Fitbie Burn fat in less time with fitness tips, weight loss plans, exercises, and healthy eating tips you need to get fit and have the body you want from Fitbie. diet and fitness weight tips nutrition tips exercise tips fitness plans exercise plans weight lifting cardio diet Copyright © 2014 Rodale Inc. "Fitbie" is a register trademark of Rodale, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Thu, 30 Oct 2014 18:56:13 -0400 Thu, 30 Oct 2014 18:56:13 -0400 Fitbie Find: Lululemon All Sport Bra Blog entry Thu, 30 Oct 2014 17:35:09 -0400 Fitbie
Sports Bra

I think it's safe to say that if there's one piece of fitness gear that a lady really relies on -- that's her sports bra. With all that moving and bopping, if the girls aren't supported and things are moving all over the place, then it's easy to become distracted and have a subpar workout. That's why we can't get enough of today's #FitbieFind, the All Sport Bra from Lululemon.

More from Fitbie: What It's Really Like Working Out With Big Boobs (PHOTOS)

In short ... it's magical. From yoga class to that 4-miler on your favorite trail, this bra has the perfect straps and cup structure to provide fabulous support without feeling too strapped down. (Bigger-chested girls, you know what we're talking about.) Plus, the wide straps have soft edges to eliminate bothersome digging in, and the bra totes flat seams that help reduce chafing in those delicate underarm areas. There's something to be said about a sports bra that just feels right, and this editor-tested gem is just that.

What else we love:

• Pockets for removable cups

• Available in 14 different colors and patterns

The Details: Lululemon All Sport Bra, $52,

UP NEXT: The Ultimate Sports Bra Guide for Women With Big Boobs

A Blind Runner's Emotional Journey to the 2014 New York City Marathon Blog entry Thu, 30 Oct 2014 17:07:40 -0400 Fitbie
Michele Gonzalez and John Chan

Training for a marathon no matter if you're a veteran or a newbie isn't easy. Now imagine running for that amount of time without being able to see the mile markers, water stations, dangerous potholes, or anything else along the route. That's exactly what Staten Island native and legally blind 50-year-old John Chan will be doing November 2 as he takes on the New York City Marathon -- with a guide. "It will be the first time I get to see, or should I say feel, New York, without getting lost in the massive crowds, as I did in the past, so it will be a new experience."
Chan was diagnosed with congenital nystagmus as a young child and wasn't able to participate in contact sports like football or baseball because of his deteriorating eyesight. Instead he chose to run, but by his mid-20s he was legally blind. Despite his worsened condition, he refused to give up his passion and figured out how to train safely.  "I usually run on the same course that I memorized from many repeated runs," says Chan. "I use landmarks or wide sidewalks if possible, that are fully lit, if I run at night."

More from Fitbie: Why Cross-Training is Great for Runners (VIDEO)

Fellow marathoner Michele Gonzalez will be his eyes along the marathon course this year, or his "shadow" as he refers to her. "Michele will be my shadow in front or by my side," says Chan. "To help me navigate the roads, run around bumps and tell me when we hit mile markers and water stations."
The pair met after John read Gonzalez's blog and was inspired by her. "I was amazed at how she was able to run fast splits, workout and race well with a family and the full schedule she has" says Chan "I actually use her as an example to some of my non-running friends who say they don't have the time to exercise." 
On Sunday, he will have the help of Gonzalez to finish his, get this, 13th marathon, hoping to clock in around 3 hours, 55 minutes. His personal best? An astounding 3 hours, 28 minutes.  "My goal would have been 3 hours, 38 minutes or faster, but I'm running the first 13.1 with the four other members of the Foot Locker 5 Borough Challenge. The Foot Locker group will start at 8:40 a.m., 30 minutes before the elite females and an hour before the elite men, run together for the first half, and then race to the finish to determine the borough champion.
The best part of it for Chan? He won't need his sight to hear the roar of the crowds on Sunday. That, and running alongside Gonzales "as she is one of my running idols. As for what's next? The Philadelphia Marathon and then the California International Marathon in December. 

Inspired by John? Tweet to us @Fitbie to let us know your NYC-marathon stories!
UP NEXT: The New York City Marathon By the Numbers

Allie Burdick
7 Sneaky Ways to Move More at Work Blog entry Thu, 30 Oct 2014 17:52:13 -0400 Fitbie
woman working

Unless you have a full-time gig as a tour guide or a mailman, the odds are you're not walking much during your work day. A pity, because a new study found that getting your move on during the workday improves both physical and mental health. Researchers at the Department of Psychology in the School of Science at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis found that walking work stations -- think a treadmill with a desk -- help employees burn calories, focus more, and feel more satisfied. 

More from Fitbie: The 4 Worst People to Work Out With

Unfortunately, that kind of setup isn't doable for most of us, so we asked experts for suggestions on how to (realistically) fit more movement into your 9-to-5 day.

1. Schedule walking meetings
"It's an easy sell to your boss, since it gets the creative juices flowing and helps you think outside of the box," says New York City-based personal trainer Joel Harper. "Also it's harder to argue while you walk, so you listen more and really hear what the other person is saying." 

2. Beat a path to the water cooler
... And not just to catch up on the latest gossip. "Make it a point to hydrate every hour by walking to the water fountain," says Leslie Bonci, RD and director of sports nutrition at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center for Sports Medicine. "And if you drink more, you'll need to pee more, so you will move more to get to the bathroom!"

3. Make phone time count
"Pace every time you pick up the phone, and walk around your office," says Harper. "It gets the blood flowing and helps your naturally keep the conversation flowing and more efficient."

4. Stop taking the elevator
Step to it -- and working in a high-rise is no excuse. "Even if your office is on the 30 floor, get off and walk those 10 flights," Bonci says. A 135-pound woman burns roughly 40 calories for every five minutes she climbs stairs. That's more than 20,000 calories a year if you do it twice a day every Monday through Friday.

5. Be eager to help
Does one of your colleagues need a project delivered or an errand run? "Offer to do it so you'll get out of the office and moving around," Bonci says. The fresh air will be good for your head too.

6. Set hard and fast, move-more rules
No elevator if there's fewer than four flights of stairs, says Bonci. Take a break from your glowing screen every hour to lap the hallways. Leave your lunch in a cooler bag in the car so you have to walk out to the parking lot to retrieve it. You get the drift.

7. Turn list making into an exercise
Here's how, according to Harper: Grab a pen and paper and put your back against a sturdy wall. Slowly walk your feet away from the wall and come into a right angle with your knees above your ankles. Keep your shoulders back against the wall and chin up. Keep your arms bent and up with your notepad and pen. Hold until you finish your list. 

UP NEXT: 7 Budget-Friendly Fitness Finds

The New York City Marathon By the Numbers Blog entry Thu, 30 Oct 2014 10:42:13 -0400 Fitbie
NYC Marathon

Sunday, November 2, New York City is staging its 44th annual Marathon – a day of awe, achievement and celebration on the city streets. Seriously, who knew that many people are capable of running that far? (Note to self: Sign yourself up for a 5K.) In honor of the 956,171 men and women who've run the race to date, here's a numeric snapshot of what it takes to cross the finish line.

