Blog Posts by FITNESS Magazine

  • Top 10 Superfoods for Women

    Mike Jensen/FITNESS MagazineMike Jensen/FITNESS MagazineBy Hallie Levine Sklar

    Ever wonder if your diet is missing something? Add our expert-approved, eat-right picks to stay lean, healthy, and strong.

    Related: The Good-Skin Diet: 10 Foods for Healthier Skin

    The "Skinny" Steak

    Red meat has a bad rap. The thing is, it really is good for you. Ideally, go for a cut that is both lean and grass-fed. A recent report from the Union of Concerned Scientists shows that meat from grass-fed cows usually has more conjugated linoleic acid (which has been shown in animal studies to combat cancer) and heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids than the grain-fed variety. Plus, meat from grass-fed cows is lower in total fat and calories. As long as your serving is a lean cut, such as tenderloin, feel free to make this smart choice two or three times a week, says Jonny Bowden, PhD, author of The 150 Healthiest Foods on Earth.

    Shopping shortcut: "Look for meat that is clearly labeled 100 percent grass-fed," Bowden says. ("Organic" doesn't guarantee the cows didn't have

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  • Stride to the Beat: How to Train with a Heart Rate Monitor

    Jeff Olson/FITNESS MagazineJeff Olson/FITNESS MagazineBy Natalie Gingerich Mackenzie

    Even technophobes can benefit from training with a heart rate monitor. "It answers that eternal question of how fast is fast and how slow is slow," says Roy Benson, a running coach and coauthor of Heart Rate Training. Here's how to plug in and teach your old jog new tricks.

    Related: Run Strong! Hill Workouts to Run Stronger and Faster

    Meet Your Max
    First, you need a yardstick for gauging your intensity level. Use this formula to find your maximum heart rate, or how many times your heart beats per minute (bpm) when you're going full throttle.

    206 - (your age) x 0.88 = ____ bpm

    So if you're 26, that's 180 x 0.88 = 158 bpm.

    Get in the Zone
    Now you can calculate your intensity as a percentage of your maximum heart rate rather than guessing how hard you're going. Using your device, aim for the bpm percentage ranges below, based on the type of workout you're hankering for.

    60% to 75%
    Light to moderate intensity: An easy sing-if-you-want pace for building

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  • Pinpoint (and Fix!) Your Joint Pain Problems

    Karen Pearson/FITNESS MagazineBy Colleen Moody

    Feeling a little creaky in your neck, shoulders, knees, and toes? Oh no! Experts share how your everyday habits cause joint pain -- and how to fix it fast.

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

    Why Your Hips, Knees, and Feet Hurt
    Bummer news for fit women: According to Hector Lopez, MD, CSCS, FAAPMR, chief medical officer and principal of the Center for Applied Health Sciences, active women who run and exercise regularly are six to eight times more likely than similarly active men to suffer an ACL or ligament injury. Why? The angle of a woman's pelvis puts her knee in a position that can place an abnormal amount of strain on the ligaments in her leg. This may also be the reason women suffer from knee tendinitis more than men do.

    How to Fix Hip, Knee, and Foot Pain

    So what's a runner girl to do? Tighten your butt, seriously! "Doing exercises like lunges and squats isn't just for aesthetic reasons, it can really help protect you from

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  • The New Fitness Rules

    Danielle St. Laurent/FITNESS Magazine Think you know the drill on shaping up and slimming down? Think again. Find out how the latest science is rewriting the rule book on everything, including maximizing your fat burning and acing your running form, so you can finally reach your goal.

    Related: Make the Most of the Weight Machines at the Gym

    Should You Eat Before a Workout?
    Old school: Exercising on an empty stomach will burn more fat.
    New rule: Have a 150-calorie jump-start meal an hour or two before your workout.
    Ever force yourself through a workout, even though you were starving, simply because you thought you would tap into those fat stores faster? Next time, eat up. The latest research in the International Journal of Sports Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism found that exercisers who ate breakfast before treadmilling for 36 minutes had a significantly higher fat-burning rate for as long as 24 hours compared with those who ate post-workout, even though both groups consumed the same number of calories during the day.

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  • 7 Mental Tricks to Shed Pounds

    Brian Klutch/FITNESS MagazineBy Cynthia Sass, RD

    Keep your diet on track by avoiding everyday thinking that makes you fat. Here, the most common leaps in food logic and the simple attitude adjustments that will keep your diet -- and your weight -- in check.

    Related: 8 Simple Ways to Get Rid of Belly Bloat

    It's Free!
    Think about how often you eat food that you don't even want: the free cookie that came with your sandwich; the second helping of paella you accepted just to be polite; the unsatisfying fat-free ice cream that you kept dipping into each night because you didn't want to waste it. The trouble with such rationalizations is that they can add up to extra pounds. "These examples can total about 600 additional calories a day -- enough to cause a moderately active woman to gain five pounds a month if she doesn't burn them off," says Milton Stokes, RD, a spokesperson for the American Dietetic Association.

