Hottest health hints
Presenting the people, products, and trends that make healthy living easier, faster, and a whole lot more fun.
Photo: Jack Guy
1. America's healthiest body: Jillian Michaels
Jillian Michaels has been called one of TV’s toughest trainers. We at Health like to call her America’s Healthiest Body. After all, look at that bod! And she has an inspiring personal story and motivational style that can get even the laziest couch potato up and moving. (What does Jillian Michaels think about being named America's Healthiest Body? Read it here.)
2. Best form of cardio: Running
“This is the most effective form of cardio,” Jillian says. “I hate it more than anything in the whole world, but it tightens up problem areas in the lower body, and it burns a ton of calories.”
How-to: Incorporate sprints and incline training, which allows you to create a larger intensity but with less impact.
Photo: Jack Guy
3. Best serene yoga move: Cobra
“Yoga is not great for weight loss, but it’s great for flexibility and peace of mind,“ Jillian says. “Try Cobra pose to bring some serenity in your life and really connect to your body mentally.”
Photo: Jack Guy
4. Fave yoga challenge: Wheel Pose
“I do this advanced pose as a reverse push-up. I’ll come all the way down and then press back up and extend the opposite leg. I think using your body weight for resistance is the best way for women to get lean,” Jillian says.
How-to: Place hands behind head and feet on ground; press up into an arch, with 1 leg extended vertically. Hold for 5 sets of 20-second holds. Or, do 5 sets of 5 reverse push-ups.
Photo: Jack Guy
5. Ultimate fat-Burner: Kettlebells
“This workout is metabolic, so it burns a ton of calories,” Jillian says. “It incorporates explosive movements. It’s core-based, so it will make you stronger. And it forces your body to use multiple muscle groups simultaneously, which burns more calories.”
How-to: Start out with kettlebell swings, doing 3 sets of 15 reps.
Photo: Ted Morrison
6. Addictive munchie: FoodShouldTasteGood chips
Good thing these healthy chips are low-cal, because I’m officially obsessed. They’re cholesterol- and trans fat–free. But, more to the point, they taste amazing without any of that icky fake flavoring that mars so many good-for-you chips. Every flavor rocks, but I have a soft spot for Olive, probably because it’s the only thing my 2-year-old son, Gus, will accept in place of a cookie. Smart Gus. —Lisa Lombardi
7. 100-Calorie Snack Packs
Best. Invention. Ever.
Photo: Francesco Mosto
8. Super-subtle fragrance: Wholearth certified organic perfume spray
8. Wholearth certified organic perfume spray ($65) delivers a great orange-lavender-and-vanilla scentwithout any synthetic ingredients.
We’ve fallen hard for 9. Faith Hill Parfums ($24 for 1 ounce), the debut fragrance from the five-time Grammy winner. Its pear-and-gardenia blend is romantic and fresh.
Made from 100% essential oils, 10. Aubrey Organics Ocean Waters Eau de Parfum ($21.95) blends citrus, lavender, and sandalwood. Ahh.
11. Stellanude ($43 for 1 ounce eau de toilette) by Stella McCartney is as light as its name suggests, with its subtle mix of Moroccan rose and grapefruit.
Photo: Kate Sears
12. Figure-friendly frozen dinner: Kashi All Natural Red Curry Chicken Frozen Entrée
We all need to rely on microwavable meals sometimes, so kudos for these ones that are healthy and tasty.
12. Kashi All Natural Red Curry Chicken Frozen Entrée (at left) is a low-cal and delicious quick-fix meal.
13. Kashi All Natural Veggie Chana Masala Frozen Entrée comes in at only 300 calories.
14. Amy’s Kitchen delivers pizzas, burritos, and wraps, filled with good-for-you ingredients.
15. Helen’s Kitchen certified organic Thai Yellow Curry satisfies without pushing your sodium intake into the stratosphere.
16. Convenient-store health care: CVS: MinuteClinic
When you’ve got a bug on Sunday or your general practitioner can’t squeeze you in for a flu shot, these three oh-so-handy retail clinics make minor medical care a breeze.
16. CVS: MinuteClinic
We love that you can waltz right in seven days a week without an appointment and see a family nurse practitioner or physician’s assistant.
17. Target: Target Clinic
Online downloadable medical forms can help you zip past fellow patients, and up-front prices on their Web site make the clinics right on, well, target.
18. Walgreens: Take Care Clinic
You can check in to a flight at a digital kiosk, and now you can check in at the doctor’s using Walgreens’s touch screens. They also track your treatments at any of their locations, which is definitely a smart safety measure.
19. Healthy iPhone app: Seafood Guide
19. Seafood Guide (free): This app helps you make eco-friendly choices when you’re in the mood for fishand it also can alert you to species that are high in mercury.
