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Is Loud Music in Workout Classes Bad for Your Ears?

Should you worry about your ears during a loud spin or HIIT class? A doctor weighs in.

That cranked-up stereo definitely isn’t great for your ears. Adults can safely bear a noise dose of less than 85 decibels for eight hours a day, per the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health. And the max amount of time shrinks quickly the louder the noise gets. For instance, adults can tolerate 94 decibels for only one hour before it becomes potentially damaging to their hearing. And the music in some workout classes these days is blasted as loud as 99 decibels, a recent study found.

RELATED: Got Ringing in Your Ears? Here’s How to Cope With Tinnitus

That probably won’t tear you away from your favorite class, which is likely only an hour or less. But next time, see if you notice any ringing or buzzing in your ears (a.k.a. tinnitus) after class. If you do, I suggest you start wearing earplugs to prevent any long-term or permanent hearing loss. Earplugs will only muffle the noise, so you should still be able to hear the music. Some studios offer earplugs to clients for free (ask at the front desk), or you can pick up a pack at the drugstore and stash them in your gym bag. And don’t forget to watch the volume if you’re working out on your own and listening to music with headphones. As a rule, if someone near you can hear the music through your headphones, it’s too loud.

Health’s medical editor, Roshini Rajapaksa, MD, is assistant professor of medicine at the NYU School of Medicine.

We Tried It: Physiclo Weighted Workout Pants

The idea of built-in resistance making a workout harder and more efficient is an intriguing one.

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What It Is: Physiclo Compression Tights with Built-In Resistance

Who Tried It: Stephanie Emma Pfeffer,  PEOPLE Bodies writer

Level of Difficulty: 5/10

I was skeptical when I first heard about Physiclo compression tights and the company’s promise of amping up a workout just by wearing special gear. But it sort of made sense, the idea of built-in resistance making a workout harder and more efficient. And since I’m always trying to squeeze the best workout in the fewest minutes possible (who isn’t?), I ordered a pair and decided to take them for a trial run. Literally.

The first thing I noticed was how difficult they were to get on. I mean, these babies were tight! And at $110 for capris and $125 for full-length tights, I was a little annoyed at feeling like I was being stuffed into a sausage casing. Once they were on, though, things felt better — and each time I wore them they were easier to pull on.

The site says Physiclo’s technology uses elastic bands and panels stretching over different muscle groups to generate resistance. My legs definitely felt heavier wearing them.

To test the company’s claim of an increased heart rate and caloric burn, I did the same routine wearing the Physiclo tights one day and my regular workout pants another day, comparing my Fitbit stats both days.

I ran on the treadmill for 15 minutes at a pace of 6.0 and a barely noticeable 1.0 incline. Even with the added weight, the tights didn’t restrict my movement at all, although I imagined it might be hard to do my usual speed work.

Wearing the Physiclo tights I had an average heart rate of 158 (max 170), and I burned 158 calories. In regular pants my heart rate was 154 (max 164) and I burned 133 calories.

So according to my completely unscientific experiment, wearing the Physiclo pants produced not only a higher heart rate but more of a calorie burn! I was sold.

Over the next few weeks I wore them for some other activities. I jumped rope in them one day.  I wore them to the playground to do body weight exercises while my kids ran around. I tried the leg-day workout on the Physiclo site designed by Olympian Stephen Lambdin.

By this time I was starting to dig them and feel a lot more comfortable. I was able to run 5 miles on the treadmill with no problem achieving my usual speed. (Not sure if my legs were getting stronger or what, but I felt great!)

When I most felt the effects was while doing exercises like squats or the Stair Master. I did 15 minutes at level 10 and really felt it in my thighs and butt.  I felt as sore as if I had done a full hour of barre! I wondered if I would grow an awesome peach booty if I wore these consistently.

After a few weeks of wearing Physiclo sporadically, I noticed that my legs felt stronger, tighter and more toned. Not sure if that was the pants or because I was working out a lot more in general.

The one thing I didn’t love was how they looked. Yes, I am a little vain about what I wear to the gym — I find it motivating to look good. And even though I am in shape, these pants squeezed me in ways I felt were slightly unflattering. That’s not to say everyone would have this problem — it’s possible that other body types would be fine. I dealt with the issue by wearing longer-than-usual tops. But this was really my only complaint, and it was not enough to keep me from wearing the pants.

Verdict: At $110, these pants are not cheap, but they run the same amount as some other luxe  brands. If you work out a lot and are looking to add something new or take your routine to the next level,  you should give these a shot! Just don’t size down when you order.

Janet Jackson Lost 70 Pounds Without Doing Any Cardio

“We were doing three or four exercises with weights back to back,” Jackson’s trainer Paulette Sybliss said.

This article originally appeared on

Janet Jackson is looking better than ever. Not only did the 51-year-old star recently welcome a baby girl, Eissa, she also is in the best shape of her life.

If you think she’s been pounding the treadmill or doing some intense spin classes, think again. The famous singer and her trainer devised an entirely new workout plan, and she’s lost 70 lbs. without doing any cardio. While still rigorous—they worked out together four times a week for a minimum of 45 minutes—the intense training skipped exercises that tend to be hard on the body.

“We were doing three or four exercises with weights back to back,” Jackson’s trainer Paulette Sybliss told E! News. “What that does—you would look at her and think she’d done like an hour of cardio with me—but when you’re working with weights and you’re working the muscle that way, it elevates the heart rate, but also it’s creating that fat burning affect both during the session and also when she left me, and that was key.”

RELATED: Janet Jackson Makes Rare Red Carpet Appearance in Skintight Leather Skirt

While their initial goal was to lose weight, they’re now focusing maintaining her figure and staying healthy. “We’re not looking to lose any weight whatsoever,” Sybliss continued. “She looks incredible and she’s so fit, but she’s also healthy.”

Despite her focus on staying in incredible shape, Jackson also makes sure to treat herself occasionally. “If Janet feels that she needs to have a chocolate cake, go ahead and have a chocolate cake. You’re not eating it every day. You won’t get fat overnight.”

6 Instagram Stars on What People Get Wrong About Fitness

Let these fitness stars set the record straight.

Social media stars are busy spreading the message that there isn’t one “right way” to get fit. (The best way is what works best for you!) And influencers will be the first to tell you there isn’t one definition of a “fit” body.

But there are still other persistent myths out there that need to go away—which is why we asked our favorite Instagram stars to clear up a few common misconceptions. In the video above, Kayla Itsines makes the case that cutting out carbs to stay fit is entirely unnecessary; while the Tone It Up girls—Katrina Scott and Karena Dawn—drive home the idea that fitness can actually be fun. (Just watch one of their upbeat workouts, and you’ll know exactly what they mean.)

WATCH THE VIDEO: 6 Fitness Stars Share Their Hardest Workouts

Katie Austin adds that despite how it may seem, fitness influencers aren’t always exercising. “Maybe like five days a week,” she teases. The truth is, stars who serve up a seemingly endless stream of fitspiration also like to have fun outside the gym too. Meanwhile Sjana Elise wants aspiring yogis to know that you don’t have to be flexible to practice, and Kelsey Wells tackles what is perhaps the biggest mistake people make about exercise: “It’s not about how you look. It’s about how you feel.”

Quick 3-Move Cardio Workout from Bob Harper

Skip the treadmill with this quick cardio routine by Bob Harper.

