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Colleen Travers

Jennie Garth on Giving Back, Weight Loss Secrets and Staying in Shape

Written on March 7, 2013 at 4:30 pm , by

No Jock Jams here! Jennie Garth listens to mellow music to stay in the zone during a sweat session. (Photo courtesy Lindt)

Have you ever walked into a Lindt store before? I had not, until this week when I went to go see actress Jennie Garth kick off the Lindt Gold Bunny Celebrity Auction to raise funds for Autism Speaks. Let me tell you, it is a deliciously terrifying place if you have a sweet tooth. The walls are covered with chocolate, not to mention the gold bunnies that basically spoke to you as soon as you walked in the door. (I swear one of them whispered to me that I could take all their chocolate ears and no one would care). But luckily, watching Garth sign her bunny and looking more in shape than ever was enough motivation to keep me from ransacking the walls. Below, Garth chats with us on her latest fitness routine, weight loss tricks and how she stays in shape.

What made you decide to get involved in the Lindt Gold Bunny Celebrity Auction this year?
I have three daughters and Easter is a big family time holiday for us. It’s also a valuable time to tell them about the importance of giving back, so partnering up with Lindt for this is just something I can really feel good about.

What’s your fitness routine like these days?
I’m really into hiking and jogging with my dog right now. I recently got a really big dog and he needs exercise all the time, so that is something that is new for me. I work out in a gym with a trainer two to three days a week on top of that. Read more

A New Way to Get Inspired to Race This Spring

Written on March 5, 2013 at 2:27 pm , by

Sign up for a race and help run the world–literally! (Photo courtesy Laura Doss)

Brr! It might be the first week of March, but it feels more like December. One way FITNESS editors stay motivated through the winter is to sign up for a spring race (or races, for that matter!). On top of beating our seasonal blues, a new campaign started by She’s the First, a not-for-profit that sponsors girls’ educations in developing nations has got us more fired up than ever.

From March 1 to June 30, sign up at shesthefirst.org/RunSTF and get placed on a virtual “Run the World” map and create an online fundraising page. Then, ask your friends and family to match your miles or minutes for your race (for example, $13.10 if you’re running the MORE/FITNESS Magazine Half-Marathon!). You can also connect to the She’s the First Trailblazers Facebook page, so you can cheer and be cheered on as you all train for your races and raise money for a good cause! Don’t want to go at it alone? Grab some friends and start a team, plus tweet your progress with the hashtag #RunSTF for some social support. Once you finish training for your marathon, half-marathon, or bevy of spring 5Ks, you’ll be able to check back at the site and see how much your training and charity efforts helped school-aged girls all around the world. Oh yeah, and your body will be beach-ready, too. That’s a win-win in our book!

More from FITNESS: Find a Race in Your Area to Sign Up For!

Olympic Gymnast McKayla Maroney on Getting Back Into the Gym and Finally Being Impressed

Written on March 1, 2013 at 1:57 pm , by

McKayla Maroney is back in the gym healthy, healed and has her eyes set on another Olympics!

Olympic gymnast McKayla Maroney might have been less than impressed with her vault silver medal at the 2012 Olympic Games, but her attitude these days is straight gold. I got the chance to chat with Maroney as she helped launch TEN, a line of 10 calorie sodas from the Dr. Pepper Snapple Group on the lessons she learned in London, recovering from injury and what she thinks about teammate Aly Raisman’s Dancing with the Stars announcement.

I love that the tagline for the TEN campaign is “McKayla is finally impressed.” Are you so sick of hearing about and seeing your not impressed face all over the Internet?

I wouldn’t say I am sick of it, but it definitely comes up in every topic with every person I talk to. It’s great that now I can turn it into something positive, and be impressed with TEN. My favorite out of the line is the Sunkist TEN; I have always loved orange soda so now I can enjoy it without all the sugar.

What are some of the lessons you learned from your time in London at the 2012 Summer Olympics?

The first thing I learned was how to deal with the media. I came to the Games and I had no media experience and I didn’t know how to take it all with a grain of salt. All of us on the team had our media issues, Gabby with her hair and then my face – so we had to learn how to let it roll off our backs. At the beginning it was hard, because I was just a gymnast. I was never famous, I was used to being in the gym eight hours a day and I never had anyone judging me because of my face, they were judging me on my gymnastics! Now I handle life way better and I’m actually happy that it happened because nothing hurts my feelings anymore. And since I want to get into acting I have to be ready for a lot more of that kind of attention. Read more

The Little Black Book of Healthy Restaurants

Written on February 28, 2013 at 10:25 am , by

Eating out just got a whole lot healthier. (Photo courtesy of Equinox)

Whether you’re an Equinox member or not, the gym just made finding a healthy spot to nosh at as easy as turning a page. That’s because they’ve teamed up with Zagat to create Zagat’s Dining Out. By Equinox. It’s a health-conscious Zagat guide highlighting restaurants located near the 58 Equinox locations in cities like New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Miami, Boston, Dallas and Washington, D.C. Stop by select Equinox shop locations and pick up your copy to start navigating the restaurants in your area.

