Blog Posts by FITNESS Magazine

  • 6 Smart After Workout Snacks

    Laura Doss/Fitness MagazineLaura Doss/Fitness MagazineBy Lisa Kovalovich Whitmore

    Whether you work up a sweat in the morning or evening, chances are you grab a little bite before you hit the gym. A snack before you work out helps give you energy and stamina to go the distance. But did you know that eating a snack after you work out is even more important? "You want to make sure you feed your body to help repair muscle tissues and replenish glycogen stores [which are depleted after a strenuous workout]," says Kristin Reisinger, MS, RD, a sports nutritionist and competitive figure athlete based in New Jersey. Here, six top snacks to fuel your body post workout (Reisinger recommends chasing each of these snacks with 8-12 ounces of water).

    Protein Shake with Banana
    "After a workout, you want ample protein combined with a carbohydrate," says Reisinger. A protein shake made from whey protein, water, and half a banana is a great choice, since your body quickly turns it into energy.

    Recommended Serving Size: 2 scoops of whey protein powder

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  • The 5 Best Gym Machines for Women

    Cable TowerCable TowerBy Liz Neporent

    Make yourself a regular on this equipment and you'll speed up your metabolism while sculpting sexy muscles.

    How It Works
    Begin by doing one set on each machine, using a weight you can lift between 8 and 15 times. If you can breeze through all the repetitions, go slightly heavier; if you're shaking after the first few reps, lower the amount of weight. Take a 30-second break (no more!) between each exercise to give your body adequate time to recover. Aim to do the workout two or three times a week. After two weeks, do two sets on each machine; after one month, challenge yourself. Promise: no bulky muscles.

    The Payoff
    • You can bump up your metabolism by nearly 20 percent for at least two hours after your workout.
    • Studies show that circuit training twice a week may lower blood pressure and improve cardiovascular health.
    • It'll put you in a better mood. One recent study found that women who regularly lifted weights felt healthier and had a more positive body image.

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  • Body Proud: "What We Love About Our Bodies"

    Haley DidlerHaley DidlerAs told to Leslie Goldman

    A broad back, a big butt, chiseled arms -- embrace your strongest asset. Here four women reveal what they love most about their physique.

    My Strong Abs
    "Taking care of 200 horses keeps my abs flat and strong. No gym workout gives me the same satisfaction -- or results."-- Haley Didier, 24, assistant ranch manager

    More About Haley

    Haley Didier, 24, assistant ranch manager, Fort Collins, Colorado
    A typical day has me stacking and loading up to 30 bales of hay, cleaning animal pens, and hoisting massive garage doors. My abs are the first muscles I call on for every task: When riding a quarter horse at full speed across the prairie as I round up mares, I need to keep my core contracted and my back straight to maintain my balance and follow the horse's motion. Animals can sense when you're in control. If I were wobbling around with a weak center of gravity, the horses wouldn't have any confidence in me and might even try to buck me.

    Before this job, I

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  • Go Green: Spring Superfoods to Add to Your Diet

    Blaine Moats/Fitness MagazineBlaine Moats/Fitness MagazineBy Amy Ahlberg
    It's easy to be green these days. Just make sure you add the springy shade to your plate, as well. From fruits to veggies and more these superfoods are stocked with perks for your health and weight.

    Related: Top 10 Superfoods for Women

    Kale
    This leaf is quickly rising in popularity, and for good reason. "Kale is a nutritional powerhouse with tons of cancer-fighting properties, as well as 3g of fiber and 4g of protein per two-cup serving," says Rachel Beller, RD, founder of the Beller Institute and nutritionist for The Biggest Loser season 13. Add on to its résumé an exceptional source of health-boosting chlorophyll, calcium, iron, and vitamins A and C and it's clear this veggie is here to stay. It's also versatile, says Amy Chaplin, vegetarian chef and author of the blog Coconut & Quinoa. "I love it raw in salads, steamed, marinated, baked into chips, sautéed, or blended into soups."

    Peas
    Don't let the size fool you. Peas are often overlooked as a source of nutrition,

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  • 6 Health Lies Trainers Tell You

    Amy Postle/Fitness MagazineAmy Postle/Fitness MagazineBy Peg Rosen

    That "helpful" advice you hear at the gym may actually hurt you. We'll help you distinguish the truth from the B.S.

    Related: Sweatiquette: Answers to Common Exercise Questions

    "Heat and vigorous exercise help you sweat out toxins."
    You aren't likely to purify your body of much of anything by sweating, whether in a hot yoga class or sizzling sauna, because all that's in perspiration is water, salt, and a smattering of electrolytes, according to Rachel Vreeman, MD, author of Don't Cross Your Eyes...They'll Get Stuck That Way! "Sweat glands sit in the skin and aren't connected to other systems in the body, so it makes no sense that they would eliminate waste," she says. "The only role of perspiration is to keep us cool." The body does a pretty good job of getting rid of what it doesn't need, largely through the liver, kidneys, and digestive tract. There's nothing special you have to do to help, other than eat well, stay hydrated, and keep fit so those organs can functionRead More »from 6 Health Lies Trainers Tell You
  • Eat Right for Your Body Type

    The Chili PepperThe Chili PepperBy Kristen Wolfe Bieler

    Fat is like real estate: It's all about location. Whether you're an apple (round in the middle), a pear (bigger on the bottom), or a chili pepper (narrow all over), losing weight is not one size fits all. "Your body type is the key to figuring out the best diet and exercise program," says Marie Savard, MD, an ABC News medical contributor. Find your shape along with the eating plan that will help you make the most of it.

