Category Archives: Fitness & Health

4 Tips for Eating Healthy While Traveling

4 Tips for Staying Fit While Traveling

4 Healthy Eating Tips for TravelingWhether you’re traveling for business or pleasure, keeping up with your healthy habits can be a challenge. But blogger Summer Huggins shares four tips that worked for her.

I’ve been so good about going to the gym and eating healthy during the last eight weeks. I don’t mind telling you: I’ve even lost 10 pounds!

But I recently traveled to Cleveland for a conference, and the closer conference got on my calendar, the more nervous I found myself feeling as I worried about getting away from my new healthy routine. Anyone who has ever traveled for work knows that conferences aren’t known for their healthy fare. Think boxed lunches with lots of cookies and carbs.

I’m happy to report that this conference was different from others — not only in the content they presented, but also when it came to the food they fed us. I’m happy to report that I didn’t gain a single one of my lost pounds back while I was away, and I even discovered four tips for keeping up with my new healthy habits that I plan to take with me the next time I travel:

  1. Stay hydrated. On the plane, in the conference sessions and in my hotel room, I always had a bottle of water with me. I also steered clear of caffeine and alcohol, both of which can dehydrate your body.
  2. Find the fitness center. Yep, I packed my gym shoes for my trip and made use of the fitness center at my hotel. It was so nice! There were brand new earphones for guests and a TV at every piece of cardio equipment. There was even a basket of apples in the fitness center for a healthy post-workout snack.
  3. Fruit is your friend. Breakfast each morning did consist of a lovely buffet of carbs in the form of bagels and pastries, but I’m glad that it also included lots of beautiful fresh fruit. I kept an emergency protein bar and a bag of almonds in my computer bag, so I was able to make a delicious and healthy meal out of nuts, protein and colorful fresh fruit. No bagels touched these lips!
  4. Walk the city. When I realized that I hadn’t left the hotel in two-and-a-half days, a new friend and I decided to hit the sidewalk and explore the downtown area a bit. It was a great way to get some fresh air, get some movement in and learn about the city at the same time. I was so glad I had packed comfortable shoes!

I’m traveling again next month, and I hope I can remember these four tips and take them with me then, too. How do you keep up with your healthy habits when you travel?


Yoga Journal May 2013_featured

Your Biggest Stress and How to Manage It

Yoga Journal magazinIt’s not uncommon to feel overwhelmed by a job, but Yoga Journal suggests using these five tips to manage stress and even get a renewed sense of satisfaction out of your work.

Feeling the pressure from your job? You’re not alone, as a recent study cited by Real Simple magazine deemed it the No. 1 stressor.

Of course, money is closely tied to said job—or lack thereof—and took a close second the survey conducted by UK nonprofit Mind. In it, the numbers showed work at 34 percent edging out money at 30 percent as the top source of anxiety among the 2,000 surveyed.

With work being deemed the biggest cause of stress and with April being National Stress Awareness Month, the article titled “How Yoga Can Help You Love Your Job” in the May issue of Yoga Journal magazine arrived right on time.

Much like the foundation of the practice of yoga, the advice on how to love your job is largely mental and involves a healthy dose of attitude change or re-focus.

By adopting these five shifts in thinking or approach, the Yoga Journal article suggests a new level of job satisfaction—regardless of the importance of the position you hold—can be reached.

1. Do work that suits you. Sure it sounds simplistic, but this is probably the most fundamental step to job satisfaction. Just think, an introvert is likely not going to enjoy anything involving sales or public speaking, and a creative type won’t care for crunching numbers all day.

2. Practice skill in action. That means dedicating yourself fully and completely to the task at hand. By paying such close attention to your work, you overcome distraction and are able to do the absolute best that you can.

3. Don’t worry about the results. It may seem ironic, but if you approach work as doing it for its own sake rather than placing too much on the outcome, you remove your ego from the situation. In that way, if or when something fails, you will feel less like a victim.

4. Approach your work as a service. Even if you aren’t on the front line providing a service to others, you can take on the responsibility of helping to improve your company, your department or even your co-workers in whatever large or small ways you can.

