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Archive for December, 2015

12 Ways to Make Your Office Better for Your Health

12 Ways to Make Your Office Better for Your Health

You spend eight hours a day at work—at least. Here’s how to make your office a healthier place to be
Source: 12 Ways to Make Your Office Better for Your Health

December 30, 20150 commentsRead More
13 Weight Loss Resolutions You Shouldn't Make

13 Weight Loss Resolutions You Shouldn't Make

Swap sure-to-fail New Year’s resolutions with goals you’ll actually stick to.
Source: 13 Weight Loss Resolutions You Shouldn’t Make

10 Reasons Your Belly Fat Isn't Going Away

10 Reasons Your Belly Fat Isn't Going Away

Yes, stomach pudge may be stubborn, but here are a slew of research-proven ways to dump it for good.
Source: 10 Reasons Your Belly Fat Isn’t Going Away

Weight-Loss Solutions for the New Year

Weight-Loss Solutions for the New Year

These weight loss tips can help you stick to your new year’s resolutions this time around.
Source: Weight-Loss Solutions for the New Year

32 Ways to Reverse Holiday Weight Gain in 1 Week

32 Ways to Reverse Holiday Weight Gain in 1 Week

If you gained a few pounds during the holiday season, you’re not alone. But the good news is that you can lose the weight quickly—in fact, it’s possible to do it in just 7 days.
Source: 32 Ways to Reverse Holiday Weight Gain in 1 Week

December 29, 20150 commentsRead More
How Running Helped Me Cope With My Husband’s Sudden Death

How Running Helped Me Cope With My Husband’s Sudden Death

This article originally appeared in the January/February 2016 issue of SELF.

I run every day. I run up hills and along flat terrain, through fields, boggy meadows, city streets, mud puddles and gravel pathways that wedge tiny pebbles in the tread of my sneakers. I don’t stop to rest until well after I’m fully winded, my heart thumping in my ears like a metronome. Sometimes I last for only a mile or two; other days I’ll jog around the neighborhood for 45 minutes or more. Or so I think—I don’t wear a watch often, preferring instead to time my tempo according to the mood of the day, my energy level or whim. I don’t race, I don’t train, and I stop before any joint pain sets in. Time, distance, calories, music playlists and fitness apps hardly ever cross my mind.

I haven’t always liked running. In fact, I used to do everything in my power to avoid it. During middle school I purposely wore inappropriate shoes on gym days, and when that didn’t work, I faked side aches and limped dramatically with a hand clutched to my rib cage. When I tried out for my college crew team, the coach informed us that running 5 icy-cold miles before our 6 a.m. practice was part of our “warm-up,” so I quit on the spot. It wasn’t as though I loathed all exercise: I swam competitively, hiked and biked during the summer and skied almost every weekend in winter. But running, I was convinced, would do me in. Running was painful. It required a different type of stamina. And I simply had no motivation to do it.

Then Gregg burst into my life. We were in our mid-20s, spending long hours at a chaotic online start-up in Seattle. He was the cute project manager who worked on a different floor; I was the Web editor who took the back stairwell every day so I could walk casually past his desk. Our relationship was slow to start, though once we paired up, things took off quickly. After our first kiss, Gregg insisted that I share exactly how I felt about him. Four months later, we were engaged. Once, while I was lazily walking on a treadmill in a halfhearted attempt at getting in shape for our wedding, Gregg strolled over and punched up the speedometer. “You can go a lot faster,” he said with a mischievous grin. Our relationship was a lot like that. Before I met Gregg, my life plodded along at a slow and predictable pace, and then bam, he put me on the fast track to adventure.

Once married, we traveled to far-flung locations, road-tripped through the Southwest with our Siberian husky and camped out in the middle of winter in the snowy foothills of the Sierra Nevada. We fantasized about quitting our jobs and sailing down the coast of California—and then we did it; for three months we got to live that dream aboard a 26-foot boat. We were like teenagers, talking late into the night and musing about the meaning of life. If I ever felt unsteady, Gregg would ground me, filling me with love and confidence. Five years after our wedding, I gave birth to our daughter, and we moved from Los Angeles to Vashon Island, near Seattle and both our families. We wanted to dial down our frenzied pace and put down roots. That’s when Gregg decided to start training for a marathon. And that’s when everything fell apart.

