8 Fall Tips for Healthy Living

By Maire,


There’s no need to pack on pounds or fall ill this autumn.

A nip is in the air, as summer eases into the fall season. Football season starts, and so does school. The holidays are right around the corner. So is the flu season. To help keep you healthy over the next few months, we’ve got these tips:

1. Take a Tailgate Time-out

It’s an all-American past-time — the tailgate party! Tailgating today has progressed far beyond burgers and chips. You’ll find everything from cheese dip to spicy chicken wings.

Don’t despair: Your tailgate spread doesn’t have to sideline your weight loss plan. Grilled kabobs are great fare on the field. Just skewer veggies, fruits, and lean meat, and soak in your favorite marinade. Seafood, salsas, wraps, and stews are good eating, too. A Crock-Pot of chili — loaded with high-fiber, high-protein beans — is a classic tailgate dish (don’t forget the Beano).

Just remember, alcohol is packed with calories. Enjoy your favorite brew, but switch it out for zero-calorie beverages as the party rolls along. It’s all in how you play the game!

2. Sleep Tips to Help Kids’ Weight

Does your child get enough sleep? If not, it could affect more than sleepiness at school. Studies suggest there may be a link between skimping on sleep and being healthy and overweight. Sleep shortfalls may increase hunger hormones — so kids eat more. Also, kids are less likely to get exercise (and burn off calories) when they’re tired.

To help kids and teens get a good night’s sleep:

  • Remove TVs, computers, and gadgets from kids’ bedrooms.
  • Avoid large meals before bedtime.
  • Develop a regular bedtime routine.
  • Set firm bedtimes and wake times.
  • Make sure the bedroom is quiet, dark, relaxing — and not too hot or cold.
  • Help kids quiet down a few hours before bedtime.
  • Heavy studying, text messaging, or video games should end in early evening.

How much sleep do schoolkids need? It depends on the child. But here are some general guidelines from the National Sleep Foundation:

  • Ages 3-5: 11-13 hours
  • Ages 5-12: 10-11 hours
  • Ages 11-17: 9.5-9.25 hours

3. Quit Smoking: You Won’t Gain Weight

If you’ve finally decided to kick the habit, there’s good news: Quitting smoking won’t make you gain weight over the long term. Some people pick up 4 or 5 pounds early on, but that’s only temporary.

To quit successfully, experts agree, get help and support from your doctor, family, friends, and co-workers. A doctor or mental health professional can help you tailor an approach that best suits you. There are many FDA-approved medications to help people quit smoking.

Combine medication with other quit strategies — like avoiding your smoking triggers or changing your daily routine — and you greatly increase your odds of quitting for good.

Another tip: Some foods and drinks make cigarettes taste better; some make them taste worse. Try eating more vegetables and less meat — and swap that coffee (or alcohol) for a glass of milk. Let your taste buds stifle those cravings!

4. Flu Vaccine? Who? You.

As temperatures get chillier and people spend more time indoors, flu season sneaks in. Because the flu virus can infect the lungs, it can cause a serious complication like pneumonia — which can require hospitalization, even lead to death. That’s why certain people must get a flu shot.

October or November is the best time to get vaccinated, but you can still get vaccinated in December or later. Flu season can start as early as October and last as late as May.

If you live with or care for a child under 2 years old, you are in a priority group for flu shots.

There are two types of flu vaccines: flu shots and nasal sprays. The flu shot vaccine is recommended for:

  • Children aged 6 months to 19 years.
  • Pregnant women.
  • People age 50 and older.
  • People of any age with chronic medical conditions such as asthma.
  • People living in nursing homes or other long-term facilities.

Others who could get Flu Mist nasal spray include healthy people 2-49 years old who are not pregnant.

Also, protect yourself and your child from catching or spreading viruses:

  • Cover nose and mouth with a tissue when you sneeze or cough. Throw it away afterward.
  • Wash your hands frequently with soap and water — especially important after you cough or sneeze on them. Use an alcohol-based hand cleaner if necessary.
  • Keep you and your baby away from people who are coughing or sneezing.
  • Try not to touch your eyes, nose, or mouth — since that’s how germs are spread

In 2009, the H1N1 swine flu, a new flu virus, emerged. This virus spreads from person to person like seasonal flu, mainly through coughing or sneezing or sometimes by touching something that became infected with the virus. A vaccine for swine flu is in production.

5. Holiday Game Plan: No Weight Gain

The challenges of holiday feasting are only too obvious — wonderful smells and fabulous tastes. We do love our comfort food! But the traditional holiday weight gain is another matter. If it’s a real problem for you, here’s good news. With a few simple changes, you can enjoy the feast without gaining the extra 1 to 3 pounds that tend to become permanent baggage.

Here’s your plan:

  • Don’t arrive starving. Eat something small and healthy, like oatmeal or a whole-grain sandwich, before the big meal. That will keep you full until dinner.
  • Exercise every day. This means big holidays, too. Get the family out with you. Start a new holiday tradition that involves activity.
  • Establish ground rules with yourself. Eat dessert, but only a sliver, for example.
  • Keep track. Write down everything you eat. If you put it in writing, you’re less tempted to overeat.
  • Eat smaller portions of high-calorie dishes. Enjoy, but don’t pig out.
  • Save calories for the foods you love. Don’t eat something just because it’s there.
  • Chat more, eat less. Shun those high-fat appetizers at holiday parties.
If you know you’ll have trouble resisting those favorite foods, plan for it. Cut back on eating early in the week. Get more exercise before and after the holidays. You can do this!

