Blog Posts by The Editors of Runner's World

  • Lunch Hour Workouts (No Shower Required)

    Short workouts have lasting effects on body--and mindShort workouts have lasting effects on body--and mindThere's no better way to ward off the afternoon doldrums than squeezing in a quick workout at lunchtime. Getting out for as little as 15 minutes invigorates both mind and body--it can reduce stress, stimulate creativity, and activate hormones associated with positive thinking, not to mention help keep you fit.

    Aim to escape the office every other day; do it for three weeks, and you'll have formed a perfectly healthy habit.

    Here's how to make the most of your midday break--without getting overly sweaty.

    Make Time for Lunch First! Healthy To-Go Meals

    HIT THE STAIRS
    For five minutes, walk up and down one to two flights of stairs. Then jog a floor and walk a floor. Walk 30 seconds, then jog two floors; walk 30 seconds, then jog three floors. Cool down. On your next stair climb, repeat the above sequence twice. Each workout, add a set.

    USE YOUR CUBE
    Make up your own mini-circuit routine to strengthen your core and lower body. In your office, place your hands on the edge of your desk and

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  • Battle of the Superfoods

    Food fight! Which superfoods offer a healthier edge?Food fight! Which superfoods offer a healthier edge?Food Fight! In a battle of nutritional superstars, which options offer a healthier edge?

    As a health-savvy consumer, you try to toss nutrient-packed foods into your grocery cart. But when you're deciding between similar-seeming nutritious items (say, turkey or chicken?), you may not know the superior choice. "Food is your fuel," says Mitzi Dulan, R.D., co-author of The All-Pro Diet. "Selecting the most nutritious options will improve your diet and give you a competitive edge." While you can't go wrong eating both quinoa and brown rice, choosing the nutritional champ may give your running the boost it needs. In a healthy-food smackdown, here are our winning picks.

    Free! Your Guide to Healthy Eating

    STRAWBERRIES vs. BLUEBERRIES
    The winner: Blueberries
    Both are health all-stars, but a study in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry reported that blueberries (particularly wild ones) showed the most antioxidant activity of all the fruits tested. "These antioxidants help keep your

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  • Quick Meal Makeovers All Day Long

    Upgrade your meals with these simple tweaksUpgrade your meals with these simple tweaksMaking simple food swaps--yogurt instead of skim milk, olive-oil vinaigrette instead of fat-free dressing--can pack more nutrients into every meal. And adding fresh fruits and vegetables is the easiest way to improve any meal, since most are low in calories but high in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.

    Free! Your Ultimate Guide to Healthy Eating

    Certain food pairings improve a meal's overall nutritional value by "unlocking" other nutrients, says Elaine Magee, M.P.H., R.D., author of Food Synergy: Unleash Hundreds of Powerful Healing Food Combinations to Fight Disease and Live Well. Try these:

    PREWORKOUT BREAKFAST
    Meal: Oatmeal with milk and a sprinkle of brown sugar
    Makeover: Oatmeal with almonds, strawberries, and low-fat yogurt
    Nutrition Boost: Oatmeal's whole-grain carbs are rich in B-vitamins, which may help build and repair muscle and red blood cells. Substitute low-fat or fat-free yogurt for milk: Cup for cup, yogurt delivers more protein, potassium, and calcium. Skip the

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  • Best Indoor Group Workouts

    Have you tried the latest popular group workouts?Have you tried the latest popular group workouts?Winter--when it's cold, dark, and generally unpleasant outside--is a perfect time to try a new class. "Group classes are a great way to try something new and address areas that you know are weaknesses for you, like flexibility or upper-body strength," says Jessica Cover, a running coach and personal trainer in Burlington, Vermont.

    She recommends these five classes--offered by many health clubs, community centers, and yoga and martial arts studios--to improve in the areas of balance, strength, and mental focus. "Plus, they're fun," she says.

    Free! Weight Loss Rules That Work


    BODYPUMP BY LES MILLS This workout includes high-repetition movements using squats, bench presses, bicep curls, and other classic weightroom exercises with low weight loads, all set to energizing music (everything from Bon Jovi to Cascada). You load up your barbell with as much, or as little, weight as you'd like and perform 70 to 100 repetitions each for legs, chest, back, shoulders, and abs. Most exercisers burn

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  • 6 Signs You’re in a Dangerous Relationship with Food

    Are you in a dangerous relationship with food?Are you in a dangerous relationship with food?It's okay to have some guidelines around your eating-no dessert until after your workout, perhaps. But when certain unhealthy practices become habits, you put your well-being at risk, says sports dietitian Suzanne Girard Eberle. Here are six common-but-damaging food "rules" to avoid:

    1. EATING ENERGY BARS AS MEALS
    Energy bars are a convenient way to supplement your nutrition. But if you're eating only them, it's a red flag. "It's best to get calories from whole foods," says Eberle. Although many bars are enriched with vitamins, they don't provide the quality of nutrition gained from real food.

    Best Foods To Keep In Your Pantry

    2. AVOIDING FAT. OR CARBS. OR MEAT. OR WHATEVER!
    Avoiding certain ingredients is common, whether for health or personal reasons. (Think vegetarians, gluten-free diets.) But if you're nixing entire food groups to lose weight, tread carefully. "It makes you prone to injury and can compromise the immune system," she says.

