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Archive for February, 2016

11 Tweets That Perfectly Sum Up What It’s Like To Exercise In The Morning

11 Tweets That Perfectly Sum Up What It’s Like To Exercise In The Morning

Geber86 / Getty

Working out in the morning has all sorts of benefits—you’re guaranteed to get your training session done for the day, you get to have two breakfasts, and productivity becomes your middle name. But, getting #UpNOut is a pretty polarizing habit: either you’re all about getting your exercise in early, or working up a sweat is totally off your radar until after work.

Whether you love it or hate it, here are some things that everyone who’s attempted a morning workout knows to be true.

1. You know that planning ahead is key.

2. But sometimes, it’s still really, really hard to get out of bed.

3. Even when you genuinely do enjoy working out.

Related: 10 Ways To Guarantee You Get Up For That A.M. Workout

4. So you’ve convinced yourself that crunches in bed are totally a thing.

5. Then you decide it’s time to get serious.

6. And when you get to the gym, you revel in the fact that it’s quiet and empty.

Related: The Morning Struggle Is Real—This Energizing Playlist Will Help

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February 29, 20160 commentsRead More
Here’s What Happened When I Stopped Saying Sorry

Here’s What Happened When I Stopped Saying Sorry

From ClassPass: Chances are, nobody’s expecting an apology after you accidentally caused the door to slam or clanked your fork too loudly at the dinner table.

At the beginning, I thought it would be fairly easy to temporarily erase “sorry” from my vocabulary.

I was wrong.

In fact, the very day I accepted this challenge I found myself apologizing to a class of yogis when I realized I had cued an awkward left twist rather than the obvious right twist in a pose during our weekly office yoga session. Aside from one or two perplexed faces during my mix-up instruction, my mistake affected no one to the point of apologizing.

It was in that moment that I realized for myself (and probably a lot of other people) that the word “sorry” had become truly subconscious. I grew up near the Canadian border, so perhaps in my case it is the childhood influence of extreme Canadian politeness that has ingrained this word so firmly into my vocabulary. Still, I was determined to become hyperaware of my speech over the following month and choose my words more carefully.

For the first few days (er, maybe 10…) of the challenge, I caught myself saying “sorry” in just about any situation; from almost bumping into a woman on the street to trying to get the attention of a restaurant hostess who was engrossed in a text message. It is not a simple habit to break, and it requires a lot of attention, but it’s a habit worth observing and an effort worth making to stop. I found it’s actually a move away from the thoughtless and cold automated response we sometimes shoot out while running on autopilot throughout the day.

Yes, it’s technically polite, but an automatic apology is empty. Ending the meaningless “sorry” is a move toward a more thoughtful existence. It makes conversations more meaningful, and it makes social encounters more substantial. And most importantly, it doesn’t make you feel on some level like you’ve done something wrong.

My most common “sorry” ended up being the accidental run-in on the sidewalk. This was a really hard response to change, because it was typically a high-speed encounter that prompted a fast response. The fact is, there’s no need for an apology unless you’re at fault. It’s a normal, daily occurrence to cross someone’s path or need to pull a quick maneuver to avoid colliding with another person on the street, and no one needs to apologize for that. Instead, in these cases, I trained myself to say “hi” instead of “sorry.” The surprised look on the faces of people I nearly collided with when I said hello to them instead of a generic sorry actually brightened my day a bit. It was kind of funny to just say hi to someone as you dodge them, and I got a few return chuckles as well.

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February 28, 20160 commentsRead More
6 Treadmill Mistakes You Need To Stop Making

6 Treadmill Mistakes You Need To Stop Making

BraunS, Getty

Get more out of your cardio session with these tips from PureWow.

Look at you, keeping your resolutions! We’re psyched you’re still going to the gym, jumping on the treadmill and actually running (well, most of the time). But there’s always room for slight improvements. Avoid these six treadmill pitfalls and you’ll stay healthy, injury-free, and burn more calories. Really.

1. Twisting Your Neck To Watch TV

Or eating ice cream. Or basically just multitasking too much. We know that How I Met Your Mother episode is really thrilling. You know what isn’t? Straining your neck and spending the rest of the week in bed with a hot water bottle.

2. Holding On To The Handles

As long as you keep running, you can do whatever you want with your arms, right? Nope. When you hold onto the handles or sides of the treadmill to give your legs a break, you’re cheating yourself out of burning 20 to 25 percent more calories, according to personal trainer Tom Campbell. Let go and slow down your pace if needed—just engage your whole body.

Related: 7 Ways To Prevent Stomach Bloating

3. Staying Too Close To The Front

Yes, we know you’re afraid of falling off. So are we. But that doesn’t give you an excuse to run on the front half of the belt. You’ll end up taking smaller steps, which can actually increase the risk of injury, not decrease it. Lengthen your stride and stick to the center of the belt for a faster and safer run.

