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POPSUGAR Fitness inspires readers to live a healthy, balanced lifestyle with news and tips on exercise, eating, gear, and more!

Published: Sun, 18 Mar 2018 21:02:40 -0700

Copyright: Copyright 1976-2018 POPSUGAR Inc. All rights reserved.

The Way You Sleep Says a Lot More About Your Personality Than You May Realize

Sun, 18 Mar 2018 20:55:02 -0700

When you're closing your eyes and hitting your pillow, you're probably not giving much thought about the position in which you actually fall asleep or stay asleep throughout the night. Of course, you're not awake to know whether you start on your side and end up on your belly or vice versa, and unless you sleep with a partner who likes reporting back on your nightly moves, you're probably clueless. Think about it for a second, though. When you climb into bed to fall asleep in the first place or wake up in the middle of the night for whatever reason, are you always in the same position? Here's why you might want to pay more attention: your sleeping position can actually say a bit about who you are and what your personality is like. Related: 15 Foods That Will Put You to Sleep (and Keep You There!) "How we sleep reveals important facets about our personality, but it's not a cut and dry science, with considerable overlap of sleeping positions among various personalities," said Dr. Robert Glatter, MD, an assistant professor of emergency medicine at Northwell Health and attending emergency physician at Lenox Hill Hospital. When you think about it, it makes sense. "Body language while asleep often reveals many things about our deep inner personalities, including our self-image and our fears, as well as our core beliefs and outward desire," Glatter said. Based on Glatter's experience with patients, he tends to find these personality traits and sleeping patterns to match up across the board. "I find that more oftentimes than not, their sleeping positions are a good match to their personalities and general demeanor," he said. "Most people don't change their sleeping positions throughout their lives. The position we choose to fall asleep in promotes stability and inner comfort and helps us to feel solid and secure as we end our day," he added. Keep reading for his insight on what your sleeping position says about you. Related: Tonight, Fall Asleep Instantly With This Breathing Trick Fetal "The fetal sleeping position is generally the most common sleeping position," he said. "Fetal sleepers sleep on their side, curled up with their knees tucked in," he explained. People who sleep in this position might be more introverted or closed up in nature to protect themselves, Glatter said. "People who sleep in the fetal position are often quite sensitive and generally withdrawn or shy. They are often quite anxious and may get bogged down in details," he explained, and he said he often notices the connection when speaking to his patients. What's more, these fetal sleepers often worry excessively over minor details, he said, so they'll need some other ways to de-stress beyond shut-eye, like yoga, exercise, or meditation. Log "The log sleeper rests on the side with a straight body and limbs kept at the sides," Dr. Glatter said. Good news: these sleepers are generally more at ease, unlike those fetal-position sleepers. "These sleepers are often relaxed and laid-back, but also can be quite gullible at times," he said, "based on research by Chris Idzikowski, director of the UK's Sleep Assessment and Advisory Service, whose work helps to support the belief that sleeping position appears to draw strong correlations about our personality traits during our waking hours." If you're a log sleeper, you might want to keep in mind that it's good to be easy-going and less stressed in general, but don't be so quick to go with the flow at all times. Related: These 20 Tips Will Have You Asleep in No Time Yearner "Yearner sleepers are basically side sleepers who stretch both arms out in front of themselves as if they are yearning or grasping for something," Dr. Glatter explained. You can think of this as a need or desire for something, and so reaching out to take hold is a natural tendency. Though, while yearners might weigh pros and cons for their desires and may act slower than others, they are confident in their choices once all is sorted out. "They often take a while to make a decision, but are steadfast once they have made up the their mind," h[...]

Cardio or Strength Training When You're Short on Time? Jessica Biel's Trainer Answers

Sun, 18 Mar 2018 20:25:02 -0700

You've been so busy you can barely find the time to eat. We get it. But if you have even 15 or 20 minutes to spare, that's plenty of time to squeeze in a solid workout. Don't believe us? Take it from Jason Walsh, founder of Rise Nation and trainer who has worked with Jessica Biel, Mandy Moore, and Emma Stone. We asked Jason what the best thing is to do when you're short on time - cardio or strength training? "I think you can do a combination of both," he told POPSUGAR. "It doesn't have to be separate. Sometimes I'm very limited in time, so I put together a circuit. You start with something that's more weight-bearing, and then you pick three, four, or five exercises and run through those." Related: The Unexpected Reason Jessica Biel's Trainer Wants You to Grow Your Booty Jason said he'll often choose a couple lower-body exercises, a pushing exercise, and a pulling exercise. Here are a few examples he gave us: lunges, Swiss ball leg curls, hip thrusts, push-ups, and rows on the TRX. You can do 10-12 reps of each exercise, and "then take a minute rest in between sets," Jason recommended. It's probably a good idea to do 3-4 sets in total, depending on what kind of time you have on you hands. "And if you're doing lunges, do it with weight," he added. "I guarantee you will get stronger and your heart rate's going to go up." We believe you, Jason. This kind of circuit gets you sweating and "probably burning fat," and Jason says you'll also "work on the conditioning and the cardiovascular system." In fact, he says this formula is "the idea behind doing a 30-minute class at Rise Nation, because time is the biggest commodity right now." [...]

