Written on November 22, 2013 at 12:56 pm , by Christie Griffin
Paige used the month of October in Japan to raise money for the Colorado flood relief efforts of the American Red Cross. The Red Cross responded immediately to the September flash floods that claimed over 17,000 homes along the Front Range with rescue, food, shelter, care, and comfort for those who suffered severe damage. Help Paige raise $10,000 for the American Red Cross at http://www.crowdrise.com/leadnowtourcolorado. Donate $27 or more and you’ll be entered into a monthly raffle to win a Marmot tent!
By Paige Claassen
Imagine you’re unable to distinguish between a restaurant and a bank when walking down the street. Going to the grocery store is a three hour event. A busy city street full of people is completely silent. This is Japan, one of the most unique and fascinating countries I’ve ever visited.
‘Organized chaos’ is the only way to truly describe Japan. From the outside, Japan seems cluttered, frantic, and hectic. But focus in and you’ll find perfect order and tidiness. At first, I found Japan intimidating in it’s lack of familiarity. But after a bit of acquaintance, I fell in love with this country, aptly known as the Land of the Rising Sun. Everything is sunny in Japan, except the weather.
I visited Japan in October and encountered an unusually late typhoon season. While my objective was to rock climb, I was forced out of the mountains by torrential rains, a small earthquake, and the threat of tsunamis.
Perhaps this interruption in my plans was a blessing in disguise, as it allowed me to dive into the Japanese culture. Here’s what I discovered:
- My new favorite foods: Okonomiyaki (the Japanese pancake, which is nothing like a pancake) and sashimi fresh off the boat, which melts in your mouth like butter. Japan also grows amazing fruits. My favorites were Fuji apples and Asian pears.
- Bowing: To thank one another, or even to greet or bid farewell, the Japanese people bow. As a foreigner, I found this incredibly convenient, because even when I couldn’t express my gratitude in words, I could smile and bow.
- Cleanliness: Feeling under the weather? The Japanese wear face masks when feeling ill to prevent the spread of germs out of respect for those around them. Hand rails in public areas are sterilized throughout the day. As a result of this respect for health, I found I could eat nearly anything in Japan. Unrecognizable seafood, street food, and nearly raw eggs served on top of most meals – no problem.
- Prices: I had always heard Japan was incredibly expensive. In general, I found prices comparable with the US. The few things that will empty your wallet are toll roads, gasoline, and fruit (expect to pay $50 for a cantaloupe and $3 for one apple). On the other hand, I regularly paid $5-$10 for a full meal of sushi at the popular conveyor belt restaurants.
- 7-Eleven convenience stores: 14,000 7-Eleven stores throughout Japan are open 24 hours a day and provide cheap meals on the go, prepared daily. For a quick, inexpensive, and tasty lunch, this is your stop.
I hope these tips help you navigate Japan. While overwhelming at first, I think Japan might actually be a more comfortable and convenient vacation option than Europe. Try it out for yourself!
To get involved and donate online to help the Colorado Flood Recovery efforts, visit leadnowtourcoloradoflood.
Check back next month for a video and update about Location #5. And stay tuned for the video of Paige’s time in Japan! FitnessMagazine.com, with thanks to Marmot and Louder Than 11, will have the first-look exclusive video .
Related: Lead Now Tour Main Page
Written on August 23, 2013 at 12:36 pm , by Christie Griffin
Written on August 21, 2013 at 3:55 pm , by Christie Griffin
When you’re traveling or in-between gym memberships, what do you do? Sign up for the free three-day membership? Pay $30 for a single barre class? If you’re like me, probably not. Which is why I just about jumped out of my chair in glee when I read this article about an Australian app that’s going to go global, sooner rather than later.
The FitUsIn app, founded by Vanessa Picker, will allow users to book gym visits at the last minute—without having to meet with a gym representative, sign a contract, etc. I’ve always been a big fan of Lifebooker, the site/app that lets me make discounted beauty appointments, usually at the last minute. So, I have high hopes for FitUsIn.
And Vanessa isn’t just a fitness fanatic who wants to work out wherever she goes—she co-founded Play Forward, which help bring organized sports to children in need. She’s even a fellow for The Resolution Project, a nonprofit that empowers young entrepreneurs.
(Related: Want to run the 4-Mile NYRR race in NYC on Sept. 7? You can be a part of the Resolution Runs team, which means your involvement will go directly to supporting the fellows, including Vanessa. Get details here on Facebook, at @ResolutionProj on Twitter, or send a note to info [at] resolutionproject [dot] org.)
You heard it here first, FITNESS friends. Vanessa, we’re waiting!
Written on July 19, 2013 at 3:19 pm , by Christie Griffin
A friend of FITNESS for several years, Dr. Chris Mohr is always up for doling out helpful nutrition advice. When he recently swung by the office, he was even telling us about a new probiotic for cholesterol. Still a little confused on what probiotics are and why you should care? Listen in as Chris explains.
