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March 2011

Are Our Models Too Thin?

Written on March 31, 2011 at 5:58 pm , by

Magazines have gotten a bad rap–for a pretty long time–for publishing photos of beautiful models instead of “real” women. The message that media sends about body images has always been a hot topic, and we’re not about to open up that can-o-worms. But some new research recently blew us away: It turns out that reading a magazine like FITNESS–with hot bodies and all–isn’t so bad for your self-esteem.

Dr. Silvia Knobloch-Westerwick, an Associate Professor at Ohio State University, did something different than the other researchers out there…she focused on what types of articles were surrounding the pictures of the beautiful models. Her and her co-author Joshua Romero’s ground-breaking findings: People who identify themselves as dissatisfied with their bodies were much more comfortable looking at images of ideal body shapes when the photos were surrounded by articles or content suggesting that they too can be as attractive as the models. But if the articles or content don’t inspire them, then they tended to avoid the photos. Take a look below to see how this is illustrated. Fun fact: These are actual images that were shown in Dr. Knoblock-Westerwick’s study!

dr. silvia knobloch-westerwick study images body images

Images courtesy of Dr. Silvia Knobloch-Westerwick

How it works: Read more

Categories: The Fit Stop | Tags:
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Fit Blogger We Love: She’s a Fit Chick

Written on March 31, 2011 at 1:40 pm , by

We like that we can get health and fitness advice from this blogger and personal trainer all while feeling like we’re talking to a close friend. Here’s what Jennifer at She’s a Fit Chick had to say about getting fit and staying motivated:

She's a Fit Chick

She's a Fit Chick

5 things I can’t live without: The Internet, lip balm, Terra Chips,  a journal, and sunshine (I swear, it recharges me).

My favorite way to work out: Trying new things to add a little spice to my routine and avoid boredom. Some of my favorites? TRX, CrossFit, and pole dancing. Next on my list is the flying trapeze!

My biggest indulgence: Coca-cola. It takes everything in me to drink this in moderation.

I’m happiest when I’m: Helping other women look and feel their best. I want every woman in this world to genuinely smile every time they look in the mirror.

My fitness mantra:
You never regret a workout but you almost always regret skipping one. (Great mantra!)

Do you have a favorite fit blogger you want us to highlight? Leave a comment below or email blog@fitnessmagazine.com.

14 Ways to Shop for Workout Clothes…Without Going Broke

Written on March 31, 2011 at 10:00 am , by

woman in sports bra

Photo courtesy of SparkPeople

A note from FITNESS: We are proud to partner with SparkPeople to provide our readers with even more helpful content.

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Specialty workout clothes might not be a necessity to your exercise program, but the sweat-wicking fabrics and body-hugging designs sure can help! A few reasons why:

  • Clothes designed for exercise are made for bodies in motion; they’re designed to fit right and stay put when you’re on the go so that you stay comfortable.
  • Both high-tech synthetic fabrics, and natural ones such as wool, can help pull sweat away from your body so you stay dry. That means you’ll be cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter—and that’s more than a comfort issue. Regulating body temperature also keeps you safe.
  • And beyond functionality, workout clothes are just plain motivating!

Unfortunately, all that motivation comes at a price.

More than 60 percent of SparkPeople members agree that new workout clothes motivate them to exercise, but when asked what they tend to wear during their workouts, a whopping 75 percent wear “any old clothes” they have. The high cost of workout wear is a major deterrent for many.

Luckily, it doesn’t have to be…

Find out some smart strategies for saving money on workout clothes…

More From Spark People:

6 Things to Look for When Buying Exercise Apparel

Join the 10-Minute Daily Exercise Challenge!

Get a Free Fitness and Weight-Loss Plan

Olympic Skating Star Tara Lipinski Is Living Fit

Written on March 30, 2011 at 12:39 pm , by

Tara Lipinski hasn't hung up her skates for good quite yet!

Tara Lipinski hasn't hung up her skates for good quite yet! (Photo by John Russo)

Flashback to the 1998 Nagano Olympic Games: Fifteen-year-old Tara Lipinski was about to hit the ice to nail seven triple jumps in her short and long programs (salchows and toe loops—makes us dizzy thinking about it!) and best Michelle Kwan for the women’s figure skating gold medal. But all she could think about was her nerves.

“I had been preparing for this since I started skating at three-years-old! I realized that four minutes could change my life, and my legs were shaking,” Lipinski says. “I called my mom after the warm-up, as I do before every time I hit the ice, and told her ‘I can’t do it!’”

The confidence that helped her tighten her skate strings and bring home the medal still serves her well today, as she’s stepping back onto the ice again and enjoying life as a TV commentator for her sport-of-choice. We caught up with Tara to talk about why she really turned pro at 15, how she stays fit today and who she thinks will be skating’s next big star.

You seemed to be on the top of your game! Why did you retire at such a young age?

I didn’t think of it as retiring. I took five to seven years to make friends and be “normal” for a while. I felt like I had already accomplished all that I wanted to by winning the national, world and Olympic championships. And my personality always has me focused on ‘what’s next?’

Read on for Tara’s thoughts on getting back on the ice, becoming a commentator and who she thinks will be the next big skating star!

Read more

This Just In: Richard Simmons is Still Awesome

Written on March 29, 2011 at 4:51 pm , by

Air New Zealand looks like a fun time.

