Blog Posts by SHAPE magazine

  • Why Won't My Eye Stop Twitching?

    by Charlotte Andersen for

    Why does my eye always twitch? Here are 7 surprising reasons...Why does my eye always twitch? Here are 7 surprising reasons...Possibly the only thing more irritating than an itch you can't scratch, involuntary eye twitching, or myokymia, is a feeling that many of us are familiar with. Sometimes the trigger is obvious (fatigue or seasonal allergies), while other times it's a total mystery. The good news is that it's rarely a cause for concern.

    "Nine out of 10 times, [eye twitching] is nothing to worry about, it's just more of an annoyance than anything else," says Dr. Jeremy Fine, a Los Angeles-based concierge doctor. But just because it's not dangerous doesn't mean you should grin and bear it. We asked experts to share some lesser-known reasons why this happens and tips on how to quit the twitch fast.

    1. Stress: Stress is the number one reason for a twitchy eye, or eye spasm, says Dr. Monica L. Monica M.D., a clinical spokesperson for the American Academy of Ophthalmology. "Typically the patient deals with the twitching for a week or so when something is troubling them,

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  • 9 Ways to Fit in Fitness This Fall

    by Jay Cardiello for

    9 foolproof ways to fit in fitness this fall9 foolproof ways to fit in fitness this fallAfter indulging this summer with frozen drinks and backyard barbecues, getting back into shape in the first few weeks of the fall season can be grueling.

    On top of it, autumn often comes with over-booked schedules, leaving little or no time for fitness. Instead of worrying about dedicating an hour a day at the gym (which probably has no chance of happening), I have developed nine simple and effective ways to seamlessly carve fitness into your schedule this fall.

    60-Second Fixes:
    Balance while you brush. The next time you're brushing your teeth, simply lift your right foot off the ground and balance on your left for 30 seconds. Then switch sides. Taking this uni-lateral stance will help develop symmetry, stability, balance, and strength in your hips and legs. This is a must-do move for heel-wearing professionals and women on the go.

    Stay in bed. Start off your day by performing plank holds, kneeling push-ups, or mountain climbers in bed for just 60

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  • 10 Simple Rules for a Healthy, Happy Life

    by Jené Luciani for

    10 simple rules for a healthy, happy life10 simple rules for a healthy, happy lifeThese days it takes more than an apple a day to keep the doctor away. With hectic lifestyles and bad habits like skipping sleep, excess alcohol consumption, and sky-high stress levels, it's harder than ever for most people to stay fit and healthy, much less take extra steps to reduce your risk of diseases like cancer, stroke, and heart disease.

    That's why Tiffany Sizemore-Ruiz, D.O., author of the blog, pulled together a list of 10 simple rules to stay healthy, happy, and fit… for life!

    1. Kick the habit: Even if you only light up occasionally, you're doing irreparable damage to your body. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, cigarette smoking kills one in five people in the United States each year, yet it's the most preventable cause of death.

    "As a doctor, this is one thing I do not ever budge on. This is hands down the worst thing you could ever do to your body," Sizemore-Ruiz says.

    RELATED: 22 Ways to Improve

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  • 10 Unbelievable Diet Rules Backed by Science

    by Adam Bornstein for

    Ready for this? Everything you thought you knew about nutrition is wrong!Ready for this? Everything you thought you knew about nutrition is wrong!When describing how you really feel about the latest miracle fix in the diet and fitness world, you'd probably like to drop an F-bomb-as in, what the fad? After all, how many times have you trusted logical sounding ideas or put all your faith in a diet strategy, only to find out that the time you invested was a waste--and you still haven't dropped the weight?

    Consider this your F-bomb-free zone. No fads, no faking, and no frustration. You see, when you really dig into the research, most of what you assume is correct about dieting is actually wrong. Discover the truth here and the only f-words coming out of your mouth will be "Finally. Fat loss!"

    1. Skip breakfast if you want.
    The one diet rule we've heard more than any other: A healthy diet begins with a great breakfast. There's just one problem: A good breakfast doesn't guarantee an overall healthy diet. In fact, according to a survey conducted by the NPD group, nearly 90 percent of Americans now eat

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  • Why Sleep is More Important Than We Ever Thought

    by Adam Bornstein for

    Why sleep is the No.1 most important thing for your healthWhy sleep is the No.1 most important thing for your healthImagine two women you know: One is your model of fitness success (She clearly knows how to slim down correctly and has the body to show for it), and the other is what you fear. This friend has her heart in the right place, but no matter how hard she works, she still struggles with the process and doesn't have the body she wants. The troubling part is that when you talk to both, they share a common approach:

    1. They eat meals that focus on lean protein and vegetables.

    2. They exercise at least three times per week, focusing on both weights and cardio.3. They know which foods are truly healthy and which they need to limit-and they do.

