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Yoga Sequence For Happiness

Need a little mood boost? Take some time for yourself today and try this heart-opening, uplifting yoga sequence and you'll feel lighter and happier, because yoga makes everything better. Move through this 16-pose sequence on one side and then repeat on the other side. Note that for some of the poses, you'll be doing both sides twice.

Source: POPSUGAR Fitness

16-Week Half-Marathon Training Schedule For Beginners

If you have a few 5Ks and 10Ks under your belt, you're probably thinking about running your first half marathon. Doubling your racing distance means building endurance by increasing your weekly mileage. Don't be daunted by this! Try this 16-week training schedule that adds miles safely. There are cross-training, strength-training and stretching, and rest days built into the program to help prevent injury. Plus, the long runs are on Saturdays when you have time to go the distance, giving you Sundays to recover.

Click here to print an image-free version of the training program.

Source: POPSUGAR Fitness

Pets Interrupting Workouts (and They're Still Cute!)

It takes all of your effort to muster up the energy to slip on a sports bra and motivate yourself to work out at home. But your furry little companion is completely against it.

Source: POPSUGAR Fitness

Wanna Do the Splits? 9 Poses to Make It Happen

If you've always wanted to do a split, you need flexible hips and hamstrings. Practice these nine stretches, and you'll soon be on your way.

Source: POPSUGAR Fitness

Hitting the Gym but Not Losing Weight? Here's Why

Have you been working out, eating right, losing weight - then suddenly you hit a wall? Perhaps you've been doing all the right things and still not seeing any results. This plateau might feel like a dead end in your weight-loss journey, but there's hope in the form of new research.

Last week, the American Council on Exercise (ACE) published a 13-week study with new research about subjects they call "non-responders." The conclusion: you need a personalized balance of cardio and strength training to see results.

If you suspect you are a "non-responder" and your body isn't budging despite your healthier choices, you're not alone. A separate study from the Cooper Institute found that many people - "20 to 45 percent of some populations," according to a press release - are in the same boat. ACE's study suggested that "considerable heterogeneity" in exercise can lead to "adverse effects."

Think back to your exercise schedule. Is there enough variety? Is it personal to you? If the entirety of your fitness routine is purely group cardio classes, it's time to break the cycling cycle! ACE's research showed that "a unique combination of functional fitness, resistance training, and cardio workouts eliminates the non-responder phenomenon." This means the only way to break through a rut, wall, or plateau in your fitness journey is to mix it up; individualized programs are imperative if you're not seeing progress.

Here's how the study went: exercises were split into two groups of exercisers (it was a small group - 46 subjects in total). One group was put into an "individualized training" group, while the others were in a "traditional exercise" group. "Between two groups, 100 percent of participants with individualized training saw positive results, while 35 percent of the traditional exercise group showed no significant health improvements."

The "traditional exercise group" was the control group; they were "not instructed to not do any formal exercise." The individualized group received more instruction, which was a balance of functional movement, resistance training, and cardio. We've heard before that a combo of cardio and weight training is the best way to lose weight via exercise, and this is more evidence.

"The individualized group saw more significant health improvements in almost every metric," ACE said in a press release. This included an improvement to "VO2 max" (your lung capacity and performance ability), as well as "muscular fitness and key cardiometabolic risk factors."

It's important to note that in addition to a balanced routine, each participant in the individualized group received a plan that was specific to their bodies and abilities in order to optimize their results. While movement of any kind is important for your health, if you've got fitness goals and seem to be hitting a roadblock, it's time to consider a plan that is more tailored to you. At the very least, start mixing up your workouts with both cardio and resistance training.

Source: POPSUGAR Fitness

New Year, New You, New Workout Playlist

This is your year! Don't take our word for it, take Family Force 5's. Kick off your New Year's resolutions and your new exercise regime with a fresh new mix of songs - we've got an hour's worth of peppy, motivating tracks ready for you, from warmup to cooldown.

If this mix isn't your speed or style, check out all of our workout playlists to find something that suits your taste. Just download the free Spotify software or app to listen to our playlists.

Source: POPSUGAR Fitness

How to Get Out of a Workout Rut

Don't panic at the thought of getting back into a workout routine if you've been slacking off for a while. Start anew with these trainer tips for getting back into a healthy routine.

It's common sense: The thing about living healthfully is that a lot of it is just common sense, says celebrity trainer Harley Pasternak. When you can make a few healthy changes, do it. It doesn't take much thought to know that moving around burns more calories than sitting all day or that you can get your exercise for the day by walking to the store instead of driving.

Every little bit counts: Harley also says that remembering this can help you make the common-sense decision. Instead of thinking of exercise as a daunting, boring task, think of your goals in smaller increments. Every step you walk or healthy food choice helps you to your goal.

Don't overdo it: Going all out after not exercising for a while can take its toll on your mind as well as your body. To prevent injury and a discouraged feeling, start small and work your way up slowly when you're ready. "Take it slowly; bite off sizable aspects of your fitness routine that you can complete; don't underdo but don't overdo," celebrity trainer Gunnar Peterson tells us. "Overdoing it is going to kill it. You can't overhaul your entire fitness and health regimen in one day."

Make it realistic: Not only should you not overexert yourself when you first start, but you also shouldn't make goals that you know you can't meet. Make sure that you're not scheduling more than you can do when you first start a workout routine, and pick a time of day that you know you can stick to as well. "You find a time during the day when you can make your workout, because if you're fighting for time, that's always going to be the first thing that goes," Gunnar says. "You also have to add just enough [time to your workout] so that you can always maintain it and you never have to skip it."