In an effort to get passengers to put down the SkyMall catalog and pay attention to the in-case-of-emergency instructions, Air New Zealand tapped fitness icon Richard Simmons to star in their awesomely retro new “Fit to Fly” in-flight safety video. The results? Fabulous. My favorite moments:

  • “Stretch and slide! Yeah, you’re a giraffe!”
  • Yellow shirt guy at the 1:58 mark.
  • The Pony!
  • THE OUTFITS.

Naked Yoga…Dare I Try?

Written on March 29, 2011 at 2:59 pm , by

naked yoga

Photo courtesy of Flickr user curlybird

I was listening to an NPR discussion the other day about naked yoga, “Has yoga strayed too far from its roots?” and it got me thinking: What is the point of practicing yoga—naked?

The bare-it-all and bend movement started back in the 1960′s (well that makes sense) but hit the scene here in NYC in the late 1990′s, when someone started “Midnight Yoga for Men.” It became an underground cult hit popularized after it came out fully in Time Out New York magazine. Since then more and more people let it all hang out in weekly sessions—which reportedly attracts more men than women.

I wonder though, does naked yoga really move you closer to the “truth” by stripping down to nothing and letting go of all that may be holding you back? (You mean besides my favorite Lululemon outfit which I personally think makes me look pretty damn good.) Can’t I just close my eyes to take me there? Read more

A Killer Playlist by Kerry Rhodes

Written on March 29, 2011 at 11:57 am , by

Kerry Rhodes

Photo courtesy of Christian Peterson for Getty Images

It might be March Madness, but let’s not forget about all the other pro athletes that are still stepping up their game, even in their off-seasons. And what better way to keep the motivation going than to do it with an awesome playlist?

We got Arizona Cardinals safety Kerry Rhodes to reveal his go-to tunes that keep him working out hard, when he’s off the field. Click on the song to download it from iTunes:

Kill It with Cardio:
“Walking On A Dream” – Empire of the Sun
“Yeah 3X” – Chris Brown
“F You” – Cee-lo

Work the Weights:
“Animal” - Neon Trees
“Gorgeous” - Kanye West

And Then When It’s Game Day
“Oh What A Night” – Frankie Valli

Want to keep tabs on Kerry? Follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/kerryrhodes!

Cool Tools for Allergy Season

Written on March 29, 2011 at 10:54 am , by

Image via Flickr user Kathleen Cavalaro

Spring is upon us—and with it, allergy season. If you check online for pollen count forecasts in your area, make sure you’re going to an accurate source. Some websites only use predicted pollen counts, Reuters reports.

Use the National Allergy Bureau’s Pollen & Mold Levels tool, which uses actual data from daily readings at counting stations nationwide, to enter your location and get a good sense of whether your day will be a sneeze-fest or not.

Another useful tool is the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology’s The Virtual Allergist—just click on your symptoms to find out what allergic conditions might be ailing you.

Image via

SoulCycle’s Awesome Spinning Playlist!

Written on March 28, 2011 at 1:58 pm , by

Photo by Peter Ardito

I’ve recently become obsessed with SoulCycle, so now I understand all the hype that Kelly Ripa boasts about on Good Morning America on a daily basis (I’d love to see her there one day!). If you don’t know, a SoulCycle class is like a Spinning session inside of a hip club—low lights, great energy and the best music to match it. I took a class Saturday evening with an instructor I’m hoping to follow all around town. I think he has the ability to get my body in prime bikini form.

If you can’t rock out at SoulCycle, you should rock out to this awesome playlist from instructor Rique Uresti:

Do you ever need help putting together a playlist from the songs you already have? Try this awesome new tool I’ve discovered from MixMeister, a DJ software system, that will automatically mix you songs that go well together from your existing music library! This software is so cool because it calculates how best to mix from one song to the next to match your desired slow or fast tempo that you hope to follow on your next run. Check it out at MixMeister.com and choose MixMeister Express 7 for the newest version (what’s new you ask? It’ll add sound effects to your favorite songs to spice things up a bit!). Although this software is $70 I think it’s definitely worth it if you’re always looking to switch things up without having to purchase new music. Be your own DJ!

What are your favorite songs for spinning?

Can You Handle The Zip?

Written on March 25, 2011 at 11:55 am , by

Everybody has an obsession with something, whether we like to admit it or not. Some people are obsessed with going to the gym, others with bad reality TV shows, and then there is me…I am obsessed with sunglasses. Marc Jacobs, Ray-Ban, Burberry, you name it, I’ve got it. So when the Von Zipper team called me up and asked if I wanted to meet with them to see the new Summer 2011 collection, I thought to myself “How can I turn this down?!” Little did I know what I was getting myself into. Enter new eyewear obsession here.

GT, one of the company’s owners, came into our office full of energy, with the laid back attitude of a California surfer dude, which is exactly what Von Zipper’s look is. All of the new shades that he showed us were wearable, fun, and totally awesome for summer. (Think sporty chic meets beach babe.) I don’t think there was a single pair of frames that I wasn’t swooning over. And what is even better is that the price points are just right. My new favorite collection, Smoke Out, which is a limited edition collection — get them while they are hot! — has styles ranging from $80-$100. Seriously, you can’t beat that!

Here are some of my favorite styles that Von Zipper is launching for the summer. They are perfect for the beach, running errands or out in the backyard grilling burgers with friends! Enjoy!