Blog Posts by FITNESS Magazine

  • Your Post-Baby Body Timeline

    Danielle St. Laurent/Fitness MagazineBy Kelley Heyworth

    A week-by-week guide to what's going on in your body after pregnancy.

    Related: The Truth About Your Body After Baby

    Immediately after childbirth: You're 9 to 12 pounds lighter now that you're no longer carrying a 6- to 8- pound baby, 1 or 2 pounds of placenta weight, and 2 pounds of blood and amniotic fluid.

    Two to three days: Up to 80 percent of women experience baby blues, feelings of loneliness, sadness, and fear that they won't be able to do a good job. While perfectly normal, if your blues don't go away or they get worse, tell your doctor. You could be experiencing postpartum depression, which can be serious.

    Three days:
    Your breast milk should come in by now. If you're not breastfeeding, your breasts will start to feel less full and you'll stop producing milk in about a week.

    10 days: Lochia, discharge resulting from shedding of excess blood and tissue from your uterus, which begins soon after childbirth, will lighten in volume and color.

    Three weeks:
    Your

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  • The Truth About Antioxidants

    Peter Ardito/Fitness MagazinePeter Ardito/Fitness MagazineBy the editors of FITNESS Magazine

    Should you take Vitamin E? What's the best source of Vitamin C? What are flavonoids anyway? We've got the answers.

    Good or Bad?
    Amazing. Miraculous. Lifesaving. Until recently, these were just some of the superlatives used to describe the disease-fighting compounds called antioxidants. And health-food-store hucksters weren't the only ones spouting them either. Top scientists at Harvard, Penn State, Tufts and other institutions issued a slew of studies showing that antioxidants could work wonders by neutralizing free radicals-wayward oxygen-carrying molecules that damage cells, leading to cancer, heart disease, memory loss, even wrinkles. Soon it seemed like everyone from your internist to your Aunt Tillie was popping vitamin E pills and drinking gallons of green tea. Then the reports turned unfavorable, even scary. One study showed that vitamin E supplements, once touted as a potent weapon against heart disease, had no benefit. Another trial

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  • "Why I Gave Up My Breasts"

    Carly Ries/Fitness MagazineCarly Ries/Fitness MagazineAs told to Andrea Buchanan

    When Margaret W. Smith -- mother, wife, soldier, and marathoner -- had a double mastectomy at age 29 as a preemptive strike against cancer, she chose not to reconstruct. She says it was the smartest decision she ever made.

    Related: How to Do a Breast Self-Exam

    Margaret's Story
    I always had big boobs. I would wear two sports bras and my breasts would still bounce when I ran.

    That changed on June 2, 2009. I walked into the army's Walter Reed Medical Center with D cups that morning; by afternoon I was flat chested, wrapped in gauze and sobbing. The loss was tremendous. But mostly I felt overwhelming relief; a physical and emotional burden had been lifted.

    For 17 years I'd been carrying around breast cancer baggage. My experience with the disease began in sixth grade. While other kids were snickering at the word boobs, I had to face the harsh reality that my mother had lost one of hers. I would get so embarrassed whenever I spotted her on the sidelines at my

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  • 7 Ways to Stop Your Achy, Breaky Back Pains

    Gabrielle Revere/Fitness MagazineGabrielle Revere/Fitness MagazineBy Jeannette Moninger

    Are you in a world of pain? You're not alone. Four in five people suffer from an achy, breaky back. Here are the surprising culprits and how to feel better fast.

    Related: Minor Ache or Major Problem? 6 Warning Signs to Pay Attention To

    Back breaker: You're a screen queen.
    Nine hours -- that's how long the average person spends hunched over or slouched in front of a screen each day. A Temple University study suggested that increased texting on our latest tech obsessions -- smartphones and tablets -- is creating more aches and pains in our shoulders, necks, and backs. "It's important to take breaks, do neck exercises, and occasionally hold your phone or tablet out in front of you," says Deborah Venesy, MD, a doctor of physical medicine and rehabilitation at the Cleveland Clinic Center for Spine Health. For a simple neck reliever, hold your head for 10 seconds in each of the following positions: forward, back, left, and right. Repeat this five times a day.

    Sitting

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  • Take-It-Off Tricks: Burn More Calories at Every Workout

    Reggie Casagrande/Fitness MagazineReggie Casagrande/Fitness MagazineBy the Editors of FITNESS Magazine

    Skipped a few workouts? You may need to boost the calorie burn on your next workout. Our experts have tips and tricks to help you burn more calories the next time you lace up your sneakers.

    Related: 10 Tone-Up Tweaks to Get a Better Burn

    Your Workout: Power Walking
    If you normally power walk: 3.5 mph pace = 243 calories/hour

    Then add... A Weighted Vest Carrying the extra load requires more calories per step but won't alter your form, like carrying dumbbells can, trainer Jari Love says. We found one for $70 at walkvest.com.

