Blog Posts by The Editors of WOMEN'S HEALTH

  • 4 Great (and 4 Terrible) Things for Your Heart

    By Malia Jacobsen for Women's Health

    Talk about overworked and underappreciated. Your heart fuels your body through blistering treadmill sprints, flutters at the sight of a shirtless Chris Hemsworth, and paces you through a crazy work day--all the while supplying your brain, limbs, and organs with oxygen- and nutrient-rich blood. Yet 40 percent of women rarely give their heart a second thought, according to a poll conducted by Women's Health, the American Heart Association (AHA), and Weekend Today.

    That's scary, considering one in four females will die of heart disease--an often-silent illness that can start as early as your teenage years. (Framed another way, your lifetime risk for heart disease is nearly triple your lifetime risk for breast cancer.)

    So, yeah, it's time to give this pulsating powerhouse some love. The AHA released new guidelines in November that urge people to fill up on produce and whole grains, break a sweat for at least 40 minutes a few times a week, and keep

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  • Do You Really Need to Shower Post-Workout?

    ..Gross question, yes…but you know you've wondered the same thing yourself!
    By Esther Crain, Women's Health

    So you're doing the wind-down during your pilates class, and a quick glance at the wall clock tells you you're gonna be late getting back to the office or meeting friends for dinner. You're tempted to shave several minutes off your locker-room time by skipping the showers--and the time-consuming blow-dry and makeup session you'll need before finally getting out of the gym. Is that totally gross--or can you get away with it?

    The truth: If you're sweaty, it's better for your body if you make time for a little soap and water. And this isn't just out of concern for anyone who comes within smelling distance.

    RELATED: 10 Ways You're Washing Your Face Wrong

    "It's not the smell of sweat that you have to worry about but the fact that perspiration left behind on your skin allows bacteria to proliferate, and that can lead to rashes and breakouts," explains Holly L. Phillips, M.D.,

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  • 15 Healthy Foods that Make You Feel Full and Satisfied

    Fill up (and not out) with these good-for-you, high-fiber foodsFill up (and not out) with these good-for-you, high-fiber foodsFill up (and not out) with these good-for-you, high-fiber foods

    By Alison Goldman, Women's Health

    We're about to totally bust through the notion that healthy foods can't be filling. You see, naturally high-fiber foods are key when it comes to getting your nutrients and not hearing your stomach grumble an hour later. You should aim to include a fiber source in every meal and snack, says Brooke Alpert, R.D., founder of B Nutritious. So we gathered 15 great options. "These are really, really healthy foods that are going to keep you full for a long time," she says. Sold!

    RELATED: 16 Detoxing Cleanse Foods

    Hummus
    Beans are an awesome source of fiber, says Alpert, and chickpeas are no exception. Store-bought hummus has about 2.7 grams of fiber in a three-tablespoon serving. Just be careful about what you're dipping into your hummus: Pitas made with white flour won't be as filling as whole grain ones--or better yet, crudité.

    Oatmeal
    Avoid 10 a.m. cravings by giving your

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  • 5 Things You Didn't Know About Chocolate

    Flickr Creative Commons via DeusXFloridaFlickr Creative Commons via DeusXFloridaFrom chocolate cravings to workout recovery, here's what you need to know about your favorite sweet treat

    By Kristen Domonell, Women's Health

    Surprise!
    If you're like most women, you're totally smitten with chocolate. People have been obsessing over this comfort food for thousands of years (the Mayans considered cocao a cure-all and the Aztecs used it as money). And all that obsessing has yielded some pretty surprising studies--and findings. Here, five things you need to know about your favorite indulgence.

    RELATED: The Healthiest Types of Chocolate to Eat


    It Can Boost Your Workout

    Skip the expensive sports drinks and protein shakes. Research shows chocolate milk is just as effective a recovery aid.

    A study published in the journal Applied Physiology, Nutrition, and Metabolism compared the effects of a recovery drink and chocolate milk on endurance athletes' ability to recover after a series of bike sprints followed by an endurance ride the next day. They found that chocolate

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  • 11 Weird Things that Destroy Your Immunity

    Nix these bad habits, and the cold and flu will be no match against your immune system Nix these bad habits, and the cold and flu will be no match against your immune system By Kenny Thapoung, Women's Health

    You wash your hands, chug O.J., avoid contact with sick people, and still come down with a fever. Um, what gives? These not-so-obvious things could be weakening your immunity. But rest assured--we've got simple fixes to keep your body strong this cold and flu season.

    1. The Air Around You Is Polluted
    All that smog isn't doing your lungs--or immunity--any favors. Research has found that dirty air suppresses T cells, which are essential to your immune system, and causes excess inflammation in the body.

    Fix it: Invest in an air purifier for your home, says Frances Goulart, C.C.N., author of Super Immunity Foods. While you can't control the air quality outside, at least you'll be able to breathe easy indoors.

    2. You're Sitting Most of the Day
    If you have a desk job, your butt likely spends the majority of the time planted on a chair. This can slow your metabolic rate, which in turn causes your body to absorb immunity-boosting nutrients

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  • Top 10 Fitness Tips from Team USA Olympians

    The best athletes in the world share how they blow past plateaus and score better resultsThe best athletes in the world share how they blow past plateaus and score better resultsBy Caitlin Carlson, Women's Health
    Call it a lull, rut, or wall--we've all hit that point when a workout routine becomes static, progress has flatlined, or injury has forced a setback. Even Team USA's finest! Yet these athletes learn to push their bodies to higher and higher limits. Hear how they blow past plateaus and score better results.

    PLUS: The Best Workout for Your Body Type

    1. Stop and Listen
    "I train nonstop to try to get stronger and faster," says 2010 Olympic moguls skier Heather McPhie. But she found a surprising payoff from slowing down: "During our last training camp, I took 10 minutes each day to center myself," she explains. "I set a timer and did nothing. It helped me observe things, like tightness in my right shoulder, that I wouldn't have noticed otherwise."

    2. Schedule Wisely
    She knows they're important for building stamina, but McPhie doesn't look forward to her moderate-intensity cardio workouts. So she strategically schedules them the day after a really

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  • 7 Biggest Myths About Getting Pregnant

    Apparently sex ed left a few gaps in our baby-making knowledgeApparently sex ed left a few gaps in our baby-making knowledgeBy Casey Gueren, Women's Health

    We'd like to think that we've gained a little expertise about baby-making since our teenage years. After all, we no longer think you can't get pregnant your first time or that birth control ruins your future chances of having a baby. But apparently most women still have a ton of misconceptions about their fertility, according to a recent study in the journal Fertility & Sterility. And while having the wrong info in high school was embarrassing, believing these myths now can really screw with your chances of getting pregnant. Check out some of the most common myths the study uncovered, and get the facts behind each one.

    PLUS: Top 10 Myths About BEING Pregnant

    Myth #1: Your weird period won't affect your chances of getting pregnant.
    If your time of the month is wildly unpredictable, it can definitely impact how long it takes you to get pregnant. If you have only a few periods a year, you're automatically reducing your probability of conceiving,

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  • 5 Tips for Going on the Paleo Diet

    Everything you need to know about eating like a cavemanEverything you need to know about eating like a cavemanBy Casey Gueren, Women's Health


    One of the hottest diets right now is also kind of a throwback: The Paleo diet is based on eating only what our ancestors chowed down on 10,000 years ago. Instead of limiting calories and fat, the Paleo diet focuses on eating from select food groups. And contrary to popular belief, it's not just for red meat-loving guys who do CrossFit--it can lead to major weight loss for women, too. Take it from Esther Blum, M.S., R.D., author of the new book Cavewomen Don't Get Fat: The Paleo Chic Diet for Rapid Results.

    Blum follows the plan herself, but even she admits that at times, tweaks are necessary. After all, a strict Paleo diet is all about meat, seafood, fruits, vegetables, and nuts--and only meat, seafood, fruits, vegetables, and nuts. That means no dairy, grains, or processed foods since they weren't on the menu back in the Paleolithic era (a typical day might consist of an omelet for breakfast, sliced meat and nuts for snacks, a grilled chicken

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  • 7 Weird Tricks that Boost Weight Loss

    By Alison Goldman, Women's Health

    If you want to shed pounds, you know the best way to do it: healthy eating and exercise. That being said, we've learned about some pretty interesting--and, well, seriously strange--weight-loss tricks via research over the past year. Check them out…

    Peppermint

    Smelling peppermint on the regular may help lower hunger levels and calorie intake, per a study we reported on in December. (Here's more on the scent that can ward off hunger.)

    Your Dishware--If It's the Right Color

    A study published last month found that using red plates could help you eat less. (Home goods stores probably have some awesome after-Christmas sales right now!)

    TRY THIS: The Color That Makes You Eat Less


    Cold Hard Cash

    Paying with bills instead of a credit card may help you pick out healthier foods, according to research reported on in the fall.

    Chocolate
    Chowing down on the sweet stuff is associated with lower levels of abdominal fat, according to

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  • How a Detox Really Affects Your Body

    Stripped of essential nutrients, detox diets can be downright dangerousStripped of essential nutrients, detox diets can be downright dangerousBy Laura Beil, Women's Health

    Thinking of signing up for a fruit juice cleanse? You might first consider how your body reacts to a week with no protein or fat and fewer than 1,000 calories a day.

    After the first sip
    Your brain's hunger signals are answered with a dump of pure fruit-juice sugar. And don't get any ideas--veggie-based body cleanses aren't any healthier.

    The sweet stuff prompts the pancreas to squirt out insulin, which moves sugar--now in your blood in the form of glucose--into your cells.

    DID YOU KNOW: What Your Food Cravings Say About Your Health

    After 30 minutes
    As your cells suck up the glucose, your blood sugar level can start to plummet and you may feel dizzy.

    Meanwhile, lacking enough calories, your body is operating off its supply of glycogen, a form of short-term energy stored in the liver and muscles. (Shedding pounds doesn't have to be about deprivation! Here are 5 Fatty Foods That Make You Skinny.)

    After two days

    With each shot of juice, your insulin levels

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