5. Make your work an offering. That is to say you should release your best work with the hope that it takes on a larger collective significance in making the world a better place. By contributing to something bigger, it makes you and your tasks feel more meaningful.


Shape Up collage_featured

Top Fitness Magazines as Low as $6.99 During Our Shape Up Sale Shape Up SaleTrying to get in shape, eat healthy or is training for a marathon part of this year’s goals? Get the encouragement you need to achieve them with our Shape Up Sale magazines.

Whether you’re wanting to get your body beach-ready this summer or you’re trying to adopt healthier habits year round, you’re going to need some motivation.

And what better way to get it than with a magazine subscription that brings new tips, low-cal recipes and effective workout regimens in every new issue.

Now through Monday, April 15, you can get these top health and fitness magazine subscriptions as low as $6.99 during our Shape Up Sale.

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Ladies, Show Your Heart Some Love During Heart Health Month

Heart Health MonthWith Valentine’s Day just around the corner, we’ve got hearts on the brain. Women, here are some practical tips to boost your heart health and lengthen your life.

If you’re like me, you spend lots of time worrying about your children’s health while barely giving yourself a second thought. But as the American Heart Association celebrates its annual Go Red for Women Campaign this month, it made me stop and think about myself.

Nearly five times as many women die of heart attacks than of breast cancer, according to the National Coalition for Women with Heart disease. And heart-related disease is also the leading cause of death for women in the United States. With this in mind, I found Parenting Early Years magazine extremely helpful with their quick tips on keeping your ticker strong:

Be smart about the pill. If your contraception plan involves birth-control pills, make sure you know the risks. If you smoke, have high blood pressure or a history of blood clotting, the pill can increase complications.

Get moving. Do anything that gets your heart rate up for at least 95 minutes a week. Don’t feel like you have to be running laps to get good results. Climbing stairs and pushing strollers counts, too.

Calm down. Stress raises blood pressure, so identify those difficult times of the day (hello witching hour!) and find ways to breathe more deeply.

Limit alcohol. Before you raise a glass of red wine in the name of heart health, consider this: Grape juice has the same perks. And having more than one glass of wine a day can raise your blood pressure.

So, while we may not stop worrying about the health of our children, let’s be sure to take the necessary precautions to preserve our own health. And in the end, our children will be glad we did!


How People Magazine Saved My Life (A Breast Cancer Survivor Story)

How People Magazine Saved My Life (A Breast Cancer Survivor Story)

How People Magazine Saved My Life (A Breast Cancer Survivor Story)A breast cancer survivor shares her story of hope, a hard-fought battle and how a People magazine cover story saved her life.

Four years ago, I was standing in line at the grocery store when the cover story of People magazine jumped out at me: Christina Applegate, breast cancer at 36. “What?” I thought. “She’s only 36! I’m 36!”

I’d always been very good about self breast checks and yearly visits to my gynecologist. But at that point in my life, I’d had an incredibly stressful year. I’d dropped the ball on self breast checks. So that day, because of that headline, I checked. And I found a lump. It was ovular, hard, painless and immobile.

I had invasive ductal carcinoma. It’s an aggressive and common form of breast cancer. To say that I was terrified is an understatement. I have children! Would I see them grow up? How was I going to juggle my life as a single mother while battling breast cancer? Would I even have the opportunity to?

I elected to undergo a bilateral mastectomy. Choosing to have your breasts removed is such an excruciating decision, but because I was so young, my chance of reoccurrence was 37 percent. I’d always be looking over my shoulder; I’d always be scared. Reconstruction these days is quite remarkable. It’s a painful process—I won’t sugar coat it—but it’s definitely worth it!

Because my tumor was feeding on estrogen, I was put on Zoladex injections to remove all estrogen from my body. This treatment is sometimes called “chemical chemo,” and there are unpleasant side effects from it. But it kept me safe and I made it through that just like I did the surgeries.

