Blog Posts by FITNESS Magazine

  • 8 Simple Ways to Get Rid of Belly Bloat

    Aaron Goodman/FITNESS MagazineAaron Goodman/FITNESS MagazineBy Ginny Graves

    Either your jeans shrank or your belly grew, and chances are it's the latter. You're exercising and eating right, so what's up with the bloating? Sometimes the culprit is obvious (hello, Aunt Flo and last night's burrito!), but other times your healthy habits are the cause. Read on for five surprising reasons your belly can balloon -- plus advice on how to deflate it fast.

    Related: 6 Foods That Fight Off Belly Bloat

    Tummy Puffer: Downing Fluids Before Your Workout
    It's important to drink plenty of fluids when it's hot out to prevent dehydration, especially when you exercise. Also, steadily sipping water encourages healthy digestion by keeping food moving through your system, says Christie Achenbach, RD, a dietitian in Destin, Florida, who specializes in nutrition for exercise. But chugging too much water before your workout makes your belly swell.

    Deflate-it fix: To avoid that sloshy, overfull feeling, drink about 16 to 24 ounces of water one to two hours

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

    Alex Palombo/FITNESS MagazineAlex Palombo/FITNESS MagazineBy Jessica Girdwain

    It was a seemingly normal workout: a high-powered circuit of pull-ups, push-ups, and squats. "Difficult, yes, but done in 20 minutes," says Shari Becht, a 40-year-old chef in Highland Ranch, Colorado. Seventy-two hours later she knew something was seriously wrong. "I couldn't believe how big and heavy my arms looked," she says. They were so swollen and sore she could barely straighten them, and her fingers tingled. Worried, Shari rushed to her doctor, who did blood work. "The next afternoon, I got a call saying, 'We have a hospital bed waiting for you,'" she remembers.

    Shari was diagnosed with exertional rhabdomyolysis, a condition brought on by intense activity in which muscle fibers break down and release electrolytes and proteins into the bloodstream. One of the proteins, myoglobin, can occur in such high concentrations that it overwhelms the kidneys, which can lead to kidney failure or death. Shari spent three days in the hospital hooked up to a saline IV

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  • Rev Up Your Life: 6 Ways to Bust Out of a Life Rut

    Jeff Olson/FITNESS MagazineJeff Olson/FITNESS MagazineBy Joanne Chen

    One minute you're happily zooming along, delivering killer presentations at work, letting loose at girls' night out. Heck, you're even loving the butt-kicking new boot camp class you just started. Things are good. And then, suddenly, bam: You feel stuck. Your job is the same old same old day after day. The weekends are a laundry list of chores and obligations. You have to force yourself to do your workout, and every minute of It is a slog. Don't despair. We've got the ultimate guide to busting your six biggest ruts and firing up your mojo. Read on and recharge!

    Related: 18 Free Apps That Make Life Easier

    "I've hit a weight-loss plateau, and now my scale won't budge."
    Once you drop pounds, your body becomes more efficient at burning calories, which makes losing more weight difficult. The fix: Tweak your workout.

    Turn up the burn. "Go faster, not longer," says trainer Michael Torres, a performance development coach and the founder of Shift Performance

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  • Below the Surface: How Surfing Helped Me Balance My Emotions

    Joseph Montezinos/FITNESS MagazineJoseph Montezinos/FITNESS MagazineBy Anna Davies

    As a kid on a summer swim team, I never wanted to be in the final relay. That was the last event of the night, after the sun had slipped past the horizon. My coach would push me onto the dock, where I would gaze down at the murky green water, trying to psych myself up for the race.

    But as soon as the starting gun sounded, I would dive in, and by the time I kick-kick-stroked to the surface, I wasn't thinking about the cold anymore. And that's why I loved swimming. Once I began moving, everything in the outside world stopped mattering.

    When my mom passed away unexpectedly from lymphoma when I was 28, it felt like the dive but without the surfacing.

    Related: Friendly Competition: How Our Inner Rivals Threatened Our Relationship

    Growing up, the water had been my refuge. In my turbulent adolescence, my mom had even made a rule: I couldn't complain about school or friend stuff until after swim practice. Normally, a hard two-hour workout of swim drills would be

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  • Why so Tired?

    Sarah Kehoe/FITNESS MagazineSarah Kehoe/FITNESS MagazineBy Hallie Levine Sklar

    You're overbooked and overworked. Between your job, your family, your fitness routine and all the to-dos on your list, it's no wonder you're tired sometimes (or, um, all the time). But if you feel as if you're running on empty most days and find that getting more sleep hasn't helped, you may have an underlying health problem, says Molly Cooke, MD, the president of the American College of Physicians. Here, six surprising conditions that can leave you drained.

    Related: The All-Day Energy Guide

    You need more vitamin D.
    Up to 40 percent of us are deficient in D, the vitamin that protects against osteoporosis and several autoimmune diseases and may also help fight cancer and high blood pressure. "You have vitamin D receptors in your muscles and in almost every organ of your body, including your heart and brain," explains Sue Penckofer, PhD, a professor at the School of Nursing at Loyola University in Chicago. If you're low in it, you may have no energy.

