Blog Posts by FITNESS Magazine

  • Win the Cold War: 7 Ways to Boost Your Immune System

    Cheyenne Ellis/FITNESS MagazineCheyenne Ellis/FITNESS MagazineBy Sharon Liao

    Your virus-protection plan needs an upgrade, and no, we're not talking about the one for your computer or smartphone. Studies show that the average person comes down with a cold two to four times a year and that up to 20 percent of the population gets the flu. Fortunately, there are now more effective ways than ever to kick your immune system into high gear. Here's how to fine-tune your healthy habits to fend off any nasty germs that come your way.

    Related: 5 Foods That Fight Colds and Flu

    Stop the Sniffles
    Healthy habit: You load up on plenty of colorful fruits and vegetables.
    Power it up: Sure, vibrant-hued produce like kale and oranges have cold-fighting nutrients, but don't overlook their pale counterparts. White button mushrooms, for instance, can jump-start the body's natural killer cells, which attack cold and flu viruses, according to a study at Tufts University. "Mushrooms are abundant in a type of fiber, called beta-glucans, that can activate the

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  • Postcard from the Edge: How Skiing Taught Me to Take More Risks

    Alexa Miller/FITNESS MagazineAlexa Miller/FITNESS MagazineBy Claudia Lebenthal

    There are two types of expert skier: those who ski on the trails and those who ski off them. You could argue whether the latter are the more skilled, but there's no doubt that they are the more extreme. When I was growing up in New York City, family vacations to the resorts in New England consisted of sticking to the mountain trails. Venturing "off piste," or skiing backcountry, which is so popular now, was not something that ever occurred to us to do.

    Related: How to Winterize Your Run

    I've since become one of those skiers who ride the back side of the mountain, where the double black diamond trails are often unmarked and it's "proceed at your own risk." I graduated from tackling the tamer mountains in the East to skiing in the Rockies, picking up skills and savvy from resident pros along the way. My safety net is that I always go with a guide or locals who know the mountain, the conditions, where to ski, and where not to. Or at least it was until

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  • The Best Fitness and Diet Dating Sites

    Courtesy of PNCCourtesy of PNCBy Jocelyn Voo

    Does a picky eater mean a picky dater? For those who are strict about their (and their partner's) diet or fitness level, these dating sites make matchmaking a bit easier.

    Related: 10 First Dates to Leave a Lasting Impression

    For the Fitness Singles
    Dinner and drinks are a thing of the past. For those who think bonding over a run or in tree pose is more appealing, Fitness Singles ( may be more your speed. Free to sign up, the site claims it has over a hundred searchable categories, from bodybuilding to rock climbing. Talk about a date with a nice (rear) view!

    For Gluten-Free Dating
    If you're more concerned about whether your dinner contains wheat than whether the conversation is crashing, you might have more peace of mind starting here. Developed by two friends sharing gluten sensitivities (one with celiac disease, the other with gluten intolerance) and free to sign up, Gluten Free Singles ( is an online

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  • How the Scale Sabotages Your Sex Life

    Dorian Caster/FITNESS MagazineDorian Caster/FITNESS MagazineBy Dana Hudephol

    As Michelle Haynesworth struggled to shed 40 pounds after her first daughter was born five years ago, she lost something else instead -- her libido. "I didn't enjoy sex anymore," says Michelle, 35, now a student in Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania. "I did it only because I knew it would hurt my husband's feelings if I didn't." She always insisted on the missionary position, to hide her "jiggly" body beneath his, and she felt self-conscious every time he touched her stomach, thighs, or butt. "All that would go through my mind was, Let's get this over with so I can get some clothes back on," she recalls.

    Whenever newlywed Shawna Wolf's husband gives her a wanna-get-it-on glance, the 23-year-old music teacher in Strasburg, North Dakota, heads him off by suggesting they take their dogs for a walk. "I got in the best shape of my life for our wedding, but afterward I gained a few pounds, especially in my middle," she says. "My confidence is so zapped, I leave my shirt on

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  • Sochi Sneak Peek: 9 Things to Know About the 2014 Winter Games

    Courtesy of Getty ImagesCourtesy of Getty ImagesBy Amelia Pavlik

    Never heard of the Russian beach destination (yes, we said beach destination) until it was named host of the 2014 Winter Olympics? Get yourself up to speed -- we've put together a list of the top things you should know about this year's Winter Games and its host city by the sea.

    Related: 9 Female Athletes to Watch During the Winter Olympics

    Fact #1: It's a beach destination with a twist.
    When you think of Sochi, think Miami -- but near mountains. To Russians, Sochi is one of the largest beach resort towns in the country, says Svetlana Alimova, marketing and business development manager for Go To Russia Travel Inc., in Atlanta, Georgia. "It's located at the foot of the Caucasus Mountains, which makes Sochi a popular ski resort and unique for its combination of beach and ski vacations," Alimova says. So, ice events will be held near the coast, while everything snow-related will be held in the mountains at the town's ski resort, Krasnaya Polyana.