1: The number of female runners in the first NYC Marathon
$1: Cost to run the first NYC Marathon
5: Number of boroughs runners pass through:



9: Victories by Grete Waitz (1978 to 1980, 1982 to 1986, 1988)*
11: Mile marker when runners pass through Williamsburg, Brooklyn’s hippest neighborhood
49: UPS trucks that carry the runners’ belongings from the start to the finish line
62: Average high temperature for Race Day
86: Age of Joy Johnson, the oldest woman to cross the finish line
127: Total number of runners in the first NYC Marathon
135: Live bands and entertainment zones to keep runners motivated
330: Athletes with disabilities who ran in 2013
1,748: Port a potties on the route
2001: The year Kenyan Margaret Okayo clocked the fastest female race time: 2:22:31
10,000: Volunteers on the course
12,530: Pounds of ice at the medical stations
19,567: Women who finished last year
60,000: Number of PowerGels distributed at mile marker 18, otherwise known as “The Wall”
$100,000: Prize money for the winner
974,257​: Total number of finishers to date 
2 million: Estimated number of spectators
2.3 million: Paper water cups used in years past. (They’re using biodegradable ones this year!)

* This year Adidas is asking runners, fans, and NYC visitors of the New York City Marathon to show their "A Game," in Waitz's honor. For every tweet, Instagram, or Facebook post that includes #mystepmatters with an image of a hand symbol in the shape of an "A," Adidas will donate $1 to AKTIV, the cancer care foundation she co-founded in 2007.


UP NEXT: My Journey to the New York City Marathon (VIDEO) 

Exposure to More Sunlight May Help Curb Weight Gain Blog entry Thu, 30 Oct 2014 09:35:00 -0400 Fitbie
Woman running in the sun

There's nothing quite like the feeling of warm sunshine on your face -- even better are the health benefits of vitamin D, which run the gamut from better calcium absorption to stronger bones to possibly slowing the process of weight gain. 

A recent study from the Telethon Kids Institute in Perth, Western Australia, and the University of Edinburgh and Southampton gives us a new reason to hit the beach. (In other words, take that much deserved vacation!) Researchers found that overfed mice that were placed under a UV light had a slowed weight gain, as well as fewer warning signs linked to diabetes. According to researchers, these benefits were linked to a compound that is released by the skin after being exposed to sunlight called nitric oxide. When a cream containing the compound was applied to the skin of overfed mice, it had the same weight curbing effect as being in the sunlight. 

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"Our findings are important as they suggest that casual skin exposure to sunlight, together with plenty of exercise and a healthy diet, may help prevent the development of obesity in children," said Dr. Shelley Gorman, of the Telethon Kids Institute and lead author of the study.

"These observations further indicate that the amounts of nitric oxide released from the skin may have beneficial effects not only on heart and blood vessels but also on the way our body regulates metabolism," added Dr. Martin Feelisch, Professor of Experimental Medicine and Integrative Biology at the University of Southampton.

Granted, we're dealing with mice here. But hey, there's hope. According to David Sheridan, M.D. at Hotze Health & Wellness Center, while this research should be approached with caution given the need for further data (and testing), vitamin D has beneficial effects on insulin sensitivity and leptin activity, both of which may help lessen weight gain. 

"Sun mediated vitamin D elevation -- we can make up to 20,000 units in 20 minutes -- has many other benefits, including elevating moods," said Sheridan. "This alone may cause other beneficial changes to our physiology. There may be additional weight benefits as an indirect consequence of other things, but that's great as well."

Check out these additional benefits to having high levels of vitamin D:

Cancer fighting. Over 20 cancers are shown to be less prevalent when vitamin D levels are higher in the range, shared Sheridan. It may be one of our most important anti-cancer compounds.

Body strengthening. Vitamin D is active on strengthening the muscles and tendons (soft tissues). It has anti-viral and anti-bacterial effects as well. It's also necessary for optimal bone health and brain function. 

Mood boosting. Optimizing vitamin D levels also positively affect moods as seen in people suffering from "SAD" or "seasonal affective disorder," said Sheridan. 

UP NEXT: 10 Nutrients Active Bodies Need

7 Budget-Friendly Fitness Finds Blog entry Tue, 28 Oct 2014 15:53:54 -0400 Fitbie
Fitness Band

If it sometimes feels like the road to fitness is paved with dollar bills, we’ve got some good news for you. The Seattle-based company Pivotal is taking pre-orders for a new $12 high-tech fitness band that keeps track of your calories burned, daily active time, percentage of daily goals met, and even how well you’re keeping yourself hydrated. Yep, $12. Compared to other items on the market (The new Fitbit Charge starts at $130), it's a total steal.

To make sure money is never an excuse for getting the body you want, here are six more affordable fitness finds:

Jump Rope
Price: $3.95 
Forget the images of brutes in a boxing ring or kids double dutching on the playground -- rope skipping is anyone’s game. Plus, it torches some serious calories: Just 10 minutes of hopping at a moderate pace burns more than 100 (calories based on 135-pound woman). 

Exercise Mat
Price: $11.99
Turn your spare room -- or living room -- into your own personal yoga studio with interlocking foam tiles. The best part? They can be quickly disassembled before your houseguests come to stay for the holidays.

More from Fitbie: 8 Song Titles That Perfectly Describe Your Workout

Hand Weights
Price: $11.99
We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again: Strength training is good for you. And it may be even better than we ever dreamed possible: A new study from Arizona State University found that strength training may burn twice the calories experts previously thought it did.

Ab Wheel
Price: $5.15 
Want the abs Demi Lovato just flaunted on Instagram? This portable little wheel can give you killer core strength, not to mention toned arms, shoulders and back muscles. 

Price: $5.24
A Pilates-class staple, these stretchy bands add resistance to any workout. Clueless about what to do with it? Don't worry, we've got you covered.

Fitness Ball
Price: $13.40
These jumbo balls may be best known for their ab-strengthening abilities, but they can be used to tone your whole body. Plus, you can even use it as spare seating in a pinch. 

UP NEXT: The Playlist That'll Help You Avoid a Boring Workout 

Fitbie Find: Navitas Naturals Cacao Powder Blog entry Tue, 28 Oct 2014 15:52:51 -0400 Fitbie
Navitas Cacao Powder

It's National Chocolate Day -- otherwise known as EVERY day at Fitbie -- and we highly recommend that you celebrate by indulging in your favorite cocoa treat (might we propose these KILLER dark chocolate peanut butter cups with sea salt?). In fact, we suggest that you make chocolate a regular part of your diet, considering that dark chocolate has been shown to help you slim down and stay healthy.

More from Fitbie: Can Chocolate Make You Happy?

Unfortunately, a huge slab of Devil's food isn't what we're talking about here, though (there's a time and a place, people). All that research about the health benefits of dark chocolate? What they're really talking about is cacao beans, which in their raw form are an excellent source of antioxidants, as well as important nutrients like iron and magnesium. Which brings us to today's #FitbieFind: Navitas Naturals Cacao Powder.

Compared to traditional cocoa powder, cacao powder (pronounced "kuh cow") hasn't been heated, making it less processed and more nutritious -- THIS is the chocolate every health pro and their doctor is telling you to eat. And since it's made from certified organic, high-quality cacao beans, Navitas is the best of the best. Its intense chocolatey flavor is perfect for adding to smoothies (like this Coffee Recovery Shake), baked goods, and anything else that's asking for a chocolate hit (I like to mix mine into Greek yogurt and add some chunky peanut butter, but to each her own). It's interchangeable with cocoa powder in recipes, so use your imagination.