Source: POPSUGAR Fitness

Staying Trim, Strong May Cut Incontinence Risk

But for women in study, these factors only helped with one type of incontinence

Source: WebMD Health

10 Thoughts All Regular Gym-Goers Have in January

For regular gym-goers, January is the most dreaded time of the year. It's the time when people recover from their New Year's Eve hangovers, swear they're never going to drink again, and decide that this is going to be the year they actually follow through on their fitness New Year's resolutions! While we have the utmost respect for those who want to start fresh with their fitness goals, the frustration of an overly crowded gym is something all regulars know way too well. Keep reading to see some hilarious January gym thoughts we have while trying to weed through all the newbies, and if you are new to the gym, check out these tips for making it less intimidating.

Source: POPSUGAR Fitness

6 Workouts You'll Be Obsessing Over in 2017

New year, new goals, new workouts! We're already seeing some trends emerge in fitness, giving us a solid indication of what kinds of workouts are going to be super popular in 2017. Haven't tried these yet? The coming year is the perfect time to experiment and find something new and awesome that you love. And while we don't see your favorite bootcamp or cycling classes losing any momentum, there are some up-and-comers that will totally dominate in the new year - we think you're going to love them!

1. Boxing

With the rise of boutique boxing studios and the addition of beginner classes to traditional boxing gyms, boxing will see an even bigger year in 2017 than it did in 2016. Bonus: you don't even have to jump in the ring to reap the benefits of this total-body exercise, as many studios are geared toward a no-contact style of fitness. And with added visibility from celebrities sharing their boxing workouts, we know that more women than ever will be hitting the heavy bags in the coming year. This anxiety-reducing, ultra-empowering workout is here to help you kick ass, take names, and have your healthiest year yet. Can't get to a boxing gym? Try this at-home cardio boxing workout from an Equinox trainer.

2. Megaformer (The Lagree Method)

Like Pilates on crack, a Megaformer class gives you an intense reformer workout that'll make your muscles shake, burn, and possibly hate you for the next 72 hours. The classes are rooted in the Lagree method, named after trainer and Megaformer creator Sebastien Lagree. The workout is HARD, but so, so good.

Celebrities like Bella Thorne and Lea Michele are regulars at the Studio MDR, a popular Lagree studio in Los Angeles, and we anticipate even more A-listers and fit influencers will be sharing their Megaformer workouts this coming year, too.

3. Dance Cardio

People want to move in a way that doesn't feel like exercise - and if the explosion of The Fitness Marshall's popularity was any indicator, dance cardio workouts are going to be more popular than ever this year. Studios are springing up in major metros, like The COMPANY in San Francisco and 305 Fitness in New York City, so get ready to dance your way through 2017. These classes feel more like a party than they do a workout. Get a 20-minute taste of dancing off the calories with this dance cardio bootcamp that you can do in your living room.

4. Mixed Format Classes

Speedplay, Orange Theory, Barry's Bootcamp, YAS - these classes all have one thing in common, and it's their hybrid format. They mix multiple workouts into one class! While in many classes you'll be on one machine or doing one particular style of exercise for 45-60 minutes, these studios deliver workouts that combine strength training and cardio, which is the most effective way to burn calories.

We talked to superstar trainer Jeanette Jenkins (you can check her out in action with this 30-minute cardio sculpt workout), and she had the same thought - these mixed format classes will be huge in the coming year. Why? "They prevent overuse [injury] on the joints of doing the exact same thing over and over again." She noted that studios like YAS and Speedplay "get it" and that other studios that offer a varied workout using various machines will keep fitness clients healthier in the long run.

Whether you like a combo of yoga and Spin in one class, a mixed format HIIT session, or a bootcamp-style training that combines multiple machines and floor work, there's something for everyone out there. And we're even more excited to see what else will pop up as this trend continues to build in 2017. Maybe a boxing-slash-Megaformer class??

5. Workout Apps

With ClassPass nixing the unlimited option, many users are needing to fill the void with another convenient, do-whenever, wherever-you-are workout. And how does one do that in a cost-effective way? With apps and at-home workouts.

Apps like Kayla Itsines's Sweat With Kayla and Nike Women's refreshed NTC saw a rise in popularity year, and we predict they'll do even better in 2017 - especially after Kayla told POPSUGAR in an interview earlier this year that exciting new updates were coming for the SWK app.

Newer apps like Aaptiv and Sworkit are building their followings, too, bringing on-demand training and coaching to your phone with a variety of workouts and styles to choose from. And as always, you can expect to see exciting new at-home workouts on the POPSUGAR Active app, too.

6. Live-Stream Classes

Welcome to the future. You don't have to live in a major metro to try new, exciting fitness classes anymore thanks to the rise of livestream video. Now, from anywhere in the world, you can bring the high-energy workout to you. Why stream Netflix when you could stream a high-intensity, body-transforming workout?

We're seeing the trend go from the DVD workouts to streaming workouts to livestream workouts - following in parallel to the rise of live-streaming on social media with platforms like Facebook Live and Periscope.

Brands like Peloton cycling are leading the charge for fitness, with goals of bringing that in-class energy and power to your solo at-home sweat sesh. Not every studio and brand is streaming live classes just yet, but we anticipate the shift will happen this year en masse. Many brands have been making general streaming available - FitFusion lets you take classes from Jillian Michaels or Tone It Up's Karena and Katrina; Barre3 brings the muscle-shaking studio class to your home with the ability to schedule your week just like you would with physical studio classes; New York's Ballet Beautiful lets you pay per stream/workout; and YogaGlo delivers at-home classes from world-renowned teachers like Kathryn Budig.

All of these examples show the promise of the rise of more live-streaming in 2017. And with the latest VR technology, who knows what could be next? We wouldn't mind a virtual reality dance cardio class!

Source: POPSUGAR Fitness

Weight Loss Tips You Haven’t Heard Before

bowl of fruit on counter

Follow these 11 doable strategies, all backed by research, to reach your goals.

