Written by Alyssa Shaffer
Has our 10-week triathlon training guide in our May issue got you itching to sign up for a race? We don’t blame you! Whether it’s near your own backyard or across the country, these beginner-friendly sprint races will transform you into a true triathlete.
If you want…
An urban experience
• TriRock Philadelphia: Swim, bike and run in the City of Brotherly Love, starting with a dip in the Schuylkill River and finishing with a ride and run through scenic Fairmount Park. There’s also an Olympic-distance race the next day. (June 22, trirock.competitor.com/philadelphia)
• Life Time Tri Chicago: One of the largest tris in the world begins with a swim in Lake Michigan then follows Lake Shore Drive past such scenic landmarks as Buckingham Fountain and the Shedd Aquarium. There’s also a super sprint distance and an Olympic course if you want to go shorter or longer. (August 25, chicagotriathlon.com)
• Mini-Mussel Sprint Triathlon: Spend the weekend in upstate New York’s popular Finger Lakes region. The 10th annual race includes a swim in a canal, a bike ride along vineyard-dotted roads, and a fast, flat run through a lakefront park. For hearty types, there’s also a half Ironman the next day. (July 13, musselmantri.com)
• Coeur d’Alene Triathlon: The new Scenic Sprint in Idaho lives up to its name as one of the most picturesque courses in the Pacific Northwest, with a placid lake swim, a winding bike course and a triumphant finish inside Coeur d’Alene City Park. (August 10, cdatriathlon.com)
• Nautica Malibu Triathlon: Race alongside celebs (last year’s finishers included Claire Holt, Jillian Michaels and Alison Sweeney) on a course that’s a little longer than your usual sprint—a half-mile ocean swim, an 18-mile bike ride and a four-mile run—with amazing views of both the mountains and the Pacific along the way. (September 8, nauticamalibutri.com)
To celebrate girl power
• Athleta Iron Girl: With a shorter-than-usual swim leg (in some cases, just one-third of a mile) and lots of festivities before, during and after, this series of women-only sprint tris are for newbies of all abilities. Eighteen races take place nationwide, from April through September. (Dates vary; irongirl.com)
More from FITNESS: Sign Up for a Triathlon in Your Area
Written by Karina Smirnoff
I want to start this blog by sending my prayers to all the innocent people directly affected by the senseless violence in Boston. My condolences to the families who lost loved ones. It is devastating to hear the stories and see the pictures. Through all the horrific stories I found inspiration in several others and was reminded of how strong the human spirit is. Martin Richard’s message of spreading love and not hate or violence is one I will continue to be inspired by.
Going into Monday’s show on the heels of such an unfathomable situation was extremely hard. I’m thankful ABC and DWTS decided to move forward with the episode, as all of the dancers and celebrity partners wanted to dedicate the night to each and every one of you. We are extremely blessed to do what we love and hopefully by putting our passion to work, we were able to transmit that love into your homes.
Given that Jacoby and I had the Jive we needed to channel that inspiration and positivity into our performance. We had such a great week of preparation that I knew he was going to deliver. However, he never ceases to amaze me! His musicality, timing, strength, charm and commitment are incredible. When he said he was going to jump over my head without touching me, I thought he was nuts! After he did it, I was shocked. When he did it over and over I was convinced that what I was starting to realize was true – the sky is truly the limit for Jacoby Jones! Read more
Bling it on!
You can enter to win between now through next Tuesday. Don’t want to wait to see if you won? Pop on over to the ESD site and use the code FITNESSHALF to purchase this fabulous necklace for 20 percent off.
Enter to win here and good luck!
Think dancing’s not a workout? Think again. This week, celebrity guest blogger Karina Smirnoff talks about the added perks of the Fox Trot, and pushing past mental blocks.
Written by Karina Smirnoff
After last week’s sexy, emotionally charged Rumba I was eager to tackle the Fox Trot. We had a really special theme, which was “My Most Memorable Year” and Jacoby’s couldn’t have been more incredible! As most of you now know, Jacoby has a beautiful baby boy, Jacoby Jones Jr. and despite winning the Super Bowl, he was the obvious highlight of 2012.
