Welcome! Log In | Register

February 2012

#140Wednesdays: My Biggest Gym Pet Peeve Is…

Written on February 29, 2012 at 5:13 pm , by

Sweaty treadmills make us want to scream too. (Photo courtesy of Shutterstock)

It happens. You strut into the gym ready for a positive sweat session when they get on the machine next to you. You know who we’re talking about. Mr. Too Sweaty, Miss Cell Phone Talker and Mr. Hey Baby Whatcha Doing Later? Though for the most part the gym can be a safe place to get fit, there are always those little things that irk you. So go ahead, vent about it. See what bothers some of our Twitter users below and post your #sweatpeeves in the comments. Or better yet, use it to amp up your next workout!

@WorldsAndDreams: #sweatpeeves: When people slam/clank the weights down with each rep. #canyousay amateur?

@TraceyFetterly: People not wiping their machines. Like I want to use something you just sweat all over!

@AmandaMacyCheek: Men that just stand around and do nothing!

@glamnellie: Locker room takeovers!

@MateerialGyal: No bacterial wipes to wipe down the equipment!

@runashleerun: #sweatpeeves Looking at me while I run, lift, crunch, squat. Anything! Concentrate on your own workout!

Read more

Conquering the Half-Marathon: Colleen Schwartz, Runner to Racer

Written on February 29, 2012 at 10:32 am , by

Colleen picked up her game to start running quickly. (Photo by of Jason Todd)

In our March issue, you’ll find four inspiring half-marathon stories from readers who went from couch to 13.1, from jogger to racer and more. For the remaining Wednesdays in February here on The Fit Stop, we’re sharing more personal stories from women who tested our half-marathon training plan.

Written by Kate Branciforte, editorial intern

Colleen Schwartz considered herself to be a “casual runner,” but after training for and completing her first half-marathon, she is officially a racer! Although the initial thoughts of running competitively scared her, Colleen was determined to rock the race. After crossing the finish line at 2:03, Colleen has caught the racing bug. “I love getting a runner’s high,” she says. “I wish I could bottle it!”

We caught up with Colleen to find out how she squeezed in extra gym time and what convinced her she really could go the distance.

Conquering Fears
Although 13.1 miles is a tough distance to tackle, the run wasn’t what worried Schwartz most come race day. “What happens if I have to go to the bathroom in the middle of the race?” If you’re a runner, you know exactly what she’s talking about. Our advice? Go to the bathroom before heading to the race (leave early!), then make a pit stop at the port o’ potties once you’re there. Often not the prettiest loo you’ll visit, but it’ll be worth it when you see runners darting off course to handle their um, business, while you fly by.

Musical Motivation
We all know music can be a huge motivator and Schwartz used it to the max during long training runs. “Thank God for Rihanna and Beyonce,” she says. “These runs would be torturous without them. I probably spent more time planning my mix than I would spend running to it, but I had every song I could possibly want in the palm of my hand!” When you catch yourself feeling lackluster about hitting the pavement, try creating a new playlist or downloading throwback tunes that bring up happy memories.

And don’t be afraid to use negativity to kick-start your sweat sessions. We all have bad days, and sometimes “a really bad day at work leads to a surprisingly easy five mile run,” Schwartz says.

Read more

Get Ready to Run With Track and Field Olympian Kerron Clement’s Playlist

Written on February 28, 2012 at 3:33 pm , by

kerron clement hurdles and running playlist

Kerron is an Olympic gold medalist in the 400-meter hurdles. (Photo courtesy of AP and Conversion Sports and Entertainment)

Talk about an impressive guy: Olympian silver medalist hurdler Kerron Clement also holds the indoor world record for the 400-meter sprint, is ridiculously handsome (what? we’re all mostly girls here), and is even nice enough to share his personal playlist with us! He’s also combines some spirituality in his sports too: “Sometimes listening to gospel music for me puts me ‘in a zone’ before training or competing,” Kerron says. Interesting!

Bonus: After the songs, we reveal a little more inside dish on 26 year-old Trinidadian-born Kerron.

5 songs you love to warm-up to:

5 songs that get you really motivated:

Interesting Notes Kerron Told Us: 

Q: Off the topic of playlists…what do you think makes you such a successful athlete?
KC: My will to overcome many obstacles in my sport truly fuels me to be the best. I’m determined to excel at everything that I do.

