Candace Cameron Bure isn’t here for people’s negative comments about her weight.
Responding to a comment left on a sweet picture of the 42-year-old Fuller House star cuddling up with her 18-year-old son Lev, Bure spoke out against an Instagram user who left a body shaming comment about her figure.
“All that excercising [sic] and you still look like you weigh more than your husband, did you change your diet?” the social media user wrote in a comment found by the @commentsbycelebs Instagram account, which seemingly mistook Bure’s 18-year-old son for her husband of over 20 years, Valeri Bure.
Although Bure chose not to correct the social media user on that point, she did speak out against their body-shaming comment.
“If a 25 inch waist looks big to you … then you’re looking through an altered lens. Be well,” she wrote.
RELATED: Candace Cameron Bure Is in Her Best Shape at 40: ‘I Feel the Most Fit and Strong That I’ve Ever Felt in My Life’
The Fuller House star previously told PEOPLE that she “feels the most fit and strong that I’ve ever felt in my life.”
In addition to fitting in workouts whenever possible, which can consist of anything from “a 20-minute workout a couple of times a week, or an hour five times a week,” the actress attributes her toned physique to the healthy diet she follows.
“I eat a very plant and grain-based diet,” she said. “I follow a more Mediterranean diet, so I eat lots of fresh vegetables and whole grains and fish. I don’t eat dairy very often, and I’ve cut most of the sugar out of my diet — I see the biggest effect from not eating as much sugar.”
RELATED: Candace Cameron Bure on Her Struggles with Bulimia: ‘It Was Never About the Weight, It Was an Emotional Issue’
While Bure has been open about struggling with bulimia when she was younger, she has recovered from it.
“It’s something that I’m always aware of and that I do think about, but having been healthy for so many years, it’s not something I have to think about on a daily basis,” she remarked. “It’s not something that I struggle with anymore. I really found my joy in fitness, and then as I get older I’ve just been fine-tuning my diet and I enjoy eating what makes my body feel the best.”
“I feel a real sense of accomplishment about what my body can still do, and I want to keep it in shape and keep it strong for so many years that are ahead of me,” she told PEOPLE. “You kind of take your body for granted when you’re younger, so the older I get the prouder I am of the things I’m able to do with it.”
Back fat, bra bulge … whatever you call it, it’s frustratingly stubborn. What’s more: Your desk job can actually mess with your efforts to sculpt your rear view, says Ideen Chelengar, a master instructor and Tier 3+ trainer at Equinox Sports Club Boston. That’s because when you sit hunched over all day, the way your shoulder blades function during exercise can change—and it may become even tougher to target your upper-middle back. Read: Ugh.
Of course, even if you were targeting those muscles properly, exercise alone wouldn’t blast away back fat: “In reality, losing fat comes down to your diet more than exercise,” Chelengar points out. But a challenging fitness routine—one that combines cardio and resistance training—plays a key role as well. And the benefits of back workouts go way beyond weight loss.
For starters, training your back the right way can actually help combat “computer posture.” It can also help balance out your body, Chelengar adds, since “[w]e tend to use our shoulders and chest muscles more often than our back muscles.”
So next time you hit the gym, try these eight moves and start building up strength in those hard-to-tone spots.
Thoracic Spine Extension
Start with knees on a pad, 1 to 2 feet away from a bench. Prop elbows on the bench. Sit back into hips (similar to how you would in Child’s Pose). With elbows propped and hips bent, drive chest toward ground. From here, keeping chest down, lift head up as high as possible. Then tuck chin down as though trying to lengthen neck. While keeping chest down, drive back of neck toward ceiling. You should feel this in middle of back, between shoulder blades. You may also feel some tightness through upper arm and armpits. Hold for 30 to 60 seconds.
Why it works: When you live your days hunched, your shoulders don’t function as they should, making it tricky to target that lower trap and rhomboid area everyone wants to tone, says Chelengar. The first step to hitting those areas? Teaching your body how to extend from the thoracic spine and not the lumbar spine, he says. This move does that.
