TIME Exercise/Fitness

13 Fun Ways to Work Out With Your Dog

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The versatile furry friends can do anything from running to yoga to boot camp with you

Dogs make the best workout buddies. They never complain about hills or cancel on you last-minute. And they’re always stoked to follow you out the door. That energy can be contagious: research from Michigan State University found that canine owners were 34% more likely to get the recommended 150 minutes of exercise a week than folks who didn’t have a dog. Even if you’re just taking your pup for a walk, that counts. (Move at a brisk clip and you can burn as many as 170 calories in half an hour.) But there are lots of other activities you and Fido can do together—all while strengthening your bond.

Check out these fun ways to get fit with your furry pal.

Running

Because dogs are creatures of habit, they can help you keep up your weekly mileage: Once your pup gets into the routine of a morning run, she won’t let you wimp out if it’s drizzling, or you’re just feeling bleh, explains J.T. Clough, author of 5K Training Guide: Running with Dogs($8; amazon.com). “She’ll wait by your sneakers, tongue out, tail wagging,” says Clough, who runs a dog-training business on Maui. “Her excitement can be enough to change your attitude.”Concerned your little pooch won’t keep up? No need to worry, says Clough: “The truth is most small dogs have more energy than the big breeds.” Just be careful in the heat and humidity, since dogs don’t sweat like we do. And if you have a flat-faced breed (think pugs and Boston terriers), keep your runs under five miles, Clough suggests, since these dogs have a harder time taking in air.

Stand-up paddleboarding

It’s almost as if stand-up paddleboards were designed for canine co-pilots: Dogs of all sizes can ride on the nose (while you get a killer ab workout). Pick an ultra-calm day on a lake or bay for your first excursion together, so your pup can develop his sea legs. If you’re struggling to balance the board, try paddling on your knees, which lowers your center of gravity, until your dog is comfortable. Still, odds are you’ll both take a dip, which is why Clough recommends outfitting your dog with a life preserver. It’ll make it easier for you to lift him back onto the board, too: Most doggie vests have an easy-to-grab handle, like the NRS CFD (from $35; amazon.com).

Is your dog a born swimmer? Bring a stick or throw toy and play fetch once you’ve paddled out.

Kayaking

You can also take your dog out for a spin in a sit-on-top kayak. Smaller breeds may perch up front, while larger dogs might feel safer closer to your feet. Teach your buddy to get in and out of the kayak on land first; then practice in the shallow water close to shore. (If he seems nervous about sliding around, you could lay down a small mat or piece of carpet so his paws can get some traction.) The trick is to keep the first few outings relaxed and fun (read: brings treats!). Stick to inlets and slow-moving rivers without too much boat traffic. You can let your dog paddle alongside you if he wants to swim. If not, that’s okay too: “He’s getting lots of stimulation just by riding in the boat,” says Clough—all while you ton your arms and core and burn hundreds of calories.

Cycling

Is your dog so exuberant on walks you worry she might one day pull your arm off? If so, try letting her keep up with you as you pedal: “Biking is perfect for dogs with tons of energy,” says Clough. “They are totally psyched to flat-out run.” Meanwhile, you’re getting a great workout (cycling can torch 500-plus calories per hour) and building your leg muscles.

If your girl likes chasing squirrels and skateboards, consider using a device called the Springer. It attaches the leash to your bike’s frame or seat stem and absorbs much of the force of sudden tugs ($130; amazon.com).

Biking with your dog may actually help with any behavioral issues she has, Clough adds. “The biggest problem I see with dogs is that they’re not getting enough exercise.” Indeed, veterinarians at Tufts University’s Animal Behavior Clinic say aerobic exercise stimulates the brain to make serotonin, a hormone that helps dogs, especially those who are anxious or aggressive, to relax.

Rollerblading

This is another great way to burn off a dog’s excess energy—as long as you’re an expert inline skater, that is. If not, “it can be disastrous,” warns Clough. “Your dog will be like ‘Woohoo!’ and you’ll be like, ‘Where’s the break?!” But even if you’re super confident on wheels, she suggest rollerblading in an area free of traffic, like a park or boardwalk, so you can enjoy the excursion as much as your pal. Chances are, you’ll have so much fun you’ll forget you’re seriously working your core.

