Saturday, May 31, 2014

Switch Up Your Interval Training With This Swim Workout

Bored of your usual interval workout? Keep things fresh, literally, by hopping in the pool. Known to help reduce belly fat, intervals can be practiced beyond the bike or treadmill. Although this swim workout has a little bit of everything, the middle portion includes a few short bursts where you play with stroke and speed. This workout is great for days in between lengthy endurance runs. And don't skip the always-important long warmdown to finish the workout.

Interval Workout

Warmup: 350 yards

50 yards freestyle - easy

100 yards backstroke

200 yards freestyle

Endurance: 600 yards

2 x 100 yards pull* freestyle

2 x 100 yards kick** freestyle

2 x 100 yards freestyle

Intervals: 500 yards

4 x 50 (1 of each stroke) - strong (rest: 30 seconds)***

2 x 25 freestyle - sprint (rest: 15)

-Rest 60, repeat the set-

Warmdown: 400 yards

4 x 100 yards - 50 yards freestyle, 50 yards backstroke (rest: as needed)

Total: 1,850 yards.

*Pull: Hold a buoy with your legs and use only your arms to swim

**Kick: Use a kickboard and use just your legs to power yourself across the pool

***Rest the listed amount between reps/laps

from POPSUGAR Fitness

Better Than Fried Chicken with Coconut Aminos Dipping Sauce

There are a lot of recipes out there for paleo/Primal fried chicken, all of them trying to create a crispy, finger-licking good coating using various nut and coconut products. This recipe isn’t for fried chicken, per se, but after tasting it you might give up trying to coat a piece of chicken in anything other […]

from Mark's Daily Apple

150-Calorie Vegan Banana Peanut Butter Ice Cream

Whether It's Movie Premieres or Workouts, These Celebs Don't Skip a Beat

This week, we saw lots of celebrities getting back on the gym grind after their movie premieres. Charlize Theron headed to the gym just a couple weeks after the premiere of A Million Ways to Die in the West, while The Other Woman costars Leslie Mann and Cameron Diaz were spotted, separately, breaking a sweat. Even Maleficent actress Elle Fanning didn't skip the gym before the premiere on Wednesday. Scroll down to see all the celebs who headed to the gym this week!

from POPSUGAR Fitness

Friday, May 30, 2014

A Beachy Workout to Get You Bikini Ready

Working out on the beach is fun and inspiring but also extrachallenging thanks to the sand; the unstable surface makes basic moves harder and more effective. But you are up to the challenge! Especially with quintessential beach babes Katrina and Karena of Tone It Up teaching you five of their favorite barre-inspired moves. Whether you're at the beach or your living room, these moves will work your entire body.

from POPSUGAR Fitness

The Daily Habit That Will Help You Drop Pounds

When you're trying to lose weight, it's hard to resist temptation at every turn. Unfortunately, those little tastes can add up in the calorie department. Even if you think you're being vigilant, you may not know that 100 calories of your favorite candy isn't as much as you thought. So one of the best ways to ensure you stay on the right track when you're looking to drop pounds? Keeping a food journal to track your calorie intake - every single thing you eat and drink.

It may seem tedious, but if you're serious about you goals, making sure you're jotting everything you eat down (or adding to a smartphone app like MyFitnessPal) will hold you accountable and keep right at your calorie goals. This habit has helped many people see results without feeling deprived when they first set out on a weight-loss journey; in fact, one study found that those who logged what they ate six days a week lost twice as much weight as those who only kept track of a day or less. Want your own success story? Remember this mantra: If you bite it, write it. Print out our poster for even more motivation on your bulletin board or fridge!

Need more weight-loss inspiration? Check out our 25 reasons you're not losing weight here.

Front Page Source: Thinkstock / matthewennisphotography

from POPSUGAR Fitness

Weekend Warriors: 4 Easy Tips to Help Your Diet Stick

If Monday morning always feels like the start of a diet, you're not alone. When you have a low-key weekday routine in place, it's easier to stick to a healthy plan. But once all the weekend fun rolls around, it's hard to resist or say no. Take these helpful tips from Chef Cheryl Forberg RD, nutritionist to the contestants of The Biggest Loser and in-house nutritionist for Omni Hotels and Resorts, that will keep you on track - even in the face of fun.

Do your research: You might love the thrill of reading a menu for the first time once you're seated, but Cheryl says that checking out your options ahead of time helps you determine whether a restaurant is right for your needs. There are enough temptations out there that you don't have control over, so when you make a reservation with friends, you should "be confident that there are healthy choices available," she says.

Be smart about booze: A glass of wine or a light cocktail is just fine, but once you get together in a big group of friends, things tend to get a little carried away. Once you have a little buzz going on, making unhealthy choices doesn't seem all that bad. Before you order that second drink, though, Cheryl suggests that you take a step back and check in with yourself. With a clear head, consider that "the calories in just a few cocktails can add up to a whole meal." This can help inform your choice to have another round or stop while you're ahead.

Reach for water: Whether you're on your way to a celebratory meal or happy hour, always have a big glass of water ahead of time. Cheryl put it simply, "You don't want to quench your thirst with your first martini." But beyond the alcohol factor, Cheryl says that gulping water throughout the meal helps you slow down. When you're out for margaritas, it will help keep you from "mindlessly snacking on a basket of chips that's constantly being refilled."

Speak up: An indulgent meal every now and again is fine (even suggested!), but don't be afraid to speak up and suggest a healthy spot to your friends. If one person suggests burgers and fries but everyone is trying to be healthy, then the rest of the group will probably thank you for chiming in. As Cheryl says, "everybody knows that that is the way we should be eating most of the time."

from POPSUGAR Fitness

5 Reasons You Can’t Make A Meal in 15 Minutes or Less

pantry-must-havesOh, you want to make a meal in 15 minutes or less? Let me tell you why you can't, and what you can do to change that today!

from A Black Girl's Guide To Weight Loss

11 Healthy Desserts For a Hot Summer Day

On a warm afternoon or evening, there's nothing better than a refreshing treat to cool you off and hit the spot - and sweet indulgences can have a place in your healthy diet! For a light and delicious dessert that won't weigh you down, try one of these recipes fit for Summer.

Photo: Jenny Sugar

from POPSUGAR Fitness

Friday Faves

Is it really Friday already? I think every week should include a 3-day weekend What are you up to the next couple of days? Word on the street is that I’m running 13 miles this weekend. Pray for my soul. Also, Kyle and Meg, our friend Lindy (and Luna!!) will […]

from The Fitnessista

“The Healthiest Sick Guy” You Knew

It’s Friday, everyone! And that means another Primal Blueprint Real Life Story from a Mark’s Daily Apple reader. If you have your own success story and would like to share it with me and the Mark’s Daily Apple community please contact me here. I’ll continue to publish these each Friday as long as they keep […]

from Mark's Daily Apple

The Best Ways to Get (and Stay) Motivated When Workouts Get Tough

The following post was written by Jenni K., who blogs at Fitzala and is part of POPSUGAR Select Fitness.

