attainable goals to set and stick to, starting now:
1. Get your sweat on with strength training! If you want to feel good in your bathing suit, this is non-negotiable: Fit your workout in, no excuses! Commit to a full-body strength-training program at least three times a week to burn calories during the workout, boost your metabolism's calorie-burning power for 24 to 48 hours after, and develop lean muscles that look and feel better than flab. Perform exercises that use more than one muscle group such as squats, pushups, rows, and lunges in a circuit to make your workouts most