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What’s More Dazzling Than a Decorated Tree? Women Doing Yoga Wrapped in Twinkle Lights

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What’s More Dazzling Than a Decorated Tree? Women Doing Yoga Wrapped in Twinkle Lights

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It’s time to take your yoga practice and your enthusiasm for holiday festivities to a whole new, mesmerizing level. Grab some twinkly string lights, assume your favorite yoga pose, wrap said lights all around your balanced body (you may need some assistance from a fellow yogi), and boom – you can’t get more into the holidays than that!

December 1, 2018 at 01:39AM

Here Is Exactly What to Wear to Your First Boxing Class

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Here Is Exactly What to Wear to Your First Boxing Class

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So you finally took the plunge – you found a boxing studio you would like to try and have penciled in a date and time for a workout. The only question that you have left is, what in the world should I wear?

To help ensure you pick the perfect workout outfit for your first (or next) boxing class, POPSUGAR spoke to boxing expert and Shadowbox trainer Sarah Digiovanni about what to consider when choosing an outfit. Spoiler alert: it’s all about breathable fabrics, moisture-wicking pieces, and a good sports bra that don’t get in the way of punches and extensions and make you feel good while you’re at the bag or in the ring.

December 1, 2018 at 01:39AM

10 Sneakers That’ll Let You Walk For Miles

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10 Sneakers That’ll Let You Walk For Miles

This article is for information only and doesn’t call for any action.

Whatever your reasons for walking – to stay fit, shed unwanted pounds, or simply recover from a tough workout – a good pair of sneakers is essential. Things to look for, according to experts: a comfortable footbed with arch support, a shock-absorbent outsole to lessen impact, and a model that provides protective support and durability.

The flex point of the shoe – or the point at which it bends while walking – is also key. "For optimal comfort, the flex point of the shoe should match the bending point of your foot," podiatrist Miguel Cunha, DPM, founder of Gotham Footcare, told POPSUGAR. If the two don’t align, you might experience arch pain or plantar fasciitis. "You can check the flex point of the shoe by holding it by the heel and pressing the toe of the shoe onto the ground – the point where the shoe bends and creases is the flex point," Dr. Cunha continued.

To help you get started, we’ve rounded up 10 of the best walking shoes on the market. Whatever you choose, plan to swap out your sneakers after roughly 400 to 500 miles, which translates to about 10 months if you only wear them to exercise. "It doesn’t matter if they still look new," Dr. Cunha said. "If the support has been worn out, you’re at a much higher risk of injury." Mark it in your calendar!

December 1, 2018 at 12:59AM

A Guide to Every Doctor’s Appointment You Should Make in 2019

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A Guide to Every Doctor’s Appointment You Should Make in 2019

This article is for information only and doesn’t call for any action.

Prioritizing your health is a worthwhile goal for the new year, and we’re not just talking about getting fit. Taking better care of yourself means making those doctor’s appointments, too – a process you should start now, before the holidays ramp up.

Why the urgency? If you’re seeing a new doctor, the office is likely to have only a select number of slots for new patients, with little availability for the first few months of the year. (Yes, already.) Plus, you’ll have some homework to do before your appointment, explained Robert Zembroski, DC, DACNB, MS, author of REBUILD and director of the Darien Center of Functional Medicine. "Before you visit any doctor, you’ll need all your current records, files, imaging studies, and any other relevant information regarding your health," he told POPSUGAR.

Use this checklist to schedule all the appointments you need, then mark them in your planner, your phone – whatever will keep you accountable.

December 1, 2018 at 12:20AM

This Interval Elliptical Workout Takes Less Than 30 Minutes

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This Interval Elliptical Workout Takes Less Than 30 Minutes

This article is for information only and doesn’t call for any action.

Photographer: Kat Borchart

With your super busy schedule, the last thing that gets checked off of your to-do list is probably that cardio workout you meant to sneak in. We get it – cardio isn’t exactly fun to tackle when it’s easier to go roll out a mat at home and do a quick yoga sequence. That’s why you need to work smarter, so you can get the most out of your cardio in the least amount of time. The perfect tool for that is the elliptical.

We talked to Pamela Carey, CPT-ACE, a certified trainer in New York City, to create an elliptical workout that requires less than half an hour, but offers a serious burst of cardio by using intervals to burn more calorie.

Why the Elliptical?

You’re thinking, "Isn’t all cardio the same?" Well, no. According to Carey, this particular machine is right for those looking for a low-impact workout, like those with knee pain or a lower body injury. "I recommend the elliptical machine most often to people who are looking for a lower intensity, but still excellent workout," Carey told POPSUGAR.