20. iLocavore (free): Wondering what’s in season right now where you live? iLocavore can tell you. This cool app also helps you find farmers’ markets in your area.
21. GoodGuide (free): This app makes it easy to do the right thing. It helps you build your shopping lists with goods rated for health, the environment, and social responsibility.
22. Calorie Tracker by LIVESTRONG.com ($2.99): Log the cals you eat and burn with this food-and-fitness diary co-created by The Lance Armstrong Foundation.
23. Health-boosting herb: Rosemary
23. Rosemary: Adding rosemary to marinades may cut your cancer riskits antioxidants help combat potential carcinogens created when meats are broiled or grilled at high temperatures.
24. Lavender: Inhaling this flower’s aroma can help reduce feelings of depression and stress and make you feel drowsy.
25. Thyme: Ease a cough with thyme. Just soak the herb in hot water for a few minutes, remove thyme, and sip.
26. Basil: Add chopped basil to your vinaigrette—it’ll make your greens safer to eat. The oil from basil’s leaves kills bacteria that can cause stomach bugs.
27. Sage: Forget the air freshener. Instead, place orange peel mixed with sage in small bowls for a nontoxic odor remover.
28. Dashing (real) TV doctor: Dr. Sanjay Gupta
28. Dr. Sanjay Gupta puts health scares and breakthrough studies into plain Englishwithout ever talking down to us.
29. Dr. Travis Stork If you ever wondered why real doctors couldn’t look more like soap doctors, do TiVo Dr. Stork on the The Doctors, a show that always sucks you in.
30. Dr. Mehmet Oz On his new show, the charismatic heart surgeon shows how tiny changes can have a huge, life-stretching impact on your health
31. Patrick Dempsey A megawatt smile and a brain surgeon to bootwhy wouldn’t we love Dr. Derek Shepherd?
32. Hugh Laurie OK, so he’s a drug-addicted narcissist. Dr. Gregory is brilliant, and we can’t get enough of him.
33. Alex O' Loughlin As Dr. Andy Yablonski on CBS’s new drama Three Rivers, there’s no doubt that Alex is a definite keeper.
Photo: Francesco Mosto
34. For great skin while we sleep: Aveeno Ultra-Calming Night Cream
34. Aveeno Ultra-Calming Night Cream ($13.99) contains a powerful combo of antioxidants and anti-inflammatories (derived from the feverfew flower) that help soothe truly irritated skin.
35. Lumene ExCELLent Future Deep Repairing Cream ($29.99), which contains natural ingredients like apple extract and Arctic white peat, helps smooth the appearance of already-formed wrinkles.
36. Avon ANEW Reversalist Night Renewal Cream ($32) contains Activinol Technology, which boosts the skin’s ability to repair itself, creating fresher-looking skin.
37. Lacura Q10 Anti-wrinkle Night Cream ($4.99) gives you powerful skin-saving ingredients for the cost of a lip balm.
38. Puppy power
Playing with Fido gives you an instant joy boost. And it’s got to be the most fun way we’ve heard of to keep pounds away. People who walk a dog 20 minutes a day shed about 14 pounds a year, research from the University of Missouri says.
39. Being fit and curvy
Don’t be a slave to the BMI: Healthy women come in many shapes and sizes, according to research by Linda Bacon, PhD, of the University of California, Davis, and author of Health at Every Size. Hooray for athletes like Serena Williams (at left) and Shawn Johnson, who remind us that you don’t need to be stick-thin to be in great shape.
40. Plants that detox your home: Peace lilies
Instead of heavy air fresheners, we prefer nature’s purifier: plants.
40. Peace lilies remove toxins like acetone, benzene, alcohols, and ammonia, according to B.C. Wolverton, PhD, author of How to Grow Fresh Air. To get rid of formaldehyde indoors, add a few 41. bamboo palms and 42. rubber plants. Also great: 43. English ivy and 44. Lady palm.
Photo: Kate Sears
45. Healthy fast food breakfast: Dunkin’ Donuts Egg White Turkey Sausage Flatbread Sandwich
45. The Dunkin’ Donuts Egg White Turkey Sausage Flatbread Sandwich packs a lot of protein (19 grams) for just 280 calories and 6 grams of fat. Suggested retail price: around $3.70.
46. Starbucks’ Perfect Oatmeal is a whole-grain standard. You get 140 calories without toppings (dried-fruit and nut packets are 100 calories each). It costs around $2.45 with two toppings.
The classic 47. McDonald’s Egg McMuffin is worth a trip to the drive-through. It’s packed with 18 grams of hunger-squashing protein for 300 calories and 12 grams of fat. Bonus: It’s a bargain at around $2.49.