4. Putting Weight On Your Heels

As you run, make sure you’re hitting the treadmill belt with the middle of your foot, then rolling up to your toes. Landing on your heels puts unnecessary stress on your knees and could cause shin splints. Ow.

Related: 10 Reasons You’re Not Losing Those Last 10 Pounds

5. Setting The Incline Too Steep

If you run at the maximum incline, you’ll get a great workout—for a while. But if you’re running at the max every single time, you’re also working the same muscles every time. Run at a variety of settings to burn the most calories and keep all of your muscles moving.

6. Never Setting The Incline At All

It’s still better than sitting on the couch eating Doritos, but running at a zero incline every single time stops being challenging for your muscles after a few weeks. Also, aren’t you bored?

Related: 5 Exercises That Are Actually Bad for You

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February 27, 20160 commentsRead More
The One Total-Body Move That Will Make You Sore In All Of The Right Places

The One Total-Body Move That Will Make You Sore In All Of The Right Places

Cultura RM/Corey Jenkins, Getty

There are moves and then there are moves. The dumbbell thruster is a total-body exercise that is definitely the latter. It hits all of your major muscle groups—shoulders, core, butt—and doing just a few reps with proper form will get your heart pumping. Big time. The exercise is tough, but you’re always down for a little challenge, right?

The dumbbell thruster is also known as the squat-and-press because it combines both of those functional movements. If you want proof of the awesome strengthening and fat-burning power of this move just give it a try. Or take Bob Harper‘s word for it–he included this move in the 5-minute workout he created just for SELF. And the thruster is part of the transformative 60/30 workout from Derek DeGrazio, celebrity trainer and managing partner at Barry’s Bootcamp South Florida. Simply put, experts love it because it works.

Related: Three Quick Workouts You Can Do With A Partner

You’ll need a set of dumbbells to do this move. Start with a medium weight (8 to 10 pounds) and focus on your form. Then, when you’re ready, grab a heavier set. 

Graphic By Jocelyn Runice

Total-Body Move: Dumbbell Thrusters

Instructions: Do as many as you can for 30 seconds, then rest for 10 seconds. Repeat two to three times

  1. Stand with your feet hip-width apart with a dumbbell in each hand. Have your palms facing in and elbows bent so hands are at your shoulders.
  2. Hinge your hips back and lower into a squat. Go as low as you can.
  3. Then push up to stand and press dumbbells overhead (as shown) in one movement.
  4. Return to squat and repeat.

Related: Try The Crab Twist Exercise For Your Abs

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Hilary Duff’s 5 Secrets For Staying Fit And Happy

Hilary Duff’s 5 Secrets For Staying Fit And Happy

Noam Galai / Stringer, Getty

Younger star Hilary Duff shares her secrets for #loveyourbod positivity with Well + Good.

You may always think of her as Lizzie McGuire, but Hilary Duff has come a long way since her Disney days. Especially in the past year, the health-conscious celeb has gotten a lot of attention for her fitness habits and straight talk—thanks to her call for mom bod respect and the ensuing Instagram #loveyourbod-fest.

So when we had a chance to chat with Duff—who currently stars on TV Land’s cult hit Younger—we asked about her IRL healthy habits. The 28-year-old is all about having a blast with her workouts—and keeping the focus on how it makes her feel, not her dress size, and the accomplishments that come from everyday effort.

Here are five more smart and fun facts about Hilary Duff’s down-to-earth approach to health, fitness, and beauty.


Greeen machiiiiine

A photo posted by Hilary Duff (@hilaryduff) on Oct 28, 2015 at 9:17am PDT

1. Running is her go-to cardio workout on the road.

The great thing about hitting the pavement is that you can pretty much do it anywhere. “I go running a lot,” she says. “I’m usually always in different cities. It’s a nice way to take in a different city if you go for a jog or a run.”

Related: Lea Michele’s workout favorites and wellness habits

2. She doesn’t want to break the streak.

Even with a packed schedule, Duff prioritizes her health and fitness routine. Her motivation to stay the course? Consistency. “I know how hard it is once you get off your routine to get back on it,” she says. She hits a cardio class three to four times a week to help her stay lean and balances that with HIIT workouts.

3. She doesn’t just work out for her looks.

“Working out is just really good for my brain, my mind,” says Duff. “As much as I want to stay in shape and I think [working out] is good for me, it keeps me in a good mindset.”

Related: Rachel Platten’s healthy tour habits

4. Exercise helps her make better food choices.

The Younger star’s workout streak also helps her choose good-for-you food. “When I’m working out, I definitely tend to make healthier food choices,” says Duff. “When I’m not, I feel like I get defeated and I’ll think, ‘Well I’m not working out anyway, so I might as well eat that!’”