It was a bright Sunday morning in early September, about a month before Gregg’s big race. After he’d increased his mileage all summer, this long training run was critical. When he finished, a few hours later, I met him at the ferry landing near our home, making my way down the long dock with our 10-month-old daughter, Lizzie. I remember thinking that Gregg resembled a statue, silently standing there with a vacant look on his face. Why wasn’t he rushing to embrace us? “I feel weird,” he said, his last words before collapsing. I frantically performed CPR until the paramedics arrived; Gregg showed brief moments of consciousness before being carted off in an ambulance.

After an hour, he was pronounced dead at the hospital. An autopsy later revealed that he’d died of a massive heart attack. Though he was in perfect shape on the outside, his major arteries were nearly completely blocked. If there were symptoms, they were either too vague to identify, or Gregg had chosen to ignore them. He was 39 years old.

All the hopes we shared—from the big ones (having a second child) to the mundane (putting an addition on our house)—were suddenly shattered, now lying in tiny shards on the hospital floor. In shock and numbness, I went through the motions of talking to doctors and tending to my daughter. But by the time I got to my mom’s house a few miles away, my body and brain were hopelessly out of sync. I kept dropping things. The ground swayed beneath me. I felt nauseous and unmoored. And then a thought occurred to me: Just run away.

The post How Running Helped Me Cope With My Husband’s Sudden Death appeared first on SELF.


Source: How Running Helped Me Cope With My Husband’s Sudden Death

December 27, 20150 commentsRead More
Get Instant Stress Relief With This Wall Stretch You Can Do Almost Anywhere

Get Instant Stress Relief With This Wall Stretch You Can Do Almost Anywhere

Take a 30-second break with this stretch from POPSUGAR Fitness that helps relieve shoulder tension and neck pain. You deserve it.

Suffering from tight shoulders and a stiff neck? Whether it be from a stressful job or a kick-ass weight training session at the gym, this stretch is sure to bring some instant relief.

  • Kneel down in front of a wall. If this bothers your knees, kneel on a folded blanket or towel. Spread your knees wider than hips-distance apart.
  • Extend your arms overhead and place your forearms on the wall.
  • Allow gravity to pull your torso toward the floor. It’s OK if your head rests on the wall as well. If you’re not feeling this in your shoulders and neck, inch your knees further away from the wall.
  • Breathe deeply for 30 seconds and then release.

More from POPSUGAR Fitness:

POPSUGAR Fitness on Twitter
POPSUGAR Fitness on Facebook

The post Get Instant Stress Relief With This Wall Stretch You Can Do Almost Anywhere appeared first on SELF.


Source: Get Instant Stress Relief With This Wall Stretch You Can Do Almost Anywhere

Why This Extreme Athlete Is Willing To Take Big Risks

Why This Extreme Athlete Is Willing To Take Big Risks

Harrington scales an ice formation in Vail, Colorado.

This article originally appeared in the January/February 2016 issue of SELF.

Emily Harrington is a professional climber. Here, in her own words, she tells SELF why she loves her sport.

Ice-climbing is cathartic for me. It’s something that I need to do. I just love being in the mountains, climbing up frozen waterfalls, using my body and my mind—and, yes, getting a little bit scared and uncomfortable. I like to run, but I don’t get that same feeling from running.

I’ve tried nearly every style of climbing, starting with indoor walls in a gym back when I was 10 years old. But being on the ice is unlike anything else I’ve done. You have axes and spikes on your shoes, and you just have to find your own way up.