Photo: Daily Burn Black Fire

This article originally appeared on

You don’t always need tons of equipment to get a heart-pumping, sweat-dripping workout. And you don’t even need many moves. With a little help from celeb trainer Bob Harper (and his Daily Burn workout program, Black Fire), you can get a serious cardio workout in just three exercises — no treadmill, elliptical or bike required. The secret to seeing results while still keeping it simple: working hard and moving fast, without sacrificing form. So step off the machine to step up your stamina with this quick cardio workout you can do anywhere. It’s time to test your limits.

RELATED: 6 Plyometric Exercises for a No-Running Cardio Workout

Bob Harper’s 3-Move Cardio Workout

Each exercise below works your entire body — cardiorespiratory system included. Start with a three- to five-minute warm-up and then get moving. Aim to perform this workout as a ladder, doing one rep of each exercise on the first round, two on the second, three on the third, and so on. See how many reps of each move you can complete in 20 minutes. If you repeat the workout another day, try to beat that number — because a little friendly competition with yourself offers some real motivation. Take a breather when you need it, but keep in mind: The harder you push, the more calories you burn. Ready, set, sweat!

RELATED: 7 Mobility Exercises to Never Skip Before a Workout

 Mountain Climbers Exercise

GIF: Daily Burn Black Fire

1. Wide Mountain Climbers

How to: Get in a high plank position, with your hands on the ground or on a box or chair in front of you. You should form a straight line from shoulders to hips to ankles (a). Step or jump your right foot to the outside of your right hand (b). Using your abs, lift your hips and jump to switch your feet so your right leg goes back to plank position and your left foot steps to the outside of your left hand (c). Continue alternating.

RELATED: 5 Mountain Climbers for Seriously Sculpted Abs

 Dumbbell Swing Exercise

GIF: Daily Burn Black Fire

2. Dumbbell Swings

How to: Start with feet just a little wider than hip-width apart. Hold a medium to heavy dumbbell with both hands down in front of you (a). Inhale and hinge at the hips, lean forward with a flat back and bend your knees slightly as you bring the dumbbell between your legs (b). Using the power of your glutes and hamstrings, exhale and thrust your hips forward to bring the dumbbell straight up overhead as you straighten your legs. Make sure you engage your abs to stand upright at the top — don’t lean backward (c). Let the dumbbell naturally come back down and between your legs (d). Repeat.

RELATED: How to Kettlebell Swing Like the Pros

 Hand Release Push-Up Exercise

GIF: Daily Burn Black Fire

3. Hand Release Push-Up

How to: Start in a high plank position, wrists under shoulders and body in a straight line from shoulders to hips to ankles (a). Lower all the way down to the ground. Your elbows should point backward as you go, and your body should remain in a solid plank position (b). At the bottom, pick your hands up off the floor briefly (c). Then place them back down, in line with your shoulders (d). Push yourself back up to the top of a plank, keeping your body in a straight line. Don’t round or arch your back (e). Repeat.

Home for the Holidays? Here's a Workout You Can Do in Any Living Room

Reebok trainer and Annie Thorisdottir shares some of her favorite at-home workout moves.

This article originally appeared on

If you’ve ever found yourself home for the holidays and wondering how you’re going to squeeze in a workout between family visits and Black Friday shopping, you’re in luck.

Reebok trainer and eight-time Reebok CrossFit Games athlete Annie Thorisdottir is sharing some of her favorite at-home workouts for people who are miles away from their regular gym.

Luckily, everything you need can be found in a standard living room (no fancy gym equipment required).

The at-home workout is something Thorisdottir, 28, says she does with her family all the time.

“My family never says no to a fun workout!” she explains, adding that this routine is accessible to all ability levels. “Body-weight movements are great since they require no setup or equipment. … If you’re in great shape, you can increase the intensity or up the reps to get in a great workout.”

Here are a few moves to try. For a more gentle workout, do fewer repetitions. If you want a more intense workout, move through the series three times and add reps.


Thorisdottir loves this warm-up move. Simply stand up straight, cross your arms and rest your hands on the chest. Bend your chest forward while moving the butt back, and try form a 90-degree angle with your body (It’s okay to bend the knees). Then raise your chest back to the original position.


Keep the abs engaged as you move through this exercise. Step one leg forward and bend the other back into a lunge. Jump up and switch legs in the air, going down into a lunge on the other side. Repeat and take care not to bang your knee against the ground!


These one-legged squats work on a couch, chair, or sturdy coffee table. Start seated with one leg in the air and the other planted on the ground. Then, stand while keeping your raised leg in the air through the movement. After a few reps, switch legs for a balanced workout.


You’ll need bit of space for these, so consider moving some furniture out of the way to make some room. Begin in plank position with your shoulders directly over your hands, your hips down, and your eyes at a slight 45-degree angle in front of you. Then, raise each leg to your chest, rotating one at a time in a controlled movement. Move as quickly as you can.


While you’re down in plank position, why not try some shoulder taps? Raise your right arm up to the opposite shoulder, and then rotate sides, returning to the plank position in-between. Make sure you keep your body still while moving your arms.


Look around and grab books, candlesticks, water bottles, or any other light objects around the house. Now, with your elbows raised, hold the objects at your shoulders and do a squat. As you move back up, raise your objects overhead so your arms are fully extended. Repeat!

6 Dance Cardio Workout Videos That Will Get You Out of Your Exercise Rut

Cardio dance classes can add some much-needed fun into a workout routine that’s starting to feel just blah. But is it just us, or does it always seem like studios are full of legit professional dancers? If you’re typically more of a weights gal or an outdoor runner, shakin’ it in front of a bunch of strangers–no matter how dim the lights–can feel more than a little intimidating.

So where better to get the hang of a dance routine than in the safety (aka privacy) of your own home? These cardio dance workout videos show you all the moves you’ll need to break a sweat–and crack a smile. Because you’re a lot more likely to stick to an exercise regimen if you actually enjoy it rather than totally dread it. Press play on one of these super-fun sequences–and dance like no one’s watching (because literally no one is–phew).

RELATED: The Best Online Yoga Workout Videos

The Secret to J.Lo’s Incredible Abs, According to Her Trainer

Want abs like Jennifer Lopez? This simple at-home move can help you get them.

Jenny from the block has her abs on lock. And there isn’t a crop top or cutout dress that doesn’t know it.

One key to the 48-year-old entertainer’s chiseled middle: side-plank oblique crunches, says her trainer David Kirsch. “It’s perfect for when you need to focus on shaping and toning not only the obliques but the entire core,” he says.


Jess Levinson

How to Do Side-Plank Oblique Crunches

Start in side plank, with legs extended and feet and hips stacked; rest left forearm on floor under shoulder. Place right hand lightly behind head (A). Rotating torso, bring right elbow in toward belly (B); return to start. Do 15 reps per side 3 times a week to start seeing toned abs in 2 weeks.

The Best Fitness Gear to Buy in Old Navy’s Black Friday Sale

Because you can never have too many workout tanks.

You can’t beat the price of Old Navy workout clothes on a regular day, but this Black Friday, your new favorite fitness gear is an even better deal. In addition to their outrageously amazing $1 cozy sock sale, Old Navy is kicking off a three-day sale starting Wednesday, November 22. From Thanksgiving Eve through Black Friday, you’ll get 50% off your entire purchase (no coupon code required), and many other items will be marked down to $10 or less. Here’s the cute, long-lasting workout wear we’ll be adding to our cart at An entire head-to-toe look (and more) for a grand total of under $150!

