Blog Posts by Self Magazine

  • Spring Clean Your Life (and Work Out While Doing It)

    Dust bunnies glistening under the (finally!) glorious spring sunshine? Instead of grabbing the broom and dustpan, try this total body tone-up, created specifically for SELF by Carolyn Barnes of Taskercise. And because no great workout is complete without a kickass playlist, we've got your tunes covered, too, thanks to the creative folks at Beats Music.
    by Jacqueline Risser

    Courtesy photoCourtesy photo

    Carolyn Barnes, a former professional dancer, certified Pilates and fitness instructor, and overall busy woman, created Taskercise as a way to sneak exercise into her packed day while also completing run-of-the-mill tasks. She shared her top time-saving moves with SELF, so you can skip the "didn't make it to the gym" regret--and spruce up your crib while getting your sweat on.

    First Up: Windows or Mirror

    Where You'll Feel The Burn: Chest, arms, core, butt and calves

    Grab your favorite window/mirror cleaner and some paper towels. Stand with feet shoulder-width apart about an arm's length from a mirror or

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  • Amy Schlinger

    Courtesy photoCourtesy photo
    We love a hot guy in uniform -- but we love a hot guy, in uniform, who could also be our trainer, even more. Enter Nick Bolton, one of Kansas City's premier personal trainers, and, you guessed it -- the KC firehouse used to be his second home. Having oodles of fitness knowledge from his certifications through the National Academy of Sports Medicine, National Council on Strength and Fitness, and National Board of Emergency Medical Technicians, Bolton founded Firehouse Fitness (fitting, huh?!) where he trains his clientele. He gave us tips for flat abs, a stay-strong mantra, and yup, the one workout that even this stud won't do.

    You're stuck at the firehouse for a full day without any equipment. What's your workout?
    Nothing is predictable in a firehouse -- and that includes workout times. I focus on effective and efficient workouts so I can get more done in less time. I make it a point to include compound exercises (movements that use more than one muscle group) that

    Read More »from The Secret to Sexy Abs (Not Crunches!) and Other #TrainerIntel from Kansas City's Former Fireman Nick Bolton
  • How to Boost Your Mood with Scent (and a Little Sensibility)

    by Amanda Downs

    Anne Menke Anne Menke

    You guys, we totally understand when you're feeling blue because of the seemingly endless bad weather or a bit beat without that second Red Eye from Starbucks. And while a coffee run or some warmer weather could help things, you can also boost your mood with a few fragrance choices -- no matter what you need to get into the mood for. We tapped Sue Phillips, fragrance expert and founder of Scenterprises, for the 411 on what scents will help you feel better, faster.

    Invigorate Me: If you want to stimulate your senses first thing (and let's be real, in this busy world, who doesn't), Phillips suggests reaching for products laced with peppermint and eucalyptus: the latter has been proven to increase alertness, while peppermint promotes concentration and stimulates clear thinking. Get a little bit of both from Molton Brown Eucalyptus Body Wash, $30, which is perfect for an AM shower scrubbing.

    See more: 6 Moves To Resize Your Butt and Thighs

    Make Me Smile: That

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  • Sculpt Sexy Shoulders for Spring's Hottest Fashions

    by Alyssa Longobucco

    Robert Mitra/WWD (2), Giovanni Giannoni/WWDRobert Mitra/WWD (2), Giovanni Giannoni/WWD
    One little shoulder divot gives the impression your whole body is toned. Luckily, it's easy to get.

    The Look: Flirty off-the-shoulder, one-strap and cutout dresses and tops spotlight your decolletage and shoulders. And they're pretty much universally flattering (collarbones don't have fat days!). The only danger is bandeau bulge in straight-across styles, so opt for a fabric with stretch and make sure it hits directly below armpits.

    See more: 6 Moves To Resize Your Butt and Thighs

    The Product: Illuminate contours with a bronzy glow. New-product alert: Clarins Radiance-Plus Golden Glow Booster, $30, transforms your favorite go-to lotion into a gradual self-tanner. Add three drops and apply daily.

    Terry DoyleTerry Doyle

    The Move: Sculpt those sexy shoulder divots with a band raise. Stand on center of handled band, feet hip-width apart, an end of band in each hand, arms at sides. Raise arms forward to shoulder level in a V, palms down (as shown at left). Lower for 1 rep. Do 3 setsRead More »from Sculpt Sexy Shoulders for Spring's Hottest Fashions
  • The Easiest Way to Cut Down on Salt

    by Anna Maltby

    Mike Lorring/CN Digital StudioMike Lorring/CN Digital Studio Here's a crazy stat: Only three percent of Americans consume the Institute of Medicine's recommended 1,500 mg or less of sodium per day (the upper limit, FYI, is 2,300). That's a bad thing, since high sodium consumption raises blood pressure, which is a risk factor for heart disease and stroke.

    "It is difficult to adhere to guidelines for sodium intake because sodium is very common in the food supply," Cheryl Anderson, Ph.D., of the University of California at San Diego School of Medicine's Division of Preventive Medicine, told SELF. "To meet guidelines, it is recommended that Americans prepare and consume fresh foods instead of packaged or processed foods." Which, let's face it, is way easier said than done.

    See more: Look Better Naked

    So a new study from Anderson and her team of researchers is promising: They tested out an intervention focusing on teaching participants to flavor their food using herbs and spices, and found that by the end of the study period, Read More »from The Easiest Way to Cut Down on Salt
  • Flatten Your Abs with This Move from TV Star Maria Menounos

    by SELF Staffers

    Tyler BoyeTyler BoyeIf you want to know what it's like to have a super jampacked schedule and still manage to stay active, just take a cue from Maria Menounos. The Extra host just started up her Oxygen reality show last week (Chasing Maria Menounos) and has a second diet and fitness book coming out this summer!

    When it comes to staying in shape, Menounos embraces a simple mantra: "Just keep moving!" The reality star, who opts for stairs and stretches during business calls, takes after her dad. "My father, at 70, never stops moving," she says. "He does yard work with his headphones on, dancing and singing to Greek music."

    See more: 6 Moves To Resize Your Butt and Thighs

    One move she does with trainer Andrea Orbeck is the bench v-up: all you need is a park bench! "I like this move because it's a great overall toner, and it's fun!" says the EveryGirl's Guide to Diet & Fitness author.

    And we like it because we're total fans of getting folks outside (weather permitting!) with

    Read More »from Flatten Your Abs with This Move from TV Star Maria Menounos
  • Get Pretty with a Slew of New Beauty Apps (Cool Hair and Makeup Ideas!)

    by Amanda Downs

    Courtesy PhotoCourtesy Photo

    Rather than downloading them all (do you even have enough space for that?), we've trolled the app stores to help you pick which to click based on what you're looking for. If you want to rev up your look, shop the trends, or get educated - we've rounded up the top beauty apps for each need.

    See more: 6 Moves To Resize Your Butt and Thighs

    If you gotta try before you buy: ModiFace Virtual Makeover

    Created with facial recognition software, ModiFace Virtual Makeover features photo-realistic makeup and hair simulations, getting as specific as winged eyeliners and facial sculpting, plus weekly updated celebrity hairstyles. (Personally, I've been wondering if I can pull of Julianne Hough's pixie.)

    After choosing your makeover, the app suggests legit products you'll need in order to get the look you're going for in one of the following categories: hair, skin, nails, eyes, or lips. They'll even tell you the top sellers of the day in each category, meaning you can

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  • Help! I'm so Tired of Being Eye-Molested at the Gym

    by Zahra Barnes

    Matthew RodgersMatthew Rodgers

    Girl, we feel you. Here's how to shut it down right.

    1. Ice him out. If the guy on the bike across from yours is staring, you can take it as a clear signal that he's interested. Put the kibosh on it by showing him you are so not down. It's all about body language: Keep your eyes (and your focus) on the workout, and maintain an assassin's frozen stare so he knows you're not looking to mingle.

    See more: Look Better Naked

    2. Make the guy cringe. So he just won't quit looking. What now? It's time to escalate. What he's doing is rude, but he's assuming he can get away with it. Prove him wrong by challenging him directly, asking loudly: "Can I help you with something?" Suddenly, everyone at the gym will be looking at him, and that embarrassing public exposure should make him back off.

    See more: 6 Moves To Resize Your Butt and Thighs

    3. Pull in the big guns. If this silent harassment turns into someone following you around or getting too close, you can go to

    Read More »from Help! I'm so Tired of Being Eye-Molested at the Gym
  • Express Yourself: DIY a Super Fast Facial

    Accelerated spa treatments have literally been "popping up" across the country. Speedy services are offered for brows, nails, and blowouts so you can get your beauty fix in 30 minutes or less (more time for spinning! Or, um, Scandal). Now, we've added a new must-do to our maintenance routine: Express facials. Red Door's Cornelia Zicu explains how to DIY a lux experience right in your own home.
    by Amanda Downs

    Arthur BelebeauArthur Belebeau
    Got a minute? Neither do we. Thankfully, the beauty industry has heard the cries of over-scheduled women around the country and revamped their approach to relaxation (i.e. they're going to give it to you a whole lot faster). Today, 61% of spas are now offering express treatments, according to the 2013 U.S. Spa Industry Study, including some of our faves like Red Door Spa, Bliss, Dermalogica, and Repechage. "Time is the new luxury. We want the same results [we're used to receiving] but in minutes, not hours," says Cornelia Zicu, global chief creative officer for Red Door Spas.

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  • Should We Be Worried About the Mumps? SELF's On-Call Medical Adviser Weighs In

    by Anna Maltby

    Lara HarwoodLara HarwoodIn case you missed it, there have been a few mini-epidemics of the mumps (a viral disease that causes fever, headache, muscle aches, fatigue and swelling in the salivary glands) popping up this winter, mostly on college campuses -- at Fordham University in NYC this February, and most recently at the Ohio State University in Columbus, where the number of cases has reached 40 and the outbreak has reportedly begun to spread into the community.

    So, uh, excuse our French, but WTF? We kind of thought mumps was one of those old-fashioned diseases we were, well, done with. In fact, last time we heard anything about mumps, pretty sure it was in that lady-with-the-alligator-purse song. We decided to get to the bottom of things and ask SELF's medical adviser, Harry Lodge, MD, for the 411.

    This mumps stuff sounds scary. Is the disease dangerous?

    Mumps is a pretty miserable infection, but most people get over it just fine--it cures itself with time. Brain inflammation and

    Read More »from Should We Be Worried About the Mumps? SELF's On-Call Medical Adviser Weighs In


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