    Bonus Burn: 45 more calories/hour

    Related: Walking Workout: Get a Firmer Butt in 30 Minutes

    Your Workout: Running on the Treadmill

    If you normally run on the treadmill: 6 mph pace = 640 calories/hour

    Then add...
    An Incline Alternate 5 minutes running flat and 10 minutes running on a 3.5 percent to 6.5 percent incline, maintaining the same speed throughout, trainer Keli Roberts says.

    Bonus Burn:
    74 more calories/hour

    Related:

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  • How to Prevent 3 Common Workout Injuries

    Peter Ardito/Fitness MagazinePeter Ardito/Fitness MagazineBy the Editors of FITNESS Magazine

    On top of taking it slow (don't up your total mileage by more than 10 percent every three weeks), reduce your injury risk with these tips from Luke Humphrey, owner of Hanson's Coaching Services in Lake Orion, Michigan.

    Related: Injury-Proof Your Shoes

    Ouch! Shin Splints

    The culprit: Tight calves -- as they get stronger, they also get tighter. This often strains tendons and muscles along the sides of the legs, causing tendinitis.

    The fix: Stretch your calves after every workout. Stand in front of a wall, feet hip-width apart. Step right leg forward (knee bent, left leg straight), place palms on wall, and lean forward. Hold for 30 seconds; switch legs and repeat.

    Related: 7 Common Causes of Back Pain and Easy Solutions

    Ouch! Plantar Fasciitis
    The culprit: The plantar fascia, a band of tissue along the bottom of the foot. If overstretched, tiny tears can develop, causing inflammation.

    The fix: Roll a golf ball with the bottom of your foot for 5 to 10

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  • 5 Minutes to a Better Body

    Karen Pearson/Fitness MagazineKaren Pearson/Fitness MagazineBy Nicole Gray

    Your best workout starts in the locker room. Spending a few minutes calming your mind and reviewing your routine boosts your motivation and endurance and primes your body to burn calories and build muscle. Get the most out of your exercise plan by following these steps.

    Related: Get Fitter, Firmer, Faster! 18 Fitness Shortcuts

    Step 1: Breathe deeply while you change.
    If you're rushing to the gym to make a class or squeeze in a workout, you're usually taking quick, shallow breaths by the time you get there, which increases muscle tension and anxiety. "As you undress, start breathing in through the nose and exhaling fully through your mouth," says Mark T. Cuatt, assistant general manager at Club Fit in Jefferson Valley, New York. Taking deeper breaths speeds up oxygen delivery to -- and carbon dioxide elimination from -- your muscles, increasing energy levels and helping you think more clearly.

    Related: The Ultimate Lunch-Hour Workout

    Step 2: Drink some water.
    Research

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  • Fittest Women of Fall TV

    By Marianne Magno



    These leading ladies make us laugh and cry, but they also get us motivated to get off the couch and on the treadmill. Learn about their workouts and fitness routines here.



    More from FITNESS Magazine:


    Madonna's Hard Candy Workout


    The Biggest Loser Host Alison Sweeney's Couch Workout


    Jillian Michaels' Amazing Arm Moves



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  • 5 Steps to a Good Night's Sleep

    Ned Frisk/Jupiter ImagesBy the editors of FITNESS Magazine

    We'll keep this short because we know you're exhausted. According to a recent poll by the National Sleep Foundation, 60 percent of women say they get a good night's sleep just a few days a week or less, and nearly half admit they're so beat that it interferes with daily activities. "We live in a 24-7 society with a huge amount of pressure and commitments," says Helene A. Emsellem, MD, medical director of the Center for Sleep & Wake Disorders in Chevy Chase, Maryland, and author of Snooze...Or Lose! "It's very easy to sacrifice sleep time for other things we think are more important."

    Then there are all those nights we can't nod off, no matter how hard we try. Research shows that women's sleep tends to be disrupted during menstruation, pregnancy, and perimenopause. Women are also more likely than men to suffer from insomnia (about 7 out of 10 women reported having it in a recent poll). Given all this, it's no wonder that the amount of money we spend

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  • 8 Ways to Burn More Fat, Faster

    Denise Crew/Fitness MagazineDenise Crew/Fitness MagazineBy Caroline Hwang

    News flash: You don't have to overhaul your life to work off mega calories. Here are our eight simple rules for squeezing the most out of your everyday routine to score the silhouette you've been sweating for.

    Related: Get a Firmer Butt in 30 Minutes

    Rule #1: Be an early bird to get the workout.
    Lace up first thing and you'll increase your odds of exercising today threefold. A study of 500 people at the Mollen Clinic, a preventive medicine and wellness center in Scottsdale, Arizona, found that 75 percent of those who worked out in the morning did so regularly, compared with just half the afternoon exercisers and a quarter of the post-work crowd. "At the beginning of the day, you have the fewest excuses for skipping exercise," says clinic founder Arthur Mollen, DO. Not waking up early enough, of course, is the main one. "Limit using the snooze button to only five minutes so that you don't fall into a deep sleep again," Dr. Mollen advises. Bonus! You'll go to work

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