Source: Shutterstock

Getting yourself up early to cram in your 45 minutes of physical activity doesn't always rank high on the average person's enjoyment list. Whether you go to the gym to lose weight or run to stay healthy, the fire within you isn't always going to burn bright. So how do we stay motivated? How do we keep pushing on in exercise or healthy eating when it becomes boring, forced, or unappealing? Motivation is a by-product of happiness and desire. By influencing either of the two, you can essentially create motivation. If something makes you happy, you do it more often. If something is important to you, you're more likely to grind it out when things get rough. Instead of coasting along, try a few of these activities to figure out what you what.

  1. List out a few goals for your health, personal life, and career.

  2. Write a list of three things you want to improve.

  3. Share your goals that you want to achieve with your friends.

  4. Set deadlines for personal goals.

  5. Make a bucket list.

Source: Thinkstock

What you're really doing is making a list of the things you want out of life. All you need to do now is identify the steps you need to take to get there. Say you want to climb Mount Kilimanjaro. Waking up early for runs and strength-training sessions won't be nearly as hard when you know that the conditioning is going to help you cross this item off your bucket list.

Life is about happiness and fulfillment. When you force working out or eating well, you aren't going to feel better. These once-good habits become a burden when your motivation wanes. By creating your own world where each step is an achievement toward a greater goal, you'll build positive habits and feel good about your life. Your natural drive increases as you take more steps toward your goals, and you feel happier and motivated.

from POPSUGAR Fitness

Back Pain During Your Period? Here's How to Make It Stop

As if pimples, emotional outbursts, cramps, exhaustion, and feeling bloated aren't enough, the PMS demons have to throw uncomfortable back pain your way too.

Lower back pain during your period, or primary dysmenorrhea, is caused by contractions in the uterus. Every month your body builds up a thick uterine lining (called endometrium) in preparation for a fertilized egg. If you don't become pregnant, estrogen and progesterone levels drop and cue your body to break down and detach the lining, and it does that by contracting. If your uterus contracts too strongly, it can press on nearby blood vessels, cutting off the supply of oxygen to the nearby muscles, which is the reason pain occurs in the abdomen and radiates to the lower back and even to the thighs.

Chances are, if you've always had similar menstrual discomfort, it's nothing to worry about. But see a doctor if you're incapacitated for more than a few days a month or if you've noticed a sudden change in your symptoms. Meanwhile, you can ease the back pain with over-the-counter anti-inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen, or try a warm bath or a heating pad. Avoiding foods that contain caffeine and salt can also help. And even though you have about as much energy as it takes to plop onto the couch, women who exercise regularly often experience less menstrual pain, so keep up with your routine by doing some light cardio or these cramp-relieving yoga poses.

from POPSUGAR Fitness

A Light Summer Soup That'll Have You Feeling Like a New Girl

Forget those mushy memories of yesteryear. It's time to give peas a chance. This Summer soup from Zooey Deschanel highlights the fiber- and protein-filled veggie in a light broth but then punches it up with a hit of mint. Filling on its own, Zooey's soup would also make a lovely start to any upcoming dinner parties you have planned.

Front Page Image Source: Lizzie Fuhr

from POPSUGAR Fitness

POPSUGAR Shout Out: Your Chic Summertime Bash

Source: Kimberly Genevieve

from POPSUGAR Fitness

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Bikini Shape-Up: Cardio and Arms

Today's Bikini Body Countdown workout starts with a quick cardio intervals to burn some calories and belly fat and ends with a focus shaping some sexy shoulders. And it only takes 30 minutes! Start with 20 minutes on the treadmill, playing with both speed and incline (or try this elliptical workout). Then end your sweat session with 10 minutes of arm work with celeb trainer Anna Kaiser.

Treadmill Workout: 20 Minutes



































Arm Workout: 10 Minutes

from POPSUGAR Fitness

Have a Healthier BBQ With Delicious (More Nutritious) Sides

Skip the standard mayo-laden potato and macaroni salads, and instead opt for a refreshing new side dish or take a creative twist on the classics. When you bring one of these recipes to your next event, you'll feel lighter, more energized, and just as satisfied.

Photo: Lizzie Fuhr

from POPSUGAR Fitness

What I Ate Wednesday

Hi guys! How’s your day going to far? Thank you for the wonderful comments on this morning’s virtual coffee date I’m excited to write back to them after this post goes up. Exciting news: Summer Shape Up officially begins June 16th. Buckle up, friends! As usual, the Shape Up includes […]

from The Fitnessista

Get in the Mood With These Libido-Boosting Foods

If you're suffering from a low libido, either from your hormonal birth control, long hours at the office, depression, or any reason at all, you may feel better knowing you're not alone - 40 percent of women experience a dip in their sex drive. If you're ready to kick your sex drive into gear, there are many natural ways to do so, including eating these foods.

from POPSUGAR Fitness

Quick Trip to the Gun Show: 5-Minute Arm Workout

Tone up your arms with our five-minute, five-move plan. Perform the following exercises for one minute each - all you need are a yoga mat and a pair of light five- or eight-pound weights to get started.

Number 1: Bent-Over Row

Source: POPSUGAR Studios

  • Lean forward and bend both knees, remembering to keep a flat back.

  • Extend your arms so they are straight. Lift the dumbbells straight up to chest level, squeezing your shoulder blades together as you do. Be sure to keep your elbows in and pointed upward. Don't arch your back.

  • Slowly lower the weights back to the starting position to complete one rep.

  • Perform as many controlled reps as possible for one minute.

Number 2: Overhead Press

Source: POPSUGAR Studios

  • Stand with your feet hip distance apart and pick up the weights, holding the dumbbells so your palms are face down. Lift up your weights until they are at your shoulders, palms facing forward, with elbows bent at a 90-degree angle.

  • Raise your arms until elbows are extended, moving the weights until they almost touch above your head.

  • Slowly return back to the starting position (with elbows at a 90-degree angle).

  • Perform as many controlled reps as possible for one minute.

Number 3: Lying Triceps Extension

Source: Megan Wolfe Photography at J+K Fitness Studio

  • Grab your weights, and start by lying on your back.

  • With one dumbbell in each hand, raise your arms so they are above your chest, making sure your elbows are straight but not locked.

  • Slowly lower both arms toward your head, bending your elbows to 90 degrees as the dumbbells reach the mat. Aim to lower your dumbbells so they are on either side of your head, elbows bent and pressing in toward your head.