Dog-friendly boot camp

Fitness classes designed for people and pups—like Leash Your Fitness in San Diego and K9 Fit Club in Chicago —are becoming more and more popular. In a typical class, you’ll run through high-intensity moves for strength, balance and cardio while your four-legged companion practices obedience drills. “I recommend that people at least try out a class,” says Clough, who helped launch Leash Your Fitness. “The focus is more on the person’s workout than the dog’s,” she explains, but your dog is learning to feel comfortable in a distracting environment—and that will make it easier to take him along on other fitness adventures.

Dog yoga

Yep, “doga” is a thing, and it turns out pooches are naturals at this ancient practice. Can’t picture it? Think about your girl’s morning stretches: She probably does a perfect cobra, right? In a doga class, you’ll help her try more poses—and she’ll (hopefully) act as a prop for your own poses. But really doga is all about the pet-human bond. There’s often some doggy massage and acupressure involved. And while you’re in such close contact, you’ll have the opportunity to do a regular health check, feeling for any lumps beneath her fur.

Active fetch

You throw the ball and your pup goes bounding after it. But who says you have to just stand there? While he’s retrieving, bust out some muscle-building moves like crunches, lunges, squats, and more—until you’re both panting and worn out. Better yet, race him for the ball and squeeze in some sprints. Fetch can be a game you play, too.

Soccer

Believe it or not, some dogs love soccer—especially herding breeds like Border Collies and Australian Shepherds. Pet brands sell soccer-style balls (resistant to sharp teeth) in different sizes, like the 5-inch Orbee-Tuff ball from Planet Dog ($20; amazon.com). Once your boy learns to “kick” or “dribble” with his nose or paws, get your heart rates up with keep-away, or by punting the ball and racing for it.

Not a soccer fan? Try engaging him with other toys (like rope tugs) and activities (such as hide-and-seek). “Put yourself into kid mood, come up with a game, and show him,” Clough suggests. “He’ll most likely play it with you.”

Snowshoeing and cross-country skiing

Cold weather doesn’t mean you have to leave your dog cooped up. Some breeds—like Huskies and St. Bernards—have snow in their DNA, but many dogs enjoy a good romp in the white stuff. And whether you’re on snowshoes or skis, you’ll get in a low-impact, total-body workout. But the best part comes later, when you both curl up for a snooze by the fire.

If your dog gets chronic snow build-up between the pads on her paws, you can outfit her with booties. Brands like Ultra Paws (from $32; amazon.com). and Ruffwear ($90; amazon.com) make rugged footwear for winter walks.

Stair-running

Thanks to the vertical element, climbing stairs (or bleachers) makes your quads, hamstrings, and glutes work extra hard. You’ll tighten up your lower half, while Spot burns off the biscuits.

Join a canine charity race

You have the perfect training buddy. Why not work toward the goal of finishing a dog-friendly race? Events for four-pawed runners and their owners—such as the Fast and the Furry 8K in St. Paul, Minn. and the Rescue Me 5K9 in Irvine, Calif. —are held all over the country.

Don’t have a dog?

You can still work out with one. Call a local animal shelter and volunteer to take dogs out for walks or runs. Pound puppies are often desperate for exercise and attention, and your commitment to your new furry pal is great motivation to stick with a fitness routine. Best of all, as an anxious or unruly dog learns to walk on a leash and behave in public, you’ll be improving his chances of finding a forever home.

This article originally appeared on Health.com

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MONEY fitness

Own a Nike+ FuelBand? You Could Be Eligible for a Refund

The new NIKE+ FuelBand, an innovative wristband that tracks and measures everyday movement for what Nike says is to motivate and inspire people to be more active.
Mike Segar—Reuters/Newscom The NIKE+ FuelBand tracks and measures everyday movement for what Nike says is to motivate and inspire people to be more active.

Nike is offering $15 cash or $25 gift cards.

