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Sculpt Stronger Arms With This Quick Ballet-Inspired Workout

Sculpt Stronger Arms With This Quick Ballet-Inspired Workout

These exercises are rooted in ballet, but also include dumbbells and planks.
Source: Sculpt Stronger Arms With This Quick Ballet-Inspired Workout

October 16, 20170 commentsRead More
The Super-Challenging Exercise That Helped Gal Gadot Get in ‘Wonder Woman’ Shape

The Super-Challenging Exercise That Helped Gal Gadot Get in ‘Wonder Woman’ Shape

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We’re never getting over our girl crush on Gal Gadot, who reprises her role as Diana Prince/Wonder Woman in this month’s Justice League. One move that got her superstrong: push presses followed by an active rest hold. “It works your triceps, shoulders, quadriceps, glutes, and hamstrings while also helping with overall body coordination to eliminate muscle imbalances,” explains Hayley Bradley, an instructor with Gym Jones, which whips Gadot and other actors into superhero shape.

How to do it: Stand with feet shoulder-width apart, holding an 8- to 10-pound dumbbell in each hand just outside shoulders, with arms bent and palms facing in. Bend knees and lower into a half squat (A), then explosively push up with legs while pressing weights up over shoulders (B); lower weights back to start. This is 1rep. Do as many as possible in 30 seconds. Next, for an active rest, rotate palms forward and extend arms up, keeping elbows close to ears (C); hold for 30 seconds. Cycle through this circuit 4 times. Do it 4 or 5 times a week for stronger, more defined arms in as little as 6 weeks.

Source: The Super-Challenging Exercise That Helped Gal Gadot Get in ‘Wonder Woman’ Shape

October 13, 20170 commentsRead More
Fitness Trainer Fires Back At Body Shamers After Hosting Facebook Live Workout: ' Really Guys?'

Fitness Trainer Fires Back At Body Shamers After Hosting Facebook Live Workout: ' Really Guys?'

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This article originally appeared on

After hosting a workout on Facebook Live for USA Today, Sarah Gaines received a ton of praise for her at-home exercise routine. But the fitness instructor also got some negative comments about her physique.

The Boston-based trainer and Fit University founder saw notifications blowing up her phone with comments on the video such as “But the instructor is thick” and “OMG! She needs to lose a lot of weight.”

Another commenter wrote, “She needs to be doing it with them lol.”

While plenty of Facebook users stood up for Gaines, she wanted to respond directly to the criticism.

“I’m a bit thick, for sure. But fat? Really guys?” the trainer wrote in a blog post.



She continued, “If this would have been a few years ago, these comments may have really affected me. But after years of struggling with body image and obsessive fitness behaviors, I have no qualms with my body whatsoever so I was fine with the comments, I was just more so disappointed that people still believe that fitness equals six pack abs.”

Gaines advised her followers to surround themselves with positive people rather than those who “instead of getting up and doing the workout, just choose to sit there and comment rude and negative things.”

“The majority of mainstream media, with a few recent exceptions, has made us believe that to be fit means to be thin and ‘toned,’ ” Gaines told The Daily Meal. “While we’re starting to see a shift in that mindset, the comments made during the workout were a reminder that we have a ways to go.”

Source: Fitness Trainer Fires Back At Body Shamers After Hosting Facebook Live Workout: ‘ Really Guys?’

3 Things You’ll Love From Misty Copeland’s New Line of Workout Clothes

3 Things You’ll Love From Misty Copeland’s New Line of Workout Clothes

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Ballerina extraordinaire (and our ultimate girl crush) Misty Copeland has teamed up with Under Armour to bring you her second foray in the world of fashion with her capsule collection, Misty Inspired-By. We were lucky enough to preview the goods, and we can definitely say that every single piece is ah-mazing. Here’s a look at three items from the collection we are seriously coveting right now.

To buy: Misty Cross Back Body Suit ($80;

Whether you want to rock it at barre class or a night out (no judgment), this piece should be a wardrobe staple. Either way, the most important feature of this dance-inspired top is it’s rearview. Showing off your super toned back and shoulders—check!