Source: WebMD Health

Pot May Restrict Blood Flow to Brain: Study

It's too early to say if this contributes to mental decline, Alzheimer's expert says

Source: WebMD Health

Could Anemia Cause Hearing Loss?

Iron deficiency might keep ear cells from getting oxygen they need, study suggests

Source: WebMD Health

Weight Loss Surgery Linked To Gastro Issues

Stomach problems, food intolerance plagued many patients even 2 years after procedure, study found

Source: WebMD Health

The 29 Best Bodyweight Exercises For Stronger, Leaner, Toned Arms

You can get totally ripped arms and incredibly strong with one thing - your own body! Here are 29 bodyweight arm exercises that will have you wearing tank tops in December just so you can show off your guns.

Source: POPSUGAR Fitness

Your Survival Guide For Days When the Gym Is Beyond Crowded

Enjoy your treadmill runs, everyone, because the gym is about to get really crowded. As in opening day of Star Wars crowded, causing you to wonder why you even showed up to sweat in the first place. Before you throw in the towel and let the new January crowd of gym-goers deter you, take a look at these tips from the people who know best: fitness directors of gyms. Armed with their insider knowledge, you'll find that it's still possible to get in a great workout despite the insane crowds.

Before You Go: Have a Plan

Before you even step into the gym, set yourself up for success. Make sure you've packed everything you need (forgetting socks, sports bras, and hair ties is more common than you think). Word of warning: the gym is really crowded in the beginning of the year, so make sure you know exactly what you plan to do once you're there. There's nothing worse than walking around aimlessly only to find out everything is taken once you decide on your workout. Going back to the crowded part, also make sure you have a backup plan in case the machine you want is occupied or you can't find any free weights to use.

All Packed? Here's the Best Time to Go

If a room full of sweaty people freaks you out or you just want to make sure the trusty treadmill will be available to you, avoid peak times. "To beat the crowds, work out during lunch. The biggest crowds will be between 6 p.m. and 8 p.m., followed by the morning rush from 6 a.m. to 8 a.m.," said Mike Spiegel, East Coast regional director of fitness for Crunch Gym. If a midday workout is out of the question, try heading there later in the evening when the postwork crowd is wrapping up.

But Wait, What If Peak Times Are the Only Times I Can Go?

Don't let a crowded gym scare you away from a good workout - though you may have to compromise a little. If the lines for the elliptical and treadmill machines resemble the kind of lines you see at Disneyland, take a hard pass. Instead, use machines most people neglect, like the rowing machine or Spin bikes. Another insider tip came to us from Breann Mitchell, regional fitness director of The Bay Club. "Do your homework! If your favorite weight machine is always in use, look up free weight exercises that work the same muscles and get your reps in that way." If the gym is at peak capacity and you can't even get your hands on a pair of weights, stake out some space and give no-equipment bodyweight exercises a go.

Good Advice, but Even the Rowing Machine Has a Line

"Skip the machines and check out the group exercise classes," says Mitchell. "Most gyms offer a variety for all fitness levels." Much like your approach to cardio machines, you'll want to exercise patience and compromise with classes. If your favorite Tabata class is full, be open to the aerial yoga class being offered at the same time. The one upside of classes is that they have hard start and stop times, which makes planning easier. Try to show up for a class 10-15 minutes early to increase your chances of getting a spot, and for those days you are really in a rush, don't be afraid to leave class a little early - just be respectful of your fellow gym-goers and exit the class as quietly as possible.

Tried That, but the Classes Are PACKED

At the end of the day, you don't need a machine or teacher to help you exercise. Find a spot on the floor or in the weight room and do your own thing. Spiegel recommends it, in fact. "Cardio isn't where it's at. The machines aren't where it's at," he told POPSUGAR. "For amazing results, I highly recommend 'Iron Cardio,' which is my nickname for kettlebell training. The kettlebell is one of the best tools to accomplish an excellent base of fitness. If improved strength and conditioning, building lean muscle, burning fat, and getting workouts done with maximal efficiency in minimal time is of interest to you, look no further than the kettlebell." Spiegel stressed that to avoid injury, it's important to master the basics of using kettlebells. Get started with this basic kettlebell workout that you can even do at home.

Still Can't Find a Spot? Splurge a Little and Book a Trainer

Both of the experts we spoke to said that if all else fails, book yourself a session with a personal trainer. Doing so provides an excellent personalized workout with a dedicated space and access to equipment. You can also inquire on small group training classes, said Spiegel. "Small group training affords many of the benefits of personal training, without the hefty price tag," he said. "You will get an experience that is much more personalized than large group fitness classes yet offers a similar sense of community. Most importantly, small group training is fun."

Workout Is Done . . . but the Shower Situation Is Out. Of. Control

Congratulations! You've made it through the craziness of the gym only to be faced with the insanity of the locker room. While cutting the line is not encouraged, there are ways to get in and out of there as quickly as possible. From wearing clothing that's easy to change in and out of to mastering the art of dry shampoo, these time-saving locker-room hacks will make you the most efficient person at the gym.

Source: POPSUGAR Fitness

Download the POPSUGAR Active App For a Healthy Start to 2017

Gear up for those healthy New Year's resolutions in the best way possible: with unlimited access to free workouts (and adorable stickers for your keyboard) on the POPSUGAR Active app. Here are all the kickass ways that PS Active will help you crush your goals and live your healthiest life in 2017.

Workout Challenges and Fitness Plans

  • You can now participate in our popular POPSUGAR Fitness challenges on your phone or iPad!
  • Conquer the New Year with our two-week January Jump-Start plan, which is also available on the app. The workout videos can be done in your living room, and meals and recipes are all laid out with grocery lists, meal-prep tips, and more.
  • Join the Flat-Belly Challenge or the Bodyweight Workout Challenge, and we will help you meet your goals with daily reminders to work out.
  • New challenges are added regularly to keep your fitness life from getting stale.

Stickers For iMessage

Obsessed with stickers? Ready to tackle new healthy challenges with friends? Our keyboard stickers for iMessage will keep you and your fitness buddies encouraging each other throughout the January Jump-Start and beyond.

Customizable Workout Routines

  • Take our workouts and create your own routines by mixing and matching different videos, cardio routines, yoga sequences, and more.
  • We've preloaded the app with some of our favorite routines, so you can get started right away.
  • Search the workouts by length of time or body part worked so you can find something to suit your fitness needs.

Flexibility in Your Fitness Life

  • Schedule workouts, and we'll send you a reminder so you don't skip your sweat session.
  • Download and play our videos wherever you may roam, whether offline or online; if you're in a jam because your hotel has no WiFi, work out with your previously downloaded video playlist.
  • New workouts are added weekly!

Source: POPSUGAR Fitness

Melanoma Rates Rise in South, Midwest

Local sun-safety campaigns may be key to progress against the deadly skin cancer, researchers say

Source: WebMD Health

Tone Those Triceps With These 6 Effective Exercises

Want to show off toned arms without an ounce of arm jiggle? Pair these six triceps exercises with a cardio routine and tone up your arms in no time!

Source: POPSUGAR Fitness

An Energizing 10-Minute Morning Yoga Routine

Stretch your body, center your mind, and boost your energy with this beginner-friendly flow.

Source: WebMD Health

Fish Oil For Moms May Cut Kids' Asthma Risk

High doses linked to 30 percent drop in children's odds of developing the airway disease, study finds

Source: WebMD Health

Men Don't Know About Risks to Fertility: Survey

It's not commonly known that factors such as obesity, laptop use on lap can affect sperm counts

Source: WebMD Health

A 10-Minute Workout to Strengthen Your Whole Body

Start your day with this quick body weight routine from WebMD's chief medical editor Michael Smith, MD.

Source: WebMD Health

Despise Burpees? Do These 5 Exercises That Are Just as Effective

Burpees suck. Everything about them is hard. So if you cringe at the thought of doing even one burpee, try these jumping exercises that will get your heart rate up and work your arms, core, and legs just as much.

Source: POPSUGAR Fitness

Which Habits Really Help You Avoid Colds and Flu?

man pushing elevator button

While some precautions can help you stay healthy, others are a waste of time.

Source: WebMD Health

Disabled Children Face Bullying Throughout School

More must be done to teach them how to respond to aggression, researcher says

Source: WebMD Health

17 Ways to Change Your Body in 2017 to Get Stronger, Leaner, and More Toned

If your goal for 2017 is to strengthen and sculpt your muscles, lean down body fat, and just look overall toned and amazing, then follow these tips that will change how your body looks and feels.

Source: POPSUGAR Fitness

This Elliptical Workout Is Just as Effective as the Treadmill

Sometimes, you head to the gym craving a treadmill run and arrive only to find all the machines full. Bummer! But remember: there are some creative ways to work around this situation. Instead of throwing in the towel and heading straight for the sauna, try this elliptical workout instead. To make this joint-friendly machine feel like running, don't hold the handles and pump like you do when you're running. Going hands-free on the elliptical is great for your core, and it might help you work on evening out your stride. We did throw in some reverse action at the end of the workout for your cooldown.

Time Resistance SPM
0:00-2:00 3 Warm up
2:00-5:00 5 Warm up
5:00-10:00 7 155-160
10:00-15:00 10 140
15:00-18:00 7 160
18:00-21:00 10 150
21:00-24:00 7 160
24:00-25:00 10 150
25:00-26:00 8 140
26:00-27:00 10 150
27:00-30:00 7 150
30:00-35:00 7-5 Backward

My elliptical is set at an incline of 20 degrees. Feel free to play around with the incline level, but keep it at least 10 degrees.

This is also a great cardio workout if your knees have been bothering you while running or you're coming off a hamstring strain.

Source: POPSUGAR Fitness

Burn More Calories and Lose Weight Faster With These Tabata Workouts

What's not to love about high-intensity interval training? Not only does HIIT save you time, but it also burns tons of calories, both while you work out and after (even if you're doing nothing at all!). One of our favorite ways to HIIT is Tabata, a type of workout that combines 20 seconds of intense bursts of workouts with 10 seconds of rest in four-minute rounds. Does a short and effective workout sound good to you? Get started here.

  1. Printable Tabata workout: Take it with you; this printable Tabata workout may be the only thing you need to stay in shape. Packed with so many different types of moves, from backward lunges to burpees, so you don't get bored, this workout will keep you interested in your workout while you burn major calories.
  2. 10-minute, no-equipment Tabata: For an all-in-one workout, just press play. This 10-minute Tabata workout video combines two Tabata sets with a short warmup and cooldown to get you in and out in just 10 minutes! All you have to do is follow along.
  3. And another: Can't get enough of our Tabata workouts? This 10-minute Tabata video workout adds even more intensity to your routine. Play it back to back with the above or on its own for an effective, intense workout.
  4. Tabata mashup: Two classic moves, one killer workout. This Tabata mashup workout video combines 20 seconds of push-ups and 20 seconds of squats, along with short rest intervals, for a sweat-inducing HIIT workout.
  5. Eight-minute Tabata: Don't have time for a long workout? Tabata makes a great quick and effective workout for when time is limited. This eight-minute Tabata workout is basically two rounds of Tabata, so if you decide to do more, you can repeat the workout.
  6. Living room Tabata: Too hot, too cold, or wet to run outside? Amp up your cardio routine with this printable home Tabata workout. Perfect for any small space, it'll have you doing heart-rate-raising moves like mountain climbers and squat jumps to burn calories fast.
  7. 20-minute Tabata: If you're short on time, this do-anywhere workout will help you burn major calories in no time at all. A mix of cardio and bodyweight exercises done at high intensity will sculpt your body with no equipment necessary. Learn how to do the entire 20-minute Tabata-inspired workout here.
  8. 40-minute Tabata workout poster: Get serious at the gym - and be the inspiration to your fellow gym rats - with this intense, 40-minute Tabata superset workout you can print and take with you anywhere.
  9. Total-body Tabata: For a longer workout that will make you feel like you spent hours at the gym, go for this 30-minute full-body Tabata workout. Be warned: even the rest periods will sculpt muscles with targeted isometric exercises like planks and wall sits.

