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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: Sat, 25 Mar 2017 12:28:48 -0700

Copyright: Copyright 1976-2017 POPSUGAR Inc. All rights reserved.

Self-Care on the Cheap: Acupressure Points to Relieve Cramps

Sat, 25 Mar 2017 12:10:00 -0700


Beyond reaching for the heating pad and handfuls of ibuprofen, there are some simple ways to self-treat your menstrual cramps and the achy lower back that often accompanies them. Let us teach you three acupressure points so you can lessen the pain with just your finger tips. Acupressure is similar to acupuncture, but requires no needles so you can do it on your own. Watch this video to learn the technique, and try it out the next time cramps are cramping your style.

Titika Active top and Manduka tights
Manduka yoga mat

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Stay Healthy, Eat Clean! 1 Month of 400-Calorie Lunches

Sat, 25 Mar 2017 12:00:00 -0700


Counting calories and planning out your meals is a surefire way to drop pounds. To help, we've created a plan that maps out healthy lunches for an entire month. It maps out four weeks, Monday through Friday, with each day's meal consisting of 400 calories or fewer. There's a theme for each week to keep your taste buds from getting bored, complete with simple recipes you can whip up the night before. Skip the takeout, and by the end of a month, your midday meal will be the reason you're dancing on the scale.

7 Moves to Burn 400 Calories in 20 Minutes

Sat, 25 Mar 2017 11:00:00 -0700


Kettlebell fans love the heavy, round-shaped weights for a reason - kettlebell exercises combine cardio and strength training for a time-saving calorie burn. The amount of calories you can burn using kettlebells can be amazingly high: a study by the American Council on Exercise found that the average person burns 400 calories in 20 minutes when doing kettlebell exercises. More research has found that regularly exercising with kettlebells significantly reduces back, neck, and shoulder pain by strengthening core and upper body muscles.

Does all that convince you to add more kettlebell to your life? Read on for tips on choosing the right kettlebell and a few calorie-torching exercises to try. And do check out this kettlebell tutorial and workout to learn the basics.

Easy and Satisfying Kale and Feta Egg Bake

Sat, 25 Mar 2017 09:40:00 -0700

The following post was originally featured on Running to the Kitchen and written by Gina Matsoukas, who is part of POPSUGAR Select Fitness. This easy kale feta egg bake is a perfect quick weeknight dinner or savory breakfast. Add cooked ground sausage for a heartier meat version. I'm kind of at a loss over what to say about this kale feta egg bake. It's one of those dishes so simplistic that it's hard to fully describe the depth of flavor and taste because it just doesn't make sense. Does that even make sense? You feel me, I know you do. There's kale, lots of FEH-TA, some sauce, and eggs. So you've got your vegetables, your dairy, fruit (tomato sauce totally counts as fruit), and protein all in one cute little ramekin, bowl, or whatever you want to bake it in. Making it reminds me of lasagna with all its pretty layers. Start with the sauce as your base, and then layer, layer some more, just a littttle more, and voila! This is my go-to single lady dinner on the nights Ulysses works late. With a crusty piece of bread to soak up the runny egg and the melted feta, it's near perfection. Kale Feta Egg Bake Running to the Kitchen Ingredients1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil 1/2 medium onion, chopped 1 clove garlic, minced 4 cups chopped kale 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes 1/2 cup marinara sauce or salsa 1/4 cup crumbled feta 2 eggs Salt and pepper Directions Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In a skillet over medium heat, cook onions, garlic, and olive oil for 3 to 4 minutes, until softened. Add kale and red pepper flakes and cook another 2 to 3 minutes until kale is wilted. Spray two oven-safe ramekins with cooking spray and spoon 2 tablespoons of sauce into the bottom of each. Next, add half the kale and onion mixture between the two ramekins, then half the feta, the remaining 2 tablespoons of sauce, then the remainder of the kale. Crack an egg into each ramekin and sprinkle remaining feta on top of that. Season with salt and pepper. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes until eggs are fully cooked but still runny. Serve warm with crusty bread. Information Category Eggs, Breakfast/Brunch Yield 2 servings [...]

12 Breakfast Smoothie Bowl Recipes That Are Almost Too Pretty to Eat

Sat, 25 Mar 2017 09:15:00 -0700


Smoothies are a classic go-to breakfast option, given their versatility and quick turnaround time, but when you put them into a bowl and add a few aesthetically designed rows of fruit, you're met with a total game changer - you now have a work of art. And who doesn't like starting the day with something as pleasing to the eye as it is to the palate?

