Blog Posts by POPSUGAR Fitness

  • Look Good Under that Sweater: Ab Exercises for Fall

    POPSUGAR FitnessSource: Look Good Under That Sweater: Ab Exercises For Fall

    Even though you're staying warm in bulky, oversize sweaters and bikinis are pushed to the back of the closet, you shouldn't skimp on core-strengthening exercises. That's right - now's the perfect time to get a sweater-ready six-pack with these five tummy-toning moves. Aside from helping you attain fantastic abs, these exercises will help with strength, balance, and posture, too.

    • Pilates Hip-Ups: With control, this dynamic exercise will strengthen your low abs in no time. Make sure to keep your core engaged throughout the entire move!
      • Start lying on your back with you hands by your side.
      • With your core engaged, lift your feet off the ground and cross your ankles.
      • Lift your lower back off the mat, and rock up toward the ceiling.
      • With control, lower your back (not your legs) to the mat.
      • Repeat this motion for 20 reps.


    More from POPSUGAR Fitness: Feel the Burn With This 5-Minute Ab Workout


    • Seated Russian
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  • Autumn Reset: Make it Your Best Sleep Season Yet

    Source: Autumn Reset: Make It Your Best Sleep Season Yet

    The end of hot Summer nights can mean it's time to reset your sleeping habits. With cooler weather ahead, here are three ways to make this Fall the season of your best sleep yet.

    Adjust the temp:
    Even if you don't have to depend on your AC any more for comfortably cool nights, you still need to make sure your bedroom is still the optimal temperature for a restful sleep. The good news is that cooler Fall temperatures are actually best for a good night's rest. Just make sure you swap out your Summer bed sheets and comforters for warmer options as the nights get cooler in order to maintain an environment that is between 60 and 68 degrees.

    Clean your vents:
    Those heating vents that haven't been turned on all year could be hiding tons of dust, pollen, and other particulates that can trigger a nightly sneeze attack. If you find yourself suffering from sniffles, keep your bedroom windows closed to prevent allergies from late-Summer

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  • Terminate Your Membership to the Clean Plate Club

    Source: Terminate Your Membership to the Clean Plate Club

    It's hard to say good-bye to the clean plate club - even with the best intentions for change. Continuing to chow down when you're full is a problem that plagues many, going back to those years when you had to eat everything on your plate before leaving the table. Haven't quite mastered the art of dropping the fork? These tips will help get those harmful overeating habits in check.

    Cook one serving:
    If the issue of portion control has always affected meal time, take temptation out of the equation and cook just one serving. Simply divide your favorite recipes accordingly. For example, if a recipe serves four, then divide each ingredient measurement in the recipe by four. This way, second helpings and heaping, oversized portions aren't even an option.

    Start slow:
    There's no reason to make huge changes overnight! If you have a difficult time leaving food on your plate, start slow and treat it as an week-long experiment. For one

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  • The 7 Rules for Hydrating During Runs

    Source: The 7 Rules For Hydrating During Runs


    The right amount of hydration can make a good run even better, but not drinking enough water can be uncomfortable - and dangerous. Here are seven hydration rules to follow, for both short and long runs.

    • Pay attention to your water intake the day before your run. Drinking enough water every day helps keep your cells hydrated so you don't start off a run dehydrated, which can lead to cramping, fatigue, and a high heart rate.
    • If your run is an hour or less, then you may not need to bring along a water bottle unless the temperature or humidity is high. Make sure you're well hydrated before your run so you can leave the bottle at home. While this is a rule of thumb, if you find that you are thirsty during your runs, bring along a bottle!
    • Hydration is extremely important when you're out on a long run, but you don't need to drink as much as you're losing in sweat, says running coach Matt Fitzgerald. "Go ahead and trust your body's signals.
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  • This Semester, Don't Be a Victim of Workout Sabotage

    Source: This Semester, Don't Be a Victim of Workout Sabotage

    The start of the school semester can upend the schedule (or lack of one) you've perfected all Summer. Fitting in classes, studying, and time with friends can make it seem easy to just skip out on a workout in order to make your day manageable. Don't sabotage yourself with the "I'm too busy" excuse; stay on track with these tips for setting up the perfect workout schedule.

    Look at the whole picture: You should be proud of yourself every time you complete a workout, but look at your entire week to ensure you're fitting in enough activity. Aim for two strength-training sessions a week and enough cardio to help you meet your workout goals. In general, try for 300 minutes of activity a week, which you can break up into whatever works for you (for example, five one-hour-long sessions a week).