High-Rise Mesh-Panel 7/8-Length Leggings (regularly $33, now $16.50;

You can’t go wrong with a flattering high-rise legging and an on-trend cropped ankle, but these bottoms also boast chafe-preventing seams and moisture-wicking technology. Plus, this beautiful berry hue is literally called “Magical Potion,” which is what all our workouts should feel like they’ve been blessed with, right?

Go-Warm Quilted Hybrid Jacket (regularly $70, now $35;

This half-puffer, half-hoodie gives the illusion of a vest and is perfect for bundling up on your way to and from spin class, thanks to its cozy fleece collar and sleeves.

Slub-Knit Performance Hoodie (regularly $23, now $11.50;

Super-soft and lightweight, this long-sleeve option is perfect for winter workout layering. Thanks to the flattering tunic cut, though, we wouldn’t blame you for adding this to your athleisure rotation, either.

High Support Adjustable-Strap Sports Bra (regularly $33, now $16.50;

At this price, you should stock up on multiple sports bras to last you throughout the year. Molded cups, two layers of moisture-wicking fabric, and an adjustable hook-and-eye closure (with a cute back too!) won’t disappoint.

Semi-Fitted Run Shorts (regularly $17, now $8.50;

In a fun floral print, these lightweight, moisture-wicking shorts will make your winter workouts feel (at least a little?) more like spring. Bonus: They even have a small pocket along the front interior.

Ultra-Light Mesh-Trim Racerback Tank (regularly $17, now $8.50;

Can you ever have too many workout tanks? Not when they’re this affordable–and this cute. The mesh trim shows a little peekaboo of skin and will keep you cool through hot yoga.

Graphic Tulip-Hem Performance Tee (regularly $17, now $8.50;

You’ll want to save this semi-cotton, super-fun tee for after you hit the showers because it’s just too cute to get sweaty! Only for the most confident of coffee-lovers.

Mid-Rise Slim Heathered-Stripe Track Pants (originally $40, now $20;

You’ll want to wear these retro-inspired sweats all winter long. A tapered leg and tuxedo stripe give these joggers an effortlessly chic vibe. Also good: Hidden zippers at the ankles make them even comfier.

The Cool Old-School Workout Machine Alison Brie Uses to Shape Up

It will tone you from head to toe.

If you look up the definition of “badass” in the dictionary, we’re pretty sure you’ll find a picture of Alison Brie, the star of GLOW, Netflix’s hit comedy series about a women’s pro-wrestling circuit in the 1980s. Not only because Brie gets raw in the ring on the show (think body slams, flips, and headlocks), but because the 34-year-old’s daily workout moves are kind of killer. Seriously. Scroll through her Instagram feed and you’ll find her knocking out weighted pull-ups, pulling sleds loaded with three times her body weight, and muscling through split squats while casually toting 80 pounds. NBD. That’s why we often look to Brie for fitspo—and the actress never disappoints.

In fact, she recently shared a video on her Stories in which she’s using Rogue Monster Lever Arms, which is an updated version of Jammer Arms—an old-school strength and conditioning machine commonly used in professional and collegiate football training programs. Brie’s caption: “fun new toy today.”

Alison Brie Jammer Arms Workout Tool Glow Netflix Exercise

Alison Brie

What makes it so great? “This machine grounds you while developing both lower- and upper-body explosiveness and strength,” explains health coach and performance specialist Faheem Mujahid, owner of HumanWorks, a private training studio in in Miami.  Plus, the arms move independently of each other, which is a great way to work on muscle imbalances. You can perform both pushing and pulling movements; and it works multiple joints and muscles at a time. Check out the demo video below to see all the Rogue Monster Lever Arms can do:

RELATED:  This Cardio Machine Works Your Entire Body (and Will Do Wonders for Your Butt)

So what was Brie doing with that hunk of metal in her video? We’d guess it was some variation of a squat to overhead press. (FYI: Brie notes in the video that this was her first time using this piece of equipment, which we take to mean that her form, or the move, may not have been at 100% yet.)

No access to Jammer Arms? Look to a cable machine instead, which offers less stabilization support, but allows a similar range of motion depending on the exercise. If you are a skilled lifter, you can also try this movement with a barbell, which would require more use of stabilization, notes Mujahid. “Barbell weight is static throughout each point within the range of motion as compared to the lever and cables, where the level of resistance varies depending on where the individual is within the range of motion,” he says. (You could also try a variation with with dumbbells. Check out how to do that move here.)

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Wondering how this might help Brie nail her wrestling moves as her alter ego “Zoya the Destroyer”?  “As a wrestler, it is important to develop a strong center of gravity, as well as an efficient productivity force/output between both the lower and upper extremities due to the fact that most of the required muscles and/or positions used for the sport demand a high level of production from a transfer of force from a lower position to a higher position,” explains Mujahid. In other words, our money is on Brie claiming the championship belt when season two of Glow premieres sometimes in 2018.

Teen Dies After Collapsing from Dehydration While Trying to Lose Weight Before Muay Thai Fight

She became dehydrated while cutting weight so she would be eligible to compete.

This article originally appeared on

An 18-year-old Australian woman died while cutting weight for an amateur Muay Thai fight, according to multiple reports.

According to 9NEWS, just one day before the fight was scheduled to take place, Jessica Lindsay collapsed from severe dehydration while she was running. Sporting News reported that she died four days later in a Perth hospital.

Leading up to her collapse, Lindsay had been cutting weight so she would be eligible to compete in the amateur fight, which had a weigh-in at 64 kilograms (which is approximately 141 lbs), the 9NEWS report said.

While the Combat Sports Commission has said that weight-cutting is not covered in its legislation, they are “constantly reviewing processes and guidelines around contest health and safety,” according to Sporting News.

9NEWS reported Lindsay’s death will be investigated by the coroner.

GoFundMe page set up by a friend of the teen — which is raising money to help pay for funereal costs — also claimed that there were similarities between Lindsay’s death and the death of Jordan Coe. According to The Telegraph, Coe was a professional Muay Thai fighter who died in March of a suspected heat stroke while cutting weight for a fight.

The fundraising page also stated that it hopes that the teen’s “legacy will make a change and stop this from happening to anyone else.”

How 5 Fitness Influencers Get Ready for Bed

Kayla Itsines, Kelsey Wells and other influencers discuss their bedtime routines.

We know how our favorite Instagram stars work it in the gym, but what’s on the Tone It Up Girls’ agenda when it’s finally time to wind down for the night? We asked them for the scoop on how they prep for bed, then posed the question to other favorite fitness influencers, like Kayla Itsines and Kelsey Wells. Watch the video above to hear how these fit ladies end their day.

“I have to either say goodnight or call her or Facetime her,” says Tone It Up cofounder Katrina Scott, referring to her BFF and business partner Karena Dawn. “She doesn’t always pick up, but…you did last night!” Too cute.

WATCH THE VIDEO: Get Your Heart Pumping With This 7-Minute Circuit From Kayla Itsines

Kayla Itsines confirmed her devotion to fitness when she told Health she ends every night with “a big stretch session before bed.” Sounds like the perfect way to quiet the mind and body after crushing a BBG workout.

“Catching up with my husband, catching up with my emails, and brushing my teeth,” says personal trainer Kelsey Wells of her nightly routine. Props to Wells for keeping her smile bright and connecting with her SO.

