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March 2012

Music Monday: Party Like It’s Your Birthday Playlist!

Written on March 26, 2012 at 4:54 pm , by

My sweat-tastic best friends and I!

Last week I had my birthday bash at my home away from home, SoulCycle—let’s just say I’m totally embracing the new party workout trend that’s taking place all over Manhattan (check it out HERE!). When fitness and working out is your lifestyle like it is mine, sitting bar side at your fave restaurant just doesn’t do it anymore—plus how many times can we do the same thing year after year? That’s why front row seats at my favorite Danny Kopel Thursday evening class was a must-do to celebrate none other than the day I was born. Tap backs, push-ups and a little choreography mixed into it, having my birthday party at SoulCycle was sort of like a no-brainer. When a spinning studio IS the party, that’s where I want to be.

My good friend and FITNESS Half-Marathon blogger, Olivia Ward, jazzed up my spinning bike!

Instead of downing an insane amount of cocktail calories, my best friends and I sweated out hundreds each—and we had just as much fun doing it too. (This class was extra special indeed as we were also celebrating the birthday of late Clare Veronica Walsh, a SoulCycle instructor and friend who passed away late last year. We miss you!)

Party workouts are here to stay and if your class or favorite studio doesn’t put on the show, bring your friends, wear a tiara and sweat your birthday away with your favorite people anyway!

Check out this awesome playlist from SoulCycle instructor, Danny Kopel.

Brooke Burke Picks Her Dancing With the Stars Front-Runners

Written on March 26, 2012 at 10:21 am , by

Written by Kate Branciforte, editorial intern

Brooke Burke is ready for spring! (Photo courtesy of Claritin)

FITNESS’ January cover model, Brooke Burke, can totally relate to those suffering from early allergies this year. But the co-host of Dancing With the Stars and mother of four who wears many hats (from TV host to spokesperson to author) knows that no matter how bad her allergies get, she has to find a way to keep moving.

We caught up with Brooke to talk about how she deals with the sniffles, her involvement with Claritin and the new short comedic film she starred in for the brand. And of course, we had to chat about the current season of DWTS and get her predictions before tonight’s episode!

You looked amazing in the January FITNESS and many of our readers said they related to your lifestyle as a busy working mom. How did you feel about being on the cover?

I loved it! I’m a fan of the magazine anyway and its always important for me to be able to grace a cover like FITNESS because it’s all about health and I like what it symbolizes. I love that it’s inspiring to other women and the shoot was a blast!

How did you get involved with Claritin and this project?

I’ve always had allergies and I’ve always used Claritin. I don’t know how they knew that, but they came to me and we partnered and decided to do this short. It was really a blast to not play myself. And I do really use Claritin. I mean, I can’t really just call in sick and stay home because I’m swollen and feeling crappy!

At FITNESS we love Dancing With the Stars. What are some of your predictions for this season?

I think the men this season are a little stronger then the females, actually, but you never know! I think Jaleel White really surprised everyone but they also said Katherine Jenkins looked borderline pro. But I really liked Donald Driver, the NFL superstar, but his scores weren’t as high as I thought they might be after seeing him perform!

If you could see anyone on the show next season, who would it be?

I’d love to see Suzanne Somers. She’d be great! Oscar De La Hoya would also be really amazing. I’ve always wanted to see him. It was rumored that Paula Deen was supposed to dance this season but I don’t know what happened with that. But I think Suzanne would be great!

Just because we’re dying to know…Is Maksim Chmerkovskiy as cute in person as he is on TV?

Oh gosh, last show, when he came out shirtless with his abs popping and all tan? Yeah, he’s really cute! And Maks’ brother Val is really cute too!

More from FITNESS:

Fit Links: The Best Partner Workouts and a Super Spring Recipe

Written on March 23, 2012 at 3:52 pm , by

How about we go for a hike after this slice? (Photo by Laura Doss)

This week’s fit links from around the web:

Spring Break-Inspired Cocktails from a Fit-Focused Bartender!

