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  • Make This Easy and Healthy Recipe for Your Next Holiday Party

    Delicious baked Acorn squash is great served sweet or savory!Delicious baked Acorn squash is great served sweet or savory!By Jennipher Walters,

    We're in the throes of the holiday-party season, so we thought we'd share a recipe to make your busy life just a touch easier. This Acorn Squash Dip with Roasted Pumpkin Seeds on Wasa takes only 20 minutes to make from start to finish. And the colorful and tasty snack provides an excellent source of the antioxidant beta-carotene, cholesterol-reducing phytosterols, fiber and it's low in fat. Take it to your next Christmas party and eat it up, yum!

    Acorn Squash Dip with Roasted Pumpkin Seeds on Wasa

    2 c acorn squash, cooked 1 tbsp olive oil
    2 tbsp fat-free half-and-half (or skim milk)
    ½ c diced onion
    2 leaves fresh sage
    2 tsp maple syrup
    ¼ c freshly grated Parmesan cheese
    2 tbsp roasted pumpkin seeds
    1 package Wasa Hearty Crispbread or Wasa Thin & Crisy Flatbread Rosemary

    1. Slice open acorn squash and remove seeds. Place sliced side down in an 8-inch by 8-inch glass dish, cover and microwave on high

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  • What It's Really like to Run an Adventure Race like Spartan

    The muddy group.The muddy group.By Tish Merritt,

    I am officially one of those crazy nuts who has finished the Spartan Race and lived to talk about it. And I'm about to share with you the race's truth. A truth so brutal and visceral you might just throw up in your mouth a little bit. You MIGHT just need an asthma inhaler. Basically, it's for those who are bored with traditional races. It's three miles of obstacles and death-defying bafoonery. You jump over fire for Pete's sake!

    Let us begin with the pre-race mentality of me and my group. We were all goofy and energetic an hour before the race. We were warming up together and laughing. We were confident because we had been training for 10 weeks for this bad boy.
    The day of the race, I asked everyone around me how they were feeling. Most were pumped, while one honest gentlemen said he didn't feel like a Spartan. He felt like a German. I was personally scared out of my mind.

    The Hills Have Our Thighs
    I know some of you are

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  • The Exercise and Sleep Connection: How Hitting the Hay Can Help You Hit the Gym

    Sleeping.Sleeping.By Jennipher Walters,

    We all know how a good night's rest can leave us feeling good, but did you know that proper rest and high-quality sleep can actually improve your workouts and help keep you at a healthy body weight? Yep, according to the
    National Sleep Foundation, sleep is essential for a person's health and well-being. However reports show that catching zzz's has become a luxury rather than a priority for many of us. Sad face.

    The good news is that studies suggest that regular exercise helps you fall asleep faster, sleep longer and wake up less frequently during the night. Just 20 minutes of exercise a day can help you when hitting the sack. Here are some other fun facts from the exercise experts at Life Fitness about how getting beauty rest can actually affect your workout.

    The Exercise and Sleep Connection

    Work out hard. Sleep hard.
    Intense workouts and lack of sleep do not make good partners because while you're sleeping, your body works to Read More »from The Exercise and Sleep Connection: How Hitting the Hay Can Help You Hit the Gym
  • How Far You Have to Run to Burn Off that Extra Thanksgiving Treat

    It'll take 2.9 miles to burn off that extra helping of pumpkin pie.It'll take 2.9 miles to burn off that extra helping of pumpkin pie.By Kristen Seymour,

    While there's nothing wrong with a donut or a festive drink once in a while, it's important to understand exactly how these seasonal indulgences affect our health and fitness goals (mostly, so that you can pick your absolute favorite must-have treats!). Sure, I can tell you all about the calories in your favorite fall foods, but I have a better idea -- let's look at how far you'd have to run to burn those turkey day calories!

    A cup of apple cider isn't too bad. To burn off a cup of Treetop brand apple cider, you'd need to go just over a mile. To burn off the calories in a glazed Krispy Kreme donut though, you'd need to run 1.8 miles. Neither is so bad alone, but together, that's close to a 5k, just for a little snack!

    Of course, there are plenty of other fall favorites to consider. You've got your turkey leg and thigh, which with skin equates to 1.8 miles, with mashed potatoes and gravy (4.4 oz from Boston Market) just below that at 1.7

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  • Your Thanksgiving Day Gameplan

    By Erin Whitehead,

    I commend people who can exercise portion control on Thanksgiving Day. You know, those will-power-of-steel types who don't get tempted to go back for that second helping of stuffing or that extra piece of pumpkin pie. I admit that I am not one of them. I indulge more than is probably healthy on Turkey Day.

    Last year, my hubby and I were on our own, so we went out for our turkey dinner. We thought that surely we'd come out ahead because we didn't have leftovers from a bountiful feast tempting us for the entire day. Enter a four-course deluxe and delicious meal, and we waddled out of the restaurant miserable. This year I vow to do better with these four tips, adapted from Life Fitness.

