Blog Posts by FITNESS Magazine

  • Can You Be Fat but Fit?

    Peter Ardito/FITNESS MagazineBy Peg Rosen

    New research shows you can't judge a person's fitness by looks alone. Here, the surprising new thinking on size and exercise.

    Related: What Your Gut Says About Your Health

    Your Weight and Fitness
    There are two large women who've been in boot camp with me for years. They almost never miss a class and never take it easy. Yet as I've lunged, squatted, and planked alongside them nearly daily, I'm ashamed to admit that one question has occasionally bounced around my brain: With all that exercise, after all this time, why aren't these women in better shape?

    Then came the 2012 Olympic Games. The world was poised to witness its most formidable female athletes lock horns in London. And what did we hear? Slams against Australian swimmer Leisel Jones, declaring the eight-time medalist fat and thus unfit to represent her country. Cheap shots about muffin tops and saddlebags on the British women's beach volleyball team. And tweets about British swimmer Rebecca Adlington's

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  • 8 Sneaky Tips to Finding the Perfect Pair of Jeans

    Courtesy Brand X PicturesCourtesy Brand X PicturesBy Lauren Tumas Schumacher

    How many times have you bought a cute pair of jeans online, only to end up at the post office for a return when you realize that "your size" is way too big or snug? With fall clothing making its way into stores, we talked to some sizing experts to help you navigate the racks and help you find your perfect fit.

    Related: Bright On! Our Favorite Reflective Running Gear

    Try Them On
    It might seem like it can save you time to try something on at home or order it from the convenience of your phone, but with more brands having conflicting sizing, the best way to find the right fit is to try them on. "When you try on jeans with stretch in them or that are lighter-weight denim, it's best to go for tighter sizes," says celebrity stylist Annie Ladino, whose clients include Brooklyn Decker and Jaime King. "With heavier denim, it's better to try on your normal size, to a size up."

    Know the Store Sizing Scale
    "Many mass retailers tend to use

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  • The Deep End: How Water Aerobics Saved My Marriage

    Courtesy of Getty ImagesCourtesy of Getty ImagesBy Dana White

    Four summers ago my husband, David, and I found ourselves simultaneously unemployed. His was a normal hiatus in his freelance film career; mine was of the more permanent, severance package variety. Though our budget was tight, we kept our membership at a local pool because we actually had time to use it now. And it was probably the closest thing to a sparkling body of turquoise water we could afford for a while.

    Related: Pool It! The Swimming Workout to Sculpt All Over

    One day after swimming laps, David came home and said that he'd seen a flyer for a water aerobics class to be held three mornings a week for five weeks. It would be a great low-impact workout, and we both could use the exercise.

    My mind immediately flashed to blue-haired women standing in the shallow end, pumping Styrofoam dumbbells. We weren't as young as we used to be, but did we have to act old? He countered that this was actually deep-water running, so it would be harder. "Besides," he added,

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  • Improve Your Sweatitude: 8 Motivation Rut Busters

    Cheyenne Ellis/FITNESS MagazineCheyenne Ellis/FITNESS MagazineBy Liz Neporent

    No more wimping out on your workouts. Here's how to lose the excuses, make over your motivation, and finally score the body you want.

    Related: How to Strengthen Your Willpower

    "I'm too far from my goal, so why start?"
    Rut Buster: How about this for an incentive: Just by walking a little more every day, you can shrink your waist in 12 weeks. When formerly sedentary women consistently tallied a weekly average of 470 steps more a day -- that's about a five-minute walk -- than they had the week before, they lost a quarter inch from their waistlines without dieting. Whether you have a lot of weight to shed or a certain distance to run, break up your goal into smaller units, suggests trainer Tracey Mallett, creator of the Lose the Belly Flab DVD. Little victories, like dropping a pound a week or running an extra minute without stopping, will fuel your momentum.

    "I hate cardio."
    Rut Buster:
    Swap endless treadmill time for circuits, suggests trainer Jim Karas, author of The

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  • Candy Coded: What You Need to Know About Your Favorite Sweets

    Jonathan Kantor/FITNESS MagazineJonathan Kantor/FITNESS MagazineBy Lindsey Emery

    It seems like these days there's always a reason for a sweet treat -- holidays, baby showers, birthdays, and the list goes on. We could tell you not to eat it, but unless you have the willpower of a saint everyone craves sugar once in a while. To help, we got the dish on the best drugstore treats to nibble on and the ones to completely nix.

    Related: Get Sweetener Savvy: 8 Need-to-Know Facts

    Don't Be Afraid of the Dark
    "If you're craving chocolate, then the darker, the better," says Katie Cavuto Boyle, RD, owner of Healthy Bites. "Dark chocolate has less sugar, is dairy-free, and is rich in antioxidants that have been shown to reduce blood pressure and decrease your risk of cardiovascular disease."
    Nibble: Hershey's Miniatures: Special Dark Serving Size: 5 pieces 200 calories; 13g fat; 7g saturated fat; 25mg sodium; 24g carbs; 18g sugar; 3g protein
    Nix: Reese's Peanut Butter Cups Miniatures Serving Size: 5 pieces 220 calories; 13g fat; 5g saturated fat; 130mg

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  • Om Schooled: How Yoga Taught Me to Listen to My Body

    Alex Palombo/FITNESS MagazineAlex Palombo/FITNESS MagazineBy Sarah Hepola

    A headstand gone wrong taught me what a poseur I'd been.

