Blog Posts by SHAPE magazine

  • Is Self-Confidence at an All-Time Low?

    by Alanna Nuñez for

    Easy ways to boost your self-confidenceEasy ways to boost your self-confidence

    Research has shown that seeing idealized images of thin, flawless-looking supermodels and celebritiescan make women feel bad about themselves. But a new survey from German beauty company Braun suggests that women feel judged every day, regardless of the situation.

    Some of the instances in which women don't feel they "measure up"? Dropping their kids off at school, giving a presentation at work, and shopping. Yikes!

    Everyone has a down day once in a while, but in a world where women are arguably enjoying more success than ever, why do so many feel so bad about themselves?

    To start, we live in a culture that perpetuates judgment based on looks and weight, says Jennifer Lombardi, executive director of the Sacremento-based Eating Recovery Center of California. It starts early, with children as young as five learning that being "thin" or "skinny" is good and being "fat" is bad, she says.

    Then add that we live in the golden age of the 24-hour news

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  • You've Been Breathing Wrong Your Entire Life

    by Locke Hughes for

    How to breathe your way to a better body, mind, and lifeHow to breathe your way to a better body, mind, and life

    Although you've been breathing since the moment you were born, you've probably been doing it all wrong. "We're all born knowing how to inhale and exhale correctly, but with today's technology, hurried schedules, and everyday stress, most of us have lost that ability," says Belisa Vranich, Psy.D., author of the new book, Breathe: 14 Days to Oxygenating, Recharging, and Fueling Your Body & Brain. "As a result, most of us 'under-breathe' in a dysfunctional way." And this dysfunctional breathing can make you feel winded during CrossFit or after climbing a few flights of stairs, no matter how fit you are. Oxygen is fuel, and part of feeling fatigued during exercise has to do with not fueling our cells well enough through our breath. "You can have the heart and cardiovascular system of an elite athlete but the lungs and breathing muscles of a total couch potato," Vranich says. Fortunately re-learning the right way to breathe is easy. The first step is Read More »from You've Been Breathing Wrong Your Entire Life
  • How Stress Can Increase Your Risk of Infertility

    by Charlotte Hilton Andersen for

    Can't get pregnant? Don't stress out!Can't get pregnant? Don't stress out!

    If you want to have a baby but are having a hard time conceiving, don't stress out-doing so may only make it even harder to grow a bun in the oven, new research says. According to a study published today in the journal Human Reproduction, the higher a woman's levels of alpha-amylase-an enzyme in saliva that indicates stress-the lower her chances of conceiving. In fact, the most stressed-out ladies had double the risk of having unexplained infertility, defined as having unprotected sex for 12 months and still not becoming pregnant.

    Stay calm, though: The scientists emphasize that this study is about giving infertile couples more information and more options to try. "Eliminating stressors before trying to become pregnant might shorten the time couples need to become pregnant in comparison to ignoring stress," says Germaine Buck Louis, the study's principal researcher.

    RELATED: The Fertility Facts You Must Know

    This is exactly why Read More »from How Stress Can Increase Your Risk of Infertility
  • 5 Weird Remedies for Neck and Back Pain

    by Rachel Sturtz for

    These remedies for neck and back pain really work!These remedies for neck and back pain really work!

    Talk about a pain in the neck: Two-thirds of Americans 18 to 34 years old have had chronic pain, or know someone who has, in the past year alone, according to an American Osteopathic Association survey, and neck pain was third on the list of trouble spots. Neck and upper-back pain is mostly caused by stress and ergonomics (how we sleep, sit, and work), says Manhattan-based massage therapist John Ellsworth. Which means the torment is treatable.

    And since more than half of the people surveyed confessed they might not seek professional help for discomfort, here are five DIY ways to say sayonara to soreness.

    1. Sleep in a scarf: "More than 80 percent of your body heat comes from muscular contraction. When you're cold, your muscles tighten slightly to generate heat," Ellsworth says. Your neck is uniquely exposed at night, especially when you're covered in blankets, robbing your neck muscles of the chance to rest, recover, and heal like the rest of your Read More »from 5 Weird Remedies for Neck and Back Pain
  • Everyone's Clamoring for Lollipop Kale

    by Keri Gans for

    Lollipop kale is now a thing!Lollipop kale is now a thing!

    What do you get when you cross kale and Brussels sprouts together? A lollipop. And no, this isn't your typical sugary lollipop but rather a small bundle of joy. A writer for Grub Street reported about lollipop kale yesterday, and I just had to investigate. I love Brussels sprouts but am not a fan of kale (I know, shocking for a nutritionist to confess) and have many patients who love kale and not Brussels. For all of us, this could be a brand new opportunity to expand our vegetable horizon. The lollipop, also known as kale sprouts, belongs to the same plant species (Brassica oleracea) as other popular veggies. They were created under the brand Salad Savoy and trademarked in 2012. Presently they are starting to pop up in restaurants in the U.S., though rather slowly. Supposedly they aren't the easiest veggie to grow and because the cost is a little high to purchase.

