Written on December 9, 2013 at 9:32 am , by Colleen Moody
Winter is my favorite time to get out of New York City. I can handle the scorching heat in the summer when every trip down into the subway feels like you might melt right there on the platform, but once the Starbucks Christmas cups come out (which oddly gets earlier and earlier every year) that’s my cue to book a vacation somewhere bright and sunny. If you feel similar, I’ve got just the place– The BodyHoliday LeSport in St. Lucia. Here’s why:
It takes all-inclusive to a different level. I’ve been to my fair share of all-inclusive resorts, but The BodyHoliday LeSport really ups the ante. Staying at the resort gives you access not only to the gorgeous beach, restaurants and fruity cocktails galore, but you’ll also have free reign over exercise classes, water sports, guided hikes, bike tours, group runs and tons more on any given day. Upon check-in, you are actually given an activities booklet that lists everything going on day and night during your visit. Oh, and also included in the all-inclusive is a spa treatment of your choice. Every. Single. Day.
You can pick your own adventure.The BodyHoliday LeSport has an island motto. “Give us your body for a week, we’ll give you your mind.” Seems simple enough, right? This is the type of place where you can have a healthy getaway – from 6 a.m. yoga classes to afternoon paddleboarding – or not. You can snooze on the beach from sunrise to sunset and no intimidating boot camp instructor is going to come rip your towel up from under you to make you get to class. You can even tailor your vacation based on one of the resort’s specialty programs. I visited in October, during Octoba Yoga – so the activity roster was beefed up with different yoga and stretching classes. If yoga’s not your thing, though, check out the resort’s other monthly offerings, like a month focused on dancing and even a singles month – where single travelers are invited to stay for a lower rate to meet, mingle and melt!
It’s OK to travel solo any time you want. While the resort does have a special promotional month for single travelers, you don’t have to wait until then to hop on a flight. As a single traveler myself, I found all of the activities totally fine for one person to do alone (without getting weird, sad stares) and at night a communal dining table was provided to eat with the fitness instructors (appropriately called Bodyguards) and resort staff so you wouldn’t have to dine solo. Plus, when you are surrounded by sun, sand and blue sparkly water, everyone always seems to be in a good mood.
There’s so much more the resort and the island has to offer (not surprisingly, it also made our list of Honeymoon Destinations for a Fit Vacation), so to start your own mind and body getaway check out www.thebodyholiday.com.
Written on November 18, 2013 at 10:11 am , by Colleen Moody
The Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics are a few mere months away and if you couldn’t tell already we can’t wait. This is around the time we start getting super nosy when it comes to the athletes preparing for the game. What are they wearing? What’s their training like? What are they eating? How are they getting pumped up to make the team? To answer the last one, three-time Olympian of the women’s ice hockey team Julie Chu has a simple answer: Music! Below, check out her playlist she listens to for everything from strength and conditioning training to bringing it on the ice. Her other workout secret weapon? Team up, obviously. “Being a team sport athlete, I have learned the value of working out with others,” Chu says. “Have someone that will push you and keep you accountable. If you don’t have someone specific to workout with, then join a local gym and take part in different classes. It’s amazing how we can feed off of other people’s energy around us.”
For those days when you’re sweating solo, plug in to these tunes and just imagine Chu crunching on the mat next to you.
Written on November 15, 2013 at 9:14 am , by Colleen Moody
It seems the sport of bobsledding has a way of tempting track stars to come over to the icy side. Lolo Jones recently made the switch to try to qualify for the 2014 Olympics, but she wasn’t the first track star to trade in her sneakers for snow. Jazmine Fenlator, who is currently ranked eighth in the world after winning two silvers and a bronze during last year’s World Cup circuit, was a former track athlete from Rider University who made the switch to bobsledding after her coach mentioned that she should give it a shot. Below, she talks about her experiences with the sport so far, and what she’s looking forward to in 2014 on behalf of Team Liberty Mutual.
What was something that surprised you about bobsledding when you first got started in the sport?
Definitely how hard it is to push a 400lb. sled! I’m used to the shot put or throwing around a max of 25lb. weights or lifting in the weight room. But learning how to be explosive and fast while not letting go (because I then have to hop into the sled) was a real challenge.
Lolo Jones has been making some press about her big change in diet – do you have any crazy eating habits you have to keep up for the sport?
I am a lot heavier than Lolo, so contrary to her diet I am on a pretty strict plan. I’m gluten, dairy and sugar-free. I eat very clean and timely and have certain eating strategies for each training day, so sadly our diets are not the same!
Many people are familiar with the Night Train, the U.S. men’s team from the 2010 Olympics. If you qualify – will you name your bobsled? Is this a tradition for your sport?