As for Aussie yogi Sjana Elise, deep Zs are the only things that matter to her come evening. When we asked what she does pre-bedtime, Elise said she’s “sleeping” already! We hear you.

Karlie Kloss Says Running the Marathon Was the Best Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show Training

Karlie Kloss made her return to the Victoria’s Secret runway in Shanghai.

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After a two year hiatus from the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show, Karlie Kloss made her grand return to the runway in Shanghai. And the supermodel feels right at home with the Angel squad.

“This is the greatest show on Earth. It’s really special to be back here with all my girls and in the famous pink robe and just getting ready for the show here in Shanghai,” she told PEOPLE backstage at the 2017 Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show. “It’s a very, very special runway and it’s a very special year have this big show in China.”

Kloss last walked the runway in 2014 (alongside Taylor Swift!), and shortly thereafter ended her contract with the brand because of other commitments. But Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show head Ed Razek told PEOPLE at the time that “she will always be an Angel to me.” And he wasn’t kidding, inviting the model to return whenever she wanted to.

“It just felt like the right time. It’s like riding a bike, getting back out there and wearing the wings,” she shared. “I was in rehearsals and had my wings on and I kind of had a ‘pinch me’ moment. I never thought I’d be back out here and it was really special. Being on the Victoria’s Secret Runway makes me feel invincible.”

RELATED PHOTOS: 21 Years of the Fantasy Bra!

Earlier the month, Kloss ran the New York City marathon, and said it was the best physical training she could have ton to get VS runway ready.

“I just ran the marathon and that was one of the greatest physical and mental challenges that I ever willingly signed up for, and I’m kind of addicted to it now,” she shared. “I want to do it next year and maybe run another one in between. I’ve always dreamed of doing it and it was tough, but it was a great way to train for this runway.”

RELATED PHOTOS: See how the Angels worked out for the show!

Kloss also maintains that a healthy diet, even after the show, has been key to her lifestyle.

“I think all of us treat ourselves like athletes and we’re constantly traveling and on the road and all of us to train and have energy to do our job and to workout and feel strong you have to eat properly and really fuel your body and your mind,” she said, before adding, “I’m looking forward to a delicious meal after the show — I heard rumors there is going to be pizza at the so I look forward to that!”

Want to Live Longer? Every Movement Counts, Even Cleaning the House

Just 30 minutes a day of light exercise was linked to a lower risk of death.

You don’t have to break a sweat to reap the health benefits of physical activity, according to new research in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society. In a study of women age 65 and older, just 30 minutes a day of light exercise—like running errands and cleaning the house—was linked to a lower risk of death.

Moderate-intensity exercise, like leisurely bike riding or brisk walking, was associated with an even greater reduction in risk. The authors say that improving doing more light and moderate physical activity could be almost as effective as rigorous exercise at preventing disease and prolonging life. “The paradigm needs to shift when we think about being active,” says senior author Andrea LaCroix, professor of family medicine and public health at the University of California San Diego.

For the study, LaCroix and her colleagues asked 6,000 women, ages 65 to 99, to wear activity-tracking accelerometers for seven days as they went about their daily activities. The women were then followed for an average of three years.

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Based on the data from the women’s activity trackers, the researchers found that those who got at least 30 minutes of light physical activity a day were 12% less likely to die, compared to those who got less. Those who got an additional 30 minutes of moderate activity were 39% less likely to die.

Light physical activity includes just about any type of behavior that isn’t sitting down: walking to the mailbox, strolling around the neighborhood and doing laundry. Activities like these account for more than 55% of older adults’ daily activity, says LaCroix, so the fact that they were protective in this study is very good news.

“We’ve always been told that this type of activity isn’t enough to do you good,” says LaCroix. “But what we have here is solid evidence that light physical activity reduces a woman’s risk of dying over the next three to four years—and we see the benefits are substantial and independent of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity.”

MORE: TIME’s Guide to Exercise

The study could not show a cause-and-effect relationship between activity level and risk of death, only an association. But the link was present in all types of women in the study, including those of all races and ethnicities, women who were obese and those who were not, women with high and low functional abilities and women older and younger than 80.

As adults get older, they expend more energy doing the same activities they did when they were younger, LaCroix says—so they don’t need to exercise as much, or as intensely, to burn the same amount of calories or get their heart rate up. “We know that people of different ages need different amounts and intensities of exercise to get the same result,” she says. “It’s not one size fits all.”

But national guidelines still recommend that adults over age 65 follow the same guidelines as younger people: to get at least 150 minutes of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity per week. And recent analyses, compiled from studies in which adults self-reported their levels of physical activity, have suggested that older adults have to log moderate-to-vigorous exercise in order to reduce their risk of early death.

LaCroix says her new study refutes that research and shows that older adults can still benefit at levels below the moderate-to-vigorous guidelines. Questionnaires used in self-reported studies don’t do a good job of encompassing all the ways people get physical activity throughout the day, she says, which may have skewed previous study results. “What makes our study stronger than those others is that we used a device that was able to measure all of the movements we do in our daily lives,” she says.

The researchers hope their work sparks more discussion about how people—especially older ones—think about exercise and their goals for being active. “I think the current guidelines are discouraging to older people who don’t believe they can do 150 minutes of hard exercise,” LaCroix says. “They throw up their hands and think, ‘that’s not for me.’ But everyone does light physical activity, and the idea that doing more of it can have substantial health benefits should be welcome news.”

The One Healthy Thing Fitness Experts Always Do on Thanksgiving Day

Who doesn’t love Thanksgiving—one of the few days of the year when you can put aside your usual healthy habits and pig out with no shame or judgment?

While we’re totally on board with holiday indulgence, it’s not a bad idea to try to do at least one food- or fitness-related move to keep your energy high, your mood bright, and successfully resist the urge to veg out on the couch after dinner nursing a monster food baby. To give you some inspiration, we asked fitness influencers, nutritionists, and Health staffers to tell us one thing they always do for mind-body health on Turkey Day.

RELATED: 11 Celeb-Approved Workouts for a Toned, Sculpted Butt

“I get out on the road early for a run before the festivities begin. I know later I most likely won’t have the time or energy. Running is also my ‘me’ time; on a day of giving thanks, it’s important to thank yourself for all you do! Having the ability to move, breathe, and share life with others makes me feel even more grateful. The crisp fall air and smell of fallen leaves doesn’t hurt in setting the mood either.”

—Rebecca Kennedy, New York based–fitness trainer

“I love taking recipes from Pinterest that look super yummy and find ways to make them healthier with organic and natural ingredients. It’s fun because it’s something the whole family can be part of. We’re all cooking and being creative, and healthy!”

—Cassey Ho, fitness influencer and founder of Blogilates

“I always try to maintain a physical yoga practice during the holidays, even if it mean unrolling my mat in the one sliver of space that’s not occupied by a family member. It always helps me stay centered during what can be a very emotionally difficult time of the year and it helps validate my requisite gluttonous holiday meal choices. Plus, yogic twists make digestion of rich holiday food much easier.”

Jessamyn Stanley, yogi and author of Every Body Yoga

“My mom, brother, dad, and I run our local turkey trot together. My mom and I always take the lead (sorry boys!), and we get a little bit competitive toward the end. I may have thrown out an ‘eat my dust!’ as I passed her in the final mile last year. But it’s all in good fun!”