The Debilitating Anxiety Symptom No One Ever Talks About

Sun, 18 Mar 2018 20:20:03 -0700

Until only recently, I kept a big aspect of my anxiety hidden from the world because I was deathly afraid of the consequences I would suffer if I talked about it. I was already fearful of the judgment I may experience from opening up about my anxiety, but this was huge. What if people thought I was actually crazy? The anxiety of this backlash made me feel physically ill, and I felt like there was no one I could turn to who would understand. I'm talking about intrusive thoughts, which the Anxiety and Stress Disorders Institute of Maryland say "become obsessive, provoke fear and shame, and often lead to doubts about sanity, control, motives, character and safety." It's common in those struggling with general anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder, panic disorders, and obsessive compulsive disorder. A majority of my life has been spent dealing with anxiety, so as far as I can remember, this symptom has always affected me. I never understood why frightening images and scenarios would pop into my head, leaving me anxious and scared. I didn't know I was experiencing intrusive thoughts or why they were disrupting my reality. Related: Why I'm Not Ashamed to Talk About My Mental Illness People who suffer from anxiety often experience these episodes where they see an alarming event playing out in their head. These intrusive thoughts are frightening scenarios we create, causing us to think of harmful things we might do to ourselves or people we love. The thing is, though, we would never act on these thoughts, and we know that, but we feel the fear as if they are really happening, and they make us incredibly uncomfortable. These thoughts are an automatic reaction and completely out of our control. Our brains become a movie reel of thoughts and actions we play out in our mind, and we can't look away. When I was a kid, these intrusive thoughts came in the form of monsters, like the ones you saw in movies. Despite knowing monsters didn't exist, they came alive in my mind and gave me physical symptoms of fear. Sometimes it would get to be too much, and I would hide under my covers and cry at night. I knew in my mind nothing could hurt me because there was physically nothing there, but I couldn't understand why these images haunted me. I just wanted to get to my destination, but these thoughts would keep running through my mind, and I couldn't stop them. As I gained more life experiences, my intrusive thoughts developed into other fears. Now that I was older, these thoughts turned into new scenarios, ones that felt more real. For example, when I started driving, I'd see myself veering off the road, hitting a side rail, flying off a ledge, or running head-on into a semi. I didn't really want to do any of these things. I just wanted to get to my destination, but these thoughts would keep running through my mind, and I couldn't stop them. I've learned that these intrusive thoughts are our brain's coping mechanism for fear. They distract us from the anxiety we are feeling in real life with a fictitious event we can focus on instead. This is your brain's way of trying to help you with the anxiety you're experiencing in real life. It's as if your brain is telling you, "Look, I know you're afraid, but it could be worse, so whatever is going on isn't that bad." Believe it or not, my childhood monsters have followed me into adulthood, and I still see them when I get anxious. Because I've been experiencing them for so long, I've mostly become numb to their effects. However, I do pay attention when these intrusive thoughts surface, as it's an indication that my anxiety is off the charts and I need to stop and assess myself. Related: The 21-Day Anxiety Challenge: Take Control of Your Nerves I've opened up about it to only a few of my closest friends; one has anxiety and confirmed that she herself experiences the same thing. She thought she was crazy like me and didn't dare tell a soul for fear of judgment and ridicule. It was relieving to both her and me that we were not alone. I want tho[...]

15 Ground-Chicken Recipes That Are Finger-Lickin' Good

Sun, 18 Mar 2018 19:20:03 -0700


Poultry doesn't have to mean boring. You'll be craving seconds when it comes to these lightened-up burgers, flavor-packed (yet healthy) chilis, satisfying stir-fries, and guilt-free lettuce wraps - all loaded with chicken, just minus the fat. New year, new you, new white-meat recipes that don't suck.

The 1 Simple Thing You Can Do to Reduce Your Stress Right Now

Sun, 18 Mar 2018 18:55:03 -0700

Lately, I have experienced heart-racing, stomach-turning signs of stress interrupting my day and ruining my ability to sleep through the night more times than I can count. I realized I needed to make a change in order to take back my life from the constant stressors. But I wasn't able to remove all of them - hectic workdays, budgeting crises, and disagreements with my significant other will inevitably happen! I turned to SHIFT, a stress and anxiety workshop lead by Chris Swayne, psychotherapist and lead health coach at One Medical, to learn ways to manage my symptoms for when these moments arise. Along with mastering deep-breathing exercises, Chris taught me that understanding what is happening inside of my body during stress is an important step toward finding the right practice to alleviate stress symptoms once and for all. Related: Kiss Work Stress Goodbye With These 4 Easy Self-Care Practices Your Body on Stress When you body perceives a threat - which may come in the form of moving to a new apartment, having a difficult conversation with your significant other, or tightening your budget - it springs into action. Our physiological stress response is also known as "fight or flight", which we humans have been preprogrammed with since our caveman days running from sabertooth tigers. "During this [fight or flight] response, your body pumps itself with adrenaline and cortisol. You may experience changes to your breathing, tension in major muscle groups, such as your legs and shoulders, and digestive issues like a loss of appetite as your body prioritizes blood flow to areas that mobilize," said Chris. "It can be understood as our biological impulse to survive." Stress Intervention While our fight or flight response can threaten to hijack our day, interventions such as deep breathing exercises and other self-care practices can give you a moment to pause, regulate your heart rate, and calm down. Deep breathing stimulates the vagus nerve, which "is responsible for certain sensory activities and motor information for movement within the body," according to Medical News Today. "Essentially, it is part of a circuit that links the neck, heart, lungs, and the abdomen to the brain." The vagus nerve sends signals to your brain and body to remind you you're not in imminent danger so you can tackle your day. While there are a variety of breathing exercises out there, you don't need anything to get started - just yourself. Take a few minutes right now and give it a try. Related: What I Do Every Night to Sleep Better Deep Breathing Exercise Find a quiet space if it is available to you, otherwise sit tall in your chair (at work, at home, or wherever you may be reading this!) for a moment of stillness. "Bring awareness to your breathing as it is. Without judging or changing anything, first simply notice what's physically happening," Chris instructed. Bring your focus inward, giving awareness to your breath. "As this happens, continue to tether your awareness to noticing the air entering and leaving your body." Start breathing. "Allow yourself to take a full inhale, directing the breath all the way down to your low belly, and slowly, fully exhale," Chris advised. Bring mindfulness to your practice by gently placing your hands on your belly and chest to feel the rise and fall of your inhalations. Repeat three to five times, or until you begin to feel your stress ease. Don't get discouraged if this feels uncomfortable the first time; just try again once you're ready. For further grounding, shift your thoughts on pressing your feet to the floor (if sitting in a chair). As Chris put it, "Quite literally focus on your connection with the ground." As with any practice, it takes time to discover the and technique that works best for you. I've found it helpful to set an alarm for 3 p.m. every day (the time I usually become most stressed or unfocused). I take a pause and a few deep breaths wherever I am at. While at first this mi[...]