    Related: Flattering Workout Clothes for Every Shape

    The Chili Pepper

    Chili peppers have a narrow shape with no real difference between the size of their hips, waists, and shoulders. When peppers gain weight, it's usually around the middle, putting them at an increased risk for heart disease and diabetes, Dr. Savard says.

    The Chili Pepper Diet
    This plan is about eating for health. "Peppers do well on a diet that incorporates healthy fats, which may decrease the risk of cardiovascular problems," says Neva Cochran, RD, a dietitian and nutrition

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  • 11 Mind, Body, Spirit Mistakes You Might Be Making

    Laura Doss/Fitness MagazineLaura Doss/Fitness MagazineYour mind and spirit may be the most overlooked-and under appreciated-components of your well-being. But research has shown that nourishing them not only lowers stress, lifts mood and improves relationships but can also protect your health. "Mind, body and spirit are interdependent, so if you take care of your spirit, your body and mind will reap the rewards," says Linda Sapadin, Ph.D., a psychologist and author of It's About Time! The Six Styles of Procrastination (Penguin, 1997). "And if you nurture your body, your mind and spirit."

    Related: 24 Ways to Boost Your Energy and Mood

    Body
    1. You stay indoors all day
    Lack of sunlight, even during summer, can leave you lethargic and depressed. Just 20 minutes is enough to brighten your outlook, so if you work inside, take a brisk walk outside at lunch.

    2. You've banned chocolate.
    "Chocolate stimulates mood-enhancing brain chemicals like serotonin," says Debra Waterhouse, author of Why Women Need Chocolate (Hyperion, 1995). The amount in

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  • Eat like an Olympian: Diet Tips from Marathoner Kara Goucher

    Kara GoucherKara GoucherBy Sara Wells

    Elite runner Kara Goucher has worked with a number of sports nutritionists, but these days she's more of DIY-type when it comes to making sure she's fueling properly for her intense twice-daily runs and workouts. "Everybody is different, so the key is discovering what works best for you," she explained. "For me, that took some trial and error, but I think I finally figured it out." Here, her top strategies for eating right -- whether you're running, racing, or hitting the gym after work.

    Related: The Top 7 Foods for Runners

    1. Change your view: "After I finished the Boston Marathon [in 2009], a reporter asked if I was going to eat whatever I wanted for the rest of the week. The truth is, I eat what I want every day, so this week won't really be any different. I love food, but I don't look at it as a reward for a hard workout; it's fuel to help me run harder and recover faster."

    2. Find what works: "When I worked with the nutritionist before the New York Marathon she had

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  • The Best Natural PMS Remedies

    Fitness MagazineFitness MagazineBy Bethany Gumper

    TTYL! BRB! LOL! In a sea of cutesy acronyms, PMS does not fit in. In fact, these three letters can be downright scary. Studies show that at least 85 percent of women experience premenstrual syndrome symptoms, which can include mood swings, breast tenderness, cravings, fatigue and irritability before their period. The good news: "It's absolutely possible to manage PMS symptoms with lifestyle changes," says ob-gyn Christiane Northrup, MD, author of Women's Bodies, Women's Wisdom. We've got four easy strategies to help you feel good all month long. Period.

    Related: What to Eat for an Easier Period

    PMS plan of attack: Maximize your magnesium intake.
    Researchers at the University of Reading in England found that supplementing with magnesium reduced water retention and bloating. "I recommend 400 to 800 milligrams of magnesium per day," says Dr. Northrup. You can also add Epsom salt (aka magnesium sulfate, available at most drugstores) to a hot bath, and you'll absorb it

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  • Celebrity Detox Diets You Should Try–and Avoid

    Fitness MagazineFitness MagazineBy Jocelyn Voo

    So-called detox diets, like the Master Cleanse, are seen as a quick way to lose weight, especially among celebrities like Oprah and Gwyneth Paltrow. But what is a detox diet? Is it a healthy way to cleanse your body, or a dangerous way to lose weight? FITNESS took a hard look at a few popular detox diets, assessing each one based on the nutritional value, liver-cleansing value, and their ability to help you start a long-term healthy eating habit. Read on for our findings.

    Related: 11 Healthy, Natural Ways to Detox

    Master Cleanse
    Also known as: The Lemonade Diet, The Maple Syrup Diet

    Who created it: Stanley Burroughs, an alternative health enthusiast and author of The Master Cleaner, published in the 1950s. Burroughs, however, was convicted of practicing medicine without a license in 1960, and faced other criminal charges in 1984, including illegal sale of cancer treatments and second-degree felony murder. The latter charge stemmed from Burroughs treating a man for

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