The Best 150-Calorie Snacks For After Your Workout

Sat, 25 Mar 2017 08:40:00 -0700

Just as important as it is to fuel up before you exercise, don't forget to eat a little something once your workout is complete. Your body needs a combo of protein and carbs to build and repair muscle and quickly recharge lost energy. Don't go overboard and consume so many calories that it cancels out the ones you burned while sweating it out. Here are some ideas for post-workout snacks, all under 150 calories. Related:19 Satisfying Breakfasts Under 300 Calories Half a medium apple smeared with a mixture of two ounces of vanilla Greek yogurt, half a tablespoon of peanut butter, and a quarter teaspoon of cinnamon and topped with sliced grapes: 151 calories Four ounces low-fat cottage cheese (82 calories) mixed with three-quarters cup fresh blueberries (63 calories): 145 calories One extrasmall apple (53 calories) with one tablespoon peanut butter (94 calories): 147 calories 20 baby carrots (70 calories) with two tablespoons hummus (70 calories): 140 calories One organic mozzarella cheese stick (80 calories) and 20 grapes (68 calories): 148 calories 5.3-ounce container organic vanilla Greek yogurt (110 calories) and seven cherries (36 calories): 146 calories One small banana (89 calories) with eight raw almonds (55 calories): 144 calories Eight ounces organic low-fat chocolate milk (150 calories) or eight ounces Silk Chocolate Soymilk (120 calories) Half a Kind Dark Chocolate Nuts and Sea Salt Bar (100 calories) and eight medium strawberries (31 calories): 131 calories Trail mix made with 18 peanuts (97 calories) and a mini box of raisins (45 calories): 142 calories Three-quarters cup shelled edamame: 150 calories [...]

7 Myths Nutritionists Wish You'd Stop Believing

Sat, 25 Mar 2017 07:35:00 -0700

There's a lot of misinformation out there, but dietitian Julie Upton, MS, RD, of Appetite For Health, is here to shed light on seven nutritional myths that could mess with your weight-loss efforts and your health. The Internet is like the Wild West when it comes to nutrition information: anything goes. Websites are rife with less-than-accurate nutrition facts, which only fuels food myths and adds to consumers' confusion about which picks are the healthiest. At best, you can hope there's a kernel of truth in what you're reading, but more often than not, there's no scientific basis for these myths. Below are seven of the most popular nutrition myths and the real deal on each. Related:Look For These 46 Ways Added Sugar Can Appear on Your Food Label Myth 1: You need to detox your body with a juice cleanse. Fact: From celebrities to personal trainers, there's no shortage of so-called experts advocating fasts or juice cleanses to detox. If you Google "detox," you'll get nearly 64 million results for diet programs and treatments that are supposed to help "flush out your system," "remove toxic substances from the body," "give your GI tract a rest," or "speed up your metabolism" and "enhance your overall health." But despite all the hype and popularity, there's little proof that fasting or following a deprivation diet for several days actually delivers on any of the above promises. While an occasional short fast or a day of following a "juice diet" won't cause harm for most healthy people, it will likely leave you feeling cranky and hungry. If you really want to be and feel your best, eat a healthy diet that includes plenty of fruits and vegetables, get adequate sleep, and don't drink more than one alcoholic beverage per day. Myth 2: Diet sodas make you gain weight. Fact: While you may have read that diet beverages make you gain weight, a recent clinical trial found just the opposite. In the 12-week study, published in the journal Obesity, dieters who drank diet beverages lost 13 pounds on average - 44 percent more than subjects drinking water only, who lost an average of nine pounds. What's more, the diet-soda drinkers reported feeling more satisfied. This study adds to a substantial body of research demonstrating that low-calorie sweeteners and the diet beverages that contain them do not hinder but can in fact help with weight loss. Two peer-reviewed studies published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition by researchers from the University of North Carolina in 2012 and 2013 randomly assigned subjects to drink either water or diet beverages (without making any other changes to their diet). After six months, the diet-beverage group had a greater likelihood of reaching a meaningful amount of weight loss - five percent of one's body weight - compared to the control group. These studies reinforce that if you're trying to lose weight, diet beverages may help you peel off pounds, as they can help you achieve and maintain a lower-calorie eating plan. Myth 3: Canola oil is made from rapeseed plants, which are toxic. Fact: Canola oil comes from the crushed seeds of canola plants - not rapeseed plants, which are, in fact, harmful. Rapeseed oil contains high levels of erucic acid, which is linked to heart disease and therefore is not allowed to be sold in the US. While the two plants are cousins, they're distinctly different in their composition. In the 1960s, farmers used breeding methods to help eliminate the erucic acid from canola plants, and canola oil is now regulated to contain negligible amounts of the compound, ensuring that canola oil is 100 percent safe. In fact, it also happens to be one of the healthiest oils (behind olive oil) because it has less saturated fat and more heart-protective omega-3s than other vegetable oils. Canola oil is just seven percent saturated fat compared to olive oil, which is 15 percent saturated fat. Related:Confused About[...]

