From dieting

I’m Obsessed With Amazon’s Insanely Comfortable Build-Your-Own Leggings

One of the best perks of working at Health is that I’m lucky enough to test a lot of activewear. As a result, I’ve become very, very opinionated about leggings, and prefer different brands for different activities: supersoft Manduka leggings are my go-to for flights; Onzie leggings are lightweight, making them ideal for an outdoor run; and Visakai leggings, with their built-in underwear, help me flow through my weekly vinyasa yoga class.

Recently, though, I had the opportunity to try leggings from Core 10, Amazon’s newest private athletic brand. The line includes both sports bras and tights, but it was their Build Your Own Bottoms that caught my eye. The tool lets you customize your own perfect pair of leggings by selecting the length, waistband, and style of your choice. Prices range from $59 for capris to $69 for full length. I went with the high-waist leggings in the 7/8 length.

To buy: from $59; amazon.com

My order arrived a few days before I was scheduled to go on a two-week vacation, and since I’d already packed most of the leggings in my regular rotation, I decided to debut the Core 10 bottoms on the five-hour flight. Let me tell you that they were incredibly comfortable—the perfect amount of stretch, a high waistband that sat comfortably on my midsection (no annoying digging!), and a fit that hugged my curves but never felt like my circulation was cut off.

RELATED: The 7 Best Workout Leggings With Pockets

They were so comfy, in fact, that I kept wanting to re-wear them throughout my trip, even though I had my other faves stashed in my suitcase. My Core 10 leggings carried me through multiple hotel gym workouts, a three-mile hike, and two flights (don’t worry—I laundered them between wears).

There is one catch, though: The Core 10 line is a Prime exclusive, meaning you must have a subscription to the service to order them. If you aren’t a member already, you can sign up for a 30-day free trial here.

The 7 Moves Tracy Anderson Swears by for a Perkier Butt

Sure, a toned butt looks amazing in your cutoffs, but the benefits of a sculpted rear go way beyond the visual—like protecting your back, helping you run faster, and amping up your body’s overall power. That said, sitting at a desk for long hours each day can wreak havoc on those buns, leaving them weak and unable to fire properly. The good news: This strengthening series will bring those lazy glutes back to life, no ifs, ands, or butts about it!

Do 30 reps of each move in the series on one side, then repeat the sequence on the other side. Tracy also recommends 30 to 60 minutes of cardio six times a week.

Rolling Attitude and Kick

Start on all fours; lift right knee up and out to side until thigh is parallel to floor (A). Holding the position, lower leg so the right knee is facing down and is slightly in front of the left (B). Extend right leg straight back (C). Lower right leg, pulling right knee forward and coming back to “B.” Return to “A” and repeat.

Sitting Lunge and Arabesque

Start on your hands and knees; step right foot diagonally forward into a side lunge, placing right hand on right knee (A). Swing left knee in, rotating hip to come to sitting (B). Return to “A,” and then extend right leg back and up (C). Repeat.

Twisted Sit with Leg Lifts

Begin on all fours (A); twist at waist to sit on left hip (B), and then return to “A.” Keeping a slight bend in knee, lift left leg up (C). Lower left leg, crossing left knee behind right (D); lift left leg again, this time extending it straight up and out, as you bend arms and lower chest slightly (E). Return to “A” and repeat.

Knee Pull and Butt Squeeze

Start on all fours; bring left hand to hip and extend left leg back and up (A). Bend left knee, pulling it in toward chest (B). Extend left leg back out as you rotate torso to come into a tabletop bridge, with left foot and hand down (C). Rotate back to “A”; repeat.

Lunge Stand and Kick

From kneeling, place right hand down, left hand on left thigh and extend left leg straight back (A). Lower left leg, stepping it forward and lifting right knee to come into a deep lunge (B). Pull right leg forward, stepping right foot next to left to stand with both palms down (C). Reverse motion to return to “A” and repeat.

Butt Buster Plank with Alternating Leg Sweep

Kneel with your left forearm and right hand down; extend left leg straight out with toes on ground (A). Lift left leg up on a diagonal (B). Place left foot back down, and keeping arms in place, lift right leg up with a bend in knee (C). Lower back down to “A” and repeat.

