Blog Posts by FITNESS Magazine

  • 5-Minute Core Workout: Strong Abs and Back

    Ball SquatBall SquatBy Nancy LePatourel

    Sculpting your core will give you a beach-ready body and an edge on any outdoor sport. "Ab strength supports muscles and joints when you're golfing, swimming, or running outside," says Cathy Sassin, adventure racer and Intrafitt exercise performance specialist. Try this quickie workout from Sassin.

    Related: 5-Minute Workout: The Brazilian Butt Lift

    Ball Squat with Knee Lift
    Minutes 0:00-1:00
    Targets: Glutes, Hamstrings, Quadriceps, Core, Chest, Shoulders
    • Stand with feet shoulder-width apart, holding a weighted ball in front of chest.
    • Bend knees 90 degrees.
    • Hold for 2 counts.
    • Slightly straighten legs, shifting weight to left foot as you lift right knee to waist height and extend arms overhead (shown).
    • Return to start and complete 10 reps on each side.

    Single-Leg LungeSingle-Leg LungeSingle-Leg Lunge
    Minutes 1:00-2:00
    Targets: Glutes, Hamstrings, Quadriceps, Core
    • Stand in a lunge with left foot in front, knees bent and left thigh parallel to floor.
    • Lean forward from hip,

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  • 10 Tips to Love Your Summer Workout

    Laura Doss/Fitness MagazineLaura Doss/Fitness MagazineBy Hallie Levine Sklar

    The only problem with hot weather is that, well, it's so darn hot outside. Put the cool factor back into your workout routine with these tricks from top fitness pros:

    Related: Tips to Control and Reduce Sweat

    1. Adjust your body temperature
    Hop into a cold shower before your workout. A German study this year found that a pre-exercise cooldown improves performance in the heat -- probably because it lowers your heart rate as well as core and skin temperatures. Too chicken to try it? Even just cooling your neck or head with an ice pack may make a difference.

    2. Check the map
    Does your usual running route leave you broiling in the sun? Find a shady new one through the Road Runners Club of America (, which features running routes around the country via Google maps. You can also log on to, which offers a local parks forecast, a fitness comfort index, and an hourly forecast to help you figure out the best time of day to exercise.

    3. Keep tabs on

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  • Make Your Move! 5 No-Fail Motivation Tricks

    Cheyenne Ellis/Fitness MagazineCheyenne Ellis/Fitness MagazineBy Stephanie Dolgoff

    Ah, the sofa. It's soft and cozy, and its cushions have conformed perfectly to the shape of your butt. On any given day the decision to get up off it and exercise can be a tough one to make. To help you kick any workout rut, we culled the best motivational tricks from scientists as well as from fit women whose flab-to-fierce successes will inspire you.

    Related: More Ways to Bust Your Workout Rut

    Rule 1: Consider exercise as more ta-da, less to-do.

    "We always think we need to find willpower to do things we don't want to do, but what we really need to find is 'want power,'" says psychologist Kelly McGonigal, PhD, a lecturer at Stanford University and the author of The Willpower Instinct. In other words, to make exercise click, slap a mental sugarcoating on it. For Melissa Steinman, 28, of Findlay, Ohio, the incentive is her mission to raise money for the Arthritis Foundation, which has kept her running long after she lost about 70 pounds. Steinman, who has had

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  • 5 Ways to Up Your Skin Protection This Month

    Denise Crew/Fitness MagazineDenise Crew/Fitness MagazineBy Krista Bennett DeMaio

    How you apply sunscreen, the lifestyle choices you make, and even the foods you eat can determine how well your skin stands up to UV rays. To help boost your protection and reduce your risk of sunburn, wrinkles, and skin cancer, try these derm-approved moves.

    Related: Fast Fixes to Rehab Your Bad Habits

    Go for a Morning Run

    The early bird gets the worm -- and possibly a reduced risk for skin cancer, according to a study from the University of North Carolina. Based on preliminary findings, scientists believe that a protein responsible for DNA repair is more active in the a.m., which may mean that morning sun is far less likely to damage your skin. But this isn't an excuse to ditch the SPF: "Rays are strong enough to burn your skin even at dawn," says Jeanine Downie, MD, a dermatologist in Montclair, New Jersey.

