Blog Posts by SHAPE magazine

  • 5 DIY Health Checks that Could Save Your Life

    These five DIY checks could save your life. These five DIY checks could save your life. Today there are tests for almost everything. Luckily, these five checks don't require waiting in line to see a doctor or filling a prescription that may or may not be covered by your insurance. Read on for five DIY health checks you can perform that might just save your life:

    1. Urine:
    Your first trip to the toilet in the morning can detect a lot more than pregnancy or a urinary tract infection. More than 70 markers in your urine can determine how your entire body is functioning and are key to preventing degenerative diseases, unknown gluten intolerance, low antioxidant levels that make you vulnerable to oxidative stress, and more, says Nancy Guberti, certified nutritionist and healthy lifestyle coach.

    RELATED: Relaxing 101: How to Reduce the Stress in Your Life

    For instance, "accumulation of specific organic acids in urine often signals a metabolic inhibition or block," Guberti says. The abnormality could mean that you're vitamin deficient.

    2. Your weight: Unexplained weight gain

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  • 10 Reasons You HAVE to Try BodyRock.Tv

    Have you tried BodyRock Tv. yet?Have you tried BodyRock Tv. yet?Photo courtesy of BodyRock.Tv

    For the past several years BodyRock.Tv has been quietly revolutionizing home workouts by building a huge catalog of free, original routines and a large, devoted fan base to go with it. We talked exclusively with Freddy Light, one of the BodyRock.Tv founders, to learn more about his plan to bring the revolution to a home near you.

    So, what's so special about BodyRock.Tv? Let us count the ways...

    1. Fast, high-intensity workout routines. Research shows that you don't have to work out very long to burn fat and build lean muscle, you just need to work out very hard. And intensity happens to be BodyRock.Tv's specialty. "Our workouts mostly consist of 12-minute, high-intensity, interval bodyweight routines," Light says. "These types of workouts are great for burning fat, boosting metabolism, increasing strength and agility, and overall conditioning."

    RELATED: 25 Exercises that Tone More Than You Think!

    2. Extensive video catalog. With more than 600

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  • Can Too Little H2O Impact Your Mood?

    Can too little H2O affect your mood?Can too little H2O affect your mood?By Cynthia Sass, MPH, RD

    It's been a perpetual debate-do you really need 8 glasses of water a day? Many experts say no, that this recommendation is outdated, but I disagree. According to the Institute of Medicine (IOM), women ages 19 and over need 2.7 liters of total fluid per day (more than 11 cups) and men need 3.7 liters (more than 15 cups). About 20 percent of our fluids come from food, but that still leaves 8 to 12 cups based on the IOM's guidelines. Studies tell us that most Americans drink about two liters of total beverages per day, but less than a quarter come from water.

    Technically, non-water drinks like soda, lemonade, and sweet tea can "count" toward fluid needs, but of course, those drinks also provide empty calories (calories that aren't bundled with valuable nutrients) and can contribute to weight gain. So to replace the fluid your body loses, and stay in balance, pure water is best. Few people I know consistently drink enough, and now there's even more reason to

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  • 5 Eco-Friendly Products that Are Good for the Planet (and Your Life!)

    Switch up your regular gear and try these environmentally friendly green products for a change that's good for you and the environment. Here are some of our favorites:

    EkoMiko candleEkoMiko candle1. EkoMiko Candle: Made from a repurposed wine bottle, the EkoMiko candle offers a smoke-free burn. ($70;

    eco friendly alcoholeco friendly alcohol2. Eco.Love wine: From vine to bottle, Wines are made with earth-friendly practices. ($17;

    North FaceNorth Face3. The North Face Venture Jacket: The North Face Venture Jacket uses 50 percent fewer petroleum-based materials. ($99;

    M2F brand denimsM2F brand denims4. M2F Brand Denims: The yarns in M2F Brand Denims are dyed in a non-toxic bath that uses half as much water and energy as other brands. (from $78;

    The Cuisinart GreenGourmet Cooking SetThe Cuisinart GreenGourmet Cooking Set5. Cuisinart GreenGourmet Cooking Set: The Cuisinart GreenGourmet 12-piece cooking set has 70 percent recycled steel hardware. ($250;

    More on SHAPE:
    How to Live to 100, Starting Today
    12 Steps to Better Sleep
    10 Must-Have Books Every Healthy Girl Needs

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  • How to Build the Perfect Circuit Workout Routine

    Follow these six easy steps to build your perfect circuit training workout routine. Follow these six easy steps to build your perfect circuit training workout routine. Imagine a turbocharged workout routine that mixes cardio and strength training and has you in and out of the gym in 30 minutes. Plus, it's infinitely and easily customized to help youreach your goals faster. Sound too good to be true? It's not! It's called circuit training.

    While this style of training has a lot to recommend it, figuring out how to set up an effective circuit workout can be intimidating at first. That's why we pulled together six easy steps to help you build your perfect circuit.

    Step 1: Select your time limit.
    Circuit training is simply a workout based around a set number of "stations" that you repeat until your time runs out. So knowing how much time you have can help you determine how many circuits you'll need to complete and how hard you'll need to work. (The shorter the workout, the harder you should be pushing!) Anywhere from 10-45 minutes is ideal.

    Example: Five stations of 1-minute each repeated for six circuits adds up to a 30-minute workout.