    Fact #2: There's backup

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  • Outsmart These 5 Diet Downfalls

    Bonnie Holland/FITNESS MagazineBonnie Holland/FITNESS MagazineBy Jan Sheehan

    Slow and steady wins the weight-loss race, right? Not according to a new study from the University of Florida, which found that people on plans that gave them a speedy initial drop were five times more likely to be 10 percent slimmer 18 months later than those who didn't accelerate their diet. "Not seeing results soon enough is the number-one reason women give up on weight-loss plans," notes Patricia Bannan, RD, author of Eat Right When Time Is Tight.

    Whoa there! Don't resign yourself to using the latest cleanse or juice fast just yet. Super-restrictive diets lack the nutrients you need, leaving you sluggish, weak, and starving. So what's the happy medium? A plan that targets your biggest diet downfall, allowing you to get slim quickly but safely. Try these easy, no-hunger strategies to outsmart every craving, and watch the post-holiday pudge melt away in record time.

    Related: How to Manage Post-Workout Cravings

    Diet Derailer: You're a carbs queen.
    Maybe man

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  • The Top 7 Olympic Rivalries

    Courtesy of Getty ImagesCourtesy of Getty ImagesBy K. Aleisha Fetters

    Friendly competition is one thing, but these Olympic-grade, tabloid-worthy rivalries take things to a whole new level.

    Related: Olympic Hopefuls to Watch This Winter

    Nancy Kerrigan and Tonya Harding
    The Rivalry: Nancy Kerrigan and Tonya Harding had skated together on the U.S. team for years, but it was obvious each wanted gold, especially as time progressed and Harding's career became marked by increasingly more blunders -- typically involving a wardrobe malfunction that would stop her mid-performance.

    The Tipping Point: At the U.S. Figure Skating Championships, which was held less than two months before the Winter Games, an attacker clubbed Kerrigan's knee in the women's locker room with a metal baton, preventing her from skating. It turned out the attack had been planned by Harding's ex-husband and her bodyguard. Kerrigan, who had largely recovered by the Games, finished second. Harding, who was inexplicably allowed to compete, fell during her routine and missed

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  • Reboot Your Life: 18 Free Apps that Make Life Easier

    Courtesy of AppleCourtesy of AppleBy Sharon Liao

    Who says you need fancy meal plans, expensive trainers, and personal shoppers to be fit, healthy and happy? We found 18 apps that do all that -- and more -- for free!

    Related: 6 Ways to Bust a Life Rut

    Goal: Fit Back into Those Skinnies
    Your cigarette jeans have been hiding in the far left corner of your closet since New Year's Eve...2012. Fire up your slim-down regimen so you can slip into them stat.

    Torch calories with...Nike+ Training Club (available for iPhone and Android phones,
    Ditch the flab in no time on the newest version, which has more than 100 workouts to choose from, or go for a customized full-body four-week plan. A trainer leads you through the routines, plus you get instructional video clips of the moves. Don't like burpees? The updated app lets you swap drills you hate for ones you love.

    Stay on track with...Lose It! (available for iPhone and Android phones,
    Research shows that jotting down your eats can put you

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  • Is Your Diet Making You Mad?

    Dan Saelinger/FITNESS MagazineDan Saelinger/FITNESS MagazineBy Alexa Joy Sherman

    Hell hath no fury like a woman on a diet. Research has found that cutting calories can wreak havoc on your mood. Here's how to get lean without turning mean.

    Related: Make Over Your Metabolism

    How Your Diet Affects Your Mood
    I recently had one of those rock-bottom, bummed-with-my-body moments. Oh sure, I'd had a few of them through the years, but this time was different. I was 30 pounds overweight and in the worst shape of my life. So I committed to a complete diet-and-lifestyle overhaul, beginning with a one-week fat-blasting jump start involving calorie-torching cardio, plenty of protein, and a scarcity of starch. It wasn't the worst week of my life, but it sure felt like it -- to me and my family. If I saw my husband enjoying a slice of pizza, or my 5-year-old son innocently offered me a gummy bear, I snapped at them. I swore at them (OK, just at my husband). I cried into my crudités.

    I'm not the only one who gets "hangry" (so hungry that you're

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  • Winterize Your Run

    Alexa Miller/FITNESS MagazineAlexa Miller/FITNESS MagazineBy Lindsey Emery

    Runner bummer: We tend to lose some of our fitness this season by sitting out the snow and the shivery temps, researchers at Ohio State University found. Beat the backslide with these tips from Jeff Gaudette, the head coach for RunnersConnect, an online training site.

    Related: Tips and Gear to Warm Up to Winter Workouts

    How to Brave the Chill
    Do a quick indoor warm-up. Before you head outside, "raise your core body temperature with dynamic stretches," Gaudette says. Do these five lunge variations -- forward, forward with a torso twist, side, diagonal, and reverse -- in your living room pre-run, completing five reps on each side.

    Dress the part. Rule of thumb: "Tighter apparel will trap heat better," Gaudette says. Cold? Begin with a formfitting long-sleeve base layer and a fleecepullover (we like the Eddie Bauer Cloud Layer Pro Fleece 1/4-Zip pullover, $60, Wear a hat and mittens and add the following layers as the temps dip:

    • 32 to 20
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