The guide helps launch Equinox’s new nutrition philosophy, which consists of 12 pillars of healthy eating (you can read about them at q.equinox.com). We flipped through the book and quickly reached a verdict: We’ve got a lot of eating to do in 2013! And that’s just fine with us.

Zagat’s Dining Out. By Equinox. is available at 28 Equinox stores for $18.95.

 More from FITNESS: Eat Out and Still Lose Weight

Find Your Archetype, Reach Your Goal

Written on February 15, 2013 at 3:11 am , by

Picking a gym buddy is not an act of randomness. Chances are, your archetypes are drawn to each other! (Photo courtesy James Michelfelder and Therese Sommerseth)

Want to know what makes you tick? Just find your archetype and the rest will follow. It may sound like the name of a fancy artifact (or something out of Legends of the Hidden Temple–remember that TV gem?) but really, an archetype is your personality and behavior type. That’s what Caroline Myss describes in her new book, Archetypes: Who Are You? by establishing what kind of person you are–for example a Visionary, Caregiver, or my personal favorite, Queen. Myss will help you recognize your hidden strengths, potential weaknesses and help you get an all around understanding of you.

And for those of us who are sick of perusing the Internet to read a bunch of stuff that frankly, just doesn’t interest us, visit archetypeme.com to take a personality quiz and set up a profile on the site that will deliver content you actually care about. I took a stab at the quiz and discovered I am made up of 30 percent Athlete, 28 percent Fashionista, 23 percent Caregiver and 19 percent Other (I’m going to assume by “Other” they mean “Queen”). My page is full of health content, New York Fashion Week news and DIY at-home spa recipes–score! In addition to your site, which is updated daily, you can create a “Me” board, with anything you think is a representation of your archetype, or the archetype you strive to be. And for all of you resolution droppers, figuring out exactly how you tick might just be the thing that helps you pick up your healthy habits again for good.

Pick up Archetypes: Who Are You? for $15.61 on www.amazon.com (or download it to your Amazon Kindle for $11.99!). To take a personality quiz and start getting personalized content toward your archetype, visit www.archetypeme.com.

Now Tell Us: What kind of archetype do you consider yourself?

Some Sexy Stats to Keep in Mind for Valentine’s Day

Written on February 14, 2013 at 9:00 am , by

No one can see us, right? (Photo courtesy Chris Craymer/TrunkArchive.com)

By now you know that while, yes, sex is a lot of fun, it’s also a big part of keeping you healthy! To help celebrate Valentine’s Day today, Durex and British retailer Littlewoods conducted two sex surveys to see what people’s habits were and basically how you can get busy more. Some interesting tidbits below:

  • It might be time to skip the champagne and pick up some sheets instead. Littlewoods found that people who decorated their bedroom with purple bedding or furniture have sex 3.49 times each week, compared to the average 1.8 times each week of those with a gray bedroom decor. Sounds like a fun home improvement project for your next date night, right?
  • The bedroom is getting boring: Almost 75 percent of American adults have done the deed in an adventurous location.
  • Top spots that seem like a good idea in theory but never really work out include the shower (38 percent), backseat of a car (25 percent) and on a beach (21 percent).
  • When asked for the top dream destination for a sexy rendezvous, women answered the Eiffel Tower (33 percent) while men said the West Wing of the White House (31 percent)!

More from FITNESS: The Get It On Guide

14 Fit Couples We Heart

Written on February 11, 2013 at 2:35 pm , by

Seacrest and Hough stroll the streets for some extra calorie burn. (Photo courtesy JB Lacroix/WireImage)

Here at the FITNESS offices, we firmly believe that the couple who sweats together stays together. From the looks of it, Hollywood’s A-list agrees! Below, our favorite fit celebrity couples, keeping their bods and bonds hotter than ever:

1. Julianne Hough and Ryan Seacrest – Though their schedules couldn’t be more jam-packed, the pair still finds time to make good use of their time together. Recently spotted on vacation in St. Bart’s, the couple took to paddleboarding instead of the usual vacation itinerary of margarita drinking and sunbathing.