Can Weed Help With Anxiety? I Tried It For Myself and Here's What I Discovered

Sun, 18 Mar 2018 18:40:03 -0700

It has been nearly one year since I was diagnosed with generalized anxiety disorder. At first, I only noticed it occasionally - a chest-tightening, heart-dropping, ear-ringing moment when the world seemed to speed up faster than I could keep up with. But then panic attacks began to hit. I would be sitting at my desk at work and suddenly have a need to be anywhere but where I was - I would run to the hall, shaking uncontrollably, hyperventilating, and usually holding back a tidal wave of tears. There was even a full week in January where I could hardly leave my house because of my anxiety. I knew something needed to change. After consulting with my doctor, we decided prescription medicine, specifically Xanax and SSRIs, would be the most effective way for me to soothe my nervous system and manage my symptoms. Always a fan of seeking out natural remedies as well, we discussed the use of essential oils, breathing exercises, and CBD to balance out my treatment plan. Related: All the Reasons I Smoke Weed Every Single Day - but Never Drink Out of curiosity, I shifted our conversation toward medical marijuana. I'd heard mixed reviews before when it came to weed and anxiety - while some may find relief, others find it can aggravate anxiety further and even cause panic attacks. After thorough discussion, I decided I wouldn't knock it until I tried it, so after receiving my medical card in California, where I reside, I began my trial (and error). Here's what I learned. Everybody Is Different "Marijuana can heighten anxiety as a side effect for many people - but for others, it can also help with relaxation and sleep, both of which improve anxiety," my healthcare provider said. "Each person reacts differently to medication, so it is about balancing the side effects and maximizing the benefit." One of the first times I ever smoked weed, I became super paranoid and anxious instantly - not the effect I was going for at all. I was coached to try a different strain and a smaller dose and to not be scared away from all types of marijuana because of one negative experience. Thankfully, I didn't take anybody else's personal experiences as fact, and my trials paid off. I was able to hone in on the dose and strain that was right for me. There Are Many Different Strains to Experiment With Marijuana contains over 60 different cannabinoids, a few of which are psychoactive (aka they make you feel high). A study published in American Family Physician states, "The clinical effectiveness and cannabinoids and adverse effects depend on the ratio of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) to nonpsychoactive cannabinol components." The other primary cannabinoid is cannabidiol, or CBD. "CBD is considered to have a wide scope of potential medical applications despite its reputed lack of psychoactive properties," the study claimed. My healthcare provider said, "There is, in particular, good evidence for pain management - and marijuana is, arguably, to our knowledge, safer by far than regular opioid use. Also, marijuana can be very helpful for sleep and insomnia, and to common knowledge, safer than hypnotics or benzodiazepines." Related: This Is the Best Type of Weed to Smoke Before Your Favorite Workouts The first step in finding the right strain is discovering your tolerance and sensitivity. Remember this: start low and slow - work your way up to find your ideal dose. During my own use, I have discovered strains with a higher ratio of CBD to THC are the most effective in calming my anxiety rather than provoking it. Some of my favorites include the Girl Scout Cookies vape pen and the various flavored pure CBD vape pens from Select CBD (infused with essential oils such as peppermint and lavender). The higher CBD levels in these products appear to dull the edges of my anxiety more without the high (or risk of more panic and paranoia) from too much THC. It's Good to Sample Different Methods Marijuana can be ingested, smoked or va[...]

12 Workout Leggings That Warrant a "Dangerous Curves Ahead" Warning

Sun, 18 Mar 2018 18:25:02 -0700


Every girl knows that shopping for leggings can either be an exhilarating or painful experience. When a pair is good, they're really good, but when something's off, you just want to give up and commit to sweats forever. For curvier girls, shopping for leggings can be especially challenging since some brands don't cater to all sizes, which is ludicrous because, in my opinion, leggings look better the more curves they're hugging.

With that in mind, we trekked the ecommerce terrains to find the best size-inclusive leggings for all types of exercise. Whether you're working up a sweat finishing day 29 of your 30-day squat challenge, stretching your limbs in a strengthening yoga sequence, or busting a move in your cardio dance class, these leggings will not only support your fitness game, but turn you into a stunning traffic-stopper.

