This Is Our Favorite Stretch to Do in Bed: Cat and Cow

If you woke up with an achy back, have a stiff back from sitting for an extended period of time, or have tense shoulders and a tight neck from a day in the office - well then I have a simple cure for what pains you. The Cat and Cow stretch is an oldie but goodie that doubles as a great warmup for your spine before just about any activity.

Cat and Cow

  • Begin with your hands and knees on the floor. Make sure your knees are under your hips, and your wrists are under your shoulders. Begin in a neutral spine position, with your back flat and your abs engaged.
  • As you inhale, let your belly soften, arch your back, and lift your head and tailbone. This part of the stretch is called cow.
  • With an exhale, round your spine up to the ceiling pulling your abs toward your spine, and simultaneously tuck your tailbone in (don't clench your tush) and tuck your chin toward your chest. This part is known as cat (think Halloween cat).
  • Continue flowing back and forth from cat to cow, breathing deeply so as not to rush each movement.
  • Repeat for a minute or so and then press your hips back toward your heels, coming into Child's Pose with your arms extended in front of you.

If your back is feeling especially tight, try these back stretches to help loosen things up.

This 45-Minute Nike Workout Will Have Your Glutes on Fire

It's time to activate and acknowledge your muscles - especially your glutes - with this workout from Nike trainer and Nike running coach Bec Wilcock. First, we'll focus on mobility to wake up the correct muscles and prep you for all the moves to come. As the workout progresses, you can level up by using a heavy resistance band and a pair of medium weights to intensify booty-centric moves like bridges and crab-walks and full-body moves like burpees. Press play and get ready to train, Nike-style!

All wardrobe: Nike

Want to Lose Weight in 2019? Try This Celebrity Trainer’s Simple, 4-Week Walking Plan

When it comes to weight loss, celeb trainer and New York Times bestselling author Harley Pasternak, MSc, has a catchphrase: "Strong in the gym, lean in life." The Fitbit ambassador, nutrition scientist, and personal coach to the likes of Amy Schumer, Kim Kardashian, and Rihanna has told POPSUGAR on numerous occasions that the best way to lose weight is easier than you think: just walk more. Here, Harley makes his compelling case and shares a simple, month-long plan to get you started.

Why Walking and Not Running?

"Walking is something that can be woven into the fabric of the day," Harley said. "With running, you need to book a time to do it; you need to dress a certain way, wear specific shoes, be in a specific mindset, have time to shower after and re-dress - you don't have to do that with walking."

Additionally, he told us that there's a "direct correlation" between intensity of cardio and appetite, meaning the more strenuous cardio you do, the hangrier you'll be afterward. "It's why we use the phrase 'working up an appetite,'" he said. So if weight loss is your goal, walking will be your way to lean out in 2019.

The Plan

Harley believes in this approach so much that getting a step tracker is part of his prescribed regimen to his celebrity clients. While adding in steps here and there will certainly add up over time, we asked him for a four-week plan, giving us a target to work with.

"This plan starts off assuming your current step count is 10,000 steps per day," Harley told POPSUGAR. The goal is that by the end of week four, you're walking an additional 4,000 steps per day.

  • Week one: 11,000 steps each day, Sunday through Saturday
  • Week two: 12,000 steps each day, Sunday through Saturday
  • Week three: 13,000 steps each day, Sunday through Saturday
  • Week four: 14,000 steps each day, Sunday through Saturday

Harley acknowledged that "jumping 1,000 steps per day each week can be daunting" and that not everyone is starting at 10,000 steps each day. If you're hovering somewhere closer to 5,000 steps daily, the goal is the same. Add 1,000 steps per day for week one, another 1,000 for week two, and so on until your new daily average is 4,000 steps above your start point.

"For those that are starting at a lower step count, don't stop at the end of week four," he said. "The optimum range of steps is different for everyone, but I haven't met anyone who hasn't been able to physically keep up with 14,000 steps per day unless they have an underlying medical condition."

The goal is the same: "Get to a place where you hit a daily step goal that you can sustain without leading to mental and physical burnout." Sound good? Great. Let's do this.