—Jacqueline Andriakos, senior editor at Health

“On Thanksgiving I pay close attention to my mind-body connection. It doesn’t feel good to deprive myself, and it doesn’t feel good to be stuffed and sluggish, so I make choices that allow me to feel both satisfied and energized simultaneously. This balance feels just right, both mentally and physically, and it’s freeing to make choices motivated by feeling well, rather than numbers, rules, shoulds, or guilt!”

—Cynthia Sass, RD, Health contributing nutrition editor

RELATED: How to Handle the Holidays When You Have Food Intolerances

“Before we head to my aunt and uncle’s house for dinner, I like to get in a workout with my younger brother. My dad built a mini-gym in our basement years ago, and now that my brother and I no longer live together (he’s in college and I’m in New York), it’s a fun way to bond, catch up, and sweat a little bit before stuffing our faces with food. Plus, he always has pointers for perfecting my weightlifting form or new exercises to try out (Thanks, Wyatt!).”

—Julia Naftulin, assistant digital editor at Health

“I just make sure to get a run in, walk before and after eating, and then also pace myself between the main course and dessert. I’m never one to wildly indulge and I think if you give yourself a bit of a break between the main course and dessert it allows you some time to spend with your family, in addition to being actually able to savor the deliciousness of the sweets.”

Joe Holder, Nike master trainer

“Our Thanksgiving Day tradition (besides enjoying the meal) always includes exercise: We all go for a hike in the morning, followed by a stretching session, usually led by my daughter [fitness blogger and author] Katie, and then after the meal we put on loud music and dance around the house, inside and out! It’s a great way to keep your energy up and connect with the family!”

—Denise Austin, fitness expert and creator of LifeFit

“This Thanksgiving, I’ll be sneaking in an infrared sauna session. It’s a 30-minute sweat, so if I’m cooking all day and don’t have time to get my ass to the gym, it’s easy. And a good sweat definitely helps me mentally prepare for family dynamics!”

Hannah Bronfman, DJ and founder of HBFIT

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“I always try to go for a run before the meal, but no matter my exercise plans, my family and I try to do something active together during the day. Some years, with a big crowd, that’s been a casual touch football game. Other times, it’s just a walk around the block. Anything to get moving and help avoid a total food coma!”

—Sarah Klein, senior editor at Health

“Every year, I watch the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade from a friend’s house that overlooks the parade route. Her apartment is about a two-mile walk from my house, and I always walk there and back to fit some activity in before I feast later on. The brisk walk is my favorite way to wake up on one of my favorite days of the year!”

—Anthea Levi, assistant editor at Health

Why Fitness Star Anna Victoria Wants Everyone to Stop Apologizing for 'Bad' Photos on Social Media

The trainer behind the Fit Bodies Guides shared a reminder to focus on the memories behind your photos, not your looks.

Have you ever scrolled through photos from a night out with friends, only to worry about whether you look good enough in any of them to make the cut for Instagram? You’re certainly not alone. Not even superstar fitness blogger Anna Victoria is immune to feeling insecure about what she looks like in a photo before deciding to post (or delete) it.

But when she caught herself feeling vulnerable before sharing a pic from a family vacation the other day, she took it as an opportunity to spread an important message about self-love.

RELATED: Does Makeup Belong in the Gym? Six Instagram Stars Share Their Thoughts

The social media star and trainer behind the Fit Body Guides posted a photo of herself playing in the waves in Hawaii with her niece on a family vacation. In the caption, she wrote, “Of course when I saw this photo I thought, ‘soaked hair, slouched over, makeup all over,’ I could go on. But how silly is that?”

“I’m not saying you have to love a ‘bad’ photo of yourself,” she continued. “But don’t hide away pictures of beautiful memories and beautiful moments with friends and family just because you don’t like how you look.”

RELATED: 5 Inspiring Fitness Influencers to Follow on Instagram

Victoria admits that she felt “nervous” about posting the shot originally, “because it’s hard to be vulnerable and share your less-than-perfect moments,” she tells Health. “But I wanted to use that photo as an example that what we look like is not more important than living life and making memories and documenting them.”

It’s not only so-called ‘bad’ pictures that Victoria wants women to stop worrying about or over-analyzing; it’s also the pictures in which someone is totally happy with how they look. Often times, even when some people share a photo they actually love, they may still crack a joke or apologize for a flaw, she explains, as opposed to writing a positive message about why they love the shot or the story behind it.

“There’s an element of, especially on social media, potentially coming across as just wanting attention if we proudly share a moment in which we feel beautiful. And to combat that, women will often point out a flaw that likely no one else would have noticed otherwise,” Victoria explains. “I think society has conditioned women to avoid using language that would make them appear too into themselves, and we play into this by either refusing compliments or being self-deprecating.”

So next time you go to post something on social media but feel a twinge of insecurity, just “own it,” Victoria urges. “Share it without diminishing your beauty.”

Years of Infertility and Miscarriages Sent Me Into a Spiral of Depression

From the time she was small, Jessica Dolan wanted to be a mom. So not long after she and her boyfriend of nine years got married, they began trying to get pregnant. A year later, with no success, Jessica’s doctor sent her to a fertility clinic for help. Feeling hopeful, the couple began the intense process of in vitro fertilization, with every-other-day visits to the clinic for blood tests, exams, imaging, and injections of hormone-bolstering medications.

Then, in the summer of 2012, they received the news they’d been waiting for: Jessica was pregnant. “I was 37, and we were thrilled to be starting a family,” she recalls.

When she was six weeks along, Jessica started having menstrual-like cramps and feeling lightheaded. At first, she chalked it up to pregnancy, but when the symptoms persisted for several days, she went to her doctor. An ultrasound revealed that the fertilized egg had implanted in her fallopian tubes instead of her uterus—what’s known as an ectopic pregnancy—which meant it wouldn’t survive.

“I was crushed,” says Jessica. “The clock was ticking because of my age, but I dreaded starting the whole process over again.”

More heartbreak

Shell-shocked and in mourning, they took a year-and-a-half break to regroup, but by December 2013 they felt ready to try again. “My fertility doctor assured us that he’d never seen a woman have two ectopic pregnancies, and he was confident we’d be successful,” says Jessica. Indeed, in January 2014, she learned she was pregnant again.

At five weeks, however, she started having cramping again—and discovered that lightning can strike twice. This pregnancy, too, was ectopic. “Everyone at the fertility clinic was shocked, and I felt defective, like there was something terribly wrong with me if my body couldn’t do what it was supposed to do.”

With one frozen embryo left, Jessica and her husband decided to give it one final try. A month later, she had a positive pregnancy test—but at the following week’s office visit, a second test came back negative. “That false positive marked the end of our dreams,” says Jessica. “But giving up triggered a painful identity crisis. If I couldn’t have a child, who was I? What would I be if not a mom?”

Rock bottom

Jessica spiraled into a dark, lonely place. She could barely get out of bed in the morning and began eating anything that made her feel better in the moment—pizza, ice cream, cookies. Over the next year she gained 30 pounds. “I was too depressed to work, and every morning I woke up and thought, ‘F**k, here goes another day.’ I couldn’t imagine what was going to become of my life.”

Still, there were fleeting moments when she felt more positive, and in one of those she downloaded the 7 Minute Workout app and pushed herself to start doing it. “I’d exercised off and on throughout my life, and even though I was ridiculously out of shape I figured I could do seven minutes,” she says.