5. She does her best.

As an actress, singer, mother, and businesswoman, there are many demands on Duff’s time and energy. And like many of us, she can be hard on herself when she doesn’t check off everything on her to-do list. “We want to able to handle so much,” says Duff. “Just try to understand that you do the best you can and it’s always going to be good enough.”

Related: Victoria Beckham is giving up her high heels

Originally written by Christine Yu, Well + Good

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14 Stunning Ballerina Photos You’ll Want To Stare At All Day

14 Stunning Ballerina Photos You’ll Want To Stare At All Day

Need a little motivation to step up your barre class game? Look no further than these 14 IRL dancers—their picturesque poses are the stuff of Instagram dreams. From insane flexibility to legs for days, these talent-showcasing snaps will give you a boost for your next studio session (or at least bring a little extra beauty to your day). Because scrolling through pretty ballerinas doing pretty things is absolutely considered time well-spent.

1. @Jaclynbetham’s tutu game is almost as strong as those killer legs.


A photo posted by Jaclyn Betham (@jaclynbetham) on Oct 17, 2015 at 11:59am PDT

2. @kimthedancer211 is working it on and off the stage.


A photo posted by #KimtheDancer (@kimthedancer211) on Feb 9, 2016 at 4:26pm PST

3. @Kyliecanales shows that dancers know how to really stretch the limits.


A photo posted by KYLIE CANALES (@kyliecanales) on Dec 24, 2015 at 11:05am PST

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Meet Tracy Anderson at Health's Total Wellness Weekend

Meet Tracy Anderson at Health's Total Wellness Weekend

Work out with Tracy Anderson and meet other Health experts at our wellness weekend at Canyon Ranch in Lenox, Mass., April 22-24, 2016! You’ll get to participate in exclusive fitness and cooking classes, and listen to inspiring speakers. For more visit #HealthTotalWellness
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February 26, 20160 commentsRead More
This Video Understands Your Love For Working Out AND Wine

This Video Understands Your Love For Working Out AND Wine

This is one workout twist that fitness fanatics and wine connoisseurs alike can get on board with. In a funny new video, Reebok put bottles of vino to the test at their Boston HQ to prove that you really don’t need swanky gym equipment to work out—all you need is a few bottles of Pinot Noir and Sauvignon Blanc. The brand was inspired by health coach April Storey‘s creative wine workouts (think bicep curls with bottles). And if you’re wondering, a bottle of wine weighs about three pounds.

Whether you’re a yoga studio sommelier or more of an indoor cycling sipper, wine can make its way into more workouts than you’d think. Need some evidence? Check it out:

Zinfandel, or zenfandel? 


Namaste. Now where’s the corkscrew?

The best types of CrossFit WODs are those that include wine, right?


This thruster (a squat with an overhead press) is sort of like a two-for-one drink special.

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February 25, 20160 commentsRead More
The One Abs Exercise You Need To Start Doing

The One Abs Exercise You Need To Start Doing

BraunS, Getty

Planks, mountain climbers, V-ups…yeah, yeah, yeah. They’re all great exercises for targeting your abs. But so is the crab twist exercise below—and we bet it’s a move you haven’t seen before. 

So when you’re looking for a quick core routine, try busting out a few reps of this ~spicy~ abs exercise below from The Barre Code. All you need is a few feet of space and a couple of minutes, and you’ll definitely feel the burn in your lower abs muscles and obliques.

Related: These 16 Bodyweight Exercises Are All You Need To Get In Shape

Here’s how to do it:

Courtesy of The Barre Code

The Crab Twist – do 10 reps on each side

  1. Start in a seated position with your right leg bent, and right foot flat on the floor. Extend your left leg long at a diagonal and reach your right hand toward the ceiling, shifting weight into your left hand.
  2. As you exhale, press into your left hand, lifting your seat and left leg off the floor at the same time.
  3. Twist through your core and reach your right hand to touch your left toe. Then, with control, lower back to the floor to return to your starting position.
  4. That’s 1 rep, do 10. Then switch sides. If you time, repeat both sides one to two more times.

Ahhh, here’s to those abs of steel!

Related: 6 Butt-Sculpting Moves That Aren’t Lunges

Workout With SELF:

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How Much Protein Do You Really Need?

How Much Protein Do You Really Need?

With so many protein bars, shakes, and supplements on the market, it’s kind of been hammered into our heads that protein is the wonder nutrient. 

It is an important building block for our cells, essential to repair old ones and build new ones. Which is why we think about it most commonly as a post-workout muscle-builder. Recent compelling studies have shown that a higher-protein diet may potentially help with weight management—particularly by helping us feel more satiated, and helping burn fat mass and maintain lean muscle. It also may have benefits for your heart. But the research is small and far from conclusive.