What to Know About the Beachbody Meal Plan Your Friends Are Obsessed With: the 21-Day Fix

Whether you spotted the brightly hued boxes while scrolling through Instagram or first noticed them stacked in the office fridge, you probably know someone who's on the 21-Day Fix Eating Plan, just one of the many popular programs from fitness giant Beachbody. But what is it, exactly?

As the name suggests, the 21-Day Fix Eating Plan is a three-week nutritional plan that coincides with Beachbody's 21-Day Fix fitness regimen. Convenience is key here - those on the program purchase a set of seven color-coded containers ($10) that help ensure you eat the proper portions of each food group (green for vegetables, red for proteins, and so on), without ever counting calories. You simply add basics like your weight and height to the 21-Day Fix app, then eat the prescribed amounts.

The plan simplifies meal prep with a ton of Fix-approved recipes and food items available through Beachbody. Combined with a daily 30-minute workout from Beachbody trainer Autumn Calabrese, it's a simple and effective program for those who want to lose weight but aren't sure where to start.

If that's you, it's worth asking your friend with the rainbow assortment of containers how she's feeling so far.

On Keto and Need Dinner Fast? These Picks From KFC Can Feed Your Entire Family

If KFC holds a special place in your heart, it's probably all thanks to the fast-food joint's world-famous fried chicken and buttery, flaky biscuits. If you're on the keto diet, you already know that flour-battered, fried foods are out - but that doesn't mean you have to pass up KFC entirely, if what you're really craving is some Southern comfort food. Just skip the breading (or if your family really insists, pick it off your own pieces) and try this perfectly keto combo, plucked straight from the menu:

  1. Order grilled chicken. Order a bucket of Kentucky Grilled Chicken and you'll walk out with a selection of thighs, breasts, drumsticks, and wings that are perfectly seasoned. Reach for the thighs first if you need a cut higher in fat.
  2. Have some greens. You'll have to skip the mashed potatoes and mac and cheese, but you can still fill up with a generous side of green beans or a house salad or Caesar salad (hold the croutons). Choose from any of the salad dressings on the menu, but go easy when pouring them - store-bought dressings can contain hidden sugars.
  3. Add some extra flavor. Ask for some butter to pour over your green beans or order a dipping sauce for your chicken. The Creamy Buffalo Dipping Sauce and Hot Sauce are relatively virtuous.

Experts Agree These Are the 10 Healthy Habits You Should Develop in Your 20s

When we're in our 20s, it can be easy to slack off on healthy habits and put them off for another day. In reality, this is the time when you should be developing techniques that'll make you stronger and happier in the long run, those that will carry you through your life. The habits you start in your 20s are likely to be the ones that you stick to for decades to come.

Before you say it can be overwhelming to figure out what you need to do know that we're here for you. Every person is different, of course, and only you and your doctor know what your specific needs are, but in general, these are some of the best things you can start doing now.

I Got Strong Instead of Skinny, and I’ve Never Been Happier

For most of my teenage years and early 20s, I considered a "great body" to be skinny with thin legs and a booty that was on the smaller, flatter end. I thought my bigger bubble butt was too large for my small frame on top, and I desperately wanted to hide my curves that are now much more embraced, even sought after, in today's world. I'd wear larger tops to conceal my butt, and I'd always feel a little self-conscious when I had to wear shorts, a bikini, or tighter dresses. I've always been a pretty confident person, but there was a piece missing: I couldn't overcome my obsession with how my body looked on a daily basis.

Because I wanted to drop those pounds and look like other people at my school who had skinnier bodies, I developed an unhealthy eating style that persisted for a few years. Cycling through various eating disorders, chronic food guilt, and a compulsive need to think so critically before making food choices, I suffered emotionally all the damn time. I'd plan what I would eat from a restaurant menu a day or two before, going back and forth on what I thought had the least number of calories. I'd decide how much of my meal to eat compared to what others were eating around me. And if I did end up eating more than I thought I should, I'd feel like crap and beat myself up over it for hours and even days. So many wasted minutes were spent obsessing over food, how it affected my body and took me away from getting skinnier, and how not to be so hungry.

As I began to feel happier, stronger, and proud of myself when working out and attaining new fitness goals, that emotional despair went away.

