Welcome! Log In | Register

FITNESS Intern

Get Your Sweat On with the New and Improved Nike+ Training Club App

Written on January 7, 2014 at 10:38 am , by

Say goodbye to stale workouts! Nike+ Training Club keeps your mind and body guessing so you’ll be in tip-top shape in no time. (Photo courtesy of Nike+ Training Club)

Written by Alena Hall, editorial intern

If one of your New Year resolutions is to get lean, toned or strong (and let’s face it, that includes most of us), then it’s about time you download the updated version of the Nike+ Training Club app. We liked it so much that we included it on our must-have list for maintaining a fit lifestyle in the February issue (along with 17 other free apps we’re obsessed with – so grab your copy stat!).

The new version allows you to work through four-week exercise programs guided by a virtual personal trainer in your pocket. It translates your fitness level, exercise preferences and goals into workouts that motivate you to sweat (even on the days you don’t want to) and whip you into shape with varied routines.

If you’re not feeling the four-week design, you can also customize sweat sessions and download individual workouts from a library of more than 100 different routines. One of our faves: tennis superstar Maria Sharapova’s 15-minute New Year’s Crush Workout, which was designed by her strength and conditioning coach Yutaka Nakamura and added to the library last week.

And if you come across moves in a workout that you’re not a fan of, no sweat! The app lets you swap them out for ones you love to keep things tough and interesting. It also provides a data storage option that only holds onto the workouts you’ve designed or downloaded, making it lighter and faster than the previous version. Available for iPhone and Android phones, the app seamlessly connects with the Nike+ Running and Nike Fuel programs to make data measuring an afterthought. Now if that’s not motivation to get working on your 2014 sweat resolution, we don’t know what is. Happy downloading!

More from FITNESS:

Runners: Pump Up Your Power with RUN STRONG and Ultra-Marathoner Robin Arzon

Written on January 6, 2014 at 3:07 pm , by

Strength is power, ladies. Want to scale those hills on race day without losing steam? You know what to do. (Photo courtesy of Fred Goris)

Written by Alena Hall, editorial intern

Fit moms, triathletes, power lifters and gym-goers looking for functional training have all benefited from the recent surge of small group workout classes tailored specifically to their goals and needs. And now, it’s the runner’s turn! Ultra-marathoner Robin Arzon knows first-hand about the proper training regimen required for a powerful runner. She’s also aware that plenty of people pounding the pavement aren’t always getting what they need. That’s why she teamed with celebrity trainer and founder of the new, New York-based S10 Training club, Stephen Cheuk, to create RUN STRONG, a series of strength and conditioning classes designed with the runner in mind.

Now you might be thinking, running only requires being in good cardiovascular shape and a little leg muscle to keep moving, right? Not quite. Core, quad and glute strength is critical for any runner looking to cover substantial distance with power and protect the body from injury at the same time.

“Too many runners can’t even do a single push-up. That’s about to change,” says Arzon, who recently ran five marathons in five days for MS Run the US. “RUN STRONG is about challenging a runner’s body with weight-bearing exercises that don’t add bulk, and VO2 Max drills that can’t even be replicated on the track.”

As the spring race season approaches, there is no better time to take your training to the next level (especially if you’re giving the More/Fitness Women’s Half Marathon a go on April 13!). Each class is limited to eight people, which helps inspire an encouraging yet competitive environment, and ensures individualized assistance from Arzon herself.  Visit the S10 Training website for available class times at the downtown Manhattan studio.

More from FITNESS:

A Healthier You: Tips to a Slimmer, Trimmer 2014

Written on January 3, 2014 at 9:43 am , by

Time to pump up your slim-down. Don’t sweat it, though. These easy peasy strategies will have you slipping into your skinny jeans ASAP. (Photo courtesy of Laura Doss)

Written by Alena Hall, editorial intern

Now that the calorie-loaded holiday spreads are off the table and we are getting back into our weekly routines, those New Year resolutions can make their official debut! Of all the goals we set that relate to health and wellness, weight loss constantly tops the list. So let’s really get it right in 2014 with some sound nutritional advice, a fresh perspective and boost of motivation. We spoke with Jacqueline Marcus, R.D., a nutrition consultant to The Dukan Diet, about her top tips to make weight loss attainable, maintainable and worth every minute of the hard work you put into it!

