Ellie Goulding Shares How Fitness Helps Manage Her Anxiety on Tour

Singer Ellie Goulding tells SELF her favorite ways to sweat and how a regular exercise routine helps her feel more prepared mentally for performing on stage.
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Kristen Bell’s Go-To Workout Takes Only 15 Minutes

Kristen Bell's sprint routine is an excellent workout for improving cardiovascular endurance and working your muscles—and it doesn't take long, either.
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A Boxing Primer: The 6 Basic Moves You Need to Know

Boxing classes are a hot fitness trend. If you're interested in trying a boxing class, here are the basic boxing moves you need to know and how to do them.
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‘The Class’ by Taryn Toomey Will Make You Feel All the Feels

The Class by Taryn Toomey offers an innovative way to sweat—each exercise is done to a full song, and what's more, you'll end up relieved and sore.
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6 Types of Crunches to Work Your Core

If you want to strengthen your core, ab workouts are the way to go. But if you get bored with basic sit-ups or crunches, don’t despair! Add some workout flair with six different twists on a basic crunch. With these variations, your core will get the deeper, well-rounded workouts it craves. Plus, the excitement of trying something new will keep you motivated to reach those ab goals!

#1 – Weighted Crunch

The weighted crunch uses a weight plate to work your abs. You can perform this exercise by holding the plate on your chest while you move into crunch mode, or you can lift it above your head instead. Either way will get the job done, but the following video demonstrates the latter:


#2 – Swiss Ball Crunch

In a swiss ball crunch, you do a crunch on a fitness ball. Not only are you focused on crunching, but you also have to stabilize yourself on the ball, which contracts your abs from all angles.


#3 – Weighted Swiss Ball Crunch

To kick things into extra-high gear, you can combine this exercise with the previous one for a weighted swiss ball crunch. You can hold a weight plate, dumbbell, or medicine ball; it doesn’t matter, as long as you carry some extra pounds. I guarantee you’ll feel this one the next morning!


#4 – Decline Crunch

For the decline crunch, you’ll need access to a decline bench. Lying down at a decline will create more resistance as you propel your upper body into the crunch position. For each rep, be sure not to touch your shoulders all the way down.


#5 – Cable Crunch

Using resistance from a gym’s weighted cable machine, the cable crunch will give you some deep ab work. Be careful to position your neck, back, and hips just right, so as not to cause any unwanted strain!


#6 – Oblique Crunch

When working the core, it’s important not to forget your obliques, which are the muscles located on either side of your abs. Round out your ab workouts with the oblique crunch, remembering to switch sides so that both your right and left obliques get equal attention.

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What do personal trainers eat for lunch?

I’m back with my next post in the series on what personal trainers eat. I asked a few trainers what they devour during lunch breaks and how this meal fits into the context of their individual health goals, training styles, and schedules.

Read below to get a taste of these real-life eating habits from the fitness world. You’ll even see post-lunch snacks peppered in.

Maybe something here will make you hungry for a diet adjustment of your own. Maybe you’ll want to work with one of these trainers directly. Or maybe you’ll eventually find yourself belly-deep in more fitness and nutrition articles until you realize you forgot to eat your own lunch.

But no matter what happens from here, I guarantee you’ll walk away with new knowledge to digest! (Okay, okay — no more food puns. Promise.)

If you haven’t been following this series, check out the first two posts: “What do personal trainers eat for breakfast?” and “What do personal trainers eat for a treat?”

Tiffiny says . . .

I love food and for many years struggled with my weight. Five years ago, I started my healthy lifestyle journey: getting in shape and getting certified as a trainer. I also started figure level bodybuilding competitions and have done six stage shows so far. It was the body building competitions that opened my eyes to nutrition and how different types of food can dramatically affect the way I looked and felt.

I love that I can change my macro-nutrients — proteins, fat, and carbs — so for off-season maintenance, I usually do 45-percent protein, 35-percent carbs, and 20-percent fat, which gives me a good balance of whole foods while keeping my carbs low. This eating regimen helps me keep my body fat low while maintaining muscle mass. It also keeps my energy high and my digestive system healthy and functional.

For lunch, I eat chicken breast, a fruit or sweet potato, and vegetables (like spinach or kale). For a post-lunch snack, I eat homemade turkey meatballs with kombucha.

Sometimes I will do a different meat, change my vegetables, or add nuts. I make sure that I get as close to my macros as possible.

Tiffiny Fambro is a fitness and healthy lifestyle speaker, certified trainer, and coach at www.BuildBodyWealth.com — an online community in which she teaches women how to create lasting habits to help them lose weight, build their strength, eat whole foods, and learn how to build confidence and self-esteem.

Robert says . . .