Source: POPSUGAR Fitness

The Top 5 Ways to Stick to Your New Year's Resolution, According to a Trainer

We're getting closer to the new year and that means many of you are going to set some life-changing resolutions! Of course, one of the most popular promises this time of year is that in a mere few days or hours, you will be well on your way to a committed plan to lose weight, get fit, and be in your best shape ever. We get it. Maybe you want to lose some weight or simply want to set a new personal record in your next half marathon.

Regardless of your fitness level or what you're hoping for in 2017, resolutions can be difficult to live up to. Most people give up on their routines within only two weeks of making their resolution. Those who make it past the two-week mark, usually end up throwing in the towel by June, or even before.

So how will you stick to your resolution this year? Do you have a plan of action? If not, don't worry! We got you covered with these five ways to win in 2017!

1. Write Down Your Reason

Is it for your health, your family, or even to fit into those cute jeans you wore a few years ago? Whatever that reason may be, it should be your motivation to keep going.

Post a list or photo on your fridge of the reasons you are starting this new resolution, the more you see it, the more it will inspire you. According to certified personal trainer Heather Neff, posting a picture of yourself now could be all the motivation you need: "Take a picture of yourself now and make sure to go back and look at it when you need an extra push to make it to the gym."

2. Set Some Goals

Whether you're in it to lose weight, build muscle, or to ready yourself for a marathon, you need to set a goal and write it down today. Before you write down wanting to be about to outswim Michael Phelps, make sure your goal is actually attainable. You don't want to set goals like "Run 10 miles by Friday" or "Lose 40 pounds this month" because those goals are not realistic. They're big and threatening when you look at them as a whole.

A better thing to do is to break it up into smaller goals such as "Drop one pound this week" or "Hold my plank for 20 seconds longer." When you break down your goals like this, you're less likely to become overwhelmed and discouraged due to lack of results.

3. Get A Workout Buddy

Grab yourself a friend and make a commitment to each other to go work out on set days. According to Neff, "When you make a workout date with a friend, you are less likely to break it and more likely to push yourself even harder then if you were doing it alone."

Find someone positive, someone you feel comfortable with, and above all, someone you can tolerate a few times per week. Also, don't try to partner up with your fittest friend. You should find someone of a similar fitness level that wants the same results that is as committed (or more so) as you are so you aren't prone to quitting because you can't match your super-fit friend.

4. Mark Your Progress With a Picture

Pictures are amazing when it comes to motivation. Neff suggests that you take a full-length picture of yourself at every angle and, after a couple of weeks, take more pictures and compare the set. "If you've been faithful to your routine, you'll be surprised what a difference just 14 days can make and this will surely keep you going! if that doesn't get you past January, nothing will!"

5. Reward Yourself

After you've met one of your short-term goals, give yourself a reward. We're not talking about chocolate cake here! Your reward should be something that highlights your recent efforts! Lost a few pounds? Splurge on some new jeans! Feeling stronger than ever? Order a set of shiny chrome dumbbells off Amazon! Rewards are something to look forward to and something to work toward, so they can also help you keep the motivation going.

Once you get going with your routine and start seeing and feeling the positive effects, you're going to do great. Don't give up, don't give in, and try to find something that you enjoy doing and build your efforts around that.

Source: POPSUGAR Fitness

19 of the Best Products For a Fitness Newbie

The new year is an ideal time to introduce a friend to fitness or to encourage a blossoming interest in the world of exercise. These gifts are not only exciting to receive, but they're also incredibly practical, and things that you probably wish you had owned when you first started working out.

While you're showing your loved one the ropes, make their new health journey more seamless and easier than ever with products that help with every aspect of fitness, from fueling to recovery. And maybe pick up some of it for yourself while you're at it, because who doesn't need a little more protein powder or an extra pair of compression socks?

Source: POPSUGAR Fitness

Food Aversions During Pregnancy

A lot of women have pregnancy cravings, but there’s also a flip side: food aversions.

Source: WebMD Health

Your New Year's Resolution Made Easy: 10 Simple Steps to Start Running

If you're anything like us, you've already begun planning your New Year's resolution in November! And if your goal for 2017 is to become a runner - or at least start running - then we have 10 simple tips to help you get going. Get ready to crush your goals!