Written on March 23, 2012 at 1:47 pm , by

bryan dayton bartender oak

When Bryan's not running up hills (some as high as 14,110 feet!), he's inspiring people to imbibe. (Photo courtesy of OAK at Fourteenth)

Between the warm(er than usual) weather and March Madness, we’re feeling a little nostalgic for Spring Break in college! So we scored a couple cocktail recipes from Bryan Dayton, the owner and Beverage Director at OAK at Fourteenth in Boulder, Colorado…including a non-alcoholic one, for those of you who gave up booze for Lent/New Year’s/Who Knows Why.

Before we hand over the happy hour inspiration, you should know whom it’s coming from. Bryan hasn’t just been a mixologist for 15 years—he’s also a trail runner (the higher the altitude, the better) with an incredible race resume. Nice!

My Little Honey

  • 1.5 oz gin
  • .5 oz honey syrup (1:1 honey to hot water)
  • .5 oz fresh lemon juice
  • Soda water

To make: Pour all ingredients over crushed ice, give a quick stir and garnish with a lemon.

Cucumber Smash

  • 2 slices of cucumber
  • 2 quarter wedges of lime
  • 1.5 oz gin or vodka
  • .25 oz honey syrup

To make: Muddle all of the above together in a mixing tin and then add ice. Shake. Fine-strain over crushed ice and then garnish with a slice of cucumber. Idea: Substitute berries for the cucumber, if you want something fruity!

The Summer Smash (Non Alcoholic)

  • 2 slices of cucumber
  • 6 mint leaves
  • 1 mint sprig
  • .5 oz lime
  • .25 oz honey syrup
  • 3 oz soda water

To make: Muddle mint and cucumber in a mixing tin. Add all the ingredients, except for the soda water. Add ice, shake and strain into a highball glass with ice. Finally, pour in soda water and give it a quick stir. Garnish with mint sprig.

Traditional Margarita on the Rocks

  • 1.5 oz Reposado tequila
  • .75 oz orange liqueur
  • .75 oz fresh lime juice

To make: Put all ingredients into a shaker, add ice and shake. Pour over fresh ice in a short tumbler and garnish with lime. Salt is optional.

Celebrate National Nutrition Month With Foursquare

Written on March 23, 2012 at 12:23 pm , by

How healthy is your city? (Photo courtesy of Foursquare)

Written by Kate Branciforte, editorial intern

Continuing with our celebration this March during National Nutrition Month, we checked in with Foursquare, one of the hottest smartphone apps, for some healthy living data. They recently released their top 10 healthiest and least healthy cities in the U.S. based on where residents were most likely to be found. How did your hometown fare?

Top 10 Healthiest Eating Cities Based on Check-Ins to Healthy Venues

  1. Honolulu, Hawaii
  2. Burlington, Vermont
  3. San Jose, California
  4. San Diego, California
  5. Seattle, Washington
  6. Boulder, Colorado
  7. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
  8. Los Angeles, California
  9. Washington, D.C.
  10. San Francisco, California

Bottom 10 Healthiest Eating Cities Based on Check-Ins to Healthy Venues

  1. Winston-Salem, North Carolina
  2. Little Rock, Arkansas
  3. Lexington, Kentucky
  4. Manchester, New Hampshire
  5. Greenville, South Carolina
  6. Scranton, Pennsylvania
  7. Peoria, Illinois
  8. Hunstville, Alabama
  9. Springfield, Missouri
  10. Myrtle Beach, South Carolina

Want to see your city score higher on the health scale? This information was gathered only by Foursquare users, so if you have the app (or download it for free now and follow FITNESS!), start checking in at places that promote wellness! Need some ideas? Try running trails, healthy restaurants, the grocery store or outdoor parks to get in the groove.

Now tell us: What venue could you visit for a health boost?

Eat for Survival in The Hunger Games

Written on March 23, 2012 at 9:41 am , by

If you’ve read the books, you know foraging for natural food is a big element to survival in The Hunger Games. Even though the Games don’t actually exist (phew!), eating food in their natural state can be delicious and satisfying. So when Daily Burn sent us some recipes from their meal plan inspired by the series, we couldn’t resist! See below for a few of our favorites, along with some tips for eating a more hunter-gatherer diet.

