The current you is … fine. But let’s be honest: There’s always room for improvement. Here’s what you should change when the calendar flips: your gym routine, your running shirt, your multivitamin, and your post-workout recovery drink (hint: try watermelon juice).
Exercise 20 Minutes, Five Days a Week
That New Year’s resolution you’re formulating—the one about starting a daily exercise regimen or finally tackling P90X? Forget it. Twenty minutes, five days a week is all you need to burn fat and build strength—provided you go hard enough and cut the bullshit between sets.
"Working the largest muscle groups—your lower body—pushes your metabolism into the fat-burning zone," says Bob Harper, creator of the new short-attention-span fitness program Black Fire by DailyBurn (and yes, the tatted trainer from The Biggest Loser). “Leg moves keep you in that zone well after the 20 minutes are up; they create more muscle mass, which literally eats the fat from your body.”
Here’s how it works: Alternate high-intensity intervals of strength and power moves (think dead lifts or wall-ball squats) in a circuit with total-body cardio, like broad jumps. “The mix keeps your heart rate up,” Harper says. More important, it gets you out of the gym faster.
Related: 5 Foods That Make You Look Younger
Get Some Better Moves …
Those burpees, triceps dips, and close-grip push-ups you’re cranking out? They do more harm than good, according to trainer Patrick Murphy. (It’s hard to argue with the man—he’s responsible for Mario Lopez’s un-dadlike physique.) When done repetitively, these particular exercises (and others on the following pages) may eventually cause your head to jut forward, your shoulders to round, and your back to hunch. Not to mention “they inflame the joints and trigger injury cycles,” Murphy says. So what the hell does work? Murphy offers his top alternatives to the moves you should lose.
For the shoulders…
These Are Bad: Upright Bows These Are Better: Front Raises
Customize Your Multivitamin
If the endless choices at vitamin stores make you want to give up on, you know, feeling better, the digital apothecary WellPath Solutions has a personalized magic bullet. Complete a brief online “consultation” with questions about memory, mood, alcohol intake, workout frequency, and desired body type, and an algorithm formulates a powder-and-pill set with ingredients tailored to you (are you a 35-year-old regular exerciser who seeks more energy and better focus? Flaxseed, taurine, and milk thistle should do it). Five days later, your goods arrive at your doorstep—packaged in a cooler version of your grandpa’s pillbox, no less.
Know This Brand: Outdoor Voices
Segmented compression shorts. Fluorescent footwear sculpted from nasa foam. Shirts that beam biometrics to your smartphone. Today’s activewear often feels like it was made for characters in a futuristic YA novel, not everyday athletes. That’s why newcomer Outdoor Voices has earned raves for understated basics in shades of ash, charcoal, and icy blue. Designed for hiking, jogging, and yoga, they have just enough high-performance attributes: tees knit loose for breathability, silver-bonded yarns that fight odor, and lightweight, quick-drying sweatpants. Soon, you’ll find yourself wearing them even when you’re not planning to work up a sweat.
Golf Is Not a Workout
"There are no quick fixes—you have to become an exerciser. A lot of men believe that stop-and-go sports are a workout. Some men think golf is. They’re not. Workouts should be focused time when you are strengthening and connecting to your body."—Tracy Anderson, celebrity trainer, on why true exercise is essential.
Get Some Better Moves for the Obliques
These Are Bad: Russian Twists
These Are Good: Hip Rotation Planks
Drink Watermelon Juice
Leonardo DiCaprio, Chrissy Teigen, and Beyoncé are all fans of the pink stuff—which is popping up at juice bars, in gyms, and even in nightclubs, where it’s used as an upscale mixer. Makes sense, considering that the pulpy elixir is loaded with electrolytes and amino acids (meaning it’s a perfect post-workout recovery drink) and contains high levels of anti-inflammatories and antioxidants. Also, some studies have suggested that watermelon has a natural Viagra effect (which could be why Mrs. Carter sings its praises in “Drunk in Love”).
Stop Waiting in Line at Whole Foods
Buyers’ clubs conjure up images of olive-oil vats and tubs of Crisco. But Thrive Market isn’t forcing 90 jars of discounted mayo on you. The new online grocer works like a warehouse club: Members put up $60 annually to pay wholesale prices for 2,500 natural products (read: organic, non-GMO, etc.) from cultish brands like Justin’s nut butters, Acure Organics, and Seventh Generation. What’s more, it makes sticking to a diet plan simpler. Paleo and snobbish about fair trade? Select those filters and the system spits back the items that meet your criteria. You don’t even have to buy in bulk—70 percent of the merchandise has no minimum purchase, while one dozen is the highest requirement for the rest. And hey, these are the kinds of superfoods you won’t mind stocking up on.