Yes – it’s actually a tradition to name your bobsled! The women name their bobsleds and if it won a medal the name stays with it. The sled I was driving at the last Games won a bronze medal, so that name will stick with it. I’m looking into names right now for my new BMW sled and looking for an inspirational and meaningful English term that I can translate into Russian. I have a list of ten that I’m going to narrow down to three and have my fans help me decide.
Fenlator also spoke to the U.S. Bobsled and Skeleton Federation about Hurricane Irene, where her family lost their home due to flooding days before she competed in the World Cup. Watch below to see how she was able to compete during tragedy.
Written on October 30, 2013 at 9:50 am , by Colleen Moody
We know, you barely have time to brush your hair in the morning let alone figure out when to get a flu shot. But these stats released from the Walgreens Flu Report might have you moving some things around on your schedule this year. Check out a few below:
- Last year 11 million vacations were missed (bummer!), a big jump from 4.7 million in 2011.
- U.S. employees missed, on average, three days of work from a flu-related illness in 2012-2013, up from just one day in 2010-2011.
- 17 million holiday events were missed, compared to 4.7 million in 2011.
- Hot date? Approximately 13.8 million dates or other occasions were canceled because of the flu–up from 5.1 million in 2011.
Talk about a buzzkill to your social life! And don’t put off your flu shot until November or later. Survey results show that 79 percent of Americans think it takes ten days or less for your body to build up its immunity after getting a flu shot, but it can actually take up to 14 days. Find a Walgreens pharmacy here to schedule your flu shot, because no one wants to bag an island getaway in the dead of winter.
More from FITNESS: How to Avoid Sneaky Cold Culprits
Written on October 1, 2013 at 9:00 am , by Colleen Moody
Celebrities are constantly scrutinized for their looks, but add a pregnancy to the mix and the heat is really on. With the abundance of celebrity cherubs being born this year, here’s our rundown of the best A-list post-baby bodies from this year and years past. In a world of juice cleanses, fasting and paparazzi pressure to return to pre-baby weight in warp speed, these ladies got slim and strong all while keeping their sanity about their newfound curves.
1. Kristen Bell: The new mom to baby girl Lincoln has dropped 28 pounds since giving birth in March, by eating healthy and doing the Bar Method. But she’s doing it on her terms and in her own good time, declaring recently that she’s a woman whose self-worth cannot be determined by her size. “I’m proud to sit out of the baby weight rat race,” she tweeted this past summer. “I like my Lincoln Leftovers because they’re proof I did something extraordinary.”
2. Claire Danes: She stunned at the 2013 Golden Globes when she showed up in amazing shape just one month after giving birth to her son Cyrus. Though she joked to the pressroom that she was very strapped into her Versace gown, she credited being on her feet for a majority of her pregnancy while taping Homeland a big factor in not gaining too much weight to begin with.
3. Reese Witherspoon: With three kids under her belt, it’s clear Witherspoon has the winning formula to taking off the baby weight. As a frequent runner pre-pregnancy, she’s been saving time and slashing calories by jogging with friends and having gym dates with hubby Jim Toth. Though she knows there is no one easy fix, as she said after the birth of son Tennessee James in September 2012 that “you just have to be gentle and patient with yourself and just sort of you know…slowly get back to your health.”
4. Drew Barrymore: She admitted to gaining 40 pounds during her pregnancy with daughter Olive as well as giving in to cravings like cheeseburgers and ice cream. After enlisting the help of nutritionist-friend Kimberly Snyder, she’s shedding the weight by eating lots of whole foods, vegetables and making her own green smoothies at home, but said in an interview that when it comes to deciding between spending time at the gym or with her daughter, the gym will always lose. “We live in a society where everyone’s like, ‘Look at how amazing she looks two weeks out.’ I don’t want to be on that hamster wheel; that’s hell.”
Read more for the full list!
Written on September 23, 2013 at 10:34 am , by Colleen Moody
Not to be pessimistic, but when it comes to Americans, our glasses are half-empty these days–literally. According to the Center for Disease Control, an estimated 43 percent of adults drink less than four cups of water a day and 7 percent drink no water at all. That’s why earlier this month FLOTUS Michelle Obama launched her Drink Up initiative to get people drinking more water and less of the sugary stuff. To get some tips on how to increase your water intake we chatted with Dr. Jenna Bell, RD. Follow her tips below and follow in the FLOTUS’ adequately hydrated footsteps:
- Jazz it up: Not one to drink boring old tap water? Try a water enhancer like Stur, sweetened with stevia, so there’s no added calories or sugar. The coloring from each flavor comes from vegetable juice and you can control how much want in your glass with a simple squeeze.
- Do as Diane Sawyer does: “She puts a glass of water by her bed and drinks it every morning when she wakes up, so now I do too,” says Bell. “If you’re going to take advice from anyone, take it from her because it’s clearly working!”
