- Fashion-forward graduation gifts worth giving — Fashion
- Kristen Stewart flashes a smile postsplit — Celebrity
- Beauty gifts your bridesmaids will appreciate — Beauty
- Get a load of healthy snacks under 150 calories — Fitness
- Revamp your bedroom with DIY headboards and art decor — Home
- Fresh ideas to heat up your Summer — Sex & Culture
- Never lose your phone charger again thanks to a sticker —Tech
- Go behind the scenes of the new X-Men movie — Entertainment
- The modern mom's guide to everyday etiquette — Moms
- 10 mouthwatering ways to use mayonnaise — Food
- Ditch 7 costly wedding traditions — Smart Living
- Video: Summerize your hair routine — Beauty
- See why there are too many cats in the kitchen — Pets
High in vitamin A, vitamin C, and fiber, red bell peppers make a perfect accompaniment to protein-rich lentils in this low-calorie recipe. Even better news? You'll be surprised at how large an under-250-calorie portion of this cheesy red pepper and lentil bake really is. Make a batch of this dish ahead of time and reheat throughout the week for a quick evening meal.
If you suffer from tight hips, it doesn't just affect your hips and hip flexors. The tightness radiates up into your spine and into the thighs, which can cause soreness and pain when exercising or even when sitting or standing. Runners, cyclists, and desk-bound folks commonly complain of tight hips that cause lower back pain, and stretching this area is one way to alleviate tightness.
Butterfly Pose is one of the most effective stretches you can do, and if you've done this pose a million times, try these variations to get an even deeper stretch. Begin with five breaths in regular Butterfly, and then move on to these:
Hands on knees: Instead of resting your hands on your feet, place your palms on your inner knees. Gently use your arm strength to push your knees down toward the ground to stretch the inner thighs.
Clasp hands on the neck: Elongating the spine can intensify the stretch and change where you feel the opening in your hips. Clasp your hands with bent elbows and place your palms on the back of your neck. Keeping the elbows pressing behind you to prevent the spine from rounding, gently pull your head away from your hips as you fold over your legs.
Interlace hands behind you: Before folding forward, interlace your hands behind your lower back, pressing the heels together in a double fist. As you fold forward, raise the arms overhead to not only add a little downward pressure but to also offer a nice shoulder and chest opener.
If your workout needs a little boost, having caffeine before you exercise can be just what you need. Studies have shown that ingesting caffeine before a workout increases your endurance, can help ease postexercise muscle soreness, and can help sedentary people exercise more vigorously. While caffeinated gels, drinks, and chews help give a much-needed boost during endurance races, you should play it safe when it comes to your caffeinated workout. Stay away from energy drinks, and opt for naturally caffeinated options with these tips.
Have a shot: An espresso shot before a workout is convenient, since it won't weigh you down and can be drunk quickly if you're on your way to the gym. Take the shot, which on average contains about 75 milligrams of caffeine, about 30 minutes before your workout to reap the effects of the caffeine during your workout.
Take a coffee break: If you are going to drink a full cup of coffee or tea before you exercise, make sure that you drink it about an hour before so you won't be full of liquid when you work out. Note that a 16-ounce cup of Starbucks coffee contains 330 milligrams of caffeine, so don't drink a full cup before an evening workout if caffeine normally keeps you awake.
Look for caffeinated snacks: A recent study found that eating a small piece of dark chocolate before a workout can help with endurance because it contains a flavonoid that may help muscles resist fatigue. While a small piece of dark chocolate may not contain that much caffeine, the combination of carbs, caffeine, and flavonoids may help give you a small boost. For a bigger caffeinated effect, look for energy gels and chews that contain caffeine.
No matter what your caffeine strategy, if you are training for a race and use caffeine to help your workouts, endurance running and nutrition coach Matt Fitzgerald recommends in his book The New Rules of Marathon and Half Marathon Training to go on a caffeine fast a week or two before your big day. Since your body acclimates to the effects of caffeine, taking a weeklong break will ensure that you feel the greatest effects during your race. You should also take care to not go over the recommended daily intake of 300 milligrams.