  1. Make Your Resolution. Once you give yourself a goal, you'll feel that internal pull to keep going. Be loud about it! Share it with your friends and family, journal about it, leave yourself a Post-it note on your mirror . . . set your intention and stick to it. This will help you keep consistent through your journey this year.
  2. Get the Kicks. Invest in one good pair of running shoes. It's the one big thing you'll need to get going and keep your feet and joints healthy. Getting the right pair of running shoes can feel impossible if you're going it alone or have never done it before. Head to a specialty running store to do a fitting and gait analysis on a treadmill. The experts will walk you through every step of the process and ensure you're getting the best shoe for your body and stride - and the service is totally free!
  3. Don't Go Overboard. An ultramarathon coach told us the worst beginner running mistake: don't get a ton of clothes and stuff you don't need! Aside from a sturdy pair of shoes, you'll want a sports bra and probably some shorts, but you don't need every fancy piece of running gear out there (although if that's what motivates you to keep going, by all means . . . )
  4. Start a Program. Try a walk-to-run program that'll help you gently ease into a faster pace than walking. It'll build your confidence as much as it builds your stamina. This will also keep you on track and staying on top of your resolution for at least eight weeks.
  5. Don't Rush It. If you've never run in your life, you're not going to start out with eight-minute miles. In fact, you might not even get to that by December of 2017. And that's OK! Keep things slow and steady, or you'll get discouraged and maybe even give up. Pace yourself by starting slow - slow enough to hold a conversation or sing "Happy Birthday" comfortably.
  6. Get the Tunes. Get yourself some running playlists from our Spotify, or make your own! Great tunes (at the right pace) can make a massive difference in your running experience.
  7. Get an App. Download a running app will help to keep you on track, show you your pace and distance of each run, and eventually show you your average pace, total mileage, and progress. Checking back on your progress and seeing how far you've come is an excellent way to stay motivated.
  8. Give Yourself a Goal. Aside from your goal of "become a runner this year," it's super helpful to set some small goal as a benchmark - running coach Robin Arzon refers to this as "micro successes." Sign up for a local 5K - you might not be there to actually race, but you're signing up to give yourself some kind of tangible goal.
  9. Cross Train. One of the hardest parts for new runners is the burning sensation in your lungs; you don't have the cardio strength or lung capacity in those early stages of running. Try yoga -it helps so much with breathing! Cross training will also help build strength to prevent injury, which could sideline your running career for good. No bueno. Stay safe, and train smart.
  10. If All Else Fails . . . You don't have to be a runner. If you've given it a fair shot for a few months and find that it brings you no joy, or if you find out you actually don't have the knees or feet for a high-impact sport like running (pain is a pretty good indicator of this), then don't feel bad. There are plenty of plenty of other activities you can switch to, and you can change your New Year's resolution accordingly. Be kind to your body!

Source: POPSUGAR Fitness

These Are the Best Types of Shoes For Every Runner

Source: POPSUGAR Fitness

Diabetes Takes Biggest Bite Out of U.S. Health Care Spending

Top 5 diseases, conditions accounted for $437 billion in 2013

Source: WebMD Health

Why Acne Can Strike Women After the Teen Years

Study suggests diet, stress and family history may play a role

Source: WebMD Health

These 14 Fit Women Kept Us Inspired All Year Long

We have a confession to make: we have more than one fit crush from 2016. We can't pick just one! And we're sure you're feeling similarly . . . there were so many moments of inspiration from these healthy and active celebrities in 2016, and we're grateful for the motivation they provided throughout the year. Come on, who else watched Teyana Talor in the "Fade" music video and ran to the gym? (*Guilty*) We're even more revved up for a healthy new year, thanks to some awesome fitspiration from these 14 women. Here's our list for our top fit crushes of 2016.

Source: POPSUGAR Fitness

The 1 Thing All the Kardashians Have in Common When It Comes to Workouts

Miley Cyrus Got Her "ASStanga" Kicked by a Post-Holiday Yoga Session

Health Care Spending for U.S. Kids Jumped 56 Percent in Less Than 20 Years

Preventive services in childhood create healthier adults, researcher says

Source: WebMD Health

Proof You Don't Need to Be a Runner to Participate in a 10K

Zumba, Pilates, and cardio kickboxing are just a few of my fitness favorites. I even live for Bodyweb with TRX or Bosu Bootcamp at my local Crunch. And over the years, I've survived many Core Fusion classes. But running? It's never been my speed.

I've always admired the dedicated runners at Prospect Park in my Brooklyn neighborhood with their earbuds intact, wearing the cutest gear. They never seem to be struggling or breaking a sweat at any point during their run. It appears to come easy to them. I, on the other hand, am of the power walking set.

Imagine the mixed emotions I felt when I agreed to walk the 10K portion of the 16th annual Reggae Marathon as a guest of the Jamaican Tourism Board. I was elated to explore Jamaica for the very first time (reggae is one of my favorite genres of music, after all), but there was an undeniable sense of anxiety about not being an avid runner. I felt like an impostor. Just the thought of walking while other participants zoomed past me on the course made me feel defeated. Regardless, I tried my best to ignore my reservations and learned a few lessons about how to achieve a fitness goal.

Confidence Is Everything

Challenges are part of life - even when it comes to fitness. Building the stamina to endure the 10K walk in the Reggae Marathon was far from easy for me. I found it within myself to stay motivated to cross the finish line and took comfort in knowing I've overcome an endless number of challenges in the past. This one was no different. I certainly didn't approach the start line at 5:15 a.m. to fail. The energy from participants who were cheering each other on before the race, smiling with excitement, and snapping photos to document their experience made the event that much more special.

But I'd be lying if I didn't acknowledge a few mental games I had to play to maintain momentum on the course. "You can do it, Monique" and "you're nearly there" were just a few affirmations I rehearsed in my mind to keep moving.

Embrace Your Purpose

Participating in the Reggae Marathon was my way of supporting the event's mission: to showcase long-distance running as a sport in Jamaica, help advance the tourism industry and the country's education system, and indulge in the country's culture filled with great food and music. These were more than enough reasons to sport my bib number proudly.

Be Open-Minded

It pays to let go of expectations when you encounter a new adventure. It was my very first time in Jamaica and I'd never participated in a race. I had no idea what to expect. While I felt like an impostor walking, I came to terms with my reality and ended up connecting with a group of women from Black Girls RUN!, which encourages African-American women in their quest to stay healthy and fit. A few of these women would come to be my walking partners and support system. Along the course, we shared our passion for travel, baking, and shopping abroad, which made the time pass quickly.

Remember to Have Fun

What's more fun than working out on a beautiful island? It's a win all around. The Reggae Marathon, which was parallel to the popular Seven-Mile Beach, was the perfect opportunity to enjoy some fun. The route, which was pretty flat, featured a mix of small bands and stereos that played reggae to motivate marathoners along the way. Every point felt like winning the marathon in my book. It gave me the extra boost I needed to walk to the next mile.

