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Brain Scans Let ALS Patients Communicate

Correct responses were provided to more than 70

Correct responses were provided to more than 70 percent of yes-or-no questions, researchers say

Source: WebMD Health

Fat Near Heart a Hazard for Postmenopausal Women

Study ties 'paracardial' fat to raised risk of hardening of the arteries

Source: WebMD Health

Trump: I'll Cut Drug Company Taxes, Regulations

Trump says the cuts will lower drug prices and create jobs

Source: WebMD Health

Diabetes Risk May Be Higher for Adults With HIV

Longer survival with the virus might make people more vulnerable to chronic conditions, researchers suggest

Source: WebMD Health

Timing of Your Meals Might Reduce Heart Risks

American Heart Association report suggests eating more earlier in the day may be healthier

Source: WebMD Health

Brain Scans May Shed Light on Bipolar Suicide Risk

Almost half of those with the disorder attempt suicide and up to 20 percent succeed

Source: WebMD Health

5 Things You Didn't Know About Male Masturbation

WebMD explores some little known things about male masturbation and answers questions such as: is masturbation safe, normal, or unhealthy?

Source: WebMD Health

This Powerful Leg Exercise Will Sculpt and Tone With No Equipment

Get ready to work the hips and glutes with this simple at-home move, all while getting your heart rate up for some cardio. Let's do this!

Here's how to do the lateral shuffle with a touch - it'll work your hip flexors, quads, calves, hamstrings, glutes, AND your abs!

  • Keeping a tight core and a soft bend in the knee, sit your hips back, and take a light hop to the right.
  • Reach your left hand toward your right foot, and touch the ground.
  • Bring yourself back up and hop to the left, reaching your right hand toward your left foot. Move quickly to intensify the cardio.
  • This completes one rep. Do as many reps as you can for 60 seconds to complete a set.

Source: POPSUGAR Fitness

Bilingual People May Have Edge Against Alzheimer's

Study found they did better on memory tests that patients who only spoke one language

Source: WebMD Health

Insulin Makers Conspired to Raise Prices: Lawsuit

Insulin Makers Conspired to Raise Prices: Lawsuit

Source: WebMD Health

Final Obamacare Deadline, Maybe Ever, Is Here

Federal health officials say it's a cost-cutting measure; next enrollment deadline is Jan. 31

Source: WebMD Health

The 11 Basic Activewear Staples Every Fit Woman Needs

If you're just now jumping on the activewear train, we've got the perfect checklist for you. Gear up for any and all of your new fitness endeavors with staples every active woman needs (and wants!) in her wardrobe.

Source: POPSUGAR Fitness

Shirtless Men Doing CrossFit, Just Because

CrossFit WODs are crazy intense and because you get so hot and sweaty doing all those burpess, pull-ups, and wall balls, sometimes you just have to take your shirt off to cool down or wipe off your sweat. We're OK with that. We will not be offended.

Source: POPSUGAR Fitness

The 5 Biggest Mistakes You're Making in SoulCycle

For the better part of the past year, I've been spending my Friday mornings under the rainbow flags of San Francisco's Castro SoulCycle, being coached into my day (and through my life) by a hilarious instructor, Luigi Aldon. In fact, he's one of the biggest reasons I've fallen in love with the class and made it part of my weekly routine.

Aside from being irrationally entertaining, he's got some seriously great tips on how to get the most out of your class. And while I feel like I could be the expert myself at this point, I wanted you to get a little insight as to what it's like to be coached by him, so I'll let him do the talking. Here are five of the top mistakes he's identified with newer riders (and honestly, some vets) and how to correct them to get the most out of your 45 minutes (and $32).

Mistake 1: You're not using enough resistance

While resistance is crucial for any type of indoor cycling class, it's especially important in SoulCycle, as the class is rooted in feeling, and there's no electronic screen giving you a sense of how fast you're going or your speed. "Starting with the right amount of resistance on the bike is like laying a good foundation on which you can build your own powerhouse," said Luigi. "Since there are no numbers on the SoulCycle resistance wheel, you'll have to rely on your gut and the feeling of the pedal strokes in relation to the rhythm."


When in doubt, add more on — you should feel a little tension of push and pull while you pedal. You can always take more off if you're truly struggling or pedal slower at a higher resistance. "If you feel like your rushing or not quite catching the beat, you should add or take away accordingly. Otherwise, learn to trust yourself, the instructor, and the people around you to let you know when to turn it up. Change could be as close as a couple inches to the right."

Mistake 2: You're standing out of the saddle when you're not ready

This class is challenging, and you have to build up to get to a point where you can follow every command and instruction flawlessly — trust us. "Have the strength to know when to stay up and the grace to know when it's time to sit down," he said. "Those quick jogs and runs out of the saddle can be really taxing on your stabilizer muscles; these muscles burn out quickly but also recover quickly." It's OK to sit down — and you definitely shouldn't be embarrassed. "A short rest in the saddle will recharge them and help you build muscular endurance. As long as you are clipped in with your legs moving forward, you are winning!"