- Carry a water bottle: This isn’t exactly breaking news, but it is the easiest way to keep drinking as the day goes on. Buy a reusable bottle like S’well, who is partnering with Drink Up with a limited edition bottle that gives 10 percent of proceeds back to the foundation.
- Start meals with water: “A study in 2010 out of Virginia Tech looked at whether or not drinking water before a meal effects what we eat and weight loss. They found that two glasses of water before a meal helped shed weight and made participants eat less because water fills up your stomach,” says Bell.
- Order water every time you order a beverage: Coffee? Get water. Wine? Get water. Not only will you stay hydrated, you’ll probably fend off a hangover in the process.
Now tell us: What tricks do you use to drink more water?
Written on September 10, 2013 at 10:12 am , by Colleen Moody
Maybe it’s the slew of emails and pitches editors get a day, but lately it seems like everyone is an expert at something. That’s far from the case, says Paul Juris, ED. D., executive director of the Cybex Research Institute. Even if the person is certified, there are some critical checkpoints you should look out for when choosing a trainer for your own fitness goals. See what he has to say below.
Oh, and did we mention that Juris used to be the strength coach for the Dallas Mavericks? If there is anyone who knows a thing or two about using personal training to reach your goals, it’s him!
More from FITNESS: What’s Your Fitness Motivation?
Written on August 27, 2013 at 12:02 pm , by Colleen Moody
Whether you’re a mom who is getting ready for the influx of germs your child is about to bring home as they go back to school or are just stocking up on hand sanitizer for the office this fall, one thing is definite–cold season is creeping up on us. We got the chance to chat with NYC Ear, Nose and Throat specialist Anthony Jahn, MD on behalf of Ocean Saline Nasal Care on how to stay cold-free this season and were shocked at this scary stat he shared with us on how long it takes for you to catch a cold once you’ve been sneezed on, which is the primary way you catch a cold. Watch below:
So from the time someone sneezes on you, or even near you (sneeze droplets can travel much farther than you would think!) it only takes 15 minutes for that cold germ to travel from the front of your nose to the back of your throat. Dr. Jahn also said that the average cold lasts anywhere from seven to ten days – that’s a long time to be sick! You won’t show symptoms for about ten hours, meaning you could spread a cold to your friends or family and not even know it. Bummer.
To skip the sick days this year, use a saline solution like Ocean Saline Nasal Spray to keep your nose moist (and therefore clear of any germs), take vitamin C and zinc and most importantly, steer clear of any sneezy coworkers until their symptoms clear up. Here’s to a happy, healthy fall!
More from FITNESS: Sneaky Cold Culprits and How to Boost Your Immunity
Written on July 31, 2013 at 10:22 am , by Colleen Moody
I’m in the early weeks of training for the ING NYC Marathon in November, but my go-to playlist is already getting a little stale during those long weekend runs. Enter Slacker, a music service you can listen to and personalize on any device. The free subscription allows you to create and listen to stations ranging anywhere from Top 40 tunes to DJ-customized ones that are updated weekly. Slacker also has two subscription levels for even more music. The first allows you to have unlimited skips and the ability to download radio stations for $3.99/month. For $9.99/month you can create your own playlists, listen to full albums (aka never have to buy music again) and–my favorite part–download your own playlist or one that’s already made right to your device. You mean I never have to scroll through my music library and piece together a playlist again? Sold.
To sign up for Slacker visit www.slacker.com. Looking for a playlist boost of your own? Below, Slacker’s in-house music guru DJ Parker shares her favorite new songs that are perfect to work up a sweat to.
Written on July 22, 2013 at 1:09 pm , by Colleen Moody
Can you imagine working out nine hours a day? Me neither. But that’s what professional ballerinas do Monday through Friday, in addition to strength training, conditioning and technique workshops. Whoa. We got a glimpse of the life of a dancer in the first season of Breaking Pointe, a reality series that follows a group of dancers at Ballet West, a professional ballet company in Salt Lake City, Utah. To kick off the start of the second season on the CW, we chatted with Allison DeBona, one of the dancers featured on the show about what it takes to become a professional dancer and what putting your life on TV is really like.
How did you get started dancing?
When I was three years old, my mom put me in gymnastics and dancing. I gravitated more toward dancing and that was that!
Was there ever a point that you got sick of it?
Yes, I actually quit for a while from 8th grade until junior year of high school.
Wow, that’s a big gap. How did you get back into the scene?
I had always loved ballet and the reasons I walked away from it wasn’t because I didn’t like it, I just had a lot of other stuff going on at that moment. When I went back I was just really determined. I did go to college though–most ballet dancers who try to go professional do it right after high school. My parents and I discussed it and we thought it was best if I went to college since I had taken so much time off. I went to Indiana University and they have a ballet program so I worked hard there and then got a job at 24 years old at Ballet West, which is pretty late age-wise for a ballerina. Read more