Along with the Reggae Marathon, I was able to indulge in the full Jamaican experience during my time in both Negril and Montego Bay. I enjoyed yoga with an ocean view, rafting at Martha Brae River, authentic Jamaican food at Murphy's and Scotchie's, and a few nights of dancing into the early morning hours with the most down-to-earth group of journalists, who also traveled to Jamaica for the very first time. The amount of gut-wrenching laughs we shared together is truly priceless.

Celebrate Your Achievement

There was one instance where I slowed down a bit (the 3 a.m. wake-up call started to hit me), but one of my walking partners from Black Girls RUN! was right by my side to give me the extra push I needed to keep going. Despite my body's need for rest, I kept pushing until I spotted the sign for the 10K turn. I was finally at the halfway mark and it felt akin to winning the lottery (not that I've ever won more than a few dollars from scratch-offs). I finally made it to the finish line after nearly two hours of power walking (my time was 1:51:32 to be exact). I couldn't have been happier.

I celebrated with a few other journalists who came along for the trip, who finished after about an hour of running, by enjoying the vendors and entertainment in Long Bay Beach Park. We drank fresh coconut water, enjoyed jerk chicken, and relaxed on the beach, recapping the day and our accomplishments. It was an amazing experience.

If the opportunity arises next year, I'd love to return to the Reggae Marathon - but, hopefully, this time as a runner. People from all walks of life and ages came together that day for just a few hours, but the memories and lessons I learned during my trip will last a lifetime.

Source: POPSUGAR Fitness

Does Legalizing Pot Spur Kids to Try It?

In 2 states studied, teens downplayed harms after recreational pot legalized; use increased in 1 state

Source: WebMD Health

Sexual Relationships When You're HIV-Positive

HIV doesn't have to come between you. Get tips for good sex and a healthy relationship with your partner when one (or both) of you is HIV-positive.

Source: WebMD Health

Living Longer and Aging With HIV

Although HIV makes it more complicated, you can live well into middle age and beyond. Find out how HIV will affect you as you get older and how to plan ahead.

Source: WebMD Health

Hot or Cold: What's the Best Way to Shower After a Workout?

Have you heard of recovery showers? Apparently there's a better way to rinse off after an intense workout - one that boosts recovery. Best part? It's not an ice bath.

The concept of a "recovery shower" is alternating temperatures from hot to cold. Is this an effective way to stimulate circulation and aid in muscular recovery? "There is no yes or no answer to this question," said Dr. Kristin Maynes, PT, DPT. "We all have to remember that every person's body is different and may react to certain therapies differently." That said, she totally recommends recovery showers.

"Yes, it can be an effective aid to muscle or injury recovery; however only for someone without an acute injury," she told POPSUGAR. So as this is a great general method for recovery, keep in mind that if you're dealing with an injury, you'll need to discuss this with your own physical therapist. "If there is no injury, it [can] speed up the recovery process, keep the body mobile, and prevent stiffness." Here's how the recovery shower works:

First, Cold

"After a workout, you want to start off with cold - an ice bath or cold shower - to aid in the decrease in inflammation of muscles, joints, and tendons," said Dr. Maynes. Exercise inflames these parts of your body, and as she put it, "it's unhealthy to be in an inflamed state for prolonged periods of time."

The cold water locally decreases blood flow, reducing inflammation, stiffening the muscles and joints - thus decreasing pain (just like icing an injury). This is "very important for immediate recovery and works well in the acute stages of injury or right after a workout," she said. "It is like a 'pause' button in the healing process to decrease the body's quick response to injury, which can be very painful at times."

Then Hot

Then switch to hot. "This will improve muscle and joint recovery to flush out all the build up of inflammatory cells, dead cells, scar tissue build up, etc. to improve the health of the bones." Going from cold to hot also helps with potential stiffness. You know how you sometimes can't walk after leg day? Try a cold-to-hot shower. "This can also aid in improvement of mobility of body structures so stiffness does not set in," she said. "This is very good to use in the subacute and chronic stages of an injury."

That said, if you're injured, she stressed that this is not the way to recover. "You do not want to use heat in the first few days up to a week of an injury," so avoid this kind of recovery shower.

The Best Workout Recovery?

Post-workout recovery is essential, and it varies for everyone. "If you are active in aiding your recovery after an intense workout [with] stretching, foam rolling, yoga, etc., then adding an alternating hot shower or an ice bath is going to help," said Dr. Maynes. "Find out what works best for your body whether it be hot shower, ice bath, or both; stick to it and it will help you."

But be patient! "Nothing works in a day; you have to do it more than once to see an effect."

Source: POPSUGAR Fitness

Wiser, But Fatter, by Graduation

Study finds 10-pound weight gain is about average for college students

Source: WebMD Health

Heart Failure Drug Shows Promise in First Human Trial

Cimaglermin appears to strengthen cells and improve heart function, researchers report

Source: WebMD Health

'Emotional Hangover' Is Real and Affects Future Experiences: Study

Emotion-provoking events prime the brain to remember things more effectively, researchers find

Source: WebMD Health

Which Workout You Should Try This Year Based on Your Zodiac Sign

The New Year is the perfect time to start experimenting with new workouts - especially ones that speak to your soul. And by soul we mean zodiac sign! Play into your personality with styles of exercise that were meant for you. Which workout is right for you? Scroll through to find your sign!

Source: POPSUGAR Fitness

The Best Running Workout For Newbies

If you're new to running, I'm a firm believer in easing into your relationship with running to give your body time to adjust to the physical demands - you don't want to get so sore that you never want to run again. Mixing walking and running is a great way to get your heart rate up while priming your body for distance and speed. Here's a 40-minute walking/running workout perfect for beginners - or for seasoned runners in the mood for a lighter workout.

