Blog Posts by Healthy SELF, SELF Magazine

  • Eat This BEFORE You Work Out

    April Daniels Hussar, SELF magazine

    The health benefits of exercise are well known, but did you know that when you work out, your body produces free radicals, which can stress your body and potentially damage your DNA?

    But don't worry -- there's no need to cancel your gym membership! A new study investigates what might be the perfect, free radical-fighting pre-workout snack, and you can find it right in your produce department.

    Related: Yoga Moves for Flat Abs

    The amazing snack? Watercress! There are already a lot of reasons to eat this pretty veggie. A 2010 study found that watercress might reduce your risk of breast cancer, thanks to a compound that inhibits a protein related to tumor growth, and it's also packed with vitamins A, C and K (in fact, one cup of watercress provides your RDA of vitamin K!). But what does that have to do with your exercise routine?

    To find out, researchers from Edinburgh Napier University and the University of Ulster tracked 10

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  • The Lazy Girl Workout

    Dana Meltzer Zepeda, SELF magazine

    Between work deadlines, relaxing days at the beach and weekend barbeques, it's no wonder squeezing in a morning workout isn't high on your to-do list. Luckily, staying in bikini-ready shape doesn't necessarily mean sacrificing your beauty sleep to hit the gym at the crack of dawn.

    Instead of setting your alarm clock to an ungodly hour, try this lazy girl's workout, the perfect antidote for those early mornings when you just can't seem to wake up in time to hit the gym. You can do all of the moves below in bed or on your bedroom floor (without even changing out of your pj's)!

    Related: 20 Superfoods for Weight Loss

    "It is absolutely possible to get a great workout without leaving your bedroom," says Jenn Burke, Fitness Manager at Crunch on 59th St. in NYC. "Some of the most effective exercises involve using just your body weight."

    So, rather than wait in line for the treadmill (again!), give these 3 moves a whirl. "The hardest part

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  • The Reason You Can't Resist Junk Food

    April Daniels Hussar, SELF magazine

    Yet another reason to break your staying-up-late-waking-up-early cycle: Sleep deprivation doesn't just make you cranky, it makes you crave junk food!

    According to data presented at the annual Associated Professional Sleep Societies meeting this week, researchers at St. Luke's-Roosevelt Hospital Center and Columbia University in New York performed functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) brain scans on 25 men and women who, for five days in a row, had either been restricted to five hours of sleep a night or allowed to sleep up to nine hours. While performing the fMRIs, researchers showed the participants images of healthy and unhealthy foods.

    Related: Shed Pounds Without Starving

    Guess whose brain "reward centers" lit up, so to speak, when viewing photos of junk food, like donuts and cheeseburgers? That's right -- the sleep-deprived people.

    "The same brain regions activated when unhealthy foods were presented were not involved

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  • Why Taking a REAL Lunch Break is Good for Your Health

    Photo: Courtesy of paperlunchbags.netPhoto: Courtesy of paperlunchbags.netApril Daniels Hussar, SELF magazine

    Happy Monday! So, what's for lunch? If you're like many people, you haven't given it much thought ... in fact, you're just as likely to end up munching on a snack while glued to your computer or forgoing lunch altogether so you can either catch up on work or get errands done. Sound familiar? Well, there's a very good reason why it shouldn't -- your health!

    A 2011 survey by workforce consultants Right Management found that one-third of respondents admit to eating at their desks, while another third say they rarely -- if ever -- take lunch breaks at all.

    Another recent survey by Career Builder found that about a third of respondents take under a half hour for their lunch breaks, while five percent take less than 15 minutes, one in 10 never take a lunch break and nearly one in five (18 percent) typically don't leave their desks during their lunch break and eat in their workspace all five workdays a week.

    Related: 20 Superfoods for Weight

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  • Live Longer with This Workout

    April Daniels Hussar, SELF magazine

    You know that working out does a bikini body good, but if you're looking for a new type of exercise to add to your routine, how about one that can add six more summers by the pool to your life?

    According to new research, lacing up a pair of running shoes and hitting the path on a regular basis can do just that! And the best news is that pushing yourself too hard or for too long isn't at all necessary -- in fact, it's better not to overexert yourself.