Think lean and clean for your fitness routine. This catchphrase guides Marcus in helping her clients work towards their goals. “As you’re thinking about an exercise plan for life, you want to feed your body with the cleanest types of foods and beverages that are low in fat and high in protein,” she says. Lean protein helps support the muscles as the body breaks down its fat cells and low-starch vegetables high in vitamins and minerals support the work of these lean proteins. Soon you’ll convert your bod into a lean, mean, fat-burning machine!

Create a combo deal. Most people who achieve their fitness goals use a combination of methods to get there. A healthy diet tailored to your lifestyle, a customized workout plan and a behavioral component, like a food journal or online diet community, create a triple threat against fat. “The most successful people use at least three methods,” says Marcus.

Don’t forget about fiber. It’s essential for creating the feeling of fullness and maintaining healthy digestive system. Plus, Marcus says it can decrease your total daily calorie consumption by about 5 percent.  She swears by oat bran because it keeps her from ever getting that “OMG, I can’t get enough food in me” feeling. Try sprinkling 1 1/2 tablespoons of oat bran on top of  a cup of Greek yogurt with fresh berries to kick start your day.

Go easy on the sodium. While a little bit of the salty stuff is important for helping balance water in the body, we tend to overdo it and end up experiencing bloat, lethargy and sometimes blood pressure problems. Marcus suggests minimizing your intake by avoiding the saltshaker after your meal is cooked, and staying away from as many processed foods as possible. “Use real foods to keep it in check. Proteins and vegetables contain sodium, so it’s not like you’re going sodium-free,” she says.

One  step at a time. If you’re looking to inspire an entire diet and lifestyle overhaul, focus on one change at a time so the habit really sticks. “It’s better to focus on the different stages of a well-constructed diet program and do those well without doing too many other things and feeling overwhelmed,” she says. When you start seeing the results form one habit, you’ll be motivated to push yourself to that next step. Eight of our readers took this advice to heart and made major changes in their lives – you can too!

Stop counting. Some diets require people to count calories and nutrients like carbs, but Marcus sees this process as a potential distraction. Instead, focus on healthy options, eat to a feeling of satisfaction or fullness and learn how to use good-for-you foods in a way that put you in charge of your new lifestyle.

More from FITNESS:

Host a Healthy New Year’s Eve Without Wrecking the Party

Written on December 30, 2013 at 10:13 am , by

Enjoy your party and your waistline, too.

Written by Alena Hall, editorial intern

Tonight is the night—a time for us to remember all of the great things that 2013 brought us, and to celebrate the fresh start that begins at the stroke of midnight! However, these fiestas oftentimes don’t factor in all of the hard work we put into maintaining our healthy diets (even through the holiday season!). With help from celebrity nutritionist Heather Wilson, we have the perfect solution to this party diet dilemma: a delicious (and surprisingly healthy) menu for your table, tips for indulging in alcohol without the caloric consequences, and ways to snack smart and stress-free at a friend’s soiree. So slide into that LBD, add a little extra shimmer to your makeup and get ready to shake it into the New Year!

First things first: the last thing you want is for your guests to feel like they have to eat before your party because of an over-the-top healthy menu. Focus on revising the classics with good-for-you ingredients so they won’t even notice the difference, and introduce a few new recipes that are loaded with flavor, along with incredible health benefits.

Appetizers:

  • Devilled eggs are a must, but swap the traditional mayo for an olive-oil based version to cut calories and fat.
  • Class up your chip-and-dip display by adding a few health benefits: trade chips and pretzels for rice crackers, which work with a wide variety of dips and give a nice, satisfying crunch. Swap sour cream for Greek yogurt in any classic dip recipe for an extra protein boost.
  • Bring on the healthy fat spreads. Guacamole is one of Wilson’s go-to spreads at holiday parties due its hefty dose of monounsaturated fats and satiety power. She also makes a chopped olive tapenade that is loaded with flavor and omega-3s (recipe below).