The elliptical is also a great alternative for those who get bored of running on the treadmill, or find the StairMaster intimidating. And before you tell us those two popular machines burn more calories than the elliptical, think again. "The method of cardio that burns the most calories is the kind that you actually do. It’s better to do the elliptical two to three times a week consistently than to run once and quit because you hate it."

How Do I Correctly Use the Elliptical?

It’s very easy to glide effortlessly and obliviously when you’re doing cardio on the elliptical, particularly if you see cardio as a chore. If you want to get the most out of your cardio workout, you need to first watch your form – stand upright and engage your core. "Try not to stay on the balls of your feet, and instead stride through the full foot as you move," Carey says. Try to make the movement natural; there’s no need to overreach or overstride.

The Under 30-Minute Interval Plan

This is Carey’s favorite elliptical interval plan. It takes a total of 24 minutes and you’re only sprinting for about half of the time. "This plan helps you burn calories during and after your workout efficiently," she says. "To maximize results, make sure you are challenging yourself with speed and resistance."

  • Two-minute warmup at moderate intensity: It should feel like a light jog (level 3 on most ellipticals).
  • One minute at high intensity: It should feel like a sprint (level 9 on most ellipticals).
  • One minute at moderate intensity: It should feel like a light jog (level 3 on most ellipticals).
  • Alternate those two levels for 18 more minutes.
  • Two-minute cooldown at a low to moderate intensity: It should feel like fast walking (level 2 on most ellipticals).

December 1, 2018 at 12:03AM

Help the Fitness Fanatic in Your Life Chill Out and Gift Them Some Sloth Gear

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Help the Fitness Fanatic in Your Life Chill Out and Gift Them Some Sloth Gear

This article is for information only and doesn’t call for any action.

In the era of HIIT workouts, powerlifting, and CrossFit competitions, there’s bound to be a bit of backlash. Sometimes fitness fanatics, me included, need a little reminder to chill out, and I vote the sloth as the mascot for this movement. To back up my vote, here are 17 pieces of fitness gear featuring sloths doing what they do best – hanging out.

November 30, 2018 at 11:39PM

These Are the 16 Superfoods You’ll Be Eating in 2019

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These Are the 16 Superfoods You’ll Be Eating in 2019

This article is for information only and doesn’t call for any action.

If you’re a little bored of relying on quinoa, kale, and blueberries to keep your body healthy and full of nutrients, there is a brand-new crop of superfoods making their way to supermarkets and health stores, about to expand your palette and make planning your meals exciting again.

These 16 foods recommended by experts, from veggies and extracts to seeds and oils, are the exciting superfoods you’ll be seeing all over shelves, recipes and, yes, social media in 2019. They are all packed with good-for-you nutrients that help with everything from disease prevention to reduced inflammation.

November 30, 2018 at 11:00PM

All These Tasty Trader Joe’s Peppermint Foods Are Vegan So You Can Celebrate the Season

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All These Tasty Trader Joe’s Peppermint Foods Are Vegan So You Can Celebrate the Season

This article is for information only and doesn’t call for any action.

If pumpkin space is the flavor of Fall, then peppermint definitely embodies the taste of the holiday season. Is there anything more quintessentially Winter than candy canes or peppermint mochas? Luckily, Trader Joe’s knows this, and unveiled its best seasonal peppermint foods just in time for the holidays.

And if you’re vegan, you don’t need to miss out on all the fun. These peppermint foods are tasty and free of animal products. Be mindful: just because they are vegan doesn’t mean they are necessarily healthy. But if you want to enjoy the delicious taste of peppermint, especially chocolate and peppermint together, then check out our top picks.

November 30, 2018 at 09:59PM

Here’s What I Wish My Loved Ones Understood About PTSD, Years After My Husband’s Death

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Here’s What I Wish My Loved Ones Understood About PTSD, Years After My Husband’s Death

This article is for information only and doesn’t call for any action.

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I wish I could stop them, all the terrible side effects. The nagging feeling of something going awry. The fear of an unexpected illness, tragedy, or death. The ultimate panic of the air leaving my lungs. The sudden urge to curl into a ball on the floor and take cover. I’m constantly looking over my shoulder because I’m worried there might be something that poses a threat. This is post traumatic stress disorder, and it’s a condition I’ve struggled with since the death of my husband in 2014.

My husband Justin was shot and killed in front of me and our infant son, who was just 3 days old. I heard the loud pop of the gun, the living room window shattering into a thousand pieces, the screams of the others in the room. I had to crawl on the floor to my husband’s lifeless body and feel for a pulse. If something like that doesn’t change the makeup of a person’s brain, I don’t know what will. The long-lasting effects of what happened live on in my heart, mind, and body like the plague. On June 17, 2014, my life became a constant battle of good versus evil. A battle I still fight every day.