What else we love:

• Non GMO project verified

• Resealable package that keeps it fresh

4 grams of fiber per serving

The details: Navitas Naturals Cacao Powder, $9.99,

Cathryne Keller
Fitbit Announces 3 New Trackers Including a GPS Watch Blog entry Tue, 28 Oct 2014 11:43:12 -0400 Fitbie

It's been month's since fitness tracker company Fitbit hit a snag when users reported getting a rash from their Force model. Now, the brand is doing a revamp of their offerings, introducing three new models to the line: The Fitbit Charge, Charge HR, and Surge

More from Fitbie: Your Fitness Tracker May Be Overestimating Your Calorie Burn By 23%

While the Charge ($130) isn't a huge leap for Fitbit, it has more capabilities than the Force did. The bracelet can track sleep, calories, steps, floors, and even offers a caller ID when pairs with an iPhone or Android device. The Charge HR ($150) includes all of those capabilities, plus a heart rate sensor. But the Surge ($250), well, it's on a whole other level. A real smartwatch with approximately a 1-inch screen, the Fitbit Surge features a compass, gyroscope, accelerometer, and a built-in GPS (HUGE for runners). 

The Charge is available now, the HR model and Surge will be on sale in early 2015. Not sure if you can wait for your new wearable? Check up this roundup of awesome fitness trackers and let us know which one's your favorite.

UP NEXT: How to Think Like a Winner to Reach Your Fitness Goals

Emily Abbate
7 High-Protein Power Snacks Blog entry Mon, 27 Oct 2014 17:27:47 -0400 Fitbie
cottage cheese

While we wish that nibbling on crackers or chocolate in the afternoon was the secret to weight loss success, a new study once again reinforces the importance of a protein-packed afternoon bite. Researchers from the University of Missouri had healthy young women eat a 160-calorie snack of high-protein Greek yogurt, high-fat crackers, or high-fat chocolate three hours after having lunch. The yogurt eaters weren’t hungry for dinner until a half-hour later than the cracker and chocolate set -- and they wound up eating 100 fewer calories at meal time, too.

"I love this study, since it supports what I tell my clients: Greek yogurt is an ideal mid-afternoon snack," says New York City-based registered dietitian Laura Cipullo. "Snacks with both protein and moderate amounts of carbohydrates will make you eat less at dinner time."

More from Fitbie: 10 Tasty Protein Shake Recipes

Looking to feel fuller longer and make the most of your midday munch? Check out these seven satisfying snacks for your next midafternoon slump:  

1. Turkey jerky 
Director at the UPMC Center for Sports Medicine Leslie Bonci, RD, suggests 2 ounces of turkey jerky, which will land you in the ideal calorie zone. 

2. Edamame with pickled ginger
"Edamame is one of the best sources of protein in the bean family," says Cipullo. Her suggestion? Keep the serving size at a modest one cup. Other bonuses to eating edamame? It's been shown to reduce appetite and aid in digestion.

3. Extra-firm tofu marinated in teriyaki or balsamic vinegar with tomatoes.
"A savory protein snack to get away from sweet fatigue," says Bonci. A half-cup of tofu should be a satisfying amount.

4. Cottage Cheese with wheat germ and diced pineapple
Like yogurt, cottage cheese contains carbs that work well in tandem with the protein, says Cipullo. Stick to a half-cup if you add the extras, a cup if you eat it plain.

5. Nut butter spread on celery sticks
Peanut, almond, cashew -- or whatever your favorite may be -- all are satisfying, says Bonci. Our tip? Keep it to 200 calorie servings at one time, which will leave you full without overdoing it. 

6. Babybel Cheese and clementines
Two of each will do the trick, says Cipullo. (Check out these 14 Healthier Cheeses You'll Love.)

7. Tricolor bean salad
Make it with black beans, chick peas, kidney beans, whatever been your heart desires, says Cipullo. The bonus of beans is not only are they versatile and come in loads of varieties, but they're also packed with both protein, minerals, slow-burning carbs, and fiber to aid in digestion. 

UP NEXT: The Protein Powder Primer

Fitbie Find: New Balance Women's PDA Running Gloves Blog entry Sat, 25 Oct 2014 10:00:06 -0400 Fitbie
New Balance Running Gloves

We hate to be the barer of bad news, but it's getting cold out there. We're talking sub-40 degree mornings. Which means that it's super important, if you're getting out and getting active, to cover up where it matters most. That's where this week's #SaturdaySaver comes into play, the New Balance Women's PDA Running Gloves. Made of wind-resistant fabric and touch-screen compatible, these gloves are the perfect addition to your cold-weather running wardrobe. Plus, they have a microfleece nose wipe, you know, for when your nose is running faster than you are.

Was: $30
Now: $14.97

UP NEXT: 80 Thoughts Every Woman Has Running a Half-Marathon

Emily Abbate
Beets to Boost Athletic Performance Blog entry Thu, 30 Oct 2014 17:13:16 -0400 Fitbie

Beet red. That might be the adjective used to describe the color of your face after a hard workout or run. Sure, beets have long been considered a superfood. They contain a wide range of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants that help to fight sickness and disease and to strengthen your internal organs. But now, there’s even more reason to love the jewel-colored vegetable, especially if you exercise. 

More from Fitbie: Why Cross-Training Is Great for Runners (VIDEO)

There’s been rumblings of beets improving athletic performance for years, thanks to the high concentration of nitrates. When you consume dietary sources of nitrate, your body breaks it down to nitric oxide, which is a strong vasodilator. A vasodil-what?! In short: Nitric oxide enlarges your blood vessels, allowing more blood to travel to where you need it, such as the muscles you use when you’re working out. The result? Your body uses less oxygen during exercise and has a higher tolerance for high-intensity exercise. 

New research from Kansas State University reinforces beets as a positive for athletic performance. According to the study, drinking beetroot juice resulted in a 38 percent increase in blood flow to the skeletal muscles, especially fast-twitch muscles responsible for short burts of speed or strength, which typically receive less oxygen. Another study from St. Louis University found that eating baked beets improved running times during a 5K time trial, notably during the last mile compared the placebo.

So, should you try supplementing with beets? According to Dr. Jordan Metzl, sports medicine doctor and author of The Exercise Cure, the answer is maybe. 

"I wouldn’t experiment with them on race day," said Metzl. "It’s not a bad idea to try before a training run based on the new evidence coming out.  There’s nothing better than hard training, but if you’re looking for that extra edge, it’s worth a try."

Don’t like beets? Leafy green vegetables like spinach, arugla and chard also are good sources of nitrate.

UP NEXT: A Beginner’s Guide to Running a 10K

The Booty-Poppin' Playlist That'll Make Your Workout Fun (LISTEN) Blog entry Fri, 24 Oct 2014 11:35:33 -0400 Fitbie
Barry's Bootcamp

Every week Fitbie is featuring rad playlists from rad fitness instructors. This week, Layla Luciano, Master Trainer at Barry's Bootcamp, shares hers with us. 

"At Barry's the instructor has the power to personalize the workout through music, lighting, energy, and personality, says Luciano. "Delivering a kick-ass workout is like a performance, creating an environment where clients can escape and where exercise can be fun. I believe a playlist that has high energy, non-stop, 'pop that booty,' get aggressive songs is the ultimate mix!"

More from Fitbie: Barry's Bootcamp May Just Be the Best Workout Class I've Ever Taken

UP NEXT: The Awesome Way Music Can Effect Your Workout 

]]> Fitbie Find: Limited Edition New York City Marathon Sneakers Blog entry Thu, 23 Oct 2014 16:49:14 -0400 Fitbie
New York City Sneakers

With just over a week to go until the New York City Marathon on November 2, all of the big brands are finding their own way to celebrate the race's 44th year. Every fall, sneaker heads look forward to the limited edition sneakers released surrounding the race, most of which release on October 31 and November 1. While some of them are exclusive to athletic stores in the NYC area, these three from Asics, Brooks, and New Balance will be for sale online. 

