• By Laurel House

    I get it; you slip on a fierce pair of "Sex and the City"-esque Choos or Manolos and you strut your saucy stuff like nobody's business. But there's another form of walking that can actually get you in the type of shape that can warrant such attention-demanding sauntering.

    Sure, you could power walk- moving through the streets with arms swinging and an air of intensity that triggers leisure amblers to step aside as if you were paving your own sidewalk fastlane. But more than motoring on foot, a one-foot-in-front-of-the-other cardio routine can be instantly transformed into a total-body toning, calorie-burning, fat-obliterating workout if you just tweak your exercise mentality and view your environment as your gym.

    Cindy Whitmarsh, an NASN Licensed Sports Nutritionist, published fitness author, and an ExerciseTV Top Trainer chimes in with an enthusiastic "Yes! You can absolutely get a total body cardio/toning workout from just a walk! What's great is that

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  • Dollhouse 2.jpgJoss Whedon is the TV writer when it comes to dramas that showcase girls kickin' butt (who wasn't motivated to hit the gym after watching Buffy's vampire slaying moves?). So it made sense to call up the actresses of his new series Dollhouse, now in its second season, for SELF's partner workout. Costars Eliza Dushku (a Buffy alum!) and Dichen Lachman toned together to show you how dropping pounds is better with a buddy.

    Keep reading for the stars' shape-up secrets, and head over to the Fitness pages for a video demonstration. Don't forget to check out Eliza's and Dichen's moves here and in SELF's October issue, on newsstands September 22.

    Eliza's Get Fit Tips:
    "If I work out, it makes a difference between whether I have a clear, present mind or a messy, clogged and irritable one!"

    "Weight training is especially important in addition to doing the exercises properly with correct alignment and a clean diet. It makes me burn more throughout my day and feel amazing."

    "I grew up playing

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  • Blistery hot Summer weather is cooling down, so those of you who were running in air-conditioned gyms can now move your workouts outside. Not only can you can advantage of the fresh air and nonexistent monthly fee, but if you opt for trail running instead of hitting the sidewalk or bike path, you'll end up burning 10 percent more calories. Keep these tips in mind when switching from the treadmill to the trails.

    • Buy some trail running shoes. Their soles are more rugged so they can handle slippery or uneven terrain. Trail runners also tend to be sturdier to support your foot while moving on the softer surface.
    • Wicking socks are a must. Sweat and wetness in your socks that may spray up from the ground can lead to blisters, so wear socks made of Merino wool or some other wicking material to pull moisture away from your skin.
    • Start off slow and easy. Trail running is much harder than running on a treadmill because of the hills, unpredictable terrain, and natural obstacles,
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  • Nichols worked with her longtime trainer Valerie Waters to get into fighting shape for G.I. Joe. For the four months leading up to filming, Waters replaced Nichols's regular routine with three weekly full-body circuit workouts she calls "Action Hero Babe."

    The circuits are each made up of 4-5 exercises that work arm, core, leg and back muscles. "Try this workout, leaving a day in between for two weeks, and tell me if you don't feel like a female action hero," says Waters. "Strong. Sexy. Fierce!" Click here to find the first circuit. The second circuit is below. Check back next week for circuit three!


    CIRCUIT 2

    Repeat the circuit 2-3 times, resting 1-2 minutes in between sets.

    1. Romanian Dead Lift: 12 reps with 30-pound weights
    With your legs shoulder-width apart, hold a dumbbell in each hand with your palms facing your body. Keeping the weights close to your body, slightly bend your knees and lean forward with a flat back until you reach a table-top position. Slowly return to the

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  • Con PoulosCon Poulosby Sally Solo

    Rule # 1. Know yourself.
    Some people revel in the art of food preparation. For others, the microwave is a lifesaver. What matters is that you find a healthy way to cook and eat that works for you. If you love a large, sit-down dinner, for example, ignore conventional wisdom that says it's best to eat lots of small meals (just be sure not to snack all day if you plan to feast at night).

    Knowing yourself also means planning for pitfalls. If, say, you often nosh while you work, keep food as far from your desk as possible or bring in a healthy snack from home. If your downfall is salty junk food, don't eat directly from a multiserving package; take out a handful and put the rest away. Slight changes don't feel like sacrifice, says Brian Wansink, a professor of marketing and nutritional science at Cornell University, but they do make a difference: "Eating 200 fewer calories a day can mean 20 pounds of weight lost in a year."