Then something changed. I'm honestly not sure when my goals and perception shifted, but I think they did as I became happier. I had entered a relationship, I had more friends, and I just came into myself more. But I also realized that my body was my body, and I had a booty. I learned to like myself a hell of a lot and was so sick of feeling bad all the time. I wanted to become the best version of myself, not someone striving to fit a skinny ideal. I needed to find that missing link because it was a daily battle with my body and emotional well-being. I wanted to get stronger, not skinnier, and start embracing my body's natural figure.

I told myself that if I was going to have a bigger butt, I might as well make it a toned one! Up to this point, I had been working out on the elliptical only. I couldn't run long-distance, do sprints, or lift weights. I began to go to fitness classes where weights, battle ropes, monkey bars, and resistance bands were included, and I was horrible. I passed out the first time I had a personal training session. Embarrassing.

But I kept at it, and I ended up seeing some great progress. I never thought I'd like to see muscle in my arms or want to have a nice, round tush that was firm and visible. I slowly started to ditch the longer shirts and embraced my curves. They actually made me feel sexier - way sexier than when I was more "skinny fat" during my restricted-dieting years. Now, I'll go out in crop tops to show off the abs I've worked so hard for.

As I began to feel happier, stronger, and proud of myself when working out and attaining new fitness goals, that emotional despair went away. After each set of burpees or every additional squat or renegade row, I felt powerful and bold. I knew I was doing something good for my body, my mind, and my health: I was healing. I knew the difference between right and wrong thinking. Realizing that a stronger body, no matter how "skinny" it is (those who are naturally skinnier are just as beautiful!), is well-nourished and strong was spot on, and honestly, that newfound mindset saved me.

Now I love my body. I love it even when I'm PMSing and have gained five pounds of water weight. I love it after a huge meal when it's a little fatigued and full. I love it when it's pushing me through a HIIT circuit. I love it first thing in the morning and when I go to bed. I love it naked. I love how I feel in it. I learned to love it.

All people and figures are unique, and as long as you love yours and treat it well, that's all that matters. There is no "right" body to strive for.

Now I'm strong and healthy. I make a point of eating protein and veggies and indulging in my favorite cocktails, pizza, and fries. When I eat a protein bar before or after a workout, I feel awesome. I know I'm fueling my muscles and metabolism, whereas before, I'd nibble on a protein bar with food guilt. I got back to enjoying food of all types, listening to my body and feeding it when it was hungry, and falling more in love with my body every day. Picking up those weights for the first time was the greatest gift I could've given myself, and it's made me into the woman I am today.

Download These Apps, Head to the Gym, and Own Your Workout

There are a handful of tools that'll help you maximize your gym experience: comfortable exercise gear, upbeat music, and a solid workout plan. Getting the first two covered is easy, but as much as hiring a personal trainer to craft the ideal exercise routine for you would be awesome, we totally get that it's hard to just wing that. That's fine; you can download a few apps on your phone and use them at the gym on your own time and get the same strengthening and toning results.

Whether you're at your best gym self when you have a full-fledged plan laid out, including a step-by-step workout and a health meal plan, or just need a positive voice in your ear to keep you going, this roundup of the best apps for getting the most of out of your gym session can help.

Just Keep Working Out in These 10 Supportive Sneakers

2019 is the year we're conquering our fitness resolutions, one workout at a time. And, new year, new sneakers, right? Well, we've found some affordable, supportive options at Walmart. Think Nike, Saucony, and Asics at prices that'll make your wallet happy. What are you waiting for - get shopping!

These Women Each Lost 75+ Pounds by Counting Calories – Here’s How

It's easy to get overwhelmed when you're trying to lose weight. With so many popular diets that people talk about or share on social media - keto, intermittent fasting, Whole30, Atkins, vegan, Paleo - it's hard to decide exactly what to do to lose the weight.

In reality, weight loss can be as simple as calories in, calories out, or CICO. We spoke to several woman who lost 75 pounds or more using this simple principle. Through tracking apps, making room for their favorite treats, and cutting out liquid calories, they were able to zero in on how many calories they should eat a day to be successful in losing weight.

Scroll through to find out some of their best calorie-counting tips. It may inspire you to start a food journal and keep track of every bite.