  • Lift arms back up to starting position. This is one rep.

  • Do as many controlled reps as possible for one minute.

Number 4: Diamond Push-Ups

Source: POPSUGAR Studios

  • Start in the plank position with your hands under your shoulders and your body in one straight line; separate your feet so they're about shoulder width apart to help you stay balanced throughout the exercise. If you can't do a push-up this way, then just lower your knees to the floor.

  • Place your hands together directly under your sternum, with the tips of your index fingers and thumbs touching. Your fingers and thumbs should form a diamond or triangle shape.

  • As you inhale, bend your elbows out to the sides and lower your chest toward the floor. Then exhale to straighten your arms. This counts as one push-up.

  • Complete as many push-ups as you can in one minute.

Number 5: Quarter Dog

Source: Louisa Larson Photography

  • Begin on your hands and knees. Your wrists should be underneath your shoulders and your knees underneath your hips.

  • Inhale as you tuck your toes under your heels. Then exhale to lift your hips, coming into Downward Facing Dog.

  • Spread your fingers wide and lower your forearms to the mat. Check to make sure you're creating a straight line between your elbows and middle fingers.

  • Try to straighten your legs as much as you can. Your heels should be slightly wider than your toes, so the outside edges of your feet are parallel with the outside edges of the mat.

  • Relax your head between your arms, and direct your gaze through your legs or up toward your belly button. Hold for five breaths, before pushing back to Downward Facing Dog.

  • Take a few breaths to rest in Downward Dog, then move back to the Quarter Dog position. Flow back and forth for one minute.

from POPSUGAR Fitness

Be Wary of Chemicals: The Safest Sunscreens on the Market

Probably not something you want to think about when it's hot out, but according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the incidence of melanoma cases in both men and women has risen two percent every year from 2000 to 2009. Wearing sunscreen is an effective way to protect yourself, and aside from remembering to apply it, you also need to make sure the bottle you use is safe. The Environmental Working Group (EWG) has recently released its 2014 Sunscreen Guide; in order to make the list, a sunscreen must be free of oxybenzone and retinyl palmitate, must be broad spectrum (protect against both UVA and UVB rays), and not have an SPF above 50, be in the form of a spray, or combined with bug repellent.

What's wrong with oxybenzone? Although it does a great job of absorbing ultraviolet rays, some studies show that it can be absorbed through the skin and into the bloodstream. The EWG and toxicology experts believe this chemical can disrupt hormones, damage cells, and potentially lead to skin cancer. Other experts disagree, like the American Academy of Dermatology, since oxybenzone has been FDA-approved since 1978 for use in children older than 6 months.

Retinyl palmitate is another chemical to be leery of since animal studies show that this type of vitamin A may increase the risk of skin cancer when used on sun-exposed skin. The EWG says retinyl palmitate doesn't really increase the effectiveness of sunscreen, so it's a good idea to avoid.

Your bottle should also clearly state "broad spectrum," to ensure it protects against both UVA and UVB rays. SPF is also important, but the higher the number doesn't necessarily mean better protection. The EWG recommends purchasing sunscreens with SPFs higher than 15 but no greater than 50. The FDA doesn't have adequate data that shows sunscreens with an SPF higher than 50 offer greater protection, and many doctors argue that a higher number tricks people into thinking their sunscreen lasts longer than one with a lower SPF, causing them to reapply less often, so they're more at risk for burns. Also, SPF only refers to protection against UVB rays, the ones responsible for burning the skin. It doesn't have anything to do with protection against UVA rays that penetrate the skin deeper and can lead to skin cancer.

So what's a consumer to do? All it takes is a little label reading to find a sunscreen that is both effective and free of these chemicals. You can type in the brand of sunscreen you normally use and see how it stacks up, or check their full list of the top safest sunscreens. Here are some it recommends:

  • Alba Botanica Natural Very Emollient Sunblock, Fragrance Free, SPF 30 (paraben free)

  • All Terrain AquaSport Face Stick, SPF 28 (paraben-free)

  • Badger Broad Spectrum Sunscreen, Lavender, SPF 34 (paraben free)

  • Kiss My Face Natural Mineral Sunscreen with Hydresia, SPF 40 (paraben free)

  • Nature's Gate Aqua Block Sunscreen Lotion, SPF 50 (paraben free)

Using these properly is key to protecting your skin from harmful UV rays. Use at least two ounces (size of a shot glass) and reapply every two hours or after you've been sweating or swimming.

from POPSUGAR Fitness

Follow These Weight-Loss Tips to Get Gams Like Jessica Simpson

The Playlists That Keep Our Hearts Pumping Through Every Workout

Working out is always better with quality tunes. Putting together rocking playlists for everyone's taste and speed has never been so easy, thanks to Spotify. Here are some of our favorite mixes that keep us motivated through all of our workouts!

Source: Corbis Images

from POPSUGAR Fitness

Low-Calorie, No-Bake Brownies - They're Vegan, Too!

If Running a Half Marathon Is Your Goal, You Need This 6-Week Plan

Sure, you like to clear your head with a Saturday run, but do you scoff when someone calls you a runner? That's no reason to not sign up for a race, says Olympian and Suja spokesperson Nick Symmonds, who's currently getting runners ready for the upcoming Suja Rock 'N' Roll Marathon in San Diego. In fact, there's no need to be a serious runner to complete a race goal; as long as you run "on a semi-regular basis," he says, you can follow this six-week half-marathon plan with success. "The most important goal of all is to enjoy the process," Nick says. "Try to recognize that you are doing something new and exciting and also something that is good for your body." While Nick advises allotting longer amount of time to train if possible, this shortened plan is still perfect for a less-serious runner who seriously commits to these six weeks. If you've ever thought about signing up for a race, check out this doable race training plan below, and then get going!

Before you begin, remember these notes from Nick:

  • Jogging should be at a pace that is comfortable enough to maintain a conversation with running partners.

  • Running should be at a pace that is slightly uncomfortable and requires extra focus to maintain an honest pace.

  • Most runs are written in minutes. Run your own pace, and don't be overly concerned with how many miles you cover.

  • Long runs are written in miles. Take your time with them, and run them at your own pace.

  • For intervals, easy running should be slightly challenging but not too uncomfortable. Hard running should be very challenging.

  • Always make sure to listen to your body. Make sure to rest when your body tells you to. If you do not feel challenged enough, feel free to add cross training or weights to supplement the mileage.

  • On the day of competition, wake up at least two hours before race time and try and put faith in all the training that you have done!