Mistake 3: You're not pacing yourself

If you go too hard in the beginning, you'll feel like dying before you even get to weights at the end of class. "The SoulCycle workout is a lot like dating," said Luigi. "Think about the first song like your first date; we're just getting to know each other, the bike, the positioning of your body. Listen to what you need in order to embark on this new relationship!" It makes sense, right? "By the third song, things should be getting pretty sweaty." [Are you laughing yet?] "Note: Be open to possibly finding love in a SoulCycle class! Countless riders have found the loves of their lives clipped into a bike next to them. Something about tapping it back really puts people in the mood?"

"We value progress over perfection. Remember that this is a practice of who you are being vs. what you are doing."

Mistake 4: You're not getting on the wait list for full classes

"I teach rooster classes (6 a.m. and 7 a.m.) almost every weekday," he said [Editor's note: 7 a.m. Friday is the best one]. "They are extremely popular and always have a wait list because DUH *hair flip*." Chances are, if you love SoulCycle, you've been on a wait list or have seen a wait-listed class at least once. "The good news is that people always sleep through their alarms or have an excuse to not work out or just get cold feet because I am super intimidating," (he's not). "This means that there is a bike open with your name on it!"

SoulCycle really does do everything it can to get you into a class, and I personally have never been turned away from a wait list, regardless of studio, city, and instructor. Even if the class says "Wait List" or books up quickly, get on that list, and don't let a wait list keep you from scheduling your workout. "Fact: I've never had to turn people away from a morning class. Additionally, most studios have multiple spare bikes and instructors can pull riders up on podium to make room for even more of you beautiful souls. Show up!"

Mistake 5: You're beating yourself up (or you have a bad attitude)

"You missed a tap-back? Can't finish a long run? Started quick-fire obliques on the wrong side? Reset. Try again. Don't beat yourself up. We value progress over perfection. We emphasize mindset over mistakes. Remember that this is a practice of who you are being vs. what you are doing," truer words have never been spoken. And although SoulCycle can seem intimidating to a newbie, I can tell you that when I was new and I had never met Luigi, he was the first to offer a compliment, tell me I did a great job, and offer helpful feedback.

"A great way to remind yourself of that practice is to encourage the people around you. Being generous with your energy helps you get out of your own way and lets us celebrate all of our little victories together!"

Source: POPSUGAR Fitness

These Badass Muslim Athletes Are Breaking Barriers and Stigmas All Over the World

We love watching strong, empowered women break down barriers in all ways - but we're particularly fond of athletic endeavors. Right now, we're especially inspired by these insanely impressive Muslim women who are breaking all sorts of records: in action sports, in the Olympics, and even in CrossFit. Strong in both body and mind, these are just some of the ladies who are making history, and they're doing so without compromising any part of who they are.

Source: POPSUGAR Fitness

Study Suggests Newer Cholesterol Drugs Are Safe

Whether taking them results in fewer heart attacks and strokes isn't yet known, researcher says

Source: WebMD Health

Busy Minds May Be Better at Fighting Dementia

Computer use, crafting, social activities and games all seem to boost brain health, study finds

Source: WebMD Health

Low Back Pain Common Among Kids

Sports injuries are just one frequent cause, study finds

Source: WebMD Health

SCAD: The Heart Attack That's Striking Young Women

SCAD: The Heart Attack That's Striking Young Women

Source: WebMD Health

Could the 'Mediterranean' Diet Help Prevent ADHD?

There's no solid proof, but encouraging healthy eating is a wise move, specialist says

Source: WebMD Health

If You're Running and Aren't Losing Weight, Try This

You've been eating right and exercising for a while, but that stubborn belly fat just won't budge! Along with incorporating foods that fight fat into your diet, here are some ways to burn that pooch away while you are out on a run.

Switch Up Your Pace

Intervals are proven to reduce belly fat and rev up metabolism; instead of running at the same pace for the entire workout, try alternating between periods of pushing your body to the max and periods of recovery. Here's a list of interval workouts for you to try:

Go a Little Longer

Unfortunately you can't spot treat when it comes to weight loss, which is one reason solely doing crunches won't whittle your waistline. The key is to decrease overall body fat, and the one way to do that is to burn calories. Lengthening your workout will do just that. Every five minutes of running at a 10-minute-per-mile pace burns about 45 calories. Think about that on your next run, and it'll motivate you to keep going!