Become a Healthy Baker With These Surprising Butter Substitutes

Sat, 25 Mar 2017 06:30:00 -0700

Baking calms the mind and feeds the soul, but all that buttery goodness can pack on the pounds. If you're looking to make healthier baked goods, omitting some or all of the butter from your favorite recipes can greatly reduce the calories, fat, and cholesterol. There are countless ways to replace eggs in recipes, and here are healthier alternatives to using butter (great for vegan bakers, too). Applesauce: Often used to replace oil in recipes, applesauce can also be used as a butter alternative, and it works best in cake-like recipes (like this vegan banana apple chunk bread). Replace half the amount of butter in your recipe with applesauce; if the recipe calls for one cup of butter, use half a cup of butter and half a cup of applesauce. If you don't mind a denser, more moist bread, replace all the butter with applesauce to cut even more calories and fat. Related:Everything You Need to Know About Baking With Coconut Oil Avocado: Substitute half the amount of butter in a baking recipe with mashed avocado (it works well with cookies and quick breads like these pumpkin apple muffins); use the same method as you would when using applesauce. Using avocado not only lowers the calorie content, but also creates a softer, moister baked good, and is perfect if you want to omit the dairy. You can also use avocado in place of butter to make vegan "buttercream" frosting. Earth Balance: Replace all the butter with Earth Balance to reduce saturated fat and cholesterol. Using Smart Balance rather than Earth Balance will also save some calories, and note that Original Smart Balance is now dairy-free! Canola oil: In certain recipes, replacing butter with oil works well, especially if the recipe calls for melted butter. Fiddle with your favorite recipes to figure out when canola works instead of butter; when baking chocolate chip cookies, I've had success substituting half a cup of canola oil for half a cup of unsalted butter. Although slightly higher in calories, canola is much lower in saturated fat, cholesterol, and sodium. Related:Don't Stop at Just 1! 22 Healthy Cookie Recipes Greek yogurt: Replace half the amount of butter in your cookie recipes with half the amount of full-fat plain Greek yogurt. For example, if the recipe calls for one cup of butter, use half a cup of butter and one quarter cup of yogurt. You'll reduce the calories and the saturated fat. Play around with using more yogurt and less butter to see if you still like the taste and consistency. Here are more ways to use Greek yogurt in baking recipes. If you're avoiding dairy, use soy yogurt instead, like this recipe for protein banana bread. Prune purée: Often used to help little ones stay regular, prune purée also makes a low-calorie and low-fat alternative to butter. Whatever amount of butter the recipe calls for, replace it completely with store-bought baby food prune purée (unless you have time to make your own; just purée prunes in the food processor). This option works well in recipes that involve chocolate and cinnamon. [...]

30-Minute Belly-Fat-Melting Treadmill Workout

Sat, 25 Mar 2017 05:30:00 -0700



Spice up your cardio and target belly fat with intervals! This 30-minute treadmill workout plays with speed and changes minute to minute. And switching speeds like this not only improves your overall running stamina, but it also increases the calories you burn when the workout is over.
As always, feel free to adjust the speed up or down as necessary; just make sure you're challenging yourself. If you're looking to try running intervals but want to start a little slower, try this beginner's interval plan.

Click here for a printable version of this workout.

Do These 3 Things Before Breakfast to Encourage Weight Loss

Sat, 25 Mar 2017 04:25:00 -0700


If losing weight and getting healthier are on your mind, here are three things you can (and should!) do early in the morning before eating breakfast to help reach your goals.


  1. Sip on this: While drinking down a glass of water is a great way to detox the body and get your digestive juices flowing, if you go for apple cider vinegar (ACV) instead, you'll benefit from its weight-loss and immunity-boosting powers. Studies have shown that ACV may help keep you from feeling hungry by slowing stomach emptying; it also lowers the glycemic index of high-carb foods like pasta, meaning it can help you feel fuller longer by slowing the release of glucose into your bloodstream.

  1. Move: Exercising first thing in the morning has not only been shown to boost metabolism and burn more calories than those who exercise at other times, but it'll also improve your mood and inspire you to continue making healthy decisions throughout the day. Getting in your workout first thing in the morning also ensures that it won't get skipped. If you're not into doing a big workout on an empty stomach or you're short on time, just do a quick energizing yoga session.
  2. Breathe in and relax: Take at least 10 minutes for some meditation, to sit and breathe, to relax the body, to calm the mind, and to visualize and encourage mindful eating. Getting in the habit of meditating every morning can help you feel gratitude for the food you're about to eat, help you feel more satiated, and prevent overeating.

Are Steel-Cut Oats That Much Healthier Than Rolled Oats?

