Blog Posts by SHAPE magazine

  • The Best Workouts You Aren't Doing

    Whether you're new to the gym or have been working out for years, you've got to challenge your muscles in new and different ways to continue seeing results. If you feel like you've hit that workout plateau, don't worry. Not only are the workouts below fun, but they'll challenge you in new ways so that you can keep moving forward with your fitness goals.

    BurdenkoBurdenko1. Burdenko: If you think water exercise is just for grannies in flowered bathing caps, you haven't tried this workout yet! The Burdenko Method, developed by Dr. Igor Burdenko, combines specific, core-centric exercises (performed both on land and in the water) to help develop balance, coordination, flexibility, endurance, speed, and strength.

    Used by everyone from world-class Olympic athletes to professional ballerinas to both improve performance and for rehabilitation, this unique training method focuses on developing a balanced body (all exercises are performed both forwards and backwards) and incorporates the natural resistance of

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  • The Best Sushi for Weight Loss

    Sushi may be healthy, but it can turn into a calorie bomb fast. Are you ordering the right way? Experts weigh in with some tips on ordering out so that you can save calories and still enjoy the healthy benefits of sushi.

    Order salmon or tunaOrder salmon or tuna1. Order salmon or tuna. Carol Ann Rinzler, author of Nutrition for Dummies, points out that sushi is the very definition of a low-fat meal (as are fresh oysters and clams). But if you're not eating it the right way, it's not low-fat at all.

    "To maximize the benefits [of sushi], choose pieces that are rich in omega-3s, the unsaturated fats that protect the heart and boost brain power," Rinzler says. She suggests salmon and tuna, which are both low-calorie (40 calories per ounce for the salmon and 42 for the tuna), high in protein and omega-3s, and also deliver a big dose of vitamin D.

    RELATED: 10 Guiltless Gluten-Free Snacks

    Order wasabi!Order wasabi!2. Consider wasabi. "Wasabi radish is packed with antioxidants like isothiocyanates, the sharp, smelly-when-heated compounds that give

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  • How to Fall in Love with Healthy Living

    Approach healthy living like you do dating, and you'll fall in love in no time!Approach healthy living like you do dating, and you'll fall in love in no time!By Rachel Wilkerson

    Ah, it's February: the month of love poems, flowers, and romance. In the process of going from a very happy-to-be-on-the-couch "before" to a can't-get-enough-veggies "after," I've found that falling in love with healthy living is very much like falling in love with a person. So rather than stress about all the mixed signals and cryptic text messages, shift your focus and apply all the rules of dating to your health and fitness goals.

    RELATED: The 6 Stages of Weight-Loss Grief

    1. Figure out what you want: Before you start dating, you have to think about what you're looking for in a relationship: Someone to grow old with? A date to your cousin's wedding? Just a fling? Once you figure that out, you can decide whether you should join an online dating site or just hit up the local bar at last call. In the same way, you should figure out what you want from a health and fitness plan. Do you want to get in shape and stay in shape for the next 10 years? Lose 5 pounds by

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  • 7 Health Symptoms You Should Never Ignore

    It may be easy to brush off these common complaints as nothing, but sometimes they can signal a serious problem. We went to the experts to find out when it's time to go to the doctor. Here's what they had to say:

    sleep problemssleep problems1. Sleep problems: Amy Korn-Reavis, respiratory therapist and sleep technologist, cautions you should not ignore sleep-related issues. "I have been working in this field for a long time. I believe one of the things people do not talk to their physicians about is their sleep problems," she says. "If a person has heart issues, diabetes, or high blood pressure and they have issues sleeping, snoring, or high levels of fatigue, they should talk to their physician about it."

    If you don't know where to begin and are suffering from the conditions mentioned, Korn-Reavis suggests using an Epworth sleepiness scale or a Berlin questionnaire and discussing the results with your doctor.

    RELATED: 8 Simple Ways to Detox Your Body

    vaginal dischargevaginal discharge2. Vaginal discharge: Alyssa Phillips, physician assistant and

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  • Barefoot Running: Do the Benefits Outweigh the Risks?

    Barefoot running: yay or nay?Barefoot running: yay or nay?By Charlotte Andersen

    The first time I tried barefoot running I did everything wrong. Having missed my ride and only a 3-mile jog away from home, I figured it would be the perfect opportunity to try out this new barefoot trend I'd been hearing so much about. I slipped off my heels and took off homeward. It only took a few blocks to realize that the pavement was chewing up the bottoms of my feet. I tried running on the grass instead but it was too hard to see rocks and sticks, plus it quickly became clear that there's not a lot of grass in my neighborhood. Two miles in I was leaving a trail of blood and tears. Admitting defeat, I called my husband to come and get me and spent the next week nursing my feet back to walking condition.

    Lesson learned: there's a lot more to barefoot running than just running in bare feet.

    RELATED: 8 Ways to Stay Warm on Winter Runs

    More recently, I've tried barefoot running the way the experts advise: start out slow, build your foot strength, run indoors

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  • Is Fruit Really a "Free" Diet Food?