High Knees

You're working hard to diminish your overall body weight, which will slim down your belly so you can reveal toned abs underneath. Here's one way to strengthen your core. Do one-minute intervals in which you run with high knees (like in this cardio workout you can do in your living room). Concentrate on using your abs rather than your leg muscles to kick your knees up as high as you can.

Try This Killer Treadmill Move

Here's another core killer if you're using a treadmill. Set the pace to 1.0 mph. Place your feet on a Plyo Box that's set up about two feet behind the back of the treadmill. Come into plank position with your hands straddling the treadmill belt. Step your hands on the belt and start walking, keeping your torso in one straight line. Do this for one minute, pulling your belly in toward your spine. Watch the above shredmill move in action here!

Source: POPSUGAR Fitness

All-Time-Best Inner-Thigh Exercises

A toned inner thigh is a healthy inner thigh - attractive and strong. Show yours some love with these 18 inner-thigh exercises to get shapely legs.

Source: POPSUGAR Fitness

Finally! An At-Home Fat-Blasting Cardio Workout

Finally! A killer cardio workout you can do in your living room. Part of our No-Excuses Workout Challenge, this is cardio you can do anywhere. It's perfect for torching calories without having to go for a run.

Here's the workout to follow! But keep reading for detailed explanations of each exercise.

Source: POPSUGAR Fitness

After 20 Years, I Finally Found the Workout That Made Me Love Exercise

It took me a long time to stick my new years resolution of getting health and stronger. I tried so many different things but nothing stuck. I resolved I might be one of those people that never uttered the words “joy and “exercise” in the same sentence. Then, two years ago, on a whim and with a little convincing from my best friend, I tried The Bar Method. To this day, I take classes five and sometimes six times a week. I spring out of bed every morning at 5 a.m. and put on my grippy socks to ensure I don’t miss one of my favorite hours of the day. But it wasn't always that way.

As a child, I was never very active. I did gymnastics, but I was never into sports. My love of gymnastics came to grinding halt when I was 10 years old and learned that I had a pretty severe case of scoliosis (curvature of the spine). In just one year, I endured three extensive surgeries. I don’t want go into too many gory details, but the ordeal involved rib removal, spine twisting, and a Herrington rod (metal rod that was inserted and screwed into my spine along one side to straighten my spine) coming loose.

When it was over, I was three inches taller but a hell of a lot less flexible. Prior to the surgery, I could do backbends and bridges, but afterwards, I could only move at my neck and bend at my hips - everything in between was as straight as an arrow. With this limited flexibility and my exceptional caution, I just stopped being active, and I always had a doctor's note that allowed me to pass gym with little effort. I knew after my surgeries I would never gain the same flexibility, but I should have been able to maintain strength. Unfortunately, the fear of more surgeries and just exceptional caution lead to me a path of weakness in both my core and back.

When I heard friends say they loved exercise, I thought they were crazy, but deep in the back of my brain, I was a little jealous. As an adult, I would entertain the idea of exercise for a few months - with yoga, crazy circuit training, and gym memberships - but nothing stuck, and I hated all of it. Looking back now, I realize I was always haunted by my three back surgeries; I was fearful that overexerting myself would result in more surgeries. And after years of babying my back, much of my muscle had atrophied.

But then I tried The Bar Method - a low-impact full-body workout that utilizes a ballet barre for many of the exercises and stretches. From the beginning, the classes were incredibly hard and intense, but to my surprise, I found myself craving them. I started slowly, going no more than three times per week, and I always did the easy or modified versions of the exercises.

Throughout those early classes, my back never hurt and I never felt as if I couldn't do the exercises. The amazing Bar Method teachers taught me which exercises I needed to modify and truly helped me focus on engaging my back and core (muscles I hadn't used in years, but I could feel my muscles' memory kicking in). Within the first couple weeks, my first win was when I realized I could stand up, bend over, and actually touch the floor. I hadn't been this flexible since I was a kid.

After several months, I began to understand the joy of exercising regularly: not only did it help clear my head but also I left class with less stress. A common phrase you hear from instructors in Bar Method class is “good choices” when you challenge yourself just a little more, like going from doing push-ups on your knees to doing them on your toes.

In turn, I began to focus on my own wellness and to realize that life is full of choices, both in barre class and out. I slowly increased my schedule to five classes per week, and after the first year, I switched to the 6 a.m. class from the evening classes to ensure I never missed a session. Every class, I challenge myself to try something new or just to stretch a little further. If I am tired, I trust the instructors, who come to know your abilities and always push you a little harder.

It took me 20-plus years to discover the joy of exercising - and my love for it wasn't instant. It took time and the realization that those small challenges and movements during class have changed my body, helped me gain muscle strength, and improved my flexibility throughout. Yes, I also lost weight, but honestly, I am more proud of the strength I have gained over the last two years, and I have slowly gained confidence in my back! If you have had scoliosis surgery or other back problems or just haven't found "your" exercise, I highly suggest trying The Bar Method. If that doesn’t ignite your passion, keep looking; you never know when you will find the thing that makes you spring out of bed every day at 5 a.m.


5 Barre Workouts You Can Do at Home

A Bar Method Instructor Explains Why Your Thighs Can't Stop Shaking in Class

8 Stretches That Can Help Ease the Pain of Sciatica

Source: POPSUGAR Fitness

If You Want to Run Longer, This Is a Must

Ever wonder why some days you feel like you can keep running and running while on others you have zero stamina? Certainly the amount of sleep you got the night before, stress levels, and diet play a role in how you perform during your runs, but how you regulate your breath during your jogging session also affects your energy levels. Here's how to power your muscles with fresh oxygen on each stride.

Learn to breathe deeply: Your lungs are just a bit smaller than your rib cage, but most people tend to use just the top third of this powerful organ. When you take a deep breath, you are expanding the lungs, pressing down the diaphragm, and causing your abdomen to expand as your lungs fill with air. Learning to breathe this way while running helps you take in a lot of oxygen, preventing dizziness and nausea. With a little training and some stretching, you can breathe to your full potential and increase your endurance. Cross-training with yoga and Pilates can also help you learn to breathe from your diaphragm. Here are some tips for how to conquer diaphragmatic breathing.

Match your breathing to your steps: For an easy-paced run, inhale for three or four steps, then exhale for the same amount. Count the steps in your head while you adjust to breathing on tempo. If you are running more intensely, your breathing tempo will increase to support your increased energy output and become faster — a breath in for one to two steps and out for one to two steps. If you can't match your steps to your breathing tempo, then you are trying to run too fast; slow down, and get back into your rhythm.


Breathe differently in cooler temps: It's important to breathe through your nose while running in chillier weather, because cold air is dry and breathing through your mouth increases the dryness while decreasing the temperature of the air. Since your lungs do not like dry air, you can experience asthma-like symptoms, like wheezing and coughing, when breathing cold air in through your mouth. Breathing through your nose not only filters out air impurities but also warms cool air to body temperature, creating less shock for the lungs to decrease those asthma-like symptoms.

Learn to breathe through your nose: If nose breathing is difficult for you, start experimenting with the technique now before the temperature drops drastically. Breathing through the nose helps you breathe more deeply and efficiently, which will ultimately help your running no matter what the temperature is. If you plan to run in cold temps and have yet to master nose breathing, you can try wearing a bandana (or a shirt that can be pulled up far) over your nose and mouth to help trap the moisture of your breath and humidity in the air before it reaches your lungs.

Source: POPSUGAR Fitness

How Long Should You Wait to Work Out After Eating?

How you space out meals during the course of the day might not make a big difference in the calorie department, but it has huge implications on your workout performance. Not only can ineffectively fueling your body hinder your performance, but also, eating too much before exercise can interfere with your goals. When it comes to eating before exercise, it's all about timing.

No matter what time of day you choose to exercise, make sure to plan your workout two to three hours after your meal. Going overboard with too much food right before a workout will leave you feeling sluggish and can lead to stomach discomfort. The last thing you want is your workout habits to hinder your digestion process.

If it's been a few hours since your last meal, then most experts agree that you should eat a small snack one hour before your workout to properly fuel your body. A combination of carbs and a little protein, all under 200 calories, will do the trick. If you're not sure what constitutes a good choice, then check out these healthy pre-workout snacks for inspiration. And if you're going for an early workout session, then remember that exercising on an empty stomach - even when you first wake up - isn't ideal. It might feel tough to eat first thing in the morning, but fueling your body with proper nutrients is essential for your workout. Consider one of these light breakfast snacks you can enjoy an hour before your morning workout.

Source: POPSUGAR Fitness

5 Tried-and-True Methods to Ease Foot Pain

Don't ever underestimate how much happiness is connected to the health of your feet. It sounds a little silly, but as someone who has suffered from plantar fasciitis for years, foot pain has a way of taking away simple pleasures like hiking, running, or just walking down the street to grab some groceries.

For the unfamiliar, plantar fasciitis is a condition where the tissue running along your foot (from the heel through the arch to the toes) is inflamed. It can burn, throb, sting, and ache. On the best days you might get by without any symptoms and on the worst, every step will send shock through your body. Over the years, and several months of treatment with a physical therapist, my plantar fasciitis is more under control than ever. Yes, I had to give up running, and yes, I rarely ever wear anything with the words "high" or "heel" in it, but I'm back to hiking, hitting up my favorite HIIT classes, and backpacking for days on end. Hopefully this expert advice (tried and tested by me!) will help you in your own journey to pain-free walking.