Dessert:

  • Fruit platters are the way to go! If you want to upgrade your spread, trade apples for Asian pears. They are in season this time of year, taste great and provide twice the amount of fiber that apples do.
  • Bust out those Asian pears again and turn them into a dessert of their own by slicing them into bite-size wedges and sprinkling them with cacau powder. So easy but so yummy!

Drinks:

  • Start with red wine—we all know about its heart-healthy benefits by now. If possible, go organic to avoid any preservatives or pesticides that could cause unintentional bloating.
  • When drinking hard liquor, go for top-shelf vodka and infuse with fruit. Flavoring it yourself ramps up the taste and removes any artificial flavoring or sweetener from the equation. Wilson serves her watermelon and pineapple-infused vodkas on ice with fresh blueberries.

Read more

Find Your Stride for 2014 with a Fun New Year’s Run!

Written on December 26, 2013 at 9:53 am , by

Jump on the resolution bandwagon by ringing  2014 in stride. (Photo courtesy of NYRR)

Written by Alena Hall, editorial intern

If you’re anything like us, you’ve already started searching for the best way to welcome in the New Year. A friend’s bash, your favorite bar or simply watching the famous ball drop from your television screen are so 2013. Why not get a jump-start on your fit resolutions instead and run your first race of the year the second it starts? From midnight party runs to New Year’s Day 5Ks, the nation is covered with fun running parties that will definitely get your 2014 started off on the right foot. And trust us, you haven’t seen a real New Year’s celebration until you’ve participated in one of these parties!

  • Ditch Times Square this year and join in New York Road Runners’ Midnight Run. Music, dancing, a costume parade/contest, fireworks and a 4-mile run at the stroke of midnight through Central Park makes for for the hottest soiree of the year!
  • Philadelphia’s New Year’s Eve Midnight 5K Run and Party is the perfect excuse to bust out your best—or tackiest—evening wear and run your heart out! Each participant will receive admission to McFadden’s New Year’s Eve Celebration (read: open bar and food) for before and after the race, not to mention a snazzy sweatshirt.
  • Take on the first sunrise of 2014 with the Brazen New Year’s Day Half Marathon, 10K and 5K race series in Castro Valley, California. Nothing will make you feel more energized and motivated about the year ahead than the beautiful trail views along Lake Chabot!
  • Not a morning person? Try Chicago’s 29th Annual New Year’s Day 5K Run/Walk! Starting at 11 a.m. in Lincoln Park, this race gives a scenic tour of the city and ends with—you guessed it—a party at O’Briens Restaurant in Old Town.
  • If you don’t feel like you’re up for a 5K just yet, join the New Yearathon in Cook Park, Oregon, and warm up to your 2014 fit goals with family and friends. The race includes 1-mile and 5K run options, so everyone can get a great workout regardless of their fitness level. Bonus: hot drinks await you at the finish line!
  • Tackle that healthy New Year’s resolution head on with Life Time Fitness and the American Heart Association’s Commitment Day 5K Fun Run/Walk held in 35 cities across the country on New Year’s Day. You’re bound to find a location near you that can help you start 2014 with a runner’s high instead of a hangover!

Not near any of these running parties? Find a fitness event near you.

More from FITNESS:

Sanya Richards-Ross’ Secrets to Training, Staying Motivated and Finding Life’s Balance

Written on December 25, 2013 at 10:31 am , by

Written by Alena Hall, editorial intern

Legs like whoa! Strength-training is a must for the Fastest Woman on the Planet. (Photo courtesy of Sanya Richards-Ross)

The impending winter weather can discourage even the most enthusiastic runners from finding their stride—and that goes for four-time Olympic gold medalists, too. Jamaica-born sprinting superstar Sanya Richards-Ross knows a thing or two about the dedication it takes to lace up and get out there each day.

