Do you have a fashionable friend who always carefully plans out her gym outfits? Then look no further than this gift guide. We've found a few cute, luxe items made for sweating it out (or for throwing on afterward). Cute gym clothes, bags, accessories — it's all here. Read on for 10 gift ideas for your fashionable fitness friend!
A nutritious diet and regular exercise have helped you reach your weight-loss goal, but you're still trying to get rid of that little extra pooch around your midsection. Here are three things you can do every week to help you achieve a trimmer belly.
Take an honest look at your diet and your bathroom schedule. Your belly might not be caused by fat, but by air trapped in your digestive system. If you're not getting enough fiber (you need 25 to 30 grams a day), constipation can cause bloating. On the other hand, overdoing it on fiber or eating too many gas-producing foods like broccoli, apples, or beans can also make your belly pooch a bit. Thankfully, there are also foods you can eat, like blueberries, that are proven to diminish belly fat, so sip on this flat-belly smoothie made with pineapple and kale.
When Doing Cardio
Studies show that including interval training in your cardio sessions is proven to diminish belly fat. If you find that you normally stick to a consistent pace when running, biking, or swimming, mix it up by adding 10- to 60-second fast-paced or sprinting intervals — here's a 45-minute treadmill workout that does just that. High Intensity Interval Training (aka HIIT) works on the same principle as intervals, where you push to your maximum training for a period of time and follow up with a shorter rest period. Give this type of workout a try with our full-body 10-Minute HIIT Workout.
When Strength Training
Basic crunches can help tone your abs, but they only target certain abdominal muscles. Incorporate full-body exercises like variations of plank or core moves using a ball. Simply balancing on one leg on a Bosu will target your core too.
Pudding made in a blender? You better believe it. Here's a milk-chocolate pudding recipe from chef Matthew Kenny that is raw, easy to make, and full of healthy fats. And it is so very tasty! How does he make this dish so flavorful without dairy, eggs, or cooking? Watch this video to learn his secrets, and then whip up your own batch at home.
Give the gift of love this holiday season by spoiling that special someone with a present that really comes from the heart. From must-have fitness gear to nutrition tools for the kitchen, we've got you covered with over 200 heart-healthy gifts with finds in all price ranges.
With a calendar full of holiday parties in December, it's easy to fall off your healthy wagon — and have a hard time climbing back on board! Who better to talk to about staying on track than The Biggest Loser trainer and fitness guru Jillian Michaels?
Jillian, who recently announced her partnership with Curves that kicks off in 2014, chatted with us about how she strategizes with clients to keep them on track during the holidays.
Don't resign yourself to indulging all month long! Jillian suggests picking "several days to indulge" — instead of the entire month. Plan in advance and know when you'll be taking part in celebratory meals and goodies. Once you have those dates mapped out, Jillian says "be sure to work out that day" so you have the calories to spare on holiday treats. Another holiday tip from the weight-loss guru: bring your own healthy dish to a party. Jillian says "that way you know there will be at least one healthy item to enjoy!"
Jillian's mantra when it comes to special holiday meals? "Moderation is key." If there are certain foods you just can’t omit from your holiday menu, prepare them, but always remember to eat with moderation in mind. We were also surprised to learn that Jillian doesn't believe in the word "cheat." Instead, she says "there are foods that are higher in calories than others, and I consume them in moderation." Jillian allows "20 percent of her daily calories" to come from foods that are less healthy like a sweet treat or the occasional cocktail.
Keep It Clean
While she allows space in her diet for less healthy food, Jillian doesn't take the word "food" lightly. She says that natural sources of sugar and fat are OK in moderation, but "fake sugars, fats, [food dyes], and flavors are never OK. They are not food." She's adamant about steering clear of these "fake foods" because she feels our bodies do not know how to process them, which "not only results in obesity but in disease." Jillian insists to "avoid those foods at all costs!"
The moves in this no-equipment workout have a few things in common: they're basic, functional, and scalable as your level of fitness improves. So while this simple body-weight workout may not seem like much, as you repeat the circuit, you'll learn just how effective it can be. You can time yourself so that as you get better, you can race against your previous times.
Alternating lunges means alternate lunging forward with your right, then left (five times on each side). Check out our tips on how to do a reverse crunch here as well as how to do jumping squats here.
What do yoga cats and muffin tops have in common? Funny you should ask! They make perfect fitness-related gifts for any white elephant exchanges on your calendar this season. For friends who can take a good joke, these 10 finds are ones they'll never forget!