A settlement has been reached in a class action lawsuit first brought against Nike and Apple in 2013, and the net result is that some consumers who purchased Nike+ FuelBands are now eligible for either $15 cash or $25 Nike gift cards.

The suit alleged that “false and/or misleading statements were made regarding the Nike+ FuelBand’s ability to accurately track calories, steps, and NikeFuel, and that there were breaches of the warranty terms of the Nike+ FuelBand,” according to the website created to publicize the settlement’s terms, NikeFuelBandSettlement.com. Both Nike and Apple “deny the claims in the lawsuit and maintain that they did nothing wrong or illegal,” yet decided to settle “in order to avoid the expense, inconvenience, and distraction of continued litigation.”

Under the terms of the settlement, consumers who purchased a Nike+ FuelBand—a fitness-tracking device worn on the wrist that sells for $100 to $250—between January 19, 2012, and June 17, 2015, can receive a payment of $15 in the form of a check, or a $25 gift card valid at Nike stores and Nike.com. Claim forms are available at NikeFuelBandSettlement.com.

The Wall Street Journal noted that while Nike was among the first major companies to get into fitness trackers, the market has since grown crowded with devices from FitBit, JawBone, and others. Many fitness trackers can be purchased today for about $50. Starting around 2014, Nike began shifting its focus away from fitness-tracking hardware, though the Nike+ app is featured on the Apple Watch.

TIME Food & Drink

Yoga-Pants Maker Lululemon Is Introducing a Beer

Curiosity Lager launches on August 15 in Vancouver

Would you like a lager with your downward dog?

Lululemon—that company of see-through yoga pant infamy that arguably singlehandedly launched the “atheleisure” trend in comfortable, everyday sportswear—is introducing a specialty beer, the Curiosity Lager.

The beer comes in a 500 ml slender can, has 4.6% alcohol, printed with a geometric array of Pacific Northwest motifs: a totem pole, a suspension bridge, evergreen trees, mountains, and water. A limited edition release of 88,000 cans is planned.

Lululemon teamed up with Stanley Park Brewing to launch the lager, flavored with chinook and lemon drop hops for “crisp, cold beer.”

The beer’s August 15 release is timed with the SeaWheeze Half Marathon and Sunset Festival, a popular race in Lululemon’s hometown of Vancouver, British Columbia.

Though seemingly an odd couple at first, beer and yoga have coupled to become a major lifestyle force in the past few years, with boozy sessions becoming increasingly popular, particularly among the prime yuppie female demographic.

But Curiosity Lager is only the latest strategic deviation for the company, which is attempting to make its way into the men’s market.

Doug Devlin, marketing director for Stanley Park Brewing, told the CBC, “I think Lululemon, by extension, is interested in talking to a more male beer-drinking crowd.”

TIME Exercise/Fitness

Find Out How Many Calories to Cut For Weight Loss

A new NIH calculator gives you a personalized plan in minutes

Forget the number 2,000—a new government calculator uses the latest research to spit out an exact calorie count and exercise regimen you’ll need to hit your weight loss goals.

The calculator, called the Body Weight Planner, is now available online for public use, but the National Institutes of Health (NIH) has used it in research since 2011. “We originally intended the Body Weight Planner as a research tool, but so many people wanted to use it for their own weight management that we knew we needed to adapt it with more information about how to achieve a healthy lifestyle,” said Kevin Hall, PhD, one of the creators of the tool and a senior investigator at the NIH, in a press release.

Read more The Best Way To Make Your Exercise Habit Stick

The calculator asks your weight, sex, age and height—standard measures often used to prescribe a calorie plan. But it also incorporates more recent research about exercise to further personalize your plan, asking you to estimate your physical activity level on a scale of 1.4 (sedentary) to 2.5 (very active), to name your goal weight and to pick a date by which you want to reach it.

Most of us get about that far in thinking through a weight loss plan, but the calculator doesn’t stop there. It also asks you to name a percentage by which you plan to increase your physical activity and tells you what kind of exercise, how much, how often and what intensity level it’ll take to get there. Adding in a routine of light running isn’t the same as starting intense swimming, and in a distinctive feature, the calculator doesn’t weigh all physical activity equally.

The resulting calculations tell you three things: the daily number of calories you’ll need to eat to maintain your current weight, the calories you’ll need to reach your goal in your specified time, and the calories you’ll need to maintain your goal once you’ve met it. You can then use SuperTracker, a meal-planning tool developed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), to devise a meal plan based on your calorie stats. =

For people motivated by microscopic proofs of progress, there’s even an expert version of the calorie calculator that breaks down your goal by day, so you can see exactly how your weight loss will likely progress—decimal by decimal—if you stick to your program.

Read next: Here’s The Amount Of Exercise That Lowers Breast Cancer Risk

TIME Exercise/Fitness

Here’s the Best Way to Make Your Exercise Habit Stick

TIME.com stock photos Weight Loss Health Exercise Weights
Elizabeth Renstrom for TIME

Having this kind of habit will make you a more successful exerciser

It’s not always easy to convince yourself to exercise after a long day of work. (Ok, it’s never easy.) But people who consistently manage to do it may be using a simple trick—whether they realize it or not—according to a new study published in the journal Health Psychology.

The most consistent exercisers, researchers found, were those who made exercise into a specific type of habit—one triggered by a cue, like hearing your morning alarm and going to the gym without even thinking about it, or getting stressed and immediately deciding to exercise. “It’s not something you have to deliberate about; you don’t have to consider the pros and cons of going to the gym after work,” explains L. Alison Phillips, PhD, assistant professor of psychology at Iowa State University and one of the study’s authors. Instead, it’s an automatic decision instigated by your own internal or environmental cue.

The researchers wanted to see whether this type of habit, known as an instigation habit, was better than another type of habit at predicting who stuck with a month of exercise. At the beginning and end of the monthlong study, they asked 123 university students and faculty questions that assessed how often they exercised and how strong their exercise habits were—whether they did it without thinking, for example. From these questions, they gleaned whether a person has a strong instigation habit—one where a cue triggers the instantaneous decision to exercise—and whether a person has a strong execution habit—that is, knowing exactly what kind of exercise they’ll do once you get to the gym, or being able to go through the motions of an exercise routine while being mentally checked out.

The only factor that predicted how often a person exercised over the long-term, they found, was the strength of their instigation habit.

MORE: 7 Psychology Tricks To Make Your Resolutions Stick

It got stronger with time, too. “When people started exercising more frequently over the month and became more active, I saw that their instigation habit strength increased with that frequency, but execution habit didn’t really change in relation to frequency at all,” Phillips says. Zoning out mentally during exercise didn’t have a negative effect, but it didn’t help a person adhere to a regimen, either.

That’s good news for newbie exercisers who might be intimidated by the same routine day in, day out. “In the long term, it seems beneficial, or at least not harmful, to have variety in your routine,” Phillips says of the results. “A lot of people might shy away from starting to exercise because they think, oh man, I can’t possibly imagine myself doing this forever. They might think of one boring routine—running on the treadmill—and to them it sounds like torture, so they give up before they even begin.”

Some repetitive behaviors do reinforce exercise, she says. “When you’re just starting to develop an exercise routine, I think it might be helpful to engage in the same behaviors, to have this patterned action.” But sticking with a cue—instead of clinging to the same tired routine—appears to be what will get you back to your workout again and again.

TIME Exercise/Fitness

6 Moves That Burn More Fat in Less Time

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Here's everything you need to know about plyometrics

 

There’s an in-vogue specialized training method that many people are using to get crazy results, and it is one of the fastest methods to get fit in a short amount of time: plyometrics.

Plyometrics are explosive movements that combine power, speed, and strength by working several body parts at once. Since they recruit more muscles than your average exercise—compare a bicep curl, which isolates only that one muscle, with a move that activates your arms, legs, and core simultaneously, like many of the ones below—you burn more calories not only during your workout, but up to eight hours after you’ve finished.

While plyometrics are well-known in the world of sports as a way to help athletes improve their game, they’re starting to take the rest of the fitness world by storm, and for good reason: In addition to toning and sculpting your legs, booty, arms, and abs, plyometrics help to build strength, increase balance and coordination, and improve cardiovascular health.

Before you jump off the couch and head to the gym, make sure you’re ready to handle plyometrics; since the difficulty level is somewhat advanced, being able to perform a proper basic squat and lunge first is important. Once you’ve mastered those moves, you’re ready to move on. Here are 6 plyometrics that will burn fat in no time:

Squat Jumps

Start by getting into the bottom of a squat position. Your legs should be slightly wider than shoulder-width apart and slightly turned out. Your chest should be out, shoulders back, and core engaged. From here, explode straight up in the air, allowing your feet to leave the ground. Make sure to land softly on your toes when you come down. Doing this will protect your knees and hips. Complete 10-15 squat jumps.

Lunge Hops

Start in a lunge position with your right foot in front and left foot behind you with your left knee about an inch from the floor. From here, explode straight up out of the lunge, switching your legs mid-air and landing softly on your toes. You will now have your left leg in front and right leg behind you. Repeat this until you’ve completed 10 total lunge hops.

Skaters

Start at the bottom of a squat position. Jump to the left, landing on your left leg, while bringing your right leg behind your left ankle. From here, jump to the right side with your right leg, bringing your left leg behind your right ankle. This completes one rep. Complete a total of 30 skaters.

Toe Taps

Find a stable medicine ball, step, or bench. This will be your base for the toe touches. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and arms by your sides. Bring your right toe to the edge of your base. From here jump and switch your feet so that your left toe is at the edge of the base and your right foot is now back on the floor. Repeat this for a total of 30 toe taps.

Medicine Ball Squat Thrusts

Grab a medicine ball and stand with your legs slightly wider than shoulder-width apart. Hold the ball at belly-button height and slowly squat down until your thighs are parallel to the floor or lower. (Do not let your knees extend past the tip of your toes.) From here, explode upwards and toss the medicine ball straight in the air. Keep your eye on it so you can catch it and drop right back into the squat position. Do 12-15 medicine ball squat thrusts.

Medicine Ball Burpees

Grab a medicine ball and stand with your legs slightly wider than shoulder-width apart. Squat down to the floor and place the medicine ball between your feet while keeping your hands on the ball. From here, jump back into a pushup position, making sure your hands are placed securely on the ball. Jump your feet forward until you are at the bottom of a squat again, then stand up straight. Try to do 10-12 medicine ball burpees.

Liked these moves? Check out A 5-Move Workout To Get Your Butt In Shape

This article originally appeared on Health.com

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TIME Books

The Woman Who Hooked Hollywood On Yoga

THE GODDESS POSE

Michelle Goldberg is a senior contributing writer for The Nation and the author of Kingdom Coming: The Rise of Christian Nationalism and The Goddess Pose: The Audacious Life of Indra Devi, the Woman Who Helped Bring Yoga to the West.

Los Angeles is where Eugenia Peterson finally became Indra Devi—the guru who helped bring yoga to the west

The Hollywood Hills were a lucky place to land, close to the action but removed enough to be peaceful, with piney air and lots of tranquil corners conducive to yoga and meditation. Adjusting to a new life in America, Eugenia Peterson would depend on both. Contrary to what she’d been told, there was no yoga studio awaiting her. She had no job, no family in the country, and no homeland to return to. She was nearing fifty in a city that worshipped ingénues. She had $6,000 in savings—a substantial amount in 1947, but hardly enough to live on. “The only thing left to do,” she writes, “was to begin anew.”

The fact that Eugenia had so few connections meant she could finally shed her old identity once and for all. Hollywood was a place where people regularly swapped the quotidian names they were born with for more melodious or sophisticated or exotic ones. Many of the people who would become Eugenia’s most illustrious students had jettisoned the names their parents gave them—Jennifer Jones was born Phyllis Isley, Ramon Novarro was originally José Ramón Gil Samaniego, and Greta Garbo had been Greta Gustafsson. In Los Angeles, Eugenia could finally and fully become Indra Devi. Few in America knew her as anything else.

Devi made little effort to contact those who did. Upon arriving, she doesn’t seem to have looked up her old master Krishnamurti, which is in some sense surprising—after all, she’d once traveled halfway around the world just to be close to him. A person reinventing herself, though, doesn’t always welcome reminders of the past. Krishnamurti knew her as Eugenia, the Theosophist and lovesick diplomatic wife, not as an experienced yogini, as women practitioners of yoga are sometimes called. Besides, while Devi was a warm person, she also had a starkly unsentimental side. When a chapter of her life closed, she rarely tried to revisit it, so that people who knew her in one incarnation heard little about those who populated her earlier lives. Leaving the past behind was both a spiritual philosophy and a survival strategy, allowing her to thrive in the midst of calamitous instability. She was generally happy to see people she’d known before, but she didn’t seek them out.

In the 1990s, Devi traveled to Moscow to give a talk, accompanied by David and Iana Lifar, the Argentine couple who were her constant companions during the last years of her life. A woman came to her hotel claiming to be the daughter of a cousin of hers, which, if true, would have made her Devi’s only known living relative. The two talked for a while, and Devi gave her some money, because she seemed to be quite poor. After forty-five minutes, though, Devi called David and Iana and said that she wanted the woman to go, but she wasn’t taking the hint. Iana, who speaks Russian, came and urged her out. The woman was quite upset, telling David and Iana that she hadn’t wanted money; she’d wanted to spend time with her “aunt Zhenia.”

At breakfast the next morning, David asked Devi why she’d been so eager to get away from the woman. “David,” she told him, “I try to live in the eternal now. This lady belongs to my past.” She was, for the most part, kind toward those around her, but one of her main teachings, said David, “was not to be attached to anyone,” and she practiced it with only a few powerful exceptions.

So, in Los Angeles, rather than seek comfort in her history, Devi steamed forward, looking up Bernardine Fritz. Fritz had been a doyenne of society in Shanghai, where she’d hosted one of the few salons that brought expatriates together with Chinese artists and intellectuals, though she’d left China before Devi arrived. In Los Angeles, Fritz once again became known as a glittering entertainer, hosting Sunday lunches and cocktail hours in a hilltop home full of Chinese art. She threw a party to introduce Devi to her friends, including many who worked in Hollywood. They gravitated to the exotic newcomer with the saffron sari, eastern European accent, and Indian name.

Fritz was particularly close to Aldous Huxley, who, with his wife, Maria, was at the center of Hollywood’s literary and spiritual scenes. As a young British writer, Huxley, a tall and skinny sophisticate who, with his stooped posture and thick glasses, looked rather like a handsome praying mantis, had been famous for his arch skepticism. (One newspaper story about him was headlined “Aldous Huxley: The Man Who Hates God.”) Ultimately, though, he found a life of cultivated cynicism insupportable, and under the influence of his friend Gerald Heard, an Anglo-Irish writer who would become one of California’s New Age pioneers, he began experimenting with spirituality. (The critic William Tindall lamented Heard’s influence on Huxley and mocked their life in California, where, “when they are not walking with Greta Garbo or writing for the cinema, they eat nuts and lettuce perhaps and inoffensively meditate.”) Yogic meditation helped Huxley break through a debilitating writer’s block. By the time he arrived in the United States for a pacifist lecture tour on the eve of World War II, he was convinced that only spiritual renewal could head off global annihilation.

Though their American sojourn was meant to be temporary, Aldous and Maria ended up settling in Hollywood, where he tried to capitalize on his literary prestige by writing for the movies. They became part of a circle that included Garbo, Charlie Chaplin, Anita Loos, and Christopher Isherwood.

Devi knew Huxley’s work, particularly his 1937 book Ends and Means: An Inquiry into the Nature of Ideals. She’d quoted it at length in Yoga: The Technique of Health and Happiness: “The ideal man is the non-attached man; non-attached to his bodily sensations and lusts; non-attached to his craving for power . . . non-attached to his exclusive loves . . . not even to science, art, speculation, philanthropy.”

It’s a sign of how quickly Devi moved to the center of things that, soon after arriving in America, she was invited to spend a weekend with the writer and his wife. All that she recorded of this visit is that they discussed health food—Maria warned her that American produce is sprayed with poisonous pesticides.

Like many in Hollywood, the Huxleys experimented with their diets as well as their consciousnesses. “How can you expect to think in anything but a negative way, when you’ve got chronic intestinal poisoning?” asks the Buddhist Dr. Miller in Huxley’s Eyeless in Gaza, the 1936 novel that marked the author’s turn to the spiritual themes that came to dominate his work. In that book, the narrator, a stand-in for Huxley, moves from jaded libertinism to a desultory stab at guerilla revolution before his encounter with the enlightened doctor saves him. The doctor lectures him on “the correlation between religion and diet . . . The fact is, of course, that we think as we eat.”

Everywhere in the emerging New Age culture was an assumed connection between health and salvation. That link, of course, is at the heart of modern hatha yoga’s power. (It exists in evangelical Christianity, too, but the cause and effect are reversed: salvation can lead to health, rather than vice versa.) Yoga as it eventually came to be practiced in the United States elevates exercise into a sacrament, merging the contradictory quests for beauty and selflessness. It’s a kind of secular magic, promising that by assuming certain physical positions, you can bring about specific changes in the body and soul—clearer skin and clearer thoughts. It’s alchemy for a disenchanted age, rendered plausible to Westerners by translating esoteric tantric terms into the language of glands and hormones. Yet, until Devi arrived, no one in Los Angeles was teaching it.

Michelle Goldberg is a senior contributing writer for The Nation and the author of the new book Kingdom Coming: The Rise of Christian Nationalism and The Goddess Pose: The Audacious Life of Indra Devi, the Woman Who Helped Bring Yoga to the West, from which this piece was adapted.

TIME Ideas hosts the world's leading voices, providing commentary and expertise on the most compelling events in news, society, and culture. We welcome outside contributions. To submit a piece, email ideas@time.com.

MONEY freebies

Anyone Can Work Out for Free at Planet Fitness on Thursday

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Nico De Pasquale Photography—Getty Images/Flickr RF

The "Judgement Free" gym is actually free for a day

Planet Fitness is opening its 1,000th club this week, with a new location in Washington, D.C. To celebrate, the fitness chain — which operates in most states — is opening up the doors of all 1,000 locations in the U.S. and Canada to anyone and everyone, free of charge, on Thursday, June 11.

Planet Fitness bills itself as a “Judgement Free Zone,” where “members experience a hassle-free, non-intimidating environment.” On Thursday, this environment is being opened up to nonmembers as well, who are under no obligation to become members.

That doesn’t mean that Planet Fitness isn’t actively encouraging visitors to sign up, of course. A company press release is pumping up a “special one-day sale” on Thursday of $10 down and $10 per month for new members. But be warned, based on the membership prices listed on the Planet Fitness site, there is nothing special about Thursday’s “special” pricing. Basic membership usually starts at $10 per month.

Just as importantly, take note of the research that shows two-thirds of all gym memberships go unused even as those membership fees get charged month after month. At least with Planet Fitness, there are some very special bonus perks for showing up every now and then: Locations host a free pizza night for members on the first Monday of every month, and give away bagels on the first Tuesday of each month.

TIME Exercise/Fitness

You Asked: Is It Better to Sleep In Or Work Out?

Peter Oumanski for TIME

Sleep and exercise are both vital. But if you can’t seem to fit in both, you can sometimes substitute a little of one for a little of the other.

When it comes to your health, there are few absolutes. But that’s not the case with sleep and exercise. You need both, period.

“I couldn’t choose between the two,” says Edward Laskowski, MD, a resident and professor of physical medicine at Mayo Clinic. “Sleep and exercise are like food and water.”

Not only are both necessary, but it’s difficult to get healthy doses of one without the other. “When you look at the research, regular physical activity is important for high-quality sleep, and high-quality sleep is important for physical performance,” says Cheri Mah, a sleep medicine researcher at Stanford University and the University of California, San Francisco.

