• by Charlotte Hilton Andersen for SHAPE.com

    Can't get pregnant? Don't stress out!Can't get pregnant? Don't stress out!

    If you want to have a baby but are having a hard time conceiving, don't stress out-doing so may only make it even harder to grow a bun in the oven, new research says. According to a study published today in the journal Human Reproduction, the higher a woman's levels of alpha-amylase-an enzyme in saliva that indicates stress-the lower her chances of conceiving. In fact, the most stressed-out ladies had double the risk of having unexplained infertility, defined as having unprotected sex for 12 months and still not becoming pregnant.

    Stay calm, though: The scientists emphasize that this study is about giving infertile couples more information and more options to try. "Eliminating stressors before trying to become pregnant might shorten the time couples need to become pregnant in comparison to ignoring stress," says Germaine Buck Louis, the study's principal researcher.

    RELATED: The Fertility Facts You Must Know

    This is exactly why Read More »from How Stress Can Increase Your Risk of Infertility
  • Healthy chocolate cake.Just because you've made a deal with yourself to lose x amount of pounds by bikini season doesn't mean you have to totally deprive yourself or avoid eating out. There's no fun in that practice, and besides, deprivation often leads to binging.

    Seriously, your social life does not need to drop off completely, and you really don't have to turn down dinner invitations during this dedicated period. There are ways to go out, order respectably and still leave satisfied. Plus, if you're shy about divulging the details of your weight loss mission, don't worry about it; it's not like you'll be munching on crackers all night!

    Choose fish for your entree instead of the fat-laden short rib dish. Drink red wine instead of a mixed drink. There are plenty of ways to have fun, eat well and stay on point no matter what the circumstances entail. Below are nine surefire tips that'll help keep you on track even when faced with a restaurant menu's endless temptations.

    1. Drink Red Wine.

    If you're

    Read More »from Is it Possible to Dine Out and Stick to Your Diet?
  • by Lexi Petronis

    Romulo A YanesRomulo A YanesWell, I'm going to admit it--I've officially got the spring-fever bug. Do you? This doesn't mean I've done any actual spring-cleaning of my house or anything like that (yet!), but I have been thinking about it. (That counts, right?) And it makes sense to start with the kitchen--and one's eating habits--first, don't you think?

    Sharon Richter, R.D., thinks so too. She says that it's important to clean out your pantry at least once a year: "Its also great time to assess your eating habits and freshen up some of your go-to staples in the snack and nonperishable categories," she says. And she has some good ideas for jump-starting the whole process:


    1: "Empty everything from your kitchen cabinets. It's OK to start with a mess and you'll be surprised what's hiding in there!" she says.

    2: "Throw away anything that has expired, has been open for more than a couple weeks, or you know you're just not going to use."

    See more: The Best Shoes for Spring 2014

    3: "Organize Read More »from 7 Ways to Clean Your Diet (and Your Pantry) for Spring
  • multivitaminsWhen it comes to multivitamins, there seem to be many murky opinions out there. Some consider vitamins absolutely essential to maintaining optimal health, delivering elements that your diet doesn't include. Others, including medical practitioners, consider them a marketing hoax. So what does that mean for you? Have you been automatically popping one every day for the past ten or fifteen years just because? We decided to turn to an expert for this one and spoke with Dr. JJ Levenstein, President/Co-Founder of MD Moms, for the uncensored scoop on women and vitamins.


    ES:
    First of all, is taking a daily women's multivitamin essential to good health?

    Dr. JJ: If a woman eats a normal balanced diet that is nutritionally sound, and doesn't have excessive menstrual blood losses or other underlying health conditions, taking a daily multivitamin is generally not necessary. That being said, if she is pregnant, she should take a prenatal vitamin that includes folic acid, omega 3 fatty acids

    Read More »from The Unsettling Truth Behind Women's Multivitamins
  • Don't smoke? Doesn't matter. You could still be doing damage to your long-term health.
    By Emily Main, Rodale News

    You don't smoke. You live a generally healthy life, so you're in the clear as far as unhealthy habits are concerned, right?

    Not so fast! It seems like every day, a new study comes out finding that habit X is "as bad for you as smoking," whether it's sitting all day or eating too much fat. So is there any legitimacy to those claims? We checked out a bunch of those studies to find out what the researchers mean when they claim that those things are as bad for you as cigarettes, and in most cases, they're not lying. The following six unhealthy habits either expose you to the same contaminants in cigarette smoke or lead to cancer rates equivalent to those caused by smoking. Fortunately, these are easy to fix with a few modifications to your daily routine so you (and your heart and your lungs) can be glad you don't in fact smoke.