So let's take a look at this year's rundown, shall we?

Asics Gel-Kayano 21
Price: $160
What we love: Fun color palette and stable, luxurious ride. Bonus: For mild to moderate overpronators, this update features a super comfortably secure upper, uniquely designed with a new heel construction.

New Balance Fresh Foam Zante
What we love: A new take on New Balance's Fresh Foam 980, the Zante offers a softer ride with a much greater toe spring. Plus: It's super light. 

Brooks Freedom Adrenaline

Brooks Freedom Adrenaline GTS
Price: $130
What we love: Hello, look at this pattern! Featuring the Statue of Liberty in the forefront, there's no mistaking that this shoe is all about the Big Apple. 

UP NEXT: The Ultimate Beginner Sneaker Guide 

Emily Abbate
Expert Nutrition Advice for Your Best Run Yet (VIDEO) Blog entry Fri, 24 Oct 2014 10:29:25 -0400 Fitbie
Drinking water

Whether I'm training for a race or not, I'd like to think I'm a healthy eater. I suppose that's what happens after you drop a significant amount of weight, you learn the basics of portion control and figure out the right way to incorporate better, healthier foods into your everyday diet. 

But heck, that doesn't mean I'm a saint. I love frozen yogurt just as much as the next 20-something woman in New York City and throw one helluva dinner party, if I do say so myself. And when it comes to marathon training? Well, to say I'm hungry all of the time is an understatement. The common misconception? "Oh, you're running something like 50 miles a week, you can eat whatever you want, right?" 

Ha, sure, just like last night I went on a date with Ryan Gosling (also false). Yes, all that cardio does burn a lot of calories, but the extra workouts make me constantly ravenous. So what's a runner to do? Seek out some expert advice on the right foods to fuel up and keep my body satisfied, full, and high-functioning. 

In this week's installment of our marathon series, I sat down with registered dietitian Keri Glassman, MS, CDN, and author of The New You and Improved Diet, to get her insight on what to eat for a better race and if runners really need to eliminate alcohol from their diet during training season. 

New Fit video page

Continue to follow along with Emily's journey to the New York City Marathon for expert tips on race training, whether you're gearing up for a 5K, 10K, half-marathon, or beyond. Miss the first installment? Check out Emily's backstory about losing 70 pounds and what inspired her to tackle the marathon distance in the first place. 

UP NEXT: 10 Random Things Runners Ponder While Pounding Pavement

Emily Abbate
How a Bad Relationship Can Drastically Affect Your Waistline Blog entry Wed, 22 Oct 2014 16:35:11 -0400 Fitbie
Man and woman couple

No one likes fighting with their significant other, and while disagreements are bound to happen -- a new study found that a history of depression and marital hostility can increase the risk of obesity in adults. 

According to researchers at Ohio State University, these factors can alter the way your body processes high-fat foods. Forty-three healthy couples, ages 24 to 61 who had been married for at least three years, participated in the study which assessed not only their marital satisfaction, past mood disorders, and depressive symptoms, but also how their bodies metabolized food after trying to resolve an issue. 

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The couples were given eggs, turkey sausage, biscuits, and gravy for a total of 930 calories, 60 grams of fat -- the equivalent of a Burger King double whopper with cheese or Big Mac and medium fries. After evaluating the couples over a two-day span, researchers found that for participants with a more hostile marriage and a mood disorder history, they burned an average of 31 fewer calories and had about 12 percent more insulin in their blood than low-hostility participants after the first measurement after the meal. It took about two hours after eating for their level to match the other participant’s lower levels. The high-hostility participants also showed an increased level of triglycerides. In fact, their peak in triglycerides occurred four hours after eating and was much higher than all other participant levels.

"Insulin stimulates food intake and the accumulation of fat tissue in the abdomen, and adding that on top of the lower energy expenditure creates a higher likelihood for obesity," said study co-author Martha Belury, professor of human nutrition at Ohio State. "But it doesn't stop there: Elevated triglycerides lead to heart disease. Along with high insulin, elevated triglycerides indicate metabolism of sugars and fats is impaired. These are hallmarks of increased risk for heart disease and diabetes."

According to Director of Behavioral Health & Wellness at Pritikin Longevity Center and Spa Dr. Coral Arvon, LMFT, LCSW, it is a whole mind and body experience when someone feels troubled, unloved, or even anxious and unappreciated surrounding any kind of fight or marital distress. 

"Their immune system is also not working correctly and they are eating more," she shared. "Chronic stress, no matter what (martial distress, depression, etc.), just plain old stress, slows down the body and can cause a person to gain weight. Your body actually changes the way it metabolizes with these factors and the chronic stressors can lead to obesity."

Arvon relayed that for couples going through marital discord the most important thing is communication. Everyone wants to feel validated and understood. Her three healthier tips for surviving troubling times

1. Eat three meals and three snacks a day. It will help to keep your body constantly fueled and not fatigued. In fact, research says that eating every four to five hours helps your body burn more fat. 

2. Get extra sleep. (Check out our 5 Reasons You Need More Sleep.) 

3. Find someone to talk to about your issues. Whether someone of the same sex or someone who you can relate to or group support get it all out. If you keep it in, it can make you sicker, says Arvon. People who are slim and trim have a tendency to take care of their whole life while people who are obese are stuffing themselves with not just food, but also feelings.

UP NEXT: The Shocking Truth About Obesity and Exercise

Emily Abbate
Frozen Meals May Be The Best Type of Fast Food There Is Blog entry Wed, 22 Oct 2014 16:19:46 -0400 Fitbie
frozen meals

There's no doubting that for many of us, the day commonly slips away. Between meetings and errands, workouts and catching up with friends -- more often than not we're left scrambling at the end of a long day to find a filling meal that's not only easy, but healthy too. The question is, are you more empt to hit up the drive thru or check out the frozen meals in your freezer from who knows when? According to new data presented at the 2014 Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, frozen meal eaters have a better intake of key nutrients, for less calories, then quick service restaurant (QSR) eaters.
"Frozen meals can be a great and quick alternative to eating out," says registered dietitian and nutritionist, Laura Cipullo. The benefits include higher vitamin and mineral content because, "they are flash frozen and must adhere to strict quality control." The big problem with slews of items we grab from quicker, fast food options? "They are typically not appropriately proportioned and are left sitting out, leaving opportunity to decrease the vitamin and mineral contents." Does anyone else get a visual of heat lamps keeping those foil-wrapped mystery meals warm?
More from Fitbie: 8 Rules for Healthy Fast Food
The study, funded by Nestle, reported that when it comes to actual calories consumed, those who ate frozen meals took in 253 fewer calories a day, ate less saturated fat (2.6 grams less), and had higher daily intakes of good-for-you nutrients like fiber, potassium, calcium, and protein. 
It should be pointed out that participants of the study reported their intake on the honor system, and literal intake was not overseen. Cipullo also cautions that "many frozen meals are too small to suffice as a meal, and people may eat something in addition to the frozen meal, or may eat more later."
More from Fitbie: 7 New Tricks to Banish Your Late-Night Cravings for Good
With that in mind, what should you look for in your local grocer's freezer case? According to our expert, the best frozen meals have these five things in common:
1. Protein: The goal here is at least three ounces of protein to aid in feeling full, says Capullo. The secondary goal is that we're not hankering for a meal just an hour or two later sitting in front of the TV.
Healthy Selection Suggestion: Healthy Choice Beef Teriyaki, 16 g protein, 5 g fiber
2. Fiber: Fiber aids in digestion, normalizing bowel movements, and lowers cholesterol. Sources of this in frozen food options? Commonly vegetables, or a complex carbohydrate like quinoa or barley.  
Healthy Selection Suggestion: Weight Watchers SmartOnes Sesame Noodles with Vegetables, 10 g protein, 7 g fiber
3. Minimal Processing: The best frozen meals will have less than 600 mg of sodium per entree, and should look like real food -- not a mold of something that could potentially be real.
Healthy Selection Suggestion: Amy's: Light in Sodium Brown Rice & Vegetables Bowl, 270 mg sodium, 9 g protein, 5 g fiber
4. Low In Saturated Fats: Look for items with a higher concentration of mono saturated fats, ingredients like olive oil instead of vegetable.
Healthy Selection Suggestion: Eggplant Mediterranean Moussaka, 3.5 g saturated fat, 14 g protein, 5 g fiber
5. Organic: Having key organic ingredients means ensuring the food is GMO-free (genetically modified organisms) and are helping to support sustainable agriculture.
Healthy Selection Suggestion: Artisan Bistro Miso Glazed Wild Salmon, 4.5 g fat, 17 g protein, 4 g fiber
UP NEXT: Why You May Never Skip Breakfast Again ]]> Allie Burdick Fitbie Find: Drip Drop Hydration Powder Blog entry Wed, 22 Oct 2014 10:08:22 -0400 Fitbie

