Health + Fitness

The Science of Less

Wake up with a big ol’ blemish on your cheek? After an inital ugh, you probably rush-order a new cream to nix it. But you may have overlooked an easy solve: skipping an irritating product. That’s right ,your brain is wired to ask “What can I add?” to find a shortcut in any situation, beauty-related or not. Research confirms it: When seeking a solution our first instinct is to add something to the equation instead of removing something, according to University of Virginia research published in Nature. Unfortunately, this auto-wiring is likely working against you. The fix, according to the study authors, is to prime yourself for “slow thinking.” When participants solving a brain teaser had more time to ponder all the options, they realized the value of taking away pieces. So next time you’re aiming to improve a sitch, ask, “What can I subtract?” By finally cancelling that time-suck meeting, for instance, you could find yourself with more work completed in fewer hours. Big plus!

Sweat Test: FightCamp Boxing

A stronger bod and mind are in the (high-tech) bag.

Sweating from home pushed me to try fitness routine I wouldn’t have felt confident enough to try in person, which was fun. But there was only one that stuck long term: boxing with FightCamp, the interactive home workout that feels *almost* like being in a real match. My obsession started on Instagram, where the brand’s shadowboxing live classes became my go-to whenever I deemed the weather imperfect for running. After discovering trainers I vibed with virtually, I longed for more competition and challenge and purchased the full FightCamp equipment set—a smart boxing bag, mat, and gloves that you use along with on-demand workouts—to add to my home gym.

As I’ve been punching it out over hte past few months, I’ve come to a few cardio-induced conclusions. I can see why boxing is a fave of celebs like Halle Berry and Taraji P. Henson; it’s empowering, cathartic, and an abs-olute blast. Initially, I noticed more definition in my arms and back, but over time I punched/smacked/kicked my way to more energy and less stress. Join me in “the ring,” won’t you?…

Color Me Conversational

Rocking an attention-grabbing look helped me ease back into social interactions after a hiatus. You, too, can spark the small talk you’ve been missing—and love every single chat.

“Did you plug yourself in?” a snowboarder on the mountaintop shouted at me with a joking smile. It was the first of many comments (like “Whoa, you’ll never get lost!”) about my outfit—a highlighter-orange jacket and matching pants I’d bought to stand out in photos —that prompted friendly discussion and witty comebacks from a safe distance. After a year of little pleasantries, getting three days of playful interaction at Telluride Ski Resort in Colorado in March felt as energizing as the hue that was covering my body. I hadn’t realized it when I bought my snowsuit, but I’d found a way to invite strangers to say hello. “Bright, eye-catching, unusual colors invite social attention. It’s the opposite of being a wallflower and trying to blend in,” says Chloe Carmichael, PhD, a clinical psychologist and Women’s Health advisory board member. “It signals a willingness to interact.” Intentional, no. Awesome, yes...

Move of the Month: Wind Up

This seriously cool core crusher recruits all the muscles.

Why we love it: Feeling unsteady lately? Stability can be hard to come by—literally and figuratively. We’ve got you covered with the kettlebell windmill, which hits your entire core while engaging major lower- and upper-body muscles. “It’s one of the best moves,” says WH advisory board member Lauren Kanski, CPT. “This rotational exercise works many parts of your body as a unit.” Nail it and you’ll be ready to take on anything. Don’t be surprised if your obliques start popping too!

The Adventure Issue

Vantage Point: Romance Rescue

A safety course prepped news writer Jennifer Nied for a lifetime of exhilaration.

As soon as we heard “Avalanche!” my husband, Jeff, and I jumped into action, snowboarding down the slope to rescue a buried target. My heart was racing. This adrenaline-charged event was in stark contrast to our working at a shared desk for the better part of a year. Days had blurred together, and to be honest, we’d started to annoy each other. (Why must the table shake with each keystroke?) Cabin fever prompted us to sign up for the safety course at Bluebird Backcountry in Colorado. I expected to leave with a better handle on SOS situations, but surprisingly, I came away with a fresh perspective on my husband as well. “You see yourself and your partner in a new light when you develop skills,” says Chloe Carmichael, PhD, a clinical psychologist and WH advisor. After two days of practice, my husband had the fastest time. But it was about more than bragging rights—his speed meant he could save my life too. Now, back at home, we display a photo of our drill to remind us that we’re a strong team, even when typing away (loudly!) on our solo missions.

