Blog Posts by FITNESS Magazine

  • 10 Ways to Save Money and Stay Healthy and Fit

    Fancy home gym equipment, organic food and a wardrobe of the latest fitness apparel can be pricey, but consumer savings expert Andrea Woroch says that doesn't have to be the case.

    "As a young girl, I tagged along with my mom on shopping trips and learned that you don't have to spend a lot to look good," she explains. Woroch herself ranks health as one of her top priorities (besides helping others save money), and loves bike riding, hiking, running, swimming and skiing-"anything and everything that gets me moving." So we asked Woroch to share her insider intel about how we all can keep our wallets happy while staying fit and looking and feeling great.


    1. Subscribe. Group coupon emails offer deals for more than clothes shopping and restaurant meals! "Sites like LivingSocial and Dealery often offer discounts for health clubs, fitness studios and outdoor activities at up to 70 percent off," Woroch says. Another plus? There's no long-term commitment, so if you like, you can just continue

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  • The Truth About Your Body After Baby

    By Ayren Jackson-Cannady

    With celebrity moms showing off shockingly svelte bodies just weeks after giving birth, it's no wonder new mothers are so confused about what to really expect after delivery. Here, we separate fact from fiction.

    Related: The Best Foods to Eat After Baby

    You'll Instantly Lose 10 Pounds

    True. Take one seven- to eight-pound baby, plus about two pounds of blood and amniotic fluid, and you're pretty much assured a 10-pound weight loss in the hospital after you deliver. "In the first week you will probably lose another three to five pounds of water weight. However, it will take time until you return to your pre-pregnancy weight," says Lisa Druxman, a San Diego-based fitness trainer and author of Lean Mommy. "It took nine months for you to put the weight on, so you should give yourself at least that to take it off."

    Related: Get Your Best Body Ever with Our Weekly Plans




    Your Hair Will Start to Shed

    True. Up to 50 percent of women experience an increased shedding

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  • 5 Easy Exercises to Ease Your Cramps

    From the editors of FITNESS Magazine

    While period cramps may send you cowering back under the covers, it's exercise, not bed rest, that will revive you the most. And yoga is particularly effective in easing your pain. "Yoga incorporates deep breathing, which helps relieve the effects of oxygen deprivation to the tissues, one of the main causes of cramps," says Suzanne Trupin, MD, a gynecologist at the Women's Health Practice in Champaign, Illinois. Here, how to find relief in just five minutes with these simple moves from Cyndi Lee, director of OM yoga in New York City.

    Related: The Complete Beginner's Guide to Yoga

    Forward Bend
    Minutes 0:00-1:00

    • Stand with feet together and arms at sides.
    • Sink feet into the floor, inhale, and reach arms toward ceiling.
    • Exhale, bringing arms out to sides as you hinge forward from hips to touch the floor. If you can't reach the floor, bend your knees.
    • Hold for 1 minute.
    Related: Find Your Perfect Yoga Style

    Supported Half-Moon
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  • 8 Food Cures for Common Ailments

    By Tricia O'Brien

    Cure your cramps, ease fatigue, and snap out of your crankiness with these munchies that' will fix your most common mood and body woes.

    Related: What to Eat to Cure Anything

    Stress/Anxiety

    Try:
    Low-fat popcorn, honey, graham crackers, whole wheat pretzels

    Low-fat carbohydrates can increase production of serotonin in the brain, which helps relax you, says Judith Wurtman, PhD, director of the program in women's health at MIT.

    How much? Diane Grabowski-Nepa, RD, a dietitian in Camarillo, California suggests having whole-grain toast or oatmeal topped with one teaspoon of honey. Or try snacking on a cup of air-popped popcorn or five small graham crackers when you're feeling anxious.

    Avoid: Caffeine, which is a stimulant and can make you more nervous.

    Related: Fast 2-Second Stress Cures


    Menstrual Cramps

    Try:
    Flaxseed

    Prostaglandin production is also a large factor in monthly cramps. "As the prostaglandins are released into the tissue, the uterus reacts by

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  • Get a Striking Body: 5-Minute Self-Defense Workout

    By Jennifer Matarazzo

    Get stronger and more self-assured by learning these basic self-defense moves, courtesy of Joanne Harris, creator of the Urban KnockOut DVD ($14.98; urbanknockout.com). Engage your muscles at the end of every strike, and keep your knees and elbows soft. Do each move 10 times; switch sides and continue alternating to reach five minutes.

    Related: More Fast Workouts to Sculpt and Shape

    Horizontal Elbow Strike
    Targets: quads, hips, upper back, shoulders

    • Standing with feet shoulder-width apart, hold left fist with right hand at chest level, left elbow pointed toward left side.
    • Lunge left foot out while striking out your left elbow 3 to 5 inches, keeping left arm parallel to floor.
    Related: Kickboxing Exercises to Sculpt Muscle and Blast Fat

    Uppercut Elbow Strike
    Targets: quads, core, upper back, shoulders
    • Hold left fist with right hand at chest level, left elbow pointed up on the diagonal with feet at shoulder-width.
    • Lift left heel and shift weight to
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  • Is Exercise Giving You a Headache?

