health

Absolute Beginners: Gymnastics And What Makes Embarrassment Worth It

Turns out I suck at gymnastics, but it was 100 percent worth trying. More »


Do Something New: Get Tested For HIV

Getting tested for HIV might be daunting, but it’s worth it. More »


Absolute Beginners: Germs At The Gym

Here are some tips on how to avoid gym-related infections. More »


Absolute Beginners: SoulCycle And What “Community” Means

There’s a SoulCycle-licensed tank top you can buy that describes the phenomenon thusly: “Pack, tribe, crew, posse, cult, gang, community, SoulCycle.” I was told, specifically, that it would be a cult, and I’m glad that the company is itself embracing that term, because there is something at least a little bit cult-like about sweating your… More »


Absolute Beginners: 5 Things I Learned Doing Aerial Fitness

I’ve been out on medical for the last two weeks, which means two things: First, that I haven’t been going to the gym much, and second, that Absolute Beginners took a two-week hiatus with me. Of course, me being an all-in sort of gal, I scheduled an aerial fitness class for the very first day… More »


Absolute Beginners: Exercise Motivation For The Extremely Anxious

So, big question for people who are getting into fitness and are coping with anxiety over it: How do you find exercise motivation when you really, really, really just want to stay in bed or on the couch or safe at home?

I know how this goes; every few weeks I seem to… More »


Absolute Beginners: Know When To Stop

Right now, I have tendonitis in my left ankle, tenosynovitis in both of my feet (it’s an inflammation of the sheaths that protect tendons), hammer toes, and my marathon-induced avascular necrosis still hasn’t quite healed. I have a vertebra that’s still healing from being cracked when I fell backward down a flight of stairs last… More »


WHOOPS! Anti-Vaxxer’s Seven Children All Got Whooping Cough So Now She’s Into Vaccines, I Guess?

Former anti-vaxxer and mom of many Tara Hills, recently changed her stance after all seven of her children somehow mysteriously got whooping cough. WHOOPSIE DAISIES! (Sorry, I can’t stop.)

In case you didn’t know, anti-vaxxers are those special people who don’t believe you should vaccinate your children because it may cause autism… More »


Absolute Beginners: When I Fall In Love

As soon as I got down from my second climb and untied myself from the rope, during my second visit to Brooklyn Boulders, I texted my fiancé, Michael. “I really need to join this gym,” I told him. “I like this so much, it’s the same feeling as when I started lifting.”

Generally,… More »


Absolute Beginners: Productive Pain

A few weeks ago, I got my hands on a copy of a stretch workout DVD called Lastics (yeah, I still use DVDs, I’m a rube). I’m not super-inflexible – I’ve done my fair share of yoga, I can touch the floor with straight legs, and I’ve always wanted to be more human-pretzel-y. But oh… More »


Managing Diet And Exercise With My ADHD Brain

I have pretty severe ADHD. That dictates a lot of the way that my life, brain, body, and relationships function, but it’s not something I talk about a lot because – well, I don’t know, I’ve known about it and been living with it for fifteen years. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

But it’s been coming up… More »


Absolute Beginners: Quitters Win

Hi there! Welcome to Absolute Beginners, our new fitness column. I’d tell you to sit down and make yourself comfortable, but that’d really go against the whole modus operandi of what I’m trying to do, here. Instead, I don’t know, go do some jumping jacks, then come back and read this.

So, I… More »


“That’s Not ‘Arm Flab,’ That’s Your Tricep”: On Knowing Your Own Body

I was hanging out with my friend Em last night. Em is a petite woman, a little shorter than average and naturally slender. She was asking me about weight-lifting and telling me that she liked to do tricep extensions because, in her words, as she held up her right arm to demonstrate by moving the… More »


Your Complete Guide To Caring For Your Feet

Before I started marathon training, I almost never thought about my feet. Why would I, right? They’re all the way down there, on the ground. Never mind the fact that most of the jobs I’ve had in my life have required my feet to bear the weight of my body for eight-to-ten hours at a… More »


Harassers Won’t Even Leave Women Alone While We’re Running

Apparently a lot of women runners have more trouble with street harassment than I do when I go out for a jog. The Guardian posted an op-ed today about the experiences of female runners, and it’s pretty grotesque: the author was solicited for a blowjob; women have had things thrown at them; one running bloggerMore »


A Guy Just Ran 7 Marathons On 7 Continents In 7 Days, Which Is Seriously A Nuts Thing To Do

After I ran my first (and last) marathon last year, my legs were stone-stiff. Like, I got to the finish line, started walking, collected my congratulatory medal, heat blanket, protein shake, gel packs, apples, and crackers, and by the time I was walking toward the party section of Grant Park (like I wanted to fucking… More »


Science Has Proven That The Buddy System Really Does Work For Fitness

If you’re trying to lose weight, exercise more, or stop smoking, you should try doing it with your bae. (Just don’t do actual couples exercises like these please.) According to a new study in JAMA Internal Medicine, couples who build new good habits as a team are more likely to reach their health goals and… More »


When Psychiatrists Distrust Their Patients, Their Patients Can Only Respond In Kind

I’ve been seeing psychiatrists — doctors whose purpose is primarily to examine and diagnose an emotional disorder or condition, then prescribe a plan of treatment, whether therapeutic or pharmaceutical — on and off for over half my life. The ratio of good to mediocre to bad experiences I’ve had with psychiatrists is roughly equal –… More »


I’ve Decided To Jump On The CrossFit Hate Train

It’s taken me a while to formulate an opinion on CrossFit, but I talked it out today, so I think I’m ready to dip my toe into some controversial waters and speak about a fitness routine/lifestyle/whatever that is related to the fitness routine/lifestyle/whatever that I do — barbell lifting — but in which I have… More »


This Homeless Parisian Bodybuilder Is My New Fitspiration

I have clearly been underestimating bodyweight exercise, because this homeless man, Jacques, has been doing simple bodyweight exercises on the streets of Paris and complimenting it with a diet designed to increase muscle mass — bought with the money passing Parisians give him — and he is a homeless Adonis. Good lord. … More »


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