6. Sweet Potatoes: Winter Superfood

It’s one of the sweetest ways to make a healthful change — get hot about sweet potatoes. These luscious orange tubers boast a wealth ofantioxidants; phytochemicals including beta-carotene; vitamins C and E; folate; calcium; copper; iron; and potassium. The fiber in sweet potatoes promotes a healthy digestive tract, and the antioxidants may play a role in preventing heart disease and cancer.

The natural sweetness of a roasted sweet potato is delicious without any additional fats or flavor enhancers.

Sweet potato winter superfood

7. Exercise Your Brain: Go Dancing

You know your heart benefits from exercise. Your brain does, too. Studies show that regular, moderate exercise — 30 minutes of walking or a light one-mile run — helps fight the effects of aging on the brain. No grueling workouts required!

All types of exercise count, including walking, bicycling, hiking, swimmingaerobics, and weight training. Ballroom dancing is another good and healthy one, especially fun on chilly evenings.

How does exercise work to prevent mental decline? Researchers believe exercise may stimulate the body to fight stress that’s normally occurring in the brain — stress that causes oxidative damage. All that good stuff from a little exercise!

Plus, find your perfect playlist for any activity, workout, party and more on the Fit Radio app!

8. Curl Up With Hot Coffee

That wonderfully warming cup of morning coffee may have healthy benefits. The caffeine in coffee stimulates the brain and nervous system, and may lower your risk of diabetes, Parkinson’s disease, mood problems, headaches, and even cavities.

Scientists have discovered coffee’s many beneficial substances, including chlorogenic acid, a compound in the antioxidant family that may improve glucose (sugar) metabolism. Another perk is that coffee contains magnesium, a mineral that can also improve insulin sensitivity and enhance glucose tolerance — thumbs up for preventing diabetes.

Another plus is that coffee is naturally calorie-free. Just don’t load it up with extra calories from cream, sugar, whipped cream, and/or flavored syrup.

18 Exercise Moves to Tone Your Butt, Thighs, and Legs

By Maire,


Exercises that tighten and tone your legs from butt to ankles and everything in between

Rebecca Toback

Sexy, slim legs

Want mini-skirt worthy legs? These moves will get you there in no time at all. Pick a few moves, or try them all to sculpt your butt, hamstrings, quads, thighs, and calves.

Exercises for sexy, slim legs

Warrior III

This yoga move can tone your legs, and core too.

How to do it: Stand with the feet together, and lift up the left leg with a pointed toe, putting your body weight onto the standing, right leg. Continue to lift your leg and drop the head and torso so they form a straight horizontal line from head to toe with the arms at your sides. Engage your core and make sure the left thigh, hip, and toes are aligned. Remain facing down and keep your back as straight as possible. Ensure your right knee doesn’t lock and center the weight on the middle of the foot. Hold for 5 breaths and then slowly return to standing.

Switch legs and repeat.

Warrior 3

Chair Squat

This is a perfect move for beginners, and we’re betting you’re sitting on the only equipment you need as you read this. Hint: If you have a chair (and your glutes), you’re good to go.

How to do it: Begin standing with your back to a chair, feet hip-width apart. While keeping your weight centered on your heels, draw in your abs and hinge forward at the hips slowly lowering your butt toward the chair. Pause right before you would sit down and return to standing while keeping the core engaged.

Do 3 sets of 10-15 reps.

Chair Squat

Pivoting Curtsy Lunge

How to do it: Standing with feet hip-width apart, step your right foot diagonally behind you and into a 7 o’clock position. Bend both knees so you’re in a lunge stance. Lean your torso forward 30 degrees and pulse up and town 10-15 times. Straighten the body and pivot 180 degrees so your right foot comes to the front. Again, lower into a lunge.

Pulse up and down 10-15 times on each side to complete one set; do 3 sets.

Low Lunge Hover

This standing move exercises both the legs and butt.

How to do it: Stand with feet hip-width apart before stepping your right foot back, and lowering into lunge stance with the left knee over the ankle. Bring your arms over your head and hinge forward from the waist. Lower the chest forward toward the thighs as your arms reach forward. Lift the right leg while straightening the left. Hold for 3 breaths before returning to the starting lunge position.

Do 3 reps; switch legs and repeat.

Skater Lunge

This move exercises the quads, hamstrings, and glutes.

How to do it Begin with feet shoulder-width apart and the arms at your sides. Take a large step backwards with your left leg and cross it diagonally behind the right leg. Meanwhile, extend your right arm out to the side and swing the left arm across the hips. Hop about 2 feet to the left and come back to the beginning stance.

Repeat with the other leg; that’s one set. Do 3 sets of 20 reps.

The Lean

This move works the inner thighs and begins with the same stance as the skater’s lunge.

How to do it: Begin with feet shoulder-width apart and the arms down at your sides. Take a step diagonally back with the right foot. Then, bend sideways from the waist toward the side where your right leg is stretched out, and reach your right arm up and left arm down and back toward your right calf. Return arms to starting position to complete 1 rep.

Do 10 reps, then switch sides and repeat.

Leg Lift

This move targets the quads.

How to do it: While you stand facing a chair, raise your right leg, knee facing up, foot flexed and place your heel on the seat. Make sure not to lock your standing knee as you lift your right foot off the chair and straighten it out until you feel your quadriceps engage. Keeping your lifted leg in the air, bend the leg on the floor slightly and then straighten it again.

Do 10-15 reps, then switch sides and repeat for 1 full set; do 3 sets.