Week 1

30-min jog20-min jogRest20-min jog30-min jog5-mile jogRest

Week 2

35-min jog10-min jog warmup, 8x1-min hard running with 1-min walk/jog recovery between intervals, 10-min jog cooldown20-min jog or rest as needed35-min jog10 min jog warmup, 10-min easy running, 10-min jog cooldown7-mile jogRest

Week 3

40-min jog10 min jog warmup, 4x2-min hard running with 2-min walk/jog recovery between intervals, 10-min cooldown30-min jog or rest as needed35-min jog10-min warm up, 15-min easy running, 10-min cooldown8-mile jogRest

Week 4

40-min jog10 min jog warmup, 3x3-min hard running with 2-min walk/jog recovery between intervals, 10-min jog cooldown30-min jog or rest as needed40-min jog10-min jog warmup, 2x10-min easy running with 3-min walk recovery between intervals, 10-min jog cooldown10-mile jogRest

Week 5

40-min jog10 min jog warmup, 3x4-min hard running with 2-min walk/jog recovery between intervals, 10-min jog cooldown35-min jog or rest if needed40-min jog10 min jog warmup, 20-min easy running, 10-min jog cooldown8-mile jogRest

Week 6

30-min jog10-min jog warmup, 2x5-min easy running with 2-min walk/jog recovery between intervals, 10-min jog cooldown30-min jog or rest as needed10 min jog warmup, 5x1-min hard running with 2-min walk/jog recovery between intervals, 10-min jog cooldownRest20-min jogRace Day!

from POPSUGAR Fitness

Ending Emotional Eating, and the Transformative Art of Self-Care: What is a Coping Mechanism?

self-careBinge eating as a form of stress relief isn't harmful because "it can make you fat;" it's harmful because it reinforces the pattern of addiction - seeking out external stimuli to serve as a release from stress, as opposed to dealing with stress head-on.

from A Black Girl's Guide To Weight Loss

The Very Best Defense Against PMS (No Drugs Needed)

Premenstrual syndrome (PMS) is a common ailment among women in their 20s and 30s - 75 percent of women suffer from symptoms. But life doesn't stop when PMS strikes, so it's essential to take matters into your own hands and deal with symptoms head on. Here's some of the best all-natural defense out there.

Source: Shutterstock

from POPSUGAR Fitness

Mastering the Art of Self-Negotiation

It happens to many – if not all of us at some point. You see an ad for pizza (insert other favorite non-Primal food) and find yourself fixated on a sudden and persistent craving. Most days you can look past it without much thought. Today is not one of those days. Sensory memory kicks into […]

from Mark's Daily Apple

Bikini Contest Prep- 6 Weeks Out Progress Pic're+Healthy+6+Weeks+Out+Progress+Pic.jpg

from Honey We're Healthy

Go For the Gold? Our Review of Freshology's Meal Plan

If you want to enjoy fresh, nutrient-rich meals but are unable (or unwilling) to cook, Freshology might be the solution to your kitchen woes. For $48 per day, Freshology will ship precooked meals (breakfast, lunch, dinner, and dessert) in temperature-controlled boxes straight to your door, and just as the name implies, everything is fresh and nothing arrives frozen. The shipment includes half a week of meals, plus nutritional information, heating instructions, and a guide that outlines the order of the meals. There's a variety of meal plans to choose from, including postnatal nutrition, gluten-free, and even a short-term high-protein, low-carb plan for weight loss.

Freshology provided me with three days of its Freshology Gold plan, a balanced program that aims to support a healthy lifestyle and sustainable weight loss. To learn my favorite parts of the program and see where there's room for improvement, check out my photo diary of my daily Freshology offerings.

from POPSUGAR Fitness

What Are You Afraid Of?

We’re gonna start this one with a story that I completely made up – but read it anyway. One day, Joe was at a restaurant with some friends. Since Joe is Paleo (not celiac, just paleo) he requests a gluten free menu and orders a steak, steamed broccoli and a Read more...

from The Paleo Diet - Robb Wolf on Paleolithic nutrition, intermittent fasting, and fitness

POPSUGAR Shout Out: Yep, It's Going to Be a Hot Summer

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Do-Anywhere Binkini Prep: Cardio and Strength Mashup

There are no excuses for skipping this 20-minute workout. With no equipment needed, you can do the latest installment of our Bikini Body Countdown plan anywhere. This quick but effective workout mixes classic cardio moves with bodyweight strength-training exercises to burn calories and build muscle. Print the workout, learn the moves below, and then get at it.

Directions: Repeat the workout twice. Cool down with five minutes of stretching.

0:00-1:00High kneesWarmup
1:00-2:00Lunge skipWarmup
2:00-3:00Lateral bunny hopWarmup
3:00-4:00Pilates scissorsCrunch and scissor your legs.
4:00-5:00Jumping jacksAdd some cross-jacks into the mix too.
5:00-6:00FroggerJump feet to outside of hands from plank.
6:00-7:00Lateral boundingJump from side to side.
7:00-8:00Push-up and rotateTwist to a side plank between push-up reps.
8:00-9:00Box toe touchesAlternate tapping toes on top of box or step.
9:00-10:00Tricep dipsUse a stair or box.
REPEATfor a total oftwo rounds

High Knees

  • Run in place while lifting your knees high to the level of your waist. Engage your abs as the knee comes up.

  • Pump your arms to warm up your upper body.

Lunge Skip

  • Come into a lunge with your right leg back. Swing your right leg forward to hop up on your left foot, and land softly back in a lunge.

  • Repeat for 30 seconds, then switch sides.

Lateral Bunny Hop

  • Make small jumps side to side as if you are jumping over an invisible line.

  • Keep your legs as close together as possible, and swing your arms to help you jump.

Pilates Scissors

  • Lie on your back, and lift your upper body off the floor so your shoulder blades hover.

  • Lift your right leg off the floor, and bring your left leg to 90 degrees, gently holding the left shin. Keep your upper body lifted as your switch, or scissor, your legs.

Jumping Jacks

  • Jump your legs out as you bring your hands overhead then jump back to standing.

  • Add in some cross jacks to work your inner thighs. Open your arms out to the sides as you jump your legs wide. Cross your feet as you jump your legs together while crossing your arms in front of your chest.


  • Begin in a plank position. Jump your feet to the outside of your hands coming into a deep squat, keeping your hands on the floor.

  • Jump your feet back to plank.

Lateral Bounding

  • Start in a shallow squat with your weight on your right foot, and leap sideways as far as you can go to the left landing on your left foot bringing the right foot to the left. Immediately reverse directions and jump to the right.

  • Continue jumping side to side.

Push-Up and Rotate

  • From a plank position perform a push-up. At the top of the push-up, rotate to the left coming into a side plank, reaching the right arm to the ceiling.

  • Return to the plank position, do another push-up, and rotate into side plank on the right.

Box Toe Touches

  • Using a box, step, book, or stool lightly tap your left toes to the box, then jump to switch feet brining the right toes up.