WATCH THE VIDEO: Kayla Itsines’ Seven-Minute Full-Body Workout

After a few months, she started running on her treadmill and gradually built her endurance to 10 minutes, then 15, then 20. “Instead of beating myself up for doing so little, I told myself that every minute was a win,” she says. The more she exercised the better she felt—less anxious, more positive, more confident and capable. By early 2015 she was working again and began re-engaging with life.

Last June, ready to take her routine to the next level, Jessica hired a personal trainer. “He keeps me accountable and pushes me farther than I thought I could go. Now when he tells me to do 50 push-ups I don’t think, ‘Are you crazy?’ I just do it,” she says.

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Her weekly routine is intense. She gets up at 4 a.m. two mornings for a bootcamp class, does personal training two days, runs at least three miles every weekend, and takes hip-hop or ballroom dancing a few nights a week.

“The fog has lifted and I’m feeling great. I’ve lost weight, and I’m energized by life again,” says Jessica. “Without exercise I would have been lost. It shifted my thinking from negative to positive. It helped me embrace every day instead of dread it. All my life, exercise seemed like a chore, like something I should do but didn’t really want to do. Now I look forward to it, because I know it keeps my mind as healthy as my body. And it all started with a few minutes a day. That’s how powerful it is.”

Inside One of Reese Witherspoon and Naomi Watts' Favorite Workouts: Burn 60

The signature workout combines treadmill cardio with circuit training.

This article originally appeared on

In between filming movies like A Wrinkle in Time that take her all over the world, Reese Witherspoon is a regular at Burn 60 fitness studio.

The busy star — plus other celeb fans like Naomi Watts — joins the group classes at the Brentwood, California gym as often as possible for their signature workout, which combines treadmill cardio with circuit training.

“It’s a smart way to get the most bang out of your buck if you have limited time, because you spend half of your time doing strength training work with resistance bands and dumbbells and barbells and body weight, and half of the time on the treadmill getting your cardio in,” trainer Keith Anthony tells PEOPLE. “So it’s really for the busy professional or busy mom trying to squeeze a workout in.”

Some Burn 60 classes are mostly running — perfect for fans of the sport like Witherspoon, who’s often spotted on a run by her home — while others incorporate more of Anthony’s favorite circuit movements.

“I LOVE a reverse lunge with a dumbell, because it targets the glutes so well and gives you a nice stretch in the hip flexors. That’s one of my go-to strength movements,” he says. “I also love combo movements for the arms like a bicep curl to a shoulder raise to an overhead press to a tricep kickback. Your arms just get smoked.”

One thing that Anthony, who has been at Burn 60 for over a decade, is particularly proud of is how well he can shape the workouts to his clients.

“Everyone who comes in the door I know because they’ve been coming for such a long time,” he says. “I know what their fitness goals are and their injuries and their bodies. It’s a group fitness workout, but I can really tailor it to each person.”

But because it is a group class, Anthony makes sure that everyone is held to the same standard — and the celebs do not get any special treatment.

“I don’t tailor the workout to any of the celebrities in the room. The workout is tailored to whoever is in the room that day,” he says. “The movement that’s best for the famous people are the movements that are best for the moms who are bankers and landscapers and full-time moms. It’s the same movements. There’s no secret sauce.”

Here's How Much You Need to Exercise to Make Up for a Day of Desk Sitting

Sitting all day at work takes its toll on your body and your health—a sedentary lifestyle has been associated with higher mortality and disease rates—but a study from sports medicine researchers has positive news for the millions of Americans who find themselves behind a desk from 9 to 5 every day. A certain amount of daily exercise can counter the deadly effects, and it’s really not too terribly difficult to achieve.

This article originally appeared on

Researchers of a sedentary lifestyle study have good news for office workers who find themselves trapped behind a desk every day from 9 to 5. The negative health effects created by long hours of sitting down can be reduced by daily exercise.

The study looked at data from 16 previous studies, mainly involving people ages 45 and above from the United States, Australia, and Western Europe. They found during their follow-up period of two to 18 years that those who sat for eight hours a day with little exercise had a 9.9 percent chance of mortality, while those who sat for less than four hours per day with one hour of exercise had a 6.8 percent chance of mortality.

The study goes on to recommend that those who sit daily for an average of eight hours should try to exercise one hour per day, while those who sit 6 or less should aim for half an hour of exercise.

“You don’t need to do sport, you don’t need to go to the gym. It’s OK doing some brisk walking, maybe in the morning, during lunchtime, after dinner in the evening,” said lead author Professor Ulf Ekelund in an interview with The Guardian, “You can split it up over the day, but you need to do at least one hour.”

The bottom line: Right now, most health experts recommend 30 minutes of exercise every day. Adding another 30 minutes may seem daunting, but you can squeeze it in without interrupting your schedule. We know it’s not always easy to get up and move during the work day, especially when deadlines loom, but being mindful of movement can really help. When getting up to use the bathroom or get a drink, be sure to take the longest office route possible. When feasible, a quick walk around during lunch time can also help stretch muscles and give your mind a break.

When not at the office, try to insert exercise into your daily life. Start mornings with a walk around the neighborhood and maybe try a visit to the park before dinner, too. Choosing to consistently add activity throughout the day will get you up to one hour of exercise before you know it.

9 Things No One Tells You About Running a Marathon Post-Baby

This article originally appeared on

This guest post comes from Daily Burn 365 trainer, running coach and three-time marathoner Cheri Paige Fogleman, NASM CPT (pre- and post-natal certified). The opinions expressed below are her own, and should not replace medical advice. After giving birth, it’s recommended to get medical clearance before beginning any exercise/training program.

In so many ways training for a marathon is like being pregnant. Your sleep suffers, and yet all you want is more time in bed. Your thirst is off the charts, despite drinking water non-stop. You try to eat more (because you need more calories), but your belly just can’t handle it. You’d really like a glass of wine, but you know you shouldn’t.

Your every movement is also an attempt to protect your body from injury. You prepare for months for something that scares the crap out of you, and while you just want it to be over with already, you are also still so terrified (so really, let’s not rush things). Your body is totally uncomfortable and achy and you hurt in weird places, but you know that it’ll all be worth it, and you’ll be filled with joy once the big day comes.

So, why once you’ve had a baby would you want to run a marathon?

Well, on Sunday, November 5, there I was — jammed into the corral at the start of the 2017 TCS New York City Marathon. Would my race be perfect? No. Would it hurt like heck at times? Probably. But, like most big and scary life events, I had a sneaking suspicion it would all be worth it in the end. And seeing my little girl at mile 25 reassured me of that.

Here are a few things I learned along my post-baby journey to 26.2, which might help other new moms, too.

RELATED: 17 Tips from Real Moms on Finding Time for Exercise

9 Things No One Tells You About Running a Marathon Post-Baby

Photo by Catherine Martin

1. Take advantage of your superhuman body.

The first thing my OB said to me at my first visit: keep running throughout your pregnancy. Postpartum, you’ll be able to get back to running quicker and you’ll still be able to take advantage of all the cardiovascular changes that happen to a pregnant body. These changes include increased cardiac output (up to 50 percent more than pre-pregnancy), increased blood volume (also as much as 50 percent more than pre-pregnancy), and an expanded ribcage (which offers more volume of air in one breath).