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  • Don't Go There: How My Weight Became a Non-Issue in My Relationship

    Brian Finke/Gallery StockBrian Finke/Gallery StockBy Paula Derrow

    A few months ago my husband and I slept in separate beds, the first time in our two-year marriage. (Sleep isn't exactly the right word, since I didn't get much of it.) The cause: a spat about my weight, never an easy subject, and less easy lately because I had gained more than 15 pounds since we'd gotten hitched.

    Related: Living Large: How I Learned to Love My Body

    Earlier in the evening, I'd been complaining to him about a nutritionist who had recommended I forgo wheat, dairy, and carbs of any kind. Me, I'm a carbs girl -- I've never met a plate of pasta I didn't like. "I'm not sure I can do this," I told Randy, as we sat at the bar of a local restaurant and I picked at my semi-wilted salad, dressing on the side, croutons moved to his plate. "I think it makes more sense for me to just eat less of everything and exercise more, don't you think?" I was expecting support, but instead my husband said this: "Well, clearly what you've been doing hasn't been working

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  • Meet the ‘Real-Girl’ Barbie That’s Ready to Hit the Toy Market

    By Samantha Shelton, additional reporting by Jordan Clifford

    photo: Lammily.comLast July, Nickolay Lamm, a 25-year-old artist and researcher, created a digital rendering of what Barbie would look like if she were modeled after an average 19-year-old woman, based on measurements from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The result: a shorter, shapelier-looking doll image that went viral. We fell in love with the new version as quickly as you did, which highlighted that average is, in fact, beautiful. "I simply wanted to show that a doll like Barbie can look good with typical body proportions," says Lamm.

    FITNESS fans had mixed reviews - some of you loved the idea of creating a more realistic-looking doll, while others thought the whole concept silly. "I did play with Barbie growing up, but I didn't strive to become her," said one reader. "I saw her as more of a friend, not a sexual image that I need to become."

    Regardless of whether or not you thought the idea to be the next genius step in

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  • The Top 10 Germ Spots in Your House

    Courtesy of Image SourceCourtesy of Image SourceBy Melissa Romero

    When we get sick, we often blame it on our coworkers or that stranger on our commute who coughed and didn't cover his mouth. But the culprit may actually be found at home -- specifically in the toothbrush holder, on the kitchen countertop, or in that reusable bag you've been toting around. Find out the germiest spots in your home below so you can start feeling better today.

    Related: The Germs at the Gym

    Kitchen Sponges
    The very tool that scrubs away the gunk and grime from our dishes is the dirtiest item in the household, according to a study conducted by NSF International, a public health and safety organization. Researchers found traces of coliform, bacteria that contain both salmonella and E. coli, in 75 percent of the sponges tested. Why so dirty? Germs thrive in moist and warm environments, and sponges in particular have plenty of nooks and crannies where bacteria can multiply.

    Clean up: Microwave your sponges for two minutes every day and replace

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  • 8 Pressure Points for Fast Relief

    Darren Braun/FITNESS MagazineDarren Braun/FITNESS MagazineBy Amy Pavlik

    A hangover courtesy of too many tequila shots. Sinus pressure that feels like a semi just ran over your face. Monthly cramps that come like clockwork. Let's face it: aches and pains are inevitable. But there's an alternative to popping a few pills. Applying pressure to certain points on your body can often go a long way toward alleviating pain. Read on for eight fixes for some common complaints.

    Related: Break the Headache Curse

    A Humbling Hangover
    When that fabulous girls' night out results in a horrible hangover, try pressing on the P6 acupressure point, says Dr. Mark Moyad, FITNESS advisory board member and Jenkins/Pokempner Director of Complementary and Alternative Medicine at the University of Michigan Medical Center. The point can be found three fingers down from the crease of the wrist on the palm side, and it is right in the middle between the tendons. "Applying pressure with the thumb from the other hand for several minutes and switching to the other

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  • Bounce Back After a Bad Night's Sleep

    Blaine Moats/FITNESS MagazineBy Nicole Yorio Jurick

    In case you've been living under a rock for the past 20 years (and if so, you're probably well rested, so this wouldn't apply to you), Americans need more sleep. Seven to nine hours is the sweet spot for waking up refreshed, and as anyone who has pulled a late-nighter with her Netflix queue knows, getting less than that can leave you groggy, cranky, and way worse. Just one night of insufficient shut-eye can slow your job performance, derail your gym routine, and even sabotage your relationships, new research shows. But worry not, weary eyes. We've pinpointed exactly what suffers when you're sleepy and how to sidestep those problems and feel wide awake.

    Related: 7 Shocking Facts About Sleep

    Your Waistline
    One bad night's sleep reduces the body's ability to process sugar the next day and leads to greater fat storage, a study in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism found. According to Amy Jamieson-Petonic, RD, a spokeswoman for the Academy of

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