DripDrop Hydration Powder

Think about the toughest workout you've ever done, or the most challenging race you've ever run. You were positively drenched with sweat, and you chugged a sports drink (or ridiculous amounts of water) to replenish what you left on the floor. Well, what if you could just hook yourself up to an IV drip to rehydrate after your most intense training session? Not super practical, right? Maybe not, but fortunately, an IV is old-school compared to Drip Drop Hydration Powder, today's #FitbieFind.

More from Fitbie: How Much Water Do You Really Need?

I recently tested Drip Drop after a grueling, 3-hour-plus martial arts belt promotion test. I spent that time in a heavy, cotton canvas gi, doing calisthenics, punching and kicking drills, kata, and krav maga scenarios and weapons, and at the end of it, my gi was literally soaked through (which, of course, makes it even heavier). In the past, I've reached for a well-known sports drink afterward, and I've felt OK. With Drip Drop, I felt completely renewed.

I can't say enough good things about it and how it made me feel, and the added bonus is that it actually tastes good. (I prefer the berry flavor, but the lemon flavor is just as effective.) You just mix a packet of Drip Drop powder into the proper amount of water -- packets come in two sizes, and use different amounts of water, so check the label -- and drink. You feel better incredibly quickly, and you don't have the salty aftertaste sticking with you like you do with traditional sports drinks. Plus, Drip Drop has about half the calories as most sports drinks, and 2 to 3 times more electrolytes. Why slam 80 to 100 calories of sports drink if you can get better hydration with Drip Drop?

Drip Drop's "eliite hydration science" is formulated with the ideal balance of ingredients to maximize its absorption into your system through your small intestine. The Drip Drop folks explain the science behind their formula in-depth on their FAQ page, where you can learn everything you could ever want to know about how our bodies use and transport water to keep us hydrated, whether we're losing water through exercise or illness. Drip Drop is even working with ChildFund International to help address dehydration in patients affected by the current Ebola crisis in West Africa. This is powerful stuff, people!

What else we love:

• Easy to carry with you and mix on the go

• Totally non-invasive and easy to administer to yourself, unlike an actual IV

• Developed by a doctor whose work in Guatemalan relief missions inspired the formula

• 75 percent of Americans are dehydrated on a daily basis, so this product is useful for almost anyone, athlete or not

The Details: Drip Drop Hydration Powder, available online at Amazon and in drugstores including Walgreens and CVS, $9.99 per box, $2 coupon available,

UP NEXT: 73 Thoughts Every Woman Has on Long Training Runs

Melissa Olund
Why You May Never Skip Breakfast Again Blog entry Tue, 21 Oct 2014 11:51:39 -0400 Fitbie

According to, oh, everyone, breakfast is the most important meal of the day because it can jumpstart your metabolism, improve concentration, and even help you lose weight. And new research shows that a healthy breakfast can even reduce food cravings and overeating all day long

Specifically, researchers found that eating a protein-rich meal in the morning reduced cravings for sweet foods as well as savory (read: high fat) foods. On the other hand, when breakfast was skipped, the cravings continued to rise throughout the day.

More from Fitbie: Healthy Breakfasts That Taste Good

"Researchers found that eating breakfast -- especially ones high in protein -- increases levels of dopamine, a neurotransmitter that mediates pleasure and reward systems," explained Rania Batayneh, MPH, nutritionist, and author of The One One One Diet: The Simple 1:1:1 Formula for Fast and Sustained Weight Loss. "Higher dopamine levels and the associated feeling of reward seem to help individuals fend off cravings later. Because of this, the results of this study have important implications in further obesity research and prevention strategies."

Short on time in the morning? Batayneh says these three high-protein breakfasts can be whipped up 5 minutes or less:

1. Spread some mashed avocado on a piece of whole grain toast and top with a few slices of smoked salmon. "Both avocado and salmon also provide heart healthy fats, making this breakfast super filling," she said.

2. What's easier than Greek yogurt? Pair it with fiber-rich berries and a tablespoon of chia seeds for a dose of healthy fats.

3. If you've got some down time on Sunday, Batayneh recommends making a batch of individual egg frittatas (check out this yummy tomato, artichoke, and feta frittata recipe) in muffin tins for the week ahead. "Grab one or two on your way out the door," she said. "One egg contains 6 grams of high quality protein. Pair with a piece of whole grain toast for a quick, filling breakfast."

UP NEXT: 6 Delicious (and Healthy!) Ways to Enjoy Fall Apples

Missy Elliot Is Almost Unrecognizable After Major Weight Loss (PHOTO) Blog entry Mon, 20 Oct 2014 15:05:47 -0400 Fitbie
Missy Elliot

Missy Elliot has been workin' it, and it shows. The "Work It" singer showed off a much slimmer figure performing at Alexander Wang's H&M Collection launch in New York City this past week. The rapper took to Twitter to post a photo of her slimmed-down bod along with the caption "Just got off stage thanks @ALEXANDERWANGNY and @hmusa for having me perform I enjoyed [muah!]"

By the looks of that "You can't workout with us" hat (which we LOVE!) the 43-year-old songstress knows she looks good. Sources say that Elliot's dropped a whopping 70 pounds

Elliot revealed in 2011 that she was battling Graves' disease, an autoimmune illness that affects the thyroid. After a year on medication and radiation treatments, she felt drastically better. The singer revealed to People that under her doctor's supervision, she was no longer taking medication and was completely managing the condition through diet and exercise. Seems to us that her healthy routine has made a major impact!

Haven't gotten your dose of Missy in a while? You can thank us later:

UP NEXT: 8 TV Characters Who Would Make the Best Fitness Buddies EVER

Emily Abbate
Fitbie Find: Brooks Running Pants Blog entry Sat, 18 Oct 2014 10:00:07 -0400 Fitbie

Now that the fall is here, it's time to shelf those shorts and opt for pants during your outdoor workouts. Today's #SaturdaySaver keeps that in mind, with two great deals from Brooks on pants, the Women's Vapor Dry 2 Pant and the Glycerin Pant III

Both styles are semi-fitted, and great for running. While the Vapor Dry 2 features warmer fleecedfabric on the back for greater comfort and an invisible back zip pocket to hold keys, gels, and other essentials, the Glycerin Pant III boasts flatlock chafe-resistant seams and an asymmetric, wide waistband with drop pocket. Hello, storage!