    Related: Find Your Fit: The 5 Most Popular Yoga Styles

    Not So Bendy
    I was halfway through a Saturday morning yoga class when the substitute teacher suggested we try a headstand. Actually it wasn't a mere headstand. It was a baffling contortion that appeared to be one part break dancing and one part Cirque du Soleil.

    "Come on, give it a try," she said to the roomful of reluctant spectators.

    The woman had just started teaching yoga; I didn't want to be difficult. So I hoisted myself into this absurd position and hoped for the best. First I thought I couldn't do it. Then I thought I couldn't get out of it. The whole left side of my body seized up. Do you know those cartoons where somebody gets electrocuted and his skeleton lights up like a Christmas tree? That's what it felt like. But I didn't scream. In fact, I didn't say anything. I tumbled out of the pose, smiled at the substitute and spent the next four

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  • Your Guide to Healthy Breasts: What Those Lumps, Bumps, and Weird Conditions Really Mean

    Brian Klutch/FITNESS MagazineBrian Klutch/FITNESS MagazineBy Paige Greenfield

    Ever since you first donned a training bra, you've probably fixated on your breasts' appearance. But how much have you thought about what's happening inside your dynamic duo?

    "It's important to get really familiar with your breasts and know what's normal for you," says Therese Bevers, MD, director of the Cancer Prevention Center at the University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston. "Pay attention to any lumps, discomfort, and changes in texture and color. The more aware you become, the easier it will be for you to pick up on something that needs to be checked out."

    Most lumps and bumps are nothing to worry about. "Throughout your lifetime, it's likely that any abnormality is due to something other than cancer," says Mary Jane Minkin, MD, an ob-gyn at Yale University School of Medicine. In fact, more than 80 percent of suspicious lumps that are biopsied turn out to be benign.

    You don't often hear about noncancerous breast conditions, because

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  • Find Your Fit: The 5 Most Popular Yoga Styles

    Karen Pearson/FITNESS MagazineKaren Pearson/FITNESS MagazineBy Karla Walsh

    Ready to get your om on but not quite sure where to start? Whether your goal is to loosen and limber or tighten and tone, yoga can help you get there. Read on for the most popular styles of yoga to see which one is right for you.

    Related: Yoga 101: Poses for Beginners


    Hatha
    Celebrity fan: Miranda Kerr

    Best for: Active rest days
    This is the "grandmother of yoga," according to Desiree Bartlett, yoga instructor in Los Angeles and creator of the Yoga for Beginners DVD. The base moves used in many other classes, such as downward dog, mountain, and chaturanga, were originally developed as part of this practice. Expect a gentle routine that's attainable for those who are just dipping their toes into the yoga world.

    Bikram
    Celebrity fan: Lady Gaga
    Best for: A real sweat
    Performed in a room heated to 105° with 40 percent humidity (to simulate the environment in yoga's home country of India), Bikram aims to boost the meditation factor by repeating the same 26-pose routine

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  • Wisdom of the Ages: How I Discovered the Value of a Good Workout

    Karen Pearson/FITNESS MagazineKaren Pearson/FITNESS MagazineBy Stephanie Dolgoff

    What sweating with the oldies and alongside pretty young things taught me about the real value of a good workout.

    Related: How to Choose the Right Workout for You

    Playing the Field

    I am cheating on my gym. We've had some good times involving heavy breathing and sweating over the past 20 years or so. But people grow. They change. They want different things, and one gym might be insufficient to meet their needs. I didn't intend to stray from this long-term relationship, but now that I have, I will not stop. If frequenting my new gym is wrong, I don't want to be right.

    There was nothing specific that caused me to stray. It was more of a feeling that I no longer quite belonged at my basic chain gym, with its smiley trainers, shiny new equipment, and young, fit junior-exec types, who arrive after work, exhaust as many large-muscle groups as they can in as little time as possible, and then reapply full makeup before meeting their friends for drinks and dinner. In

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  • 7 Things You Should Never Regret

    Laura Doss/FITNESS MagazineLaura Doss/FITNESS MagazineBy Stacy Baker

    Breaking out of your comfort zone-asking out the cute guy in sculpting class or saying the "L" word first-can pave the way for more meaningful relationships.

    Related: The 10 Best Resolutions to Make Any Time of Year

    1. Devouring dessert. Rather than obsess over a few (hundred) empty calories-and possibly throw in the diet towel for the day-focus on the positive. Indulging in sweets when the urge hits can short-circuit a binge later, says Lisa Dorfman, R.D., a Miami-based nutritionist. "Plus, it's mentally soothing to treat yourself," she says, explaining that carbohydrates produce serotonin, a relaxation-inducing hormone. Sure, scarfing a pint of ice cream may be overkill, but having just a scoop or two? That's just good (and cheap!) therapy.

    2. Cutting someone loose. Breaking up with commitment-phobic boyfriends, narcissistic pals or got-their-degree-by-mail shrinks is about self-protection, not selfishness. "Acknowledging that you deserve better opens your mind to new

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