How-to video: Standing Glute Toner

Want a leg-lift exercise to work your glutes? Of course you do. Watch this video to find out how to do it right.

Watch the video: Standing Glute Toner Video  

Two-Thirds Jump Squat

Ready to work your quads and hamstrings? This move will really do the trick.

How to do it: Begin by standing with feet shoulder-width apart, arms at the sides. Lower the body into a squat, going two-thirds of the way down. Immediately jump straight up with your arms pointed up toward the ceiling. When you land, go right back into the next rep.

Do 3 sets of 20 reps each.

Check out the rest of the list here.


Find your perfect playlist for any workout at Fit Radio.

6 Common Beginner Running Mistakes and How to Avoid Them

By Maire,

Girl Runner Rain

How difficult can running be? You just need to put on running shoes, clothes and then hit the road. But this seemingly simple exercise is more complicated than most people realize.

In fact, most beginners make mistakes that hinder them from seeing results or wanting to pursue the sport long-term—they only end up with injuries and frustrations. Today we’ll look into common running mistakes and how you can avoid them.


1. Inconsistency

Most runners begin with a lot of enthusiasm only to lose momentum after a few weeks. But you can’t lose weight or get fitter if you’re not consistent. You’ll always be starting over if you skip workouts for 2 or 3 weeks.

The fix: The most important thing is to have a routine. Write down the days you’ll run, the distance and duration. While it might not be possible to stick to the routine all the time, do your best to complete all the runs within the week.

2. Not doing strength training

Most beginners abandon all exercises and focus on running only. They don’t realize that running can increase risk of injury and weaken some bones and muscles if not combined with other exercises.

The fix: Combine running with strength training. Doing bodyweight exercises regularly will reduce risk of injuries and help increase muscle mass. Do simple exercises like squats, lunges and push ups once or twice a week.

3. Too intense at the start

Most beginners are eager to see results, so they run too fast or run long distances. Running a 5k after a few weeks of training is a mistake. It can lead to injuries or fatigue.

The fix: Don’t train as someone who has been doing this for years, start slow and work on building discipline and consistency. Then increase the pace and distance of your runs gradually.

4. Wearing the wrong shoes

Wearing the wrong shoes doesn’t just cause blisters – it can lead to knee, hip and ankle pain. Avoid wearing old shoes or shoes that aren’t fit for running.

The fix: Go to a running store and buy proper running shoes. You can even ask the salesperson to help you pick the best shoe. Avoid wearing old shoes because they lack proper cushioning and balance.

5. Landing on your heels

Landing on your heels increases risk of injury. This usually happens when runners make long strides.

The fix: You should always land mid-sole when running. Avoid making long strides that will force you to land on your heels.

6. Not drinking enough water

Most runners don’t drink water during runs to avoid side stitches. But this can cause dehydration and low performance.

The fix: Drink at least 2 glass of water an hour before you run and one glass right before you run. Feel free to carry a bottle of water if you’re going for a long run. And of course remember to hydrate after the run.


Which beginner mistake did you make?

Read the full article here.


Runners, don’t forget the importance of music! Fit Radio has found the key to the perfect running mix. Learn more about the new Fit Radio Running Feature here.

6 Mistakes Fitness Trainers See You Making at the Gym

By Maire,

Shot of a beautiful young woman exercising in the cityhttp://

Run smarter, avoid injury, burn more calories, and claim a bigger body payoff with this “aha!” advice from top fitness pros.

Maria Masters


Tips from trainers

Ever wish you could eavesdrop on the personal training session taking place across the weight room and snag some inside “gym-formation”? Then listen up: We asked five top-tier fitness experts what mistakes they see many of us making. It turns out, the adjustments they recommend are surprisingly easy. Adapt these simple improvements for a cranked-up calorie burn (no extra gym hours necessary) and pain-free workout—you’ll see results fast.


Fitness Trainer

You lean on the machine too much

Nope, not figuratively. If you’re literally resting on the handles while you pedal up a dust storm, your lower body isn’t working as hard as it could be—and that means fewer calories torched, says Michele Olson, PhD, professor of exercise physiology at Auburn University in Alabama. Plus, you won’t effectively engage your glutes and core.

Worse, you could be setting yourself up for injury, because the muscles and joints in your shoulders and neck are forced to support much more weight than usual. “When you lean on the machine, you’re transferring about 30% of your body weight to your arms, shoulders, and neck,” says Olson. “If you weigh 145 pounds, that’s nearly 50 pounds.” Touch bike or treadmill rails with your fingertips for balance, and actively pump your arms if you’re on an elliptical.

Fitness Gym Machine Mistakes

You’re breathing all wrong

“Most people’s breaths are too shallow, at rest and during a workout,” says Beth Jordan, a personal trainer and spokesperson for the American Council of Exercise (ACE). Deep breathing recruits more of the oxygen your muscles need to function efficiently while exercising. With shallow breathing, you’ll notice that your chest rises and falls; deep breathing moves your belly. The timing matters, too: Breathe out on the exertion part of the movement. The exhalation helps push, pull, or rotate the body. “People have a tendency to hold their breath at strenuous points,” notes Jordan. “This limits oxygen delivery to the brain and can cause dizziness or a spike in blood pressure.”

On a run? Exhale as your foot strikes the ground, not before. Your diaphragm relaxes when you breathe out, so your core isn’t as stable, says Jordan—and you don’t want to land at your body’s least stable moment. Change up which foot hits the ground as you exhale. Otherwise, “it’s like wearing a heavy backpack all the time on your left shoulder instead of equally across both shoulders,” explains Jordan.