Hands Full

Hiking is a fire cardio workout by itself, but a pair of trekking poles will help you reach new heights. Walking with these fancy sticks will make the effort feel easier, substantially reduce strain on your joints, and improve balance…

See Clearly

PSA: Some people’s brains naturally tend to remember an unpleasant finale more than the journey, says a November Journal of Neuroscience study. So when a thing ends badly, your noggin may log the event as “Retreat! Danger!”…

A Course in Calm

If you’re feeling frazzled, Nervous Energy, a book by WH advisory board member Chloe Carmichael, PhD, is here for you. In it you’ll score tools to help you achieve the good (a.k.a. chill) life. Exhibit A…

Rethink your routines and care for yourself in brand-new ways after a year of flux. So ready!

New Year who dis? A seismic shift hit 2020 (to say the least) and reverberated through all of us. It threw our priorities and goals and day-to-day habits into a high-speed blender. The topsy-turvy time also offered up an opportunity to reset, embrace the unexpected, and figure out how to keep going. Would 2019 you recognize the 2020 version?

Maybe not, but it’s okay. Out went packed race corrals and after-work happy hours. In came pure joy, sweating in unfamiliar ways, and treating your mental health with real TLC. Resettling into the new world was a bit scary at first, but now: The silver linings are everywhere.

Take these trends, turn ’em into goals, and soon, you’ll have your own breakthroughs to FaceTime with friends about in 2021. Try one, two…or all of them. New you, indeed.

Blaze A New Trail

Millions of women are trading pavement for paths and reaping extra benefits. Here, your guide to taking runs off the road and into the wild.

  • Safety First: Every trail-happy runner needs these smart tips.
  • Fuel Rules: Your bod needs more sustenance when running off-road compared with on-, due to the obstacles you’re maneuvering around…
  • Stride Right: Three simple ways you can tweak your form to get the most out of your miles.

‘Riverdale’s’ Camila Mendes’ Workouts Include Pilates, Yoga, And Solo Gym Sessions

Riverdale’s Camila Mendes sand-boarded her way through her Women’s Health October issue cover shoot looking like a total natural. That’s probably because she swears by a mix of eclectic workouts that keep her super-fit and ready for anything.

Camila tells Women’s Health she caught the workout bug at 15, when she started joining her mom at the gym. “I just started working out and loved it,” she says…

Julianne Hough Invented Kinrgy, The SoulCycle Of Dance

Julianne Hough’s list of accolades is already quite impressive: award-winning dancer, America’s Got Talent judge, Dancing with the Stars pro and judge, mountain climber, singer. Next up for Julianne: fitness entrepreneur, according to her recent interview with Women’s Health for its Naked Strength issue.

Julianne’s method is focused on dance, natch. She developed Kinrgy (kin as in family and kinesthetic, plus energy) to encourage others to move freely and feel transformed, too…

What’s The Enneagram Test? Plus What To Do With Your Results

If you spend enough time on Instagram, you’ll soon realize that there’s a new trend in town: the Enneagram test. At its most basic, the Enneagram is a personality typing tool (à la Meyers-Briggs) that distills your behaviors, thinking patterns, and feelings into a numerical “type”…

Doctors Are Flocking To TikTok To Spread The Word About Fertility, Sex Ed, And More

If you’ve watched Grey’s Anatomy and thought, wow this would be so much better if the doctors started breaking it down, you’re in luck. Doctors are doing double duty dancing and dishing out credible medical info on TikTok.

That’s right: M.D.s and D.O.s are taking to the new-ish platform to teach users about specific mental and physical health conditions and spread awareness on timely topics…

Should You Work From Home Amid The Novel Coronavirus Pandemic?

 There are simple ways to switch up your routine to keep yourself healthy, starting with remote work during the COVID-19 outbreak—something that employers should already be considering, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)…

Health + Fitness Continued…

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