    1. Every Bit Counts. Sure, you may not fit in an hour-long session with your trainer on Thanksgiving Day, but every little bit of exercise during the holiday weekend will help offset any splurges. Take 20 minutes a day to be active, whether it's a seriesRead More »from Your Thanksgiving Day Gameplan
  • The 5 Best Spots for Plus-Sized Workout Clothing

    By Jenn Walters,

    Can't figure out what plus-sized fitness apparel to wear? We can help! Credit: Robert.MontalvoCan't figure out what plus-sized fitness apparel to wear? We can help! Credit: Robert.MontalvoWe review a lot of cute workout apparel. But let's be honest. Not a lot of it comes in sizes that are larger than an XL. And hello, a lot of us need a little more workout wear room than an XL. So we asked our buds on Twitter and scoured the web for five companies that offer plus-size fitness clothing that's functional-and super cute!

    Best Plus-Sized Fitness Apparel Options

    1. Nike. Yep, Nike has great plus-sized fitness apparel options. In sizes up to 3X, you can get Nike's super-popular track running shorts, half-zip jackets, skorts and more. We think they're fab and think you will, too.

    2. Old Navy. Who would have thought that Old Navy of all places would have a sweet plus-sized fitness clothing line? But they do. In sizes that go up to 4X, we dig their cute and affordable yoga pants, graphic Ts, hoodies, tanks and compression pants!

    3. Champion. What's not to love about Champion? Their gear is affordable, good quality and

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  • The Fitness Truth Will Set You Free

    By Tish Merritt,

    The idea "fitness truths" came to me the week I got back in the running saddle. I hadn't run for many moons and was excited and pumped to get my legs going again. It wasn't even two minutes into dressing in the girls' locker room though that someone started ragging on me for being enthusiastic about working out. This warped woman had a twisted idea of why people should go to the gym…and apparently wanting to feel healthy and fit wasn't a cool option. To her, it was all about looking good and fitting into a certain size.

    My run was tough. I couldn't get that negative woman's words out of my head…and that's when it happened. My truths started pouring out of my brain-and just like that, I started rocking my run. Apparently, for some, wanting to be fit requires an explanation. Occasionally, we have to explain why we do what we do. We have to, in some ways, stand up for our fitness. In the words of a great lyricist, "Ain't nobody gonna

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  • An Interactive Way to Get Fit While Watching the Football Game

    Credit: Jayel AheramCredit: Jayel AheramBy Jennipher Walters,

    Usually, each Sunday my husband camps out in front of the TV, keeping me from my dear DVR and Oprah re-runs, and watches about 10 hours of football. Yes, I calculated it, and it's actually at least 10 hours in a single sitting. Far too much in my opinion. So naturally, as a wife fulfilling a terrible stereotype, I have begun to nag him. Here's a sampling:

    6 p.m.: "Don't you think you've watched enough football for one day?" 7 p.m.: "So, um, are you alive, or are you just some football zombie?"8 p.m.: "If I hear one more 'He could go all the way!' I'm going to scream. Turn the M-effer off!!!"
    See? It escalates. If you have a male loved one, I'm sure you can understand. Somehow though, my husband has found a way of deflecting all of the above comments, and it's not by tuning me out. He's started exercising during the games.
    Now how am I gonna hate on that?! He's a smart one…
    During each game, he'll pick a team to root for (usually the
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  • Fit for a Bride: The Workout Playlist

    Credit: MikeSchinkelbride runningBy Jennipher Walters,

    I know what it's like to plan a wedding. You spend hours making decisions, writing vows, designing invitations, fighting with your beloved about the stupid stamps not matching the envelopes because they have a white background and not a cream-colored background…sorry, flashback. Regardless, planning a wedding takes A LOT of time and energy. And despite the fact that what you really feel like doing after a long evening bridesmaid dress shopping is collapsing on the couch, watch Real Housewives and sip a strong vodka tonic, it's important that you take time for yourself in a healthy way. Plus, every girl wants to look her best in her gown. Therefore, we have created a 42-minute workout playlist, just for brides (and grooms!) to be.

    You can do the workout on your favorite type of cardio machine or hit the streets for a power walk or run. It's fun, upbeat and silly in parts. And, heck if you're single, have a domestic partner or are already

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  • "Camelflage" Yourself From Embarrassment

    By Tish Merritt,

    I don't know about you, but there's nothing worse than a front wedgie while I'm getting my fitness on -- or really doing anything. Not only is it embarrassing, it also feels like my clothes hate me and are punishing me. It's not cool considering workouts are demanding enough without further distractions.

    That's where camelflage panties come in! A friend sent me this site as a joke, but I wasn't laughing one bit. I had to see if the darn panty could really protect me from my greatest apparel discomfort. IT DID! Hallelujah! My lady bits are happy, and it's all because of a little magical padding area that blocks any and all parting action. I've never seen a pair of underwear with padding like this. It's not hard or uncomfortable, but that pad definitely packs a powerful punch in the panty region. It doesn't matter how you twist or turn; the camel will not form! The magic comes in both thong or brief, so everyone's happy.

    The nude brief

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