A sprinter at heart, Richards-Ross has to really push herself through long runs during pre-season training, which typically coincides with chillier months. “After my season is over, I usually take about 6-8 weeks off before we start training again, and that’s always my least favorite part of training,” she says. “It’s long runs; it’s a lot of reps and light weight in the weight room. Just really preparing myself to take training to the next level. Once my training transitions to where I’m on the track doing repeat 200s, 300s and 450s, that’s the part I do like because my body just feels great.”

Richards-Ross takes a comprehensive approach to training, integrating weight lifting and Pilates for the crucial benefits of strength and flexibility, which is why she is so powerful in her cardio-based sport. And when it comes down to it, her favorite workouts are the ones that focus on building that incredible muscle! “I love when we are doing Olympic lifts like power snatching and power cleans and squatting. I love those powerful movements in the gym and I love to really push myself. It’s so full-body and so explosive, and it correlates to the track so well,” she says.

Most sprinters are known for preferring hot, dry weather, so the upcoming months will force Richards-Ross to put her motivational mantra to good use. Whenever her training days are less than exciting or she simply isn’t feeling 100 percent, “I refuse to lose” is the mindset that gets her through it. Not to mention she really bundles up, tunes into some power songs and tries her best to forget about the cold conditions. In case you’re wondering what music inspires her (we definitely were!), she switches off between the likes of Jay Z, Drake, Yolanda Adams, Donnie McClurkin and Bob Marley, depending on her mood.

Her 400-meter solo and relay performances have earned Richards-Ross the reputation of the Fastest Woman on the Planet, but her talents extend past the track and into the academic setting. “My dad always encouraged me to not be one-dimensional, so even though I was having tremendous success on the track and doing really well, he always challenged me to read and do well in school because as much as I hoped to make it to the Olympics and be one of the best in the world, I didn’t want to put all of my eggs in that basket,” she says. This mindset not only helped her become a straight-A student, but also pushed her to work even harder when it came time to run. “When I had my homework and training, and I had a lot on my plate, it was easier to get everything done. When I only had one thing to do, I’d kind of procrastinate. I always just felt so fulfilled when I was able to accomplish all those tasks.”

When it comes to fueling up for and recovering from her grueling training regimen, Richards-Ross is all about the high protein diet. She reaches for protein shakes after a tough weight room session, grilled chicken before a meet and egg whites with fruit and smoked salmon for breakfast any day of the week. “I mostly juice my vegetables because I’m not really a big fan of them—I know that’s terrible for an athlete—but there’s a few I like, and the rest of them I just juice and knock them out,” she says. And even the top athletes in the world have guilty pleasures. “Mine are the purple bag of Skittles and rum raisin ice cream. Don’t put those in front of me before a race, because I’m going to eat them!”

At the end of the day, according to Richards-Ross, it’s most important to pick an activity you enjoy. “A lot of people go into the gym and bite off more than they can chew and just get totally turned off. Start at a level that is comfortable for you; do something that’s fun whether it’s Zumba or biking,” she suggests. “There are so many things you can do to be active and healthy that don’t mean you have to go and lift 100 pounds or run on the treadmill for an hour.”

More from FITNESS:

When Fitness Meets Fashion: The New Nike Free TR 4

Written on December 18, 2013 at 10:04 am , by

This snazzy sneaker was designed by our fitness editor Jenna Autuori (@FITNESSjenna). Does she have fab style or what?! (Photo courtesy of NikeiD)

Written by Alena Hall, editorial intern

When it comes to cool workout kicks these days, style matters just as much as performance. Luckily, trendy ladies no longer have to choose between fit and fabulous because Nike is at it again.

The new Nike Free TR 4 was designed to handle the majority of movements in the gym, from running to dance cardio classes and everything in between. It is the first shoe in the Free TR collection to utilize Nike’s Flywire technology, which provides additional support from underneath the foot to the tops of the laces. Minimal, durable and strong, the new sneaker is taking the fitness and fashion world by storm with its high-performance quality and customizable design.