To buy: Misty Metallic Jogger ($120;

Joggers are still super hot—and so are metallics; combining the two is pretty much a genius move by the American Ballet Theater principal dancer, whose latest masterpiece, Ballerina Body recently hit shelves. Plus, this shimmery champagne is a neutral hue as well as universally flattering, so you’ll get plenty of wear out of them.

To buy: UA Metallic Anorak ($170;

For even more metallic, reach for this eye-catching anorak. The relaxed fit is perfect for throwing on over leggings as you head to a workout, and the soft jersey material is sweat-wicking and boasts anti-odor technology.

Source: 3 Things You’ll Love From Misty Copeland’s New Line of Workout Clothes

How to Start Running (or Come Back From a Hiatus) Without Getting Hurt, According to Pros

How to Start Running (or Come Back From a Hiatus) Without Getting Hurt, According to Pros

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New to running, or just trying to get back into it after a hiatus? Great. It’s one of the easiest sports to take up—all you need is a great pair of kicks and a sports bra, and you’re ready to go. Plus making your way through miles can help you shed pounds, bust stress, and even lower your risk of getting certain cancers.

Before you head out the door at full speed, though—which will almost certainly leave you injured—consider this: “Running is really hard on your body and you just have to be smart about it,” says John Hancock Elite Ambassador Blake Russell, an Olympic marathoner, physical therapist, and owner of On Track Physical Therapy in Pacific Grove, California. “The key is just starting out really slow.”

Here Russell and her fellow John Hancock Elite Ambassador Bill Rodgers, a four-time Boston Marathon winner, offer five tips for helping newbies run strong and long.

Stick to soft surfaces

While there is nothing wrong with pounding the pavement, it can be harsh on the body, especially if yours isn’t used to the movement or surface. Russell’s rec: start off on softer surfaces (think grass, sand, or even the treadmill). While a softer surface doesn’t automatically equal injury-free, a small study in the journal Research in Sports Medicine revealed that running on grass, for instance, puts less pressure on the foot compared to running on concrete.

RELATED: 13 Causes of Leg Cramps and How to Stop Them

Give yourself time to build muscle

“It takes the body at least six weeks to build muscle,” says Russell, “so give your body time to build that muscle.” In other words, don’t take on too much mileage too soon; that’s a surefire way to end up sidelined. To help your body adapt, and shore up those muscles, consider strengthening exercises, such as planks, clamshells, side squats. (See how to do them here.)

Try the run-walk method

Can’t make it through your miles without stopping? That’s OK. While you are building your endurance (or if you just need a break mid-run), there is nothing wrong with a little walking. Rodgers suggests trying the run-walk method, which is running for a set amount of time, walking for a set amount of time, and then repeating the cycle. We recover when we walk, notes Rodgers, who believes that the 5K is an ideal running distance and that our bodies were made to run around three miles. (If you will be in the Clearwater, Florida, area in December, there is still time to register for the Cooking Light & Health Fit Foodie Festival and 5K Foodie Race. Register here!)

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Don’t run everyday

Don’t be afraid to slip off those sneaks. “Take some days off if you are new to it, don’t feel you have to run seven days a week,” says Russell. When you exercise, you are basically causing trauma to the body by creating micro tears in the muscle. Days off allow the body to recover and those muscles to grow back stronger.

And don’t skimp on recovery

According to Russell, recovery is just as important as training. What you do when you’re off your feet will surely help you make strides while you’re on ‘em. Great practices to employ in your recovery routine: stretching, foam rolling, and massages. This, along with strength moves, will keep your body and joints loose and strong, she notes. And don’t forget to refuel—a 3-to-1 ratio of carbs to protein (think apple with peanut butter) within an hour of finishing your run helps replenish your energy so you can recover faster.

Source: How to Start Running (or Come Back From a Hiatus) Without Getting Hurt, According to Pros

October 11, 20170 commentsRead More
Kim Kardashian Says She Has Body Dysmorphia, but What Does That Really Mean?

Kim Kardashian Says She Has Body Dysmorphia, but What Does That Really Mean?