    By Melissa Roth

    Although exercise can help ease your aches it pains, it can sometimes also be the cause of it. Here, some of the most common triggers to getting a workout headache and how to fix it.

    Related: Heal Better: Smart Workout Pain Solutions

    The Trigger: Improper Breathing

    Holding your breath is smart only when plunging under water. Do it during intense activity, like strength training or a sudden spurt of running, and you're likely to give yourself a head splitter. A piece of the puzzle: Straining your core can temporarily and rapidly push your blood pressure up and cause headaches, explains Douglas McKeag, MD, director of the IU Center for Sports Medicine at the Indiana University School of Medicine in Indianapolis.

    Let it out. "No matter what exercise you're doing, if you must grunt to get through it, you need to focus on your breathing or take the intensity down," says Michael Esco, PhD, assistant professor of exercise science at Auburn University at Montgomery,

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  • How to Fight Breast Cancer at Any Age

    By Chee Gates, Additional reporting by Cary Zahaby

    Your age can predict your risk of breast cancer and the severity of the disease, research shows. But every woman has the power to outwit her biological clock. Here, we tell you how.

    Related: The Easiest Way to Lower Your Breast Cancer Risk

    What to Do in Your 20s

    • Break a sweat

    "Regular physical activity reverses the effects of high insulin and estrogen levels -- both of which have been linked to an increase in breast cancer risk," says Douglas Yee, MD, director of the Masonic Cancer Center at the University of Minnesota. In the Nurses' Health Study II of nearly 65,000 women, those who reported an average of 3.25 hours per week of running or 13 hours per week of walking when they were younger had a 23 percent lower risk of developing premenopausal breast cancer than those who exercised less. Activity from ages 12 to 22 seemed to provide the strongest protection against cancer, the researchers say.

    Related: The Other

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  • How to Eat for Better Sleep

    By Ana Mantica

    You snooze, you lose? Not when it comes to reaching your fitness best. Here's how eating smarter will maximize the quality and power of your zzz's.

    Related: More Tips on Getting the Best Rest

    Don't skimp, then splurge.

    Skipping midday meals may seem like an easy way to shed weight, but doing so can throw off your body's normal sleep pattern. Researchers who followed a group of Muslims during Ramadan (a month of fasting from sunup to sundown) found that the group lost an average of 40 minutes of sleep a night compared with a nonholiday time of year. The likely cause: changes in hormone levels due to fasting. Large, late dinners exacerbate the problem: "A big meal increases the blood flow to your digestive tract, causing your stomach to secrete more gastric acid and making your pancreas and intestinal muscles work harder," Breus says. This stimulates your system instead of calming it.

    Related: An 8-Minute Yoga Workout for Better Sleep

    Do eat early and often.

    "Your body

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  • 5 Ways to Beat Workout Boredom

    By Paige Greenfield

    When your brain abandons your workout routine, your body is soon to follow. Here's how to bust out of almost any exercise rut and get back your motivation.

    Related: The 48-Hour Workout Jumpstart

    Sick of Going Solo

    Instant replay:
    Become a groupie to automatically get a workout buddy or two. Walkers can find a local pack at ava.org, runners at rrca.org, and swimmers at clubswim.com. Or hook up with a virtual partner right here on our site to keep yourself motivated! Head to the message boards and start posting your interests to connect with like-minded exercisers in your area.

    Gear shift: Invite friends over for a Wii Fit challenge. Play your way into great shape with All Star Cheer Squad or Dance Dance Revolution Hottest Party 2 with Dance Mat ($40 to $70, amazon.com).

    Related: 7 Ways to Find a Fitness Buddy

    Tired of the Treadmill

    Instant replay:
    "The number-one mistake runners make is going one speed, at one incline, every workout," says trainer Jamie Norcini,

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  • How I Lost My Baby Weight: Real Moms Dish

    By Marianne Magno

    If we could only be so lucky to have personal trainers and nutritionists at our beck and call. But you don't need either to lose the baby weight. Real moms dish on how they slimmed down post-pregnancy.

    Related: Our Lose the Baby Weight Plan

    "Incorporate your baby into your exercise routine."

    Erin W., 30, of Scotch Plains, New Jersey, got help from her daughter during her workouts. "Strap your baby into a baby carrier for added resistance when doing squats," she says. "And they make an adorable distraction when you're doing crunches or push-ups!"


    Related: Top Moves to Get Your After-Baby Body, Fast!




    "Take it 10 minutes at a time."

    "When I got the okay from my doctor six weeks after giving birth, I got on the recumbent bike for 10 minutes every day," says mom of two (soon to be three!) Valerie V., 37, of Houston. "I put the baby right next to the bike so I could hop on and off if she needed me. In about four months, I worked up to hour-long sessions, four or five

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