Blog Posts by Details Magazine

  • Does double-dipping spread germs? And what's the deal with the five-second rule?

    By: K. Aleisha Fetters

    Germ Facts vs. MythsGerm Facts vs. Myths

    It's hard not to be a germophobe. After all, we live in a germ-infested world. However, misinformation tends to spread faster than nasopharyngitis (a.k.a. the common cold), so we rounded up some of the most prevalent strains of viral wisdom to sort out the old wive's tales from the actual facts.

    The 5-Second Rule

    Verdict: Half-truth

    Off-the-floor eating is far from ideal, but if you act fast, it isn't that gross, statistically speaking. In a new study from Aston University, researchers dropped foods on floors and let them sit for anywhere from three to 30 seconds. Then they tested the levels of E. coli and staphylococcus aureus and found that food picked up just a few seconds after being dropped is less likely to contain bacteria than if it's left for longer stretches of time-no surprises there. However, both the type of food and the type of floor make a

    Read More »from Yuck, Your Toothbrush is a Fecal-Matter Magnet and the Truth Behind 4 Other Common Germ Myths
  • 6 Major Exercise Mistakes You're Probably Making

    You're the picture of perfect form and you'd never be caught dead slacking off at the gym. Good. But even health nuts fall prey to these subtle (but serious) exercise mistakes.

    By: K. Aleisha Fetters


    1. Eating Too Much Before Your Workout
    Check the back of your pre-workout "muscle" bar. Many are loaded with sugar that could make you crash midway through your regimen, says trainer and owner of Results Fitness, Rachel Cosgrove, C.S.C.S. Also, pay attention to how your stomach feels during your workout. Everyone digests differently, and while the "wait 30 minutes to swim" rule isn't hard or fast, if your snack isn't digested when you hop on the treadmill, your body will prioritize fueling your muscles over processing your food and you could be in for a serious stomachache. Cosgrove suggests fueling up for your workouts with a fast-digesting whey-protein shake.

    2. Doing the Same Exercises Every Week
    We don't care if you like your routine. Every four to six weeks, you

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  • 6 Ways to Run Better

    When it comes to America's favorite cardio pastime, new research shows that some of our long-ingrained, previously encouraged habits do more harm than good. Prepare to rethink how you hit the pavement.

    By: Janet Lee

    Getty ImagesGetty Images

    Experts once argued that during low-intensity cardio, the body uses fat instead of carbs for fuel. No more. Interval training burns serious calories and targets fat better than steady-state exercise. A study published in the International Journal of Obesity showed that subjects who did just three 20-minute high-intensity-interval sessions a week lost more weight and fat-specifically abdominal fat-than those who completed three 40-minute moderate-intensity runs weekly. To get more out of your interval sessions, put some effort into those "rest" breaks, says running coach David Siik, who teaches Tread & Shred treadmill classes at Equinox Fitness in Los Angeles (and is also our model runner pictured). "Slowing down your

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  • What to Know Before You Try Oil Pulling

    Swishing with oil is the newest (old) way of ridding your mouth of bacteria-if you can bear the brutal 20-minute sessions.

    By: K. Aleisha Fetters

    Chris GentileChris Gentile

    A couple of weeks ago, I had never heard of oil pulling. Now everyone from my brunchmates to Gwyneth Paltrow and Shailene Woodley swear by the ancient Ayurvedic practice of swishing a tablespoon of oil for 20 minutes to "pull" bacteria out of their mouths and, therefore, their bodies. "I'm amazed that the average person brushes their teeth in less than a minute, yet a 3,000-year-old ancient ritual that takes 20 minutes is now the latest rage," says Gerry Curatola, D.D.S., founder of Rejuvenation Dentistry. Yep, I'm amazed too.

    But I was still intrigued. After all, it's no news that our mouths are cesspools and that whatever's inside can eventually make its way into your bloodstream. Various studies even link oral bacteria to heart disease. Gross.

    SEE MORE: 57 Rules of Style

    As a lover of research, I ran a quick search and

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  • The Problem with the Proposed Nutrition-Label Changes

    The redesign has been praised by many food-industry insiders and reviled by some (Newt Gingrich calls it "symbolic liberalism"). We question whether it will make a real difference.

    By: Ian Landau

    FDA food labelingFDA food labeling

    A few weeks ago, First Lady Michelle Obama, head of the Let's Move campaign, and FDA commissioner Margaret Hamburg announced proposed changes to the Nutrition Facts panels that adorn the labels of packaged foods. You know, the ones that tell you a 20-ounce bottle of Coke Classic contains close to twice as much sugar as a Three Musketeers bar.

    The new changes include:

    1) Distinguishing the number of grams of added sugars from naturally occurring sugars

    2) Updating serving-size amounts to more accurately reflect current (read: usually larger) serving sizes compared to 20 years ago (like upping a serving of ice cream from a paltry quarter cup to a cup).