Fitness Tips to Breathing

You shouldn’t “HIIT” it hard every day

HIIT (high-intensity interval training) melts lots of calories in a short amount of time. But like most wondrous things in life (Louboutin heels, ice cream), it’s better in moderation. HIIT requires powerful effort—think 8 or 9 on the exertion scale—leaving your muscles stressed afterward. Do HIIT days back-to-back and your muscles will remain in a broken-down state (and more susceptible to a longer-term injury). “Your muscles repair and strengthen during the hours after the workout,” says Cris Dobrosielski, a spokesperson for ACE. “You should wait about 48 hours before doing another HIIT session.”

HIIT Training

You’re only working your mirror muscles

Don’t neglect muscles like the erectors, which help lengthen the torso, and the rhomboids and external rotators of the shoulder. “Skip these and it’s only a matter of time before you get a back or shoulder injury,” warns Dobrosielski. Do “pulling” moves (like bent-over rows) at least as often as you do “pushing” ones (think chest presses), which target your front.

Also, add back extensions to your routine: Lie face facedown, arms by sides and slightly off the ground, palms up. Raise your trunk a few inches and rotate your palms to face down; pause, then slowly lower. Do two sets of 15 reps.

Fitness Gym Tips

That cardio rut is bad for your body

Spin may be your true love, but you should have mini-affairs with other heart-pounding fitness workouts. “Most of the cardio we do is only forward and backward,” explains Fantigrassi. “When muscles on one side of a joint are strong and the opposing muscles are weak, it can destabilize the join”—and lead to injury.

The fitness fix: Combine cardio workouts that put your body in different plans of motion; for example, jog for 10 minutes, row for 10 minutes, and then do a few minutes of plyometrics, like jump lunges. Mix it up and your joints will thank you.

Gym Cardio

You should baby your hip flexors

Sitting for long hours tightens your hip flexors (the muscles above your thighs that let your legs bend toward your body). The tension is a precursor to posture problems and an achy back, says Mike Fantigrassi, director of professional services at the National Academy of Sports Medicine.

Loosen your hips using this kneeling hip stretch: Kneel on left leg, with right leg bent at 90 degrees in front of you; place right hand on right hip and raise left arm (A). Contract glutes and shift forward, then rotate hips to the left until you feel a stretch in the front of pelvis (B). Hold for 30 seconds, then switch sides.

Hip Flexors

There’s a reason why you’re not losing weight

Your boot-camp class won’t change the number on the scale if you’re committing these errors outside of your sweat sessions:

You think about burn only in the gym: “You get strong in the gym—but you get lean in life,” says celebrity trainer Harley Pasternak, who encourages his clients to wear pedometers and log more than 10,000 steps per day.

You aren’t food-focused: A recent study in Current Biology suggests there’s a limit to how many calories we burn through physical activity; after torching more than a moderate amount, our bodies make it hard to let precious energy go. The fix is in the kitchen: “To drop 1 to 2 pounds a week, cut about 2,000 calories weekly through diet and exercise,” says Jordan.

You’re not as active as you think: One study out of York University in Toronto found that even when people were told what “vigorous” exertion should feel like, they still underestimated how much effort a physical activity actually required. A heart-rate monitor can help give you a more realistic idea of your effort and burn.

5 Ways to Hit the Fitness Reset Button This Fall

By Maire,

Fall Running

We’re more than halfway through 2016. How are your New Year’s resolutions shaping up? It’s never too late to re-start, and Fall is a perfect time. With school and a new season starting, it’s a great time to get your fitness goals back on track. Here are our tips for kick-starting a fresh fitness routine.

Fall Fitness Tips

Revisit Your Goals & What Didn’t Work Last Time

The best way to pave the way for success is to identify what bumps derailed you last time. Why were you unable to keep your last fitness goal? Was it too large? Did you not equip yourself with the tools you needed to succeed? Figure out what didn’t work last time and what you can do to right it moving forward. If your goal is to eat healthier, maybe you need to do a better job of pre-planning meals.

Fall Superfoods

Try New Tactics

Sometimes the approach is the reason for failure. For example, if your goal was to work out more often and you didn’t, were you setting unrealistic expectations? Were you approaching the goal the wrong way? If you want to exercise more and don’t like running, don’t try to become a marathon runner overnight. Try out different workouts to get your heart pumping, it just matters that you’re moving! (No matter the workout, find your perfect playlist on Fit Radio to set you up for success.)

Find a Partner

Were you trying to go at your fitness goals alone in January? Goals are much easier to attain in a group. Grab a workout buddy and hold each other accountable– you’ll be surprised at how much more driven you can become when you’re working as a team!


Respect the Process

Many people quit on their fitness goals because they don’t see results fast enough. It’s important to fall in love with the process and not perfection. Remember, reaching goals is more about the journey than the destination! If you learn to respect and enjoy the process and small wins, you’ll be more successful in the long-run.

Get Outside

As the weather changes, explore opportunities to change your workout too. Get outside and enjoy the crisp air on your next run or if your gym makes a change to its schedule seasonally, try taking your go-to workout class at a new time.

Fall Running

A new season is a great time to start a new fitness routine and hopefully, these ideas will help you get motivated to do just that. Embrace the change in seasons, weather, and your health habits. Soon enough, you’ll become healthier and happier for the new season ahead.


6 Reasons You Should Workout With A Partner

By Maire,


Here’s why hitting the gym with a workout partner is a good idea.


