Blog Posts by FITNESS Magazine

  • 7 Things You Didn't Know About Your Breasts

    J. Ryan Roberts/FITNESS MagazineJ. Ryan Roberts/FITNESS MagazineBy Ayren Jackson-Cannady

    The most interesting stats and figures, plus a few facts that could save your breasts (and your life).

    The Best Time to Do a Breast Self-Exam Is After Your Period

    So you don't freak at the feel of a random lump (which are totally normal thanks to fluctuating levels of hormones), keep your self-exams consistent. The most effective time to exam your breasts is three to five days after your period starts, when they are not as tender or lumpy. Gone through menopause? Just make sure to do the exam on the same day each month. Examine your breasts -- using your middle fingers -- lying down, sitting, and looking in a mirror so that you can check for changes in all of your breast tissue. Pressed for time? Give yourself a quick check when you're in the shower.

    Related: How to Do a Breast Self-Exam

    Implants May Lower Breast Cancer Risk
    "Women with breast implants actually have a lower breast cancer rate than women without," says Daniel Careaga, MD, a plastic surgeon

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  • To Be or Not to Be Gluten-Free?

    Amy Postle/FITNESS MagazineAmy Postle/FITNESS MagazineBy Leslie Goldman

    What do celebs like Zooey Deschanel, Emmy Rossum, Elisabeth Hasselbeck and Chelsea Clinton have in common? They all follow gluten-free diets, thanks to severe wheat allergies that, if left untreated, can result in bloating, diarrhea, fatigue, malnourishment and even infertility and osteoporosis.

    Related: 5 Surprising Superfoods You Should Be Eating

    "Going g-free" has been trendy for a few years now, with proponents claiming that ditching wheat can melt away pounds, elevate sports performance and evaporate mental fogginess. The industry has exploded, mushrooming 27 percent since 2009 and surpassing $6 billion in sales in 2011, according to Mintel research. "Gluten-free is the new low-carb," says Wendy Bazilian, DrPH, RD, author of The SuperFoodsRx Diet (Rodale) and a nutrition advisor at Golden Door Fitness Resort and Spa in San Marcos, Calif. But unless you are one of the 1 percent of Americans who truly suffer from actual Celiac disease, an autoimmune disorder

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  • 5 Ways to Lose the Last 5 Pounds

    Lucas Zarebinski/FITNESS MagazineLucas Zarebinski/FITNESS MagazineBy Nicole Yorio Jurick

    Eat less fat. No, wait: Eat more fat, just the healthy kind. Eat only when you're hungry. Actually, eat every three hours. Enough already! There are so many rules to follow when you're trying to stick to a healthy diet, and some of them are downright contradictory. To find out what really works, we rounded up the best weight-loss advice from nutritionists, psychologists, trainers, and other health gurus and then asked five women to abide by the strategies for six weeks. Read on to discover how to lose the weight for good and feel better than ever.

    Related: 6 Foods That Fight Off Belly Bloat

    Give Up the Booze
    "Alcohol is a double whammy," says Madelyn Fernstrom, PhD, a FITNESS advisory board member and the author of The Real You Diet. "Because liquid calories don't make you feel full, they add up fast. Plus, alcohol lessens your willpower to resist unhealthy food."

    Our tester: Rebecca Rodriguez, 39, Brooklyn
    "I'm a publicist and blogger in the music industry.

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  • Get Out! Fall Exercise Tips for Fresh-Air Fun

    F. Scott Schafer/FITNESS MagazineF. Scott Schafer/FITNESS MagazineBy Cristina Goyanes

    Fall is prime time for fresh-air fun, so let's move. To look like a natural, not a newbie, as you hit the trail, court, road, or lake, follow our oops-proof guide.

    Related: Best Road Trip Ever: Active Vacations Across the Country

    Take a Hike

    Play Nice with Mother Nature: When you're tramping where the wild things are, it's best to practice this do-not-disturb policy.
    Say hello. The sound of snapping twigs got you spooked? Stop, listen, and look to size up the situation, says Kary Sommers, a field instructor and marketing manager for the National Outdoor Leadership School. "Then call out 'Hello,'" she advises, to scare off any skittish creatures. "Most animals are more scared of you than you are of them and will probably run away when they hear or see you," says Rebecca Bear, an outdoor programs and outreach manager for REI.
    Try not to be a home wrecker. "Don't urinate in the bushes," Sommers says. "You could disturb a bee's nest or anger an animal who lives

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  • Stop Overthinking It! Tips to Stress Less

    Aaron Ritcher/FITNESS MagazineAaron Ritcher/FITNESS MagazineBy Rachael Moeller Gorman

    In slow-pitch softball I couldn't buy a hit. I would stand at bat, waiting, planning, and preparing for the ball. And that was the problem. My brain and all its relentless thinking sabotaged my instinct.

    I'm hardly the only one who overthinks things. We all do it. In fact, research shows that our brains constantly try to forecast the future, to anticipate what will come next. In caveman times, that meant a fast prediction that a lion was probably following the herd of running antelopes, so stay away. Today it means mulling the healthfulness of every item on a four-page restaurant menu before picking the one that's least likely to pack on pounds, or agonizing over just the right witty words to post on Facebook in anticipation of judgment by hundreds of people.