  • Ice is your friend: There are times when my plantar fasciitis can feel like someone is stabbing hot daggers repeatedly into my foot - it's that painful. Pain is brought on because the ligament running along the arch of the foot has become irritated and swollen, and ice helps to slow down blood flow and relieve the pain. While it's not treating the cause of plantar fasciitis, it gets me back on my feet again. Instead of an ice pack, I like to use a frozen water bottle since it's easy to roll up and down the length of my foot.
  • Stretch it out: Having tight calf muscles is one of the more common causes of plantar fasciitis; this lack of flexibility puts increased strain on your fascia. Keep calf muscles loose and long by stretching them out on a daily basis - especially after working out, wearing high heels, or long periods spent your feet.
  • Strengthen your feet: Another common cause of plantar fasciitis is overpronation, where the ankle rolls slightly inward when you walk or run. Overpronation causes more reliance on the big toe and inner portion of the foot, and this overuse can lead to plantar fasciitis. However, strengthening the muscles of the foot (as well as the calves) can help keep the arches strong and supported, preventing plantar fasciitis. As part of my home therapy, my physical therapist had me doing toe scrunches, single-leg deadlifts (done barefoot), and calf raises.
  • Massage, massage, massage: Seeing a massage therapist on a regular basis has to be one of the best things I have ever done for my plantar fasciitis. To be clear, this is definitely not a relaxing spa appointment with oils or a Zen garden playlist. I see a bodywork specialist who focuses only on my feet, using a mix of methods like myofascial release technique (MRT), cupping, and active release techniques (ART). There have been times I've gone into a session barely able to walk from the pain and walked out of there like I had brand new feet - it's been that good! I try to go in every few weeks, and to help offset the costs, I use funds from my flexible spending account (along with a prescription from my doctor).
  • Store-bought remedies: While not a permanent solution, a little ibuprofen and the right pair of orthotics can go a long way. If you have insurance that covers a set of custom-made orthotics, it's always best to go that route. For over-the-counter orthotics, I am a huge fan of ones from Lynco, which were recommended by my podiatrist. They give a good amount of arch support and aren't too rigid on the feet.

Source: POPSUGAR Fitness

Flat Belly and Tight Booty Cardio Dance Workout

Celebrity trainer JJ Dancer takes dance workouts to a new level and makes your sweat sesh feel like a party. She trains Jenna Dewan, so JJ knows how to make her grooves double as strength-training moves. Get ready to pop, kick, and burn calories when you press play.

On Anna: Lorna Jane, Reebok, and Athletic Propulsion Labs
On JJ: Lorna Jane and BodyLanguage

Source: POPSUGAR Fitness

10 Tips That Will Make You a Better Runner

No matter what your running level, you can always be a better runner. Here are our favorite tips that we've used to become better runners over the years!

Source: POPSUGAR Fitness

The 3 Best Ways to Burn More Calories in 20 Minutes

Are you all about saving time, getting more bang for your buck, and blasting calories? Go for sweat-dripping, fast-paced cardio sessions. If you've only got 20 minutes, then opt for one of these intense strategies instead of your normal workout.

Instead of: zoning out on the treadmill
Go for: intervals

Not only do high-intensity interval training (HIIT) workouts help you burn more calories in a shorter amount of time, but also, mixing up your pace helps you become a better, faster runner. If it's calorie burn you're after, then take note: going at your max for even just a little bit can help you burn a substantial amount of calories in the same amount of time, no matter what your running level. Alternating a steady 10-minute mile (6 mph) pace on the treadmill with five 60-second intervals at 7.5 minutes per mile (8 mph), for example, will burn 16 more calories in 20 minutes for a 130-pound person than just running at a steady 10-minute-mile pace — 196 vs. 180 calories. Mix up your pace and timing as much as you want; just make sure you are pushing it for those intervals. If you've never done intervals before, here's a beginner interval treadmill workout to try.

Instead of: your regular circuit workout
Go for: Tabata

Tabata is a form of HIIT you can do with almost any circuit workout. It consists of four-minute blocks of intense exercises (eight rounds at 20-second intervals followed by 10 seconds of rest), and while it can make you feel ready to quit, the payoff is worth it. At 13.5 calories burned per minute, you'll blast through 270 calories in just 20 minutes. Try one of our Tabata workouts here.


Instead of: heading for the dumbbell rack
Go for: kettlebells

Need even more of a burn? A recent study by the American Council on Exercise found that the average person burns a whopping 400 calories in just 20 minutes when using the kettlebell. While it takes a little time to learn how to use kettlebells safely, swinging the weights around can save you a lot of time in the gym. Get going with these kettlebell exercises, and put it all together with this basic beginner kettlebell workout.

Source: POPSUGAR Fitness

Printable Full-Body Stretch Routine For Chill Days

You work your body to get strong, but remember a strong muscle is a flexible one. Adding stretching into your weekly workout schedule is a must and key to keeping your muscles and joints healthy. Here's a full-body stretching routine to try after a workout or on your rest day.