For me, unlocking that route is even more enjoyable than the success of getting to the top. Because ice is always changing. Ice breaks. It requires tons of experience and respect for risks and consequences. You have to understand the weather and how it affects formations. Unseasonably warm temperatures melt the ice; brutally cold ones make it brittle. And both jeopardize your safety. My climbing partner and I are trusting each other with our lives.

For the 20 to 45 minutes that each climb takes, I’m very aware that what I’m doing is risky. If I feel scared, I try to analyze where my fear comes from—Is my gear secure? Will I get hurt if I fall? Am I too exposed to the elements?—and work through it. That sense of adventure, and even suffering a little bit, makes me feel alive. But I also remind myself to enjoy the view before I rappel back down: Frozen water is beautiful. It’s a really cool way to experience winter.

When I think back on all of my climbing memories, the moments where I’ve struggled are most precious to me. Those are the climbs where I’ve learned a lesson, grown as a person and become stronger.

The post Why This Extreme Athlete Is Willing To Take Big Risks appeared first on SELF.


Source: Why This Extreme Athlete Is Willing To Take Big Risks

December 26, 20150 commentsRead More
Firm Everything With This 8-Minute Tone It Up Workout

Firm Everything With This 8-Minute Tone It Up Workout

The SELF x Tone It Up Challenge kicks off in less than two weeks! If you haven’t signed up for the free shape-up program, click here to get all the details you need.

As part of the #SelfTIU Challenge you’ll receive three ALL-NEW strength workouts from Katrina and Karena along with a few fat-burning cardio workouts, too. If you can’t wait until January 3rd to get started, you’ll want to try Tone It Up’s Holiday Hustle workout. The no-equipment routine is only eight minutes long (perfect for holiday travels) and targets your butt, thighs, triceps, and abs. You’ll get a good workout but won’t need a shower after as Katrina says in the workout video below.

After all, the holidays are a time for cookies, hot chocolate, and squats…right?

The post Firm Everything With This 8-Minute Tone It Up Workout appeared first on SELF.


Source: Firm Everything With This 8-Minute Tone It Up Workout

December 25, 20150 commentsRead More
5 Ultra-Effective Butt Exercises That Aren’t Squats

5 Ultra-Effective Butt Exercises That Aren’t Squats

No shade to squats, but you can only drop it so many times until your body gets too used to the exercise. “If you keep doing the same exercise over and over, you’ll keep working [your body] the same way—which will limit you from developing those targeted muscles,” says Brad Schoenfeld, Ph.D., C.S.C.S., author of The M.A.X. Muscle Plan.  

We’re not saying to retire your go-to butt-buster—just cycle in a few other toning moves to keep those cheeks guessing. Schoenfeld could’ve rattled off a dozen exercises, but we got him to narrow it down to his favorite five. To perform most of these moves, you’ll just need a bench, barbell, or dumbbells. You should aim for three or four sets of 15 to 20 reps per exercise, says Schoenfeld. Hope you got all that because we’re about to whip your butt into shape!

1. Hip Thrust

Sit on the floor with your back against a bench, feet flat on the ground in front of you. Place a barbell onto your lower abs, the spot between your hips and your legs—if that feels uncomfortable, use a towel between your body and the barbell. Thrust up by bending your hips and knees, your body—from your shoulders to your knees—should be parallel to the floor. Lower your body to return to the starting position.

2. Romanian Deadlift

deadlift

Larsen & Talbert

Place a barbell in front of you. Keeping your back flat (not round), bend forward at the hips and grab the barbell. Your hands and legs should be about shoulder-width apart. Push your hips forward to raise the barbell. Lower back into the starting position. A little lost? No sweat, here’s a thorough tutorial for how to do a deadlift.

3. Reverse Hyperextension

Lie face down on a bench and wrap your arms around it. Your legs should be hanging off but not touching the ground, hips meeting the end of the bench. Lift your legs up and then lower to return to the starting position.

The post 5 Ultra-Effective Butt Exercises That Aren’t Squats appeared first on SELF.


Source: 5 Ultra-Effective Butt Exercises That Aren’t Squats

December 24, 20150 commentsRead More