2. Blake Lively and Ryan Reynolds – These newlyweds have been hitting the gym together since their very early days of dating. Because if you were married to Ryan Reynolds, wouldn’t you be inspired to spend as much time together in spandex as possible?

3. Jenna Dewan-Tatum and Channing Tatum – Pregnancy isn’t going to slow down this girl. The celebs, who danced into each other’s hearts on the set of Step Up, are staying active during Dewan-Tatum’s pregnancy by kayaking and hiking with their dogs.

4. Rachel Weisz and Daniel Craig – Being Bond comes with the added pressure of being in secret service shape. Good thing Craig’s wife, Weisz, heads to the gym with him for support.

5. Camila Alves and Matthew McConaughey – The beach life suits these two well, as they make sure to take advantage of all their favorite outdoor activities together like surfing, hiking, and running.

6. Fergie and Josh Duhamel – It’s not all fun and games for this running duo. Duhamel has admitted in the past that Fergie is quite competitive when it comes to working out, making the pair squeak out one more mile or rep almost every time they sweat together.

7. Naomi Watts and Liev Schreiber - Known for squeezing in a run during breaks on set, Watts has been photographed a few times jogging ahead of Schreiber, leaving him to catch up. Who run the world? Girls!

8. Emily Blunt and John Krasinski - They hike. They gym it. They’re just plain adorable, right?

9. Vanessa Lachey and Nick Lachey -The new parents completed the Roselyn Sanchez Triathlon For Life in 2010…but now that they have a little bundle of joy, they’ve slowed things done a bit with regular walks toting their son.

10. Anna Paquin and Stephen Moyer – Catching these two working out together is almost as sexy as their vampire antics. They love to bike, hit the gym and even take a stab at outdoor gymnastic rings!

11. Rebecca Romijn and Jerry O’Connell – The Past FITNESS cover girl told us all about her hot yoga workout, so it’s no surprise that she and her hubby frequently do Bikram yoga together.

12. Reese Witherspoon and Jim Toth – Witherspoon is constantly snapped lacing up her sneaks and we’re so happy that she now has a forever running buddy with her agent-husband Jim Toth.

13. Jessica Biel and Justin Timberlake – By far one of the fittest couples out there, these two do it all: biking, hiking, running, surfing. We’re looking forward to see where their fitness feats take them as Mr. and Mrs.!

14. BFF SPOTLIGHT! Reese Witherspoon and Jennifer Garner – America’s sweethearts are battling their sweet tooth cravings together, helping each other lose the baby weight since the births of their children last year. They pair up for Pilates classes together and practice the buddy system when it comes getting back into pre-baby shape. P.S. – Extra credit to Reese for making our list twice!

More from FITNESS: The Hottest Celebrity Bodies of 2012

Scott Z. Burns Talks About the Research Behind Pharmaceutical Thriller Side Effects

Written on February 8, 2013 at 12:00 pm , by

A thriller with an important underlying message about society and meds. (Photo courtesy Open Road Films)

Looking for a good flick to watch this weekend? If you haven’t seen the previews already, Side Effects will be sure to leave you on the edge of your seat. Aside from being a total thriller, with a star-studded (and hunky!) cast with the likes of Rooney Mara, Channing Tatum, Jude Law and Catherine Zeta-Jones, the film hits on a very sensitive topic–the effects of prescription drugs and misuse of them in our society today. We got the chance to chat with Scott Z. Burns, the writer of the film to get his inspiration behind this concept, and the research he did to get a glimpse into the pharmacology world. And we promise, we won’t give any spoilers away!

How did you come up with the idea to write a script based around this concept?

A long time ago I worked on a TV show called Wonderland, and we did a lot of our research at Bellevue Hospital in New York City. I spent months following around a forensic psychologist and I got really interested in their world and the intersection between mental illness, pharma-psychology and the pharmaceutical industry.

What was the research like for this film? Anything you found in particular that really surprised you?

Once I started researching at the hospital I realized what a philosophical tangle we get into when we start discussing things like evil and whether someone is really conscious about their behavior if they are medicated. When I was at Bellevue I followed the case of the Subway Pusher, a man named Andrew Goldstein who pushed a woman on to the subway tracks in 1999, and his lawyers argued that he was suffering a psychotic episode from not taking his medication. I was allowed to follow his case, and seeing him medicated and not medicated was truly profound. It made me think: If you medicate someone so they are no longer a danger to society, are they still guilty?

What did you want the film to say about the way society uses medications to treat mental illnesses?

First, I wanted to movie to be a thriller, and give the viewer a rollercoaster ride above all. But my conclusion after eight years of research is that it is not as simple as saying pharmaceutical companies and medication is bad, because they do help a huge number of people every year. Yet as a society we are constantly overprescribed and prescribed incorrectly. But it’s not as simple as saying that we are overprescribed because of pharmeucital companies, there are so many factors. Drug companies run ads that people constantly see and psychiatrists are under pressure by patients to fix them and then the patients have a responsibility in all this as well. They see these ads and hear of their friends taking a certain medication and just assume they should be on it too, so they tell their doctor to give it to them. I think a lot of the time the symptom is getting treated instead of the underlying issue.

You filmed some scenes in the Manhattan Psychiatric Center. What was that like?

It was really disturbing. There are people in there who are trapped already in their own psychological torment that on top of that are locked away. I don’t think it’s as bad as prison, but I think they both are there own versions of hell.

You had an on-set adviser for the film, Dr. Sasha Bardey. What was his job on set?

I met Dr. Bardey 10 years ago when I went to Bellevue and I will never forget this. I was sitting in his office when an intern came in and said, “There is a vampire here, do you want to see him?” And he just replied, “Oh sure, let’s go meet him.” It turned out to be a guy who the police brought in because he was in Central Park scaring people by telling them he was a vampire. He also treated Andrew Goldstein, so he has a vast experience of all sorts. I stayed in touch with him and he advised me in terms of all the pharma-psychology, forensics, what not guilty be reason of insanity plea means and the very sophisticated notion we have in this country of mens rea, which basically means an act is only considered guilty if the mind is also guilty, and that you can only be guilty if you are conscious of your actions. His livelihood involves him going to court and talking about people who commit crimes, so he really helped in the accuracy department. He also worked with Jude Law on how a psychiatrist would have a therapeutic relationship with someone who is depressed like Rooney Mara’s character and also with Rooney on how a depressed person works and acts.

Side Effects is in theaters now. For a list of locations near you, visit fandango.com.

Getting Hitched? Here’s Your Bridal Body Breakdown

Written on February 8, 2013 at 10:00 am , by

Here comes the (totally toned) bride! (Photo courtesy Jupiter Images)

It’s no wonder February is considered the month of love. According to the National Association of Bridal Consultants, it is also officially National Wedding Month–due to the number of couples who start planning for the big day. And with an estimated one million couples who got engaged over the holidays, you might be one of them! If you’re planning a summer wedding, check out this move of the month plan from Stephanie Walker and Sarah Ashenden, personal trainers from Fitness Formula Clubs, located in Chicago. To start, they recommend strength training for 30 minutes twice a week along with 30 minutes of cardio 3-5 days per week. Get started with the first move below and then add on a different exercise each month.

February: Triceps Dip

Since you’ll be standing with your back to all your guests for your ceremony, you want the back of your arms to look sleek and toned. Sit on a weight bench with legs slightly bent, feet flat on floor. Place hands on bench by thighs and press palms into the bench to lift your butt. Slide your butt off edge and bend elbows to drop hips 3 inches from floor. Straighten arms and slide hips back without sitting down. Repeat 8 to 10 times for 3 reps. Read more

Forget the Fiscal Cliff, Be Wary of the Fitness Cliff

Written on February 7, 2013 at 9:02 am , by

Monitor your resolution progress in strength, not what the scale says. (Photo courtesy Alexa Miller)

The Fiscal Cliff may have come and gone, but according to Gold’s Gym, February 7 is considered to be the “Fitness Cliff”–the day those New Year Resolutions start to go astray and goals slowly start heading toward the back burner.

Gold’s studied check-in patterns at gym locations around the country over a three-year period to establish this cliff. After the initial gym craze around January 1, they noticed a gradual decline in check-ins beginning January 30, with the biggest drop happening on February 7. To help keep you from falling off the edge, Dr. Belisa Vranich, author and clinical psychologist created these five warning signs that your resolutions may be slipping:

  1. You suddenly find yourself too busy to get to the gym as often as when you first started.
  2. You’re getting angry that the effort you’re making to work out and eat healthy aren’t equaling the results you’d like to see in the mirror.
  3. You find yourself less motivated and begin to wonder why you made this goal in the first place.
  4. You slowly start to ease back into old patterns, trading treadmill time for the TV and in caving into your usual guilty pleasures.
  5. You start arguing with yourself that you don’t really need to change, convincing yourself that you’ll make a better effort next year.

Do one or more of these points sound like you? Get back on track with these tips from Gold’s Gym Fitness Institute expert and celebrity trainer Mike Ryan: Read more