48. Jamba Juice’s Blueberry Oatcake is a cut above most muffins. Sweetened with agave nectar, it has 280 calories, 9 grams of fat, and 6 grams of protein, and costs about $1.95.
49. Most popular vitamin: Vitamin D
Vitamin D is having its moment in the sun. Lauded for boosting immunity; helping to cut the risk of breast, ovarian, and colon cancers; and keeping you happy, this nutrient is the new health star. Experts say we need 1,000 to 2,000 IU daily. Sun exposure is the best way to get it, but in the winter bone up by drinking vitamin D–fortified milk and eating salmon. You may need a supplement, too; talk to your doc.
50. Whole Foods
Maybe it’s their ultra-fresh salad bar, healthy prepared meals, great organic produce, or even their natural beauty line, but we can’t get enough of Whole Foods Market. Their commitment to local foods is impressive … and habit-forming.
51. Boot camp
Sure, it sounds militant, but boot camp was the most fun I’ve had working out, like, ever. The small class size really held me accountable. Best part? It made me get my butt to the gym more often. —Amanda Stevens
52. Good-for-you cookbook: Mark Bittman’s Kitchen Express
Each year a fresh batch of cookbooks lands on my desk, but only a few earn a permanent spot on my bookshelf. For great dinners I’ve been turning to 52. Mark Bittman’s Kitchen Express (Simon & Schuster; $26), 53. Robin Miller’s Robin Rescues Dinner (Clarkson Potter; $19.99), and 54. Monica Bhide’s Modern Spice (Simon & Schuster; $25). Another one I like: 55. The Blackberry Farm Cookbook (Clarkson Potter; $60) by Sam Beall and Molly O’Neill; it offers seasonal inspiration from that resort’s kitchen. And even though my little one is too young to cook, I love the recipes in 56. The Silver Spoon for Children (Phaidon Press; $19.95). —Frances Largeman-Roth, RD
Photo: Kate Sears
57. Total power snack: Walnuts
A snack that’s a superfood? Believe it. Nuts serve up protective monounsaturated fats for your heart, stop hungerthanks to their protein and fiber contentand help lower cholesterol.
57. Walnuts: These meaty nuts give you a good hit (2.5 grams per ounce) of brain-boosting, cholesterol-lowering omega-3’s.
58. Almonds: An ounce of almonds (23 nuts) has 3.5 grams of filling fiber. Plus, you get 75 milligrams of bone-building calcium.
59. Pecans: Yes, they’re fantastic in pies. But this Southern favorite also contains plant sterols, which have been shown to lower cholesterol.
60. Pistachios: You can munch on 49 of these little green gems for just 158 calories. And they have nearly 300 milligrams of heart-boosting potassium.
61. Hazelnuts: Rich in cancer-fighting antioxidants, these nuggets make baked goods more virtuous.
62. Michelle Obama
Even without her famous biceps and triceps, our First Lady would be our health hero for taking on the tough stuff, like childhood obesity and junky school lunches. But what really slays us is that she never gets preachy, even when she’s reminding us to not feed our kids out of take-out containers.
“The truth is, people are busy, and they’re stressed and they’re tired,” she told Good Morning America. “And far be it from me to be a part of adding any more stress to anyone’s lives because ‘Michelle Obama did it; that means I have to do it.’ … But I would also urge people to think about the small things that they can do within their control.”
63. Health benefit of sex: Intimacy boost
Oh, the many reasons to hop under the sheets. Sex not only 63. boosts intimacy, but it also 64. relieves stress, 65. improves heart health, 66. ups your immunity, 67. raises your self-esteem, and 68. burns calories (about 100 for a half-hour session). An added bonus, according to Mehmet Oz, MD, is that getting busy on a regular basis 69. can add years to your life. Need we say more?
70. Green grime buster: Clorox Green Works
Many chemical-laden household cleaning products do more harm than good, which is why we’re thrilled that there are more and more good healthier alternatives.
70. Clorox Green Works products are made with at least 95% plant- and mineral-based ingredients.
71. Method Multi-Surface Cleanser smells great and actually gets a grubby kitchen counter clean.
72. Method HOME Lil’ Bowl Blu Eucalyptus Mint toilet bowl cleaner not only deep-cleans your ultimate grimy spot but also leaves behind a scent that’s more luxe than loo.
73. Inspiring weight-loss blog: WhoAteMyBlog.com
73. WhoAteMyBlog.com A 632-pound Southern man attempts to drop half his weight. So far he’s lost 269 pounds.
74. CarrotsnCake.com Our Feel Great Weight blogger lost more than 20 pounds and now shares how she maintains her weightone carrot (and cake) at a time.