Was: $75
Now: Both $37

UP NEXT: Why You Don't Really Understand Until You Train for a Race (VIDEO)

Emily Abbate
The Workout Playlist That'll Push You to Your Limits (LISTEN) Blog entry Fri, 17 Oct 2014 10:00:08 -0400 Fitbie
Flex Pilates

Every week Fitbie is featuring rad playlists from rad fitness instructors. This week Lanae Rhodes, co-director of FlexBarre at Flex Studios, shares hers with us. 

"Music plays such a vital role in your workout -- it really can make or break a class. Music not only helps me as a teacher to keep the pace of a class, but motivates my students to keep pushing and working, even when they desperately want to give up," says Rhodes. "Every single move in a FlexBarre class is done to the beat, so it’s important to pick songs with a strong down beat so that the clients can find the pace and rhythm."

Rhodes also points out that at times, music can also be a helpful distraction. "It’s nice to have a song that you recognize to push you through that extra burn," she says. "That’s why I always try throw in a few songs that are more well known, but change it up by finding a killer remixed version. My last song of the class has to have the most driving force, because I am going to push you to your limit in that last few minutes so you leave on a major endorphin high!"

UP NEXT: The Playlist That'll Amp Up Spin Class (LISTEN) 

Emily Abbate
What You Don't Really Understand Until You Train for a Race (VIDEO) Blog entry Thu, 16 Oct 2014 17:39:37 -0400 Fitbie
New York Marathon

You can talk to people who have run marathons before. You can listen to how they say that life "totally changes" once you commit yourself to a training program. The truth? You don't fully understand just how much it really does until you go through it yourself. It goes a little something like this: Wake up every morning, sleep my alarm, roll over and turn a light on, get out of bed, lace up my sneakers. Life feels like run, eat, work, eat, sleep, repeat. See what's missing from that equation? Friends. Family. Extra curriculars, if you will. 

With just under three weeks until race day, I'm anxious. I'm nervous. I've done the long run. I've conquered the 22 miles and the taper has officially arrived. But if it wasn't for the constant support of my friends and family, my vision of the finish line on November 2 wouldn't seem so clear. Sure, I miss late night outings, lingering in restaurants over desserts and one-too-many glasses of wine for hours at a time. (I also miss sleeping in on the weekends.) Instead, I've traded those outings for at-home dinners. For weekend coffee dates. For text messages and phone conversations when I have to squeeze in a post-work run instead of grab a bite and laugh over what ridiculous thing Kim Kardashian tweeted last.

But you know what? When we make goals that are great, goals that are worthy -- the sacrifices don't feel like sacrifies. They feel necessary. It's all necessary, and it's all coming down to one day: 

New Fit video page

Continue to follow along with Emily's journey to the New York City Marathon for expert tips on race training, whether you're gearing up for a 5K, 10K, half-marathon, or beyond. Miss the first installment? Check out Emily's backstory about losing 70 pounds and what inspired her to tackle the marathon distance in the first place. 

UP NEXT: 10 Random Things Runners Ponder While Pounding Pavement

Emily Abbate
Fitbie Find: Lululemon Two Times A Yogi Bag Blog entry Thu, 16 Oct 2014 16:38:51 -0400 Fitbie
Lululemon Two Times a Yogi Bag

There are few things women love more than carryall bags that fit a ton of stuff. Actually, we stand corrected: There are few things women love more than a well-priced carryall bag. Say hello to this week's #FitbieFind: the Two Times A Yogi Bag from Lululemon.

First things first: Designer purses will cost you at least $150. The downside of a designer purse for an active fashionista like yourself? It's nowhere near big enough to carry all your workout gear. That, and most of the time you're scared to put your sweaty threads anywhere near a designer label. With the Two Times a Yogi Bag, you're in luck. 

More from Fitbie: The Secret to Wearing Your Gym Clothes All Day Long

Say goodbye to carrying around three bags all day long. (Thank, goodness.) Including a separate ventilated wet/dry compartment and an exterior padded pocket that fits a 15'' laptop -- this bag has spots for everything. Plus, it super minimalistic and chic. 

What else we love:
• Yoga mat stores easily across middle with small strap to keep it secure
• Tested to hold up to 50 pounds
• Comes in two great colors
• Durable polyurethane finish makes it easy to clean

The Details: Two Times A Yogi Bag, $128,

UP NEXT: 3 Yoga Poses for Perfect Posture

Emily Abbate
Michelle Obama 'Turnip For What' Vine Will Make You LOL (VIDEO) Blog entry Wed, 15 Oct 2014 17:00:50 -0400 Fitbie
Michelle Obama 'Turnip for What'

Michelle Obama's #AskTheFirstLady Vine campaign invites questions about healthy eating, home cooking, gardening, and all things related to her oh-so-fab Let's Move! campaign to end childhood obesity. We've enjoyed hearing about exercise and what her favorite veggies are (we love sweet potatoes, too!), but we can't get enough of her spoof on everyone's favorite get-pumped anthem, "Turn Down For What."  

It turns out that the First Lady is on to something: according to Michele McRae, certified nutritionist at Rainbow Light, turnips are the unsung hero of the vegetable garden. Here are her top three reasons to load up on this often overlooked veggie:

1. They're high nutrition. At only 51 calories per cup (cooked and mashed), turnips are an excellent source of vitamin C, clocking in at nearly 1/3 of the daily recommendation. They also provide B vitamins, calcium, potassium, and other trace minerals. 

2. They may protect against certain types of cancer. "As part of the cruciferous family of vegetables, turnips are antioxidant-rich and contain phytonutrients called indoles that may be protective," said McRae. "One recent study published in the International Journal of Oncology found that a type of indole compound found in turnips -- brassinin -- killed human colon cancer cells."

3. They're heart healthy and immune boosting. "Inflammation impairs our natural immune response and is implicated in almost all chronic disease, including heart disease," she added. "Turnip greens provide omega-3s and vitamin K, which help regulate the body's response to inflammation." 

Looking for inspiration? Get started with this turnip-rich recipe from Messy Baker

Crispy Root Vegetable Chips
(makes 4 snack servings)

1 pound root vegetables (potatoes, sweet potatoes, parsnips, turnips, taro, carrots, and/or beets)
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
4 teaspoons ras el hanout (available at Middle Eastern specialty shops)
1 teaspoon fine sea salt

1. Preheat the oven to 375°F. If your oven has a convection setting, use it and adjust the temperature accordingly. Line 3 baking sheets with parchment paper.

2. Wash the root vegetables. Leave the skin on or peel at your discretion. I leave the skin on for white potatoes but peel sweet potatoes. Slice the vegetables as thinly as you can. However, it's more important to be uniform than thin so that the chips bake evenly. Aim for 1⁄16" thick, but do not cut thicker than 1/8".

3. Place the slices on paper towels and blot dry. Arrange in a single layer on the baking sheets. Different vegetables bake at di!erent rates, so if you are using a mix, arrange them 1 vegetable per pan.

4. In a small bowl, whisk together the oil, ras el hanout, and salt. Brush on the chips with a pastry brush. Flip the vegetables over and brush the oil mixture on the other side.

5. Bake for 10 minutes for 1/16" slices or 15 minutes for thicker slices. Remove the baking sheets from the oven, flip the chips over, and return the chips to a different rack for even cooking. Continue baking for 5 to 20 minutes, depending on how thick the chips are and what vegetable you're roasting. The chips are ready when they are golden and the edges curl or ruffle. The thinner the chip, the more pronounced the ruffle. (Keep an eye on the smaller chips because they cook faster.)