Sat, 25 Mar 2017 04:05:00 -0700

Rolled oats sound healthier for you than quick oats because they're less processed, right? So if steel-cut oats are even less processed than rolled oats, they're the healthiest of them all, right? If you're not even sure what the different types of oats are, the explanation below should clear things up. To shed some light about which oats are better for you, check out the chart comparison below. Steel-cut oats Old-fashioned (rolled) oats Quick oats Description Also called Irish or Scotch oats, these are cut, not rolled. They look like chopped-up rice, take the longest to cook, and have a slightly chewy consistency. Sometimes called rolled oats, these look like flat little ovals. When processing these oats, the kernels are steamed first, and then rolled to flatten them. They take longer to cook than quick oats but are quicker than steel-cut oats. Also called instant oats, these oats are precooked, dried, and then rolled. They cook in a few minutes when added to hot water and have a mushy texture. Typical Serving Size 1/4 cup dry 1/2 cup dry 1/2 cup dry Calories 170 190 150 Total Fat 3 g 3.5 g 3 g Saturated Fat 0.5 g 0.5 g 0.5 g Cholesterol 0 mg 0 mg 0 mg Sodium 0 mg 0 mg 0 mg Carbs 29 g 32 g 27 g Fiber 5 g 5 g 4 g Sugars 0 g 1 g 1 g Protein 7 g 7 g 5 g Calcium 2% 2% 0% Iron 10% 15% 10% Surprised? It looks like they're pretty similar, but one thing that sets them apart is how they compare on the glycemic index. The less-processed steel-cut oats have a much lower glycemic load than higher-processed quick oats. Low-GI foods slow down the rate that glucose (sugar) gets introduced into your body, and in contrast, high-GI foods cause a spike in your blood sugar as well as insulin, causing you to crave more sugary foods when your glucose levels drop. The best option then are the steel-cut oats, with rolled oats a great second choice. They'll keep you feeling fuller longer, which will keep your energy levels up and help you lose weight. Related:Try These Overnight Oats Recipes - All Under 400 Calories If you're obsessed with this grain, here are some fun tips and recipes to help you enjoy it even more. If you love steel-cut oatmeal, try freezing single-size servings. For cake-like oatmeal, try this microwaveable banana peanut butter recipe. Make these chocolate peanut butter overnight oats to save time in the morning. For a grab-and-go snack, make these chocolate almond oatmeal protein bars or these three-ingredient protein balls. Spice up your basic bowl of oatmeal with these under-400-calories flavor combinations. For a creamy, drinkable form of oatmeal, try this high-protein banana overnight oats smoothie. [...]

Strength vs. Cardio - Here's How You Should Structure Your Workout

Fri, 24 Mar 2017 18:45:00 -0700

Ask most trainers and they'll tell you that a healthy workout routine consists of strength training, cardio, and rest days, ideally spread throughout the week. But for those of us who love two-a-days or long sessions at the gym or just need to maximize our time, the common question seems to be: Which do I do first, strength or cardio? This was the burning question I had for Natalie Carey, certified trainer and sports nutritionist at DIAKADI Fitness. "Strength training should always come first - always," Natalie said without skipping a beat. The benefits of structuring your workouts this way are plenty, she added. Fat Loss If losing weight is your goal - specifically fat - weight training before your cardio session has major benefits, Natalie said. She explained that strength training increases the "afterburn effect." Your resting metabolism rate is heightened and your body is working to help your muscles recover, which results in an increased calorie burn long after the workout is over. This is an ideal place to be in when you hit your cardio session. Diana Chaloux, CPT and owner of the online personal-training website HitchFit, is also in agreement. "When you strength train, your body utilizes glycogen (stored carbohydrates) for fuel," Diana said. "So if you strength train first and then do lower-intensity cardio immediately after, which uses fat for fuel, you create an environment in your body conducive to fat metabolism." Basically by the time you get to your cardio session, your body will be primed to burn fat at a higher rate than if you did it the other way around. Related:A Trainer-Approved Breakfast Smoothie That Doubles as a Post-Workout Recovery Shake Injury Prevention Compared to cardio, it's much easier to get injured while strength training. And strength training while tired only increases that risk, said Natalie. This is perhaps the biggest reason she advises clients to strength train before a cardio session. "You want to make sure you have the energy to perform the exercises correctly," she said. "Poor form can result in an injury that will get you off track with your training goals." Best to hit up those lunges, kettlebell swings, and push-ups when muscles are fresh! It's important to note that even if you feel energized and unaffected by your cardio session, your body was still put through the motions and energy stores were depleted. This fatigue may cause your form and focus to be affected in ways you might not be able to notice on your own. Whatever you ultimately decide, be mindful of how you feel and do your best to know when it's time to back off. [...]

A CrossFit Coach Crafted This Workout and It's Going to Kick Your Ass

Fri, 24 Mar 2017 17:05:00 -0700



If you've always wanted to try CrossFit but aren't ready to commit to joining a box, try this workout from CrossFit coach and competitor Dani Horan of Champlain Valley CrossFit. All you'll need is a jump rope and under 10 minutes to get your heart pumping and work your upper and lower body. It may be quick, but it's effective, and you can do this workout anywhere.

The Workout: Complete this 3-move circuit for 5 rounds

50 single-unders (50 jumps with a jump rope)
30 air squats (get your butt nice and low)
10 triceps push-ups (rest your knees on the floor if you need to)

This workout may look easy on paper, but you know those are the hardest! By the end, you'll have done 250 jumps on the jump rope, 150 squats, and 50 push-ups. Get ready to feel your butt and arms burning tomorrow!