Berries are a yummy, completely natural treat! (Photo courtesy of Daily Burn)

Hunger Games Porridge

Serves 1

  • 1/3 cup quick oats
  • 1/2 cup boiling water
  • 2 tbsp ground flaxseed
  • 2 tbsp coconut flakes
  • Dash of cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon almond butter
  • Optional: berries for topping
  1. In a small bowl, combine oats, coconut flakes, ground flaxseed and cinnamon.
  2. Add boiling water and stir. Add almond butter and stir once again.
  3. Top with berries if desired.

Tasty Tip: Get creative! Try new fruits and veggies, and don’t be afraid of different flavor combinations, like tossing strawberries on top of your usual grilled chicken salad. You’ll be surprised how delicious natural foods can be when mixed in multiple ways.

For two more all-natural recipes, click below.

Read more

Fit Blogger We Love: Sprint 2 The Table

Written on March 22, 2012 at 1:15 pm , by

Laura (left) and her family are all smiles after a Thanksgiving 10K!

If you’re looking for a foodie friend who’s willing to sprinkle in some fitness, Laura is your girl. Her quick, easy recipes at Sprint 2 The Table inspire us to hit the kitchen, and her running adventures in between meals are just as satisfying. We caught up with this fit blogger to find out which race she’s dying to run and what she can’t head to the gym without.

On my fit life list: The Nike Women’s Marathon. I’ve never run a marathon and this race awards Tiffany’s necklaces rather than medals. What better motivation is there than that?

My fave fit snack: I am a smoothie fanatic. Post-workout, there’s nothing I love more than a Liquid Sweet Potato Pie protein shake. The protein helps build muscle and the sweet potato adds some much-needed carbs for energy. It sounds weird, but I promise it’s heaven in a glass.

Biggest indulgence: There’s a restaurant in Atlanta that sells something called a “Nemesis cake.” This flourless chocolate cake with a glass of Zinfadel is my nemesis.

My fitness mantra: To borrow from a T-shirt slogan, it’s “Every Damn Day.” I try to do something every day to get moving. My job requires me to sit at a desk most days, so getting just 30 minutes of movement in does wonders for my fitness level, not to mention my sanity!

My gym bag must-have: Gum. I cannot work out without a piece in my mouth. People laugh at me in the gym when I’m blowing bubble while pumping iron!

We’re a big fan of Laura’s quick, healthy recipes, so we asked her to share a favorite. Check out the recipe below!

Read more

We Survived The Hunger Games!

Written on March 22, 2012 at 10:12 am , by

Instructors demonstrate the "Peeta Press" and "Katniss Killers." (Photo courtesy of My Sports Clubs)

I tried to resist The Hunger Games trend for months, but finally caved and quickly devoured all three books in a matter of weeks last summer. So as soon as I heard about the new Train Like A Tribute workout offered at My Sports Clubs, inspired by the soon-to-be released movie, I knew I wanted my name to be drawn! (Thank goodness this wasn’t the real games—fat cells were the only things being killed.)

After being assigned to district three, I entered the “arena” with about 10 other tributes. We did a quick warm-up, then prepared for the mad dash to the cornucopia filled with the tools necessary to complete the workouts (a mat, dumbbells and archery bow) as well as other helpful items like bottles of water and towels. From there, the trainers gave us a CrossFit-inspired workout that would improve our skills for the arena. Our goal: Finish the most rounds in the allotted time.

AMRAP (as many rounds/reps as possible) of the following moves:

Katniss Killers: Archery

  • Using a bow, take an archer’s stance with right foot staggered in front of left.
  • Pull back the bow until taut. Instead of releasing bow string, slowly return to start controlling the resistance.
  • Do 10 reps.
  • (You can sub in the Single Arm Row with Rotation from our other Hunger Games workout if you don’t have a bow handy.)

Capitol Crunches: Tree Climbing

  • Lying flat on your back with a 2.5- or 5-pound weight overhead and arms straight, use your core to lift your upper body to a seated position with arms overhead. Keep legs straight throughout the move.
  • Slowly lower back to starting position and repeat. Do 10 reps.

