Blog Posts by FITNESS Magazine

  • Run Strong! Hill Workouts to Run Stronger and Faster

    Jeff Olson/FITNESS MagazineBy Wendy Giman

    Tackling hills can pump up your pace, even when you're cruising down them. Uphill and downhill training helped runners shave their race times by 2 percent (for example, more than two minutes off a 1:50 half-marathon) thanks to increased leg strength, according to a study from Auckland University of Technology in New Zealand. You too can go turbo with these hill-mastering tips from Darren De Reuck, the head of running for Boulder Coaching in Colorado.

    Related: The FITNESS Half-Marathon Training Guide

    The Plan
    You don't need to aim for supersteep to reap benefits, Darren De Reuck says. Look for a hill with a long, steady incline (a slight three- to five-degree slope), or jump on a treadmill to replicate his runs below.

    In the Park
    0 to 5:00 Warm-up (Do jumping jacks, high knees, butt kicks, then an easy run.)
    5:00 to 9:00 Strides (Pick up the pace for 30 seconds, then slow to an easy run/walk for 30 seconds. Do 4 sets total.)
    9:00 to 11:00 Steady run uphill
    11:00 to

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  • FITNESS 2013 Gear Guide: The Best Sports Bras

    Ture Lillegraven/FITNESS MagazineTure Lillegraven/FITNESS MagazineBy Jenna Autuori-Dedic and Lauren Cardarelli

    The jiggle is up. We tested more than 75 styles to find these top sports bras that banish the bounce -- wherever your workout takes you.

    Related: Your Sports Bra Fitting Guide

    Pounding the Pavement
    When you hit the ground running, it's with a force two and a half times your body weight. No wonder a third of marathoners in a study from St. Mary's University College in London complained of breast pain during training. Finding the right sports bra squelches that ache in 85 percent of women with the complaint.
    A/B cup: Compression-style The North Face Stow-N-Go II racerback with front pocket ($40, thenorthface.com)
    A/B cup: Asics Soriada pullover bra with peekaboo cutout in back ($46, asics.com)
    C/D cup: Lululemon Athletica All-Sport compression bra with crisscross back ($52, lululemon.com)
    C/D cup: Breast-encapsulating Adidas Supernova Racer bra with removable padding ($40, adidas.com)
    DD+ cup: Saucony Curve Crusader bra with

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  • 6 Foods that Speed Up Your Metabolism

    Darren Keith/FITNESS MagazineDarren Keith/FITNESS MagazineBy Amy Paturel

    The best news we've heard all year: Chocolate boosts your metabolism. When we combed through the research, the sweet treat wasn't the only surprise standout. While calories are the key to diet success (or failure), certain ingredients can help speed up your slim-down.

    "Foods stimulate the body to produce hormones," says Jonny Bowden, PhD, the author of The 150 Healthiest Foods on Earth. "Some of those hormones coax your metabolism into fat-burning mode, and others make it sluggish and more apt to store fat." These six superfoods will rev up your fat-burning engine.

    Dark Chocolate
    A particularly sweet study found that daily consumption of roughly one and a half ounces of dark chocolate -- about the amount in a Hershey's bar -- reduced the stress hormone cortisol. (Stress has been linked to a sluggish metabolism.) Researchers suspect that certain compounds in chocolate, like caffeine and theobromine, may be responsible. Another reason to indulge: A study in the Archives

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  • Burn More Calories in Less Time

    Alexa Miller/FITNESS MagazineBy Jenna Autuori-Dedic

    Minis are in! "Shorter, harder workouts may actually be better for revving your metabolism than longer sessions," says trainer Jessica Smith, a co-author of The Thin in 10 Weight-Loss Plan. "You'll continue to burn calories at a higher rate long after you're done exercising." Here's how to maximize the minutes you think you don't have.

    Related: Boost Energy, Blast Fat Fast!


    How to Do It
    Split it up. Instead of a 40-minute slog, think of your daily cardio as four 10-minute sessions or two 20-minute workouts. "You net the benefits no matter when you get it done," Smith says.

    Move before you make excuses. "Bang out a routine right after you wake up," Smith says. Set your alarm 20 minutes earlier than usual; not only will you not notice the missed sleep, but you'll also get an energy buzz from the exercise.

    Push yourself. When your workout is short -- 20 minutes or less -- "going all out is much more doable, and that's what will really make your cardio count,"

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  • How to Conquer Your Most Common Fears

    Karen Pearson/FITNESS MagazineBy Nicci Micco

    People tell me that I come across as a confident person. It's true that I have no trouble speaking up at meetings, mingling at parties, even asking for a raise. But those close to me know that the mere idea of navigating a car through Manhattan (or any large city) makes my heart race and my palms sweat. And that I don't go into the ocean past my ankles because, well, sharks are there, waiting. To eat me.

    Some people are less prone to panic than I am -- because of their genes or experience or, more likely, a combination of the two -- but everyone experiences fear. This universal emotion registers in a part of the brain called the amygdala, which detects danger and dispatches a "code red" message that results in a cascade of physical symptoms: a racing heart, dizziness, shortness of breath, a dry mouth. You're ready to run. Or fight. Or maybe you freeze.

