Want to lose pounds fast and spend less time working out? It's possible--but only if you push your body to its absolute sweat-dripping, out-of-breath max. In other words, up the intensity.
It works. Researchers at McMaster University in Ontario had a group of cyclists do four to six 30-second sprints (with four minutes at a slower pace in between), while another group biked at a continuous pace for 90 to 120 minutes. After six sessions, everyone saw the same benefits, even though the second group was still slogging long after the first group had showered off.
The problem is, without someone egging you on, you may hit the brakes as soon as your workout gets the slightest bit uncomfortable. Luckily, you can learn strategies to help you power through when the going gets tough.
20 Ways to Stick to Your Workout
Secret #1: Think You Can The urge to scream uncle during a butt-kicking workout may have more to do with your overprotective brain than your cramping muscles. The traditional school
Blog Posts by The Editors of WOMEN'S HEALTH
- The Editors of WOMEN'S HEALTH | Healthy Living – Wed, Jul 6, 2011 7:47 PM EDT
Want to lose pounds fast and spend less time working out? It's possible--but only if you push your body to its absolute sweat-dripping, out-of-breath max. In other words, up the intensity.Read More »from 3 Secrets for getting on the faster track to a fit body
- The Editors of WOMEN'S HEALTH | Healthy Living – Thu, Jun 30, 2011 4:44 PM EDT
Read More »from Lost: 40 pounds, gained: more confidence than ever!
BEFORE: 161 lbs (scroll down to see photo)
AFTER: 121 lbs
Growing up, Brandi Byers stayed active by playing basketball and taking fitness classes, and she ate lots of salad. Still, her figure was more like "a football player's," she says, than like those of her slim, fit friends. And when she began attending Arizona State University, she grew careless with her eating habits. "My best friend and I got an apartment--and too many groceries," recalls the 29-year-old e-learning training consultant from Phoenix. "By sophomore year, my eating was out of control." Along with scarfing too many bagels and bowls of pasta, Brandi let her workouts wane. She packed 40 pounds onto her 5'3" frame in just 18 months.
A No-brainer Healthy Grocery List
THE CHANGE Several months before Brandi was to be a bridesmaid in her best friend's October 2009 wedding, she couldn't squeeze into the gown she'd ordered. "I could never tell my friend that I couldn't be in her wedding because my dress didn't fit!" she
- The Editors of WOMEN'S HEALTH | Healthy Living – Wed, Jun 22, 2011 10:16 PM EDT
Your barbecue guests are in for a shock (and a treat!) when you serve up these healthy, tasty, beef-free burgers.Read More »from Bikini-friendly burger recipes to try this weekend
1. Stuffed Portobello Burgers with Caramelized Onions
1 Tbsp butter
2 Spanish onions, thinly sliced
1 Tbsp brown sugar
1 tsp balsamic vinegar
8 portobello mushrooms
1 Tbsp vegetable oil
½ eggplant, sliced into thin rounds
3 oz roasted red peppers
4 oz sliced low-fat mozzarella
1 loaf focaccia bread
1. Melt butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and cook until translucent, about 4 to 5 minutes. Mix in brown sugar and balsamic vinegar. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover pan, and cook for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
2. Meanwhile, preheat grill to medium. Remove stems from mushrooms, brush with oil, and season with salt and pepper to taste.
3. Place eggplant slices on grill, cook for 2 minutes per side, then set them aside. Add mushrooms to grill, stem sides down, and cook for 6 to 7 minutes. Flip mushrooms and cook for another 4
- The Editors of WOMEN'S HEALTH | Healthy Living – Wed, Jun 22, 2011 3:59 AM EDT
If your manicurist has to have a legit license to operate, why expect anything less from your personal trainer? After all, you are placing your heart rate in their hands. Every expert offering a service-from your dentist to your realtor-has a legit license and state-regulated credentials, but that's not the case with your fitness pro at your local gym. So we asked Women's Health fitness expert Rachel Cosgrove how we can protect ourselves from shoddy body sculptors. Here's her advice:Read More »from 5 Things not to let your personal trainer talk you into
1. Sitting at a weight machine No seated chest presses, no seated leg extensions, no seated anything! In order to burn maximum calories and injury-proof your body, you should be standing on your feet, using your core, working multiple muscles at the same time.
The Perfect No-Gear-Here Workout
2. More than 15 to 20 reps of a core exercise If you can do that many, it's time to add weight (think holding a weight plate against your chest) or switch up the exercise (say, crunches on a Swiss ball).
3. A chest
- The Editors of WOMEN'S HEALTH | Healthy Living – Thu, Jun 16, 2011 10:57 PM EDT
Who doesn't dig spa days and Sunday sleep-ins? But when it comes to fitness, comfort should take a backseat. Women get too complacent with their workouts, says Dixie Stanforth, Ph.D., director of personal training at the University of Texas at Austin. After a while, following the same regimen stalls your progress. The result: Let's just say heads won't turn.