Want more? Read up on probiotics here:
Written on July 18, 2013 at 10:52 am , by Christie Griffin
Whenever we ask you about your favorite apps, MyFitnessPal is always a popular response. The company has been helping people get and/or stay in shape since 2005, and they hit a huge milestone this week: The MyFitnessPal users have lost a total of 100 million pounds over the years! That’s amazing! Check out the awesome infographic from MyFitnessPal for more fun stats.
BONUS: Scroll down to the bottom of this post to hear Mike Lee, the Co-Founder, tell his story about why he created the app. (Spoiler: It’s a cute love story!)
BONUS: How MyFitnessPal Got Started Video:
Categories: Fitness, Health, Healthy Eating, Motivation, Nutrition, The Fit Stop, Weight Loss | Tags: apps, best f itness apps, fitness app, health apps, iphone apps, lose weight, myfitnesspal, weight loss tools
Written on June 3, 2013 at 2:15 pm , by Christie Griffin
If you thought the buzz about the London Olympics ended last summer, we have news for you: There’s a brand-new sports documentary that chronicles the journey of 12 first-time Olympians, including Americans Missy Franklin and John Orozco. Aptly titled “FIRST: The Official Film of the London 2012 Olympics” the two-hour film is a real treat for anyone who enjoys the emotional personal stories, montages set to killer soundtracks, and gripping recaps that accompany the Olympics. Last Thursday, select theaters screened the film, but you can watch it on NBC on July 27 or buy the DVD here.
During the Olympic Games in London, Caroline Rowland—the film’s director and the Executive Creative Director of New Moon—was granted special access to exclusive areas by the International Olympic Committee. Here she shares some behind-the-scenes insights into her behind-the-scenes film.
Why do this film now, instead of four or eight years ago? What makes this the right time to film and release FIRST?
CR: Throughout the history of the modern Olympic Games, each Games has been immortalized on film. But the London 2012 Olympic Games made a specific commitment to inspiring a generation—so it’s fitting that FIRST focuses on young people and their transition into adulthood through their experience of being an elite athlete at their first Olympic Games.
What were some of the biggest challenges in creating/filming FIRST?
CR: It’s always challenging to film at major sporting events, but the challenges of creating a feature film—using the technology and approach that would typically be used in a more controlled environment— certainly kept the entire production team on their toes! Between 26 sports, 10,500 athletes, hundreds of thousands of spectators, and unpredictable outcomes…it was all challenging. But at the heart of it were 12 superstars who kept us all immersed in the experience and we were able to confront everything that was thrown at us.
What were your favorite parts in creating/filming FIRST?
CR: Having the opportunity to be at the London 2012 Olympic Games for 17 days, 17 hours a day, at the heart of the action was unforgettable. I fell a little in love with every one of the athletes featured in FIRST. Getting to know them ahead of their events meant that I had a very special interest in their performances.
What do you think this film means for the athletes in it, as well as other Olympians?
CR: Several of the athletes in the film have commented on how the film has given them a prism through which to see their own Olympic experience, after they emerged from the most heady and defining experience of their young lives. FIRST is the sort of story that any athlete—amateur or professional—can relate to. It is about triumph and adversity and the very human experience of being vulnerable in the face of unseen forces.
What’s the one takeaway you hope the audience will get, upon watching the film?
CR: I hope that FIRST is an uplifting, inspirational film that reaffirms all the things that make it incredible to be human—and specifically, an athlete.
FITNESS had a chance to screen the film and we loved it! So make sure to tune in on July 27…and in the meantime, we’re going to try and hunt down some of the songs from the fab soundtrack! For more info, like /OlympicsFilm on Facebook.
Written on March 29, 2013 at 11:10 am , by Christie Griffin
To celebrate 10 incredible years of the More® Magazine/Fitness® Magazine Women’s Half-Marathon, we’re honoring Women who Run the World—fearless game-changers who’ve paved the way for women over the last decade. These leaders will no doubt inspire you to run faster, train harder and work smarter.
From a U.S. Congressman to the CEO of Girl Scouts USA to a co-host from “The View,” these women are changing the face of business, education, women’s health, sports, and more. We’re thrilled to welcome these leaders to the biggest women’s-only half-marathon in the country!
As you train for your 13.1 mile journey, we want to know: Who inspires you to “run the world”? Let us know in the comments below, on our Facebook, or through Twitter. (Please us the hashtag #womenruntheworld.)
Written on January 22, 2013 at 4:42 pm , by Christie Griffin
Glamorous gowns, toned bodies, and serious accomplishments. No, we’re not talking about Hollywood’s awards season—we’re talking about pageant season, people! Why you should care: Based on the 2,000+ entries we received for our 2012 Face of Fitness Contest that required essays about your accomplishments, some of you married ladies very well could be contenders for a crown someday.
