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#140Wednesdays: What’s Your Favorite Way to Cool Off In the Summer?

Written on May 30, 2012 at 1:18 pm , by

Make sure to hydrate enough before your workout, so you're not playing catch-up during. (Photo courtesy of Laura Doss)

It’s not even the official start to summer yet, but if you walk outside it sure feels like it. Humidity, 90-degree days and sudden hazy storms have catapulted us right into summer mode. This week we want to know your favorite way to cool down when just walking to the car can make you break a sweat. Snag one of these tips from our Twitter followers to help you chill out all season.

@netty_lang: I love the feeling of a cold shower! [Editor's note: Taking a cold shower can help boost your metabolism and make your hair healthier! Makes it worth a few moments of yelping in the stall, doesn't it?]

@CourtneyAnne36: Running through sprinklers and playing with the hose, who says they’re just for kids?

@SweetToothCourt: I love a cold creamy spinach smoothie!

@RxBethOnTheRun: Watermelon, a crisp, cold glass of wine and jumping in my parent’s pool after hot, sweaty run (my favorite)!

@HHHealth_H3: We cool off with a little Aqua Zumba on a warm day!

@cupcakekellys: Lots of water, watermelon and swimming.

Now tell us: What’s your favorite way to beat the heat?

More from FITNESS: 8 Healthy and Refreshing Smoothie Recipes

Don’t Be Shady! How to Choose the Right Sunglasses For Eye Health

Written on May 29, 2012 at 7:00 am , by

Keep your peepers protected to stop squinting and prevent wrinkles this summer. (Photo courtesy of Peter Ardito)

Sunglasses aren’t just for complementing your bikini while you lounge on the beach. They’re a must for protecting your eyes from UV damage. Sunglasses also shield the eyelids and the skin around your eyes, helping to prevent wrinkles and skin cancer. But before you run out and drop a small fortune on a pair, here are some things to consider.

  • UV protection is most important: UV rays can damage the eyes causing cataracts, benign growths on the eye’s surface, and snow blindness, a temporary and painful sunburn of the eye. As mentioned above, it can also lead to skin cancer around the eye, so make sure your pair guarantees 100 percent UV protection.
  • Polarized lenses have nothing to do with UV protection: Polarized lenses act as a filter to absorb light waves, which helps to reduce glare that bounces off smooth surfaces like pavement or water. While they’re great for offering clearer vision in extreme sun, being labeled “polarized” has nothing to do with how well they protect the eyes.

Keep reading to find out what else to think about when buying sunglasses.

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#140Wednesdays: If You Could Give Your 16-Year-Old Self One Piece of Advice, What Would You Tell Her?

Written on May 23, 2012 at 12:34 pm , by

Our advice? Start bringing lunch now, you'll save a ton of money! (Photo courtesy of Evan Sklar)

Remember when you colored your hair pink with a highlighter, got into a screaming fight with your sister over lip gloss and declared to never speak to your parents again for making you get a summer job? You probably thought the world would end, and if you’re reading this then you know that it in fact did not. They say everything happens for a reason, but looking back at our younger selves we can’t help but cringe over some of the choices we made in our teen years. Read below to see what our Twitter followers would tell their 16-year-old selves and post your tidbit of advice below. And if you haven’t seen it already, watch this video to ingrain it in your head to wear SPF this summer. (Warning: It’s a tearjerker!)

@thinmydreams: That cheeseburger and poutine are going to catch up with you when your metabolism slows.

@wishandwhimsy: Life gets better. High school doesn’t define you. Keep being you.

@AbigailLimHo: Love yourself. Believe that you’re beautiful. Don’t let other people destroy your self-esteem.

@enthusiasticrun: Don’t take life too seriously, be nice to everyone, and watch what you post on the Internet!

@she_is_geeky: Drink more water, wear sunblock, join a sport, exercise more!

@angeladecenzo: Keep up that jogging habit, it’s great stress relief!

@sensibleflutist: Life gets better and the world doesn’t revolve around you.

@theamotinada: Break up with him.

Now tell us: What piece of advice would you give your 16-year-old self?

Make a Pledge to Play More This Summer

Written on May 21, 2012 at 1:00 pm , by

Don't forget to SPF before heading outside this weekend! (Photo courtesy of Banana Boat)

It’s only Monday, but if you’re like us, you are already thinking about Memorial Day. To kick off the long weekend, Banana Boat spokesperson and natural living expert Sara Snow want you to make a pledge to get outside more. In a recent visit with Snow to the FITNESS offices, we were shocked to hear that kids spend an average of seven hours watching TV or on the computer and only seven minutes playing outside. To help get kids unplug, Snow and Banana Boat are launching a 101 Days of Summer Pledge. Here’s the scoop:

  • Visit the Banana Boat Facebook page and click on the 101 Days of Summer Pledge. For every pledge made, Banana Boat will donate one bottle of its latest Natural Reflect Lotion to the Hole in the Wall Gang Camp, a summer camp organization for children with cancer and other serious illnesses.
  • Each week, starting from Memorial Day through Labor Day you can visit the 101 Days of Summer Pledge tab for a week of activities you and your kids can do outside. All of the ideas are inexpensive and range for every age so everyone can be included. Check out some of the sample ideas below:

Every dog has its day: Take the dogs on a walk or play fetch to give them some much needed outdoor time. The kids will get a kick out of playing with a new furry friend!