    3. OBSESSIVELY TIMING YOUR MEALS

    Let's

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  • How to Lose 10 Pounds for Good

    Here's how to keep the weight off for goodHere's how to keep the weight off for goodIf you're active, you have half the weight-control puzzle solved. Unfortunately, the eating-right half is even more critical, according to Enette Larson-Meyer, Ph.D., R.D., who heads the University of Wyoming nutrition and exercise lab.

    "There's no magic bullet," she adds, instead offering a barrage of bite-size tips. Adopting even a few can help you shed pounds, and if you stick with them, you won't gain the weight back:

    Avoid These Weight Loss Myths That Mess With Results


    Include protein in every meal.
    A 2010 study found that athletes were more successful losing weight with a diet that was 35 percent protein than one that was 15 percent protein. "Protein preserves lean muscle mass and controls appetite," Larson-Meyer says. But it should be from lean sources, such as poultry, fish, lean meats, beans, lentils, soy food, and yogurt.

    Healthy Recipes from Runner-Chefs


    Eat a meal within an hour after exercising. "This aids recovery and makes high-fat snacks less tempting."

    Don't skip

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  • How Fit Are You Really? 4 Tests to Find Out

    Think you're fit? Prove it with these testsThink you're fit? Prove it with these testsTo be in great shape, you can't just stick to cardio, says Tom Nohilly, assistant coach of the New Jersey/New York Track Club. Daily stretching and frequent upper-body workouts are also important, yet often overlooked.

    To find out if your overall fitness needs a boost, take these four tests. If you struggle with the moves, do the exercises on days you're skipping cardio, gradually adding weight and/or repetitions. Work on stretching daily. And if you ace any, follow Nohilly's advice to advance. Repeat the tests in six weeks for proof you've improved. By summer, you'll be fitter than ever.

    The 8 Golden Rules of Weight Loss

    Test your hamstring flexibility with this moveTest your hamstring flexibility with this moveTEST 1: HAMSTRING FLEXIBILITY
    Using a stretching rope or looped towel, do a straight-leg hamstring stretch. Try bringing leg up to 90 degrees. Hold for several seconds, then switch legs.

    HOW TO IMPROVE

    If you couldn't reach 90 degrees, repeat the stretch but without the rope. Gently press the back of your leg toward your chest while keeping your leg straight.

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  • 5 Health Tests You Need to Ace This Year

    Are you forgetting these important health screenings?Are you forgetting these important health screenings?No matter how fit you are, you can't change health risk factors like your genes, your family history, your race, or your age. Other aspects of your lifestyle count, too, including how you manage stress and your eating habits. The best way to safeguard your long-term health is to catch troublesome issues early, so ask your doctor about adding these screenings to your calendar.

    BLOOD PRESSURE

    There are no early symptoms of high BP (hypertension), but the longer it goes unnoticed--and untreated--the more damage occurs to your heart and blood vessels, upping your chances of a heart attack or stroke. With every birthday your risk goes up. Your favorite foods also play a role, with salt, saturated fats, and too much alcohol being top aggravators. Certain medicines can also raise BP.

    WHEN TO SCREEN:
    Start at age 18; then every year
    YOUR TARGET: Blood pressure under 120/80 mmHg

    Try These 5 Heart-Smart Foods


    CHOLESTEROL
    Some cholesterol--a waxy, fatty substance--is necessary to build

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  • 3 Fun Treadmill Workouts

    Bored with your workout? Try these fun treadmill ideasBored with your workout? Try these fun treadmill ideasTreadmill running has a bad rep. Treadmills can be boring, sure, but running outside can be just as boring if you never vary your pace or your terrain.

    Plus, when running indoors, you can control the thermostat, enjoy cushioning that protects your joints, and stop worrying about bad weather, stopping for cars, or other uniquely outdoor-running problems.

    Try one of these three workouts next time you're on the 'mill to build fitness and help the time fly by.

    The Key to Workout Success

    RANDOM INTERVALS
    Unpredictable incline and speed changes provide a more complete workout than a steady pace on a flat surface, because they force you to work different muscles.

    The Workout: Just a little variation in your run helps the time go by much faster. Try a 10-minute warmup, 20 minutes of your treadmill's random intervals setting, and a 10-minute cooldown.

    Fuel Up for a Better Workout


    SITCOM RACE-PACE RUN Treadmills are a great tool to help you lock in a goal race pace, since you can set it and

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  • How Do I Start Running?

    undefinedChances are, if you're looking at this page, you're either totally new to running, or you're trying to get back to it after a long layoff.

    The good news is that running is one of the simplest ways to get in shape. You already know "how to run," in the literal sense--it's just like walking, but faster!

    Run Your First 5K

    We're guessing these questions are really the ones you're looking to answer:

    So how do I start?
    Slowly. If you haven't run in the last six months, first build up to walking continuously for 30 minutes. Then add running for 10 to 20 seconds every minute, walking the balance, for a total of 30 minutes. Run every other day, gradually adding five to 10 seconds to your run time.

    Follow This Weekly Plan & Tips to Start Running


    Won't I be sore?
    Not excessively. It's common to "earn" a bit of muscle soreness in the beginning. But there's no need to feel pain, especially if you start with short, slow periods of running, take plenty of walk breaks, and gradually increase your

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