  • Continue alternating feet. No box? No worries. Hop from foot to foot aiming toes onto an imaginary step.

Triceps Dips

  • Place your hands on a step or floor with fingers facing you. Lift your pelvis off the ground.

  • Bend and straighten your elbows to work the back of your arms.

from POPSUGAR Fitness

Beat the Heat With a Raw Meal Plan You Can Whip Up in Minutes

Summer heat slowing you down? You don't have to resort to fast food or takeout. These fresh raw recipes will keep you feeling full of energy and your slimmest self, without the need to spend hours in a hot kitchen. Keep the stove off and your taste buds happy with these refreshing raw recipes you can make in a flash.

Source: Lizzie Fuhr, Heathful Pursuit, POPSUGAR Studios

from POPSUGAR Fitness

Pineapple mint popsicles

This post is sponsored by Blue Diamond Almond Breeze, my favorite almond milk. Read on for a refreshing and healthy summer treat idea Popsicles: one of the ultimate foods of summer. These popsicles are so refreshing, and the best part: only four ingredients! Aren’t those the best types of recipes? […]

from The Fitnessista

10 Foods Every Healthy Fridge Should Have

If you want to be healthier and lose weight, a fridge makeover may be just what you need. Keeping powerful perishables on hand will help you make a smart choice when you're tired, busy, or just craving junk. Stock up on these 10 foods and watch the pounds melt away.

Source: Thinkstock / olesiabilkei

from POPSUGAR Fitness

Motivational T-Shirts to Keep You Treading On

Pull motivation from your own closet with t-shirts that are fit for an active lifestyle. There's a little something for everyone - from the runner to the cyclist - when it comes to positive phrases that help lift you up. Click through to see the kinds of words that will help keep you going.

from POPSUGAR Fitness

The Secret to Amazing Abs

According to celeb trainer Gunnar Peterson, the secret to awesome abs is "working consistently, working in different planes of motion, and adding weights to your abdominal work." Take this advice to heart - here are a handful of exercises that put these principles into action using a set of dumbbells or a medicine ball. Incorporate a few of these exercises into your next workout to really kick your abs into action.

Source: Shutterstock

from POPSUGAR Fitness

Confused About Sunscreen? What to Know Before Buying Your Next Bottle

With the recent release of the 2014 Sunscreen Guide from the Environmental Working Group (EWG), you might be confused as to how to choose the right sunscreen and whether the bottle you own now is safe and effective. Buying sunscreen shouldn't cause you to break out in a cold sweat, so here are a few simple yet important things to look for when it comes to sunscreen.


The number on your bottle stands for sun protection factor, and believe it or not, a higher number doesn't equal more protection. The EWG recommends purchasing sunscreens with SPFs higher than 15 but no greater than 50. Studies show that sunscreens with an SPF higher than 50 don't offer greater protection, and many doctors argue that a higher number makes many people think a sunscreen lasts longer than one with a lower SPF, causing them to reapply less often, so they're more at risk for burns.

Broad Spectrum

UVB rays are responsible for burning as well as tanning your skin and are the main culprit responsible for skin cancer. And while UVA rays won't cause a sunburn, they penetrate your skin more deeply, leading to signs of aging including wrinkles, saggy and leathery skin, and sun spots. It's important to protect yourself from both types of UV rays, so look for bottles that say "broad spectrum" or "broad spectrum UVA/UVB."

Water Resistance

If your sunshiny adventures include water or sweating a lot, then definitely choose a sunscreen that's water-resistant. Know that these aren't waterproof - they'll only protect you about 40 to 80 minutes in the water, so you'll need to reapply each time you take a dip.

Chemicals to Avoid

  • Oxybenzone: Although it does a great job of absorbing ultraviolet rays, some studies show that it can be absorbed through the skin and into the bloodstream. The EWG and toxicology experts believe this can disrupt hormones, damage cells, and potentially lead to skin cancer.

  • Retinyl palmitate: Animal studies show this type of vitamin A may increase the risk of skin cancer when used on sun-exposed skin. And since the EWG says retinyl palmitate doesn't really increase the effectiveness of sunscreen, it's a good idea to avoid it.

  • Parabens: The most widely used preservative in cosmetic products, parabens are used to protect against microbial growth. Parabens can act similarly to the hormone estrogen, which is known to play a role in the development of breast cancers, and even though this chemical has been found in breast tumors, the FDA has yet to link it as a contributing factor to cancer. Since the jury is still out on how parabens affect the body, it's best to be on the safe side and avoid them.

Safe Sunscreen Recommendations

What you really want to know now is which sunscreens you should buy, right? Here are a few safe and effective recommendations that score highest on the EWG scale of best sunscreens and are also paraben-free:

  • Alba Botanica Natural Very Emollient Sunblock, Fragrance Free, SPF 30

  • All Terrain AquaSport Face Stick, SPF 28

  • Badger Broad Spectrum Sunscreen, Lavender, SPF 34

  • Kiss My Face Natural Mineral Sunscreen With Hydresia, SPF 40

  • Nature's Gate Aqua Block Sunscreen Lotion, SPF 50


The combo sunscreen and bug repellants seem like a great way to kill two birds with one stone, but they should be avoided since bugs may not even be an issue during the hours when UV rays are the strongest. Also, sunscreen may need to be reapplied more often than bug repellent, or visa versa. It's also not a good idea to apply the chemicals found in bug repellant to your face.

Another cool sunscreen gimmick are spray-ons. They may seem easier to apply, especially to hard-to-reach areas like your back, but they don't offer the coverage lotions do since it's difficult to see where and how much you've applied. Sprays and powdered sunscreens also pose the risk of inhalation, so go for one of the regular lotions mentioned above. Use about a shot-glass-size amount, and apply 30 minutes before heading out in the sun. Don't forget to reapply every two hours and after swimming or sweating.

from POPSUGAR Fitness

7 Weight-Loss Tips That Work

HIIT Scorcher

Hi guys! How’s your day going so far? We have liiiiiiife. I’m so stoked that our little herb garden has started to sprout! (I think it’s because nana was here and she has the magic touch. I figured out what her secret is, though: she had Livi talking to the […]

from The Fitnessista

Beyond Sugar and Soda: Nutritional Cures for Damaged Teeth

This is another special guest post from our favorite study-dismantler, Denise Minger. Read all of her previous Mark’s Daily Apple articles here, here, here, here, and here, pay her website a visit, and grab a copy of her new book Death by Food Pyramid: How Shoddy Science, Sketchy Politics and Shady Special Interests Ruined Your […]

from Mark's Daily Apple

How to Get Abs Like a Rock-Climber (Even If You're Afraid of Heights!)

Want abs like a rock climber? Learn how to do this pro move from our friends at Self.

