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.
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
Blog Posts by The Editors of WOMEN'S HEALTH
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
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.
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,
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
No time? No equipment? No space? No problem. This travel-friendly, CrossFit-inspired workout will blast fat and sculpt muscleVacations generally present a number of fitness obstacles, and summer ones are no exception. For starters, there never seems to be enough room in your suitcase for bulky running shoes and the five pairs of wedges you just have to bring. Plus, it's way too beautiful outside to be holed up in a gym (never mind a tiny hotel room), and your itinerary is jam-packed (you know, with all that poolside lounging).Read More »from The Get-Lean-on-the-Go Workout Plan
But now is so not the time to slack off. This CrossFit-inspired workout, created by Nathan Forster and Michael Alfaro, co-owners of Reebok CrossFit 5th Avenue in New York City, will keep you on track. For the uninitiated, this uberpopular fitness program runs you through a series of functional exercises at an intense pace. Translation: You build muscle and torch megacalories in under 20 minutes. This versatile workout requires no equipment and only a few feet of space, so your makeshift gym can be a hotel room, a park, or even the beach.
For CrossFit followers, each day is a new
These genius tricks will help you drop pounds and sculpt muscle in record timeIt flies. It's tight. You rarely feel like it's on your side. Of course, we're talking about time. You can blame it--or more accurately, the lack of it--for standing in the way of many things, but scoring the body of your dreams is no longer one of them. The latest research shows that sculpting lean legs, a tight tush, and flat abs doesn't require extra hours at the gym.Read More »from 10 Shape-Up Shortcuts
The trick is to sweat smarter, not harder, and, in many cases, for shorter durations. In fact, a study from McMaster University in Ontario found that people who did brief, fast-paced workouts for a total of 90 minutes a week got just as fit as those who did lower-intensity training for four and a half hours. (Hello! That's an extra three hours a week!)
With that in mind, leverage these shape-up shortcuts--some maximize the precious (and few) workout minutes you've got; others actually shave them away. Now go and make that dream body a reality.
15-Minute Workouts That Crush Calories
1. Jump to It
After each Olympics, a group of athletes emerge as names you'll always remember. Thanks to their unbeatable performances, jaw-dropping finishes, and inspiring attitudes, they show us what a true Olympian looks like. Below, we share insight from some our favorite U.S. women in Olympic history.Read More »from Legends of the Olympic Games
Learn About the Olympic Legends
Q: What's your favorite Olympic moment of all time?
Summer Sanders: I have two: Mary Lou Retton winning gold in the all-around and seeing her smile after her amazing vault. And when Janet Evans handed the torch to Mohammed Ali at the '96 Games.
Lisa Leslie: When the gymnastics team won gold in 1996--that was pretty great. Dominique Dawes was my favorite, and she was at the top of her career. I also loved watching Kerri Walsh and Misty May-Treanor win gold in Athens. I went to their match and it was an awesome moment.
Amy Van Dyken: Watching 14-year-old Amanda Beard win the silver medal in 1996. That was the highlight of everything for me. She went against what