    We also fret about our past experiences and decisions. But while some self-reflection helps us survive and thrive, too much can make us feel trapped and overwhelmed. "When you're overthinking, you're going

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  • Upgrade Your Workout: The Best Extreme Sports to Try

    Tim Soter/FITNESS MagazineTim Soter/FITNESS MagazineBy Cristina Goyanes

    Thinking about taking your fitness routine to the next level? Smart idea, as research shows the secret to staying in shape is learning how to keep your body on its toes. "Fitness goers want to be challenged, and sometimes going to the gym isn't enough," says Pete McCall, exercise physiologist with the American Council on Exercise. Here, McCall offers smart and exciting ways to upgrade your workout, whatever your sport.

    Related: Workouts Gone Wrong: Ways to Injury-Proof Your Sweat Sessions

    Sick of Running Around in Circle?
    If you're the queen of 5Ks, it may be time to expand your kingdom to include some obstacle courses, like the Warrior Dash or Spartan Race. With both race series scattered across the country and happening all year round, you can sign up anytime for the hard-as-hell three-milers that guarantee to engage more than your legs. "A lot of the obstacles -- mud pits, tunnels, and wall climbing -- require upper-body strength, coordination, agility, and

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  • Why Little Lies to Your Doctor Could Hurt Your Health

    Susan Pittard/FITNESS MagazineSusan Pittard/FITNESS MagazineBy Jeannette Moninger

    There isn't a lot your body can hide in one of those crinkly numbers. Maybe that's why so many women refuse to reveal much else at doctor visits. About a third of men and women in the United States admit to lying to their M.D.'s, according to a 2010 survey. But keeping secrets can be dangerous, especially if the information you're withholding leads to a wrong diagnosis. Besides, "a doctor's job is to advocate for your health, not judge," say Gary Fischer, M.D., a general internist at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. Here's why it's time to tell the whole truth -- and nothing but.

    Related: The 5 Most Common Misdiagnoses

    "I never smoke."
    The real deal: Jean Thilmany has been lighting up a couple of times a month for the past 20 years. But because the 42-year-old Saint Paul resident doesn't consider herself a smoker, she never mentions it to her doctor. "I don't smoke often enough for it to affect my health," she says. Actually, if you puff even the

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  • How to Beat the Diet Wreckers in Your Life

    Brian Klutch/FITNESS MagazineBy Mindy Walker

    Before Allison Orphy, 27, of Iowa, Louisiana, dines out with friends, she checks the restaurant's calorie counts online. She used to look them up at the table, but it drove her pals crazy. It wasn't the phone use that offended them; it was what she was doing. "They'd say, 'Why can't you just order?'" says Orphy, who has dropped 55 pounds in the past two years and wants to lose 60 more. "Most of them think I'm miserable, because I ask for veggies with no butter." But Orphy has quietly persisted, and now her friends are more accepting of her lifestyle change. "Sometimes, one of them will even wave away the breadbasket," she says.

    Diet experts say it's not unusual for the people whom you think would support you the most -- BFFs, family members, significant others -- to try to derail your weight-loss goals, especially when you first make changes. You, only thinner, may intimidate them, says psychologist Judith Beck, PhD, president of the Beck Institute for Cognitive

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  • FITNESS Healthy Food Awards 2013: Sweet Treats

    Brian Klutch/FITNESS MagazineBrian Klutch/FITNESS MagazineBy Lauren Cardarelli

    Some treats cram in more calories than a stick of butter, but that's not the way all cookies have to crumble. To prove it, we asked our nutritionists to review nearly 70 better-for-you goodies, then we taste-tested the ones that met their requirements: no more than 140 calories, less than three grams of saturated fat, and no trans fat. The winning eight will satisfy your sweet tooth without activating your guilt reflex.

    Related: The Healthiest Cereals at the Store

    What Makes a Winner

    Companies submitted 69 new baked goods to FITNESS. Our experts -- Anar Allidina, RD. a dietitian in private practice in Toronto; Keri Gans, RD, the author of The Small Change Diet; and Stephanie Middleberg, RD, the founder of Middleberg Nutrition in New York City -- helped us determine which ones should move on to the next round. Those finalists were sampled and voted on by FITNESS staffers.

    Lucy's Chocolate Chip Snack 'n Go Packs

    These cookies are made with olive oil and oat

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  • 8 Health Lies Trainers Tell

    Amy Postle/FITNESS MagazineBy Peg Rosen

    I've spent years handpicking a posse of Spinning instructors, yoga teachers, and cross-trainers I can trust. They're smart; they're certified. They know the ins and outs of asanas, ab crunches, and aerobic conditioning. But how much stock should I put in the health information and advice some of them dole out during sessions? You know, like what I should be eating or how certain exercises might benefit my brain.

    Organizations that train and certify trainers warn their members not to cross the line that separates fitness tips from health advice. "The line is thin, but trainers still have to respect it," says Grace DeSimone, editor of the American College of Sports Medicine's Resources for the Group Exercise Instructor. "For example, it's OK to talk about the basics of good nutrition. But it is absolutely not OK to tell someone to avoid a specific food group, like dairy, unless the trainer also happens to be a registered dietitian." Likewise, if something hurts while

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