Blog Posts by FITNESS Magazine

  • Dive Right In: How I Found Life Balance Through Surfing

    Tim Soter/FITNESS MagazineTim Soter/FITNESS Magazine

    By Katherine Ozment

    I'm not sure when I became the person who would rather lie on the beach than jump in the ocean, but given a sunny day, a long stretch of seaside, and a blanket, I would often park myself there for hours without dipping so much as one toe in the water. Though I loved the ocean as a child, as an adult, I'd simply rather not get cold, wet, or too close to any sea creatures. Somewhere along the way, my childhood sense of adventure gave way to grown-up worries, both mundane and irrational. So when my friend Adam said he wanted to teach me how to surf, I tried hard to say no.

    At the time, we were camped on a beach north of San Francisco with family and friends -- the last hurrah for me, my husband, Michael, and our two kids, ages 4 and 1, before we moved back to Boston after living in California for two years.

    When Adam plunked himself down on my blanket and asked if I was ready, I feigned generosity: "Me? Please, let Michael go first."

    Related: 10 Exercises to Turn the

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  • Olympic Hopefuls to Watch This Winter

    Lolo Jones/FITNESS MagazineLolo Jones/FITNESS MagazineBy Jocelyn Voo

    Looking for someone to root for? Here are the female athletes we're looking out for in the 2014 Winter Olympics.

    Related: 10 U.S. Olympic Hotties in Sochi

    Lolo Jones
    Lolo Jones should be a familiar name when it comes to premier athletes -- she not only competes in the summer Games as a track and field athlete, but also in the Winter games in bobsled. Jones was a favorite to medal in the 100m hurdles in both the 2008 and 2012 summer Olympics, but fell just short both times, placing 7th and 4th, respectively. However, that hasn't stopped Jones -- instead, after failing to medal in 2008, she began training for bobsledding and joined the U.S. team three years later. Now, as a brakeman and push athlete, Jones took gold with her team at this year's World Championships.

    Sarah Hendrickson
    At 19 years old, Hendrickson has 22 World Cup medals in ski jumping. But this is the first year women's ski jumping will be included as an Olympic sport, so now the Utah

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  • Fuel Up: The Best Pre-Workout Foods

    Lisa Shin/FITNESS MagazineLisa Shin/FITNESS MagazineBy Lauren Cardarelli

    Heading to the gym on empty? Better fill your tank: Snacking about an hour before a sweat session lets you work out longer and harder. To help you get your rear in gear, we reviewed more than 180 new snacks. Our eight winning picks provide complex carbs, which break down slowly to deliver continuous energy, and list either fruit or a whole grain as their first ingredient. And because they come in at 200 calories or fewer and contain no more than six grams of fat, they're easy to digest. Go ahead, eat and run.

    Related: Healthy Food Awards: The Best Sweet Treats

    Dynamic Duo
    While carbs give you energy to ace your workout, protein helps build and maintain lean muscle, explains Stephanie Middleberg, RD, who says you need between six and eight grams to get the benefits. Pair any of these snacks with a hard-boiled egg, string cheese, or a cup of chocolate milk to go the distance -- and look good while doing it.

    What Makes a Winner
    Companies submitted 189

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  • Win at Everything: Olympians' Top Success Secrets

    Alexa Miller/FITNESS MagazineAlexa Miller/FITNESS MagazineBy Laura McGlashan

    Ready to go 2.0 on your body, mood, and energy this year? Do anything better using the success secrets of Olympians at the top of their game.

    Related: 9 Olympic Hopefuls to Watch This Winter

    Spark a workout with this nudge.
    To avoid couch sitting too long after an injury or exercise rut, tap into some peer pressure. "If I ever feel that I don't want to train, or that I'm too tired or too sore, I just look at Facebook," reveals gold-medal downhill skier Lindsey Vonn, who checkedout her competitors' posts while rehabbing from a serious knee injury. Let your sporty pals' posts and tweets motivate you to move -- or like us on Facebook at for a fresh push from our Motivation Moment quote of the day.

    Sculpt solid-gold abs.
    What you can't see when she's in her signature threads is the six-pack that powers snowboarder Gretchen Bleiler's medal-winning stunts in the half-pipe. Get a belly you can bounce a quarter off with this variation of her fave

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  • The Truth About Common Nutrition Myths

    Peter Ardito/FITNESS MagazinePeter Ardito/FITNESS MagazineBy Sharon Liao

    If the last time you ate fried anything was at the state fair three years ago, we have news for you. No, funnel cake hasn't become the diet food du jour. But fried foods -- as well as burgers and beer -- can have a place in a healthy diet. Surprised? No wonder. "With all the misinformation and exaggerated health headlines out there, it's easy to get fooled," says Robert J. Davis, PhD, an adjunct professor at Emory University's Rollins School of Public Health and the author of Coffee Is Good for You. To help you figure out which truths to swallow, we asked the experts to debunk the top 10 food myths. Read on to find out what's standing between you and better health, not to mention that basket of chicken fingers.

