5 Tips to Create a Healthier You

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Rub It In

Who doesn't love a good massage? Now you have a new excuse to indulge in a spa day. According to Canadian researchers at McMaster University, a 10-minute rub down can help to reduce inflammation and promote muscle recovery. The report argues that massage may be an important tool to alleviate not only sports-induced soreness, but also pain due to arthritis and other diseases. After your next run, show your legs some love for free with a foam roller, or trade massage services with your running partner.

MoreHow Massages Will Boost Your Performance

Like a Fine Wine

Growing older doesn't have to mean slowing down, according to researchers at the Universit? de Bourgogne. The French scientists analyzed 30 years of performance information for New York City Marathon participants ages 20 to 80. Much to their surprise, researchers discovered that the best male runners over 65 and the best female runners over 45 consistently improved their performances year after year. It seems age is no object for runners striving to set personal bests.

MoreRun at Any Age

Better, Stronger, Smarter

Hone your athletic knowledge in time for the upcoming London Games with The Complete Book of the Olympics: 2012 Edition. From stats and profiles to back stories and highlights, David Wallenchinsky and Jaime Loucky have gathered all the Olympic information you could ever want and packaged it in one fun book. Ever wonder where all the sportscasters get their facts and figures? This is the volume they have under their desks. The 2012 edition is available from Aurum Press. $35, amazon.com

MoreExercise to Boost Your Brain Power

Every Day We're Shuffling

Created by a former Navy SEAL to make exercise fun and interesting, FitDeck offers packages of cards that will spice up your workout routine. Choose a deck based on your goals—themes range from soccer to prenatal to combat sports—then warm up for five minutes, shuffle and go. FitDeck Stairs is a great complement to running programs, as the workouts help boost endurance and build lower-body strength. Plus, all you need is a flight of steps. For those stuck at a desk all day, FitDeck Office provides 18 exercises and stretches to improve your circulation and lower stress levels. For those who prefer a tech-friendly alternative, the new FitDeck Mobile app lets you download a new workout wherever you go. $10 each, fitdeck.com

Size Over Matter

Low-carb, gluten-free, South Beach, Paleo, Atkins? Turns out the magic formula to weight loss is simple: Eat less. A recent study published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that consistently cutting 750 calories a day was more effective for weight loss than following low-fat, low-carb or high-protein diets. The takeaway? If you want to shed pounds, your best bet is to keep counting those calories.

MoreHow to Control Your Weight With Mini Meals

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Allison Pattillo, a former editor at Trail Runner magazine, writes about fitness, gear and her adventures for several publications and Web sites.

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