Get a detailed description of each stretch here. Click here for a printable PDF of this flexibility session.

Source: POPSUGAR Fitness

Want to Stand on Your Head? A Yoga Sequence to Get You There

Headstand is really intimidating if you've never attempted it before, but if you've always longed to stand on your head, here's a series of yoga poses to get you there. Don't worry if it scares you to go upside down. This sequence will build up your strength and courage. If you practice these poses regularly in this order, you'll feel ready (and excited!) to invert.

Source: POPSUGAR Fitness

Tanner Wilson on

He has a passion for fitness and building a ripped physique. Rising fitness model Tanner Wilson is being featured on


12 Dumbbell Exercises For Strong, Chiseled Arms

When you want to isolate specific muscle groups in the arms, using dumbbells is truly effective - get ready to feel the burn! Depending on your strength, grab at least two size weights ranging from five to 15 pounds so you can switch up the appropriate size dumbbells for each move.

Source: POPSUGAR Fitness

Should You Be Worried About the Bacteria in Your Water Bottle?

Ever wonder what's going on inside your water bottle? Our friends at Shape share what needs to be noticed.

Well, for one, there's probably a lot of it.

Without even standing up, I can spot seven water bottles on my desk right now. Maybe I'm extreme, but I think it's fair to say that water bottles are the type of gear that seems to multiply. You get one free for signing up at a gym, you buy a fancy BPA-free one, you buy a replacement one when you realize you forgot to bring either on your vacation. Then, all of a sudden, you have seven water bottles just sitting there festering on your desk. (Related: The Best Water Bottle For Every Workout)

Unfortunately, that adds up to a shocking amount of bacteria. The average athlete's water bottle contains 313,499 CFU (colony-forming units) of bacteria per square centimeter, according to a recent study conducted on behalf of Treadmill Reviews. For scale, the average pet toy has just 2,937 CFU. The average household toilet seat has 27 CFU. Barf.


The study found that slide top, squeeze top, and screw top bottles had much more bacteria than straw top bottles, which had just 25 CFU per square centimeter. That may be because you don't need to use your hands to use straw top bottles. "Your hands may pick up viruses from touching various surfaces, which then get transferred to the bottle and eventually to your mouth," says Charles P. Gerba, Ph.D., a professor of microbiology and environmental sciences at the University of Arizona. What's more, while the germs that come from your own mouth aren't likely to make you sick, the ones that are transferred to bottles from your hands are.

Sure, you could switch to one-use bottles only, but that's not the most environmentally friendly option. Instead, try to wash your water bottles after every use. If you can't stick it in the dishwasher, wash it by hand with warm, soapy water and, for narrow necked bottles, a scrub brush. Leave it open and let it dry completely so mold doesn't grow — a whole 'nother problem you don't want to worry about.

Related Links:

Source: POPSUGAR Fitness

Wait Until You See Britney Spears's Kitty Sports Bra in Her Gym Video

What You Need to Know About Adding Muscle to Your Frame

It seems that getting stronger is on almost everyone's New Year's resolution list this year. But just wanting it won't make it happen. Just going to the gym and lifting weights without a plan won't necessarily make you stronger either. There are many nuances you'll need to consider before even getting to the gym. Here are some tried-and-true methods to get you stronger much faster than you ever thought possible!

According to Micah LaCerte, CPT and owner of Hitch Fit, "The only way to get stronger is continuing to add weight to the movements you are doing in the gym."

But if lifting heavy things alone were the solution, nobody would ever have the dreaded muffin top or arm jiggle. The secret is in how you approach your weight-training efforts. According to trainer Brian Pankau, CPT, you should focus on basic moves and approaches. That means doing simple moves like squats, lunges, chest presses, arm curls, rows, and the like while remembering to "add more weight when the final set for a specific exercise is completed too easily." The focus should be on hitting every major muscle group in your body with this progressive approach.


Now that you know what moves to do and how to increase weight, you need to know about reps and sets. Sure, you could just lift and lift until you've exhausted your body, but weightlifting has a simpler and more scientific approach. Your best bet is to focus on doing a few sets of each exercise for about 10 to 12 repetitions, or reps, each. That means you would do each exercise about 30 to 36 times each, but with a 30-to-60-second pause between every set of 10 to 12 reps. This allows your muscles to rest in between sets, so you can get the most out of them every time you lift.

How do you start? Glad you asked! According to Pankau: "Beginners should always stick to lighter loads while working on proper form and technique for exercises. This develops better training habits in the earlier stages and also increases joint range of motion properly to prevent injuries."