6. Transfer the chips to a layer of paper towels to cool. Eat as is, or with your favorite dipping sauce. 

UP NEXT: Recipe: Dill Zucchini Fritters With Lemon Tzatziki 

8 TV Characters Who Would Make the Best Fitness Buddies EVER Blog entry Wed, 15 Oct 2014 14:27:59 -0400 Fitbie
Hannah Horvath from Girls

We've all been there: mid-workout, exhausted, wishing we had a friend around to give us an extra push on our last set of tricep dips. But you know what would be even better? Sharing that morning gym trip with one of our favorite TV stars. Ever contemplate what it'd be like to lift weights with Olivia Benson or shoot hoops with Daniel Grayson (hottie alert!)? Check out our list of 8 TV characters who would make the best fitness buddies EVER

Annalise Keating, How to Get Away with Murder
There's no way this woman would let you stop your workout until it's done. Through. Court adjourned. 

More from Fitbie: 10 Signs You're in Love With Your Workout Class Instructor

Daniel Grayson, Revenge
Have you SEEN this man? Squats, pullups, lunges, kettlebell swings—you name it, and we are on board if he's in the same room and joining in on the strength-training session. 


Francis Underwood, House of Cards
This hard-hitter knows a thing or two about logging some mileage, both on the rowing machine in his basement and running around the neighborhood. Too tired to get in that workout? Underwood's always tired. Get over yourself. 

Olivia Benson, Law & Order: Special Victims Unit
Talk about #fitspiration: Olivia has fast-twitch muscle fibers that help her jump out of cars and start sprinting to catch bad guys on the run. 

More from Fitbie: 11 Stages of Being Sore After a Workout

Sophia Burset, Orange is the New Black
Okay, so we're not exactly sure how much working out would happen with her in tow, but you'd get some fashion advice, and maybe a new hairstyle.

Don Draper, Mad Men
He's easy on the eyes, and you could sip Old Fashioneds together on your off days.

Michonne, The Walking Dead
If she can stay motivated to do one-armed pushups during a zombie apocalypse, then she could definitely help you get your butt in gear to hit the gym. 

Hannah Horvath, Girls
Someone who complains more than you at the sight of dumbbells. Plus: Hello, laugh central!

UP NEXT: 8 Song Titles That Perfectly Describe Your Workout

Emily Abbate
3 Yoga Poses for Perfect Posture Blog entry Mon, 20 Oct 2014 11:28:58 -0400 Fitbie
Woman doing bridge pose

You’d have to be living under a rock to miss the extensive news coverage of the fact that sitting is bad for your health. But even at the most basic level, it seems obvious that sitting hunched over a computer all day can lead to less than perfect posture.  

More from Fitbie: 10 Contorted Yoga Poses You Need to See to Believe

A new study, focused on scoliosis patients, shows that performing a single yoga pose for 90 seconds a few times a week could reduce curvature of the spine -- and overall posture and comfort -- in as little as three months. And for a population where treatments include surgery and back braces, thankfully, a little side plank did the trick to the tune of a 32 percent improvement. But even if scoliosis isn't on your radar, it's important to remember the value yoga can contribute to posture and back pain in even the healthiest among us.

"The side plank is a great exercise and should be used in most exercise programs," said Dr. Sean Wells, OCS, ATC/L, CSCS fitness expert at BistroMD. "If you have a chronic feeling of tightness in your upper back or sharp pains between your shoulder blades, this can be caused by sitting in front of a computer for too long, poor posture, or from too-intense overhead workouts at the gym."

Posture not quite pageant-ready? Straighten up with three of Dr. Wells’ favorite yoga poses:

1. Plow pose: Extending the spine in plow pose alleviates unwanted mobility and prevents flexing.

2. Child's pose: One of the easiest poses in yoga, child's pose is great for stretching out the lower back and can actually help relax the entire body.

3. Bridge pose: This pose is great for strengthening, and you’ll feel the muscles in your lower back getting stronger with bridge. Bonus: it opens up the lungs and chest for better breathing and all around relaxation.

UP NEXT: The Benefits of Prenatal Yoga

'Runner's World' Training Tips for Your Best Race Ever (VIDEO) Blog entry Thu, 16 Oct 2014 17:38:23 -0400 Fitbie
Emily Abbate

I'm not perfect. Heck, no runner, daughter, sister, mother, [insert descriptor of your choice here], is. Which is why when someone pointed out that my running form was a bit off, meaning that I typically run with my elbows tilted upward, I knew I needed to get some help. That's where Tish Hamilton, Executive Editor of Runner's World, comes in.

More from Fitbie: Just 5 Minutes of Running a Day Can Change Your Life

I recently had the pleasure of catching up with Tish here at our offices, and asked her a slew of training questions ranging from how to find the right footwear (socks, too!) and how long a person should be a running before signing up for a road race to yes, if my awkward running form really presented a problem. I'll let you in on a secret: Some of the best runners in the world have not-the-best form, too. 

To each her own. 

New Fit video page

Continue to follow along with Emily's journey to the New York City Marathon for expert tips on race training, whether you're gearing up for a 5K, 10K, half-marathon, or beyond. Miss the first installment? Check out Emily's backstory about losing 70 pounds and what inspired her to tackle the marathon distance in the first place. 

UP NEXT: 10 Random Things Runners Ponder While Pounding Pavement

Emily Abbate
Runner and Writer Alex Hutchinson Debunks a Common Running Myth Blog entry Mon, 13 Oct 2014 16:50:52 -0400 Fitbie
Alex Hutchinson

Alex Hutchinson is a man of many talents. He holds a PhD in physics from the University of Cambridge, once worked as a researcher for the National Security Agency, and competed as a middle- and long-distance runner for the Canadian national team for more than 10 years (we're winded just thinking about it!).

More from Fitbie: Pro Runner Lauren Fleshman Says Marathons Aren't Everything 

These days, Hutchinson spends most of his time as a science journalist, writing the Fast Lane column and Sweat Science blog at Runner's World.

We recently caught up with today's #MondayMotivation, where he shared his scientific findings about injury prevention, how to recover after a run, and the importance of setting realistic fitness goals.
Your book Which Comes First, Cardio or Weights? Fitness Myths, Training Truths, and Other Surprising Discoveries from the Science of Exercise debunks common running myths. What do you think is the most common one? Any that you think even runners might believe?
There's a long list of running myths that stick around no matter how often they're debunked. The one that frustrates me most is the idea that running will ruin your knees. Lots of studies have examined this question, following runners and non-runners for decades, and runners are no more likely to get osteoarthritis than non-runners. If anything, they're less likely to have joint problems, because running helps keep them slimmer, which puts less load on joints.

What's the best advice you can offer for beginner runners?
Remember that you always tend to overestimate what you can achieve in the short term, and underestimate what you can achieve in the long term. For beginner runners, this means that people tend to get enthusiastic and increase their training too quickly -- and then, predictably, get injured and discouraged. The classic example is your friends are signing up for a 10K in six weeks, and you decide to tag along instead of working towards a timeline that's more realistic for you. If you start slowly -- that means mixing walking and running initially, and gradually increasing -- then the progress you can make in a year (not a month) is amazing.
What's the biggest misconception about runners? 
I think people often assume that dedicated runners are humorless health fanatics. Most of the runners I know see running as a fun part of their lives that makes them happier overall.