Four years have passed and I’ve recently remarried to a wonderful man who adores me and my son. Apart from going back to the moments before Justin was killed, I’m happier than I’ve ever been. But my life is very different now. The trauma that I’ve had to endure will always infest my life, and a diamond ring doesn’t make it suddenly disappear.

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My new husband, Don (above), will now see my disorder in its true form. There’s no more hiding it. He has quickly learned what triggers to look for and even gone to therapy with me. He’s been more understanding than most and I thank my lucky stars to have found true love twice. But marriage is already complicated, and the PTSD will definitely keep things a bit more interesting.

Even though my family and friends are alarmingly aware of my tragedy, they tend to forget how present the trauma still is. They remember that I lost Justin, and that I still identify as a widow. They remember to reach out during the anniversaries and holidays, and they understand that from time to time I might need a little extra TLC. Still, it’s virtually impossible for them to relate. I’m glad, because I wouldn’t curse this pain on anyone. But I do wish that they would try a little harder to remember my PTSD, just as they remember my grief. They don’t realize how it affects me in my everyday life.

It’s easy to miss the clear signs of an impending trigger – for me that’s startling noises like police sirens, a balloon pop, a broken glass, or a firecracker. They sit beside me at dinner and don’t bat an eye when the waiter drops a tray of plates, or look at me like I’m nuts for worrying when I can’t get in touch with my husband or son. They act as if I’m overexaggerating when I wear soundproofing headphones on the Fourth of July, a day I have to psych myself up for all year long.

There may be no physical sign of trauma, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t there.

The PTSD Alliance estimates that eight percent of adults will develop PTSD in their lifetime. In the United States alone, there are roughly seven million people living with the disorder. PTSD isn’t limited to war veterans and grief-stricken widows. It can affect anyone who has experienced a traumatic event (even children), whether that’s a car accident, sexual abuse, a house fire, or a natural disaster like a hurricane or tornado. There may be no physical sign of trauma – not even a spouse or child who’s missing from the person’s life – but that doesn’t mean it isn’t there. That’s true even if they smile through the pain, as I so often do. I don’t fault my loved ones for not fully grasping what PTSD is, but I wish more people would make an effort to understand what it’s like to navigate it. There are hundreds of videos on YouTube from people living with PTSD. I even have one of my own.

Here’s how I describe it: Imagine your worst nightmare coming true. For some of us, it might be a nightmare so horrific, our minds never envisioned it in the first place. Now imagine it’s not a nightmare but your reality, and you’re being forced to live it every day for the rest of your life, both physically and emotionally. This is PTSD in its truest form. If you take a second and try to understand it better, you might be able to help a loved one who’s struggling. Ask them what their triggers are and how you can help when they are facing them head on. Try to remember that PTSD is always around. Sometimes it goes dormant and sometimes it becomes active like a volcano.

On the bad days, I’ve taught myself to pretend and go through the motions. But I certainly don’t take the good days for granted. I’ve learned to love myself like never before and claim my victories when I can. I’m proud of how far I’ve come, and I will keep working on a healthier version of myself, both for me and those I love.

November 30, 2018 at 08:58PM

These Ugly-Sweater-Inspired Sneakers Are the Only Running Shoes I’m Wearing in December

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These Ugly-Sweater-Inspired Sneakers Are the Only Running Shoes I’m Wearing in December

This article is for information only and doesn’t call for any action.

I’ll be honest: I’m kind of sick of the ugly Christmas sweater trend. The parties, the holiday races, and gyms participating in ugly holiday-themed classes all get wrapped up in this tired tradition where people are more interested in doing it for the ‘gram than actually enjoying the festivities.

But that all changed when Brooks sent me the sneaker version of the ugly Christmas sweater: Ugly Sweater Levitate 2 ($150). These are the same version of the Levitate 2, which I already love, but in a fun, festive ugly sweater pattern. The laces look like striped candy canes and even feature little jingle bells. Plus, the Levitate 2 offers plenty of support and cushion for my runs, and I haven’t yet fallen off the treadmill while wearing them (which is a major plus!).

I’m fully planning on rocking these all December long during my Orangetheory and Barry’s Bootcamp classes and running on the treadmill at the gym. I will probably take off the little bells, though; I don’t need to be driving everyone else in the gym bonkers. And if I stop being a Scrooge and actually attend an ugly Christmas sweater party this year, you better believe I’ll be rocking these sneakers along with my matching sweater.

November 30, 2018 at 08:40PM

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