But that isn't everything. In fact, LaCerte told us that getting stronger really comes down to two essential factors: proper nutrition in conjunction with planned, progressive weightlifting.

The nutrition part may sound simple, but LaCerte believes that "you need to have a lot of focus on it to stay on track — when you're building strength and muscle, you need more calories than when you're trying to cut weight." While you may think that the weightlifting aspect is the more complex part of the equation, the truth is that it really comes down to the basic principle of "lifting heavier to get strong, which builds muscle," according to LaCerte.

Source: POPSUGAR Fitness

Here's Why Tracking Calories During a Workout Isn't as Accurate as You Think

With fit tech being more popular than ever, it almost feels like you can't exercise without tracking your workout in some way. Sort of like, if you didn't log your workout on your Apple Watch, did you even really work out?

But what's the best way to track your exercise, and how "good" of a workout you got? Is there one particular metric to measure exertion? It seems like many of us base a "good" workout based on how many calories we burned — but do you realize how relative calorie burn actually is?

I personally wanted to know more about the best metrics for quantifying exercise to make sure I'm getting the most out of every gym workout, bootcamp class, and cycling session. I chatted with some experts — physiologist Nicole Aurigemma, M.Sc., Erica Stenz, Barry's Bootcamp trainer, and Michelle Opperman, director of group fitness for Crunch, to see what they thought of my tracking, what they think of calorie-burn as a metric, and their favorite way to measure a workout.


Do You Track Your Burned Calories?

When you're working out and using a tracker, do you focus on the calories you've burned as your key metric? This might not be the best approach.

"When you start to base it on calories, I think it can lead to kind of obsessive behaviors," said Nicole. "Like, 'I burned this many calories so I can eat this!' or 'I haven't burned enough calories to eat this meal.' It's a slippery slope."

There are so many nuances to calorie burn — how tall you are, how much you weigh, your level of fitness, your temperature, your resting metabolic rate; you could be working just as hard (or harder) as the person who's next to you in class, but unless your bodies are absolutely identical, your calorie burn will be different. It doesn't mean you didn't get a great workout if you burned fewer.

Combine all those factors with the possibly inaccurate tracking on a Fitbit or an Apple Watch and you've got yourself some pretty useless data.

There are also so many ways that you're bettering yourself through exercise that can't be quantified with calories. "I think hard work can mean so many things when working out," said Michelle. "For example, mastering a skill or skills could equal hard work that has nothing to do with calories burned."

Do You Use a Tracker?

I love my Apple Watch, but when I started looking at my heart rate data, I was a little thrown. During an exceptionally challenging Barry's Bootcamp class, the Watch reported that my heart rate dipped to 47 during my weight training. FORTY SEVEN. My resting heart rate is in the 60s. How was it possible that when I was lifting weights, my body was moving, and I was sweating like crazy and breathing heavy that my heart rate could be so insanely low?

I ran this by Nicole, who said "If you are moving around, there is no way your heart rate should be as low as 47. I could believe it was 47 after sleeping 8 hours in supine position, but not during an exercise."

And while it's not news that wrist trackers aren't the most accurate, it led me to second-guess my Watch's tracking abilities for the first time — how am I supposed to quantify my workouts with an unreliable tracker? Do I need a chest strap? How do I crush my brother and dad (my only Apple Watch friends besides The Fitness Marshall) in daily calorie burn? (Spoiler alert: I can't)

So How Should You Track Your Workouts?

"For me I measure how hard I work out by how much I am sweating and how fatigued I feel after," said Michelle. "I used to use my Fitbit. But for me I almost got more focused on the number then the intensity of my workouts and decided I preferred to just go by how I feel."

Erica had similar advice to Michelle — base it on how you feel. "The best way that I determine if I've had a great workout is perceived rate of exertion," she said. "For example, on a scale of 1 to 10 (10 being the hardest workout ever) how did that feel?" Similarly, you can use the talk test as a means to measure how hard your body worked.

She said it's important to keep in mind that calorie burn occurs after your workout, too. "Even if you burn more calories doing cardio, when it comes to strength training, you will experience EPOC — is exercise post-exercise oxygen consumption — which means after your strength training workout, you will continue to burn calories and increase your metabolism!"

If you still need some kind of number, Nicole recommends a chest strap — she uses one from Polar. "I would base your workouts on heart rate as opposed to calorie burn," she said. "The data is more accurate." So much so, that she's using her Polar tracker in a study at Penn State.

But both women emphasized that exertion doesn't always need to be quantified. While I love my data, I also know that even if I don't track a workout, I still get an incredible high from exercise and a mental release that can't be quantified. We so often get caught up in numbers — the decimal points on the scale, the calories on a nutrition label . . . the heart rate on our tracker! While these numbers DO serve a purpose, it's best to look at the total picture.

