The Checkup: Science-Backed Tips for Avoiding and Curing Hangovers


• Happy almost weekend! If you’re planning on hitting the bar tonight or tomorrow (or both), read this first: a foolproof, science-backed guide for avoiding hangovers. Seriously—the You of the future will thank you for this. [Greatist]

• You know when you’re a half mile from the finish line, or 10 reps from the end of a CrossFit W.O.D., or 20 plyos from the end of a Lithe class, and you just feel like you can’t, won’t, and will no-way-in-Hades make it to the end? Yeah, we’ve all been there. Try memorizing one of these 41 inspiring quotes from runners, and the next time you feel like you’re hitting a wall, maybe that mantra will be just the thing to get you through. [Thought Catalog]

• September is National Pain Awareness Month (who knew, right?), so I thought this would be particularly relevant: all the pain myths you’ve ever heard, busted by a local doctor. [Einstein Health]

Tofu is not scary! Really! And you (yes, even you) can make delicious things out of it. This very useful tofu primer will get you started. [Food52]

• This is a direct order from the First Lady of the United States: Drink more water. [HuffPost Healthy Living]

Photo: Shutterstock

Study: High-Intensity Exercise Helps You Eat Less


My body must defy science or something because I swear, when I work out really, really hard, I’m pretty much starving afterwards. But pay no attention to me, I guess, and listen to the findings of the latest study on appetite and exercise—namely, that intense exercise actually suppresses appetite.

Here’s why: Researchers at the University of Western Australia took 17 overweight but otherwise healthy men and had them hang out at the lab on four separate days. The first day, really, all the did was hang out: The men read or rested for 30 minutes. On the other three days, the men completed workouts that ranged from moderately demanding to slightly more demanding to very demanding. All of the workouts lasted for 30 minutes.

Before and after their time in the lab, researchers drew some blood to record the levels of certain hormones and other substances that have been shown to influence appetite. They also fed the men a so-called “liquid breakfast” (I’m thinking a smoothie) right after their workouts, and 70 minutes later, offered them a “sweetened but bland porridge,” according to the New York Times. “The researchers wanted to avoid rich aromas or other aspects of food that might influence the men’s desire to eat; they hoped to isolate the effects of pure appetite—which needs to be robust to make porridge enticing,” it explains.

Now for the kicker:

As it turned out, gruel was quite appealing to the men after resting or pedaling moderately; they loaded their bowls. But their appetites were noticeably blunted by each of the interval workouts, and in particular by the most strenuous 15-second intervals. After that session, the men picked at their porridge, consuming significantly less than after resting or training moderately.

They also displayed significantly lower levels of the hormone ghrelin, which is known to stimulate appetite, and elevated levels of both blood lactate and blood sugar, which have been shown to lessen the drive to eat, after the most vigorous interval session than after the other workouts.

After the high-intesity workout, the men also continued to eat less through the following day, which means the appetite-suppressing effect had at least some longer-term effect. Researchers caution, however, that the effect on appetite of high-intensity workouts over time hasn’t yet been studied or determined, so it’s too early to say if doing a lot of HIIT workouts would translate into a measurable weight loss—but it does stand to reason.

If you’re looking for some high-intensity workouts to get you started, check out our BeWOW series for some good ideas. Many of the workouts we’ve posted weekly for over the past year are fair game.

The Checkup: 14 Hilarious Treadmill Fails (GIFs)


• I’ve had my fair share of embarrassing moments at the gym, but I can honestly say I’ve never actually flown off the back of a treadmill before. Neither have I, for that matter, attempted to walk on a treadmill on my hands, only to flip over backwards and shoot of the back. These 14 sad, sad people can’t say the same. [Mashable]

• Snack happy for a month: 30 healthy, homemade snacks for under 150 calories. [POPSUGAR Fitness]

• The difference between hot yoga and Bikram, explained. (Yes, it’s more than just the temperature of the room.) [Boston Magazine]

• Here’s how to tell if someone is lying to you over text message. [HealthDay]

• Get your grocery list handy: Eat these five superfoods for peak fitness performance. [Health]

Perfect Excuse for a Midday Workout: Run at Work Day Is Next Week

There’s no doubt about it: Staying active can be difficult when your job requires staring at a computer screen for nine hours straight. And, no, swiveling around in your desk chair does not count as exercise.

According to the Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans, adults and children should be getting at least 30 minutes of exercise each day. But with the lures of post-work Law and Order marathons (I mean, who can resist?) and after-school video games beating out after-school sports, many adults and kids are slacking off in the exercise department.

The Road Runners Club of America is encouraging us to fight the laziness-epidemic with its eighth annual RUN@WORK Day on September 20th. Why? Because, according to its website, “If adults can lead by example, if companies can encourage healthy living through physical activity promotion, then together we can combat the national inactivity crisis gripping our nation and our children.”

To be clear, just because it’s called “RUN@WORK Day” doesn’t mean you have to actually run at work. Any kind of physical activity will do: a few yoga poses, a walk around the block, a lunchtime bike ride. So mark your calendars for a week from Friday and pick a time to ditch the desk, dust off those running shoes and gather your coworkers for a fun mid-work exercise jolt. Who knows? You might even make a habit of it.

Photo: Shutterstock

The Checkup: 32 Workout Ideas for Any Fitness Level and Goal


• Whether you’ve just finished the Couch to 5K program (or haven’t started it at all) or have six marathons under your belt, one thing is for certain: We could all use a new workout plan every now and then just to keep things interesting. That’s why this terrific roundup of 32 activities for any and all fitness levels—from no-equipment-needed workouts to at-home yoga routines—caught my eye. Here’s to some much-needed change. [Greatist]

• The photo in this post gives me the worst case of the heebie jeebies EVER. Which means, I guess, that I’m trypophobic. You? [Refinery29]

• Guess what? Your brain needs a workout, too. Here’s how an EEG machine can train your brain. [Q by Equinox]

• Attention new moms: Most meds are okay to take while breastfeeding, according to a new report from the American Academy of Pediatrics. [Women’s Health]

• Well, I’ll be darned. Those super graphic anti-smoking ads—you know the ones with those scary pictures and videos of ex-smokers with missing limbs or holes in their necks from tracheotomies—have prompted at least 100,000 smokers to quit for good, according to a new study by the CDC. [USA Today]

Photo: Shutterstock

Philly Dance Fitness Is Hosting Pop-up Classes at Nest This Month

Here’s a reason to go to Nest even if you don’t have little ones in tow: All this month, Philly Dance Fitness is hosting pop-up dance classes in the upstairs studio of the kid-focused play-and-learn space in Midtown Village.

Here’s the lineup through the end of the month:

Cardio Pop: Mondays at 7 p.m.
Zumba: Wednesdays at 7 p.m.
Dance Party Boot Camp: Thursdays at 6:15 p.m.
Hip-Hop Dance: Thursdays at 7:15 p.m.

Classes got underway this week with a $5-per-class promotion all week long to kick things off. Starting next week, classes will be $10 each. Nest is located at 1301 Locust Street. More info is here.

Photo: Shutterstock

The Checkup: 18 Fun Running Workouts That’ll Make You Love Running Again


• No siree! Running doesn’t have to be all “point A, point B, rinse, repeat.” There are actually all kinds of different workouts you can do that involve running and a little something extra. Don’t believe me? Click through to see 18 terrific running-workout ideas guaranteed to have you rethinking all your “I don’t want to run today” excuses. [Greatist]

• Oh, hey. The U.S. is the 17th—out of 156—happiest country in the world, according to a new U.N. report. That’s something to smile about! [USA Today]

• Here’s a recipe for healthy, homemade nut butter breakfast bars. Go. Make them immediately. [POPSUGAR Fitness]

• Finally! Someone explains the difference between all those kinds of onions at the grocery store, and how and when to use them in recipes. [BuzzFeed]

• Uh, this seems like a long-time coming: a new fitness-wear brand that blends the best of Lululemon (read: quality) with the best of Target (read: low prices). [Refinery29]

Photo: Shutterstock

BeWOW: Keep-It-Simple Workout


We’re keeping it simple this week, folks—Note: That does not mean you won’t break a sweat—by going back to the basics with just four exercises to work your entire body. I’m trying to prove to you that you don’t have to do something super complicated to get a good workout. All you have to do is move your body, challenge your muscles and work hard. It’s as simple as that.

All you have to do is complete five rounds of the four exercises below. That’s it—finito. Try to complete the workout as fast as you can, only taking breaks when you need them and pushing yourself to move from one exercise to the next with speed and strength. Here are your exercises.

Read more »

The Checkup: How to Become a Morning Workout Person


• I’ve admitted on this blog before that I’m not a model morning-workout person. (But I’m trying to get better! Check out some of my recent Instagram photos if you don’t believe me.) If you’re in the same boat but want to be one of those bright-eyed, bushy-tailed morning-sweat-session people, here are some really great tips to help you get started. [POPSUGAR Fitness]

• How often do you eat nutrient-rich dandelion greens? Never? Yeah, same here. But I guess now’s the time to start—here are four ways to eat your fill. [Well+Good NYC]

• Hooray! Regular exercise will help you live a longer—and healthier—life, according to a new study. [Runner’s World]

• Whoa. This brain scan shows exactly how meditation quiets down your brain. [Fast Company]

• Quick! Make this ridiculously yummy heirloom tomato gratin before tomato season is totally over. [Q by Equinox]

Photo: Shutterstock

The Checkup: 10 Reasons You Hate Running (and How to Learn to Love It)


• At least once a week, I hear from someone who tells me they hate, hate, hate running. That’s totally cool—I mean, running’s certainly not for everyone—but I have an inkling that juuuust maybe, at least half of those people hate running because they’re doing something wrong. Don’t believe me? Click through to find a list of 10 reasons people hate running, then tell me how many of them apply to you. [POPSUGAR Fitness]

• Here’s some useful advice: How beat fatigue without coffee. [Prevention]

• It’s National Yoga Month! Here are LOTS of ways to score free classes all month long. [Women’s Health and Fitness Magazine]

• Do not—I repeat, do not—eat lunch at your desk today. Unless, of course, you really want to overeat. [Greatist]

• Plank, shmank. Here’s how to modify your plank to take it up about 10 fitness notches. [Q by Equinox]

Photo: Shutterstock

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