Q: Do you have a mantra and if so, what is it?
KC: “Make it happen.”

Q: What is your immediate goal in your sports career? What about down the road?
KC: My goal is to be both the Olympic Champion in the 400-meter hurdles and world record holder in that event. Down the road, I’ll take it one step at a time.

Q: Are you single? If yes, do you prefer girls who run?
KC: I’m single, but I don’t prefer a girl who runs—just someone who loves to stay in shape. Fitness is key to a healthy lifestyle.

Hot Topic Tuesday: Should Your Doctor Give You an Exercise Rx?

Written on February 28, 2012 at 11:39 am , by

Take one dose of sweat five to six times each week. (Photo courtesy of Shutterstock)

Whether you’re looking to lose a few or not, we all know that exercise plays an important role in overall health, from lowering your blood pressure to decreasing your risk for diabetes. But the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Health Interview Survey found that just one in three patients say that their doctors suggested that they exercise more or keep up with their fitness regimen during their checkups and office visits during the last year.

You know the drill: No matter what your visit is about, your M.D. will check your temperature, peek in your eyes and ears and take your pulse. But do you think it’s your doc’s responsibility to also check in on your exercise habits? And why don’t you think they talk more about physical activity now? (Could it be that they are worried about offending you, crunched with a full patient schedule or perhaps even they have difficulty squeezing in fitness during their packed days?)

Sound off in the comments!

Photo courtesy of Shutterstock

More from FITNESS:

How Your Bowl of Cereal Is Making You Fat

Written on February 28, 2012 at 7:00 am , by

Stick to one bowl of cereal for a happy, healthy start to your morning. (Photo courtesy of Karen Pearson)

A bowl of cereal makes the perfect breakfast. It’s fast, easy, and inexpensive, and the right bowl of cereal is a good source of fiber, calcium, and protein. But if you make the wrong choices, your cereal may actually be contributing to weight gain. Avoid these mistakes when it comes to your morning bowl of cereal.

  • Your bowl is too big: Depending on the box of cereal you choose, a serving size is about three-quarters to one-and-a-quarter cups. If you use the biggest bowl you have and just mindlessly pour, you could be devouring over 400 calories instead of the usual 120 to 200 — and this is just the cereal alone!
  • You’re a little nuts: Sliced almonds, pecans, and walnuts offer healthy fats and protein, but they’re also pretty high in calories. Two tablespoons of walnuts is almost 100, so be mindful about how nutty you get.
  • You’re using a bottomless bowl: You measure out a serving of cereal, pour in the milk, and spoon away. But when you get to the bottom of the bowl, you have so much milk left, you have to add a little more cereal. But you add too much, so you need to pour in a little more milk. It’s a vicious cycle. Just drink the last of the milk and call it a day.
  • You load up on dried fruit to up the fiber: Raisins, dates, banana chips, and dried cherries do offer a little bit of fiber, but because they contain little water, dried fruits are super calorie dense. A quarter cup of dried cranberries is over 100 calories. You’re better off using fresh fruit since it’s lower in calories and higher in fiber, and the high water content will fill your belly up, so you actually end up eating less.

Read on for more ways cereal sabotages your weight loss efforts.

More from FitSguar:

5 Weight-Loss Rules You Shouldn’t Break
How to Make Your Home a Health Haven
5 Ways to Get Rid of Your Muffin Top

Find Your Soul Mate Workout With Chalene Johnson

Written on February 27, 2012 at 2:41 pm , by

Johnson can help you find the workout that's your perfect match. (Photo courtesy of Chalene Johnson)

Fifteen years ago, fitness and lifestyle coach Chalene Johnson enjoyed exercise but couldn’t find a workout that she loved so much she wouldn’t skip. So she created it! Turbokick, which is a mix of martial arts and hip-hop dancing, makes Johnson look forward to each sweat session. She says everyone can find the workout they love—and look forward to! It’s as easy as taking her “soul mate workout” inventory, which she shares in her new book Push, to find your perfect match.

“Just like finding your love soul mate is rewarding, discovering your workout soul mate changes your perspective on taking care of yourself,” Johnson told us. Rather than being a must-do, fitness will be a want-to-do!

Do you prefer exercise that is…

  • Indoors or outdoors?
  • Group or solo?
  • Dance or athletic?
  • Competitive or noncompetitive?
  • High-impact, low-impact or nonimpact?
  • With a soundtrack or set to silence?