Start on back with arms up and hips, knees, and ankles at 90 degrees. Cross a resistance band around soles of feet so that right arm is pulling at left foot and vice versa. Start by reaching right arm as far as possible overhead. While you reach, make sure your legs stay still, ribs stay down, and that subtle arch in low back is unchanged. Bring right arm back to center. Switch sides. Complete 2 sets of 15 to 25 reps.
Why it works: “Maintaining proper posture is key to getting the middle-back muscles involved, and that means getting your core to participate,” says Chelengar. “This is a great way to teach your body the relationship between your arms and spine.”
RELATED: This Is Tracy Anderson’s Go-To Arm Workout
Back-to-Wall Band Vertical Retraction
Pull band lightly apart, maintain that tension. Press arms up and down making sure forearms stay vertical and wrists stay over elbows. Band can be in front or behind head. Complete 2 sets of 15 to 25 reps.
Why it works: This exercise teaches your body proper shoulder blade rhythm during a vertical pulling motion, says Chelengar. “I like using walls for feedback on your posture. Be aware of the subtle curve in your lower back and make sure you don’t hyperextend.”
Start with bar in-line with boney part of ankles. With soft knees and flat back, push hips back until you can reach bar without rounding back. (If you still can’t reach, add more knee bend until you can.) Build tension in torso by squeezing shoulder blades together and down. Maintain a broad chest but tight core, drive through feet and push hips forward. (The subtle curves in back shouldn’t change at all through the movement.) If torso maintains stiffness, this forward movement will lift the bar from the ground. Complete 3 to 5 sets of 4 to 10 reps.
Why it works: But wait—deadlifts shouldn’t work my back, you’re thinking. And you’re right! “Proper dead lift is driven by your glutes and hamstrings,” notes Chelengar. “However, to actually move the weight, the horizontal movement of your hips has to be transferred to vertical movement of the bar through a stiff back and core.” There are few better ways to test your ability to maintain a good posture than the dead lift. Voila!
RELATED: 7 Moves to Tighten Your Core From Celebrity Trainer Anna Kaiser
Bent Over Row with Horizontal Band Resistance
Set up light resistance band pulling at right arm from left side, perpendicular to torso. Wrap band around weight or wrist. Focus on keeping shoulder blades down as you pull. Leave about a fist-sized gap between elbow and ribs. Pull from elbow, not hand. Don’t rock torso. Stop at midline. Complete 3 sets of 10 to 15 reps.
Why it works: This move is a difficult twist to your standard horizontal row, says Chelengar. “By adding the horizontal band resistance, you increase activation of the posterior deltoid—one of the hard-to-hit muscles on the backside of your shoulder.”
Legs should stay straight and still, ribs down. Retract shoulder blades (imagine pulling them into back pockets), and focus on keeping shoulders away from ears. Elbows should stay right under wrists, and you pull collarbone directly to the bar. If you find yourself hiking up at shoulders, add some assistance (or lower the weight if you’re doing lat pull downs). Control the descent. Complete 3 sets of 10 to 15 reps.
Why it works: This might be a basic move but many people miss their middle back muscles through slight faults in technique, says Chelengar. Doing this move right targets the back spot-on.
Pull rope to face with high elbows. At the end, keep elbows up and try to rotate arms open as much as you can, as though pointing at glutes with thumbs. Keep chest broad and ribs down. Complete 3 sets of 10 to 15 reps.
Why it works: This exercise helps you work on retraction and external rotation—movements that are key for proper function and strength-building, notes Chelengar.
To get smart workouts delivered to your inbox, sign up for the HEALTH newsletter
Single-Arm Overhead Carry
Start with a single weight in hand at shoulder. Think about pressing weight up with shoulder, not hand. Reach up and get arm in line with ear. Keep chest up and ribs down. Upper back on the loaded side should be tight. Walk slowly forward maintaining a strong posture. Complete 3 rounds of 20 yards.
Why it works: “Being able to press a weight overhead required good scapula function, a stable spine, and a strong upper back,” says Chelengar. “The single arm overhead carry tests your ability to press and maintain that press under load.” If you do it right, you should feel your upper back just as much as your shoulder.
The blonde beauty recently revealed that heading back to the gym after giving birth to her second baby helped her shed 61 pounds. One move she relied on: the Single-Arm Single-Leg Romanian Deadlift. “With this movement, you’re balancing on one leg, causing your hip to have to stabilize, as well as working the back, glutes, hamstrings, and core,” says Lively’s trainer, Don Saladino, owner of Drive 495 in New York City.
Stand tall with feet together and a dumbbell or kettlebell in right hand at thigh and left arm out to side for balance. Hinge at hips, lowering torso until almost parallel to floor as you lift right leg behind you, toes facing down. The weight should travel straight down in front of right leg. Return to start and repeat. Aim for 2–3 sets of 8–10 reps per leg, three times a week.
If you happened to find yourself at one of the 2,800 half marathons in the United States in 2016, you might have noticed something: a heck of a lot of ladies donning race bibs. In fact, according to a national survey by Running USA, women account for 60 percent of the nearly 2 million people racing 13.1 miles every year. And it’s not just crazy twenty-somethings lacing up their sneakers so they can Instagram their #racebling. The average age of female half-marathon finishers in 2016 was 36.6 years old—a number that’s only increased over the past two years. Think all these women were speed demons? Nope.
The average finisher time was two hours and 23 minutes (which translates to about 10 minutes and 55 seconds per mile). The point of loading you up with all these facts? To prove just how accessible this distance is for women of all ages and fitness abilities. “The half marathon is a great, manageable distance for anyone,” says Roberto Mandje, a former Olympic distance runner and the chief coach at New York Road Runners in New York City. It’s a challenge, but an attainable one: “Yes, it requires a committed approach to training—but that commitment won’t take over your life.” And once you cross that finish line for the first time, you’ll be hooked on that “runner’s high.” Ready, set, run!
The I-Just-Want-to-Finish Plan
How it works: If you’ve never run a half, this program will help you gradually lengthen your distance over 10 weeks. Don’t stress out over how fast or slow you are in the beginning, Mandje recommends. “Just run comfortably for your first few long runs,” he says. “You can always adjust your goal half-marathon pace as your fitness and familiarity with the training increases each week.” To figure out your goal half-marathon pace, think about what time you’d like to finish the race in, then divide that by 13 miles. But be realistic—if a 10-minute mile is hard for you in shorter training runs, you might not be able to maintain that speed for the entire race.
The Get-Faster Plan
How it works: Already raced 13.1 miles and want to do it faster this time? Increasing your miles more significantly over the course of 10 weeks helps you get used to running faster for longer early on in your training. “Complement your biweekly workouts and long runs with a day of cross-training, like aqua jogging, spinning, or working out on an elliptical,” says Mandje. Not only will you feel fitter and stronger in general, but that extra strength primes your body to perform better at higher speeds and for longer durations—which is what you’ll need on race day.
How to fuel for a half marathon
An often-overlooked part of training? Your eating plan. “What makes you run fast on race day is consistent training,” says Kyle Pfaffenbach, PhD, the performance nutrition consultant for the Brooks Beasts, a professional middle-distance running team, and a professor of nutrition at Eastern Oregon University. “And the nutrition you’re taking day in and day out is critical in making that training happen.” Here, a crib sheet for what and when to chow down.
90 minutes before: Low-fiber, complex carbohydrates, and protein, like oatmeal, whole-grain toast with eggs, or whole-grain pancakes with sausage
“A mixed meal that’s high in complex carbs digests slowly, giving you a nice rise in blood glucose and insulin,” says Pfaffenbach. “Those 90 minutes give the insulin, which promotes the distribution and storage of energy, time to deliver energy sources into your liver and muscles, where you’re going to utilize them when you start running.”
Right before: Simple sugars like gels or energy chews
“As the race gets closer, nerves ramp up our physiology and it can help to consume easy to digest simple sugars,” says Pfaffenbach. “Simple sugars are the most easily digestible source of energy. Plus, as your insulin levels come back down from that first meal, a hit of simple sugars tells your body you’re not in a post-meal state, but that there’s energy coming in and you’re ready to exercise.”
During: Water and simple sugars
“If you’re just running at a little above conversation pace where you can carry on a conversation without feeling breathless, fueling is less of an issue. But if you’re trying to run every mile as fast as you can, you’re going to have to refuel over the course of 13 miles, because our bodies can only store 45 minutes to an hour of carbohydrates,” says Pfaffenbach. “I recommend 1-2 Clif Bloks or Honey Stinger Organic Energy Chews every 15 to 20 minutes. They’re easy to carry, easy to pop in your mouth, and won’t make breathing difficult. As for water, there’s no prescribed amount to drink, but it’s important to listen to your body’s thirst cues to avoid dehydration.”
Right after: Whey protein mixed with carbohydrates
“Taking in a whey or plant protein powder mixed with a little bit of carbohydrates—like fruit or chocolate almond milk—after endurance exercise is really important,” says Pfaffenbach. “It’s highly absorbable, has all 20 amino acids in ample amounts, and helps to stimulate protein synthesis and other recovery processes.”
Thanks to a new movie role, Jennifer Garner is in amazing shape.
While making an appearance at CinemaCon on Tuesday, the actress, 46, talked about amping up her workout routine for the upcoming action-thriller Peppermint, in which she plays a lone vigilante out to avenge the death of her family.
“It actually felt really good,” she said. “I was in pretty good shape going into it.”
Garner added boxing and martial arts into her workout routine to help prepare her for intense fight scenes.
“Everyone gets very invested and are you going to actually look the way we want you to look,” she said. “I don’t know if I did, but I just always followed what felt right to me.”
The actress shared a look at her gym sessions on social media earlier this year. She posted a video of her extreme workout routine, which she dubbed the “Recipe for Turning A Mom Back into Action Lady.”
Garner explained in the caption that she did an hour workout with Body by Simone and 90 minutes of “stunt team.” She also worked cryotherapy into her routine. For her pump-up playlist, Garner set the footage to “Canned Heat” by Jamiroquai.
Peppermint also marks Garner’s first return to action since starring as an international spy in the ABC hit show Alias.
“The thing about Alias that made it so special was J.J.’s [Abrams] script, and how compelling the stakes were for that character all the time,” she said at CinemaCon. “To do action for the sake of action has never interested me but this script was so smart. There’s no bigger stake than your children and nobody had never asked me in a smart way to do something as a mom for her child.”
She continued: “This was to avenge your child’s death, and there’s no bigger reason to go out and get into really good shape and then kill people.”
Peppermint hits theaters Sept. 7.
Though he’s now a pro trail runner—a two-time national champion, in fact—David Roche didn’t naturally love the sport. “I will always remember my first run when I went out the door, got 200 yards, and had to stop because I was so winded,” he says. “I was sore for three days afterward.”
The more he ran, the easier—and more fun—it felt. Eventually, he quit his job as an attorney to run, coach a team called Some Work, All Play, and write a forthcoming book (with his co-coach and wife Megan) called The Happy Runner Project.
“You don’t have to run—but if you’re going to run, it should be joyful,” Roche says. And even if you don’t plan to leave corporate life for the trails, you can still reap running’s emotional and physical rewards, he believes. “Definitely, anyone can enjoy it, and anyone can improve by massive amounts.” Here’s how to do both.
Most new runners start off at a sprint and quickly flame out, much the way Roche did. Now, he knows better. “If it hurts, you’re going too hard,” he says. Your body needs time to both develop aerobic fitness and adapt to the impact and repetitive motions running involves.
When you first start out, alternate easy running and walking—say, a minute of each. Each week, adjust your intervals (running more, walking less) until you’re steadily jogging. Even then, don’t judge yourself on pace; instead, run by effort, and keep things relaxed. “Listen to your body,” he says.
Then, pick up the pace
That said, steady slogging can quickly grow monotonous. Once you’ve logged a few continuous runs, try adding in bursts of speed—20 to 30 seconds of faster running followed by at least a minute of slower running. Or, find a hill and run up it quickly, then slowly jog back down. Start with two to four bursts or hills, then build up week by week. Besides making time pass more quickly, these short, hard efforts boost your heart rate and help reduce your injury risk.
RELATED: How to Start Running Without Getting Hurt, According to Pros
Turn on some tunes
Music can literally move you. In a small study in the Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research, runners clocked a speedier 5K with less effort when listening to either calm or upbeat melodies. Pro runner and coach Kaitlin Gregg Goodman (find her online at Running Joyfully) chooses different songs for different purposes: “relaxed if you’re trying to chill out on an easy day, a pump-up playlist for hard workouts,” she says.
Podcasts work too, and often come in workout-friendly 30- to 45-minute episodes (one of Roche’s favorites is NPR’s How I Built This). Note: If you’re running outside, consider using just one earbud to stay aware of your surroundings.
Grab a buddy
Running friends make the miles fly by, Roche says. And there’s no better way to multitask than catching up while you get your miles in. Can’t find a pal who’s game to stride with you? Search online or head to your local running store to seek out group runs; they often leave from stores, bars, and gyms. You might meet a brand-new friend who’s just your pace.
Focus your mind
Though training partners and music may serve as welcome distractions, actually tuning in to what you’re doing can also help you enjoy it more, notes Mackenzie L. Havey, a Minneapolis runner and coach and author of Mindful Running. “Research shows that mindful athletes tend to exhibit greater optimism, higher self-confidence, and less anxiety,” she says.
To start, spend the first few steps of your run doing a full scan of your body, mind, and the world around you, she recommends. Notice the feeling of your feet hitting the ground, the sound of birds chirping, the top three thoughts in your head. If you notice your mind wander—and you will—gently bring it back to the present moment. “You’ll find that fully immersing yourself in the run by focusing on your environment, body, and mind boosts enjoyment, even on the days you’re feeling less than inspired to work out,” she says.
RELATED: 5 Running Mistakes Beginners Always Make
Reframe your self-talk
Paying bills, feeding your kids, booking doctor’s visits—there’s plenty in life you have to do. Running, on the other hand, is a conscious choice you’re making to improve your health, fitness, and well-being. “I really like to say that it’s an opportunity, not an obligation,” Gregg Goodman says. Revel in the chance to test your limits, zap stress, and escape the day-to-day pressure of a busy life.
Bottle the beauty
When the going gets tough, focus on the splendor all around you. “It could be the way the leaves have fallen on the path or passing a child learning to ride a bike, or—my favorite—dog spotting,” says Chris Mosier, a four-time member of Team USA in duathlon and triathlon and a coach in Chicago. He always advises his athletes to keep an eye out for inspiring sights along their routes.
Extend those positive vibes by writing down the things you’re grateful for on the run (say, how fresh your legs felt or how fortunate you are to live near a running path) on slips of paper. Fold them up and put them in a used water bottle, Havey recommends. Pull them out when you’re lacking motivation—and over time, you’ll likely find yourself more tuned in to a sense of gratitude from the moment you lace up your running shoes.
RELATED: 11 Rules of Running Buddy Etiquette
Rethink your route
Gregg Goodman often notices runners retracing the exact same routes day in and day out. “I’ll put in their log: Your assignment for today is an exploration run,” she says. Bypassing your well-trod boulevard and seeking out a new sidewalk, path, or park adds an element of excitement to your routine. Another option is a destination run, a point-to-point course that ends up somewhere fun like a coffee shop or bookstore. Just take your phone and use a ride-sharing app to catch a lift home.
On days when you can’t quite convince yourself that you like running, remind yourself of how good you’ll feel when you’re finished. “After the morning run, I’m going to be happier, I’ll be more productive, and my husband says I’m a better spouse,” Gregg Goodman says. “It’s like having coffee—we’re all much better people after coffee.”
To get our top stories delivered to your inbox, sign up for the Healthy Living newsletter
Make it meaningful
Give your running purpose by setting a specific target, like completing a 5K or improving upon last year’s time. Reflecting on how much that goal means to you can help you appreciate every step in the process, Gregg Goodman says.
You can also dedicate your miles to a loved one who can no longer run, raise money for a charity, or pace a friend in an event that’s meaningful to him or her. “Sometimes running can feel like a pretty selfish endeavor,” Gregg Goodman says. “Making it bigger than yourself can bring that joy back.”
While summer travel often means plenty of fun and excitement, being stuck in 22B for hours on end can also trigger a slew of aches and pains (from a tight neck to a dead butt). According to Leah Dugas, a Tier X coach at Equinox Beverly Hills, the muscular woes of air travel all tend to boil down to one thing: a lack of movement. But fortunately, there are a few simple stretches you can do at 36,000 feet to help ease and prevent discomfort, so you can enjoy every second of your vacay to the fullest.
If you have a stiff neck or upper back
Slouch with your back rounded forward from take off to touchdown, and you’re going to feel it later, says Dugas. If you don’t use the full range of motion in your joints, you will lose it. “This even happens temporarily when sitting for long periods of time, and results in stiffness,” says Dugas.
To maintain your full range of motion, every 30 to 60 minutes, look over each shoulder three to five times; look up and down three to five times; and tilt your head left to right three to five times. Roll your head in circles three to five times in each direction as well.
For your upper back, from a seated position, side-bend at your rib cage and reach your hands overhead—as long as your seat mates aren’t too close. If they are, cross your arms and grab onto opposite shoulders. This keeps the thoracic spine mobile, and its attaching muscles active, Dugas explains.
RELATED: How to Get a Decent Workout in While You’re Waiting at an Airport
If you have an achy lower back
Your low back isn’t meant to be loaded in a seated position for several hours running. “Sitting is not a position found in nature. We’re meant to squat,” Dugas says.
“Sitting up tall without the back support from a chair, or sitting on an exercise ball can keep the core more active while sitting,” she adds. Crammed plane seats, on the other hand, can render the core inactivate. Over time, putting your spine and the surrounding muscles under stress without core support can result in lower back pain.
Sidestep the problem by setting alarms on your phone at least every hour to get up and walk around. The key to preventing the pain is simply not loading your back for so long, Dugas says. Walking around unloads your spin, reactivating your trunk stabilizers. “When you sit down you’ll have increased core activation from moving,” she notes. But this activation wanes over time—hence the need to repeat every hour!
RELATED: How To Use a Foam Roller To Roll Out Your Back
If you have tight hips
A seated position leaves your hip flexors locked in a flexed, shortened position, increasing muscle tension, Dugas explains.
Standing up in the aisle, clasping your hands together, and grabbing onto one knee while pulling it tight to your chest, keeping the bottom leg extended straight can help. Hold the position for three seconds or so, and alternate legs. “This moves the hips through full flexion and extension to maintain range of motion,” Dugas explains.
If you have a sore booty
Coined ‘dead butt syndrome,’ an achy rear is actually a dysfunction of the gluteus medius muscle, says Dugas. Sitting on your behind for too long can render the glutes inactive, causing pain as other muscles compensate for the loss. “The body is giving you a sign that it’s unhappy or irritated by what you’ve been doing (in this case, sitting) and it wants you to change something,” explains Dugas.
Get your glutes to fire by standing in the aisle on one leg and hinging forward to reach your fingertips toward your standing knee or ankle, keeping your spine straight, suggests Dugas. (Your non-standing leg should extend behind you. Imagine you are doing a single-leg deadlift without weight.) Alternate legs.
Similarly to how you activate your core by simply walking, your glutes will be more active when you sit after this move. But you know the deal: repetition is key!
RELATED: 6 Pre-Flight Stretches to Do in Your Hotel Room to Help Prevent Blood Clots
To keep blood from pooling in your legs
You’ve likely heard of the slightly increased risk of Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT)—a blood clot that develops usually in the legs and can travel up the body to areas like the lungs—while flying. While the risk is low, making a few strides up and down the aisle every 60 minutes or so can slash it even more. Walking is one of the best ways to encourage blood flow and circulations all over the body, says Dugas.
Pinned in the window seat next to a sleeper, and can’t get up as often as you’d like? Pack a mini trigger point ball in your carry-on (like this one or this one) to roll out your feet, helping promote blood and lymph circulation.