    3) Making the calories and servings-per-container lines bigger and bolder. Dropping calories from fat to reflect the latest

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  • Are You Breathing Right?

    High-powered professionals from CEOs and DEA officers to Carnegie Hall musicians are retraining their lungs to help them keep cool under pressure. Here's why you should too.

    By: K. Aleisha Fetters, Photograph by Dylan Coulter

    Dylan CoulterDylan Coulter

    Lying prostrate on the ground with the rifle in his hands, eyes narrowed on his mark, Steve Kardian concentrated on not moving a muscle. "I need complete control for long-range shots; even one micro flinch can send the bullet flying feet from your target," he says. The FBI defense tactics instructor had been called upon by a top military agency to take on a classified secret service-like assignment-if he failed these qualifying tests the job was gone. Just before stepping up to the line, Kardian performed a deep diaphragmatic breathing exercise taught to him by his respiratory guru of two years, Belisa Vranich. "It brought a calm over me. I was able to maintain my positions and hit all my targets."

    Kardian was so impressed with the changes Vranich's

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  • Why Workout Order Matters

    By: K. Aleisha Fetters

    Getty ImagesGetty Images

    A good workout depends on more than just the right exercises. It also means doing them in the right order. After all, no exercise is performed in a vacuum. Every move you make affects the ones that come after it and, ultimately, your results, says fitness expert Ashley Borden, who has trained the likes of Ryan Gosling and MLB player Nick Swisher.

    Borden's advice: Do your strength training before you even look at a piece of cardio equipment. Why? If you tucker yourself out on the treadmill, you're going to have trouble eking out reps in the weight room. When you're tired, your form suffers, and the last place you want to be struggling with your hip positioning is under a heavy barbell, she says. Plus, strength training is what really builds muscle and burns the most calories over the long term.

    That's not to say strength training doesn't sap your energy-it does-but it primarily uses your anaerobic system, which burns carbs for energy, while your

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  • Bad Foods Are Back: Butter, Beer, and More "Unhealthy" Foods that Are Back on the Diet Menu

    Who said you can't have your beer, butter, eggs, and potatoes-and eat them, too?

    By: K. Aleisha Fetters

    Bad foods are back! Bad foods are back!

    Food is a lot like fashion. One season we're swearing off don'ts like Canadian tuxedos, the next season we can't get enough of denim-on-denim. And fortunately for men who want to sport super-svelte bodies under their clothes, new research shows these once-blacklisted foods deserve a spot back on your plate.


    Thanks to the backlash against trans-fatty margarine, Americans are eating more butter than they have at any other time in the last 40 years, per recent info from the American Butter Institute. It's perfect timing, as a new meta-analysis of nearly 80 studies (on over half a million people) on fat consumption found that eating more saturated fat doesn't increase your risk of heart disease. Plus, saturated fat is actually better than carbs at raising levels of good cholesterol and lowering levels of triglycerides (fat deposits in the blood). Opt for

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  • 5 Questions for the Woman Who Sculpts Men's Private Parts

    Does this trinket really offer a cure for workplace sexism?

    By: Justin Fenner

    Oklahoma artist Holly Wilson is fighting the sexism she's encountered in the art world by selling miniature sculptures of men's privates. Naturally, we have questions.

    A little background: Wilson is trying to fund a project called "Bring Your D**k to the Table" on Kickstarter. She was spurred to create the tiny penises after a gallery owner tried to change the terms of an agreement they'd made. The original contract stipulated that Wilson would get two-thirds of the profit from the work the gallery managed to move, but after her pieces started selling, the owner wanted to change the split to 50/50.

    "I started to feel my knees go weak...and my lips completely lost all moisture," said Wilson of how she felt in this meeting. "So I'm fumbling around trying to find my lip balm, and I realize, right there, I could let this take me and wash me out, or I could hold onto my d**k."

    But first she needed one, so Wilson

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  • Can You Crowdsource Your Own Plastic Surgery?

    Leveraging community hits a new low as one man relies on donations to help him look more like Michelangelo's statue of "David"

    By: Justin Fenner

    The DavidThe David

    If a Japanese man can get a group of female friends to fund his plastic surgery transformation into a living version of Michaelangelo's statue of "David," shouldn't your drinking buddies kick in for that microdermabrasion you've been thinking about?

    A 20-year-old named Alan recently appeared on the Japanese talk show What's Wrong With Me? (and considering the subject matter, what better name could there be?) to discuss how over the course of the past year, he's spent about $150,000 given to him by five female friends to make himself look more like a living statue. It took eye surgery, two nose jobs, four lift-and-tucks, and a few injections to change the shape of his chin, and these are these results:

    Alan had 5 friends fund his plastic surgery.Alan had 5 friends fund his plastic surgery.

    Alan told the program's hosts that he wants "a more ageless face," and that "the ideal is the statue of David," adding that he

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