    Related: 8 Facts About Sugar Substitutes

    Myth: Red wine is tops for your ticker.
    The real deal: When it comes to heart health, red wine gets all the glory. But that glass of Syrah may not be so superior: University of Texas researchers found that although

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  • The Perfect Match: How I Discovered My True Fitness Love

    Avery Powell/FITNESS MagazineAvery Powell/FITNESS MagazineBy Laura Dave

    Halfway through an intense Spinning class at a gym in Hollywood, I'd had enough. Instead of perching on the bike for the uphill surge, I got off and walked out. No more "Push! Push!" as an eager classmate ordered our row, no more throbbing in my wrists. I was free!

    Related: How to Choose the Right Workout for You

    But that night I couldn't sleep. At 2 a.m., I was still counting my fitness heartbreaks. I had bailed out of Bikram yoga before it got too hot and heavy; I had run away from my jogging club. I could trace my failed attempts at working out all the way back to an aerobics class in 1988 when I'd fallen off the purple step.

    I turned toward my sleeping fiance and had a thought: I'd succeeded in making our relationship work. This was no small feat. When Josh and I first met, in Los Angeles, we lived 3,000 miles apart, but there we were, two years later, sleeping beside each other. We'd gotten this far because we'd become good partners, making compromises like my

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  • Reboot Your Running

    Alexa Miller/FITNESS MagazineAlexa Miller/FITNESS MagazineBy Rachel Sturtz

    Skipped a few -- okay, a lot of -- runs lately? "Take baby steps to get back in the game. Most people build mileage too quickly," says Brad Hudson, a coauthor of Run Faster from the 5K to the Marathon. Steal his secrets to nix the pains and strains of reentry.

    Related: The Best Running Apps for Your Phone

    Belly Up

    The week before you hit the road, track, or treadmill, focus on your core and on cross-training. "Do ab exercises and get on a bike or elliptical to build your leg muscles without impact," Hudson says. "The cardio will also increase your endurance."

    Go Halfsies

    If you used to rack up 10 miles a week, begin with two to three miles twice a week and "then increase your total mileage each week by at least 10 percent, adding on more running days, until you're back on schedule," Hudson says.

    Downsize Your Stride

    Your first month back, run at a leisurely pace and take small steps, especially if you're dealing with still-snowy terrain. "Aim to strike with your

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  • Health-Food Fight: The Healthiest Buys at the Grocery Store

    Dan Saelinger/FITNESS MagazineDan Saelinger/FITNESS MagazineBy Lexi Petronis

    Chocolate instead of vanilla. Kimmel over Fallon. Shaken, not stirred. Chances are, you feel pretty strongly about most choices in life. And while you may prefer fried mozzarella sticks to low-fat string cheese, you know full well which one's better for you. But when you like two foods equally -- and one seems just as healthy as the other -- things can get tricky. To make it easier, we asked the experts to set the record straight. Because the less time you have to spend wavering over what to eat, the more time you can devote to enjoying it.

    Related: What Food Labels Really Mean

    Turkey Burger vs. Veggie Burger
    The winner: Veggie burger

    When made with ground breast meat, turkey burgers can be a lean source of protein. The reality? Premade patties are usually a blend of white and dark meat, so they can have five times the fat and up to 20 times more cholesterol than meat-free versions. "Veggie burgers also have about four grams of fiber and half the

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  • 5 Common Misdiagnoses

    Darren Braun/FITNESS MagazineDarren Braun/FITNESS MagazineBy Kristina Grish

    When aches and pains send you to the doctor's office, you probably don't question the diagnosis. But physicians can be wrong. Up to 15 percent of patients are misdiagnosed, research in the American Journal of Medicine revealed. And more than 150,000 people in the United States suffer preventable harm from an inaccurate diagnosis every year, according to a newly released estimate from Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. We asked MD's we trust to tell us which conditions they often see misunderstood and mislabeled in active women. Here are five common mix-ups docs make -- plus how to finally get the right Rx so you can feel better fast.

    Related: Why Fit Women Get Blood Clots

    You have an urgent need to pee all the time, and when you go, it's uncomfortable. This happens a lot.
    Misdiagnosis: Urinary tract infection
    What it really is: Painful bladder syndrome (interstitial cystitis)

    With this chronic condition, the tissues of the bladder wall

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  • The Germs at the Gym

    By Maridel Reyes

    Brian Klutch/FITNESS MagazineBrian Klutch/FITNESS MagazineYou hit the gym regularly to be healthy and fit. Yet you may be getting more than flat abs and strong arms there. Gyms are hotbeds of germ activity, researchers say. Norovirus, which causes stomach pain, vomiting, and diarrhea, can survive for a month on the surface of exercise machines. The fungi responsible for foot infections multiply at a blinding pace in the shower. And microbes like MRSA, an antibiotic-resistant bacteria that can lead to dangerous skin infections, lurk in the locker room. To help you stay safe, FITNESS asked top experts to ID the biggest danger zones in the gym and to share the best germ-beating strategies.

    Related: 8 Tips for Germ-Free Travel

    Hot Spot: Free Weights, Weight Machines, Exercise Balls
    Germ Meter = High
    Because so many people handle it, this equipment is rife with bugs and viruses that can lead to colds and other infections. "I've even found MRSA on an exercise ball in a gym," says Philip Tierno Jr., PhD, a clinical

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