    All three responses served our ancestors, who needed to evade and escape predators. Problem is, our scary situations

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  • The FITNESS Healthy Grilling Guide

    Hill Street Studios/FITNESS MagazineBy K. Aleisha Fetters

    Guys aren't the only ones who like to play with fire. Girls can man the grill with the best of them. And we aren't just plopping frozen patties and hot dogs on a bed of charcoals. Anyone can do that. No, we are getting straight-up culinary -- and healthy -- in our backyards.

    So whether you're a newbie or queen of the cookout, here's how to cook like one lean, mean, grill-master machine.

    Related: 10 Guilt-Free Recipes for the Grill

    Learn the Lingo
    First things first: You need to know what in the world you're talking about. Here are the top must-know cookout terms you probably don't know from celebrity chef Diane Dimeo, champion of Food Network's Chopped. Throw a few out to your friends and you'll sound seriously legit.

    Bark: Any outside portion of meat that becomes dark, crispy, and seared when cooked at high temps.
    Brine: A salt and water mixture for soaking meat prior to cooking to help it retain its moisture and preserve it.
    Black and Blue: Meat that

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  • Sweat: 7 Reasons it Does a Body Good

    Denise Crew/FITNESS MagazineBy Ayren Jackson-Cannady

    Whether you're breaking a sweat at the gym or just walking down the street on a scorching day (Guilty!), you may be giving your health a huge boost. Here, experts dish on the mental, physical and emotional benefits caused by a little perspiration.

    Related: The 7 Worst Health Habits Ever


    Sweat Side Effect #1: Eases Pain
    Got a kink in your neck that won't quit (and no one around to massage it out)? Working up a sweat just might soothe the soreness, experts say. "Exercise stimulates neurochemical pathways in the brain, resulting in the production of endorphins that act as natural painkillers," says James Ting, M.D., a sports medicine physician at Hoag Orthopedic Institute in Irvine, CA.

    Sweat Side Effect #2: Blasts Zits

    "When you sweat, your pores open and release the grit and grime that has built up inside of them," says Whitney Bowe, M.D., a dermatologist in Briarcliff Manor, NY. Caveat: Don't just sweat and go. All of that dirt from your pores accumulates

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  • The 10 Best Foods for Flat Abs

    Kate Sears/FITNESS MagazineKate Sears/FITNESS MagazineBy Julie Meyer, RD

    Try these ab-flattening foods to boost your abs routine's effectiveness, control belly bloat, and maintain a healthy metabolism. Here, the top 10 foods for flat abs.

    Related: The FITNESS Healthy Grill Guide

    Almonds

    These delicious and versatile nuts contain filling protein and fiber, not to mention vitamin E, a powerful antioxidant. They're also a good source of magnesium, a mineral your body must have in order to produce energy, build and maintain muscle tissue, and regulate blood sugar. "A stable blood-sugar level helps prevent cravings that can lead to overeating and weight gain," says David Katz, MD, a professor at the Yale University School of Medicine. But what makes almonds most interesting is their ability to block calories. Research indicates that the composition of their cell walls may help reduce the absorption of all of their fat, making them an extra-lean nut.

    Try for: An ounce a day (about 23 almonds), with approximately 160 calories. An empty

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  • How to Recover from a Tough Workout

    Laura Doss/FITNESS MagazineLaura Doss/FITNESS MagazineBy Kristina Grish

    When Meghan Rabbitt, 32, was living in Boulder, Colorado, she couldn't get enough of the great outdoors -- biking, hiking, swimming, you name it. But so much opportunity for activity left her with regular aches and pains. "I was feeling so sore one day that I went to yoga to try to stretch myself out," she says. "And my instructor, ironically, started talking about how muscle inflammation is actually a gift; that achy feeling is our body's way of telling us to back off and let it heal so it can make us stronger. That one little gem has really changed the way I think about exercise soreness and inflammation. I now look at it as an important part of the process rather than something I can't wait to have end so I can get back to the gym."

    Most of us hear the word inflammation and images of swollen ankles, puffy knees, and ice packs quickly come to mind, followed by fears of being sidelined with strains, sprains, and other annoying injuries. But inflammation is also

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  • Strength Train Your Brain

    Ericka McConnell/FITNESS MagazineBy Joanna Chen

    I know what to do when my thighs get a little jiggly (hello, squats and lunges), but what about when the trouble zone in question is a little higher up -- like on top of my shoulders? I'm talking about my brain, which has gotten noticeably flabby in the past few months. Suddenly it was taking me several minutes to figure out how to cook Minute Rice. Names of celebrities spent more time on the tip of my tongue than rolling off it. "You know who I'm talking about, right?" I would ask my husband. "That actor in that hit movie.... That guy?"

    The one thing I did know: It was time for a brain-boosting intervention. So when I got an e-mail informing me that I had been selected to join the tens of millions of women and men who have plunked down money for the privilege of becoming a member of an online "brain gym," where I could play interactive games that are scientifically designed to sharpen the mind, I was intrigued.

    Turns out, most of the people who belong to these gyms

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