Basically, during pregnancy, oxygen circulates through the body more efficiently, and with increased efficiency, the body can perform better — and with greater ease. And, because a woman’s body doesn’t just snap back after delivery, it can take a year for the postpartum body to operate “normally” again (depending on breastfeeding). But that means we can take advantage of that so-called superhuman body for a while. My OB’s advice: Plan to qualify for Boston just shy of a year, postpartum. It’s nice when you can get a running coach and an OB all in one, yes?

RELATED: The 30 Best Marathons in the Entire World

2. Anticipate a drop in breast milk production.

Possibly because of dehydration, maybe because of physical stress, I found that my breast milk production tapered dramatically once my training picked up. If you are exclusively breast feeding and are less than six months postpartum, a few things can help. Oatmeal, for instance, is high in iron, which is believed to promote milk production. Some experts also suggest performing a series of power pumping sessions (as in milk pumping, not pumping iron). This method encourages over-production going into your training so you’ll have extra in the freezer in case you’re coming up short and the little one is hungry. For me, consuming more gels and drinking more electrolytes (e.g. Gatorade and coconut water) while training also helped keep my production from dwindling.

3. Give your feet special attention.

Because it can take about a year for hormone levels to return to normal after giving birth, be cautious of over-stretching and putting excess strain on your feet. The hormone relaxin is present in the body during pregnancy to allow tendons and ligaments to loosen and the skeleton to make space for the baby. If your feet grew during pregnancy, that same hormone can now cause your feet to shift even more. Avoid minimal shoes (unless you’ve been wearing them all along). And don’t skimp on calcium, which has been shown to help protect not just the bones in your feet, but your entire skeleton. Plus, it fuels your body’s energy production — so make sure you fill up on sources like milk, yogurt, spinach and kale. A postpartum body (and a breastfeeding body) is often calcium-deficient due to “mining” calcium from the mother’s bones to provide for the growing baby.

RELATED: 9 Things I Wish I Knew Before I Started Running

4. Heed the advice about changing up how you hold the little one.

I was told to switch up which hip I hold my daughter on by more than one person. And I’m a trainer, so I should know better, right? (I have even given that same advice to clients for years!) And yet, when life happens, I have been 100 percent guilty of slinging her on my left hip while scurrying around the kitchen slinging eggs and coffee and oatmeal.

It wasn’t until my 15-mile training run that my back started to feel a little twinge…and then my hip and then my hamstring and then my calf. A few weeks later, after an 18-mile long run, I couldn’t walk. A trip to my PT revealed that (due to holding my daughter only on my left hip) my right lower back and the muscles that run up the right side of my spine had all called it quits. That lead to a chain reaction of pain and suffering down my left hip and leg. Which brings me to…

5. Whatever amount of core training you’d normally do, multiply that by four.

During pregnancy, abs have a tendency to stretch or even separate (aka diastasis recti), and if you had a caesarian, the trauma can be worse. This has an effect on not just your ab strength, but also your back stability and the integrity of your entire kinetic chain. As a pre- and post-natal certified trainer, I recommend planks, side planks, bird-dogs, bridges and supermans. And if you can, make an appointment with an MAT (Muscle Activation Technique) therapist. A MAT therapist can determine where muscle weakness might be causing problems. Next, he or she will work to bring that strength back by palpating muscles, then prescribing specific isometric exercises to continue on your own. It’s been a game-changer for me.

RELATED: 6 Core Exercises for New Moms with Diastasis Recti

6. Make it worth it.

In my before-child days, I never realized I was taking for granted the freedom to run at any time and for any distance. But now I know. The acrobatics of juggling childcare for training has meant driving 45 minutes to my brother’s house to drop off my daughter, squeezing my long run into two hours, and then rushing back home for her nap time. It’s meant waking up in the pre-sunrise hours to run and get home before she wakes. I joined a gym specifically because it has childcare. And, I went out and bought a jogging stroller. While there is a certain amount of peace and quiet that I’ve thoroughly enjoyed while running, the extreme inconvenience of every single run is unavoidable. Whereas my biggest decisions were once which leggings to wear, or which route to take, now it’s: where my daughter will be, if she’ll need food or milk, and when she’ll take her next nap.

Because my better half, my brother and sister-in-law, my friends, my wallet and even my daughter have all made sacrifices for the sake of my training, my performance on November 5 was more important than ever. It took a village to get me to the starting line. For their sake, I could not let the village’s efforts be in vain.

RELATED: How to Run (And Watch!) the NYC Marathon Like a Pro

Photo by Janice Lancaster

7. You’re stronger as a mom.

There’s no way around it: Hitting the wall sucks. But the sudden fatigue caused by depletion of glycogen stores is something all endurance athletes have to learn to push through. As a running coach, one of the ways that I familiarize clients with that “wall” feeling is through repeat speedwork. (Think: repeat 400s, 800s and miles.) It’s brutal, and it perfectly recreates that hopelessness and defeat as your legs feel like they are going to fall off or melt and you crumble into a pathetic heap on the ground.

The “good” news? I now know that the first three months of my child’s life was just hitting the metaphorical and literal wall over and over and over again. I went weeks on mere hours of sleep and then managed to not wake her as I cradled her, stood up from seated on the floor, tripped over the cat (and a pacifier), and finally lowered her into the bassinet. That is pushing through the wall! I now know that motherhood makes you an expert on perseverance. All of my training on the road and the treadmill prepared me for the marathon, but it was my training as a mom that prepared me to win it.

8. Your little one will help you recover faster.

Don’t worry for a second about how you will run 26.2 miles and then be able to squat down to tie your baby’s shoes. You already do daily functional training in the form of squatting, bending, twisting and lifting with your little one. So, as you add on miles, you will naturally continue your feats of strength and acrobatics. In fact, in my before-child days — when I’d allow myself to lounge around after a long run with my feet up — recovery actually took a bit longer. But, because blood flow (from movement) encourages recovery, and a toddler doesn’t allow days off from chases through the apartment, my muscles were surprisingly chipper the day after long runs. They even felt pretty great the day after the marathon!

RELATED: 5 Scientifically Proven Ways to Reduce Muscle Soreness

9. It’s no longer about you.

One of the overwhelming takeaways of running the NYC Marathon is how spectacularly the spectators cheered. Their emotional shouts of encouragement contained something more than inspiration. I felt a very strong sense of appreciation that I was achieving this marathon goal for them — on their behalf. While that’s a humbling duty I’m honored to carry out, I’ve begun to think more about how my every action impacts my child. It’s cliché, but true: Having a daughter has made me want to be a better version of myself. And more than ever, I’m aware of how I can lead by example.

I want my little girl to see that setting your sights on a goal and working to achieve it are key to excelling in life. And, for me, running 26.2 miles through the five boroughs of New York City was achieving a goal on my daughter’s behalf. It was my way of showing her that she has the necessary stuff in her genes to power through the seemingly impossible. That she can achieve things beyond her wildest dreams.

11 Celeb-Approved Workouts for a Toned, Sculpted Butt

The Modern Family actress, 45, is constantly flaunting her killer curves in body-hugging dresses. To tone her backside, Vergara’s trainer, Gunnar Peterson, says the actress loves doing high-knee step-ups. Do 10 to 20 reps on each leg three times a week to target your butt muscles.

Try It: Sofia Vergara’s Butt Workout

Vergara also loves the Waist Clincher, an exercise that slims her waist and accentuates her curves. Try it with celebrity trainer Anna Kaiser in the video above.

Try this Reputation-themed Workout in Honor of Taylor Swift's New Album

Reebok put together a simple workout that you can do at home while listening to the new album.

This article originally appeared on

Oooh, look what she made you do!

Taylor Swift‘s new album Reputation came out on Friday and to celebrate, Reebok put together a simple workout that you can do at home while listening to Swift sing about ex-boyfriends, rivalries and all of her wildest dreams. Just follow along with the moves in the GIFs below.

The only question left is, are you ready for it?

Every time an ex‐boyfriend is mentioned do 10 high knees.

High Knees: Start by running in place bringing your knees up close to your chest, one at a time. Try to move as fast as possible.

Every time she references “playing games” or being fake do three jump squats

Jump Squats: Start with your feet right under your hips. Keeping your chest up, drop into a squat and then jump up as high as you can. Lower right back down into your squat as you come down. Make sure your hips break parallel!

Every time she talks about dreams or fantasies do a five mountain climbers

Mountain Climbers: From your high plank position, run each leg toward your chest. The key to getting the most out of mountain climbers is to keep your hips down and shoulders stacked right over your wrists.

Every time you hear her sing the word “love” or “baby” do three burpees

Burpees: Bend over placing your hands on the floor in front of you. Jump both feet back while dropping your chest to the ground. Then, jump both feet back up towards your hands, explosively jumping up with your hands overhead, fully extending your hips.

Every time her reputation is mentioned do three skaters

Skaters: Jump sideways to your left, landing on your left foot. Bring your right leg behind your ankle, keeping it off the ground. Reach your right hand toward your left foot and stay low. Reverse this movement to your right and repeat.

Every time she talks instead of sings do tuck jumps until she stops

Tuck Jumps: Stand with both feet together. Jump up as high as possible bringing your knees up by your chest. Make sure to land with your knees bent so you’re ready for the next jump!

How I Learned to Tell the Difference Between Being Lazy and Being Safe at the Gym  

I once took a face-plant in the middle of a set of plyometric push-ups. One second, I was a machine, effortlessly clapping between each rep and springing into the next one. The next second, my arms gave out and I went face first into the gym floor. I was a little stunned at first but I quickly laughed it off—endorphins are a hell of a drug—and gleefully launched into my next set. 

As a fitness professional in the prime of youth (I was in my mid-20s when I face-planted) and the peak of shape, I considered limits the enemy. It felt good to push them. It felt even better to ignore them, or insist that they didn’t exist at all. So I’d write off any signs of fatigue as weakness and keep pushing through that next set, sprint, or session. And when my trembling muscles and broken brain did finally force me to give up, I told myself that I’d have to do better the next time.

RELATED: Yes, It’s Possible to Exercise Too Much—Here Are the Signs

Then I started teaching a number of high intensity interval, martial arts, and cycling classes. I’d blast songs like “No Limits” by 2 Unlimited and guide my students through the exact same process. 

It wasn’t until I was in charge of other people’s wellbeing that I started to question my fraught relationship with limits. I’d been happy to beat up my own body beyond all rationality in the pursuit of toughness—and then beat my brain up when my body failed—but I had both a professional and moral obligation to keep the people who took my classes safe, healthy, and challenged in responsible ways. A lot of what I was doing to myself, it turned out, was none of those things.

Why we push ourselves too hard

I was hardly alone when it came to my limits issue. Many of my students shared it. Most of my colleagues did, too. In fitness, it’s often hard to find the line between being strong and being reckless. The messages we receive are all about pushing beyond our limits, not quitting, and achieving the impossible, which doesn’t always leave room for things like listening to your body and knowing when it is actually time to slow down or stop. There are no cool t-shirt slogans or high-BPM pop songs about backing off of your resistance training when you can no longer execute a move with proper form, or slowing down when your pulse starts climbing too close to your maximum heart rate. 

Even if you can manage to accept that you are a mortal with at least some limitations, it isn’t always easy to recognize these limits as you approach them. A lifetime of being encouraged to push yourself to the extreme in phys ed, in the gym, and in life in general leaves many of us so disconnected from our bodies and brains that we don’t recognize the signs of fatigue when they start to approach.

There’s also a layer of guilt and self-doubt that comes along with trying to figure out when it’s time to quit. On the rare occasions when I did recognize the signs in myself during my workouts, I’d immediately start to wonder whether I was just being lazy or weak, or whether I was possibly subconsciously sabotaging myself, and then I’d keep going. 

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Forget “no pain, no gain”

In my classes, I started to talk about how our bodies felt when we exercised. I would give examples of what it should look, feel, and sound like when we were exercising within responsible limits and I’d stress how important it was to know the difference between testing those boundaries and rejecting them completely. Most people who want to exercise know that it’s human to want to avoid discomfort and there is always a risk that we won’t reach our full potential during a workout because of that, but the opposite risk is just as serious.

I’d argue the value of the old “no pain, no gain” ethos, pointing out that discomfort can be an acceptable part of a workout that responsibly pushes your boundaries, but outright pain usually means that you’re either injuring yourself or on the verge of doing so. 

If we were working in the aerobic zone, I’d point out that we should still be able to talk with some amount of comfort. Being completely out of breath, I’d stress, was only for very short periods of high-intensity interval training like sprints. I was also very anti-vomit. It might make you feel tough to push yourself to those limits, but puke is your body’s particularly unpleasant way of telling you that something is going very wrong in your workout.  “You want to push yourself, but you don’t want to kill yourself” I’d tell my students. 

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Respecting my limits

It took me years to listen to my own advice, both at the gym and in the rest of my life. I started getting sick more often. Then I started having panic attacks, which would often hit right before I had to leave home to teach a fitness class. It wasn’t until I had a meltdown and was finally diagnosed with autism in my late 20s that I started to think it was time to be a little more gentle with myself. 

I’ve made a lot of changes since then—and none of them came easily. Each workout I skipped, each class I stopped teaching, felt like a fatal character flaw. Maybe if I could just be a little better, I’d think, I’d be able to push through. Once I worked through the guilt, though, I was able to step back and start to reassess my life. I started to think of myself as a human being with a unique set of issues and skills that needed to be accepted as a whole. After a while, learning to work within my limits no longer felt like failure. It felt like relief. 

Two years ago, during another rough patch, I took a solid look at my career in fitness and decided that it wasn’t working for me anymore. I quit teaching fitness, and I also took a break from my own workouts.

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When I finally started exercising again, I found that I no longer had the desire to push myself as hard as I once had. Sometimes I miss feeling like a cartoon superhero the way I used to when I was crushing reps, but there’s also something really exciting about getting to know your body well enough to be able to actually feel when it’s had enough.

Thanks to the years that I’ve spent looking for the signs of other people’s limits, I’m starting to get a little better at spotting those symptoms in myself. I know what the difference is between feeling my breathing start to elevate and starting to feel a pain in my chest when I’m running. I know when my muscles are burning because I’m challenging them and when they’re starting to twinge because I’m misusing or abusing them. I know that feeling a click in my left elbow during certain strength exercises means that I need to alter my range of motion, because no good has ever come from ignoring a malfunctioning tendon.

I no longer do push-ups to the point of face-plants. Now I do them until I can no longer maintain good form. It might not be as “tough” as what I used to do, but it’s smart training—and it’s sustainable. If I’d started doing this a decade ago, I probably wouldn’t have had to learn this lesson the hard way at all. If I keep it up, I won’t have to learn it again.