This Is Exactly What It Took For Esther to Lose 170 Pounds

Fri, 24 Mar 2017 16:45:00 -0700

Losing weight is not always about aesthetic - not everyone is trying to drop pounds to fit into a new dress or look a certain way. In fact, many women turn to weight loss as a way to improve their mood and ensure they're living a long, healthy life. Esther is one of those women who, at 300 pounds, knew she had to make a change. Esther: Before "My motivation to lose weight stemmed from my worsening physical and mental health," Esther told POPSUGAR. "Besides being down about my external appearance, my body was starting to rebel and illnesses related to obesity were beginning to accrue. It was clear that I needed to make a fundamental change. I had been overweight since my teenage years and I was ready to see a different reality for myself as I turned 40." Esther's weight loss is astounding - her total weight now is less than half of what she was not too long ago. She found a program called Take Shape For Life (TSFL), which turned things around by giving her the tools she needed to change her life and be a better version of herself. POPSUGAR: What made you decide to start your weight-loss journey? Esther Hollander: Being overweight was tough in all facets of my personal, social, and work life. I shied away from social activities because I lacked self-confidence. I struggled to build myself up and feel worthy of new friends, career advancement, and general opportunities and experiences. So I pursued very little and stayed behind the scenes in many areas. I was always aware of my size and felt like people were staring at me, judging my 300-pound frame. It was hard for me to feel pretty or feminine and I rarely had the opportunity to wear fashionable clothing. Aside from the emotional aspect, my physical strength and stamina were lessened. I had to nix activities that required too much exertion, or activities where being overweight was just prohibitive. My children were being parented by a mom who was less active, involved, and energized. I was not setting a healthy example for my household. Related:This Woman Is on a Mission to Lose 150 Pounds - Follow Her Inspiring Journey PS: What drew you to TSFL specifically? EH: I began the Take Shape For Life Program and was so happy to have found a program with structure and built-in support from the Take Shape For Life community. I never felt alone and was strengthened by the wonderful community. Many people in my area were engaged in the program, and their successes both on and off the scale were inspiring and spurred me to action. My health coach motivated, guided, and encouraged me and made me believe that I could be successful too. I also knew that weight loss could be achieved quickly and consistently on the Take Shape For Life program, which was crucial in helping me start believing in myself. "My children were being parented by a mom who was less active, involved, and energized. I was not setting a healthy example for my household." PS: What's your favorite way to work out? EH: Now that I'm in the maintenance phase, I love working out at my gym. I am comfortable there and it's become a second home to me. There are a few strength-training classes I take each week, where Zumba and Spin are my favorites for cardio. I also like putting my own workouts together and challenging myself to try new machines and other workout equipment. Exercise has become so fundamental to me that right now, I am working to get certified as a personal trainer and hope to inspire others to pursue their health goals through that channel. Esther: After PS: What's your weekly exercise schedule? EH: I go to the gym four to five times a week and generally alternate between strength training and cardio. Related:From a Size 22 to a Size 12: This Woman Changed H[...]

10 Benefits of Running That Have Nothing to Do With Weight Loss

Fri, 24 Mar 2017 16:25:00 -0700

I started running three years ago to lose weight and get in shape and since then, I have finished two half-marathons, a triathlon, one 10K, and a handful of 5Ks. I still enjoy the weight-loss benefit that comes from running, but that's not what has motivated me to stick with a regular running schedule. The other benefits of running are far more motivating than the scale. 1. Confidence Before I started training for my first half-marathon, my longest run was three miles. It felt great to cross the finish line of my first few 5Ks, but I wanted to see if my body was capable of something more. Now I know that both my body and mind are capable of completing longer distances, and once you finish a half-marathon, you have the confidence to step even further out of your comfort zone and see what else is within your capacity. 2. Sleep Nothing beats the restful night you experience after a long training run, but even knowing I have a short morning run planned before work has taught me to prioritize sleep every night. Running has made sleep vital to my healthy routine, and the tired legs and relaxed mind make it possible to have quality Zs. Related:17 Ways to Feel Happier and Brighten Your Day 3. Meditation When I started running, I did everything I could to turn the music up loud enough to drown out the repetitive clunk of my feet hitting the pavement. Over the years, though, I've experimented with new playlists, audio books and podcasts, but have come to appreciate the repetitive, meditative quality of my foot strike. Counting my footfalls lulls me into a quiet, meditative place in my mind that helps me adjust my pace, concentrate on how my body feels, and make it through the long runs without losing my mind. 4. Productivity Starting my day with a morning run, makes me more productive throughout the workday. I'm more alert, more relaxed, and more able to make decisions effectively. Hitting the pavement before the sun comes up also frees up my evenings to relax, share time with friends, or tackle housework before falling into bed at night. 5. Happiness There's a noticeable difference in my attitude throughout the day if I've missed a run. It's not just my body that feels sluggish, but my attitude. Because running improves my relationship with myself, I'm able to have more positive interactions with others all day. 6. Relationships Being able to join a friend for a run, or to share a race experience with a friend builds bonds far stronger than hitting a happy hour together. I've also felt a profound sense of gratitude for friends and family members that have shared race day with my through encouraging texts and phone calls and standing along the race route in the rain to cheer me on. Hitting the finish line at my second half-marathon, drenched from the rain and sweat, but full of gratitude for my parents and best friend that cared enough to cheer me on in the downpour was one of the happiest moments of my life. Related:Get Your Stress Out in a Healthy Way With This 10-Minute Workout 7. Anxiety I have struggled with anxiety my entire adult life. The runner's high and endorphins are far more effective than medication in combating and managing my anxiety. The increased physical and mental stamina, better sleep, and sense of accomplishment in hitting another training goal also provide the mental relief I've been seeking. Spending some much-needed alone time during the long runs gives my wandering mind plenty of opportunities to ruminate and solve the challenges that used to result in debilitating anxiety. 8. Curiosity That wandering mind also has created some pretty strange mental tangents and daydreams through long runs, too. My creativity spikes when my m[...]