There isn't a chick in the climbing gym who doesn't give ultimate respect to 21-year-old climber Sasha DiGiulian. The world champion climber has her sights set on conquering the world's current hardest rated multipitch in Northern Spain this Summer, and she's already scaled heights in 32 countries as random and crazy as the Red Bull Arena's soccer stadium in Harrison, New Jersey.

"When you control your mind, you control your movement and ability to scale climbs that otherwise may have been seemingly impossible," says DiGiulian, who entered her first competition at age 8. "Through climbing I have really learned the necessity to live a determined life derived from an overarching passion." Gotta say, we're totally inspired by her focus and passion at such a young age.

Her sport requires all-over body strength, including core, shoulders, arms and (of course!) finger strength. Instead of working her core with standard planks and crunches, DiGiulian loves doing L-raises from a pull-up bar. Makes sense - the movement is more similar to climbing than any any of your standard core moves. Feel like getting off the ground for your abwork? Give this tough hanging move a try!

The Move: L-Raises

Using a pull-up or gymnastics bar, hang in pull-up position. Keeping your legs straight, hinge at the hips so that your legs come up to make an "L" shape with your body. Do 10 L-raises. Repeat three times.

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Source: Taylor Galloway / Red Bull Content Pool

from POPSUGAR Fitness

Guilt-Free Popsicles Just in Time For the Summer

Whether you're trying to get in shape for bikini season or you just prefer lighter fare for snacks and dessert, these healthy popsicle recipes will leave you refreshed and ready for warmer weather.

Sources: Lauren Hendrickson and Jenny Sugar

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POPSUGAR Shout Out: Sensational Summer Switch-Ups

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

A Bikini Combo Workout: Quick Cardio and Kick-Ass Abs

Today's workout in our Bikini Body Countdown is a fun calorie-burning, ab-toning session. And it only takes 30 minutes. Start with 20 minutes on the treadmill, playing with both speed and incline (or try this elliptical workout). Then end your sweat session with 10 minutes of hard-core ab work! You've been working hard all month, so this quick workout is more about maintenance. Keep it up!

Treadmill Workout: 20 Minutes



































Ab Workout: 10 Minutes

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Morning Workouts For When You're Really Running Late

The best time to work out is anytime you'll actually do it, so if you can't seem to get it together and not hit the snooze in the morning, don't despair. Instead, get yourself ready and excited for the day with these short workouts that you can do even when you're pressed for time - each of them takes five minutes or less.

Source: Thinkstock / kosmos111

from POPSUGAR Fitness

Livi’s toddler room

Finally made some progress with the little lady’s toddler room! When we first moved in, I wasn’t quite sure what to do about decorating Liv’s room because I knew at some time or another it would be time to switch from the crib to a bigger bed. Her favorite color […]

from The Fitnessista

Yes, Eggs Can Be a Healthy (Homemade) To-Go Breakfast

If you think egg breakfasts can only happen on relaxed mornings, guess again. All six of these handheld breakfasts can be made in advance and grabbed from the freezer or fridge when you're in a rush. With these recipes in your repertoire, you'll never have to skip a hearty breakfast on a busy morning again!

Photo: Lizzie Fuhr

from POPSUGAR Fitness

The Beginner's Guide to Running

When you want to start running, there's nothing worse than slipping on your brand-new sneaks and setting out full speed, only to be out of breath a mere minute later. Stay motivated and encouraged by following these steps instead. Whether you're more used to the couch than the treadmill or you've been on a long running hiatus, these tips will help you run continuously and with confidence.

  1. Check with your doc: If you've never run before, it's important to make sure that there aren't any underlying conditions that will make it unsafe for you to start. Schedule a physical and go over your plans for running with your doctor so she can sign off or give you any recommendations regarding exercise.

  2. Don't just buy any shoe: There are tons of cute sneakers out there, but just because a pair has your favorite color combination doesn't mean it's right for your foot. Instead of blindly shopping online for what looks the best, take time to go to a specialty running-shoe store to get your gait analyzed. They'll also measure your foot to get the right size, since sometimes running-shoe sizes need to be bigger than your normal shoe size. Even if you don't buy from the shoe store, you'll know which brands and what kind of shoe to look for elsewhere.

  3. Sign up for a short race: If you're new to running, you should find a beginner-friendly race that'll keep you accountable and help you chart your progress. Fun runs like The Color Run and 5Ks are perfect ways to get excited about running and having a good time while you're at it.

  4. Have a plan: If you've signed up for a 5K, be sure to also find a beginner's 5K plan (like the Couch to 5K app) that will ease you into running. If you just want to be able to run for 30 minutes straight, this eight-week beginner running plan is made for you.

  5. Walk it out: If you've never run or it's been awhile, you're going to have to work your way up to a sustained jog. So instead of overexerting yourself straining to run a mile, start out with smaller goals, like running nonstop for one to five minutes and then walking a little until you catch your breath.

  6. Stick to a schedule: If you're serious about becoming a runner, practice makes perfect. You won't see improvements unless you are consistent. Try to fit in at least three runs a week to see improvements before you know it.

  7. Go with a friend: A friend with a similar or slightly faster pace can help you push yourself as you get better at your hobby. Plus, starting a new exercise routine with someone who's similarly motivated will keep you accountable on those days you just want to skip. If your friends aren't as enthusiastic about running as you are, keep an eye out for beginner running clubs at shoe stores, gyms, or your local community center.

  8. Stretch after every run: Many aches and pains can be prevented with a little prehab. To keep your muscles from being tight, make sure you stretch after every run with these cooldown stretches in order to help with muscle soreness and to loosen tight areas that can pull your joints and cause injury.

from POPSUGAR Fitness

7 Tips For Bikini Confidence - No Diet Required!

The following post was written by Jenni K., who blogs at Fitzala and is part of POPSUGAR Select Fitness.

It can be hard to stay confident during the season that we're most exposed. But it doesn't have to be! Stay positive with these tips below.

Make a List of All the Things You Love About Your Body

If you're bashing on yourself for not being perfect, it's harder to see what you love about your body. Write out 10 things you love about your body, like "I love my strong legs that carry me on beautiful runs" or "I love my arms that let me carry lots of shopping bags."

Bronze Yourself (Safely)

Sunless tanning lotion has come a long way since the orange smelly days of the past. A light glow helps hide skin imperfections as well as makes you look a bit slimmer. Just make sure to exfoliate and shave beforehand and scrub your palms afterward.

Get a Cute Cover-Up

A breezy cover-up will not only protect you from the sun's harmful rays, but it might also make you a bit more comfortable when you're playing on the beach or hanging out with friends. Choose one that's light in color yet thick enough to keep you from burning.