Brainstorm activities that best fit your preferred criteria selected above. Then “date” these workouts by trying one new activity every week until you’ve given them all a shot. Don’t stress out about this, Johnson advises. “Even the worst dates teach you something about yourself,” she says. “And mistakes burn calories, too!” You should be able to find at least one new type of exercise that you enjoy. But if not, just expand the search and keep trying. (Need some inspiration? Here are 10 unique and fun options!)

Now tell us: What workouts do you look forward to the most?

Music Monday: The Super-Motivating Playlist

Written on February 27, 2012 at 10:24 am , by

House says the key is to think about one step at a time. (Photo courtesy of Shutterstock)

Ever have one of those days when you just don’t feel like working out? You’re not the only one. So we asked Laurel House, the QuickieChick, what she does to stay motivated and we loved her idea so much we had to share! “I challenge myself to run for one song. Almost every time, that song turns into two, oftentimes three. The other day it was seven!” House says.

The key to crafting a killer playlist? Find songs that you enjoy and make sure they play back-to-back so you don’t get sidetracked, House suggests. Here are some of her all-time favorites:

Photo courtesy of Shutterstock

Now tell us: What gets you up and moving on those “I’m too tired” or “I’m too busy” days?

Rock Your Own Red Carpet (Or Other Big Event)

Written on February 24, 2012 at 5:25 pm , by

Follow these tips to look fabulous at your next big moment. (Photo courtesy of Golin Harris)

While it’s true awards season is winding down, that doesn’t mean other big events aren’t about to crank up the heat (wedding season is quickly approaching!). Slim-Fast is encouraging women to turn special occasions—a red carpet event, wedding, vacation, reunion or something else spectacular—into a major “wow!” moment that leaves people turning heads.

So how can you get your “wow” on? Slim-Fast gathered a team of experts to create the Studio WOW! team, including fashion stylist Jacqui Stafford, celebrity hair and makeup stylist Joey Maalouf (he did Jessica Alba’s hair for this year’s Golden Globes!) famous photographer known for his role on America’s Next Top Model, Nigel Barker, and Slim-Fast nutritionist Ali Auerbach, R.D.

We nabbed some quick tips from the pros to help you dazzle the audience at your next event.

From fashion stylist Jacqui Stafford:

  • Embrace color. “I’ve never met a woman who doesn’t look good in red,” Stafford says. “She always looks confident, classic and feminine.” Try a dress in the vibrant hue that closely follows your frame for a slimming effect.
  • It’s all about the little things. Stafford showed us five fast, simple ways to change a look using only one accessory. Can you guess it? A scarf! Tie it around your waist for a belted look, or drape it for the circle scarf look that’s hot right now.
  • Don’t douse yourself with trends. We’re all about pulling brilliant ideas from the runway, but remember to keep it realistic. “Fuschia is a hot color for spring,” Stafford says. “Incorporate it into your look with accessories, like an eye-catching handbag or belt.”

Read more

The Secret Superfood for a Healthy Heart

Written on February 24, 2012 at 4:08 pm , by

Skip the fries and bring a side of grapes from home for a heart-healthy lunch. (Photo courtesy of Blaine Moats)

As American Heart Health Month wraps up. you already know that in moderation red wine is key for your ticker, but did you know that grape juice could have a similar effect? It makes sense of course, as wine is made from grapes, but in a recent Welch’s study of 4,000 people more than twice as many consumers were aware of the heart-healthy benefits of red wine, but not grape juice.

Another interesting stat? According to the study, 2/3 of Americans recognize that red wine, salmon, and olive oil are all heart-healthy foods, but only a fraction actually buy these foods on a monthly basis. Yet people who buy and drink grape juice were twice as likely to add other heart-healthy foods to their shopping carts than non-drinkers. Maybe it’s a coincidence or maybe it’s true that one healthy habit leads to a chain reaction of others, but for those looking for the health perks of wine without the hangover, grape juice might just be your best bet!

For more heart-healthy resources, recipes and more visit welchs.com/rewardyourheart

More from FITNESS: How to Eat for a Healthy Heart

Fit Links: Love Morning Workouts and Banish Back Pain

Written on February 24, 2012 at 3:06 pm , by

That bed is comfy, but won't it feel amazing to accomplish a workout? (Photo by Laura Doss)

This week’s fit links from around the web: