Blog Posts by SHAPE magazine

  • The Cutest Hair Accessories For Your Workout

    Putting on a full face of makeup to go to the gym? No thanks! Still, there's no rule that says you can't look cute while you're working out. We've compiled some of the cutest hair accessories around to wear while you're working out hard. The best part is they're all completely functional, too!

    1. Strappy and sweet: Easily the cutest headband we've ever seen, this Gym Double Strap Headband from Lucy Activewear in the Dot Stripe pattern ($1.98 at Lucy.com) wins our fitness-fiending hearts. And the best part is, we love the price tag!

    2. Bands with bling: Bring the bling to the gym with these Juicy Couture Multi Thin Elastics with Charms ($25 at Bloomingdales.com). The collection comes with four thin elastic bands that spell out "Juicy" with clear crystals and metallic letters-so fabulous!

    RELATED: The Best Sports Bra For Your Cup Size

    3. For designer divas on wheels: Next time you ride your bike around town, keep your scalp and eyes protected from the sun's harmful race with the Adidas

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  • 5 Creative And Fun Ways To Relax In Bed

    By SHAPE blogger Renee Woodruff

    When you're living in a city like Manhattan, you get pretty creative with the amount of space you have...which is very little. Here are my five favorite ways to use my bed (get your mind out of the gutter!). What are yours?

    1. Eating. Yes, you heard me just fine. When you live in a tiny, shoe-box shaped apartment in the middle of Manhattan, your bed takes on many titles. Multi-tasking becomes a must, and eating in bed happens often. I'm not talking full-blown meals, but I am talking Buttercup cupcake parties with a glass of wine, a paper-towel wrapped peanut butter and jelly sandwich, a snack-pack cottage cheese to comfort a late night growl and of course, snacks of various assortments during movie time (I'd prefer watching a movie in bed over the couch any day).

    2. Beauty prep. With just enough floor space to turn around in my old apartment, my bed automatically became a cosmetic counter as I prepped during the wee hours of the morning.

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  • The Benefits of Drinking Dark Beer

    Most of us reach for a pale, light beer at happy hour when watching our calories. But new research shows a nutritional benefit to opting for a heavier, darker beer: iron. The study, which was published in the Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture, examined 40 types of beer from around the world and found that, on average, dark beers have free iron content of 121 parts per billion (ppb) compared to 92 ppb in pale beers and 63 ppb in non-alcoholic beers.

    RELATED: 20 Chilled Summer Soups To Stay Slim

    Iron is an essential mineral that is need to make a part of blood cells. Iron helps carry oxygen from the lungs to the muscles and other organs, so when your iron intake is low, oxygen circulates more slowly, which can leave you feeling tired, sluggish and irritable.

    RELATED: Bikini-Friendly Beers

    While iron is found in meat, beans, grains and some veggies, it's estimated that only 65 to 70 percent of all Americans meet their daily recommended intake. Because of

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  • 5 Easy Ways To Tone Up At The Beach

    The days are getting slightly cooler, the sun's not shining quite as bright...yup, summer is slowly winding down! But don't worry, there's still time to hit the beach! Next time you're there, why don't you try these five moves to tone up and get fit?

    1. Sand sprints: Warm up by running a few laps up and down in the sand. When you're ready, mark off a distance by using two landmarks or by drawing a line in the sand. Sprint from one to the next-aim to have each sprint last 12-30 seconds, with a ten-second rest between each one. The resistance from the sand makes these so much harder than regular sprints so you'll feel them quickly.

    Tip: Running barefoot is a lot different than running with shoes on. Focus on not striking with your heel first.

    2. Glute bridge on ball with leg lift: I've never met a curl machine that worked my hamstrings and butt better than this move! Lay on your back with your ball under your heels. Lift your butt as high as you can and pull the ball in towards you.

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  • What You Should Know Before Trying Kettlebells

    Everyone these days seems to be incorporating kettlebells into her workouts. Vanessa Hudgens uses them to stay strong, and Penelope Cruz, Jennifer Lopez and Matthew McConaughey have also worked out with them. While most everyone can do a kettlebell workout, there's a few things that every kettlebell beginner should know before trying this new hot trend.

    1. Form is king. Before trying any kettlebell workout, it's important to know and understand proper form. Take a kettlebell class with an experienced and certified instructor and ask for one-on-one help. A kettlebell workout is very challenging and can be fantastic for building strength, but if you're not doing the moves properly, you can be injured or not see results.

    Related: 20 Ways to Get Toned Arms Faster

    2. It's all about momentum.
    Kettlebell workouts are all about explosive, powerful movements. Unlike lifting weights where you slowly lift a weight, when working out with kettlebells, it's all about using the momentum of the

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  • 11 Guilt-Free Italian Menu Items

    Ever feel like going for Italian food inevitably means indulging in something you'll regret later? Here are guilt-free options that you can enjoy next time you eat Italian.