    Related: Shed Pounds Without Starving

    The Copenhagen City Heart Study of around 20,000 men and women from 20 to 93 years old has been researching cardiovascular and related health issues since 1976. To look at the benefits of running specifically, researchers compared the mortality of 1,116 male runners and 762 female runners to the death rates of non-runners in the main study population. The runners also answered questions about the amount of time they spent running each week and whether

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  • Stress-Free Travel Tips

    April Daniels Hussar, SELF magazine

    There's no better way to celebrate summer than planning a getaway with some of your best girlfriends. But, if you've ever travelled with pals before, you know that it can be tricky. It's safe to assume that at some point, someone in your group will get on your nerves -- even among the best of friends. Sharing a hotel room is like moving in with someone on a short term basis. It requires careful planning, maturity and thoughtfulness! Here are three travel traps to watch out for:

    Related: Shed Pounds Without Starving Yourself

    Be flexible with your time
    If you love visiting museums but your travel buddy is more of an outdoorsy, nature-loving kind of gal, don't worry you can still vacation together successfully. Before each trip, make a list of things you definitely want to do or see in your destination. Tell your friend you plan on fitting these things in -- and if they want to come, great! If not, it's perfectly alright to spend some time

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  • Is There Such a Thing as Too Much Exercise?

    April Daniels Hussar, SELF magazine

    Turns out there really can be too much of a good thing -- in fact, a new study compares extreme exercise regimens to taking drugs!

    The study, presented at the annual meeting of the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) and published Tuesday in the journal Mayo Clinic Proceedings, finds that excessive exercise, such as "chronic training for, and competing in, extreme endurance exercise such as marathons, iron man distance triathlons and very long distance bicycle races" may cause serious cardiovascular injury.

    "Physical exercise, though not a drug, possesses many traits of a powerful pharmacologic agent. A routine of daily physical activity can be highly effective for prevention and treatment of many diseases, including coronary heart disease, hypertension, heart failure and obesity," says lead author James H. O'Keefe, M.D., of Saint Luke's Hospital of Kansas City, Mo., in a press release. "However, as with any pharmacologic agent,

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  • The Pros and Cons of Diet 'Cheat Days'

    Gourmet, Romulo YanesGourmet, Romulo YanesApril Daniels Hussar, SELF magazine

    Beyonce recently said she didn't allow herself a "cheat day" while working off her baby weight, but for many of us mere mortals, it's the promise of a weekend treat that helps us stick to our healthy eating plan all week. So can a cheat day actually help you stay slim? Or will it do more harm than good?

    "Cheat day' is not a technical term," says Marjorie Nolan, registered dietitian and spokeswoman for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. "For one person, a cheat day is two chocolate squares; for someone else, it could be a cheesesteak and double fudge brownie sundae."

    Related: Shed Pounds Without Starving Yourself

    In other words -- whether a cheat day can help or harm your diet depends, in part, on how you define it. "Indulging on occasion is not going to set you back if your idea of 'cheating' is an occasional small ice cream cone or big piece of lasagna," says Nolan. "However, if your idea of a cheat day is a full-on, eat-all-you-want binge,

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  • 3 Things to Consider Before Moving in with Your Man

    SELF magazine

    Contemplating moving in with your guy? According to research from the Journal of Marriage and Family, people who live together before marriage actually report higher levels of happiness and self-esteem than those who tie the knot first. One possible reason: singles retain a greater sense of autonomy after shacking up than married folks do. But here's the deal: moving in will only make you happier if you're really ready for it. Don't do it just for convenience. Don't do it just because your lease is up. Don't be hasty. Here are some things to consider before you start scouting out your new one-bedroom.

    Related: Shed Pounds Without Starving Yourself

    Money matters.
    Since you aren't married, there's no need to discuss shared bank accounts or swap your family's financial histories. Instead, start with the obvious: before you sign a lease, you need to figure out how you're going to split up the rent and utilities. Then, you'll need to figure out how to divide your

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  • Could Popping Aspirin, Ibuprofen Help Reduce Your Skin Cancer Risk?

    Photo: Courtesy of advil.comPhoto: Courtesy of advil.comApril Daniels Hussar, SELF magazine

    Did you have a little too much fun in the sun over Memorial Day weekend? Turns out that ibuprofen you took the morning after just might be helping you with more than your margarita headache, according to a new study.

    Related: 20 Superfoods for Weight Loss

    The study, led by researchers from Aarhus University Hospital in Denmark and published online in the journal CANCER, looked at the effects of aspirin and other commonly used nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) like ibuprofen on three major types of skin cancer: basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma and malignant melanoma. The researchers found that NSAID users were 15 percent less likely to get squamous cell carcinoma and 13 percent less likely to get malignant melanoma. The protection was stronger for people who had been taking aspirin or ibuprofen for at least seven years, at least twice a week.

    Related: Yoga Moves for Flat Abs

    "This is an exciting study,"

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