    Too much fruit can sabotage your weight-loss effortsToo much fruit can sabotage your weight-loss effortsLots of foods and ingredients have been at the center of controversy, but fruit? It turns out, even good old-fashioned fruit isn't immune. Our Diet Doctor, Mike Roussell, PhD, weighs in on how too much fruit could be sabotaging your weight-loss efforts. Here's what he had to say:
    Fresh fruit is a healthy choice and loaded with vitamins and antioxidants; however fruit still contains calories and carbohydrates. These are two things that can stop your weight-loss progress in its tracks if left unchecked.

    Whether or not you should eat fruit while dieting has always been a controversial topic. The Internet is cluttered with articles claiming that eating fruit will make you fat, while more recently Weight Watchers has deemed fruit a 'zero points food' as part of the Points Plus system, allowing dieters to eat all the fruit they want without it impacting their daily points total.

    RELATED: The Top 50 Winter Foods for Weight Loss

    Which is correct? Is your daily cup of blueberries to blame

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  • The Breakfast of Champions

    You don't need us to remind you that eating a healthy breakfast is a good idea. But since the same bowl of oatmeal every day can get boring, you might need a few new ideas for what to eat in the morning.

    "Whether you are headed to the gym or on your way out the door to work, make sure your breakfast is going to keep you going for the next few hours," says Ed Olko, personal trainer at Equinox in Palos Verdes, CA. "Your breakfast is the beginning of your day, so make it count."

    Olko's top picks: A fruit smoothie and a Bagel Thin with a light smear of peanut butter; an English muffin with egg white, a slice of turkey bacon, and half a piece of cheese; an egg white omelet with mushrooms, spinach, and cheese on a bagel; or plain Greek yogurt with whole grain cereal and/or fresh fruit mixed in.

    Read on for more great breakfast ideas from health and fitness fanatics.

    Farm fresh eggs and veggiesFarm fresh eggs and veggies1. Jennifer Purdie, 34, Ironman athlete and marathon runner: My favorite thing to eat for breakfast is an egg white

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  • Is a Preference for Fat in Your Genes?

    Is a preference for fat in your genes?Is a preference for fat in your genes?Rather than a sweet or salt tooth were you born with a 'fat tooth'? In a new study published in the journal Obesity researchers examined the link between genetics and fat preference. Over 300 male and female subjects were asked to rate their perceptions of salad dressings prepared with varying amounts of oil. They assessed the dressings' creaminess, how much they enjoyed them, and provided information about their fondness for other fatty foods, like half-and-half, bacon, hot dogs, French fries, cheese , chips, and doughnuts. The scientists also collected saliva samples to test the subjects' DNA.

    RELATED: Ask the Diet Doctor: Are You Eating Too Many Healthy Fats?

    They found that those who had certain forms of a particular gene, roughly 20 percent of the population, rated the salad dressings as creamier, regardless of how much fat they contained. They also favored fatty foods more than people who have other forms of this gene. In short, the study concludes that indeed some people may

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  • Zumba, Me? I'm an Awful Dancer! Why You Don't Need Dancing Skills to Love Zumba

    Why you don't need dancing skills to love zumbaWhy you don't need dancing skills to love zumbaBy Charlotte Andersen

    Zumba, one of the hottest group fitness classes of2012, uses Latin dance moves to burn off the calories as you burn up the floor. But if it's so fun and such a great workout, why don't more people try it? "I can't dance!" is the most common barrier to class entry. Nobody wants to be the only "flail-er" in the room. But you don't have to be a dance pro-or even to have danced before at all-to enjoy this fun class.

    Here, two readers share how they found their "Latin hips" and got a great sweat, proving that you don't have to be a dancer to fall in love with Zumba.

    "I've always loved dancing but I'm horrible at it!" says Cassie Simonton, a mom of three. "I thought Zumba classes might help me because I would have someone teaching me how to dance and yet everyone would be concentrating on the teacher and be too busy to notice me and my awkwardness!"

    She adds, "I was excited to try it out but wouldn't dare go by myself! I had to have a friend to laugh with me."

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  • What NOT to Say to a Personal Trainer

    The creator of The creator of By Adena Andrews

    If you have any type of web-enabled device, you've probably seen the new meme "Sh*t ______ Say." The trend of hilarious videos took the Internet by storm and kept us laughing in our desk chairs. BJ Gaddour, fitness boot camp and metabolic training expert, decided to hit the gym and make his own video, "Sh*t Women Say To Personal Trainers." The result? More than 700,000 YouTube hits!

    While the video had us practically crying from laughter, it also made us cringe when we saw some of the things we'd been guilty of saying to our trainers at least once. That made us wonder--how should you behave with your personal trainer? How can you ensure you get the most out of it? So we went straight to the source and got Gaddour's take on what NOT to say to your personal trainer.

    After two years of working as a personal trainer one-on-one with all kinds of clients, Gaddour had tons of material to work with. While his video does garner lots of laughs, it can also be a tale of how to

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