    More from POPSUGAR Fitness: 4 Places to Shop Before Dorm Move-In Day


    Block out the time:
    You know you can't skip calculus class (as much

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  • Double Your Protein Intake to Lose Fat, Not Muscle

    Source: Double Your Protein Intake to Lose Fat, Not Muscle

    That bodybuilder guzzling a protein shake at your gym is on to something - a new study shows that doubling your protein intake, coupled with exercise, may be the key to losing fat pounds without dropping muscle mass.

    We all know adequate protein (especially after a workout) is key to building and repairing muscles, but this study, published in the September issue of The FASEB Journal, says we may not be eating enough. The study's researchers put 39 patients on a weight-loss regimen over 31 days; at first, all participants were on the same diet to maintain their current weight. After 10 days, they were split into three groups following calorie-restricted diets: those who ate the US-recommended daily allowance (RDA) of protein, those who ate twice the RDA of protein, and those who ate three times the RDA of protein. The participants exercised accordingly in order to lose an average of two pounds a week. The researchers found

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  • Eat when You're Bored? 4 Ways to Curb Fridge-Scoping Habits

    Source: Eat When You're Bored? 4 Ways to Curb Fridge-Scoping Habits

    It sounds simple in theory, but learning how to differentiate between boredom and hunger can be a struggle. If you ever find yourself standing at the fridge, wondering just how you ended up there - yet again! - these tips will help you build new habits and curb unnecessary weight gain.

    Become aware:
    Psychologist and proponent of mindful eating Dr. Susan Albers urges her clients to take stock of their habits. "We're often just mindlessly eating without really being hungry . . . we have habits around certain time periods," she says. If you find yourself heading to the fridge for a snack or mini-meal when you have nothing else going on, take stock of how you're feeling at that moment. Are you stressed? Bored? Unless you're actually hungry, there's no reason to chow down.

    Rethink TV time:
    When you haven't planned out an afternoon or an evening, it can be tempting to tune in to the tube and sink into the couch. If

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  • Stop the Self-Sabotage! the Surprising Places Where People Overindulge

    Source: Stop the Self-Sabotage! The Surprising Places Where People Overindulge

    It's not just the holidays; everyday plans get in the way of healthy eating goals on a regular basis. At this point, you probably realize that late-night calls to your favorite fast-food joint and sugar-laden coffee drinks need to be an occasional indulgence. What you might not realize is how easy it is to rack up the calories during common day-to-day activities.

    Brunch with friends:
    You head to the table with the best intentions, but if you don't stay strong, then they're dead upon arrival. There's no reason to give up this weekend ritual, but skip the sweet offerings, ask for healthy substitutions, and most importantly, don't overdo it on mimosas and Bloody Marys. Avoid tacking on unneeded calories and sugar to your meal by thinking things through before placing your order. Be smart about your choices, and remember: you don't want to be left in a food coma, forced to blow off your afternoon plans.

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  • Must-Dos for Sculpting Muscles Faster

    POPSUGAR FitnessSource: Must-Dos For Sculpting Muscles Faster

    Your busy schedule hardly allows for time to exercise, so when you steal away for an hour, you want to make that workout count. If a toned physique is your goal, here are essential strength-training tips for quickly achieving the sculpted muscles you desire.

    • Work Out More Often: Hitting a total-body bootcamp session on Saturdays is awesome, but if you really want to see your hard work pay off, include strength-training sessions three times a week. Be sure to include rest days in between workouts, since this recovery time is what builds muscles. Mix up the exercises you do at each session, the equipment you use, and the order you work your muscles, and you're bound to notice a sculpted physique faster than if you only strength train once a week.
    • Don't Just Sit There: While doing shoulder presses or other arm exercises, it's tempting to sit down on a bench, but you'll get more out of your workout if you stand on a BOSU ball, or if you
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  • The Secret to Fast Weight Loss: Kettlebells

    Source: The Secret to Fast Weight Loss: Kettlebells

    There's a reason why so many people love kettlebell training - after all, who doesn't want a total-body resistance and cardio workout that only takes half an hour? And even more surprising, an American Council on Exercise (ACE) study recently found that the average person can burn 400 calories in just 20 minutes with a kettlebell. That's an amazing 20 calories a minute, or the equivalent of running a six-minute mile! What makes the workout so effective, especially when compared with traditional weights like barbells or dumbbells? "You're moving in different planes of movement," says Laura Wilson, director of programming for KettleWorX. "Instead of just going up and down, you're going to move side to side and in and out, so it's much more functional. It's like you move in real life; kettlebells simulate that movement, unlike a dumbbell."

    As a result, Laura says, you end up using more of your stabilizer muscles than traditional weight

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