Jabber Jay Jacks: Speed/Agility

  • Perform a jumping jack, crossing right foot in front of left when you jump feet to the “in” position. During the next rep, jump left foot in front of right.
  • Continue performing jacks and alternating feet for 20 reps.

Peeta Presses: Strength

  • Stand with feet hip-width apart, holding a dumbbell in each hand, with elbows bent 90 degrees out at shoulder level, palms facing toward face.
  • Quickly press dumbbells directly overhead, arms extended, while rotating palms forward. Lower to start position. Do 10 reps

I was able to complete about eight rounds and finished just a few reps behind the victor. But whether our districts came is first or last, we experienced a great strength and cardio workout set to some very fun Hunger Games-themed music.

Want to try it yourself? The class is offered FREE to members and non-members until the end of April at the following My Sports Clubs locations:

  • New York: 86th Street and Lexington Avenue NYSC; Tuesdays at 12 p.m.
  • Philadelphia: Market Street PSC; Wednesday at 6:30 p.m.
  • Boston: Davis Square BSC; Thursday at 7 a.m.
  • Washington, D.C.: Chevy Chase WSC; Tuesday at 9:30 a.m.

#140Wednesdays: What Would Your Skill Be in the Hunger Games?

Written on March 21, 2012 at 4:13 pm , by

If Katniss is the The Girl on Fire, can we be The Girls Who Run Like Fire? (Photo courtesy of Shutterstock)

If you couldn’t tell, we are just a wee bit excited for the Hunger Games this weekend. We’ve done themed workouts, devised playlists and some of us are even brave enough to endure the screaming mobs of teens for the midnight showing this week.

But don’t lie, you are just as excited as we are! That’s why we wanted to know for this week’s #140Wednesdays, if you were in the Hunger Games, what would your skill be? Read below to check out the competition.

@Samdamda: As a kickboxer, hand-to-hand combat. Also, I’ll pretty much eat anything green, so foraging. #140Wednesdays

@Air_Time1: Hiding from all the other scary tributes and letting them kill themselves. #140Wednesdays

@FITNESSmarianne: Hmm, I’d say stealth. (Editor’s note: We’ve seen Marianne around the office, she is very stealthy! You’d want to watch out for her if she was a tribute.)

@ekokernak: Skill? I’m the first one to go down!

Now tell us: What would your skill be in the Hunger Games?

Photo courtesy of Shutterstock

Models Making a Difference

Written on March 21, 2012 at 9:35 am , by

heide lindgren and georgie badiel

Models 4 Water's co-founders Heide and Georgie

In 10 days, the 2012 Ludus Athletics Model Beach Volleyball Tournament will hit South Beach—and give us a motivational kick in the butt to get ready for bikini season. But the two-day event will also give us a little boost of hope, too, thanks to its charity partnership, Models 4 Water.

Co-founder models Georgie Badiel (runway stunner) and Heide Lindgren (face of Guess by Marciano) started M4W last year, with the goal of raising money to bring sustainable, clean water to the people in Burkina Faso, Georgie’s homeland. The country is one of the poorest in the world and about 85 percent of the population doesn’t have clean drinking water. And as you may suspect, most of the burden of finding usable water falls on the local women.

brukina faso children

Taken at Nakar, Burkina Faso: After M4W's first drill hit water, children celebrate. (Photo courtesy of Models 4 Water on Facebook)

“We want to use our level of exposure to give back and work (as an industry) together to make a difference,” Heide says. “But this isn’t about being a ‘rewarding experience.’ It’s about fulfilling your duty as a human being to use your blessings to help bless others.”

M4W works with The Water Project, which also hosts the donations. (They’ll accept as little as $1, so go for it!) But the Model Beach Volleyball Tournament will also have an area dedicated to M4W, and additional Global Ambassadors will lend their image and connections to the cause in the future.

Until then, Heide says the dream is simple: “Water is one of the few things the body requires to live, and we don’t want access to clean water to be an issue or concern for anyone.”

Stay tuned for more updates about the exciting 2012 Ludus Athletics Model Beach Volleyball Tournament, an event FITNESS is proud to partner with!