Related:14 Healthiest Snack Foods to Buy
Raise the Bar
We taste-tested 20 new bars in an already-crowded market. Here, the five you should stash in your desk drawer right now.
Strong & Kind Hickory Smoked Almond
Turns out, hickory-smoking makes foods other than pulled pork delicious.
10g protein; 6g sugar; 230 calories
Health Warrior Chia Bar in Dark Chocolate Cherry
Surprisingly filling, given it’s the caloric equivalent of two cheese cubes.
3g protein; 5g sugar; 100 calories
Kashi Chocolate Chip Chia Crunchy Granola & Seed
Chocolate chips: Because sometimes chia alone won’t cut it.
3g protein; 9g sugar; 180 calories
Exo Blueberry Vanilla Protein Bar
"Exo," as in skeleton—it’s made of (earthy-flavored) cricket flour. 10g protein; 16g sugar; 260 calories
Probar Base Cookie Dough
Just an excuse to have dessert for dinner.
20g protein; 16g sugar; 290 calories
Do Everything in One Place
From juice bar to spin studio to facialist to acupuncturist to raw café, the pursuit of perfecting body and soul has become a time suck. Thankfully, a new crop of wellness meccas combine it all under one aesthetically pleasing, health-conscious roof.
Los Angeles | thespringsla.com
The Gist: Situated in Los Angeles’ downtown arts district, the 13,800-square-foot space features a holistic treatment center for colonics, massages, and energy-balancing sessions, a yoga studio, a juice bar, and a vegan eatery.
Brochure Fodder: Five types of yoga classes (power flow, Vinyasa, restorative, Kundalini, Nia), Reiki, colon hydrotherapy, acupuncture, infrared saunas, and cranial massages.
Marquee Feature: Unorthodox pressed juices. Try the Lantern (pineapple, cucumber, cilantro, and jalapeño).
Want In?: Unlimited monthly classes start at $150; drop-ins are $15; everything else is à la carte.
New York City | bfxstudio.com
The Gist:Though this Chelsea space has all the amenities of big-box gyms—spacious showers, a tablet bar—it feels intimate. BFX (a.k.a. “boutique fitness experience”) offers a curated menu of group classes and private training.
Brochure Fodder: Real-time performance tracking, classes with a twist (kickboxing plus kettlebells; TRX plus Olympic rings), and a “wellness lab” with the latest fitness technology.
Marquee Feature: Fusion Ride, which combines spinning with moves like kettlebell swings and TRX exercises.
Want In?: Monthly unlimited memberships are $249; classes are $30; personal training is $99 to $149.
ANATOMY AT 1220
Miami Beach | anatomyat1220.com
The Gist: Chris Paciello, former Miami nightclub titan and onetime Cosa Nostra associate, has reinvented himself as a wellness kingpin. His gym and medi-spa boasts free valet parking and chandelier-adorned massage rooms.
Brochure Fodder: A vitamin IV lounge, a eucalyptus steam room, hot and cold pools, medical diagnostic testing, nutrition counseling, a hair salon, personal training, and group classes.
Marquee Feature: Sweating it out at the high-altitude training chamber to speed up fat burn.
Want In?: Monthly memberships range from $250 to $1,500. Acceptance is decided by committee.
San Francisco | studiomix.com
The Gist: This vast Tenderloin-adjacent spot features seven studios with dedicated uses (ranging from TRX to boxing to rock climbing), as well as massage therapy, nutrition consulting, and an outpost of GreenLid Cafe for refueling.
Brochure Fodder: Nearly 40 different group classes, including mindfulness meditation, grocery delivery from Good Eggs farmers’ market, a Chinese herbalist, and dry-cleaning service.
Marquee Feature: Build, an über-popular weight-training class that feels like an upscale boot camp.
Want In?: Monthly memberships range from $145 to $445; drop-in day passes are $20.
For more of the 24 Rules for Looking (and Feeling) Better in 2015, visit DETAILS.com.
More from DETAILS:
By Meredith Bryan, Matt Caputo, Kristen Dold, Danielle McNally, Kevin Pires, Jon Roth, Jason Sheeler, and Julie Vadnal
Photos: Adam Voorhes; courtesy of brands