    Account for Glare
    If you think you can skip the sunscreen just because you're sitting under an umbrella, think again. "Wearing a hat or

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  • How Healthy is Your Heart? 4 Easy Self-Checks

    Laura Doss/Fitness MagazineLaura Doss/Fitness MagazineBy Dimity McDowell

    You don't have to get your knee whacked with a rubber hammer or a vein poked with a needle to find out. Do these easy self-checks from the comfort of your own home. Then follow doctors' orders to boost your well-being -- no copay required.

    Related: More Self-Checks to Test Your Health

    1. Waist circumference
    Belly blubber is a time bomb. Women whose waist measures more than 35 inches have a 79 percent greater overall risk for dying from all causes, including heart disease and cancer, than those with a 28-inch or smaller waist. Place a tape measure around the widest part of your middle, usually right near your navel.

    > 35 inches = Poor
    32 to 35 inches = Fair

    Health Rx
    "Abs are mostly made in the kitchen," says Malissa Wood, MD, a cardiologist at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston. Nosh on seven to nine servings of fruit and veggies and three servings of whole grains daily and two weekly servings of omega-3-rich fish, such as salmon. Aim to get 30 grams of

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  • 10 U.S. Olympic Hotties in London

    If ogling were a sport, we'd definitely get the gold. Take a look at some of the hottest Olympic athletes who are already winners in our little black books.

  • 6 Ways to Get Happy, Healthy Feet

    Ericka McConnell/Fitness MagazineEricka McConnell/Fitness MagazineFrom the editors of FITNESS Magazine

    From strengthening to massaging, fixing blisters and even icky odor, we've got tips for taking care of your feet.

    Related: Post-Workout Feet Treats

    Help! What can I do about my sweaty feet?
    First, try spraying them with antiperspirant, and keep them bare (or in sandals) as often as possible. Choose leather shoes and absorbant cotton socks. "If that doesn't help,ask your doctor about Drysol, a prescription antiperspirant," suggests Mervyn Elgart, M.D., a clinical professor of dermatology at the George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences in Washington, D.C. Or try Drionic (from a device that uses a low battery current to temporarily plug sweat glands.

    I have bad foot odor, and nothing seems to help. Could I have some sort of fungus?
    It depends on what your feet look like. If you also have scaling or peeling on the soles or between your toes, you probably have athlete's foot -- the most common foot fungus,

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  • 7 Common Causes of Back Pain and Easy Solutions

    Fitness MagazineFitness 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: The Fit Girl's Guide to Common Exercise Pains

    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 all day is

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  • 8 Ways to Fix Your Summer Workout Body Bummers

    Amy Postle/Fitness MagazineAmy Postle/Fitness MagazineBy Leslie Goldman

    Don't let these 8 workout woes sabotage your summer fitness plans.

    There's nothing like the sweet relief of peeling off a sweat-soaked sports bra after a long outdoor workout. But those little red and white bumps that crop up along your bra line? Not so much. If the bumps are white or colorless and don't hurt, they're probably blocked sweat glands, says David J. Leffell, M.D., a professor of dermatology at the Yale School of Medicine and author of Total Skin: The Definitive Guide to Whole Skin Care for Life. Try airing out the area as much as possible, and alternate between racerback and tank styles to avoid irritating the same area of skin. If the bumps are red and tender, they're likely pimples; apply an OTC acne treatment with salicylic acid or benzoyl peroxide to dry them out, he says.

    Wet swimsuits, kayaks, sweaty gym shorts? They can irritate your vagina, says Melissa M. Goist, M.D., assistant professor of obstetrics and gynecology at The Ohio

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  • 9 Tips to Unleash Your Inner Winner

    Laura Doss/Fitness MagazineLaura Doss/Fitness MagazineBy Dana Hudepohl

    The road to winning isn't always pretty -- it can be downright uncomfortable at times -- but staying stagnant in a boring job, a bad relationship, or a workout rut is worse. When you have a nagging feeling telling you it's time for a new challenge, go for it. Use these research-backed strategies to help reach the winner's podium, whether you're aiming to change from microwave zapper to five-star chef or from couch potato to marathon runner.

    Related QUIZ: Are You Ready for a Change?

    Tip #1: Determine your gold medal.

    Jacqueline Depaul set her sights on modeling -- at age 38. "I felt uninspired with my life and needed a creative outlet," says Jacqueline, a salesperson for an engineering company. She read self-help books; volunteered as a model for charity events, photographers, and designers; took runway classes; studied nutrition; and began exercising five to six days a week. "I basically attacked my hobby," she says. At 42, she beat out 5,000 women in a 40-and-over

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