There were people in my life who encouraged me every step of the way, even when I was really down. It is essential to have a support system when you go through something of this significance. It affects your body, emotions, mind, self-esteem, finances, energy level, etc. When I needed help, I asked for it (most of the time). There are truly amazing people out there with such kind hearts who want to help.

The doctors, my support system and hope are what got me through it. Four years later, I’m cancer-free. When I look back on the experience, I can say that I’m much stronger than I could’ve imagined, I’m eternally grateful to those who were there for me along the way, and that headline saved my life.

I might have waited another year before giving myself a breast check or going to the doctor. Had that happened, with the form of breast cancer I had, there is a very good chance it would have spread and I might not be here to tell my story or raise my children.

So thank you, Christina Applegate. I’ve always wanted to thank you and haven’t ever figured out a way. Your experience certainly saved my life, and it spared my children from losing their mother.

For those of you reading this who are currently battling breast cancer, have faith. I know it’s hard! Fight hard! Please ask for support and accept that support. We all need each other at some point or another, and right now is your time!

For those of you who love someone who is battling breast cancer, show your love and support in every way you can. Encourage your loved one, especially when they’re down. Ask them what they need, because sometimes we don’t want to ask or be a burden. Most of all, be there with lots of unconditional love and hugs.

And for all of you women out there reading this: Always, always, always check those breasts—and fight like a girl!

The Riveting Story of Susan G. Komen

The Riveting Story of Susan G. Komen

The Riveting Story of Susan G. KomenIt’s the name that immediately brings to mind flashes of pink. But who was the actual Susan G. Komen and how did her name come to be synonymous with breast cancer awareness?

I’ve heard the name Susan G. Komen more times than I can count. It’s on pink ribbons, T-shirts and even cereal boxes, but at the dawn of this month, Breast Cancer Awareness Month, it hit me that I didn’t really know her story. True, Susan G. Komen is the name of an organization and a movement, but it’s also the name of a person with a story, and I wanted to know more about the woman that incited such a revolution of hope.

In my searching, I came across this beautiful story written by Susan’s sister, Nancy G. Brinker, who made a promise to her dying sister that blossomed into the movement that’s transforming the way women battle breast cancer. If you have a few minutes, I encourage you to dive into Nancy’s deeply emotional narrative, as it’s laced with the kind of honest bravery, fear and love that gives you goosebumps.

Born in 1943 in Peoria, Illinois, Susan G. Komen was a beauty queen, described by her sister as “kind and loving, not only to me but to everyone.” High school homecoming queen, college beauty and later a model, Komen found a lump on her breast when she was only 33 years old.

In a time when the average woman wasn’t nearly as educated about breast cancer as we are today, Komen stayed with her family doctor rather than finding a cancer specialist. She went to a surgeon upon recommendation, and he did a subcutaneous mastectomy (removing tissue just from the inside of the breast) and declared confidently that Komen was cured.

“My heart sank because I knew enough to know that cure is a very difficult word to use in reference to cancer,” Brinker says in her narrative, remembering the moments after her older sister’s surgery. Though Komen adopted her surgeon’s confidence, the deadly disease reappeared months later, and it had spread.

Undergoing radiation treatment at the Mayo Clinic, losing her hair and accepting all the painful side effects surging through her body, Komen took hope from First Lady Betty Ford and her open fight with breast cancer.

“Nan,” she told her sister, “if Mrs. Ford can admit she has breast cancer and tell the whole world she intends to fight it, well then so can I.”

Fight though she did, Komen died at the age of 36 from breast cancer. Before her death, she told her sister she wanted to make the experience better for other women, particularly when it came to the sterile waiting rooms, where patients would often sit for hours on hard chairs surrounded by blank walls. And her sister agreed that she would take up the fight.

“I wanted to do something to let her know how special she would always be in my heart,” Brinker writes at the end of her story. “I was haunted by our last conversation and lay awake sometimes all night wondering what I could do to help other women with breast cancer.”

And such was the birth of Susan G. Komen For the Cure, a revolution of revolutions that has brought hope, healing and awareness to women across the globe.