    RELATED: Could

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  • 3 Foods that Will Kill Your Appetite (and What to Eat Instead)

    Though we've got a healthy appetite for just about anything, we won't be trying these dishes anytime soon. From the insanely fattening (a bacon-wrapped turducken) to the downright unsavory (bat paste), these foods require uninhibited taste buds and an iron stomach! That's why we also included a healthy, and thankfully more palatable, alternative for each one.

    Bacon-wrapped turduken. Yup, it's a real thing. Bacon-wrapped turduken. Yup, it's a real thing. 1. Bacon-wrapped turduken: Approximately 25,000 calories for entire turducken Turducken, a popular holiday dish of a whole chicken stuffed into a whole duck stuffed into a whole turkey, already serves up a totally indulgent, heart-stopping meal. Wrap it in strips of bacon and the meaty creation becomes a catastrophic calorie bomb. This turbaconducken may have carnivores drooling, but to us it's fatty meat overload!

    Photo courtesy of Bacon Today

    RELATED: The Best Recipes from Our Favorite Healthy Food Blogs

    bacon breakfast burritobacon breakfast burritoHealthier option: Bacon breakfast burrito: 235 calories, 2.7 grams sugar, 10.5 grams fat If you're a bacon lover but can't

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  • The A-B-Cs of Cleavage: Getting it Right

    The A-B-Cs of Cleavage: How much is too much?The A-B-Cs of Cleavage: How much is too much?Salma Hayek, Sofia Vergara, Kim Kardashian-celebs lately just can't stop showing off their assets! And why should they be shy? It's no longer taboo to flaunt what you've got! But, there's a right way, and a wrong way-no woman wants her cups spilling over. So whether you're a barely there A-cup, a blossoming B, or a curvaceous C, we've got the A-B-C's to pulling off the coveted amount of cleavage for every occasion!

    How much is too much? Jessica Simpson's overexposed, but Kim K gets it just right.

    RELATED: 10 Slimming Beauty Products that Really Work!

    Raven SymoneRaven Symone2. For evening wear: An evening event is probably the only time you'll be allowed a little leeway if you happen to show a little too much skin. Far from her Cosby days, Raven Simone works her womanly shape in this sweetheart neckline, the perfect strapless option for larger busted ladies. But beware; a half-inch lower and this ballroom look could quickly go from red carpet to red-in-the-face. Also, with a dress like this one, be sure to

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  • 11 Steps to a Greener Sex Life

    How green is your sex life?How green is your sex life?You recycle, load up on organic fruits and veggies, and choose biking over driving, but are you going green in the bedroom, too? Here are 11 ways to get sexy and sustainable:

    1) Meet your match online. Dream of saving the planet with Mr. Right, The Eco-Friendly Edition, by your side? Log on to find your greener half: dating sites like and cater to singles looking for an eco-minded partner.

    2) Slip into organic undergarments. Look for sexy and sustainable materials like organic cotton, hemp silk, or bamboo. Brands like Stella McCartney and Cosabella have plenty of eco-friendly options. Or hit your favorite vintage store, where you can almost always find sexy, retro styles (think pinup-inspired corsets and flirty slips).

    RELATED: 5 Ways Sex Leads to Better Overall Health

    3) Take care of a hairy situation.
    You don't have to go au naturel to get in touch with Mother Nature. Save the planet on silky-smooth gams by shaving with the

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  • Change Your Plate, Lose Weight?

    Simple ways to eat lessSimple ways to eat lessStudies suggest that changing up your dinnerware can encourage you to eat less. Use these simple tricks to make your dinnerware work in your favor:

    1. Use large utensils: A covert study sprung on diners at an Italian eatery found that people eating with large forks ate less than people given small forks. The people who ate the most were those with small forks and large portions. The researchers theorize that using bigger utensils makes you feel like you are eating more food so you eat less overall.

    RELATED: The 6 Stages of Weight-Loss Grief

    2. Eat off blue plates: Scientists aren't sure exactly why-perhaps because it's such a soothing color?-but people who eat off of blue plates tend to eat less than people who eat off differently colored plates.

    3. Serve food on smaller plates: Bigger isn't always better. When served the same portion of food, people ate less of it when eating off of a small plate than a large one. Scientists hypothesize that seeing more of your plate filled tricks

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  • Why You Need to Try Circuit Training

    Why you need to try circuit training today. Why you need to try circuit training today. Kick your metabolism into high gear with this easy, customizable workout. We found seven benefits (and OK, one downside) why you should try this turbocharged workout today!

    1. Get Maximum Results in Minimum Time
    Unless fitness is your job, nobody has hours a day to spend in the gym. Circuit training is the perfect workout for the time-crunched fitness fiend. You can set up as many or as few stations as you like (Get a quick tutorial here) and then continue through the circuit until your time runs out. You can fit it in effective, total-body workout whether you have 15 minutes or an hour.

    RELATED: 25 Exercises that Tone More Than You Think!

    2. Challenge Your Whole Body
    Ever found yourself just wandering around the gym floor and winging your workout? (It's ok, we've all done it!) By incorporating individual "stations" as part of a whole-body circuit, you're guaranteed to hit every major--and minor--muscle group.

    3. Mix Cardio and Strength Training
    You love cardio but know you should

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