The song we danced to was Rodney Atkins “Watching You”, which is extremely sentimental for JJ. Never knowing his own father, he has vowed to do all the things he never got to experience with his own dad. It was so fun to watch Jacoby with his son! He’s so sweet and gentle yet can make his little boy laugh with ease. It was great to spend time with them and really helped to inspire this week’s dance. Read more
Jacoby Jones admitted getting kicked out of his actual high school prom last night on Dancing with the Stars, and hopefully he won’t get kicked out of a second one tonight! Read on as Karina Smirnoff gives us the scoop on how they prepared for their dance and how the team is doing so far.
Written by Karina Smirnoff
What a week it has been! Unlike previous weeks Jacoby and I stayed in LA, which I think was beneficial since he had to learn both the rumba and the group dance. I was so excited to have rumba and knew that Jacoby would be able to pull off the moves; however I was really impressed by his depth of character and his gracefulness. On our first day of rehearsal for the week, I couldn’t believe how well he picked up the movement. We worked hard on the fluidity and rhythm of our hips and on his extensions. We were also really looking forward to going to the DWTS Prom and couldn’t wait to share our work with all of you! It’s funny, normally I get really nervous before I perform and last night I was extremely calm. I think it’s because I trusted that Jacoby would be there to catch me, turn me and move with me. It was certainly a special moment for us.
On top of how well Jacoby danced, I was honored to be able to pay tribute to his high school destroyed by Hurricane Katrina and to all the victims of these tragic natural disasters. I always say that when you dance for something bigger than yourself the connection the audience feels is that much greater. It is definitely a dance I will never forget and we hope it touched all of you. Read more
This week on Dancing with the Stars the contestants stepped up their fancy feet to perform a jazz routine. Below, our guest blogger and dancing pro Karina Smirnoff dishes on the week of training leading up to last night’s performances, plus a hilarious Harlem Shake video you need to watch to bust your midday slump.
Written by Karina Smirnoff
There is never a dull moment with Jacoby Jones! This week we traveled to Houston, TX to train. It’s been really cool to experience the various places around the country that mean so much to him. I love learning more about where he’s come from and what he’s gone through, it all helps when putting together the vision for each of the dances.
This week, we had Jazz, which is one of the new styles DWTS has added this season. I was really excited about incorporating the roots of jazz into this piece. However, I also realized that this week we needed to put more time into rehearsals, since Jacoby’s recovery from knee surgery had kept us back a bit leading up to the premiere. Jacoby and I are both competitors and want to improve from week to week. We also wanted the judges to see us improve in areas they had previously critiqued. Read more
Last night, a new batch of stars put on their dancing shoes to do the Cha Cha and Foxtrot on Dancing With the Stars, Season 16. We can’t get enough of the glittery costumes and fancy footwork, so we’re even more excited to have pro Karina Smirnoff recap each episode here on The Fit Stop every Tuesday! Check out her thoughts on last night’s show and get behind-the-scenes info and her fitness tips below.
Written by Karina Smirnoff
Hey guys! Thank you for tuning in last night and for reading my new Fitness blog! I can’t wait to share all the behind the scenes fun as well as give you some of my favorite health/fitness and nutrition tips!
I am extremely excited to have such an athletic, charming and hardworking partner in Jacoby. I can’t wait to dance more with him this season! As most of you know, training and rehearsing for a dance is extremely challenging both physically and mentally. This coupled with the fact we only had a solid week to prep made us have to fast track what is normally 3+ weeks to rehearse. Jacoby had to get knee surgery after winning the Super Bowl and his team of doctors had to clear him to dance. You can imagine my anticipation when we finally got the good news! PHEW! Even though time wasn’t on our side, we dug in and gave it our all.
I was thrilled to see how well Jacoby moved his body and especially those hips! Wow those hips can move! I had been doing a lot of visual “training”, where he watched me marking the dance and showing him what was to be expected. I think that really helped because once we finally started dancing Jacoby’s Cha Cha was pretty impressive. I have to admit, I got excited!