To kick-start a stale routine: You have to force your body past the point in a workout when it wants to say uncle-- a point trainers call volitional fatigue, or when you can't do another rep with perfect form. Pushing yourself out of your comfort zone "enhances both muscular strength and endurance, while cranking up your total caloric burn," says strength and conditioning coach Jesse Wright.Read More »from Got a stale fitness routine? This plateau-busting workout is an instant fix (VIDEO)
7 Mini Tests to Assess Your Fitness Level
How it works: This fast-paced routine (video how-to is below) created by Stanforth and Wright (both trainers on the Gatorade Training Council), targets every major muscle group with
You probably don't know that simply by taking your running routine out of the gym you increases calorie burn by about 5 percent, thanks to wind and varied terrain. Or that the work your body does to keep its thermostat steady while outside helps you torch calories by yet another 7 percent. Between that and the stress-reducing bennies of being in nature, it's enough to make us ditch the fluorescents for the sun.
Why the park for your workout? It has fantastic fitness tools, like swings, benches, and monkey bars. We asked exercise physiologist Tom Holland, a personal trainer in Darien, Connecticut, to put a new spin on some of his favorite moves of all time-squats, lunges, and chinups.
Do these moves shown below as a circuit-going immediately from one move to the next. That's one set. Rest for two minutes, then repeat for a total of three sets. Nice work. You've earned a trip to the Good Humor truck.
BENCH JUMP Works core, glutes, hamstrings, quads, and heart
Begin byRead More »from 4 Killer workout moves you can take to the park
If you've been going to the gym regularly and not seeing great results, it may be because you're unknowingly mangling your moves (no offense). The truth is, most people make tiny but key errors in their techniques, and these mistakes prevent them from building muscle and burning more calories. We selected four basic moves that have a tendency to trip women up, and asked top trainers for form fixes. Apply their tips to upgrade your routine and your body.
LUNGES: WHAT YOU DO WRONG
You lean forward, causing your front heel to rise.
LUNGES: FIX YOUR FORM
1. "Narrow your starting stance," says Gray Cook, author of Athletic Body in Balance. The closer your feet are, the harder your core has to work to stabilize your body.
2. "As you do the lunge, focus on moving your torso only up and down, not pushing it forward," says Craig Rasmussen, a fitness coach at Results Fitness in Santa Clarita, California. This keeps your weight balanced evenly through your front foot,Read More »from What youâ€™re doing wrong at the gym
- The Editors of WOMEN'S HEALTH | Healthy Living – Thu, May 26, 2011 4:04 PM EDT
BEFORE: 211 lbs
(scroll down to see photo)
AFTER: 126 lbs
For most of her adult life, Jennifer Martin hovered around 200 pounds, and it weighed on more than just the scale. Her difficulty finding clothes that fit made her feel uncomfortable and self-conscious, and the stay-at-home mom from Collegeville, Pennsylvania, hated that she never had energy to play with her two kids. In 2009, the scale hit a high of 211 pounds, and Jennifer, who is 5'2", realized she weighed as much as her foot-taller husband. Curbing her sweet tooth and lacing up her running shoes helped the 31-year-old shed 85 pounds and get into the best shape of her life.
THE CHANGE In early November 2009, while bingeing on her kids' leftover Halloween candy, Jennifer was suddenly flooded with guilt. "I saw my out-of-control habits through their eyes and knew I needed to change," she says. She put down a handful of chocolate and vowed to stop her chaotic eating.
- The Editors of WOMEN'S HEALTH | Healthy Living – Wed, May 25, 2011 4:08 PM EDT
You've probably read about celebs extolling the virtues of Pilates (lean legs, a supertaut tummy!), or maybe even heard the hype from mat-class-obsessed friends. If you're still skeptical, keep reading: "Pilates puts your muscles-especially the smaller, stabilizing ones-under constant tension over a large range of motion to create that enviable long, lean look," says Lauren Piskin, owner of Physicalmind Studio in New York City.
What's more, one study found that women who swapped their usual routines for two 60-minute Pilates sessions a week saw significant increases in abdominal endurance, hamstring flexibility, and upper-body muscular endurance.Read More »from Get Pilates abs: 8 perfect at-home moves (with video)
One Secret to Being Fit for Life? Muscle Memory
The thing is, these Pilates perks often come with a hefty price tag: A few sessions a week (typically using a bed-size contraption called a Reformer) can set you back hundreds of dollars. So Piskin created this at-home total-body workout, which gives your abs some extra love
Unlike wine, cheese, and Clive Owen, workout strategies don't get better with age. That's because each year, fitness researchers release thousands of studies that challenge conventional thinking-or at least shed light on ways to tweak it. We've ID'd five stale fitness approaches and sifted through the latest research to come up with surprising updates that will land you a scorching body ASAP.
1. Position your hands shoulder-width apartRead More »from 5 Fitness rules you should break
You often see this in instructions for upper-body moves like bench presses and lat pulldowns. Why? Because it gives you a stable starting point. But that doesn't mean you need to stay there set after set. "Spreading your hands a few inches farther out stresses more of the inner portion of your biceps; bringing your hands in a few inches builds more of the outer part," says New York City personal trainer Steve Lischin, M.S. Switch up your position after every set for balanced strength and overall tone.
Get Sleek, Sexy Arms with This