If your hair is dull, dry, and brittle, forget spending tons of money on shampoos and styling products that claim to offer shine and moisture. You need to replenish your hair from the inside out! Made from hair-healthy ingredients like Greek yogurt, blueberries, and kidney beans, this smoothie will help moisturize the scalp and encourage growth. The beans also offer biotin, which is not only great for your hair, but for your skin as well.
This under 400-calorie smoothie contains almost 20 grams of protein. If you're skeptical about the beans and spinach, the fruit overpowers their mild flavors so you hardly even notice they're there.
If you feel like you're falling off the fit wagon, look to this quote for inspiration. Remember that consistency is your key to success.
There's nothing better than some grilled goodness for Memorial Day weekend. If you've taken on a vegan or vegetarian diet and you're tired of those prepackaged burgers, you're in luck. There's something to tempt vegans regardless of their preferences, from white bean to black bean to portobello — no one-size-fits-all here! Click through to get inspired for your start-of-Summer backyard BBQ bliss or a weeknight supper.
Sometimes, all you need is 10 minutes to feel healthier, less stressed, and more fit, all while burning a surprising amount of calories. The following total-body workouts range from five to 10 minutes and will work up a sweat while still keeping your busy schedule in mind.
- Do-it-anywhere workout: You can do this 10-minute, no-equipment workout anywhere where you have space for your mat; set up your laptop and follow along to our workout video here.
- Wake-up workout: This short and sweet five-minute workout will help you energize in the morning to get ready for your day.
- Max HIIT workout: Very high-intensity interval training is the way to go to save time and burn major calories — it's even been proven in studies. This seven-minute HIIT workout is the perfect circuit to raise your heart rate while working your entire body.
- Yoga with weights workout: Follow along to our 10-minute hybrid yoga workout for a creative way to strength train: with a stretching yoga sequence that incorporates dumbbells.
- Yoga flow workout: For a more traditional, relaxing yoga sequence, try this 10-minute yoga flow workout video.
Five more intense, short workouts after the break!
In the beginning of a weight-loss journey, pounds melt away like ice on a hot Summer's day. But as you get closer to your goal, it's not unusual to hit a plateau. Here's how to keep those pounds dropping and keep the weight off for good.
- Beef up your workouts: If you've been steadily working out and following the same routine, your body has probably grown accustomed to the routine. Rattle your body's chain a little and kick up the intensity of your workouts to further challenge your muscles. Work out longer or harder, increase the size weights you're lifting, do more reps of strength-training moves and vary the order, or try doing two workouts in one day.
- Go for fiber: Since your metabolism is already working pretty efficiently, eat fibrous foods that take longer to digest, so your body has to expend more energy to break them down. Fruits, veggies, whole grains, nuts, and legumes are where it's at, but focus on these foods with the highest amounts of fiber.
- Include these foods: Imbalances in your digestive tract have been linked to weight gain, so to restore the balance of bacteria in your gut, eat nonfat yogurt for the probiotics. Lack of calcium as well as vitamin D can also make it harder to lose weight, so be sure to eat dairy products and these calcium-rich fruits and veggies, as well as these foods high in vitamin D. Omega-3s are also vital for a healthy metabolism, so include fish, eggs, walnuts, chia seeds, and flaxseeds in your diet too.
- Get your z's: Not getting adequate sleep (at least six hours) can also decrease leptin, the hormone that makes you feel satiated, while it increases ghrelin, the hunger hormone. Research shows that feeling sluggish the following day causes you to eat an average of 549 extra calories without even realizing it. Lack of sleep also slows down your metabolism, making you burn 20 percent fewer calories a day.
- Cut out the cocktails: Boozy beverages not only offer your body empty calories, but since your body is working so hard to get rid of toxins, they also inhibit the production of glucose, which is needed for maintaining normal blood sugar levels and in turn slows down your metabolism. Not to mention, getting a little tipsy also clouds your judgment so you're more likely to say yes to another cosmo and a slice of cheesecake to go with it. Go for water or metabolism-boosting green tea instead.