    Rule # 2. Give peas (and peaches) a chance.
    It's

    Read More »from The golden rules of eating for weight loss
  • Be Realistic
    Don't declare a permanent embargo on carbs when you wake up on January 1st. The quickest way to dropping your diet is to give yourself crazy limitations, i.e. "I will start the day with two hours of pilates and a spin class, and subsist on nothing but grapes and rice cakes from now on." Pick one habit to break at a time--like mindless grazing or throwing back sodas instead of water.

    Fix Your Mistakes
    Before you fix your diet or fitness routine, you first have to figure out where you went wrong in the past. Track your daily calorie intake and exercise through a site like fitday.com for a clear picture of how many calories you're taking in and how many you're burning on a daily basis. You may find that your morning jogs are too short to make up for the croissant you have for breakfast, or that you can drop pounds if you cut back on your weekend alcohol intake.

    Write Your Own Diet Plan
    It might be tempting to start shedding the pounds by hooking onto something like the

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  • 5 Health Move Musts

    The health choices you make now will dictate your health in the future; start being healthy today and you'll feel the positive effects for years to come.

    1. GET A LIFE.
    People who feel a sense of purpose in life and a responsibility beyond taking care of themselves - like organizing adopt-a-thons at the animal shelter or throwing not-to-be-missed soirees for friends - tend to deal with stress better than those who don't, Dr. Roizen says. These activities give you a strong sense of self and a support system to ground you when stress strikes.

    2. FLOSS.
    Everyday. Not flossing can increase chances of periodontal disease, which could increase your risk of giving birth to a premature or low-birthweight baby. Inflammation from periodontal disease can also set you up for heart disease.

    3. LEARN TO COOK.
    This makes you more likely to eat at home, which is better for your heart and your weight than living on takeout. But one warning: Most people use too much oil when they

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  • Muscle strength peaks at age 25 and hits a plateau before falling sometime in your mid-to-late 30s. The more shapely, strong muscle you can bank now, the stronger you'll stay for life. Use these strategies to exercise to your full potential.

    LAST LONGER, RECOVER STRONGER
    You can get more from your workout and trim recovery time by knowing what to eat and drink before, during, and after exercise.

    ONE TO TWO HOURS BEFORE YOUR WORKOUT
    Have a high-carb snack. "Carbs can help you feel more physically and mentally energized during exercise," says Liz Applegate, Ph.D., director of sports nutrition at the University of California, Davis. In one study, cyclists who ate carbs before riding were able to pedal 18 percent longer before fatiguing. Make the energy last by adding a small amount of protein: Try a bowl of Cheerios and boost the carb count with some fruit, or half of a turkey sandwich (stay fairly light on the turkey to keep it moving through your system) and a banana. For a turbo

    Read More »from How To Build More Muscle
  • By Laurel House

    Does your weight stay the same despite your daily workout? THEN YOU'RE LUCKY! At least that's according to a recent (and extremely controversial) article that appeared in Time Magazine making it seem as if exercisers not only are not losing weight, but that exercise itself may actually be making it harder to shed that sticky fat!

    Sure, when you exercise you strengthen your muscles. Muscles weigh more than fat. So in that sense, yes, you could in fact gain a few pounds from working out. Here's the problem that the article points out, exercisers feel compelled to "treat" themselves post sweat sessions. And while some sort of snack might be necessary to get the blood sugar levels back on track, a donut is not.

    Look, you can't hop on the treadmill for 30 minutes and think you deserve a pizza- the calories burned/ calories consumed ratio is off. Translation: you will gain weight. It's not exercise that's making you fat. It's your food mentality. That feeling of

    Read More »from Exercise and Diet Awareness WILL Make You Thinner
  • Here's a simple way to make weight loss a natural part of the life you already live. And guess what? It's fun! You don't have to give up the foods you love or join a gym. It's about balancing calories in tiny ways that add up to big benefits. You just adopt some tricks naturally lean people do. Pick the ones you like, stick with them, and you'll slim down and tone up -- for good!



    By Cynthia Dermody

    1. Wake-up workout When your eyes open, sit up slowly without using your hands. With legs straight out, lean forward until you feel a gentle stretch in your back and hamstrings. Hold; then, using your abs, lower yourself flat. Rest and repeat two more times. Strengthens core. Burns 10 calories

    2. Go for the grains Not ready for Twigs & Rocks cereal? Sprinkle on a few tablespoons of wheat germ or oat bran. Work up to 3/4 cup of low-sugar whole-grain cereal with at least three grams of fiber per serving, and you'll pass on that Danish. Saves 100

    3. Add some protein The more you eat earlier

    Read More »from 13 Habits of Naturally Thin People

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