The shoes’ wide variety of color combos makes them a must-have for any healthy closet. Female athletes can log onto NIKEiD.com starting December 23 and create unique looks of their own—the possibilities are endless! Choose from 13 different color options in customizing nine different areas of the shoe, and play with fading effects, fun prints and personal message inscriptions on the tongue of the shoe for additional flair.

Ladies looking for a little design inspiration can turn to Maria Sharapova, the global tennis icon who collaborated with Nike to create the shoe’s sexy silhouette. She pre-selected several color combinations for girls who don’t necessarily want to pick a palette of their own, but still want to rock a stylish sneaker when they step into the gym.

The lightest Free TR to date, thanks to its crafty mesh construction, is ready to help women across the globe take their training to the next level. In the spirit of the holidays, treat a fit friend (or yourself!) to a new pair of sneaks that seamlessly place comfort, performance and individualized style beneath your feet.

More from FITNESS:

 

Speedo USA Pulls Athletes, Artists and Philanthropy Together with Cap Art

Written on December 13, 2013 at 10:33 am , by

It’s about life’s journey, rather than destinations, Coughlin says. (Photo courtesy of Speedo USA)

Written by Alena Hall, editorial intern

Searching for a meaningful gift for the swimmer in your life? Lucky for you, Speedo USA launched its Art of the Cap Campaign earlier this week, introducing five new, limited-edition swim caps designed by incredible athlete-artist duos that give back to influential charities across the country.

Team Speedo athletes (and Olympic gold medalists) Ryan Lochte, Natalie Coughlin, Nathan Adrian, Dana Vollmer and Cullen Jones paired up with celebrated artists  to design the five caps available just in time for the holiday season. At the core of the collaborations is a true connection between the athlete and the artist, from personal stories to interests and style, which breathes life into these creative designs.

The proceeds from each swim cap will be donated to five charities selected by the athletes themselves—Parent Project Muscular Dystrophy, Right to Play, Kids Beating Cancer, Simon’s Fund, and the USA Swimming Foundation’s Make a Splash Initiative. Head over to the campaign’s website to learn about each athlete’s connection to their selected cause and what it means to them to be able to give back. Coughlin’s design in particular reflects not only her love of swimming, but her deep appreciation of the environment. Proceeds for her cap provide sport program opportunities in disadvantaged communities across the globe.

The swim caps are available exclusively at SpeedoUSA.com for a limited time, so check out this inspirational project and unique gift idea before it’s too late! Trust us, it will be tough to decide which team made the coolest cap.

More from FITNESS:

Actress Tia Mowry’s Path to Healthy Living

Written on December 4, 2013 at 10:00 am , by

Tia Mowry puts her hands together for a flu-less holiday season and a healthy 2014. (Photo by Michael Buckner/Getty Images for FluMist Quadrivalent)

Written by Alena Hall, editorial intern

Actress Tia Mowry (we know you’ve seen throwback show Sister, Sister) has quite a few projects on her plate. From the premier of her new television show, Instant Mom, on Nick at Nite to the postpartum products brand she is developing with twin sister Tamera, it was amazing she found the time to sit down for a chat with us! And one thing is for sure—despite her hectic schedule, her top two priorities remain in tact: her family and her health.

Despite marrying a man with a passion for health and wellness, Mowry wanted to discover it in her own way. Unfortunately, her journey began with a sudden diagnosis of endometriosis, an extremely painful infertility disorder. She quickly gained control of her health, though, and hasn’t slowed down since. “I wanted to have kids, so my doctor told me, ‘Tia, you’re going to have to change your diet,’” she says. After following the Body Ecology Diet for a full year, which focuses on alkalizing the body, Mowry became pregnant with her son Cree. “I’m now a believer that food can be medicine.”

Mowry also decided to try veganism earlier this year to help with other physical ailments – eczema, migraines and genetically high cholesterol – and she could not be happier with the decision. “What I like most about it is the emotional benefit that I get, realizing and understanding that I am doing the best that I can possibly do for my health,” she says. “I feel better, I have more energy, my eczema has disappeared, I no longer get migraines and my cholesterol levels are now fine.”