Local tourist: Discover new places in your town with the kids. A park, reservoir or garden could all be great, natural places to learning something new while enjoying a day in the sun.

Popsicle social: Squeeze ripe oranges for fresh orange juice and freeze in popsicle trays. Once they are ready, enjoy this ice cold treat outside in the warm sun.

 

  • Upload pictures of your family doing the recommended outdoor activities through the tab and enter to win some sweet summertime loot! Weekly winners will be selected to win a basket of sun safe goodies from Banana Boat and one lucky winner will win a trip to the Grand Tetons!

So toss the video games and start tossing the ball this weekend. Your family vacation depends on it!

Long Commutes Are Detrimental to Your Health, Study Says

Written on May 15, 2012 at 7:00 am , by

Catch up on your Zzzs before your commute. (Photo courtesy of iStockPhoto)

Working a nine-to-fiver is mandatory for most people, and unfortunately, a long commute often comes with the territory. According to a study published today in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, those who travel 16 or more miles each way weigh more and have higher blood pressures than those with less than 10-mile commutes.

Of the almost 4,300 residents from Dallas and Austin involved in the study, researchers discovered that for every 10-mile increase in driving distance, the commuter’s BMI (body mass index) rose .17 units. People with lengthy commutes are nine percent more likely to be obese, either because they didn’t exercise as much, are eating fast food while driving, or they’re not getting enough sleep because their long commute forces them to wake up early.

Weight isn’t the only thing affected by a long drive to work. Spending that much time in the car, especially stuck in traffic, also makes a person tired, moody, and stressed out, which is one reason 52 percent of those in the study with a longer commute suffered from high blood pressure.

So what’s a commuter to do? Quitting your job is obviously not an option, and if working at home part-time isn’t feasible and neither is finding a job closer to where you live, here are some things commuters can do to avoid weight gain and other health issues.

  • Make time to move: With an extra hour or two stuck in the car, it may be tough to exercise before or after work, so set aside 30 to 60 minutes during your day to hit the gym. Make it a priority just as you would any other scheduled appointment. Follow our time-saving tips for a lunchtime workout.
  • Get enough Zs: Not getting enough sleep is linked to weight gain, so if you know you have to get up early to hop in the car, be sure to hit the hay early enough to get at least seven to eight hours of shut-eye. Here are some tips on how to get quality sleep.

Keep reading to learn what else commuters can do to avoid weight gain.

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#140Wednesdays: What’s Your Favorite Way to Sweat and Chill Out?

Written on May 2, 2012 at 2:29 pm , by

Elle's must-have travel item? Her running shoes! (Photo courtesy of Naomi Kaltman)

In our May issue (on newsstands now!) cover girl Elle Macpherson told us she starts every day with some sort of physical activity, and running has come to be her moving meditation. We couldn’t agree more–between the endorphins, body benefits and stress-relieving perks, heading out for a jog is the perfect way to get centered. But it’s not the only way. See what our Twitter followers lean to for their moving meditation.

@nanderson61: Running. No better way to connect with my body than with a great run!

@LynetteNicole07: Running, spin and yoga. My favorites!

@ReNewedMe: Running is great! But swimming would be my moving meditation. It’s the only workout I do without music, so it’s me and my thoughts.

@makeupbylay: My favorite way to sweat is kickboxing and hot yoga! Then a nice shower and massage after.

Now tell us: What’s your moving meditation?

More from FITNESS: Elle Macpherson’s Body Rules

Kate Walsh’s Feel Good Tips and Tricks to Beating Allergy Face

Written on April 12, 2012 at 1:52 pm , by

Kate Walsh credits her amazing bod to portion control and hikes with her dogs. (Photo courtesy of Zyrtec)

I’m about to tell you something, and you may not like me after I say it: I’ve never suffered from allergies. But from what I can tell, it does not look like a good time. Sneezing, wheezing and countless other symptoms leave me giving puppy eyes to my fellow commuters in the morning as they try to put their best face forward. But ABC’s Private Practice star Kate Walsh does have allergies, and completely understands what it feels like to be zonked out all day dealing with them. I got the chance to chat with Walsh as she teamed up with Zyrtec to get her tips to looking good inside and out in every season.

What exactly is “Allergy Face”?

Allergy Face is puffy, watery eyes, sneezing, a stuffed up nose, you name it. It’s basically all of those things that make you want to hide under the covers. Which is annoying, because springtime is the season to finally get outside and enjoy the great weather.

Have you ever woken up with Allergy Face before filming or making a public appearance where you needed to look your best?