But when pressed to choose one that’s more important, Mah grudgingly decides on sleep. “Sleep is foundational,” she says. While specific needs vary from person to person, she says most of the scientific literature suggests adults need a minimum of seven hours of good sleep every night. “Lots of individuals think they can operate on less, but when you test them, you find they’re not performing at their best,” Mah says. “They get used to feeling tired, and they think that’s the norm.”

Sleep is the base on which a healthy mind and body stand, she explains. From your immune function to your mood, energy, appetite and dozens of other health variables, if that base is wobbly, your health will suffer.

But let’s assume you’re getting your seven-plus hours every night. Can you sacrifice some zzzs a few times a week in order to fit in regular exercise? Yes, but with caveats, says Dr. Phyllis Zee, director of the Center for Circadian and Sleep Medicine at Northwestern University.

Regularity is very important for sound, restorative sleep. Mess around too much with your sleep and wake schedule, and all of your body’s circadian rhythms can be thrown out of whack. Not only will you feel sleepy at odd hours, but you may also struggle to fall asleep at night, and your appetite and energy will fluctuate in unhealthy ways, Zee says.

Say you typically go to bed around 11:00 p.m. and rise at seven. Zee says the midpoint of your night would land near 3 a.m. As long as you’re maintaining your seven-to-eight-hour average and that midpoint lands between 2 a.m. and 4 a.m., Zee says you’re fine skipping a half hour of sleep a few days a week in favor of a morning run or gym visit.

Not fine: Rising two hours early to attend a morning yoga class or to fit in a lengthy bike ride.

“Even on weekends, you want to keep that regularity of when you go to bed and when you get up,” Zee stresses. Your body doesn’t understand what a weekend is, so it doesn’t react well if you stick to one schedule during the workweek and adopt a radically different schedule on Saturdays and Sundays. The same goes for your workout days.

But if you’re falling short of your seven hours a night, Zee, Mah and Laskowski all say the same thing: It’s time to reorganize your schedule in a way that makes room for both adequate sleep and regular exercise.

There may be some exceptions for people with insomnia or those who can’t seem to sleep at night. For them, rising at the same time each day and incorporating regular exercise might help alleviate sleep woes, even if it means sacrificing a little sack time in the short term.

But for the rest of us, making time for sleep and exercise can come down to cutting out activities that aren’t as important.

“Almost everyone could forgo 30 minutes a day of internet or TV time,” Mah says. Both the CDC and American Heart Association recommend a minimum of 2.5 hours of moderate-intensity aerobic exercise every week. Along with your seven-plus hours of sleep, those are you bare-minimum goals when it comes to healthy rest and physical activity.

“There are so many unique benefits that each have, it’s hard to pull them apart,” Laskowski says. “The real danger is when you only make adequate time for one of them.”

TIME Exercise/Fitness

How to Trick Yourself into a Harder Workout

Follow the 60-second rule

It’s no secret that fitness is a mental game. Now there’s research that suggests even overweight, sedentary adults can trick themselves into working harder in the gym.

A study in the journal Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise found that if you work out in short intervals as opposed to long stretches, it will feel easier, even if you’re doing the same amount of work overall.

This type of high intensity interval training, commonly referred to as HIIT, has been on the rise in the fitness world. Researchers have proven the benefits of short, intense bursts of exercise: they can burn more fat, increase levels of fitness, improve blood pressure and increase muscle activity.

There seems to be an interval-training sweet spot, the new study suggests. In it, researchers observed unfit and overweight adults as they did two types of exercise: heavy continuous exercise without a break, and three different intervals of exercise during which they rested for 30 seconds on and off, then 60 seconds on and off and 120 seconds on and off. The exercisers reported thinking that the 120-second trial would be the hardest, and they indeed perceived that shorter bursts were easier, in spite of the fact that they were all the same intensity. Short intervals of one minute or less may be a way to trick yourself into working harder, simply because it may seem easier, the researchers conclude.

Read next: Short Bursts of Exercise Are Better Than Exercising Nonstop

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