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22 December 2017

We Asked 9 Wellness Influencers to Confess Their Unhealthiest Habit

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Our favorite wellness gurus are constantly sharing their best advice with us. We admire their devotion to mental and physical fitness so much, we often forget that like everyone, they surely have some less-than-ideal habits too.

As 2018 approaches and we begin brainstorming our New Year's resolutions, we wanted to find out what bad behaviors trainers and nutritionists cop to. Here's what they confessed to us—each unhealthy habit is a solid reminder that even the fittest pros have a weakness for French Fries or don't clock in enough sleep, among other things!

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“I have a secret; I am addicted to chocolate chip cookies. Every morning I go to my favorite coffee shop, and they have the most incredible freshly baked chocolate chip cookies. I try my hardest not to eat them, but I almost always buy one.”

Harley Pasternak, celebrity trainer

“I'm a serious sloucher! I'm aware of the negative impact of poor posture, but I still find myself hunching over my laptop too often. It drives me crazy when I catch myself or see it in a photo, but it's the one bad habit that's been the most difficult for me to overcome."

Cynthia Sass, RD, Health contributing nutrition editor

“My sleep sometimes really suffers because I'm always pushing to finish projects. I have a hard time walking away from something and saying, "Okay Cassey, it's time to go to bed. We can work on this tomorrow." That then turns into sleep deprivation!”

Cassey Ho, fitness influencer and founder of Blogilates

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I would have to say my unhealthiest habits are worrying and cereal. My anxiety is through the roof most of the time, which is something I'm really working on lately. With cereal, usually I can keep the cravings under control, but there's really nothing like a huge bowl of Honey Nut Cheerios to satisfy the craving gremlins.”

Lauren Williams, fitness expert and influencer

I long for the day that I can actually sleep In, no alarm, and get 7 hours of sleep. These days, I average about 5 hours of sleep!

David Kirsch, celebrity trainer

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“[My unhealthiest habit is] not making time for a proper meal. Let's face it. We can all find 15 minutes to put our phones down, find a quiet place, and just focus on eating and digestion. But during my workweek, I often get so caught up that I end up eating on the fly or during meetings. This usually leads to eating too quickly and poor digestion and I regret it afterwards. So, if I find myself stuck in this pattern, I try to stop, take a deep breath, step away for 15 minutes, and just truly enjoy warm spoonfuls of delicious food."

—Anna Kaiser, celebrity trainer and founder of AKT inMotion

“Mentally, my unhealthiest habit would be comparing myself to where I'm at in my career with others. It's human to look at other [people's] lives and subconsciously compare, but we must remember that where we are right now is the exact path we are supposed to be on!” 

Katie Austin, fitness author and blogger

“My unhealthy habit is getting a frozen yogurt with approximately my bodyweight in Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups as the topping (and since this is a tell all, I put them on the bottom too)." 

Gunnar Peterson, celebrity trainer

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“I think my unhealthy habit—besides wanting that second glass of wine once I open a bottle—is French fries. Once I order a burger, my healthy sensibilities seem to go right out the window: forget the side salad, dish up some fries! But that’s okay. I’m all about living comfortably and enjoying life, and I don’t deprive myself of the things I love. I just keep in mind that they are an indulgence to fully enjoy in the moment!”

Denise Austin, fitness expert and creator of LifeFit



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21 December 2017

Challenge Yourself to Do 1 Killer Workout a Day in our ‘5 Minutes to Fit’ Series

Work your entire body with these quick, kick-butt routines.

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This Is the Best Workout for Women

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When it comes to exercise, the aerobic kind steals all the glory. All of the fun ways to sweat can help you get the government-recommended 150 minutes of aerobic activity each week, like swimming, volleyball, brisk walking—anything that speeds up your blood flow and breath.

Less appealing is the other, more neglected kind: strength-training. While about half of Americans meet the goals for aerobic exercise, only 20% do the recommended muscle-strengthening activities that work major muscle groups. Women, especially, tend to shy away from it.

But they neglect it at their own peril. Strength-training significantly lowers the risk for type-2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease, finds a new study published in the journal Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise.

Scientists (and anyone else who’s ever pumped some iron) have long known that strength training makes muscles bigger. It also protects bones by increasing their density, an important perk for aging women. But more recent evidence shows that it also reduces BMI, which improves how the body uses insulin. A bigger muscle also means that glucose can get around the body better.

The researchers wanted to see if the lesser-known benefits of strength training, like these, actually influence a person’s risk of type-2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

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Using data from the Women’s Health Study, they followed nearly 36,000 older women who ranged in age from 47-98. The women filled out questionnaires yearly from 2000-2014 about their health and exercise levels, and one question asked women to estimate how much weight lifting/strength training they’d done per week in the past year. The researchers tracked which of the women got cardiovascular disease—including events like heart attack and stroke—and type-2 diabetes.

Whether a woman did these muscle-strengthening exercises or not predicted much about her health. “Women who reported participating in any amount of strength training were more likely to have a lower BMI, more likely to engage in healthy dietary patterns, and less likely to be a current smoker,” compared with women who avoided it, the authors write.

Strength training was also linked to a woman’s risk for the two conditions. Those who said they did any amount of strength training had a type-2 diabetes risk 30% lower and a cardiovascular disease risk 17% lower than those who did none, even after the researchers controlled for other variables like age, vegetable and fruit intake and physical activity.

Not surprisingly, adding in aerobic exercise helped drive both risks down even more. Those who did at least 120 minutes a week of aerobic exercise and some strength training had a type-2 diabetes risk 65% lower than women who didn’t do either.

More research is needed to determine the optimum amount of strength training for women and men to reduce their risks. But the study suggests that both kinds of exercise impart unique benefits—and that strength training has some serious scientific weight to it.



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