More from Fitbie: 5 Running Myths BUSTED

When did you start running? Why did you start?
My earliest memory of running goes back to kindergarten, and I started running cross-country races in elementary school. I started running more regularly in high school, and that's when I began the transition from running for competition to running for pleasure. I was lucky that I happened to be good at running, which gave me a good incentive to start -- but these days, the reasons I run have little to do with competition. 

What was the biggest challenge you've faced as a runner, and how did you overcome it? 
Like many runners, I've struggled with injuries at times. The hardest to deal with was a stress fracture in my sacrum three months before the 2004 Olympic Trials, which I'd spent four years preparing for. With injuries like stress fractures, you can't "negotiate" with them -- your body has the final word. That's a lesson that we all have to learn at some point. Since then, I've been a little more responsive to my body's signals, and as a result haven't had much trouble with injuries.
To date, how many races have you completed?
I've raced pretty much every distance from 100 meters to the marathon, and I've long since lost count of how many. Certainly a few hundred. My first marathon was last year -- it remains to be determined whether I'll do another one. It was hard!
How do you find the motivation to keep going during a race? 
The truth is that racing well is as much mental as it is physical. We all struggle with trying to keep going when it gets hard. I focus on remembering the training that I did -- and reminding myself how short the race is in the grand scheme of things. I also know how good it feels to finish a race knowing that you gave everything, so I try to make sure I'll cross the line with no regrets.

More from Fitbie: 80 Thoughts Every Woman Has While Running a Half-Marathon
Stretching: Before and/or after you run, or not at all?
Personally, I don't do any static stretching. I haven't seen any evidence that convinces me I'm missing out on any benefits by not stretching. That said, I have lots of friends who swear by it, so I keep an open mind about it. One thing I've learned over the years is that the absence of evidence (i.e. no one has proven that stretching is helpful) isn't the same as evidence of absence (i.e. no one has proven that it isn't helpful, either!).
What's the best way to recover after a hard run?
The two most important factors are pretty boring, I'm afraid. The first is that you have to be physically prepared before you start the run. A hard 60-minute run will be easy to recover from if you did a hard 55-minute run the week before, a 50-minute run two weeks before, and so on. It will be very hard to recover from if you haven't run more than 30 minutes in the last month.

The second factor is rest. After a hard run, your body needs time before you challenge it again. Depending on what level of training you're used to, that might mean a day of complete rest the next day, or a day of light jogging, or a day of cross-training like swimming or biking. Whatever it takes for you personally, you need to allow your body to rebuild after a hard workout.

What do you eat the night before and morning of a big race?
For most races I do, I don't make any big changes in my diet before a race. I just focus on having a healthy meal with a reasonable amount of carbohydrate, protein, and fat. For example, I'd be happy with a nice piece of salmon with some rice, and a big salad with spinach, avocado, green beans, and whatever else I have on hand. Once you get up to marathon distance (which I've only done once), then you have to pay more attention to really loading up your carbohydrate stores, which I would do by increasing the proportion of rice or pasta or whatever on my plate, and also by sipping some sports drink throughout the day.

On the morning of a race, it depends how early the race is. I'll generally stick to foods that are familiar and easily digestible -- some oatmeal, toast or a bagel, a banana -- and try to finish an hour or more before the race.

What did you eat for breakfast today? 
This morning I had a bowl of muesli (raw oats, a wide variety of nuts and seeds) with blueberries, strawberries, banana, yoghurt, and milk. I have that most mornings. Then I had a couple of sourdough-oatmeal pancakes left over from the previous morning with peanut butter and banana. 
What are 3 songs on your workout playlist that are your guilty pleasure?
I'm pretty old-school, in that I don't listen to music while exercising. That's partly because I like to let my thoughts wander freely, and partly because I've never found earbuds that fit my ears comfortably!

More from Fitbie: The Playlist That'll Help You Push Through Your Workout 
What's your typical workout routine like?
These days, I run five or six days a week. That includes one tempo run, one interval workout, and several easy runs. I also rock climb for a few hours once a week, and tack on some body-weight resistance exercise at the end of the session. And I try to do one other body-weight resistance session after a run each week, though that one sometimes slips through the cracks.
What's your most popular content on social media?
To honest, I'm not very good at predicting which of my posts will get lots of response and which won't. And I try not think too much about it, because I don't want to get drawn into that vortex where you're just chasing hits instead of pursuing things you find interesting. That said, I've found posts that offer specific workout suggestions are popular, as are posts about the health benefits of different kinds of exercise.
How do you use social media to help others? 
I initially used social media platforms like Twitter and Facebook as a "broadcast" mechanism -- that is, I mainly used them to spread the word about articles I'd written. These days, I find it's much more interactive. When I blog about a topic, I'll hear back via social media about the further questions people have, and the points they disagree with or find unclear. It's a bit of a clichÈ, but that dialogue helps me write better articles, and I think it helps keep readers interested and engaged as they pursue their own goals.

Follow Hutchinson on Twitter and Facebook.

Are you a nutritionist, food blogger, or fitness expert with a large social media following? Email us at or Tweet us @Fitbie using the hashtag #MondayMotivation to be featured as our next Fitbie Spotlight.

UP NEXT: 15 Common Running Terms and What They Mean

Kayda Norman
Kelly Osbourne Reveals How She Feels About Her Bikini Body (PHOTO) Blog entry Mon, 13 Oct 2014 12:03:57 -0400 Fitbie
Kelly Osbourne

If you've got it, flaunt it! Kelly Osbourne took in some rays over the weekend in Sydney, and then took to Instagram to show off her bikini bod. We can't help but go ga-ga about what she had to say about all that hard work. The Fashion Police co-host shed 70 pounds over the past few years by changing up her eating strategy and exercising daily.


Thank you @ms_go_lightly for taking this pic its such a confidence booster! I don't give fuck I look good! #nofilter

View on Instagram

Osbourne captioned the photo: "Thank you @ms_go_lightly for taking this pic its such a confidence booster! I don't give fuck I look good! #nofilter"

Now THAT is an attitude we can get on board with! Osbourne told Shape that she stays motivated by getting her friends to join her for workout classes. Looking to get your rear in gear? These motivational quotes should give you that extra oomph to lace up your sneakers and get out the door. 

UP NEXT: 'Dancing With the Stars': 20 Contestants Who've Slimmed Down

Emily Abbate
Fitbie Find: New Balance Pink Ribbon Shockingly Unshocking Bra Blog entry Sat, 11 Oct 2014 10:00:08 -0400 Fitbie
sports bra

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and we can't help but love that a bunch of our favorite brands are teaming up to raise money for breast cancer research. Buying fun fitness gear and donating to a good cause? Hello, no-brainer. Which is why today's #SaturdaySaver, the Pink Ribbon Shockingly Unshocking Bra from New Balance's Lace Up for the Cure Collection, is absolute perfection. 

First, about the cause: New Balance contributes 5 percent of the MSRP of each product sold from the New Balance Lace Up for the Cure Collection to Susan G. Komen, with a guaranteed minimum donation of $500,000 each year in support of their mission of finding a cure for breast cancer. 

And now, about the bra: Made with moisture-wicking stabilizer fabric, this piece offers high-impact support, molded cups for shaping and modesty, adjustable front straps and back closure for custom fit, and breathable mesh panels to keep you cool. Plus, it comes in a range of sizes from including 32 to 34 C, 32 to 44 D, and 32 to 44 DD.

Was: $47.99
Now: $35.99

UP NEXT: 19 Fun Fitness Events for Breast Cancer Awareness

Emily Abbate