    And yet one friend-the one who continues to struggle-can't maintain her focus. She has trouble controlling her hunger, always craves sweets, and, despite her biggest efforts in the gym, she doesn't seem to achieve the same results as someone else following the same program.The problem might seem obvious at first. After

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  • 7 Nutrients that Boost Muscle Tone

    by Charlotte Andersen for

    Boost muscle tone with these seven essential nutrientsBoost muscle tone with these seven essential nutrientsCalories aren't the only things that count when it comes to a jaw-dropping body: If you aren't eating the right nutrients, you aren't going to slim down or build strong, sexy muscles.

    See, every time you curl or press, you're actually breaking down your muscles, causing microtears in the fibers. It's when you're resting that your body rebuilds and strengthens your muscles-and in order do so, they need the proper fuel, including these seven vitamins and minerals, identified by experts as a sort of menu for muscle. Follow the pros' recommendations for getting your daily dose of each through food or supplements, and you'll see and feel a difference from head to toe.

    1. Vitamin C: Adding color to your plate may help you add definition to your arms. Vitamin C-found in all fruits and vegetables "is responsible for the health of the blood vessels, which support the muscles' needs for oxygen and nutrients," says John Cuomo, Ph.D., of USANA Health Sciences, a

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  • What NOT to Do After a Workout

    by SHAPE Diet Doctor Mike Roussell, phD, for

    Don't do this after your workout...Don't do this after your workout...It turns out, it's not as important to consume antioxidants after a workout as previously believed.

    In fact, as counterintuitive as it is, post-workout antioxidants can actually be detrimental to your fitness progress.

    Although exercise creates free radicals and increased oxidative stress-so you'd think that taking in antioxidants to quench those free radicals created during your spin class would help get your system back to normal-this isn't the case. The opposite is actually true: Post-workout supplemental antioxidants don't do your body any favors.

    You probably appreciate the fact that your body is self-healing and works very well to deal with toxins and stress, building itself back up and coming back stronger than ever. This is the whole premise behind weight training, and your immune system functions via a similar code. Post-workout antioxidants violate that self-healing code and disrupt essential naturally occurring

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  • 7 Things You Didn't Know About Your Underwear

    by Charlotte Andersen for

    These underwear facts might surprise you!These underwear facts might surprise you!To wear or not to wear underwear (in addition to your black stretchy pants) is only one of many questions fit ladies have. But whether you're a commando convert or a boy short believer, there are a few things you should know about health and hygiene when it comes to your wonder down under. We asked our panel of experts to offer panty-related advice for ladies who lunge (and crunch, bike, hike, run, and swim).

    1. Bare or wear? Don't care!
    Whether or not you skip undies is up to you-panty lines are totally a personal preference-but there are some compelling reasons to consider covering up.
    "Bacteria and yeast love a moist and warm environment," says Doerthe Brueggmann, M.D., of Health Goes Female. "So a very effective and simple protection is to wear any underwear under your workout gear to catch sweat and developing moisture. This is why it's not a good idea to go commando!"

    RELATED: 7 Things Your Nails Can Tell You About Your Health

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  • 10 Ways to Be Happier at Work Without Changing Your Job

    by Locke Hughes for

    Make these small changes to feel happier at work--without changing jobs.Make these small changes to feel happier at work--without changing jobs.Can eating the same thing for breakfast, turning off the radio, or telling a joke make you happier in your job? According to a new book, Before Happiness (available September 10, 2013), the answer is yes. We spoke with author Shawn Achor, a happiness researcher, leading positive psychology expert, and distinguished former Harvard professor, to find out how simple actions like these can in fact help you become happier, healthier, and more successful at work and in your everyday life.

    1. Ask a coworker out for a drink: If you've been feeling down at work, doing something nice for someone else can help you feel better. In fact, the greatest buffer against depression is altruism, Achor says. His research found that people who put more effort into their work relationships were 10 times more likely to be highly engaged in their work and twice as likely to be satisfied with their jobs. Most notably, these pro-social workers were more successful and had more

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  • Do You Have What it Takes to Be a Hero?

    by Charlotte Andersen for

    Antoinette TuffAntoinette TuffAfter talking down a gunman who'd invaded the Georgia elementary school were she works last week, Antoinette Tuff has gone from district bookkeeper to national hero (even President Obama called her). And she certainly is deserving of the accolades: Her quick-thinking likely saved the school-and the country-from another horrific massacre.

    But her bravery wasn't bravado, rather it came from a deeper place insider her. Talking both to an emergency dispatcher and the 20-year-old gunman, Michael Brandon Hill, she sympathized with Hill's story of mental illness, telling him, "It's going to be all right, sweetie. I just want you to know I love you, though, okay? And I'm proud of you. That's a good thing that you're just giving up and don't worry about it. We all go through something in life. I thought the same thing, you know, I tried to commit suicide last year after my husband left me. But look at me now. I'm still working and everything is okay."


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