Click here for a printable version of this workout. As always, if this workout is too hard or too easy, feel free to decrease or increase the speed. I would keep the incline set to 1.0 because this helps prevent shin splints, which can be a common problem for new runners. Try to do this workout three times in one week. The following week, after warming up for the first 10 minutes, run for three minutes and walk for three minutes, keeping the last two segments at two minutes each, then cool down with walking. Try it. You just might get hooked on running.

Source: POPSUGAR Fitness

Do This Relaxing Yoga Sequence in Bed, Then Drift Off to Sleep

Yoga is a natural way to settle your mind and ease muscular tension, both of which inspire a more restful night's sleep. So leave your mat rolled up in your yoga bag and hop in bed instead! Follow this 11-pose sequence from start to finish, or pick and choose the poses your body needs.

Be sure to move pillows and bulky comforters out of the way so you have a flat, safe, and comfy surface to stretch on. Then in the morning when you open your eyes refreshed and full of energy, repeat this sequence before hopping out of bed to warm up your muscles and gently wake up your mind.

Source: POPSUGAR Fitness

A Step-by-Step Guide to Reaching Your Goal Weight

The jeans don't lie. You knew you let yourself go a little bit, and after throwing the stupid bathroom scale away because it said you were (insert red-flag number here), you went for the true test - slipping on your favorite jeans. Ugh. Not being able to pull your pants past your thighs sure does tell you something. If you're at a loss as to how to begin, here's a no-fuss, straightforward, 11-step guide to losing weight.

  1. Calories per day: Losing weight is all about creating a calorie deficit. One pound equals 3,500 calories, which breaks down to 500 calories a day. Do a combo of exercise and cutting calories to reach 500, and you'll lose a pound a week. You can meet with a nutritionist or your doctor to find a more specific daily calorie count, but don't dip below 1,200 as it will slow down your metabolism.
  2. Keep track: Monitor your calories as accurately as you can. Look up calorie amounts, and write them down in a food journal, or use a weight-loss app. Everything you put in your mouth gets written down - yes, even that handful of M&M's you grabbed off your co-worker's desk! It may not seem like much, but at 70 calories, those little nibbles will add up. Then weigh yourself once or twice a week to keep track of your progress.
  1. Measure and repeat: Have measuring cups, spoons, and food scales on hand to measure correct portions. Eyeballing a cup of cereal is not exactly accurate, and you'd be surprised how easy it is to overestimate when you're hungry. In the first few months, you'll need to measure everything, from the milk you pour into that bowl of cereal to the dressing you drizzle on your salad. After a while, you'll become familiar with what correct portions look like.
  2. Eat five times a day: In order to prevent that famished feeling that drives us to overeat, plan on eating three meals and two snacks a day, timing them so you eat every two to three hours. Here's a sample schedule:
    7 a.m. - Breakfast
    9:30 a.m. - Snack
    12:30 p.m. - Lunch
    3:30 p.m. - Snack
    6:30 p.m. - Dinner
    Don't skip meals or snacks to save calories since it'll slow down your metabolism and cause weight gain. If you're up late, enjoy a snack after dinner, but be sure to finish it at least an hour or two before bed, so digestive issues don't keep you up - getting enough sleep will help you lose weight.
  1. What to eat: Every time you nosh, be sure to include protein to satisfy your hunger, fiber to fill you up, and healthy carbs to sustain your energy. Breakfast, lunch, and dinner can be between 300 and 500 calories each, and the two snacks 150 each. Break them down to fit your needs, but you might want your midday meal to be the highest to ensure you have enough time to burn off those calories.
  2. Save calories: Find simple ways to cut calories, whether it's swapping your daily Coke for water, using one slice of cheese on your sandwich instead of two, substituting spaghetti squash for pasta, or choosing a turkey patty instead of beef.
  3. Plan ahead: Dealing with hunger is the worst part about trying to lose weight, so in order to prevent those pangs from pushing you to grab the nearest cookie, plan out your meals and snacks ahead of time. Write out what you'll be eating for the entire week, and you'll be even more successful if you pack and label foods for each day.
  1. Get moving: Diet is one part of the weight-loss puzzle, and the other part is exercise. In order to burn calories to reduce your overall body fat, include 60 minutes of heart-pumping exercise five times a week. A leisurely walk around the block unfortunately isn't enough. We're talking running, biking, swimming, and high-intensity classes for cardio, strength training to build fat-burning muscles, and stretching to keep those muscles supple and to prevent injury. Here's a 60-minute workout to get you started that incorporates all three.
  2. Set small goals and celebrate them: Losing weight is a long journey, so it's helpful to set smaller goals along the way to your big goal. Find healthy ways to celebrate those milestones such as a pedicure after 10 workouts or a cute workout top after losing five pounds.
  3. Come to some tough realizations: The first one is that diets aren't the answer. There is no quick-fix diet and no one food you can or cannot eat that has magical slimming powers. Anything that sounds too restrictive or not nutritionally sound is not the way to go. Find a way of eating that can be sustained for the rest of your life, where you eat healthy most of the time and allow for occasional splurges. The second realization is that you can't go back to your old habits once the weight melts away. If you gained weight chomping on half a dozen doughnuts each morning, you can bet your sweet new buns that you'll gain the weight back if you head to that bakery once the scale says what you want it to.
  1. Be patient and remember why you're doing it: Just as those pounds slowly crept on, losing weight the right way takes time, which means dropping about a pound or two a week. Practice patience, reveling in each pound lost, and when you feel like giving in to that second cupcake at your friend's birthday party, have one enormously personal reason you want to lose weight that resonates strong and keeps you motivated no matter what. Thinking "I want to be there for my family" is sure to be more effective than "I want to look good in my jeans."

Source: POPSUGAR Fitness