So how much protein should you eat? And can you ever eat too much? We talked to nutritionists and scoured studies to find out how much protein is healthy to pack into each day.

First of all, there’s no easy one-size-fits-all recommendation on how much protein you should get.

The current USDA Dietary Guidelines recommend protein make up somewhere between 10 and 35 percent of your daily calories (but some nutrition experts think 35 sounds really high). A lot of people automatically think of 2,000 calories a day as the standard, but that might not be right for you—you may be eating more or less depending on your weight, fitness level, weight loss goals, and if you’re pregnant.

“Your [ideal amount of protein] will vary based on caloric needs and whatever else you have going on,” Kristen F. Gradney, R.D., director of nutrition and metabolic services at Our Lady of the Lake Regional Medical Center and spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, tells SELF. “For example, if you work out and lift weights three or four days a week, you’re going to need a little more than somebody who doesn’t. It varies.”

You can also use the calculation from the Institute of Medicine, which says the Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA) of protein for adults should be 0.8 g/kg body weight. To calculate it, divide your weight in pounds by 2.2, then multiply by 0.8. “So for a 130-pound woman, that would be 47 grams of protein,” explains Jessica Fishman Levinson, R.D., founder of nutrition counseling company Nutritioulicious. For an even more personalized look at your protein needs, use this handy USDA nutrient calculator, which also takes into account your height and activity level.

Let’s be honest: all of the different calculations make it a bit confusing. But in the end, you’ll get a very similar result no matter which way you think about it. Just remember that your recommended grams means grams of protein in your food, not the serving size. So for example, a 4-ounce piece of sirloin steak has 24 grams of protein.

Complicated math aside, chances are you’re getting the right amount of protein without even thinking about it.

According to the 2015 USDA dietary guidelines committee, most people are getting just about (or just under) the recommended amount of “protein foods,” meaning meat, poultry, and eggs.  Here’s the rub: “protein foods” doesn’t include dairy, soy, or grains, so if you’re eating those things (which you probably are), it’s likely you’re right in the middle of the recommendations without really trying.

Research published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition following a protein summit of over 60 nutrition experts found that the average American currently gets 16 percent of their daily calories from protein, but that we could eat more than that. The suggestion to increase protein intake isn’t widely accepted though, and more research needs to be done to determine if the benefits are enough to make sweeping recommendations.

There is a chance of overdoing it, and over time that can lead to some adverse health effects.

“You can always have too much of anything,” Levinson says. “But [overloading on protein] is more common in athletes and body builders, especially those who use protein powders multiple times a day in addition to the other protein they’re getting from their diet,” Levinson explains.

Most nutrients have a certain level that the average person can eat in a day before experiencing negative effects, called the “tolerable upper intake level.” Right now, there isn’t one that’s known for protein because we don’t have enough research to show what it would be.

Eating too much protein over time (months or years, depending on genetics) can lead to kidney problems, though. “Protein is a very big molecule that your body has to break down,” Gradney explains, so overloading puts unnecessary pressure on the kidneys. If your protein sources are animal-based, eating too much can also mean eating too many saturated fats, which can affect your heart and weight negatively.

Other downfalls of eating too much protein: “If intake of protein is more than needed, it won’t be burned and instead will be stored in the body and can lead to weight gain,” Levinson says. Also, eating too much protein might make you eat less of other important nutrients, making your diet unbalanced. If you’re replacing carbs, which your body burns for fuel, your body may start to burn protein instead (a process called ketosis), which can lead to bad breath, she adds. It can also, weirdly, make your sweat smell like ammonia—it’s one of the by-products when the amino acids in protein are broken down.

In the end, the types of protein you eat (and when) matters the most.

In general, according to the 2015 Dietary Guidelines, we’re eating enough protein. However, Levinson says, we’re not necessarily getting it from the best sources. Many people (especially boys and men) are getting too much of it from meat, poultry and eggs, and not enough from seafood and legumes, which count as both a protein and a vegetable.

Eating a variety of proteins will also ensure you’re not missing out on the other nutrients your body needs, or going overboard on calories. And it’s pretty much impossible to overeat protein on a plant-based diet, so it’s more likely you’ll naturally stay within your ideal intake range versus if you’re only getting protein from red meat and poultry.

Spacing out your protein intake throughout the day may help enhance protein’s effects on your muscles. “Research is showing that protein should be spread out throughout the day rather than the majority being consumed at one meal, which is usually what people do when they eat most of their protein at dinner,” Levinson says. She suggests getting no more than 30 grams in one meal.

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February 24, 20160 commentsRead More