    RELATED: 10 New Ways to Eat Kale

    According to the article, they taste great and are just as

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  • 6 Texts You Should Never Send Him

    by Markham Heid for

    6 texts you should NEVER send a guy6 texts you should NEVER send a guy When it comes to text messages, it's horrifyingly easy to send your man the wrong message-literally and figuratively. And considering texting has only been around for a decade or so, the art of the perfect SMS has yet to be mastered. And while you probably know that important conversations-whether you're pissed at him or ready to talk about your future-should never happen via text, there are other iMessages you should never send his way. 1. "Looking forward to more nights with you like that."Alluding to a shared future-however benign your comment may seem-is a serious no-no at the start of a new relationship, says Laurie Davis, founder of and author of Love at First Click. Sometimes women get ahead of themselves and build up elaborate fantasies involving a future with their new man, but guys usually aren't so quick to move that way, she explains. And any hints of serious commitment could frighten him-or anyone: Wouldn't you be wary if a Read More »from 6 Texts You Should Never Send Him
  • Why Everything You Know About Sports Nutrition is Wrong

    by Rachel Sturtz for

    How to refuel the proper wayHow to refuel the proper way

    There are usually a few days out of the month when you feel like hell. You run slower, feel achier, and are more likely to skip a workout. "A lot of women finish a hard day and end up flat-on-their-back exhausted," says Stacy Sims, Ph.D., exercise physiologist, nutrition scientist, and co-founder of the performance nutrition company Osmo Nutrition. "And your menstrual cycle has a lot to do with it."

    For decades, women-athletes and gym rats alike-have written off these PMS training days as a sacrifice to the fertility gods, but it turns out we have just been eating and refueling the wrong way: We've been doing it like men. And our performance has suffered.

    The problem is that the recommendations for pre-, during, and post-exercise fueling are based on studies that use 18- to 22-year-old guys. Unlike men, we have high and low hormone phases throughout the month, during which estrogen and progesterone fluctuate, causing slight changes to metabolism,

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  • 5 Reasons NOT to Let Your Friends Set You Up

    by Annie Daly for

    Why you shouldn't let your friends set you upWhy you shouldn't let your friends set you up At one point in your life, you've likely either considered having your friends set you up on a date or you've done the matchmaking. It seems like such a great idea-if you're friends with both of them, they must have lots in common and will probably hit it off, right? Not exactly. A new study from Harvard Business School found that matchmaking brings happiness to matchmakers but not necessarily to the folks getting set up.

    "While it seems like your pals would be the ultimate matchmakers because they know you and your tastes so well, the reality is that having them set you up can actually lead to a number of detrimental situations," says Christie Hartman, Ph.D., a psychologist and dating expert in Denver.

    Consider these five things and think twice before letting your friends play Cupid.

    1. It Could Wreak Havoc on Your Friendship

    Say your friend sets you up with her friend John. He's great-until, out of nowhere, he ghosts you. You turn to your

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  • How to Heal a Broken Friendship

    by Annie Daly for

    Need to mend a broken friendship? It can be done! Here's how. Need to mend a broken friendship? It can be done! Here's how. In a perfect world, you'd treat your friends like a saint 24/7. But you're human, and sometimes you mess up. Maybe you spilled your friend's secret after you swore to keep it on the DL, or you blurted out something hurtful in the heat of the moment.

    Deep breath: Your friendship is not doomed. "Most of the time you'll be able to fix the problem, but depending on what happened, you also have to be prepared for the possibility that your friend is just too hurt to reconcile," says Carlin Flora, a friendship expert and author of Friendfluence: The Surprising Ways Friends Make Us Who We Are.

    Take these steps to let your girl know that you realize you made a mistake-and you want to patch things up ASAP.

    1. Craft your apology.
    Let's say that you often ditched your friend for a guy you were dating, and now that your relationship with him is kaput, you want her back. It's important to consider what your exact apology is going sound like-and really think

    Read More »from How to Heal a Broken Friendship
  • How to Feel Happier and Less Stressed in 24 Hours

    by Holly C. Corbett for

    Feel happier instantly!Feel happier instantly!

    By this time of winter, most of us have had enough of the ice, snow, and freezing temps-and the funk that the cold, long, dark days tend to put you in. While you can't do anything about the weather, you can brighten your mood and bust happiness-sapping stress with the small changes in this schedule.

    7:00 a.m. Rise and Om It's no secret that yoga shatters stress, and now a study in the journal BioPsychoSocial Medicine finds that having a regular practice also eases both the mental and physical symptoms triggered by anxiety, anger, depression, and fatigue. "Yoga calms your central nervous system and increases the flow of energizing oxygen in your body by incorporating deep breathing," says Mark Gerow, a mind-body specialist at Canyon Ranch in Lenox, MA, and author of the upcoming book Years of Posing: A Yoga Teacher's Struggle With Addiction and Trauma. Start your morning on a calm note by doing 10 to 15 minutes of yoga poses when you wake.


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