All ingredients are organic where possible because I try to minimize the levels of chemicals going into my body. I believe the quality of the ingredients is way more important that counting calories, macros, or anything like that.

Eating whole, minimally processed foods is sustainable, filling, and contains all the vitamins and nutrients your body needs. I aim for at least 2 liters of water a day — usually 2.5-3 if I am exercising. I don’t believe in cutting out food groups, but I do reduce carbs if I am not exercising.

For lunch, I eat chicken with spinach, tomatoes, a gherkin (pickle), sauerkraut, salt, pepper, and olive oil. I also have black coffee, an apple, and 500ml of water. It’s a low-ish carb lunch but high in filling protein and nutrients, and sauerkraut helps with gut health. In the mid-afternoon, I have green tea instead of coffee as there are additional benefits to it, plus some fruit, like a nectarine, to prevent hunger.

These meals come before a training session: weight training if I’m maintaining strength, or a sport-specific workout if I’m training for an event.

Robert Jackson is a certified trainer, exercise/nutrition coach, and owner of Minimal FIT — his gym in London, UK. He uses “The 7 Secrets to Sustainable Body Transformations” system to transform your body and create lasting changes. 

Julianne says . . .

I eat vegan because it reduces inflammation, has improved my autoimmune markers, has heart health benefits, and allows for better athletic performance and recovery.

My post-workout meal is usually a kind of lunch, which consists of a huge leafy green salad with nuts, homemade gluten-free breadcrumbs, and chickpeas. This meal is more than most trainers eat post-workout, but leafy greens help restore alkalinity and expedite recovery. I use the carbohydrates to replenish depleted glycogen stores.

A few hours after my workout, I’ll eat a snack by Beyond Meat — a great source of protein — with broccoli. The broccoli is a great source of micronutrients and is amazing for alkalinity.

Julianne Soviero is a certified personal trainer, Beachbody coach, and the author of Unleash Your True Athletic Potential and Empowered Recruiting: The Student-Athlete’s College Selection Guide. In Ronkonkoma, NY, she works primarily with athletes and has produced dozens of award-winning pitchers

Jamie says . . .

My diet is high-nutrition but also energy-based to fuel my workouts in the gym. I play hockey throughout the week, so I need replenishment, to rebuild muscle, and to have enough energy to get through workouts.

I eat filling foods that keep you full for a long period of time, as they are made up of those satiating substances such as protein, fiber, water, and healthy fats. I don’t track calories but go by portion sizes and focus on taking my time to eat — to get full naturally — as opposed to eating too quickly, which can lead to overconsumption.

I eat grass-fed proteins, as they have a higher omega-3 content, contain no hormones or antibiotics, and are raised naturally.

I use some whey protein powder, specifically after training, to jumpstart muscle recovery. Carb-wise, I focus on sweet potatoes, oats, and fruits. I use a lot of olive oil and coconut oil. I especially use the coconut oil for cooking, as it has a higher smoke point and doesn’t break down at higher heats like olive oil does.

Right now, a lunch I’m doing includes diced sweet potato sautéed in coconut oil with garlic and then some grass-fed beef, all combined together. I’ll toss in some chopped green onion and put cilantro on top too. My current post-lunch snack is a green apple and almonds.

Jamie Logie is a certified personal trainer, nutritionist, and health and wellness coach in London, Ontario, Canada. He trains clients online, runs a blog and podcast called Regained Wellness, and is a contributing writer on fitness and health for places like The Huffington Post, Thrive Global, Lifehack, AskMen, and more. He has an Amazon #1 book called Taking Back Your Health.

NOTE: These responses have been edited for clarity.

Lauren Smith is the Managing Editor of Exercise.com. She is passionate about nutrition and holistic health (how the body, mind, and emotions intersect). She lives in Baltimore City, where she writes stuff, plays music, embarks on long power walks through the park, takes contemporary dance lessons, and enjoys healthy, flavorful cuisine.

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10 Inclusive Gyms, Organizations, and Communities That’ll Make You Feel Good About Fitness

The rise of inclusive gyms, fitness organizations, and communities has been a fabulous development in fitness. Here are 10 SELF Healthy Living Awards winners.
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10 New Workout Classes and Gyms You Have to Try: SELF Healthy Living Awards

If you’re bored with the same old gym routine, these classes—which include new twists on dance cardio, boxing, and aerial yoga—will make fitness feel fun all over again.
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6 Best Fitness Trackers Every Active Woman Needs: SELF Healthy Living Awards

Track your every move with these top-rated fitness trackers. From the gym to the office, this technology stays with you wherever you go.
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14 Women Who Will Inspire You to Get Up and Move: SELF Healthy Living Awards

These must-follow trainers go above and beyond to give their followers the fitness and healthy-living inspiration they need.
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