Alternating Butt Lifts

Start on hands and knees; keeping a bend in knee, lift right leg up (A). Return to start, this time dropping left forearm down as you extend left leg up (B). Continue alternating.

People Are Shocked I’m a Dancer Because I Was Born Missing This Body Part

This video is part of Health’s #RealLifeStrong series, where we are celebrating women who represent strength, resilience, and grace.

When Sydney Mesher tells people she’s a dancer, they’re often surprised, she says. The 20-year-old was born without a left hand, but that hasn’t stopped her from pursuing her dreams in an industry known for its rigid body standards: “I get to be that person that kind of breaks that barrier, of that mindset.”

Mesher’s left arm ends at the base of her wrist due to symbrachydactyly, a rare condition that causes the underdevelopment of limbs in the womb. “Growing up, I dealt with a lot of bullying,” says the Portland, Ore., native. But she eventually recognized that the way people reacted to her was really all about them: “What’s happening is someone’s acting out of their own fear.”

RELATED: Why This Ballerina With Panic Disorder and Depression Refuses to Apologize for Her Mental Illness

Mesher is currently studying dance at Pace University in New York City. “With dance you are constantly growing. There’s no stopping point,” she says. “There’s always a place to be better.” After college, she hopes to become a Rockette or a backup dancer for Lady Gaga.

“I’m very grateful that I’m at a time in this industry where we’re starting to accept different body types,” she says. “I know I am different. Especially as an artist, it’s so important to have those differences.”

Her individuality shines through her work: “This is part of who I am. It’s not who I am, but it’s part of me. I want to share who I am and what I love, and celebrate that.” For more of Mesher’s story, check out the video above. 

We want to hear about more #RealLifeStrong women. Nominate yourself—or a friend or family member—here. We’ll be sharing the most inspiring stories we receive in the months ahead.

6 Times Jenna Dewan Was #FitnessGoals on Instagram

What can we say about fitness queen Jenna Dewan that could ever do our woman crush justice? It’ll never be enough. Dewan, star of Step Up and host of the NBC show World of Dance, is known for sharing heart-thumping, sultry dance videos of herself on social media, as well as Instagram photos showing off her impressive workout moves that inspire total #fitnessgoals.

While most of us haven’t professionally trained with Janet Jackson in our teens, and some of us may not even be able to touch our toes (keep working at it!), we can still appreciate Dewan’s passion for keeping fit and healthy by constantly pushing her body through dance, workouts, and yoga. Here, six times she basically sent us running to our next workout.

When she hung upside down in a split while wearing the cutest set of bordeaux-inspired spandex

We wish, like Dewan, we had this kind of motivation on Mondays (instead of snoozing our alarms, debating our early AM workouts).

That time she embraced nature and sunshine in a crop top and high waist leggings 

Only Dewan can come out of a hike or run looking like a glowing goddess instead of a sweaty mess (me). 

When she made us think to pack medicine balls in our beach bags

Note to self: pack adorable workout clothes, medicine ball, and fave APL sneakers for next beach outing. Also, bring friend to snap photos for Instagram.

The moment she fooled us by making this yoga stretch look way too easy

We are so not on the floor by our desk trying to unsuccessfully to mimic this stretch. Nope, not us. 

When we knew we wanted her toned arms… and her matching floral sport bra and leggings

But, really, what exercises do I need to commit to for Jenna-Dewan-arms?

The time she got real about what keeps her healthy

We wish we could be Dewan’s gym BFF, or at least channel her during our next sweat session. Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, right?

While we may not be able to twist our bodies into these poses like Dewan, we can still mimic her workout style: Dewan, who is a Danskin ambassador, has been sporting these comfy, high-waisted leggings from the brand in many of her social media posts lately. We’re officially believers, too: Not only do they fit your booty like a glove, but did we mention that they’re a whopping $24 on Amazon, so completely affordable? Score.

People Are Editing Out Their Hip Dips on Instagram—but This Woman Refuses To

You know hip dips—these are the inward curves above each hip bone that most of us have. Some people have hip dips that are more visible than others, and lots of users on social media edit theirs out, viewing them as a body flaw when these curves are actually totally normal.

So it’s refreshing to come across an influencer who is no longer hiding her hip dips and instead celebrating them—and taking to Instagram to demonstrate why others should too.

RELATED: If Thigh Gap and Hip Dips Weren’t Enough, Now Women Are Supposed to Worry About Having ‘Arm Vaginas’

On Tuesday, London-based influencer Danielle Mansutti—best known for her beauty tips and enviable travel itinerary—shared a message about her hip dips, which used to be one of her biggest body insecurities.

“HIP DIPS!” she wrote. “Something that so many women (and men) have, yet something so hidden away. I’ve had hip dips for as long as I can remember, and have spent the majority of my life feeling like I was the only one in the world who had them.”

Mansutti copped to spending a considerable amount of time editing out her hip dips from social photos, in an attempt to fit in with other influencers. But she eventually realized how dangerous this was—making other women who have hip dips view them as unattractive and leading to a skewed idea of what a normal body looks like. 

RELATED: 11 Fitness Influencers Get Real About How Their Bodies Changed After They Gave Birth

“We do need to remember not to compare our bodies to bodies that have been enhanced,” she reminded her followers. “If you have hip dips, just like I do, guess what – it’s normal! Sometimes I love mine and sometimes I don’t, but I’ve accepted that they are a part of me and are a normal thing.”

If you’re a member of what she calls her “hip dip crew,” try not to view them unflattering, and definitely don’t edit them out of your social images. Instead, take Mansutti’s advice to embrace and love your body—which is perfect as is.

This Woman Took Two Different Photos in the Same Outfit to Prove How Deceptive Social Media Is

If all the “perfect” full-body selfies that end up in your social feed tend to make you feel bad about your own shape, then this eye-opening news is for you.

In a before-and-after Instagram post, influencer Rini Frey shared two images, both taken on the same day while dressed in the same outfit. The photo on the left is a posed photo of Frey flexing in her underwear, with the words “my body” on it. The image on the right shows Frey sitting in the same high-waisted underwear, titled “also my body.”

RELATED: 5 Inspiring Fitness Influencers to Follow on Instagram

Her point? Your body can look very different depending on the angle you shoot a photo from as well as how you adjust the clothes you have on.

“Don’t let them get you down,” she captioned the post, referring to other influencers who adjust and pose in ways that make them look fitter, thinner, and more toned than they really are. “Most of them don’t represent reality and if they do, it doesn’t mean that these bodies belong to a healthy and happy human. It’s just what we are made to believe, but it’s mostly not true.”

Frey didn’t just use this as an opportunity to shed light on camera tricks and clothing adjustments. Instead, she praised the human body, describing it as an “incredible machine.” 

RELATED: 7 Influencers Show How One Small Trick Can Change the Look of Your Butt in Seconds

“Our bodies do the work without ever resting,” she wrote. “Pumping blood through our veins, making our heart beat in our chest, allowing us to move, drive, walk, travel, see, smell, hear, taste and FEEL love, happiness and positive energy. So, why do we as a society put all our focus on how little fat needs to sit under our skin, how we can make our muscles pop, how we can shape our body in a way that isn’t natural or how we can hold back from feeding our body as long as possible?”

Frey tells Health she felt motivated to share this inspiring post after a massive outreach from some of her 30,000 followers.

“I get so many DMs from young girls saying that they hate their bodies and I believe a big part of it is comparing themselves to ‘perfect bodies’ they see on Instagram,” she says. “Our bodies deserve our love and respect, instead of picking it apart every day.” 

Yet Frey admitted in her post that she hasn’t always felt positive about her own body.

“As I’m posting this, I am placing a hand on my heart and thanking my body for sticking with me through years of self-punishment, self-loathing, starvation, stuffing it with food, purging food, beating it down and destroying it with way too much exercise,” she continued. “Thank you, body, for never letting me down, even though I always used to think you did. I was wrong and I’m sorry.”