Don’t feel like working out after work? It’s one thing to cancel plans with yourself—it’s another to cancel on a friend or partner who’s counting on you. “No one wants to be Debbie Downer by bailing and letting down your friend,” says Steve Stonehouse, personal training manager at Crunch in New YorkCity. You’re much more likely to meet your friend for a planned workout session at 6 p.m. compared to tentative plans you made with yourself for, say, sometime after lunch.

“After three or four weeks, once you’re in the habit, you won’t even think about canceling on your friend,” adds Stonehouse. (But if your main man keeps bailing on you, then you might be better off picking a new gym partner.)


News flash: The treadmill and the bench press aren’t the most exciting ways to pass the time. With a partner, though, you can get your heart racing with some one-on-one basketball, racquetball, or even just a partner workout like the ones in our three-day program for training partners.

Workout Partner


“You can also take turns leading new exercises and switching up the routine,” suggests Stonehouse. Maybe you know a brutal leg lunge that you used to do on your own? Teach it to your buddy one day, and the next, let him teach you something new. “Your body adapts and becomes efficient at moves that you’ve done again and again,” says Stonehouse. “The more you change up your workout, the better your body is going to respond.”


“Whenever you’re working out with someone else, the intensity is always going to be greater than when you’re alone,” points out Stonehouse. (You don’t want to be the wimp who can’t keep up with a seven-minutes mile.) One key tip when picking your partner: Your athletic abilities should be in the same ballpark. A more seasoned gym-goer won’t get as much out of working out with a newbie, while a beginner can find it frustrating if he’s only doing a third of what his partner can do.

“If you’re on the same level, you can push each other,” Stonehouse says. Odds are, you’ll both want to quit around the same time but you’ll go a little longer if your friend is still at it.


Sharing a cheeseburger is cheaper than buying one yourself (and fewer calories). The same math applies when it comes to a personal trainer. At Crunch, for example, a one-on-one session costs about $85, but a partner training session runs around $50 per person. “One-on-one training is still the bulk of my day, but I’m seeing more and more partner training for financial reasons alone,” says Stonehouse.


Never again will you have to approach a random meathead and ask him to spot you. Never again will you have to count your own reps.

It’ll also save you from forced reps: “Let’s say you’re on the bench press and you want to stop at 10 because you’re not sure you can make it to 11,” Stonehouse says. “If you have a spotter, you don’t have to worry as much. You’re more likely to power through the 11th, 12th, and 13th reps—and each of those little lifts will add up and make a difference.” Use your spotter to keep an eye on your form as you work, too.


Before you judge us, we’re not being totally shallow here—having thin friends is for your own good. Researchers at Harvard University found that you can “catch” obesity (along with smoking habits and happiness) because it spreads like an infectious disease. The experts found that a person’s risk of becoming obese rises by two percent for every five obese social contacts they have.

Fortunately, the reverse is true, too. Overweight people tend to lose more weight if they spend time with their fit friends—and the more time they spend together, the more weight they lose, according to a 2016 study published in the journal Obesity. “If you’re surrounded by people who are active and eat well, there’s a good chance you’re going to do the same,” Stonehouse says.

The Ultimate Guide to 10 Different Types of Yoga

By Maire,


How to find the best class for you.

by Jake Panasevich

When I first started yoga, I wanted a fast-paced, physical and sweaty flow class. After a few months, I tried other styles, but they were hit or miss. In one class I ended up in, for example, the teacher talked about philosophy and led us in chants for nearly half the time. I was confused, bored and in pain from sitting cross-legged. If that had been my first experience with yoga, I’m not sure I would have continued.

If you are looking to get into a yoga routine this fall, choosing from all the different styles can be overwhelming. Studios offer more variations of yoga than ever before, but don’t let all the trends and gimmicky classes distract you. Be clear about what your goals are before you choose your path. Once you know what you want, choose a program that fits you best. Here’s how:

Yoga for the Athlete

  • Flow: If you want to get in shape and tone up without bulking up, an exercise-heavy flow class is a good choice. When I first started yoga, I lost 40 pounds practicing heated power yoga or hot Vinyasa. These classes include plenty of lunges, core work and pushups, which are effective movements to build strength and burn calories fast. The temperature of a power yoga class is around 90 degrees, and you move very quickly through the poses. It is very fitting for those who want to sweat more and talk less about alignment and philosophy.
  • Fusion: Classes that blend yoga and exercise are popping up everywhere. CorePower Yoga, for instance, is a newer, popular branch of the standard power yoga class. CorePower offers heated flow classes as well as yoga with resistance and weights. The weights will help increase the intensity and help you get a more chiseled physique. However, the stakes are much higher if you misalign. Another fusion of fitness and yoga combines yoga and barre, which involves a workout using a ballet barre. All of these options are focused on physicality and moving quickly to get a workout.
  • Vinyasa: “Vinyasa” can mean many different things – so much so that it is difficult to tell exactly what you are signing up for when you attend a class. However, most Vinyasa classes move briskly in cadence with your breath. These classes are not heated, but that doesn’t mean you won’t get a good workout. While Vinyasa is fun and moving fluidly can be beneficial, these classes are not the best choice if you have an injury or joint pain.
  • Bikram: Bikram yoga is also a very intense method that builds focus. It is a very different physical challenge than Vinyasa. The yoga studio is heated to a sweltering 104 degrees and it is humidified to 40 percent so you break a sweat almost immediately. In Bikram, you practice 26 postures in 90 minutes, and hold the poses for a set amount of time. Bikram teachers repeat the same script each class, and it is the same sequence every time. If you enjoy the intensity of the heat and thrive with consistency, you will excel with Bikram yoga. If you enjoy variety, you should consider a different class.

Yoga for the Engineer

  • Alignment: If you have injuries or tend to be more tight and strong than flexible, an alignment-based class like align and flow, Iyengar or alignment-based Hatha is a good fit. The classes focus on subtleties where you learn by intellectualizing the biomechanical components of the practice. At some point, whether it is from getting hurt or just longing for more depth and knowledge about yoga and the poses, most people eventually seek out a slower, more thought-out, mechanical practice. Each class focuses on key alignment principles that provide insight on how to progress, and they are normally organized around a peak pose or a general focus. Additionally, alignment-based classes are great for beginners. You will move more methodically through poses and hold them longer than in a flow class. Pausing in a posture allows for more depth in a pose. This will provide a completely different challenge than moving at a quick pace.

Yoga for the Poet or Mystic

Yin and restorative yoga are perfect for those who love being still and who just need to stretch, restore and relax. In these classes, you will hold just a couple of positions for long periods of time. Exercise is involved in either style. Sequences are slow-moving and you use props to set up poses in a way that you can hold them for five to 10 minutes and attune them to your breath. If you are already on a grueling workout regimen, this type of yoga is a nice way to recover. By finding stillness in the poses, it becomes more of a meditative practice.

  • Restorative: Restorative is focused on alignment and positioning your body in a way that engages your muscles to protect your joints. This often requires props or using the support of the wall. For example, you may be asked to lie on your back with your legs up the wall for five minutes. This pose encourages students to attune to their breath and body.
  • Yin: Yin is slightly different from restorative yoga in the way instructors teach the poses. In this style class, you settle into the poses and stretch. There is less emphasis on engaging your muscles and, instead, you relax into each position.

Yoga for the Light-Hearted

If you are just looking to try something new and to not take yourself too seriously, there a couple options that are very playful and can be fun to try with a partner:

  • Aerial: If you’re feeling adventurous, you might try this style, in which the teacher helps you move through yoga poses while you are suspended in midair. I recommend trying a beginner’s class first and be willing to laugh at yourself when you fall and enjoy the anti-gravity effect.
  • Acro: Acro yoga normally involves coordination and time to build strength and to learn how to spot your partner. Usually, it takes some time for students to build self-awareness in their own bodies before trying these classes.
  • Partner: Practicing with a friend is helpful to go deeper into your poses. Events are also a fun way to make friends and try a class with a twist. Workshops range from music-themed classes – think metal music paired with Vinyasa – to yoga followed by beer tasting.


Find your flow and check out the latest Fit Radio Yoga mixes on our Yoga Station!

15 Former Couch Potatoes Share Best Tips For Getting In Shape

By Maire,


15 Former Couch Potatoes Share Their Best Tips For Getting In Shape –  – BuzzFeed

So you want to eat healthier and get in shape? That’s great! Learn from some people who’ve definitely been there.

Getting into shape and living a healthier lifestyle can be seriously daunting.

That’s why BuzzFeed Life reached out to people who’ve been there to ask them to share their advice. For one guy, that meant learning a way to trick himself into using the spin bike more often. For another woman, that meant transforming her eating and fitness habits, losing over 150 pounds, and getting her diabetes and blood pressure under control.

Whether you’re looking to make a big change in your life or a few small ones, you can probably use some of the tips these former couch potatoes shared. And if you’ve made a healthy living change in your own life, share it with everyone in the comments!

1. Make it easy for yourself to workout in the mornings.

“I never exercised. Very rarely. I knew I needed to because I needed the outlet for stress, and I wasn’t sleeping well. But I also didn’t want to exercise after work, because I’d always want to go out with friends, or come home and relax and just watch TV. So I knew I needed to try morning exercises if I was going to fit it into my day.

Here’s how I do it: When I get home from work I lay out my exercise clothes. I fill a bottle of water and put it in the fridge. I pack the outfit I’m going to wear to work the next day. I pack everything — makeup, shoes, outfit — have it all ready to go, and then set my alarm for the next morning. I do everything I need to do before I start to unwind. This forces me to just get up and do it, and not have to take the time to find everything or make excuses for why I can’t.”
—Cat Fuentes, 28

2. Master the art of portion control.


“It hasn’t happened overnight, but in the past seven years or so I’ve lost over 70 pounds. I’m about to run in the New York City Marathon on Sunday — it’ll be my second marathon. Back 70 pounds ago, I never could’ve dreamed that.

Tricks for myself, in terms of weight loss: Portion control is huge when you’re trying to lose weight. I’ve never been someone who wants to cut something out completely, so I had to figure out a way to allow myself little indulgences. I still go to restaurants, but now I’m all about tapas-style dining, which allows me to try a little of everything. It’s something I’ve gotten myself into that allows me to eat better without sacrificing my lifestyle.

Another tip: I snack throughout the day to keep up my energy, so I keep healthy things by my desk. My trick is making sure the snacks are in reasonable portion sizes, so I’m not just mindlessly munching on them all day.”
—Emily Abbate, 26

Emily Abbate is an editor at Fitbie, where she writes about health and fitness. She’s also been actively training for the 2014 New York City Marathon, and has beendocumenting her progress in a video series on Fitbie.

