Blog Posts by FITNESS Magazine

  • 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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  • 10 Exotic Superfoods for Women

    Peter Ardito/FITNESS MagazinePeter Ardito/FITNESS MagazineBy Melissa Romero

    Feeling lately like you want to quit on quinoa? Have no fear, there's another crop of superfoods to stock up on! Here, the top exotic superfoods that help boost your health and shrink your waist, plus where to find them.

    Related: 6 Fat-Fighting Superfoods

    Goji Berries
    Also known as the wolfberry (now that is a superfood name we can get behind!), these orange-red berries grow on a shrub that's native to China. Goji berries are rich in carotenoids, which are powerful antioxidants that clear the body of toxins and help prevent cancer and heart disease.

    Expert tip: Most organic grocery stores carry goji berries, so hunting them down shouldn't be a problem. Because the berries are loaded with micronutrients, Scott Jurek, ultra marathon runner and author of Eat and Run, says a little goes a long way. He recommends having a tablespoon of goji berries with breakfast (like adding a few to your morning smoothie or bowl of oatmeal), while Letha Hadady, author of

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  • Hangover Cures that Really Work (and the Ones that Don't)

    Sarah Kehoe/FITNESS MagazineSarah Kehoe/FITNESS MagazineBy Jocelyn Voo

    You know you shouldn't, but sometimes a girl just can't help herself. You plan to meet up with friends for a drink after work, and one drink turns into many more, which then turns into a rough next morning. We hope you don't have a hangover reading this, because we bring you some not-so-good news. "There are a lot of myths about hangover cures," says Ruth C. Engs, RN, EdD, a professor at Indiana University who has done extensive research on the effects of drinking. "Essentially there is no cure other than consuming water and liquids like juice (i.e., not spiked) in the morning." The reason? Hangover symptoms are a product of dehydration, hypoglycemia, and the poisonous side effects from toxins in our drinks (sounds great, right?). Water will not only help hydrate your muscles and organs, but will also aid in flushing out the toxins. Juices such as orange juice accomplish both while replenishing your body with missing sugars.

    That said, if you swear by a bacon, egg,

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  • The Hottest Celebrity Bodies of 2013

    Courtesy of Getty ImagesCourtesy of Getty ImagesBy Colleen Moody

    It may be considered an unlucky number, but this year was far from it for celebrities, bringing out quite a few OMG post-baby bodies, weight loss wonders and a new crop of A-list abs. Below, check out the celebs who lunged and lifted their way onto our best bodies list this year.

    Related: The Best Celebrity Makeovers

    1. Penelope Cruz: The Counselor star welcomed her second child, daughter Luna, in July and popped back up on the red carpet in amazing shape just three months after giving birth. She credits following a Mediterranean diet, dancing, and chasing after her kids for getting her back into shape after both pregnancies.

    2. Jennifer Lawrence: To prep for Catching Fire,Lawrence tackled agility drills, sprint intervals, medicine ball exercises and cardio on a stationary bike to get in kick-ass Katniss shape. On top of her healthy workouts she has an even healthier outlook on body image. Admitting that in the past she was threatened with being fired if she

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  • The 10 Best Resolutions to Make This Year

    Jay Sullivan/FITNESS MagazineJay Sullivan/FITNESS Magazine

    By K. Aleisha Fetters

    Scrounging for a resolution that will stick? Take a tip from our list of healthy (and totally doable) changes to make this year.

    Related: 5 Meals to Heal You Reach Your Fitness Goals

    Cut Refined Carbs
    Carbs aren't the enemy. But consider refined carbs your frenemy. They seem harmless, until they're not. Refined carbs (like white bread, white sugar, and candy) have been stripped of their macronutrient content and reduced to a simple sugar that your body quickly digests. The result? You blood sugar spikes, your body pumps out tons of insulin to get the sugar into your cells, your blood sugar plummets, you get très sleepy, and any sugar the insulin didn't deal with gets converted into fat -- typically around your belly. And that abdominal fat can do more than make your skinny jeans look like a poor fashion choice. It can lead to polycystic ovary syndrome, diabetes, and heart disease, says David Grotto, RD, author of The Best Things You Can Eat. On the

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  • The Top 10 Health and Fitness Moments of 2013

    Courtesy of Getty ImagesCourtesy of Getty ImagesBy Colleen Moody

    From pink sneakers to Prancercising, take a look back at the year's most buzzed-about health and fitness trends and tidbits that caught our attention.

    Related: The 13 Hottest Celebrity Bodies of 2013

    The Red Sox Show Their Class
    Whether you're a Sox fan or not, you couldn't help but show some love for the boys this year. The team crossed the Boston Marathon finish line as part of their World Series championship parade, taking a moment to remember all who were affected during the Boston Marathon bombing. They even left in good standing with Cardinal fans, when they thanked the city for hosting them -- via a full-page ad in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. In a world of name-calling and cheap jabs, this was a moment in sports everyone could be proud of.

    Lululemon's Yoga Pants Predicament
    The yoga apparel giant landed itself in some hot water earlier this year. The brand had to recall 17 percent of its black yoga pants after numerous complaints that the

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  • The 10 Healthiest Party Foods

    Tina Rupp/FITNESS MagazineTina Rupp/FITNESS MagazineBy Emily Dorn

    Avoid party pig-out with our guide to the healthiest low-calorie finger foods. Here's what to dip, what to sip, and which foods you should feel free to pile onto your plate at your next cocktail party.

    Related: Fat-Proof Your Holidays

    It's one of the simplest party foods to make: Top a small slice of Italian bread with a gorgeous mixture of tomatoes, olive oil, garlic, and basil and voila -- you've got bruschetta. And though that piece of bread doesn't yield much nutritional value, the marriage of tomatoes and olive oil scores top marks for disease prevention. Tomatoes contain lycopene, a powerful antioxidant found to ward off cancer and heart disease. You've no doubt heard about the healthy fats found in olive oil -- well, in addition, that oil actually helps your body absorb some of the nutrients in the tomatoes, says Melinda Johnson, RD, National Spokesperson for the American Dietetic Association.

    Smoked Salmon on Toasts
    In a word: omega-3s.

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  • How to make your New Year's resolutions stick

    David Sykes/FITNESS MagazineDavid Sykes/FITNESS Magazine

    By Alice Oglethorpe

    "It's a new year, and I need to make over every aspect of my life." Sound familiar? Take a deep breath. Experts say that focusing on a single goal can keep you from getting overwhelmed. And once you've tackled one, you'll feel motivated to keep the improvements going. Need proof? We asked eight women to spend a month adopting a healthy behavior. Their success is evidence that starting small is the best way to see big results.

    Related: The 10 Best Resolutions to Make

    Goal: Stick to One Sweet Treat a Day
    The tester: Alissa Rotberg, 26

    "I'm the kind of girl who always hits the candy bowl before meetings or skips lunch and eats a cupcake instead," Alissa says. "But when I go overboard on sweets, I hit a slump later."

    The outcome: Alissa kept a written log of what she ate. "I also told everyone what I was doing so they could call me out if they saw me having more than one treat," she says. "At first I had my sweet right after lunch, but then later in the day I'd be

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  • The 10 Worst Holiday Foods to Eat

    Peter Ardito/FITNESS MagazinePeter Ardito/FITNESS MagazineBy Amy Ahlberg

    Who knew that food so small could have such a big impact on your waistline? Here, the top 10 worst appetizers to indulge in this season.

    Related: The 10 Healthiest Party Foods

    Spinach Artichoke Dip with Chips
    Spinach and artichokes? No problem. Now for the caloric culprits: After you mix in cream cheese, sour cream, and sometimes even mayo, you end up with 220 calories and 22 grams of fat for a mere dollop (1/4 cup), says Rachel Beller, RD, founder of the Beller Nutritional Institute. Scoop your dip with just five fried tortilla chips and you're coming in at around 307 calories.

    Vegetable Egg Rolls
    Don't be fooled by the innocent-sounding name. Those vegetables filling the roll are sauteed in oil, tossed in a fatty sauce, and then deep-fried. "You're looking at 150 to 200 calories for just one small egg roll," warns Beller.

    Tuna Tartare
    Depending on how it's cooked and what it could be soaked in, this is a classic example of taking something healthy and turning it

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  • Friendly Competition: How Our Inner Rivals Threatened Our Relationship

    Kevin Steele/FITNESS MagazineKevin Steele/FITNESS MagazineBy Francesca Castagnoli

    Last June, at a moms night out to celebrate the end of the school year, I thought the toughest choice my girlfriends and I would have to make that evening was whether to split the flourless chocolate cake or the créme brulée. Much to my surprise, the big question was, "Who was going to sign up for a sprint triathlon, just 10 weeks away, on the Jersey Shore?" My immediate reaction: Not me. I'm many things, but a triathlete is hardly one of them. After hearing them chat, however, the challenge didn't seem so daunting -- a quarter-mile swim, a 10-mile bike ride and a 5K run. Not wanting to be left on a lounge chair while all my pals were swimming laps, I thought, "What the hell, I'll do it!"

    Related: 10 Tips for Triathlon Newbies

    Suzi and Susan would be the varsity team -- the "real" athletes who already owned a number of race ribbons. Erin, Jill and I would be the JV; even though we all worked out, we each had a weak spot. Erin could run and bike, but she

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