Keep These Diet-Busting Ingredients Out of Your Smoothie If You Want to Lose Weight

Sun, 18 Mar 2018 18:20:03 -0700

If weight loss is on your list of New Year's resolutions, you'll soon be putting together a healthy meal plan (let's just enjoy the holidays first, OK?), and no doubt there will be a few smoothies thrown in there. Smoothies are a great option for a healthy breakfast or snack because they are easy and quick and you can pack a lot of nutrition into just one glass. Smoothies can quickly turn into dessert (and I don't mean this healthy blueberry cheesecake smoothie), though, if you aren't careful about what (and how much) you throw into your blender. Related: 50 of Our Favorite Smoothie Recipes We spoke with holistic nutrition consultant Julia Visser to find out which foods to keep out of your smoothie if you're trying to keep it weight-loss friendly. Chocolate Chips We'd all love for our smoothies to taste just like a chocolate milkshake, but if you go this route, the calories and sugar can add up fast. One-quarter cup of semisweet chocolate chips will add 280 calories and 32 grams of sugar to your smoothie! You can slash major calories and all of the sugar by subbing cacao nibs or unsweetened cocoa powder instead. If you can't resist that chocolate milkshake, try this vegan chocolate milkshake smoothie instead. Honey Just because Winnie the Pooh can survive off honey doesn't mean that you can (not that we don't love his little bear belly). Lots of smoothie recipes include honey (or other liquid sweeteners), but they aren't necessary. Just a few tablespoons of honey can add almost 200 calories to your smoothie. Fruit is plenty sweet on its own, so there's really no reason to add extra sweeteners on top of it. Visser also suggests using spices like cinnamon and vanilla to "give a smoothie plenty of sweetness without the added sugar." This almond strawberry-banana yogurt smoothie is sweet as can be, with no added sugar in sight. Related: If You Want to Lose Weight, This Is the Smoothie Formula to Use Too Much Nut Butter We are big (OK, huge) fans of peanut butter, but you've got to keep the spoonfuls in check if weight loss is your goal. Visser says, "Nut butters are great for satiety, which can actually help with weight loss." A tablespoon of peanut butter carries about 100 calories, and that is just for the no-sugar-added varieties. We won't deny you if banana and peanut butter is your thing, but it's best to measure out the nut butter until you've done it enough times to easily eyeball it. Fruit-Flavored Yogurt Yogurt gives smoothies their, well, smooth texture, and avoiding the fruit-flavored varieties is "key to avoiding too much sugar," according to Visser. An eight-ounce container of plain, nonfat Chobani yogurt has only four grams of sugar, but if you opt for the Banana Fruit on the Bottom instead, you'll be getting 14 grams. That may not seem like a big difference, but it adds up. If you want to get that sweet fruit flavor, stick with real fruit so you can get some fiber. Here are a few yogurt-powered smoothies to get you started. So, what's your favorite healthy smoothie ingredient? [...]

16 Easy Ways to Maintain a Healthy Weight

Sun, 18 Mar 2018 18:05:02 -0700


There's nothing worse than being stuck in a never-ending loop of gaining weight, losing weight, and gaining it back again, only to try losing it once more. Let's stop the yo-yo madness and help you stay at the healthy weight you want to retain. No more starvation. No more endless cardio. No more epic cheat weekends. Just you being your best self and staying healthy and balanced every day.

These tips will make it easy for you to know exactly how to maintain a healthy weight. From diet to nutrition to the people you surround yourself with, you'll be right on track!

Stick to Your Paleo Diet With 20 Easy, Breezy Meal-Prep Ideas

Sun, 18 Mar 2018 17:50:03 -0700


If you think the Paleo diet has been trending for a while, you would be right. While people are continuing to get on board with this lifestyle, many would agree that it requires pretty serious dedication and planning, especially when it comes to cooking new Paleo recipes. Add weekday meal prep to the mix and you've got a whole new challenge. Luckily, we've got you covered with 19 easy-to-transport options to keep your meals fresh and interesting while you stay committed.

5 Reasons Working Out at Night Will Change Your Life

Sun, 18 Mar 2018 17:40:07 -0700

I don't like to work out in the morning. I'm not a morning person. The aroma of coffee isn't something that wakes me with a smile. The light shining through the blinds at the crack of dawn is something I avoid as much as possible. The heaviest thing I want to be lifting in the morning before work is my pillow. As I said, I'm not a morning person. But wait, we're supposed to work out in the morning, right? Actually, no. You don't have to. In fact, there are a bunch of reasons you should train at night. I do and it changed my life from the first time I tried it. First things first: Let's put the elephant in the room to bed. You won't be kept awake by training in the evening. That's an old lie that morning people cooked up with their elaborate breakfasts while we were hitting the snooze button and getting a well-deserved rest. In fact, a National Sleep Foundation study found that there was no difference in the quality of sleep for those who exercised vigorously in the evening. 1. You'll sleep better! Numerous studies like this one have shown that people who lift weights in the evening have better sleep quality and duration than those who lift in the morning or afternoon hours. So, it will actually help you sleep better at night. Not only is a good rest imperative for muscle growth and recovery, but sleeping deeper and longer will enable you to feel better and fully rested by morning. You should definitely be more perky and ready to face the day ahead. 2. You'll have better workouts! In addition to helping you sleep better, several studies found that training in the evening was the path to significant greater muscular gains and improved endurance. What does that mean for you? You can get more out of your workout if you train at night! Related: The Definitive Guide to Getting Better Sleep 3. You'll have lower blood pressure! A Journal of Strength Conditioning Research study found that people who trained at night lowered their blood pressure by 15 percent more than those who worked out in the morning. 4. You'll have better results, sooner! A study from The New England University of Birmingham found that those who work out in the evening can go 20 percent longer and at a higher intensity. That means even more burned calories at night and the residual benefits of better workouts: tighter arms, stronger legs, leaner abs, and an overall healthier life! 5. Your body will be primed to work out! Not just because you will be getting more recovery sleep and burning more calories either. According to research, our cortisol levels are higher in the mornings, which can inhibit muscle growth. But, testosterone levels are higher in the evening, which will boost muscle growth. So this is a great way to get those results even quicker. Related: Sip These Teas to Soothe Your Stomach, Lose Weight, and Get Clear Skin With all these amazing benefits of working out at night, are you ready to give it a try? Go ahead, mix up your routine and see how much better you sleep, feel, and advance in your fitness goals. It just might change your life! [...]

7 Healthy Travel Destinations You Should Add to Your Bucket List

Sun, 18 Mar 2018 17:40:03 -0700


Chemicals are out and all-natural everything is in. There's a surging urge to eat, live, and play better these days. However chaotic the world may seem, there's a rising number of us who are yearning for inner peace in favor of healthier physical and spiritual living.

A wellness revolution is in motion, and with that comes the desire to not only eat and live well, but travel well, too. For those healthy globetrotters who have been bit by the travel bug, there is a cure. There is an ever-evolving list of cities to fall in love with, oceans to explore, and mountains to climb. So, what are some wellness destinations that you can add to the list (for now)? All of you yogis, spiritualists, surfers, hikers, and chillers will want to keep reading.

You Won't Even Miss Meat With These Protein-Packed Breakfast Recipes

Sun, 18 Mar 2018 17:30:03 -0700


Whether you practice a vegetarian diet or are trying to limit the amount of meat in your day-to-day diet, it can be challenging to get the sufficient amount of protein your body needs to function at its best. Breakfast is the meal that kicks off your day, and should fuel you accordingly. These 25 recipes are all meatless, but are also protein-packed and will help to provide you the nourishment you need to feel focused and satiated until lunch time!

What You Should Be Eating For Breakfast, According to 2 Nutritionists

Sun, 18 Mar 2018 17:20:03 -0700

Breakfast is the most important meal of the day - we've all heard that saying so much that it's almost lost its meaning. But it's true; breakfast really is the most imperative meal of the day. It's the first meal you put in your body, and it's a conscious decision you're making that determines the body's ability to keep going throughout the day. This means that choosing the right things to eat is essential, but that's easier said than done. Mornings are notorious for being busy, and this coupled with a sluggish, tired brain usually means we reach for the easiest, quickest thing. We consulted Kitty Broihier and Allison Stowell, certified nutritionists from Guiding Stars, in a joint email to help guide us in the decision-making process of choosing the best breakfast for your day. Both experts point out that it's all about balance. "A breakfast with adequate protein as well as fiber and fruits or vegetables is ideal," both experts said. There are many options for those who work out in the morning and need something carb-focused or there are quick fixes for those of us scrambling in the morning. But if you fuel up the wrong way, "you may feel sluggish as you start your day; too much sugar and you will likely soon be hungry. There are numerous studies that support the need for a healthful, satiating breakfast. It improves metabolism and aids in reaching and maintaining an ideal weight," the nutritionists said. They had the following six easy suggestions for exactly what to eat when you wake up. Wraps. Sure, you can have another breakfast sandwich, but keep whole-grain tortillas on hand and you can wrap up your breakfast for a satisfying on-the-go option. Wraps offer carbs that energize you but also give you the leeway in choosing what you put inside the wrap. Smoothies. Combine your favorite ingredients in a blender along with proteins such as nut butters, whey powder, or silken tofu. Blend, pour, and you are out the door with a protein-rich, satisfying smoothie. Eggs. Protein-dense and simple, eggs are the perfect go-to when you need some quick protein. Try hard-boiled eggs or omelets to get your morning going. Power bowls. Tired of the same old breakfast? Try a power bowl. Packed with protein, power bowls combine wholesome grains with spices, fruit, or vegetables and more to create a convenient breakfast. Oatmeal. Steel-cut oats are an excellent canvas for building a delicious breakfast that is totally customized to what you want that day or whatever you have in your kitchen. Add your favorite toppings like nuts for protein, fruit for some carbs, or even dark chocolate when you need to safely satisfy that sweet tooth, and you instantly have a nutritional meal in mere minutes! Leftovers. Leftover hearty soup, quesadillas, stir-fry, or even casseroles are not your typical breakfast choices, but if your leftovers have a mix of protein and carbohydrates like brown rice or quinoa, they can be a great option for getting your day going. [...]

Not Gonna Lie, This 20-Minute Full-Body TRX Circuit Is Going to Kick Your Ass

Sun, 18 Mar 2018 17:15:12 -0700


Welcome to the "TRX full-body circuit party!" This badass gym workout was brought to you by Michelle Opperman, regional group fitness director for Crunch Gyms in San Francisco.

"The TRX is an amazing tool that leverages gravity and your own body weight to perform exercises that can be made easier or harder by simply moving closer or farther away from the anchor point," Michelle told POPSUGAR. "Please make sure to always focus on proper alignment, along with keeping the straps at tension to get the most out of each exercise."

Now, for the workout! "This 20-minute workout will rock your entire body and is done in five circuits," she said. "The first three focus on full-body strength and cardio, while the last two target your core. All moves are done for 30 seconds followed by a 10 second recovery (use an app timer, phone, or watch). Repeat each circuit for a total of two rounds. Try to go even harder during the second round to push the intensity and get the maximum burn."

Michelle included four warmup exercises before you actually get into the circuits. Don't skip out on them! They'll prepare your body for what's ahead. Once you get started with the meat of your workout, you repeat each circuit twice before moving onto the next one. Descriptions for each movement are ahead.

Let's do this!

What's the Theory Behind Orangetheory Fitness?

Sun, 18 Mar 2018 17:15:03 -0700

Orangetheory Fitness studios seem to be everywhere these days. The eye-catching logo, bright colors, and sleek studio formats seem to beckon you in. The fitness franchise world is blowing up, and it may be hard to determine what one studio offers from another. So here's the skinny on OTF, as the insiders call it, and why it might be your next fitness obsession. What Is OTF's Theory on Fitness? OTF bases its entire workout regimen on two concepts: heart-rate monitoring and Excess Post-Exercise Oxygen Consumption (EPOC). OTF calls EPOC "afterburn" - the concept that when you work at a sufficiently high level of energy, your body creates an oxygen deficit that must be restored after the energy requirements level off (e.g. you finish your workout). While your body is working to repay its oxygen debt, calories continue to "burn" long after the workout stops. OTF claims afterburn can last up to 36 hours with some participants. And as a byproduct, anywhere from 500 to 1,000 calories can be credited per workout. Sounds like a great premise. How do they get you to the afterburn stage? Through working in a five-level heart-rate zone. Before anyone begins at OTF, they fill out a health survey where they state their fitness goals and their maximum heart rate (MHR) is calculated through age, weight, and height. The workout is based on achieving color-coded levels of MHR over a 60-minute class, associated with different levels of effort. Zones 1 and 2 are for warmup and recovery. OTF recommends spending 25-30 minutes of the workout in Zone 3, with 12-20 minutes in Zones 4 and 5 to maximize afterburn. Related: The Top 4 Workouts to Avoid If You're Trying to Lose Weight A post shared by Orangetheory Fitness (@orangetheory) on Feb 22, 2016 at 9:12am PST How Do You Get the Afterburn? A typical 60-minute class divides into two groups: one begins on treadmills for interval work and the other alternates between full bodyweight training and rowing-machine intervals. Those reluctant or unable to run on the treadmill can powerwalk or, if need be, swap out the treadmill for a cycle or a strider. Changes in pace and incline make the treadmill work very challenging, but that is what gets the participants to the coveted Orange Zone. The weight training varies daily and utilizes the hottest tools in fitness these days: TRX straps, BOSU, steps, hand weights, kettlebells, and many bodyweight exercises. The intervals vary, some days timed, some days the principle of AMRAP (As Many Reps As Possible). All Orangetheory locations receive their exercises from corporate to ensure quality control across all the franchises. The exercises and interval work (reps, timing) are displayed on monitors, along with a video example for referral throughout the workout. The treadmill workers need only look up to watch their progress on their own monitor. What Do the Coaches Do? During the workout, coaches roam the room, encouraging participants, correcting form, and ensuring appropriate time is spent in the work zones. At my neighborhood OTF (McKinney, TX), staff assured me that the coaches will not single out participants for sub-Zone work. Their job is to motivate but not hypermonitor each minute of class. Participants are encouraged to learn how to self-regulate and adjust upward or downward as needed to hit the right time in the right zones. The McKinney OTF staff explained that most new participants are surprised at the difference between their perceived exertion and their actual heart rates when they start the training. That is why the coaches are there, to help participants adjust to the workload and to gauge their performance. The more the participa[...]

I Did 20 Push-Ups Every Day For 2 Weeks and Here's What I Learned

Sun, 18 Mar 2018 17:10:03 -0700

Earlier this year, I could string together a solid 14 to 16 push-ups without stopping. It was a skill that took me quite some time to master. And by "quite some time," I mean months and months. For that, my gratitude lays with CrossFit. When I'd see them on the list of to-dos for a daily WOD (workout of the day, in CrossFit speak), I felt excitement over dread. I got to a point where I looked forward to seeing just how many I could crank out before dropping to my knees for that modification. I looked forward to watching what was four up to six, and six up to eight. But then I hurt my back. Lifting too much weight overhead during the CrossFit Open triggered some nagging arthritis in my lumbar spine, and push-ups were one of the first things to go. Maintaining that tension in my core, rep after rep, bothered my back. Although I was taking the time to work on my core strength, I didn't want to risk the unintentional pain; I started doing push-ups constantly from my knees, reverting back to my pre-gains status. I felt like the last year of strength successes were subsiding. Related: After Years of Struggling, Here's How I Finally Learned to Do Push-Ups Here's the thing: I'm not the kind of person to take "subpar" as status quo. So, naturally, after a couple of months of accepting this on-the-knees approach, change was imminent. The logical decision? I was going to work back to stringing together a slew of push-ups, ASAP. The plan? Rise to the challenge. Using the app Spar, I challenged three friends (including my boyfriend) to do 20 push-ups every day for two weeks. The best part is hands down the penalty: if you miss a day, Spar charges your credit card $3. Thus, I present you with four lessons I learned doing 20 push-ups a day for two weeks: 1. Not every goal has to be astronomical. I knew going into this challenge that just because I started on this goal didn't mean I was automatically going to crank out standard push-ups easy-breezy. Setting a goal of 20 push-ups felt like a lot, but I knew that 10 would be a little too easy. So I started small. I wasn't going to crush all 20 push-ups from high plank from the get-go. So, after doing a few going through the motions from high plank to low plank, I'd drop to my knees and finish the rest of them modified. Being easy on myself made this OK. Being easy on myself made me feel like I could make positive progress. As the weeks progressed, I worked on doing more and more in the standard format before giving in to the alternative. 2. A support network makes everything better. If I had simply challenged myself to do 20 push-ups each day, I probably wouldn't have stuck it out. Not because I don't have willpower, but because . . . let's be honest: things always get in the way. Watching my friends execute their reps (Spar makes you record a 10-second video every day when you check-in to show the challenge participants you're not fibbing), I felt motivated to do mine. The trash talking . . . well, that motivated me a bit, too. 3. When you think you can't go any more, do one more. That's when I focused on all the things you're supposed to focus on when executing the perfect push-up: lean slightly forward, keep your shoulders stacked over your elbows, engage your core. When I felt like my triceps couldn't bear lowering my body weight back to the ground (nevertheless pushing it back up), I took a deep breath, paused, and then pushed past my comfort zone. Despite struggling before the rep, I'd say that almost always that last can-I-keep-doing-this push-up was my best. 4. The best is yet to come. Probably the best part of the challenge was waking up to a "Yo[...]

Winner! Winner! Delicious Whole30 Chicken Dinners . . . or Lunches

Sun, 18 Mar 2018 17:00:32 -0700


During Whole30 there are certain foods that become easy go-tos. Because you are eliminating so many things - grains, wheat, white starches, alcohol, dairy, and legumes - you need to have recipes that can be executed in a pinch, especially if you don't have time to hardcore prep.

Chicken is one of those things that can be dressed up pretty easily, baked in bulk for easy meal execution, and even baked directly from frozen for those nights when you totally forgot to take something out before you went to work (we've all been there and done that). It can be the star of the show or just an additive. And it can be prepared with so many things - from freshly squeezed citrus juices to some clarified butter and mint, you can have a pretty tasty meal without hassle and stress.

Check out some of these chicken meals for some inspiration.

The Weightlifting Technique That Will Change Your Body

Sun, 18 Mar 2018 17:00:32 -0700

Ever plan to go to the gym and stop dead in your tracks because you just don't know what to do? Maybe your goals are too broad? Maybe you're expecting too much? How can you really lose weight, gain lean muscle, and build your dream body with just one simple workout plan that doesn't require you move into the gym for the next year? Clearly, you're expecting too much from your efforts, right? Wrong! There is a way to reshape your body by losing fat and gaining muscle without spending countless hours in the gym. What do you have to do? Lift heavy weights to create lean muscle and lift light weights to promote fat loss. The best part? You can be in and out of the gym in less than 30 minutes each day. Here's how! Related: Should You Run Before You Lift? The heavy and light strength-training plan combines a couple of the most fundamental principles of lifting weights. The intention is to do an exercise for four sets with a heavy weight and low reps (up to six) and then another exercise that targets the same muscle for four more sets with higher reps (up to 12), but with a lighter weight. According to personal trainer Brian Pankau, CPT, you need to take "two to three minutes of rest between heavy [sets], and 45 to 60 seconds between lighter sets." How does this plan work? When you lift heavy weights your muscles fatigue and ultimately grow (you won't look like a bodybuilder - we promise). From there, you work the same muscles with lighter weights to totally exhaust them, which burns more calories, creates a leaner body composition, and increases endurance. Muscles grow, body fat decreases, and you're only doing two exercises per body part. According to Anthony J. Yeung, CSCS, with this plan, "you'll burn more calories, shed fat, add more strength, and feel more energetic in daily life." As a result of this significant caloric depletion, certified personal trainer and owner of Micah Lacerte cautions that, "Nutrition will play a big role in what sort of results someone will get performing this plan, but if they are on [the proper type of diet], then this style of training will be excellent for building lean muscle." You have to make the effort to eat six small meals each day that all include some form of protein - with specific care to ensure you're getting protein before and after you work out. Related: What to Do in the Gym If You Really Want to Lose Weight While this plan can definitely work, it may not be for everyone. Pankau believes that while "fat loss is going to occur, [it may] not be fast enough for somebody with too much excess fat, so this plan is great for light and medium builds, but not really meant for heavier-set people." Related: Incinerate Fat and Build Muscle With This Kickass Printable Workout What does this mean for you? For tight and toned triceps, a good combo would be overhead triceps extensions with a heavy weight and triceps kickbacks with lighter weights. For leaner, more sculpted legs, do leg presses with a heavy weight, and lunges with light dumbbells at your sides, or no added weights at all! For stronger, tighter biceps, heavy hammer curls and light preacher curls. The key is to do two moves per body part, one heavy, one light as described above. This will exhaust your muscles, promoting growth while leaning out your body. If you're in average shape, you can look way above average in less time. If you're in good shape, you may want to move to a beachfront property soon. Enjoy! [...]

The Fitness Marshall's Routine to Beyoncé's "Naughty Girl" Is Sexy, Silly, and 1,000% Fun

Sun, 18 Mar 2018 17:00:31 -0700

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We hoped and we prayed, and our lord and savior Queen Bey finally answered our prayers with a "Naughty Girl" dance cardio video from The Fitness Marshall. From "flamboyantly" flinging your arms to feeling yourself with sultry body rolls, this is one of our favorite dances of all time from Caleb, Haley, and Bria. Pus, there's a great calorie-burning tip in here from Caleb: "If you lip sync and pretend you're Beyoncé, you burn more calories."

Meet the Buzzy Nondairy Milk You Probably Didn't Know Existed

Sun, 18 Mar 2018 17:00:30 -0700

You may have heard of plant-based milks before, as there are a million different types on the market, and they're great alternatives for those who don't tolerate cow's milk or lactose. Yet they're also a great option for people looking to cut back on dairy or get a nutrient-dense, protein-packed milk with a distinct taste and flavor. Soy milk and almond milk have been around for a while now, but new milks, like oat milk and pea milk, are on the rise. Instead of scratching your head, pour a glass and try it for yourself. Oat milk is basically just water and oats, blended and drained, to get rid of chunky oat parts that wouldn't taste great in your glass of milk. It's also better for the environment, as nut milks can be more expensive and taxing on resources. Who knows, you may have just found your new favorite milk to go with your morning bowl of Cheerios or cup of coffee. Related: 28 Ingenious Uses For Coconut Milk What's on the Label Oat milk is actually pretty good for you. A one-cup serving of plain oat milk (get unsweetened varieties to cut back on sugar) clocks in at 130 calories, 2.5 grams of fat, 24 grams of carbs, two grams of fiber, 19 grams of sugars, four grams of protein, and 350 mg of calcium. Compared to other milks, it is higher in carbohydrate and sugar count, but it's richest in calcium, so it could be a good option for those especially needing to strengthen their bones. For instance, soy milk offers only 300 mg of calcium, so it's a bit lower. How Do You Use It? This nondairy milk, which is a bit thinner than standard almond milk, works well in coffee, as its texture gives a frothy feel on the tongue. You can also use oat milk for oats, in oatmeal and cereals. Plus, it's also gluten-free, so you're good to go if you have celiac disease. However, be mindful of store-bought versions, as some can be contaminated with gluten from the manufacturing process. You can try making your own, or just make sure the brand you choose is reputable first. [...]

I Did a 2-Minute Plank Every Day For 2 Weeks - Here's What Happened

Sun, 18 Mar 2018 17:00:04 -0700

When my team at POPSGUAR asked who wanted to try a plank challenge, my hand shot up. But back in my day (lol) when I was in college, a "plank challenge" consisted of taking photos of yourself lying face down, stiff as a board, somewhere crazy (it was a weird internet thing in the late 2000s). It was fun! This recent plank challenge however, was . . . not as fun. I decided on challenging myself to hold a two-minute plank daily for 14 days to see if I'd notice any physical or mental differences by the end. While I was definitely feeling some toned and strong abdominal muscles, my biggest takeaway was about setting goals. Here are some things to expect on your own plank challenge. Related: type="text/html" src="" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen> Try This Zumba Plank Challenge With Master Trainer Jeanette Jenkins You Can Customize It Tip number one for this challenge: you can make it your own. I set mine to be a two-minute challenge because it felt like something I could do every day. Hard, but not so bad that I couldn't complete other workouts. Related: 35 Plank Variations That Will Strengthen and Tone Every Inch of Your Body Additionally, pick a position that feels just challenging enough for your body and still accommodates for any discomfort or injury. I began this challenge in a high plank (top of a push-up), but a few days in, I decided it wasn't challenging enough, so I lowered myself on down to an elbow plank and finally felt a little bit of muscle shaking (woo!). It Doesn't Get Easier In two weeks time, doing a two-minute plank daily did not become a breeze. I had anticipated that a plank would feel like a cakewalk by the end of day 14, but alas . . . it was just as challenging as day 10, day four, etc. Related: For Stronger Abs, Add This 2-Minute Ab Workout to Any Routine You'll Feel Stronger in Other Workouts One thing that I appreciated was the abdominal activation that ended up happening in my other workouts. I became acutely aware of my core and how I was using it in everything from strength training to SoulCycle. I did end up feeling like I had a stronger base from which to work off of - and since you use your core in basically everything, this was a nice little benefit of the plank challenge. Feeling good about my strength and muscle from these planks! You'll Want to Set an Alarm I found that to keep myself consistent, it was important to set a reminder on my calendar. This ensured that I got it done every day and stayed on top of my small goal. Related: Take 2 Minutes to Flatten Your Abs With This Ultrafast Workout Two Minutes Is More Powerful Than You'd Think One great thing I learned from this little experiment is that every minute in your day can be used for something powerful. How are you maximizing your day? What are you using each minute and each moment for? What are you wasting time on? Even a minute here or there dedicated to something that doesn't serve you can add up over time and deplete your emotional and physical energy. Channel your minutes into something that serves you. You'll Learn the Importance of Setting Small Goals If you're anything like me, you set BIG goals for yourself and often overlook the value of smaller ones. This was a lesson in not taking those smaller goals for granted and not undervaluing the power of adding something like this to your routine. If I can do a two-minute plank every day, what else can I do? Can I add two minutes of meditation every day? Maybe I co[...]

P.E Nation Will Be the Hottest Fitness Apparel Brand of 2018 - Shop Our 11 Favorite Items

Sun, 18 Mar 2018 16:55:18 -0700


If you haven't tried shopping Australian fitness brand P.E Nation yet, now's the time. Launched in 2016 by two women, Pip Edwards and Claire Tregoning, the streetwear-meets-fitness line has so many enviable items, we can't decide what we want. Focused on cool designs and quality construction, these comfortable pieces are functional for both the gym or just lounging around in casualwear. In case you need more convincing, we did the shopping for you. From colorful sports bras to roomy gym bags and stylish windbreakers, prepare to fall in love with it all. Take a look at our favorites ahead.

Calling All Curvy Girls: These Are the 8 Best Stores For Workout Leggings

Sun, 18 Mar 2018 16:55:15 -0700


Since athleisure hit the fashion world, comfortable styles, including bombers, sweatshirts, and leggings, have been popping up in closets everywhere. Thanks to their versatility both in and out of the gym, we think the leggings trend is here to stay - but with so many options out there, it can be challenging to find ones that are stylish and fit well.

We've rounded up our top eight picks for workout leggings specifically designed for a gal with curves. They check off all the boxes, including style, functionality, and affordability. Happy shopping!

These Are the 15 Superfoods Your Kitchen Needs in 2018

Sun, 18 Mar 2018 16:55:07 -0700


In today's age of feeling good and eating better, it has become a common occurrence to find superfoods like acai, chia, cacao, and spirulina in our local grocery stores. Wellness cafes are abundant, and menus have become increasingly aware of the next great smoothie, herbal tea, and clean alternative. Each year comes with its own health-food trends, and 2018 is no different. There are new superfoods that we should all be keeping on our radar. From greens and gut-healthy go-tos to sweet options and cooking oils for every chef, foodie, or healthy eater, these are some superfoods that deserve to be household names.