Rehearsals and training for this show and/or any competitive dance is a lot like training for a marathon, you need a good amount of stamina and you have to be focused, so this week in rehearsals I wanted to not only focus on stamina, but also his movement, lines and getting his footwork right. Even though we didn’t have the same amount of time as everyone, I knew we had to stay on track and focus, which helped us to get quite a bit accomplished. Read more
Who doesn’t love a good deal on fitness classes and spa treatments, right? Which is why we’re pretty psyched it’s Wellness Week over at SpaFinder Wellness *right now.* What this means: Well, what’s most enticing is that if you buy a $25 gift card, you get an extra one to use this week. (Sounds like a good girls’ date to us!)
But it also means that throughout the week, leading wellness experts, chefs, and celeb trainers from the nation’s top gyms, spas, and wellness providers have been sharing their tips, tricks, recipes, and tools. If you check out the SpaFinder Wellness site, you can find some of the free events, open houses, workshops, consultations, and more.
FITNESS is headed to a special event in NYC tonight to check out product demos from some of the nation’s top beauty, skin-care, and wellness companies. Click on over to @FITNESSColleen’s Twitter feed later tonight or tomorrow to see how it went!
Written by Ashley Koff, R.D. FITNESS advisory board member and founder of Ashley Koff Approved
October is a unique time of year. As summer ends and winter approaches, we make changes to adjust our bodies and minds. The changing of seasons is a great time to think about our health and power – individually and globally. It’s an important time to learn about women’s empowerment and health issues (such as breast cancer awareness), but also another issue that affects women and sustainable food production directly–Fair Trade Month. It’s a time to think about how everyday purchases affect the lives of millions of families who produce the food that feeds us.
You may think of Fair Trade as a label for your daily cup of coffee, but do you know what’s behind it? Fair Trade certification helps to improve the lives of women and their families across the globe, as well as protect the environment. This really hit home for me when I heard is the story of Maria Filha de Jesus, a coffee farm worker in Brazil who has needed eyeglasses for many years but could not afford them (she is 60!); it was getting harder and harder to do her job and see at home. Now that Maria works on a Fair Trade farm, she receives a wealth of benefits and finally got her long overdue pair of glasses that will allow her to continue working with the ability to pick the best beans possible.
Everyone can help women like Maria with the power of their dollar. Buying Fair Trade Certified products like tea, coffee, chocolate and produce (among others) not only guarantees that you are getting quality products, it means mothers, children and communities worldwide get paid fairly which translates into better healthcare, social care, environmental care and so much more.
That’s why this month is the perfect time to celebrate women’s health and empowerment through your everyday choices. Creating big impact is easy. For example, simply swap one of your staple grocery items with a Fair Trade Certified product. Why not upgrade your morning caffeine routine by switching your typical brew for a cup of Fair Trade Certified coffee paired with a Fair Trade Certified banana? It’s that simple, and makes a bigger difference than you think.
Read on for a Fair Trade recipe perfect for fall from Koff. Read more
Eloise Caggiano is the program director for the Avon Walk for Breast Cancer and a 7-year breast cancer survivor herself. Below, she shares her story as well as what to say and do if someone you know has been diagnosed.
I was a 33-year-old woman living in New York City with great friends, an active social life, a successful career in public relations, two marathons under my belt and a gym membership card tattered from overuse. All was well in my world. Then I received my breast cancer diagnosis and everything changed. My life was consumed with fighting breast cancer–five surgeries, four months of chemotherapy, shedding my long hair and definitely some tears.
Once I was diagnosed and going through treatments, I could have easily wallowed in my misery, complained, and stayed home feeling sorry for myself. Instead, I chose to get up every day like a “normal” person, get dressed, pop on my wig, and go to work. It wasn’t always easy and I had to adjust my workload because I didn’t always feel well and was pretty tired, but I knew if I went to work it would make the day go faster, I’d feel more productive and chances are, at some point during the day someone would make me laugh. None of that would happen if I stayed home on my couch by myself. It was important to me to keep as many things as “normal” as possible — I wanted to feel like I still had some normalcy in my life, like going to work, going to the gym, spending time with friends.