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Kim Kardashian is all about a perfectly posed selfie and expertly contoured face. But even she experiences a self-esteem plunge when she hears negative comments about her body. On the most recent episode of Keeping Up with the Kardashians, Kim opened up about the toll being in the public eye has had on her body image.

In the episode, unretouched bikini photos of Kardashian went viral online. While dealing with the fallout, she admitted that her body insecurity has increased over the years. “You take pictures and people just body shame you,” Kardashian said. “It’s like literally giving me body dysmorphia,” she also commented.

RELATED: Kim Kardashian Swears By This $500 Moisturizing Cream. Here’s Why a Dermatologist Says It’s Not Worth It

The term “body dysmorphia” has a buzz to it these days, and it’s often thrown around by people who feel a little self-conscious about their appearance. But it’s actually a true mental health condition—and nothing to take lightly. Body dysmorphia is “the preoccupation of imagined defects in one’s appearance,” says Tom Hildebrandt, PsyD, chief of the Division of Eating and Weight Disorders at Mount Sinai Health System in New York City. 

A person with body dysmorphia typically sees a specific body part or a group of body parts and thinks, my calves look weak or my face is so ugly and out of proportion. They become obsessed with these thoughts and let them take over their lives. “Obsessed” is not an exaggeration. According to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5), body dysmorphic disorder, or BDD, is a type of obsessive compulsive disorder. The International OCD Foundation says BDD affects 1 in 50 people, or between 5 and 7.5 million people in the United States alone.

Based on one episode of her show, it’s hard to know if Kardashian has BDD or just doesn’t always like the way she looks. What signs can tell you that your body obsession truly is BDD? It’s more than being critical of your appearance from time to time. Says Hildebrandt: “For someone with BDD, their entire life’s balance hangs on whether they look okay or whether they’ve camouflaged their perceived flaw appropriately.”

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When a person believes she has body issues and is hyper-aware of them, she may avoid social situations to not draw attention to her so-called flaws. She might also go to extremes to hide the perceived flaw, say by walking around with her hair covering her face or going under the knife. “People with the resources may get plastic surgery and go back repeatedly for more, because it only provides a temporary release from the anxiety about their appearance,” explains Hildebrandt.

In KUWTK, Kim says that her body dysmorphia comes from all the body-shaming comments she receives from haters, trolls, and others in the general public. While negative remarks can make BDD worse, they aren’t typically the cause of the disorder, says Hildebrandt. 

RELATED: 10 Signs You May Have OCD

The actual cause of BDD isn’t known, but it may be similar to what triggers OCD. Hildebrandt says people with certain temperaments and ways of thinking are predisposed to BDD and may show OCD tendencies in other areas of their life. For example, a person who obsesses over her legs may also be obsessed with keeping a spotless home. “[It’s] a cognitive style that causes you to prioritize things that are out of place rather than the big picture,” says Hildebrandt.

Worried about a friend who displays BDD behavior? Take note of how often she tries to conceal parts of her face or body, or if she constantly seeks reassurance about a specific body region. If you or a loved one think you’re suffering from it, talking to a therapist or counselor is a smart option. Treatment includes antidepressants and cognitive behavioral therapy.

BDD shouldn’t be used carelessly as a slang term for someone who isn’t 100% pleased with her body. We all have moments when we wished we were slimmer, had more muscle tone, or were taller or shorter. But when a person’s entire life is dedicated to hiding and obsessing over perceived flaws, it’s a serious mental health issue that needs to be addressed.

Source: Kim Kardashian Says She Has Body Dysmorphia, but What Does That Really Mean?

October 10, 20170 commentsRead More
Pushing Myself Physically Helped Me Heal After My Son’s Death

Pushing Myself Physically Helped Me Heal After My Son’s Death

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On December 31, 2014, Susan Heard was sitting on her sofa with her husband and 12-year-old daughter, watching TV and waiting for the ball to drop in Times Square. “While everyone in the world was celebrating New Year’s Eve and having fun, I was thinking: I hate this holiday. I hate my life,” she recalls.

Susan had good reason to feel down. Nearly four years before, in February 2011, her 10-year-old son, David, had died of neuroblastoma, a type of childhood cancer that starts in the nerve cells.