I basically have Allergy Face every day once spring hits. In California allergies can be year-round. Between the Santa Ana winds, dry winters and then the spring season something is always blooming and blowing around. Before I was diagnosed with allergies I never wanted to admit that I had them. I just told myself I was a person who sneezed a lot!

Read more

The Secret Superfood for a Healthy Heart

Written on February 24, 2012 at 4:08 pm , by

Skip the fries and bring a side of grapes from home for a heart-healthy lunch. (Photo courtesy of Blaine Moats)

As American Heart Health Month wraps up. you already know that in moderation red wine is key for your ticker, but did you know that grape juice could have a similar effect? It makes sense of course, as wine is made from grapes, but in a recent Welch’s study of 4,000 people more than twice as many consumers were aware of the heart-healthy benefits of red wine, but not grape juice.

Another interesting stat? According to the study, 2/3 of Americans recognize that red wine, salmon, and olive oil are all heart-healthy foods, but only a fraction actually buy these foods on a monthly basis. Yet people who buy and drink grape juice were twice as likely to add other heart-healthy foods to their shopping carts than non-drinkers. Maybe it’s a coincidence or maybe it’s true that one healthy habit leads to a chain reaction of others, but for those looking for the health perks of wine without the hangover, grape juice might just be your best bet!

For more heart-healthy resources, recipes and more visit welchs.com/rewardyourheart

More from FITNESS: How to Eat for a Healthy Heart

In Honor of World Diabetes Day: Be Kind to Your Pancreas

Written on November 14, 2011 at 4:42 pm , by

Nurse Rosen fills us in about The Pancreatic Oath. (Photo courtesy of Candice Rosen)

Pop quiz: Do you know where your pancreas is? Or what it does? Registered nurse Candice Rosen, author of The Pancreatic Oath, is on a mission to educate people about the often-overlooked gland located between the stomach and spine. The gland secretes digestive juices and releases hormones to help the body regulate the glucose it takes from food for energy. Because of its vital function, a healthy pancreas is the key to overall wellness, Rosen believes. “If people took the pancreas seriously and ate to protect it, there would be no need for World Diabetes Day,” she says. “Type 2 Diabetes is not a disease, it’s a consequence.” Protecting your pancreas, by eating in a way that doesn’t make it work overtime, may prevent diabetes and other life-threatening health conditions and can even help you reach and maintain your optimal weight, she explains.

Here are a few simple “self-health” steps Rosen recommends to start caring for your pancreas today:

  • Eliminate sugar and artificial sweeteners. For example, swap sugary fruit juices and sodas for water or unsweetened iced tea. Treat dessert as a celebration and indulge only once a week, instead of after most meals, and share with a friend.
  • Decrease alcohol intake. When you do have a cocktail, follow it with a glass of water or unsweetened ice tea before you have another.
  • Eat whole foods instead of processed foods.
  • Be sure to get plenty of leafy greens like kale, Swiss chard and spinach.
  • Decrease or eliminate fast food.
  • Know your body. Weight loss is not “one size fits all”—everyone’s body reacts differently to the foods they eat, Rosen says. She recommends eating meals that keep your blood glucose levels between 70 and 100, as measured on a glucometer.

Click here to learn more about the book and Rosen’s Pancreatic Nutritional Program.

4 Natural Remedies You Already Have in Your Pantry

Written on October 18, 2011 at 7:00 am , by

Boost your brain power with some sage. (Photo courtesy of Chris Gallo)

Some ailments need the power of the medicine cabinet, but other times when you’re not feeling that hot all you need to do is look toward the spice rack. Whether you’re in a bad mood, can’t stop coughing, nursing a hangover, or have post-workout soreness, here are four spices that can help you feel better — no medicine required!

What: Peppers
When to use: When you’re feeling down.
Why: The hot feeling you get in your mouth is from the compound capsaicin. It triggers pain receptors in your mouth, which causes your brain to release feel-good endorphins to compensate.
How to eat: Spice up a cold, dreary day with this spicy-sweet chili recipe, or this recipe for a healthy version of spicy eggplant.

What: Ginger
When to use: When you’re fighting a cold or feeling nauseous or achy.
Why: Remedy the sniffles, aches, and congestion of the season with ginger; ginger contains a chemical that helps reduce nausea and inflammation symptoms, and ginger tea has been a tried-and-true congestion remedy for years.
How to eat: Whip up this ginger tea recipe the next time you are feeling under the weather, or dress up your dinner with this ginger-garlic broccoli recipe.

What: Sage
When to use: Those foggy-headed days.
Why: The ancient herb has been used for anything from sore throats to aiding fertility, but studies haven’t been done in every area to see how effective the ancient herb is. Small studies, however, have shown that sage works in improving mental performance in thinking and learning in both younger people and older Alzheimer’s patients.
How to eat: Go fresh with this bean salad recipe that uses fresh sage and other herbs, or remedy cut the foggy-headedness with a cup of sage tea.

Read on to learn more natural remedies.

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