Eat Well

Eating quality food that makes you feel good is important. Choose meats, healthy fats, and lots of seasonal veggies. This will help your skin glow, flush out excess water, and nourish your body with vitamins and minerals. A big pasta dinner often leads to bloating and water retention.

Limit Alcohol

It's always fun to have a fruity drink by the water, but too many will only make you retain fluids or potentially gain weight. Stick to one, or fake it with club soda and lemon.

Get Your Sweat On

Regular exercise boosts your mood and keeps you in shape. Not to mention the laundry list of physical and emotional benefits that have nothing to do with size.

Focus on Fun

When you're with your friends in a bikini, just stop worrying about what you look like. It's easier said than done, but try to focus on what you're doing and the people around you instead of yourself. You'll end up forgetting about your insecurities and having a great time!

from POPSUGAR Fitness

A Battle Workout Worthy of Game of Thrones

Who isn't inspired by fancy sword play? Game of Thrones serves up a serious amount of combat, and you too can battle your way fit like your favorite king slayer with the ViPR, a favorite fitness tool for trainers everywhere. We took a lesson in sparring, using the heavy rubber tubes, from Equinox trainer Natania Goldberg. Press play to learn the epic exercises.

from POPSUGAR Fitness

5 Ways to Stop Stress in Under 5 Minutes

When you're on a deadline and pressed for time, it's easy for stress to sneak in and take hold. The first thing to do is to close your eyes and take a few deep belly breaths, but unfortunately, that's not always enough to bring your mind back to center. Luckily, it can sometimes only take five minutes to change the course of your day and stop a crazed mind in its tracks.

  1. Take a short walk: A change of pace and a little sunshine do wonders for a tired mind. Even if it feels like a luxury to step away from the office, fresh air and a little movement make a huge difference in your mood and energy. Five minutes outside and away from your project allows you to return with a refreshed, calmer perspective.

  2. Move through a short yoga session: You might not have time for a 60- or 90-minute yoga class on a busy day, but five minutes of yoga at home is better than no yoga at all! This straightforward five-minute sequence is full of energizing postures to help you relax and stay focused.

  3. Grab a cup of peppermint tea: A warm cup of hot tea is one of the oldest tricks in the book, but some varieties can help more than others; in a NASA-funded study, researchers found that during a stressful commute, subjects who smelled peppermint decreased their anxiety and fatigue levels by 20 percent and decreased frustration by 25 percent. If you can, enjoy your drink away from your desk.

  4. Stretch at your desk: After sitting at a desk for hours on end, stress can rear its head in the form of pesky tension in your lower back, neck, and shoulders. When you feel your body tighten up, try out these three easy stretches you can do inconspicuously while sitting at your desk.

  5. Call your mom (or a close friend): If you feel stress or anxiety spiking when you're alone, you'll be surprised to learn that some of the best medicine available is calling your mom. One study found that hearing your mother's voice helps the body <ahref=";>release oxytocin, a hormone that combats stress. If you typically find yourself more anxious than calm after chatting with Mom, dial a close friend instead.

from POPSUGAR Fitness

Eat Up! You Can Lose Weight Without Skipping Meals

7 Nighttime Rituals to Help You Unwind, Relax, and Chill Out (That Don’t Involve Alcohol)

Last week, I shared my evolving relationship with alcohol. I’m off it, basically. A big change has been at night; a glass or two of wine with Carrie used to be my nighttime ritual. It would help me unwind from a stressful day, relax and reconnect with my wife, and get me ready for bed. […]

from Mark's Daily Apple

Homemade acai bowls

Along with the handful of bases where we’ve been stationed, there’s also a corresponding food that will bring back fond memories of that assignment. Despite the glorious Southern food that we were surrounded with, our Valdosta food was Indian cuisine: soaked up with fresh naan and enjoyed with our close […]

from The Fitnessista

5 Fast Vegetarian Dinners to Remedy Your Meat Hangover

If your Memorial Day Monday was decidedly less than meatless, you may be in the mood for something that wasn't butchered, marinated, and charred on the grill. Here are five quick vegetarian meals (that take less than 30 minutes to make) for dinner tonight!

Spinach Veggie Wraps

Source: POPSUGAR User prepel

These spinach, barley, and veggie wraps need only a few minutes - and ingredients - to prepare. You can add veggies and spices to your liking; these wraps would be delicious served alongside a comforting bowl of soup.

Broccoli and White Bean Soup

Source: Gen Y Foodie

Speaking of, want something hearty and creamy without all the calories? Try this broccoli and white bean soup - it's filling, fast, and only 125 calories!

Kale and Edamame Salad

Source: Shockingly Delicious

Nothing says detox quite like a bowl of kale. The addition of chickpeas, edamame, mint, cranberries, and basil ensures your taste buds will be satisfied with this kale and edamame bistro salad.

Skinny Spaghetti in White Wine Sauce

Photo: Lizzie Fuhr

This low-calorie recipe for spaghetti in white wine sauce from The Skinny Bitch cookbook is a comforting way to ease back into your routine after a long weekend. At under 230 calories per serving, it's a guilt-free way to enjoy a hearty dinner.

Cucumber Avocado Caprese Salad

Photo: Jenny Sugar

The hard part in this refreshing cucumber avocado caprese salad recipe is the chopping; after that, just give your veggies a toss in a tangy balsamic vinaigrette, and enjoy immediately.

from POPSUGAR Fitness

POPSUGAR Shout Out: Wait, We Actually Wanna Marry "Harry"

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Monday, May 26, 2014

Some Memorial Day Weekend Pics

Hope you all had a beautiful and relaxing day! We spent the morning camped out at the beach -and took our breakfast there for a little picnic- and then met up with Whitney and her family for lunch at OB Noodle House. My camera ended up staying in my bag […]

from The Fitnessista

Bikini Contest Prep (6 Weeks Out) My Daily Meals're+Healthy+Meals.1173.jpg

from Honey We're Healthy

Vegan, Gluten-Free, and Under 300 Calories: Polenta and Beans

Memorial Day + BBQ recipe ideas

Hi guys <3 Hope that those of you who are off from work today are enjoying a relaxing holiday. The girls (dogs included) have all enjoyed having the man of the house around again. We’ve been enjoying ice cream dates, dinner on the patio, and beachside walks. It’s been a […]

from The Fitnessista

Press Play and Move! Sweat With a Four-Part Video Plan

If you're following our Bikini Body Countdown, then you know that today is your rest day! However, if you're not on our plan or just jonesing for a fresh workout, it's time to press play (well . . . four times) with a 40-minute workout. Kick off your holiday on the right note with this plan that's a compilation of a few of our favorite 10-minute routines. Get ready to jump, skip, lift, dance, and punch your way through an awesome sweat session.