Haven't you noticed? No place is off limits when it comes to taking selfies, not even bathrooms or the red carpet. So it's no surprise that people have been taking and sharing gym selfies — or gym "healthies" as they're called. Many of you participated when we asked you to post your healthie snaps, but not everyone can get behind the trend. Some consider it inappropriate or awkward at best ("Let me just pretend no one else can see me"), while selfie supporters see nothing wrong with some sweaty self-love.
We want to know: what's your take on the gym selfie showdown?
- Why you might not want to graze all day — Women's Health
- 15-minute cardio circuit workout — Shape
- Edible gift idea: za'atar spiced almonds — POPSUGAR
- Beat boredom with these 10 HIIT treadmill workouts — Self
- Mmm. Eggnog overnight oats. — Peanut Butter Fingers
- Hangover? Surprising remedies for the morning after — Real Simple
- Blood oranges and 9 other foods that blast holiday stress — Health
- Get baking! Sweet potato chocolate quinoa crumble muffins — Healthful Pursuit
- Tone your trouble zones with these effective moves — Fitness
- A bra that prevents emotional overeating? — Fab Fit Fun
I spent a good portion of the year sweating it out in my living room, (upsetting my downstairs neighbors) testing the hottest DVDs on the market. Here are the five standouts from 2013 that have earned a permanent space in my home workout collection.
Tracy Anderson Dance + Cardio
The reason celebrities like Gwyneth Paltrow, Shakira, and Kirsten Dunst are hooked to the Tracy Anderson Method? The program delivers real results. Even if you can't attend class at her Brentwood studio, bring Tracy to your living room in her Tracy Anderson: Dance + Cardio DVD ($15). Tracy "performs" solo, offering two 30-minute dance routines that tone your entire body and get your heart pumping. For those self-proclaimed as having two left feet, this DVD is doable but will definitely keep you on your toes. If you're really concerned about keeping up, invest in Tracy's Method for Beginners DVD ($15) that makes sure you have every move mastered.
The Biggest Loser: Six-Week Cardio Crush
There are so many reasons I'm a fan of The Biggest Loser: 6-Week Cardio Crush DVD ($15) — OK, I'll be frank, Bob and Dolvett are two big reasons I love this pick. Effective and fast-paced, this six-week program offers three engaging workouts that build in intensity, plus a warmup and cooldown program to make sure your muscles get all the attention they deserve. Anyone who's a fan of The Biggest Loser — or is looking to transform their body in 2014 — will benefit from this DVD.
Sexy Abs Cardio Sculpt
Jeanette Jenkins is one of our favorite celebrity trainers, and we've been loving her new DVD Sexy Abs Cardio Sculpt ($10, originally $20). Featuring The X Factor judge Kelly Rowland, this 60-minute workout DVD combines different fitness methods like kickboxing, weight training, yoga, and even ballet, with Jeanette's signature moves that whip her clients into shape. For more info, check out our interview with Jeanette and Kelly where they discuss this project and share great healthy tips!
Doonya Bollywood Workout
This year, Bollywood-style dance workouts caught on for good reason, and The Doonya Bollywood Workout ($33 for three DVDs) is one of the most fun series I've worked out with to date. The Doonya Workout is a three-part series consisting of: separate beginner breakdown; cardio dance and conditioning; and abs, glutes, and cardio DVDs. Quality instruction keeps you connected to your workout from start to finish, and the two Doonya instructors, Kajal and Priya, serve as the perfect ambassadors for this high-energy cardio craze. Their infectious smiles and positive energy transcend the screen, helping you stay motivated as you feel the serious burn.
Jillian Michaels Yoga Inferno
Jillian Michaels promises, and certainly delivers, two intense workouts in her most recent offering of 2013: Jillian Michaels Yoga Inferno ($15). Yoga and Jillian seem like incongruent concepts, but surprisingly, the Jillian Michaels brand of no-nonsense motivation translates well to these two challenging and creative 30-minute sequences. This DVD somehow manages to toe the line in order to find that perfect sweet spot for an effective and quick yoga-inspired workout that mixes things up.
Don't feel sorry for beans. They may be known mostly for their unpleasant side effect when eaten, but beans are actually nutritious little gems. If you follow these tips, you can eat beans without the bloat, which means you can reap these weight-loss benefits. Here are three reasons to plate-up with beans.
