Even though it's a one-stop destination for health, the gym persists as one of the germiest places out there. Perhaps we have no one to blame but ourselves. The next time you're at the gym, stop and take a look — it might shock you to find that a good majority of gym-goers still engage in some pretty gross habits. You've already told us what your biggest pet peeve is about the gym, but why not confess to which of these habits you're guilty of? And don't worry about any germaphobes going after you — your answers are completely anonymous!
There are only so many hours in the day, but sometimes we pack everything in right up until bedtime. With so many obligations, it's easy to not sit down for dinner until late at night. If you jump into bed right after, however, that late-night meal may be the reason why you're not getting a good night's sleep.
Late-night dinners can trigger digestive issues and make getting a good night's sleep impossible, causing you to toss and turn all night. If that's not enough of a reason to move up your dinner time, maybe this will be: a recent study found that those who ate dinner late at night ended up consuming more calories and fewer fruits and vegetables than those who ate before 8 p.m. If you're following a weight-loss plan, getting better sleep and eating an earlier dinner should be at the top of your to-do list.
If you find that you don't have time in the evening to eat an earlier meal, check your schedule; you may need to move your workout to the morning or lunchtime, find quicker ways to work out effectively at night, or eat dinner before you tackle the rest of your evening obligations. And make a quick 30-minute meal when you get home so you can enjoy an early dinner as well as a restful night's sleep.
I was thrilled to attend the Yoga Journal Conference held in San Francisco, a four-day event consisting of classes and lectures focused on all things yoga and how to live your best life. The event in SF brought together a truly exceptional group of experts to share their wealth of knowledge with yogis young and old.
Come one, come all: Whether or not you're a seasoned practitioner, the conference caters to students of all levels. There were options for beginners interested in learning about the basics of yoga, while experienced yogis had the option of attending continuing education intensives or advanced physical practices. Overall, I found that there was a great mix of active practice opportunities and also lectures on subjects like meditation, healthy eating, and natural pain relief. Anyone who has an interest in yoga or alternative healing therapies would find themselves at home.
Learn something new: Whether it was a lecture-based workshop or two hours of tough flow, I was surprised about what I was getting out of each class. From the who's who of the yoga world to lesser-known local yogis, I was constantly learning and impressed by the depth of knowledge and creative teaching methods from these experts.
Keep reading to hear what surprised me about the Yoga Journal Conference.
There’s nothing like the warm, fuzzy feeling you get when passing out gifts to the ones you love. Except maybe the incredible, thrilling rush that comes from scoring those gifts during the most invigorating shopping season of all!
This year, our friends at T.J.Maxx, Marshalls, and HomeGoods are giving you more reasons than ever to celebrate your holiday shopping victories — by creating a series of fun and inspiring gifting “missions” that you can tackle weekly for a new chance to win!
Readers as well as our favorite lifestyle bloggers will be invited to participate in five missions across T.J.Maxx, Marshalls, and HomeGoods stores, then simply share their experience via Twitter using the hashtag #TheGifter. Each week, one winner will be chosen to receive a $500 gift card! You can also visit #TheGifter holiday gifting hub to explore an ever-evolving gallery of amazing gifts at amazing values — check back often for fresh inspiration and fun ideas.
Make this holiday shopping season your most triumphant yet! The missions are already under way, so start making your gifting list, and click here for more details.
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We are pumped to share one of our favorite stories from Self here on FitSugar!
Ask anyone with at least a little knowledge of yoga to name a few postures, and Downward Dog will likely be some of the first, if not the only, words out of their mouth, at least here in America. However, in India, the birthplace of yoga the pose isn't emphasized quite as much, says yoga teacher and life coach Sophie Herbert. "Here in the U.S., Downward Dog is the anchoring posture of many practices," says Herbert, who received her training and yoga certification in India but now teaches in Brooklyn.
Perhaps it's because the pose is so good for many of the things that plague our society today: fatigue, back pain and stiffness from sitting all day, Herbert adds. In fact, Downward Dog has lots of health benefits — and whether you're an everyday yogi or not, this pose alone is worth adding to your regular fitness routine.
- It builds bone density. Postures like Downward Dog (as well as more difficult arm balances) that place weight on the arms and shoulders are great for building upper body strength and preserving bone density, says Herbert — especially important for women as we age and become more at risk for osteoporosis.
- It wakes you up. Herbert cites B.S.K. Iyengar, the 94-year-old founder of Iyengar yoga, who says that Downward Dog is one of the best poses you can do when you're fatigued. "He recommends at least a minute in the pose," she says, "to bring back lost energy for runners after a hard race." It works equally well, she adds, for those of us who are just tired from a long day at the office, too.
- It eliminates stiffness and back pain. "I find it's good for people who get pain in their shoulders and upper back," says Herbert. "Practicing it with proper alignment can make your upper back more flexible and less likely to store so much tension."
Valentine's Day doesn't have to be a day of overindulging on chocolate. This 96-calorie chocolate cake is an elegant dessert that contains no flour and includes healthy ingredients like sweet potato to help hold all the chocolatey goodness in.
Make the entire recipe as a single cake, or cut the recipe in half to make just enough for yourself and a date. As a sweet finish, the extra orange zest can be used to write a love note on top of the dessert.
A killer workout playlist is an excellent motivational companion, but sometimes you need the real deal to keep you on your toes. Here are five fun ways to stick to a new workout routine with the help of a friend.
- Learn a new sport: Signing up to be part of a team with a friend can be a fun way to stay active even when your enthusiasm for fitness wanes. And with your friend learning the sport alongside you, you may be less intimidated to try out a new skill.
- Start a lunch club: If your company offers a discounted gym membership or your gym is close to your office, gather a few co-workers to go to the gym during lunch. You'll get your workout out of the way before it's dark, and having a group of dedicated gym-goers holds you accountable.
- Sign up for a race: No matter what your running level, training for a race is one of the best ways to make sure you consistently run. Training with a friend offers extra insurance that you'll stick to your training plan (and have fun while you do!).
- Explore your city: Whether it's taking advantage of new student deals at the newest studio on the block or seeking out a new park to run in every week, having a workout buddy to accompany you while you sweat it out around your city takes the tedium out of any activity.
- Practice your moves: From Bhangra to Zumba, there are many types of dance classes where you can burn calories without even realizing it, and taking a buddy means she'll laugh alongside you when you feel like you're making a fool of yourself! Check to see if any of these dance-based fitness workouts are offered near you.
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