    Bresaola

    This air-dried, salted beef first originated in Italy and has been served as an antipasti for centuries. It's 98-percent lean, sweet, and tender. (That's code for practically no fat, no carbohydrates, and lots of protein.) Some restaurants serve it on its own, others with arugula or Parmesan cheese.

    Chicken Paillard
    This classic Tuscan dish is just pounded, grilled chicken, usually topped with a salad of arugula, lemon, and olive oil.

    Related: 50 Tasty Foods Under 50 Calories

    Brodetto di Pesce
    One of my favorites, this vibrant fish soup is brimming with seafood (white fish, mussels, shrimp, scallops, and whatever else is fresh that day), tomatoes, thyme, garlic, onions, and a splash of white wine.

    Chicken a la Diavola
    It may sound naughty, but chicken a la diavola (deviled) means nothing more than

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  • The Best Water Bottles For Different Lifestyles

    Did you know that there are different types of water bottles suited to different lifestyles? Really, there are! Read on to see which one fits your healthy, active lifestyle.

    1. The best water bottle in disguise: Vapur Anti-Bottle

    This water bottle pick is not a bottle at all, but it's just as useful. The Vapur Anti-Bottle ($9.99 to $15.99 at Vapur) is a foldable, reusable, washable, freezable container with three layers of ultra-durable plastic. Put your water in it and when done, you can easily stash it away in your pocket or bag.


    2. The best undercover agent: Contigo's Kangaroo
    Ideal for travelers or people who don't feel like carrying a wallet, we love Contigo's Kangaroo Water Bottle ($12.99 at GoContigo.com) because of its cool compartment! Use it to store cash, your keys, anything that can fit!

    RELATED: 10 Fitness Faux Pas Women Make

    3. The most transparent: Hydros Bottle

    We just love how you can see everything inside this Hydros Bottle ($29.99 at HydrosBottle.com). And the best

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  • The 5 Best Nutrition Bars For Women

    There are all kinds of nutrition bars out there: meal replacement bars, energy bars, pre-workout bars, post-workout bars. But the reality is, for the amount of calories, sugar and fat that a lot of these bars provide, you'd be better off chowing down on a Snickers bar. So how do you know which ones really deliver the nutrients you need? Read on to see the five healthiest nutrition bars for women.

    1. Best All-Natural Bar: Larabar
    Choose a truly all-natural Larabar, which only includes about six ingredients per bar. Larabar's simple list of ingredients ensures you know what you're eating. Their website even illustrates each bar's makeup with images instead of words. It doesn't get much more transparent than that!

    2. Best Pre-Workout Bar: Kind Bar
    Through the natural energy of nuts and dried fruits, these tasty bars ensure you'll power through your workout without a sugar crash in the middle. Don't be put off by the 11 grams of fat. Kind Bars are full of healthy and natural fats that

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  • 5 Tips To Get Toned Arms Fast!

    Lifting weights can get so repetitive. Sometimes it's nice to change up your workout routine and try something new. If you're looking for new ways to get toned arms fast, try these five tips!

    1. Change your grip:
    Your biceps are the strongest of all arm muscles and make a great curve just above the elbow. Make sure to perform bicep curls with three hand positions: palms up, palms down, and thumbs to the side. Perform 12 repetitions to the front and then 12 repetitions of each to the side.

    2. Get on the ball: The stability ball will engage your core and amplify the results you get from chest exercises. It's important to work the chest muscles when sculpting the arms to create stability for the shoulder joint. Try the single-arm chest fly on the ball: Start you're your shoulders on the ball, hips lifted, and both hands over your chest holding light weights. Slowly lower one arm extended to the side, pause, and return to center. Perform 15 repetitions on each arm.

    RELATED: Work Out Like

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  • 6 Sneaky Ways To Get In Exercise

    Need to work out but can't get to the gym? Try these six easy ways to work out! The best part? You can do these moves anywhere!

    At-home chair squats: Hover above a chair seat as if you were going to sit down, without letting your butt or thighs touch the seat. Hold for 30 seconds, building up to 1 minute. Do these body toning exercises whenever you get a moment, aiming for once an hour.

    Squat in the Kitchen: Every time you're in the kitchen, perform triceps dips using a kitchen chair: Stand in front of a chair as if you were going to sit down, then bend knees and lower hips, placing hands on the seat edge, fingers pointing forward, arms straight. Walk feet forward, and with feet flat and torso erect, bend and straighten arms, keeping butt close to chair seat without touching it. Do 8-15 reps.

    RELATED: Are Protein Shakes Truly Healthy?

    Shopping squeeze: As you push your shopping cart, or whenever you're walking, contract your butt muscles as tightly as you can and

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