While the fiber content of beans helps keep things moving, it also gives you that "I'm full" feeling. Satiating your hunger is the key to preventing overeating and consuming too many calories for the day. But you don't just need to eat a plate of plain beans; in fact, you can add beans to smoothies — you won't be able to taste them at all — throw them in your scrambled eggs, add them to soups, pasta dishes, or homemade pizza.
Beans aren't just for vegetarians. Omnivores can soak up bean protein as well. High-protein beans help keep energy and blood-sugar levels stable, which helps prevent cravings for sugary pick-me-ups that tend to be high in calories and void of nutrition. Since a couple hours between meals tends to be common crash times, including beans for breakfast and lunch will keep you peppy until your next meal. Whip up a sweet potato, chickpea, and quinoa veggie burger, a plate of polenta with beans, or a satisfying bowl of cumin-spiced lentils with quinoa.
When trying to beat the scale, you need to make sure that you're eating quality foods low in calories and high in nutrition. Beans make perfect snacks too, so look beyond the typical carrot sticks and hummus pick-me-up (but do try this black bean hummus). You can snack on honey-roasted cinnamon chickpeas, veggies with creamy white-bean dip, or these delicious edamame pear crostinis. You can also enjoy a low-cal dessert with fortified with beans, like these peanut butter oatmeal raisin cookies or black bean brownies.
Just because running isn't a gear-heavy sport, doesn't mean the runner in your life won't appreciate a few gifts to inspire her training, lift her spirits when the going gets tough, and celebrate her big finishes. Here are some great ideas for the women on the run in your life.
— Additional reporting by Leta Shy
Grab a set of five-pound dumbbells and take five minutes to sculpt some seriously sexy arms! This quickie workout, created by celebrity trainer Astrid McGuire, will burn out your biceps and triceps and prep your arms for the little black dress.
Just when you think you've gotten your hands on the best fitness gear or health food of the year, another tempting one comes along. Instead of trying them all, we did the work for you! Throughout 2013, we tested the best of the best, from shoes to sunscreen to snacks. Check out our top picks, and buy them for yourself now, or give them as gifts this holiday season. They'll be just as noteworthy in 2014; they're that good.
If you have a long holiday list to tackle, we're here to help you score the perfect find — without breaking the bank. We've rounded up 25 gifts, with selections for the runner, yogi, cyclist, and overall fitness freak. Your wallet will appreciate that all these finds are under $25.
It's hard to make your way through a yoga class without rising up into Warrior 1. This bold pose may be basic, but it's one of the most effective ways to tone your lower body. Want to get more out of it? Try these four techniques to sculpt your butt even more.
- Get low: Just as with squats and lunges, when you're hips aren't low enough, you're not taxing your butt and thigh muscles. Check your alignment to make sure your stance is wide enough to allow your pelvis and front knee to be in one line, with your front thigh parallel to the ground. Press into the outside edge of your front foot to prevent your knee from leaning in, and you'll really feel the outer area of the butt burning.
- Shift back: Your center of gravity is also important here. Lean too far forward and you'll not only be placing unnecessary pressure on your knee joint, but you'll also be working your thigh more than your butt. Be sure to lean your weight toward your back leg. Do this by pressing into the ball of the front foot — you might feel this in the front of your back thigh (hip flexor), but you'll also feel it in your seat.
- Mix it up: Since your body is used to the basic Warrior 1 position, it gets proficient at it. Mix things up with these variations — changing the positions of your arms and torso makes it more challenging for your lower body:
Burning Low Lunge
Open Rotated Warrior 1
If you're one of those eat-peanut-butter-straight-out-of-the-jar people, get your spoon ready for this recipe. While peanut butter is quite possibly one of the most perfect foods, even die-hard fans can get a little bored of the same old spread. Surprise your whole wheat toast and apple slices by spreading this mixed nut butter instead.
This homemade version will really rock your PB-loving world because it actually contains no peanuts at all. It's made with almonds, cashews, and sunflower seeds, creating a taste so fresh and unique that you'll never buy another jar from the store again. But it doesn't stop here — since there are so many different nuts and seeds to choose from, the possibilities of mixed nut butter creations are as wild as your imagination.
Keep reading for this simple 94-calorie recipe.
If you only have a short window to spare for a midday workout, try this challenging 20-minute treadmill routine. Beyond switching up the speed every two minutes, you'll also be changing the incline, which challenges the body to work even harder. Even after this short cardio session, you'll feel light, energized, and ready to power through the rest of your day. Keep reading for the 20-minute plan.