Curious about the Mrs. America pageant, we chatted it up with Raquel Riley Thomas, a stunning military officer turned pageant queen. Not only is she the Executive Producer/Director for the Mrs. DC America pageant, a preliminary qualifier for Mrs. America, but she is also Mrs. Maryland America 2010-11 and Mrs. American (1st RU) 2010-11. Her accolades would take up this entire post, so we’ll have to skip right to her insights about competing.
On the difference between Miss America and Mrs. America:
The Mrs. DC team likes to say, “Marriage has never looked so good,” but just like the unmarried-girls version, this is not a beauty pageant. It’s a whole package deal. The difference is that instead of a med student standing to your left, she’s a doctor now. And on your right is an attorney. Mrs. America is like the Superbowl of married women.
On competing at the state level:
I can’t speak for the other states, but the reputation of the women in Mrs. DC are that they are the crème de la crème. Not only are they very fit, but they are accomplished in their fields and honorable about their causes. We even have a diplomat in this year’s competition!
On her experience of going from military boots to bikinis:
I love the glitz and glamour, but the service to the community is still there. I just get to do it in heels and beautiful outfits now! Running the Mrs. DC pageant gives me the chance to put a spotlight on some amazing women and say, ‘Thank you for all the hard work you do for the community.”
On her fitness advice for potential competitors:
You have to be really disciplined. Once you have the fitness down, everything else falls into place.
So get to it, readers! We want to throw some roses at you.
Written on August 13, 2012 at 2:35 pm , by Christie Griffin
For the past couple of weeks, you could say there were two groups of people: Those who watched the Olympics and those who followed the Olympics. Not all watchers were followers, but it’s safe to say most followers were probably watchers as well. And while some of the followers may have been bored (or irate) by the tape delays that aired on NBC prime time, they still had front row seats to some unprecedented online action. Even if you weren’t on nbcolympics.com trying to catch the live streams, it was impossible to miss the amazing shenanigans happening all over the web.
Just a few favorites:
And then there was Twitter. If you’re like us and wanted to truly participate in the play-by-plays, it was probably your go-to spot. There were more than 150 million (!) Twitter conversations about the Olympics since the Opening Ceremonies. There were more than 2 million tweets about Gabby Douglas, as well as Ryan Lochte, and it wasn’t uncommon to see celebrities tweeting at Olympians or about them:
So. While it’s lovely that NBC broke their ratings – averaging 31+ million watchers each night — we kinda expected that, especially if you’re getting a ton of free, user-generated promotion around one of the most beloved events in the world. What’s genuinely exciting is that this year’s overall activity by outlets, spectators, and athletes was just a taste of what’s to come. By 2016, there will be even more followers instead of basic watchers, and coverage of the Olympics will be more integrated (rather than trying to straddle both old school TV practices and new media trends). As a digital director at a fitness magazine, I’m pretty pumped for 2016. I’m thinking 2012 was just a warm-up!
But until then: Thank you, Internet, for making these Olympic Games so ridiculously fun.
Written on August 1, 2012 at 10:27 am , by Christie Griffin
“Faster, Higher, Stronger.” “Faster, Higher, Sarah Robles.” Because if you want a synonym for “stronger,” look no farther than the 23 year-old U.S. weightlifter.
It’s not just that she’s technically the strongest woman in our country—Robles will compete for her place on the international podium on August 5th—but it’s the other challenges that have shown the world just how mentally tough this girl is. In the weeks leading up the Games, many of us learned about her financial struggles…and were thrilled to see the online community cheer her on.
But no amount of money, medals, or media attention changes the fact that the 5’10”, 275-pound, 23 year-old has had to overcome a few body issues. On behalf of every woman in America, I’m just gonna go ahead and say that’s where I think her most enduring, admirable strength truly lies. Here, a few questions and answers with the Olympian.
FITNESS: How did your life change when you began accepting your shape and body type?
SARAH ROBLES: My life changed for the better when I decided to be okay with who I am. I knew I wasn’t going to change, nor really could do much about it anyway. I cared more about being the best athlete. It didn’t matter what my body looked like, it mattered more to me how it performed.
FITNESS: What are your best confidence-boosting tips for other women?
SARAH ROBLES: First, stop caring about what other people think. They probably aren’t thinking what you think they are, and most likely, you’ll never see them again.
Next, surround yourself with positive people. Negativity is sticky. It sticks to you and is hard to get rid of. Once you do (find those positive people), you will feel clean, happy, and free!
Lastly, do things you really love or try new things. You never know what you can be good at unless you try. When you learn new skills or further develop the ones you have, you will be more confident.
FITNESS: Which athletes or celebrities do you relate to the most? On a related note, who are your role models? Read more