“From the time he was diagnosed, we practically lived at the hospital,” she says. “My total focus was on him and trying to make the time he had left comfortable and meaningful. After he was gone there were days that I was amazed I was still breathing. When you’re dealing with that kind of intense grief, it takes a really long time to come up from under the water and realize there’s still a world and life going on around you.”

RELATED: 10 Times Celebrities Got Real About Grief and Loss

That New Year’s Eve on her sofa was one of the first moments she began to come out of the foggy haze of mourning—and it felt awful. “Watching the TV, it seemed like everyone was cheerful, and all I could think was, ‘I hate that David isn’t here. I hate what my life has become,’” she says. “But amid that darkness I realized I had a choice: to live and re-engage with the world, or not. I decided to choose the former and the thing that seemed to make the most sense was to start exercising.”

It wasn’t easy. At 5’4”, Susan weighed 265 pounds. “When David was sick, I used food as comfort, and as he got sicker I got fatter,” she says. “When I began exercising, I could only walk or do the elliptical slowly for 30 minutes.” But she bought a Fitbit and started participating in challenges with other people who were on the app. “It was motivating and fun, and I realized I’m competitive,” she says. “I like to win.”

After several months she was able to do an hour on the elliptical—and she started to feel more alive. “There was kind of this moment of, ‘Wow, I’m here. I’m living. I’m breathing. Life is good.’”

Running through the pain

In the fall of 2015, she drove a support vehicle for a friend who was running 100 miles across New Jersey—an adventure that ended with an official half marathon. At the finish line of the event she saw people wearing t-shirts that said “Sub-30” and learned that it was an online support group for people who wanted to run a 5K in under 30 minutes. “The woman who told me about it said, ‘I’ll add you to our group,’ and I cracked up,” Heard recalls. “I was not a runner. I used to joke that the only reason I’d run is if someone was chasing me. But she was so darn encouraging I decided to try it.”

Her first training runs were slow and painful, but she stuck with it and 8 weeks later ran a 5K. Then a few months later she ran another—neither in under 30 minutes. But it didn’t matter. She loved the feeling of freedom she got while running, and the community that the “Sub-30” club offered.

RELATED: How to Train for a 5K Race in Just 4 Weeks

In 2016, Susan signed up for a half-marathon. At the start of the race, she wrote “David” on her arm. “At mile 12, I was exhausted, but I looked at my arm and it was a reminder: If David could push through the hellacious treatments and horror he went through, I could run 13.1 miles. When I crossed the finish line, I broke down sobbing, and felt my heart open. It changed my life.”

Meeting new challenges

Since then, Susan has added biking and swimming to her weekly routine and in June this year she completed a sprint triathlon—a third of a mile swim, a 12 mile bike leg and a 5k run. “It was an incredible accomplishment,” she says.

“I miss my son every day,” Susan says. “But I feel his presence most when I’m pushing myself physically. When I feel like life is closing in I go out and run or bike, and by the end I’m pumping my fist and feeling good again. I still weigh 180 pounds. But here I am, running half marathons—a big lady who has never been an athlete and who grieves every day for her son. If exercise can change my life it can change anyone’s.”

Source: Pushing Myself Physically Helped Me Heal After My Son’s Death

I Lost a Leg After My Helicopter Crashed in Afghanistan. Sports Helped Me Get My Life Back

I Lost a Leg After My Helicopter Crashed in Afghanistan. Sports Helped Me Get My Life Back

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At age 21, Kirstie Ennis was living the life of her dreams. The daughter of two Marines, she had enlisted at 17 and was flying combat and rescue missions in Afghanistan as an aerial observer and gunner. “I was the eyes and ears for the pilot, letting him know what’s going on behind and around him,” she says. “I’m small—5’4” and 115 pounds—and as a woman I had to fight tooth and nail to prove that I could do the job. But it was worth it. I loved everything about it.”

June 23, 2012, started like any other day. She and her team had already completed one mission and were en route to pick up Marines who were pinned down in an active combat zone in Helmand Province, when their helicopter suddenly went nose down, then rolled to the left and crashed. “I just watched the ground come towards me and hoped I would open my eyes afterward,” she recalls.

Rebuilding a life

Kirstie suffered a traumatic brain injury as well as severe damage to her face, spine, shoulders and left leg. “When you’re recovering from a traumatic injury, you don’t just lose yourself physically but mentally and emotionally,” she says now. “You wonder if you’ll ever be the same person again. For me that was a pretty huge internal battle.”

One year after the accident, on her “Alive Day,” as critically injured vets call their traumatic anniversaries, she tried to take her own life. “It was a very dark time, and I thought I didn’t want to be here anymore,” she says. “After my suicide attempt, my dad was the one who talked some sense into me. He said, ‘The enemy didn’t kill you. Why would you try to do it yourself? You’re tougher than that.’ It was just what I needed to hear.”

RELATED: How to Spot the Warning Signs of Suicide

Afterward, Kirstie stopped dwelling on what she couldn’t do and began thinking about what she could do. Several months before, a group called Disabled Sports USA had taught her to snowboard, and she loved it. “During the following season, I trained hard, and that became my lifeline,” she says. “Snowboarding restored my confidence and gave me joy. It literally got me up on my own two feet again.”

Seeking new summits

In the years after the crash, Kristie endured dozens of surgeries to reconstruct her face and attempt to save her left leg. Then in 2015, doctors had to amputate the leg—first below the knee, then, after an infection set in, above the knee. “With an above-the-knee amputation you’re basically starting from scratch in learning how to use your leg again,” she says.

Instead of losing hope, she got hungry. She threw herself into mountain climbing, and set herself the goal of summiting the Seven Summits—the highest peaks on all seven continents, including Everest.

In March this year she summited Kilimanjaro, then in July topped Indonesia’s technical and treacherous Carstensz Pyramid—the first combat-wounded female amputee to achieve both peaks. “Carstensz was brutal,” she says. “We were climbing in blizzards, but I proved to myself I could do it.” Now she has her sights set on snowboarding in the 2018 Paralympics in South Korea.

“After my accident, I did lots of psychotherapy, but talking to someone who had no idea what I’d been through didn’t help,” she says. “Being physical did. It gave me a sense of purpose, made me believe in myself and showed me how resilient my body is. It gave me goals, led me to a career and gave me the courage and strength I needed to move past my injury and into the future.”

Source: I Lost a Leg After My Helicopter Crashed in Afghanistan. Sports Helped Me Get My Life Back

Hundreds of People Are Posting Nude Yoga Photos on Instagram—Here’s What Inspired Them

Hundreds of People Are Posting Nude Yoga Photos on Instagram—Here’s What Inspired Them

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Since 2015, the anonymous model and photographer known simply as Nude Yoga Girl has been sharing nude self-portraits on Instagram. In most of these photos, she’s in the middle of a challenging yoga pose—and carefully positioned so as not to be too revealing. The images are honest and real, and the yogi’s captions often document her journey towards self-love.

Thanks to her artistic shots and insightful, body-positive comments, Nude Yoga Girl has amassed more than 672,000 followers on the social network. And now, many of these followers are sharing their own nude yoga photos using the hashtag #NYGyoga. The images (more than 450 so far) capture diverse body shapes and sizes, helping to spread Nude Yoga Girl’s message that yoga is for everyone.

The talented yogi has been encouraging her followers to bare it all and share their stories on the social platform. In a recent post on Instagram, she explained why the act of posting a nude yoga photo can be so powerful.

“It’s much more than just the actual photo,” she writes. “I think about it as an experience to really connect with your body, be there with it in a natural way. It’s the positive experience, photo and caption together.”

Check out some of the stunning photos below.








“The empowering feeling they get from it. That makes me happy,” the model writes. “By receiving and sharing the photos I want to inspire more people to do so.”

Props to Nude Yoga Girl for spreading a message of body positivity and self-love. These photos show that all body types are beautiful and strong, and we hope the inspiring hashtag continues to grow. 

Source: Hundreds of People Are Posting Nude Yoga Photos on Instagram—Here’s What Inspired Them

Working Out Saved My Life

Working Out Saved My Life

Source: Working Out Saved My Life