    THE LOGIC behind "It's Free!": When food's up for grabs, I might as well grab some!
    Freebies are

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  • Rule the Grocery Store: Your Healthy Shopping List

    Kristian Sekulic/Getty ImagesKristian Sekulic/Getty ImagesBy Jenna Birch

    Grabbing groceries can be a tough job, especially when you have to avoid the siren call of potato chips, sugary cereals, and all those candy bars by the checkout counter. To make life easier and keep your diet on track, use our list to fill your cart in a flash.

    Related: 5 Surprising Superfoods You Should Be Eating

    Chia Seeds
    Flax seeds normally garner the biggest buzz, but NYC-based RD Jaclyn London says chia seeds deserve special mention for their health benefits and easy ways to eat them. Chia is high in omega-3 fatty acids, which lower inflammation and decrease the risk of heart disease and many other chronic diseases. Expect to get major antioxidant benefits from this seed, too -- vitamins A, C, and E are all abundant, as well as the bone-building minerals iron and calcium. Chia is also high in fiber, which will keep you fuller longer to help you prevent weight gain. And here's why they trump flax: "They are less expensive and eliminate the work associated with

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  • Prescription for Danger: 7 Harmful Health Shortcuts

    Sarah Kehoe/FITNESS MagazineSarah Kehoe/FITNESS MagazineBy Jeannette Moninger

    You're busy. We get it. But cutting corners in an effort to do more in less time may do more harm than good. Here, seven common shortcuts that shortchange your health.

    Related: What Really Works (and Doesn't) to Get Rid of Cellulite

    You depend on the drive-through.
    Nope, not the fast-food kind. Drive-through pharmacies are convenient, but if you hit one every time you get an Rx filled, you lose the opportunity to talk to a pharmacist about side effects, generic options, and what to do if you miss a dose. Plus you may be at a higher risk for a mix-up: The distractions associated with window service contribute to about six errors per every 10,000 prescriptions dispensed annually, according to a recent study. That works out to more than two million medication mistakes a year. "Always check your prescription at the pharmacy, especially if you're using a drive-through," says lead study author Sheryl Szeinbach, PhD, a professor at Ohio State University College of

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  • 11 Healthy Ways to Detox

    Peter Tak/FITNESS MagazineBy Amy Ahlberg

    We're all looking to turn over a new leaf when it comes to our health, but going overboard with rigid resolutions or impossible regimens isn't going to net you lasting results. Instead, try these expert tips on how to really stop succumbing to some of your worst vices, whether you're hooked on sweets, junk food, late nights, or even harsh skin scrubs.

    Related: 4 Crash Diets-Tested

    Artificial Sweeteners
    Think artificial sweeteners are a diet "do" because they contain no calories or sugar? Think again. Studies suggest that regular consumption of artificial sweeteners like aspartame (found in diet sodas) may actually lead to weight gain, says Rachel Beller, RD, founder of the Beller Nutritional Institute. It turns out they can trigger our bodies to crave sweets and sugar. Beller advises cutting back gradually: "If you were using three packets in a cup of tea or coffee, for two weeks cut down to two packets, then cut down to just one packet for the next couple of weeks,

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  • Doctor Knows Best: 5 Health Tips from Top Doctors

    Courtesy of iStockPhotoBy Ted Spiker

    Along with all the disease stomping, heart reviving, baby delivering, and overall people healing they do, doctors have another full-time job: keeping themselves healthy. Scratch that -- keeping themselves healthiest. So instead of peeking into their medical practices, we looked at what they actually practice -- in their own lives. Use personal strategies and insider tips from the best medical pros to supercharge your health this year.

    Related: 5 Common Misdiagnoses

    How to Head Off a Headache
    Start double-fisting beverages the minute the throbbing begins. "I'll have a bottle of water in one hand and a coffee in the other," says Jennifer Ashton, MD, author of Your Body Beautiful. That's because many headaches are caused by dehydration, while caffeine is known to curb them. If the drinks don't alleviate the pounding in an hour, she pops ibuprofen.

    Take a Time Out

    "As soon as I feel an illness coming on, I go to sleep for at least nine hours," says Hilda

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  • Burn More in Less Time: Rev Your Reps

    James Michelfelder and Therese Sommerseth/FITNESS MagazineBy Jenna Autuori-Dedic

    "It's not how long but how strong and intense you're making your workouts," says celebrity trainer Jackie Warner, the author of 10 Pounds in 10 Days. "The mistake a lot of people make is doing too much of the wrong kind of cardio." Want to burn more calories in half the time of your regular routine? Incorporate these speedy fat-melting strategies at your next sweat session.

    Related: Jackie Warner's Crunch-Free Ab Exercises

    The Plan
    Get set to sweat and sculpt with Jackie Warner's 18-minute cardio acceleration session. Complete this routine three times and you're guaranteed to need a towel when you're done.

    0 to 5 minutes

    Do 15 reps of each of these moves:
    15-pound-dumbbell squat: Hold a dumbbell in each hand with arms by sides and palms in, then squat.

    10-pound-dumbbell lunge: Hold a dumbbell in each hand with arms by sides and palms in, then step right foot forward, bending right knee 90 degrees. Return to standing with feet together; repeat with left leg.

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