75. TheFabulousFatties.com Two friends who need to drop poundage post updates on their weight-loss journey.
76. PastaQueen.com She lost 193 pounds and blogs about maintaining life at less than half her former weight.
Photo: Chris Haston
77. TV show that gets us moving: The Biggest Loser
We salute the anti–couch potato TV trend: a growing posse of shows make you want to hop up and join in on the jitterbugging, racing, and body-transforming action. Here, our top five to get you pumped.
77. NBC’s The Biggest Loser: We’re moved and, yes, motivated, by the successes on this major-pounds-dropping hit phenom with star trainers Jillian Michaels and Bob Harper. Watch it Tuesdays at 8 p.m. Eastern.
78. ABC’s Shaq vs: We loved watching b-ball legend Shaquille O’Neal’s “I’m comin’ for ya” ‘tude about his matchups against star athletes in their own sports. The first season wrapped, but you can still catch it at ABC.com.
79. CBS’s The Amazing Race: If you’re not already a rabid follower of this classic heart-pumping, bungee-jumping, continent-hopping competition, buckle up and give it a whirl. Tune in on Sundays at 8 p.m. Eastern.
80. FOX’s So You Think You Can Dance: The search for America’s favorite dancer inspires us to get the legs and grace of these contestants. Watch it Tuesdays at 9 p.m. and Wednesdays at 8 p.m. Eastern.
81. ABC’s Dancing with the Stars: This megahit that pairs celebs with pro dancers makes you want to sign up for a ballroom classor at least hit the floor at the next wedding. See it Mondays at 8 p.m. and Tuesdays at 9 p.m. Eastern.
We swear, skorts make you wanna work out. They’re flirty and fun, and give the benefit of a compression short with an added layer of coverage (to hide your butt and thighs!).
83. Soap + water
When it comes to warding off bugs (even H1N1), the most low-tech, old-fashioned move is proving to be the most effective. That’s right: Just washing your hands with soap and water helps protect you and others from hazardous germs and viruses, according to the CDC.
84. Mocktail: Pomegranate Frost
One to try: this zero-alcohol treatfrom Williams-Sonoma Holiday Entertaining. It’s low-cal and even packs an antioxidant punch. Cheers to that.
1 1/2 cups pomegranate juice
1 1/2 cups cranberry juice
1/2 cup each fresh Meyer lemon juice and fresh lime juice
1 bottle sparkling water
8 finely shredded fresh mint leaves
1. Fill a pitcher half-full with ice cubes. Add the pomegranate juice, cranberry juice, lemon juice, lime juice, 1 1/2 cups sparkling water, and the shredded mint; stir until well mixed.
2. Fill 6 tall glasses with ice. Pour the mixture into the glasses, and serve immediately.
85. Natural nail polish: Karma Organic
85. Karma Organic’s nail polishes ($9.99) are nontoxic (they don’t contain the chemicals formaldehyde, toluene, or phthalates) and come in 96 colors.
86. Sula Paint & Peel Polishes ($9) are made without formaldehyde, toluene, or phthalates. The polish lasts up to 10 days and then peels off, so no need to use nasty-smelling remover.
87. Priti Polishes ($12.50) give natural beauty a good name. They’re fast-drying, glossy, and chip-resistant. And they’re made without formaldehyde, toluene, or phthalates.
88. Cheap workout wear
C9 by Champion for Target offers chic gym threads that are easy on your wallet. Our faves: the cheerful Yoga Cami ($16.99) and the supercomfy Roll Pant ($24.99), which has a wide rollover waistband that camouflages not-so-tight tummies.
Top web sites for health nuts
89. StillTasty.com: Don’t know if that produce is still good? Just check this database of food shelf lives.
90. GoodFoodNearYou.com: This site will help you find healthy options at restaurants in your area.
91. Sugarstacks.com: Visit to see just how much sugar (in sugar cubes) you’re consuming. Scary.
92. Startwalkingnow.org: Click on “Community” to find a walking buddy. (It’s an American Heart Association initiative).
93. Fitday.com: With a click of the mouse, FitDay.com helps you count calories and track your progress. Did we mention it’s also free?
94. WII Fun: Swordplay
My husband wonât take a walk with me, no matter how many times I ask after dinner. Instead, he is usually glued to the news of the day. He will, however, gladly force me off the cliff during 94. swordplay or outspin me during a spirited 95. table tennis match.
And thatâs why I heart Wii, the game phenom that took off in November 2006 and hasnât stopped. I am particularly fond of the resort package ($49.99), which has everything from 96. archery to 97. basketball. (I am, by far, the best free thrower in my family. Who knew?)
The togetherness is great, but the calorie-burning is what really lights my fire. In just 15 minutes you can burn 125 calories 98. boxing, 92 calories playing 99. tennis, or 77 calories at the 100. bowling alley. Thatâs got to be more than watching Chris Matthews and Keith Olbermann combined!âAnne Krueger