When it comes to working out, Mowry is all about doing what she loves, thanks to the advice she got after meeting yoga pro Tara Stiles. The routine that’s captured her heart? Dance cardio. “I was the type of person who would be out on the dance floor until the club closed, so I’m doing all types of dance cardio now,” says Mowry. “I’ve done Zumba, I’ve done Piloxing—which is boxing and Pilates at the same time—and I go to classes.” Oh, and she doesn’t look to the mirror for her workout motivation. “It’s not about what I look like; it’s about how I feel. When I focus on that, I actually find that I work out more,” she says. And cute workout clothes don’t hurt! She picks her outfit the night before for a little motivational push the following morning to get up and go have fun with her fitness.

This season Mowry teamed up with Flumist Quadrivalent, a nasal spray influenza vaccine option, to address another health issue she is passionate about now that she has little Cree to consider. “In the past, I did overlook flu vaccinations,” she says. “But after understanding how the flu can take a huge toll on an entire family, I started making it part of my annual routine. I want to protect my family.”

Mowry has experienced quite the journey to health and fitness, so maybe we should take a note or two from her book. “Changing your lifestyle takes time, so don’t get frustrated,” she suggests. “We have a lifetime to get this right, so don’t be too hard on yourself—it’s not beneficial. Start out slow and then build up your momentum and endurance. And just do what you love to do! I have seen a big change in my body since Tara gave me that advice.”

More from FITNESS:

Get Fit, Fab and Happy With Kate Hudson

Written on December 3, 2013 at 9:17 am , by

Shape up in style! Kate Hudson makes sweat sexier than ever. (Courtesy of Fabletics)

Written by Alena Hall, editorial intern

From maintaining her successful acting career to wrangling her two energetic young boys, Kate Hudson has no problem keeping busy. If anything, she has to take advantage of every spare minute to strike a healthy balance within her life. So when the fashion subscription company Just Fab Inc. approached her about collaborating on a lifestyle athletic wear line, Hudson jumped on board.

Fabletics, the result of the collaboration, offers women affordable, high-quality and stylish active apparel that works for running errands, brunching with the girls and, of course, getting your sweat on! “I loved the idea,” says Hudson. “What was really inspiring to me was that we came together to find a way to make it affordable and create a larger community of women to learn about things they could do to motivate the first steps of that part of their life.” Each month the website debuts around 30 new outfits, and now that they have the basics covered, expect to see more sweats, different T-shirt styles and even some snakeskin leggings.

This new venture has not only helped Hudson connect with a new community of women, but it’s also given her the opportunity to spend more time with family. “I love my day job, but I’m also a mom, and my day job takes me away from my kids a lot. So it’s nice to have another outlet that I can do at home that still has a creative entity,” she notes. “It lets me take something that is important to me and hopefully inspire people to start getting healthy and fit and happy.”

As far as keeping herself fit is concerned, Hudson works with celebrity trainer and Pilates pro Nicole Stuart for that extra push of motivation. “She does these series of stomach and core exercises that are brutal, but what I like about them is knowing that it’s working from the inside-out and not the outside-in.” If Hudson had it her way, however, she would simply dance. “I just jump around and dance and play loud music and move around until I start sweating,” she says.

This fun free-styling doesn’t always get the job done, which is why the bombshell uses a little mental trick to change the way her body feels when she isn’t in the mood for a tough workout. “When something is painful and hurts and burns, when I really want to say, ‘Ugh, no!’ I’ll say, ‘Yes!,’” explains Hudson. “It’s not really what I’m feeling, but it’s how I’m make myself do it again.” When she isn’t dancing or working on her Pilates with Stuart, she sticks to high reps of dancing-style squats, focusing on the lifting and stretching movements that help keep her legs lean and toned.

At the end of the day, “it’s really about what you can do to have a happier way of life,” she says. “Any activity that you do to get your blood flowing is going to open up a more optimistic part of your brain and allow everything in your life to become more efficient. It makes for a more present way of life, where people can be more present for their children, their relationships, their jobs and most importantly, really connect with themselves.”

More from FITNESS: