Blog Posts by Self Magazine

  • The Three Building Blocks to a Hot Body

    Consider this your get-fit trifecta. All you need to tighten and tone is a smart combo of these three fitness fundamentals.
    by Natalie Gingrich Mackenzie

    Arthur BelebeauArthur BelebeauBLOCK 1: CARDIO
    Pretty much any activity that gets your blood pumping is cardiovascular. When your heart rate rises, muscle cells break down sugar and fat for fuel, burning calories. Clearly there are a ton of ways to do this, but exercise physiologists lump cardio into three buckets--long, slow distance (LSD), medium hard (tempo) and high intensity interval training (HIIT). What's what:

    LSD No surprise, these sessions are long (45 to 60 minutes) and slow--you're creeping at a pace that you can easily sustain. The whole point is to increase your endurance, so you can build a solid foundation to prep for shorter, tougher sessions, says Michele Olson, Ph.D., a professor of exercise physiology at Auburn University in Montgomery, Alabama.

    Tempo In these more challenging 20- to 30-minute workouts, you'll close in on your

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  • Could Birth Control One Day Protect You from STIs, Too?

    by Anna Matlby

    CN Digital StudioCN Digital StudioCool science news: A new long-lasting device could one day be available to protect women against both pregnancy and HIV, researchers at Northwestern University announced recently. While the device is still in the very early stages, it's a potentially big step in the fight against HIV and unwanted pregnancy, especially in low-income regions such as sub-Saharan Africa.

    "Condoms are effective at preventing both pregnancy and HIV transmission but they have problems that range from men not liking them to women often being powerless to make men use them," says Northwestern University biomedical engineer Patrick Kiser, Ph.D. "We need woman-controlled methods of contraception and HIV prevention."

    See more: How to Look Better Naked

    Kiser's solution: a long-acting intravaginal ring that contains both a hormonal contraceptive and an antiretroviral drug. It looks similar to the NuvaRing, and Kiser says most women won't even feel it inside them -- nor should their sexual

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  • Should the Drinking Age of 21 Really Be Lowered?

    by Anna Matlby

    Terry DoyleTerry DoyleYou've probably heard the argument that the U.S. drinking age should be lowered to 18 (because it is in lots of other countries, because a higher age minimum forces younger drinkers to use alcohol in unsafe situations, etc.) Heck, some of us probably made that argument when we were 18. But according to a new research review, the drinking age should stay exactly where it is.

    Researchers at Boston University examined research on minimum legal drinking age (MLDA) released since 2006 and found that science strongly backs keeping the drinking age past the teen years.

    "The research literature overwhelmingly shows the benefits of the current law in saving lives and preventing serious injuries," study author William DeJong, Ph.D., a professor in the Department of Community Health Sciences at the Boston University School of Public Health, told SELF. "Advocates for lowering the drinking age are misguided in their critique of the research literature. They pick apart

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  • Would You Rather Give Up Sex or Your Smartphone?

    They're both great. But if you had to choose, would you connect to WiFi or a warm body?
    by Zahra Barnes

    Getty ImagesGetty ImagesIn some surprising news, 26% of Americans surveyed in a Harris Interactive poll can't live without their cell phones, while only 20% said there's no way they'd survive without sex. Wait--what?!

    As our world continues to modernize, love and tech will only continue to butt heads. Here's how to keep a technological faux pas from getting in the way of your love game.

    Turn off your phone when you're on a date: Or at the very least, wait until you're in the bathroom to see if you have any new texts. "If you're out on a date, don't leave your phone on the table," says April Beyer, a matchmaker and relationship coach. It sends the signal that you're not 100% invested in sharing the moment, so best to stash your cell in your purse for the night.

    See more: How to Look Better Naked

    Use technology for good, not evil: "Find a way to tech-connect that is meaningful to both you and your

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  • More Insight on HOW Pollution is Bad for Your Heart

    by Anna Maltby

    CN Digital StudioCN Digital Studio

    You probably know that breathing in all those nasty particles from air pollution can raise your risk for cardiovascular disease, and now we've got a bit more information about how that happens: Exposure to high levels of traffic-related air pollution can actually change the structure and function of the right ventricle of your heart, according to a new study in the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine.

    As it happens, there's been quite a bit of research about how pollution affects the left side of your heart, but not so much on the right side. Quick anatomy and physiology lesson: "The left heart pumps blood to nearly your entire body, and it is a strong muscle to do that job," study author Peter Leary, MD, of the University of Washington Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine, told SELF. "The right heart on the other hand only pumps blood to your lungs, which are built to allow blood to flow easily through them, so the right heart

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  • The Three Denim Skirts You're Gonna Wanna Buy This Spring

    by SELF Staffers

    Tim Regas Tim Regas

    Wanna know what to buy this month? SELF's Fashion Director, Evyan Metzner, suggests a great denim skirt. You'll see these three lengths for spring, but all of 'em are jean-ius.

    * Midi (right): A tricky length to pull off. The fear? You'll look a little mumsy. Not so if you shop for a flattering A-line cut and add heels. You can also try a pencil shape: it's long but definitely not short on sexy in a curve-hugging shape.

    See more: How to Look Better Naked

    * Above The Knee (left): Less daring than a mini, yet still fun and flirty. Undo a button to show some thigh. Another great color to work the shorter length in is a faded, lighter denim.

    * Mini (center): Pleats feel fresh, femme and sophisticated. One tip: With a lotta leg, cover up on top. Thighs also happen to disappear under a fuller skirt, too.

    Have a shopping Q? Tweet our fashion director @EvyanMetzner using #WhatShouldIBuy?

    Plus, for more denim ideas, check out our March issue, on newsstands now!

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  • Do I Really Need a Primer for My Perfume?

    by Alexandra Samuel

    courtesy photocourtesy photo It seems like there's a primer for everything these days: face (there are even different colors for different issues), lashes, lips, lids, nails -- even hair! And now, you can add a perfume primer to list of prep products. Or, should you?

    Canvas & Concrete Fragrance Primer is a clear spray meant to sit underneath your go-to perfume to help make the most of each spirtz.

    See more: Secrets To Firing Up Your Metabolism

    Apparently, the formula creates a barrier between your skin and the fragrance, making scent stick around longer. And since you use less perfume, your perfume smells "honest" (as the brand says) since it doesn't mix with your natural pH.

    I tried it before dinner with friends on Saturday night and was surprised that my perfume still lingered on my skin when I got home around midnight after 6 PM spraying. While six hours is hardly a full day, it's at least four hours longer than my fave scents usually stick around. A major plus. (A word to the

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  • Wake Up Earlier with These Time-Saving Tips

    This Sunday, March 9, we advanced our clocks. Yippee--more daylight! Bummer--we lost an hour of sleep. Because the first Monday after we spring forward can be a mad dash to work, here are five stress-free ways you can get out the door looking fresh.
    by Jacqueline Risser

    Arthur BelebeauArthur Belebeau

    Get to Bed Early on Sunday Night
    We know, we know. Easier said than done. But here's a trick worth trying: Sip some chamomile tea. Try it Sunday night to help you relax -- hopefully, you'll feel ready to hit the hay a little earlier than usual. Plus, tea made from chamomile flowers may also work to brighten your spirits, too, according to a new study from the University of Pennsylvania. So, whether you have early-to-bed success or not, at least you can snooze with a happier mind. And that's a nice way to start the week, right?

    Squeeze in Your Workout at Home
    Skip wiggling into your spandex and jetting to the gym before work and try this no-equipment-required routine at home. The eight moves will tone-up your

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  • Ke$ha's Back, Guys!

    by Jacqueline Risser

    Steve EichnerSteve Eichner

    It's been two months since Ke$ha, former SELF cover girl, entered a rehab facility to seek treatment for an eating disorder.

    And the singer -- ahem, warrior -- returned to LA last night looking happy, healthy, colorful (look at that hair!) and wearing an awesome sweatshirt that read "IMA SURVIVOR."

    See more: Look Better Naked

    When Ke$ha entered the facility, she released a statement to People saying, "I'm a crusader for being yourself and loving yourself but I've found it hard to practice. I'll be unavailable for the next 30 days, seeking treatment for my eating learn to love myself again. Exactly as I am."

    And last night, she took to her Twitter account (we love her new, more positive handle, @KeshaRose!) for the first time since January to thank everyone for their support.

    Welcome back, Ke$ha! We're psyched to see you and can't wait to dance along with you real soon.

    More from SELF:
    The 24-Minute At-Home Boot Camp
    20 Superfoods

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  • Would You Spend $300 on Snail Slime for Your Face?

    by Alexandra Samuel

    When Immunocologie Super 7 Elixer Face showed up at my desk, I immediately pumped some out onto my hand, rubbed it in and took a wiff -- you know, the usual stuff you do when you're testing a new product -- and loved it. It felt cool on my skin, smelled amazing and made my hand instantly softer.

    Obviously, I started using the stuff on my face right away. Had I know it was pumped with snail slime beforehand, though, I may have thought twice.

    See more: 6 Moves To Resize Your Butt and Thighs

    Yes. Snail slime. Immunocologie's new serum is formulated with snail mucin -- the technical term for slime -- as the primary ingredient in this brand-spankin-new, $300 facial serum. I mean, I had heard of snail facials and, of course, the brand touts it as a regenerative and immune-protecting superstar, but I was seriously skeptical. Three hundred bucks -- and snail slime?! To get the skinny on the slimy ingredient, I caught up with cosmetic chemist Ni'kita Wilson.

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