    PLUS: A recent report projected that

    Read More »from 6 Unhealthy Habits that Are as Bad as Smoking
  • Sam Kaplan/FITNESS MagazineSam Kaplan/FITNESS MagazineBy Paige Greenfield

    Most of us consider stress a negative, but it actually covers a spectrum from good to bad and is vital to our survival, McEwen says. "The sweet spot is achieved when the kind of anxiety and arousal you experience while giving a speech or taking a test boosts your performance," he explains. The stress hormones optimize brain-circuit function, temporarily increasing memory and focus. They also help ferry your immune system's white blood cells to wherever they're needed in the body to combat infection and repair tissue, bolstering your defenses. With each surge of short-term stress, an army of hormones is deployed to sweep away potentially harmful pathogens, McEwen says.

    Yet there's a fine line between intermittent, good-for-you stress and the chronic sort -- such as having financial problems or enduring a rocky relationship -- that wreaks havoc on your well-being. "If the hormones hang around too long or are released in very large doses, the body's immune

    Read More »from Find Your Stress Sweet Spot
  • by Rachel Sturtz for Shape.com

    These remedies for neck and back pain really work!These remedies for neck and back pain really work!

    Talk about a pain in the neck: Two-thirds of Americans 18 to 34 years old have had chronic pain, or know someone who has, in the past year alone, according to an American Osteopathic Association survey, and neck pain was third on the list of trouble spots. Neck and upper-back pain is mostly caused by stress and ergonomics (how we sleep, sit, and work), says Manhattan-based massage therapist John Ellsworth. Which means the torment is treatable.

    And since more than half of the people surveyed confessed they might not seek professional help for discomfort, here are five DIY ways to say sayonara to soreness.


    1. Sleep in a scarf: "More than 80 percent of your body heat comes from muscular contraction. When you're cold, your muscles tighten slightly to generate heat," Ellsworth says. Your neck is uniquely exposed at night, especially when you're covered in blankets, robbing your neck muscles of the chance to rest, recover, and heal like the rest of your Read More »from 5 Weird Remedies for Neck and Back Pain
  • But it just feels so good.We Asked: YouBeauty Sleep Expert Shelby Harris, Psy.D.

    The Answer: Sometimes when you wake up in the morning and the alarm gives out a warning, your body just says "no." If you really feel you need another nine minutes under the covers before you can take on the day, hitting the snooze button isn't such a big deal. If you're doing it at least three times a week there's probably a bigger issue at hand.

    MORE: 6 Foods That'll Shrink Your Belly

    For some people, hitting snooze is as much a part of the morning routine as brushing your teeth. That's a pretty good sign that you're not getting the quantity or quality of sleep you need. Slapping that button and slamming your face back into the pillow gets you a little more shut-eye, sure, but it's often very shallow, restless sleep that isn't really restorative. If the length of your nap between beeps is too long, you could slip into a deeper stage of sleep and then have to reawaken in the middle of it, which will make you feel more

    Read More »from Is Hitting Snooze Really that Bad?
  • Dawn Lindner's drug and alcohol abuse was hurting her friends and family. Here's how she regained control.Dawn Lindner's drug and alcohol abuse was hurting her friends and family. Here's how she regained control.

    With her long, straight blond hair, Dawn Lindner, 48, who is from East Gull Lake, Minn., looks like the girl next door -- a grown-up Marcia Brady. But after working for years in her family's media business and being the guardian of her mentally disabled brother for more than a decade, Lindner became addicted to pills. "I was in emotional and physical pain," she says.

    In 2009, after a difficult, lengthy custody battle with her ex, "a wave of depression came over me," she says. Then, in quick succession, she was diagnosed with menorrhagia (excessive menstrual bleeding) and interstitial cystitis (a painful bladder disorder). Lindner had a hysterectomy and suddenly found herself taking a slew of prescriptions from several doctors, all on automatic refill -- including antidepressants, pain relievers and anti-anxiety medication. "It felt like my body was turning on itself," she says. She had never been a drinker, but on the pills, she began craving wine by the bottle. Things got ugly

    Read More »from How One Mother Overcame Her Prescription Pill Addiction
  • Training for a marathon? Looking to lose a few pounds? Cutting out (or limiting) meat? Do it all with our collection of the best recipes we've ever published.
    By Joanna Sayago Golub, Runner's World

    Depending on your training regimen, health goals, and dietary restrictions, your perfect balance of nutrients might look very different from your buddy's. If you're a runner logging long distances and lots of miles, for example, you need a high-calorie meal plan packed with carbs and quality protein. But if you're trying to lose weight, your perfect plan should be loaded with filling but low-calorie foods.

    PLUS: Top 5 Ways to Spring-Clean Your Diet, Starting Now

    We've taken all that and more into consideration in The Runner's World Cookbook, our brand-new collection of 150 of the best recipes the magazine has ever published. With its easy-to-follow key, you can search for recipes that meet your exact nutritional needs--and find prerun and recovery recipes; low-calorie recipes;

    Read More »from The Perfect Diet for Your Specific Fitness Goals

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