It reminded me of an experience I had at a boutique studio, when the instructor said "this move burns the most calories, and that's the best thing you can get out of a workout," while two women after class told each other that they "earned" their cocktails. That mindset isn't healthy — and exercise is all about being healthier, so it's pretty counterintuitive.

Source: POPSUGAR Fitness

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7 Ways to Run Like a Pro

For some, running is a fun pastime; for others, it's a tiresome necessity. But no matter where you fall on the running spectrum, if you're striving to become better, then here are seven things you can do to become a better runner.

  1. Keep it consistent: If you stop running for a while, then you'll have to build your conditioning back up. So if you want to take your workout to the next level, then make sure you're staying consistent. Sign up for a race and start a training program (like this 5K training schedule) to track your progress; you'll be able to see how much your hard work has paid off.
  2. Learn proper form: It may seem like the simplest way to work out, but running does take skill to make sure you don't leave your body prone to injury. When running, keep your head stacked over your spine, relax the shoulders, and engage your abs. Find out how the rest of your body should be with our running-form checklist.
  3. Dress the part: There's no need to invest in anything fancy, but be sure to spend wisely. The perfect pair of shoes can be the difference between feeling sluggish and being light on your feet, and it can also help prevent injuries. Whether you need a full-support shoe or want in on the minimalist shoe trend, watch our video for tips on how to pick a running shoe.
  4. Fuel right: Running on an empty stomach can keep you from having the right amount of energy, but eating too much can lead to cramping. Look for a small snack containing carbs and protein for sustained energy. Timing is everything, however; if you're rushing out the door and haven't eaten anything, then go for something with 15 grams of easily digestible carbs (like a slice of white bread). Read more about the best foods to eat before a workout (and when to eat them) here.
  5. Drink water: Drinking enough water is another way to ensure you'll have a good run. If you don't drink enough water before your run (as well as during), then chances are you'll have to stop before you'd like to because of fatigue or a cramp. Make sure you drink an ounce of water for every 10 pounds of body weight about an hour or two before your workout, and watch for these signs of dehydration during your run.
  6. Have a plan: It's not all about consistency; you should also keep your body challenged. Running outside instead of just on the treadmill, for example, builds your muscle to help increase speed and endurance, as does incorporating high-intensity intervals. And techniques like negative splits will help improve your overall mile time as well. Plan on doing these types of runs for the majority of your workouts if you're trying to increase your mileage or time, but be sure to incorporate easy runs into your weekly plan as well.
  7. Do more than run: Don't limit yourself to improving your pace just while you're on the road. There are many things you can do when you aren't running that can help you, like stretching after every run, strength training regularly, and getting enough sleep. Find out more about what you can do to be a better runner (without running) here.

Source: POPSUGAR Fitness

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11 Cardio Workouts Guaranteed to Leave You Soaked in Sweat

Think a gym membership is the key to getting fit? Think again. Sure, a gym has fancy equipment, but nothing beats what your own body can do. And, sometimes, it's just easier to work out in the privacy of your home. If you're looking to up your calorie burn with some serious cardio, try one of these workouts - many that do double duty by adding in somer serious strength training. Take a note from us and keep a towel nearby - these workouts will leave you drenched.

  1. Grab a jump rope for this intense 30-minute workout. A true cardio-and-strength-training mashup, your heart rate will remain elevated through the entire workout.
  2. 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. Hate running, but crave the calorie burn and lower-body workout it provides? This 20-minute no-running cardio blast is for you. The workout requires absoulutely no equipment, making it a great choice when you find yourself on the go.
  4. Get serious and be the inspiration to your fellow fit friends with this intense 40-minute Tabata superset workout that you can print and take with you anywhere.
  5. 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.
  6. Sometimes you only have 10 minutes to spare - and that's OK. Press play and get moving to this 10-minute dance-inspired workout. With special attention given to the lower body, it's exactly what you need to help tone and strengthen your butt.
  7. Just because it's an at-home workout doesn't mean it's easy. This high-impact plyometric workout is not for the weak - prepare yourself for challenging variations of traditional moves like squats and lunges. Note: it probably is a good idea to schedule a rest day after this one.
  8. Can't make it to the gym? Stuck in a hotel room? Print out our 20-minute do-anywhere cardio-and-strength combo and take it with you. Since it doesn't require any equipment, all you need is the right sweat-wicking outfit and a get-it-done attitude.
  9. 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.
  10. Can't be bothered to make it to the gym? Try our at-home fat-blasting cardio workout instead. Bodyweight exercises are paired with plyo moves to give you a killer workout you'll feel all over.
  11. Hit play and dance like no one is watching! We are huge fans of this 30-minute dance workout from the Sweat Spot. The video is so fun to follow along, it barely even feels like you're working out!

Source: POPSUGAR Fitness

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Source: WebMD Health

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