Source: Shutterstock

from POPSUGAR Fitness

How Jessica Simpson Reached Her Goal Weight

After two back-to-back pregnancies, Jessica Simpson hasn't been shy about her weight struggles. "I gained a lot of weight," she's said of her first pregnancy. "More than I thought I would. And when it came time to try to take it off, it felt overwhelming." So now that she's getting ready for her upcoming wedding and had her second baby last year, she's been working hard to get to her goal weight. Her secret? Weight Watchers, of course - she's a spokesperson for the brand - as well as trainer Harley Pasternak. Let Jessica motivate you to get going on your own goals with her inspiring workout selfies and tips from her trainer.

Source: Getty

from POPSUGAR Fitness

More Is Not Better: Why 100 Reps Is a Bad Idea

If you think doing 100 reps is a good idea, you might be wrong. Our friends at Shape share why.

Repetition may be the mother to mastery, but when it comes to excessive reps in fitness, the cons may outnumber the pros.

As a fitness professional, I can respect the mental strength and positive behavioral change that an individual may acquire from performing 100 or more repetitions in a row. And performing 100 crunches every morning may provide you with a gratifying feeling of accomplishment, plus bragging rights at parties. However, in the end, more is not necessarily better, for two key reasons:

1. You sacrifice form. With any exercise, form is imperative to achieving results in a safe and functional manner - and generally speaking, people who are focused only on hitting the number 100 are not using proper form. This causes a shift from the targeted muscles to others, which can risk injury. Doing an exercise 100 times in a row is also associated with the idea that to build the most amount of lean muscle, one must train to complete exhaustion or failure. Some may then assume that this type of training builds muscle faster while decreasing fat, but that won't happen if you aren't doing an exercise properly. While I admit that I have trained to failure before, I focused on technique and only did eight to 12 reps.

RELATED: Seven Surprising Signs You're Setting Yourself Up For Workout Burnout

2. You create imbalance in the body. Performing 100 crunches may help to strengthen the anterior (frontal portion) of your body. However, to have a balanced and symmetrical frame, you should spend more time adding in moves that work both sides of the body. In the case of crunches, the disservice that you are doing to your body by overlooking your posterior chain can wreak havoc on your lower back when you are sitting at your desk.

I like to look at your body like a bank account. Making smart deposits into your body with proper technique, protocols, and rest will result in healthy dividends being paid out. Poor deposits or investments will result in unhealthy future. When you train with 100 reps, you place too much stress on your joints, which results in pain, inflammation, and injury.

from POPSUGAR Fitness

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Active Rest Day = Backyard Barbecue Fun

You've made it to Memorial Day, the unofficial start of Summer, working out with our Bikini Body Countdown. Today is a rest day! Give your body a day off to recuperate and recharge, but your recovery will be faster if you keep active. Really! So take advantage of the backyard fun that comes with barbecues.

  • Hula hoop: work your middle laughing and hooping. Everyone can appreciate the challenge of keeping the hoop in motion.

  • Badminton: it's an Olympic sport and surprisingly easy to play. You can make it as chill or aggressive as you want.

  • Frisbee: it's so easy to bring a frisbee to any type of BBQ and so fun to play. Beyond just tossing one around, you can also organize an Ultimate Frisbee game if you have space.

from POPSUGAR Fitness

Keep Going and Going and Going: How to Increase Your Endurance

Signing up for a distance race is exciting! But if the length's got you worried, it's good to know that endurance is a skill. Just the act of exercising regularly will help you be able to become stronger and exercise for longer, but there are specific ways you can help your body during vigorous or long-lasting workouts. Here are five tips to help build your endurance.

Source: Thinkstock / fatchoi

from POPSUGAR Fitness

Refreshing Summer Side: Sweet and Sour Cucumbers

9 Reasons Summer Is Making You Fat

It's sunny and gorgeous, gardens and grocery stores are bursting with fresh fruits and veggies, you're spending lots of time outside, but you seem to be putting on weight. What gives? If pounds are piling on this Summer, here are nine reasons why.

  1. Ugh, it's too hot to run: Heat and humidity are brutal, so if you can't summon the get-up-and-go to exercise outside, that's what air-conditioned gyms and swimming pools are for.

  2. You could really go for a cold one right about now: Whether it's an ice-cold beer, lemonade, or margarita, all those chilly drinks are full of calories. Keep these drinks to a minimum and drink ice water or seltzer whenever you're parched.

  3. Another barbecue? Sure: If you're invited to a barbecue every weekend, it's tough to say no to all those yummy grilled foods. To save calories, go easy on the beer, chips and dip, potato salad, and ribs. Instead, load up your plate with fresh or roasted veggies and a vegetarian or turkey burger without the cheese and bun.

  4. I scream, you scream, we all scream for . . . : If you have fond childhood memories of the ice cream truck, that catchy little jingle makes your mouth water thinking about Chocolate Eclairs, Orange Creamsicles, and Giant King Cones. If you can't resist running after the ice cream truck or hitting the local ice cream parlor after dinner, choose lower-calorie treats like fruit bars or sorbet.

  5. Outdoor seating at restaurants call to you: Eating outside on an adorable patio with the Summer breeze and twinkling candles is fun and romantic, but if you're eating out more, you're most likely also consuming more calories. To keep tabs on your calorie intake, stick to eating out once a week and cook the rest of your healthy meals at home.

  6. It's sacrilegious to go to a carnival or ball game and pass on the Summer treats: Cotton candy, candy apples, funnel cake, corn dogs, hot dogs, sausage sandwiches, soft pretzels, curly fries - you just gained a pound thinking about all that. Make a rule to enjoy one treat per outing, or better yet, share it with someone else.

  7. Busy Summer schedules: Even if you're on the go from the beach to barbecues, with a little bit of planning, you can still fit in a quick workout and enjoy some healthy meals and 150-calorie snacks like these.

  8. It's 9 p.m. and it's still light out!: Longer days mean staying up, which can often lead to late-night snacking. Instead of grabbing cookies or chips, leave containers of cut-up fruit or nonfat Greek yogurt in the fridge that you can nosh on.

  9. Hey, you're on vacation: When you're living the good life on some exotic beach, you should definitely live it up a little. Just don't go overboard on the cocktails and all-you-can-eat buffets. Keep things balanced by finding fun ways to stay active such as taking a bike tour of the city, snorkeling, or doing a yoga class at the spa.

from POPSUGAR Fitness

10 Minutes to Tone: The Ultimate Bikini-Bottom Workout

It's time to focus on your backside! This 10-minute workout will tone and shape your butt so you can rock your bikini bottoms, short shorts, and clingy dresses all Summer long. No equipment is needed, so press play and get ready to sculpt your booty.

from POPSUGAR Fitness