3. Get enough sleep.


“I had a breast reduction a couple months after I graduated high school, and then moved to Chicago to start college. Once I was out on my own, I had to learn to cook, which is typically healthier than dining out. And because of my class schedule, I had a lot of time on my hands to workout. Now that I no longer had HUGE BOOBS, working out was easier/more fun.

My number one tip for living healthier is to get enough sleep every night. You cannot eat healthy or stay motivated if you’re really tired. Sleep is legitimately the basis of all my healthy decisions. I just set a bedtime and stuck to it. Also, setting the alarm on your phone is really good for creating a new bedtime routine. Like if you need to be in bed sleeping at 11 p.m., set an alarm for 10:15 to remind you to like… stop checking Facebook and go wash your face. And sort of related: Unplug before bed. I put my phone in airplane mode to sleep better.”
—Rachel Miller, 29

4. Don’t aim for perfection.

“In 2007 I lost about 80 pounds, and then in 2012 gained most of it back. I wanted to get back in shape, so I decided to try running every day. And I was maybe running half a mile, maybe a mile at the most — I wasn’t good at it. I gave up about three times, saying, “It’s not working out, I’m not good at it,” and just went back to doing nothing.

I had a friend who lost 100 pounds running. And she helped to hold me accountable to get in shape. She would send me texts and Facebook messages saying, “You don’t have to be good at working out, you just have to do it.” That became my motto. Every time I didn’t want to get up: “You don’t have to be good at working out, you just have to do it.” So I started running every day.

I run probably three times a week now, I go to a simulated surfboard class three to four times a week, and I swim three to four times a week. And I’m so happy I do — I feel great.”
—Laura Prescott, 30

5. Find a workout you love — that way it doesn’t feel like a chore, and it’s something you’re excited to do.

“I was never active or in shape… at all. I had years of failed attempts at fitness that mostly included running on the treadmill and failing at the gym. After a doctor ordered me to quit drinking, I needed an outlet to keep me sober. I looked into hip-hop dancing but felt out of place and hated it.

I used to pass a Krav Maga school every day on the way to work. One day, I stopped in for a trial class and signed up for membership that day. Feeling empowered and excited, I went four times a week. I was hooked. Not long after I started, they invited me to join the instructor program. After weeks of grueling training, I completed it — an accomplishment my 220 pounds, 20-year-old self would never have imagined.”
—Ben Ronne, 34

6. Try to do some form of exercise for 30 minutes (or three miles) every day.


“I suffer from body dysmorphia, and consequently I really abused my body like crazy. Whether it was overeating, eating the wrong things, or eating to stuff my emotions down. I was also drinking a lot. Those habits didn’t go away when I became a trainer, and I felt like a humongous hypocrite. As time went on, I realized that I had a responsibility to my clients to walk the walk and talk the talk. I needed to make changes.

My big tip is consistency is key to getting in shape. The rule I set for myself (and that I set for my clients) is Thirty by Three: 30 minutes a day of some sort of exercise, whether that’s walking for 30 minutes, or five exercises that last about five minutes each with some breaks in between. OR you do three miles of something — three miles on a treadmill, elliptical, hiking. Sometimes an hour feels like just way too much, but 30 minutes always feels attainable.

For the past eight years, since I began focusing on my health, I’ve remained consistent — my body has stayed the same weight, I’m healthy, I’m a normal weight, I’m fit, and I’ve maintained it, and that’s what matters to me.”
—Kit Rich, 31

Kit Rich, an NASM certified personal trainer, is a Los Angeles-based celebrity pilates trainer. She’s been featured in Vogue, SHAPE, SELF, Women’s Health, Real Simple, US Weekly, and Pilates Style. She’s also made appearances on Access Hollywood, Access Hollywood LIVE!, E! News, E!Online, EXTRA, and The Today Show. She blogs regularly for

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Event Recap: Imagine Music Festival + Fit Radio Festival Mixes

By Maire,

Photo Credit:
aLIVE Coverage

During the last weekend of August, the Fit Radio Team made their way to Imagine Music Festival at Atlanta Motor Speedway just south of Atlanta, GA. Previously held within the metro area, This was the Imagine Music Festival’s first year expanding to a much larger venue. Because of this, it allowed for massive stage production, a more extensive lineup of performers, more event days, and the addition of a camping ground rounded off the iconic music festival experience. The Imagine Music Festival went off with a bang, featuring top-tier EDM acts including: Adventure Club, Benny Benassi, Steve Angello, Dillon Francis, and more. Several of Fit Radio’s own DJ residents were also in attendance throwing down awesome sets from Progressive Trance to Drum N Bass.

Our Music Director Nora was able to cover several sets from the weekend and here are her top picks (although extremely hard to choose!) and where to find these artists on Fit Radio for your workout music needs!



Dillon Francis headlined Imagine’s Main Stage, Oceania, with a hard-hitting set of heavy electro matched with his unique moombahton sound. His music is fitting for cardio or stair climber workouts where you need a slow but hard-hitting beat.

Check out DJ Rolemodel’s mix featuring a few of Dillon Francis’s hits here.


Photo Credit

aLIVE Coverage


This Montreal-based producer started the first night of Imagine off right with a heavy set of dubstep, hip hop, and even some heavy metal samples that shook the main stage. His sound is sure to motivate any heavy workouts or weightlifting sessions.

Check out Imagine Music Festival’s trap mix featuring Snail’s set and similar bass artists on Fit Radio.


Photo Credit

aLIVE Coverage


This Russian-based producer rocked the Disco Inferno stage on the last night of Imagine, bringing high-energy house music and uplifting trance. His music is ideal for any workouts at a 130 BPM pace including elliptical, cardio, and even running!

Check out this Fit Radio mix by DJ Oskar Koch featuring some of Arty’s greatest uplifting tracks.


Photo Credit: Proxy Matter


Fit Radio’s own DJ Reliquary threw down a progressive and uplifting Trance set at the Atlantis stage. His mixes are ideal for anyone looking for motivating dance music at 130-135 BPM.

Listen to one of our favorite Fit Radio mixes here.


What made Imagine Music festival especially unique was the addition of a full Drum N Bass stage on the last day of the festival. Fit Radio’s High Kalliber performed on the stage in the early evening and didn’t hesitate to drop the heaviest DnB beats to get the crowd prepared for the later acts to come! Drum N Bass is great for faster BPM workouts (170-180 BPM range) such as sprinting.

Listen to her Fit Radio Drum N Bass mix here.


The Imagine Music Festival has already released their customer appreciation tickets! You can grab them here!

The Fit Radio Festival station will continue to feature the best EDM mixes for your workout music needs. Stay tuned!

How Fat Turns to Muscle Through Exercise

By Maire,


How Exercise Changes Fat and Muscle Cells

BY: Gretchen ReynoldsNY Times

Exercise promotes health, reducing most people’s risks of developing diabetes and growing obese. But just how, at a cellular level, exercise performs this beneficial magic — what physiological steps are involved and in what order — remains mysterious to a surprising degree.

Several striking new studies, however, provide some clarity by showing that exercise seems able to drastically alter how genes operate.

Genes are, of course, not static. They turn on or off, depending on what biochemical signals they receive from elsewhere in the body. When they are turned on, genes express various proteins that, in turn, prompt a range of physiological actions in the body.

One powerful means of affecting gene activity involves a process called methylation, in which methyl groups, a cluster of carbon and hydrogen atoms, attach to the outside of a gene and make it easier or harder for that gene to receive and respond to messages from the body. In this way, the behavior of the gene is changed, but not the fundamental structure of the gene itself. Remarkably, these methylation patterns can be passed on to offspring – a phenomenon known as epigenetics.

What is particularly fascinating about the methylation process is that it seems to be driven largely by how you live your life. Many recent studies have found that diet, for instance, notably affects the methylation of genes, and scientists working in this area suspect that differing genetic methylation patterns resulting from differing diets may partly determine whether someone develops diabetes and other metabolic diseases.

But the role of physical activity in gene methylation has been poorly understood, even though exercise, like diet, greatly changes the body. So several groups of scientists recently set out to determine what working out does to the exterior of our genes.

The answer, their recently published results show, is plenty.

Of the new studies, perhaps the most tantalizing, conducted principally by researchers affiliated with the Lund University Diabetes Centre in Sweden and published last month in PLoS One, began by recruiting several dozen sedentary but generally healthy adult Swedish men and sucking out some of their fat cells. Using recently developed molecular techniques, the researchers mapped the existing methylation patterns on the DNA within those cells. They also measured the men’s body composition, aerobic capacity, waist circumference, blood pressure, cholesterol levels and similar markers of health and fitness.

Then they asked the men to start working out. Under the guidance of a trainer, the volunteers began attending hourlong spinning or aerobics classes approximately twice a week for six months. By the end of that time, the men had shed fat and inches around their waists, increased their endurance and improved their blood pressure and cholesterol profiles.

Less obviously, but perhaps even more consequentially, they also had altered the methylation pattern of many of the genes in their fat cells. In fact, more than 17,900 individual locations on 7,663 separate genes in the fat cells now displayed changed methylation patterns. In most cases, the genes had become more methylated, but some had fewer methyl groups attached. Both situations affect how those genes express proteins.

The genes showing the greatest change in methylation also tended to be those that had been previously identified as playing some role in fat storage and the risk for developing diabetes or obesity.

“Our data suggest that exercise may affect the risk for Type 2 diabetes and obesity by changing DNA methylation of those genes,” says Charlotte Ling, an associate professor at Lund University and senior author of the study.

Meanwhile, other studies have found that exercise has an equally profound effect on DNA methylation within human muscle cells, even after a single workout.

To reach that conclusion, scientists from the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm and other institutions took muscle biopsies from a group of sedentary men and women and mapped their muscle cells’ methylation patterns. They then had the volunteers ride stationary bicycles until they had burned about 400 calories. Some rode strenuously, others more easily.

Afterward, a second muscle biopsy showed that DNA methylation patterns in the muscle cells were already changing after that lone workout, with some genes gaining methyl groups and some losing them. Several of the genes most altered, as in the fat cell study, are known to produce proteins that affect the body’s metabolism, including the risk for diabetes and obesity.

Interestingly, the muscle cell methylation changes were far more pronounced among the volunteers who had ridden vigorously than in those who had pedaled more gently, even though their total energy output was the same.

The overarching implication of the study’s findings, says Juleen Zierath, a professor of integrative physiology at the Karolinska Institute and senior author of the study, is that DNA methylation changes are probably “one of the earliest adaptations to exercise” and drive the bodily changes that follow.

Of course, the intricacies of that bogglingly complex process have yet to be fully teased out. Scientists do not know, for instance, whether exercise-induced methylation changes linger if someone becomes sedentary, or if resistance training has similar effects on the behavior of genes. Nor is it known whether these changes might be passed on from one generation to the next. But already it is clear, Dr. Ling says, that these new findings “are additional proof of the robust effect exercise can have on the human body, even at the level of our DNA.”