If You Only Have 90 Minutes to Meal Prep, Focus on These 4 Things

Fri, 24 Mar 2017 16:20:00 -0700


Planning out meals, food shopping, and meal prepping can easily take up your entire day. If you're short on time and still want to get a head start on healthy eating for the week ahead, do these four things - they'll only take an hour and a half!

These Brownies Are Almost Healthy Enough to Get You a Hall Pass on the Whole30

Fri, 24 Mar 2017 16:05:00 -0700

Whether you're eating a diet that's vegan, gluten-free, sugar-free, Paleo, or Whole30, this brownie recipe has got you covered. That's because it's made with only three common ingredients. You can't get any simpler than that! You probably already have everything you need to make these brownies, except maybe the patience to wait for them to cook! These come together in 25 minutes flat. Just mix the batter real quick and bake. Related:Low-Calorie, No-Bake Brownies - They're Vegan, Too! They're 140 calories and offer 3.1 grams of protein and 2.1 grams of fiber. They're also lower in carbs and sugar as compared to a typical brownie recipe. This simple dessert offers that fudgy texture and chocolaty flavor you crave, but you can feel good knowing there's no refined flour or sugar added. We do apologize for introducing you to this recipe because from now on, you'll be waiting for your bananas to ripen just so you can make a batch! 3-Ingredient Brownies From Jenny Sugar, POPSUGAR Ingredients3 ripe bananas 1/2 cup creamy almond butter (salted) 2 tablespoons 100% cocoa powder Directions Preheat oven to 350°F and lightly oil a 7 x 11-inch pan. Mash bananas with almond butter until smooth. Add in the cocoa powder and mix thoroughly. Pour batter into the pan, and bake for 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Allow to cool for 15 minutes and enjoy! Source: Information Category Desserts Yield 8 Cook Time 20 minutes Nutrition Calories per serving 141 [...]

World Champion Boxer Alicia Napoleon: “Anger Fueled My Dreams”

Fri, 24 Mar 2017 15:30:00 -0700


Alicia Napoleon's childhood dream was to be a boxer, but she had to fight tooth and nail to get there.

Watch Alicia's full story on POPSUGAR's new TV series, Conquered, Tuesday, March 28, on Z Living.

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What to Eat For a Better Sex Life

Fri, 24 Mar 2017 15:16:00 -0700

Our friends at YourTango have the diet you need for a better sex life. Here author Jordan Gray shares what works best. Your body will thank you. As anyone who has been following me for a while will know, almost every decision that I make is ultimately optimized for one of two things… My mental clarity My creative/sexual energy How I eat, sleep, relax, play, and live are all optimized for these two outcomes. My primary core values all come down to loving as fully as possible and giving as much as possible to the world. And both of these two things are served by having a clear mind and an abundance of creative energy. One of the biggest contributing factors to my sexual and creative energy is the food that I put in my body. When I eat starchy, sugary, overly processed foods, I feel terrible and my cognitive functioning and sex drive immediately suffer. Conversely, when I eat clean, I sleep better, think more clearly, and enjoy a much more deeply satisfying sex life. I thought I would release a deep-dive article on the whole food element of my daily nutrient intake. While my life obviously has some fairly frequent deviations from the following three meals, these are by far the most common things that I eat on a daily basis. The Better Sex Diet: How To Eat For Better Sex For general context, I avoid common gut irritants (dairy, gluten, alcohol, refined sugar), and I eat in 2-4 square meals per day, depending on my unique goals for the day. While I am far from being strict about it, many people would put me somewhere in the Paleo/Whole30/ketogenic/plant-based/Bulletproof diet range. Which is to say, I eat clean and don't put a lot of crap in my body. I generally eat high fat, high protein, low carb, easily digestible, nutrient dense super foods. If it's deeply nourishing, easy to digest, and I can make it in under ten minutes, then, chances are, I like eating it. So, if you're looking to sleep better, have a healthier gut, better skin, healthier hair, and you want a better sex life, you've come to the right article. Let's get into it. Early Morning: Water/Intermittent Fasting Most of the mornings that I wake up, I like to continue to fast until I actually feel hungry. I regularly like to wake up sometime between 4 and 6 AM and write for a few hours before I put any real calories in my body. During this time, I'll drink 1-2 liters of water with the juice of a whole fresh lemon squeezed into it. This is also the time of day that I most like to go for a walk and watch the sunrise (hooray for natural vitamin D!). Any kind of movement in the morning (walking, jogging, yoga/stretching, going to the gym) helps you to clear your mind, build emotional resilience, and get your creative juices flowing. Then I'll journal out my thoughts and action steps for the day in a Moleskine journal, and then it's time for breakfast. Why It's Good For Your Sex Life Intermittent fasting has been proven to show spikes in luteinizing hormone (LH) and testosterone levels. In other words, it boosts your sex drive substantially, even if you only do it once or twice per week. Morning: High-Fat Nutrient-Dense Smoothie, Free-Range Eggs, And Supplements The lineup of bottles that I have accumulated over the past few years has started to make a section of my fridge look like a miniature pharmacy, but each supplement plays a necessary role in the nutrient profile of my breakfast smoothie. In my smoothie I will include: 1-2 small servings of fruit (most frequently: banana, blackberries, raspberries, blueberries) 4-5 servings of vegetables (spinach, steamed kale, cucumber, c[...]

7 Easy Tips For Therapeutic Relief For a Bloated Belly

Fri, 24 Mar 2017 14:40:00 -0700

The following post was originally published on Clean Living Guide. When we're feeling gassy or bloated, it can seem like we're the only ones with this embarrassing problem. But the reality is that many people regularly experience gastro-intestinal discomfort. In fact, surveys suggest that close to 75 percent of people suffer from discomfort caused by bloating and gas. Having lived with gluten intolerance for most of my life, I'm no stranger to these symptoms. And I'm going to arm you with some great tips to help relieve your sluggish digestion, but depending on what other symptoms may accompany bloating, it may be necessary to see a doctor and push forward with some investigative work. In particular if you're experiencing persistent diarrhea or constipation. You don't want to let those symptoms go unchecked. The imbalanced modern diet - heavy on sugars and processed carbs - has contributed to a near epidemic of gut dysbiosis. This broad term for microbial imbalance, is commonly diagnosed as a candida overgrowth or a parasite like fungus called Blastocystis. And unfortunately people who have untreated gluten intolerance, Celiac or IBS are especially susceptible to this type of fungal overgrowth. If you suspect that this might be the reason behind your gassy constitution, you'll want to see a capable doctor with a functional medicine or naturopathic practice. If you suspect that gluten intolerance might be at play, but aren't quite sure if your symptoms fit the bill, read "Misdiagnosis Maze: Symptoms & Causes of Gluten Intolerance." The symptoms may not be what you think. Simple Lifestyle Changes to Lighten Your Load 1. Morning Hydration Start each day with 16-20 oz of water, with the juice of an entire freshly squeezed lemon. Take the tonic as soon as you wake up and at least 30 minutes before eating breakfast. This effortless habit will dramatically improve your digestion and ability to get things moving in your gut. Think of this toning solution as a combination cleaning and hydration system for your intestines and colon. Gas often builds up when hard matter has become lodged in the intestines. By thoroughly hydrating the entire digestive tract with a gently acidic solution, you will eventually soften and gently break down stool that has gotten stuck, allowing it, along with gas, to pass. This practice takes time to take effect, so don't be disappointed if on day one you're not seeing results. Give it a solid week before expecting to see stuff moving, and month to experience a dramatic shift. If you're consistent with it you can expect much improved elimination! This is exciting stuff, because with the stool you will be eliminating all manner of toxins and the cause of much of your bloating. 2. Fresh Ginger Root Decoction Using about an inch (or tablespoon) of chopped ginger root per cup of water, bring the water to a boil and simmer covered for 20-25 minutes. Sip while hot, any time of day or with meals. This powerful tea will aid in digestion and calm inflammation in the digestive tract. The pungent taste is an indicator of its purifying post-digestive effects. This makes ginger tea great to sip on when having a meal. Although you might like it as much as I do, and want to drink it all day long. I drink fresh ginger root tea year round, much of the day. Not to settle my stomach, but because it's what my body craves. Unlike any other beverage, ginger root tea gives me the sensation of deep hydration. I simply can't get enough of it. You can take it with honey, but I prefer it plain and with the addition o[...]

We Can't Stop Doing the Choreography to This Ed Sheeran "Shape of You" Video

Fri, 24 Mar 2017 14:40:00 -0700

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If you're like us and feel the need to do every workout to Ed Sheeran's "Shape of You," then you're in for a real treat. We recently came across Saskia's Dansschool's routine to the massive hit, which is perfect for beginners. The pick-up choreography is easy to master but energetic enough to help you break a sweat. If that wasn't enough, there's also an adorable cameo from @pimmiethedog.

This post was originally published on March 20, 2017.

This 1 Tiny Tweak Will Make Your Squats Better

Fri, 24 Mar 2017 13:35:00 -0700



Squats are one of those exercise moves that almost everyone thinks they're doing correctly, but perfecting the form is slightly more complex than you might think. Think about your squat: do you get a good lower ab workout, or is it all in the booty and hamstrings?

If you're not feeling your abs, you're not doing it right. It means you're not activating your deeps abs - or your transverse abdominis. "It is important to activate your transverse abdominis (TVA) during most movements, especially the squat," said Liz Letchford, MS, ATC, and personal trainer at DIAKADI. Liz emphasized this to me during a training evaluation, in which my squats, which I had previously thought flawless, were scrutinized more carefully. I definitely was not tightening up the TVA.

How do you do it? By "bringing your navel toward your spine," she said, which is easier to feel on an exhale. Also, the TVA and the pelvic floor muscles work as a team, so you can get your deep abs to work more if you work your kegels in the squat. Think about the muscles you use when you're trying to stop yourself from peeing (graphic, but it works). Try "activating the muscles that stop the flow of urine."

Here's a method: "You can test whether yours is engaged by feeling the space just above your hip bones. When the TVA is engaged, this area should feel like a rigid, flexed sheet of muscle." Feel around. Is it active? Does it feel strong and firm? If not, you're not ready to take on more weights.

"Many people lose this engagement at the bottom of a squat, so before you grab that barbell, try to first go through the movement without weight, and test whether your TVA stays engaged throughout the entire range of motion," she said. Doing this will not only give you a better workout and help tone your abs, but keeps you safe when you start adding on weight to your routine.

21 Magical Items That Will Make You Feel Like a Unicorn at the Gym

Fri, 24 Mar 2017 12:45:00 -0700


This one's for the girls who don't sweat - they sparkle, because they're magical. Going to the gym can be hard as a mere human, but it's nothing if you're a mystical being. And that's why we've put together this list of items that will remind you that you are a honest-to-God unicorn every time you hit the weight room. Take a look at the best gym accessories and clothes you can get to feel like the legendary creature you are!

The Must-Have, Newest, Freshest Fitness Gear For March

Fri, 24 Mar 2017 12:29:00 -0700


This month, we're welcoming Spring with open arms but staying cozy while we do. We're gearing up with fun leggings and long-sleeved shirts to layer up during our workouts, then taking in our outdoor runs that celebrate the season. Check out our must haves for March!

Burn Major Calories With a 12-Minute Treadmill Sprint Workout

Fri, 24 Mar 2017 12:15:00 -0700

Many of us love having the option to get in a quick, powerful, explosive workout - without wasting time. If you don't have the luxury of an extra hour for your daily routine, try this 12-minute HIIT workout on the treadmill - with intense sprint intervals and some incline work, you'll get your whole body burning, fast. You're in, you're out, and you're stronger for it. Erica Stenz, Barry's Bootcamp trainer in San Francisco, created this lightning-fast sprint session with active recoveries just for you. Choose your start speed based on your current pace and fitness level, and play with the sprints accordingly, taking them up a little bit faster (0.5 mph) at different points of this challenging workout (and ending in one explosive, fastest-ever sprint for 30 seconds). Let's do this! Related:Get Washboard Abs With This 5-Minute, No-Equipment Workout Time Speed Incline Notes 0:00-1:00 5, 6, 7 6.0 Start at a comfortable pace 1:00-1:30 7.5, 8.5, 9.5 6.0 First sprint at 2.5 mph faster 1:30-2:30 5, 6, 7 6.0 Recover 2:30-3:00 8, 9, 10 6.0 Take your sprint up 0.5 mph 3:00-4:00 5, 6, 7 4.0 Recover; remove 2 points from the incline 4:00-4:30 8, 9, 10 4.0 Sprint 4:30-5:30 5, 6, 7 4.0 Recover 5:30-6:00 8.5, 9.5, 10.5 4.0 Take your sprint up 0.5 mph 6:00-7:00 5, 6, 7 2.0 Recover; remove 2 points from the incline 7:00-7:30 8.5, 9.5, 10.5 2.0 Sprint 7:30-8:30 5, 6, 7 2.0 Recover 8:30-9:00 9, 10, 11 2.0 Take your sprint up 0.5 mph 9:00-10:00 5, 6, 7 0.0 Recover; remove 2 points from the incline 10:00-10:30 9, 10, 11 0.0 Sprint 10:30-11:30 5, 6, 7 0.0 Recover 11:30-12:00 9.5, 10.5, 11.5 0.0 Take your sprint up 0.5 mph [...]