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FITNESS Editors

One Year Later: The Boston Marathon

Written on May 6, 2014 at 11:16 am , by

In our April issue, runner Marissa Hill gave readers a first-person account of what it felt like to be in the Boston Marathon at the time of last year’s bombing. Hill, running for the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, returned to complete the marathon this year. Here’s her story:

Hill getting ready to head to the start line. (Photo courtesy Marissa Hill)

It would be hard to pick a day in my life in which I had experienced more positive energy, more love and hope and community support, than on that special Monday last week when I ran the Boston Marathon. As I headed into my corral I was surrounded by other charity runners, yet no one was really talking about last year.  Everyone seemed positive­–focused on the race ahead and how he or she was going to do that day. I popped my headphones in my ears without the sound for the start – I wanted to be able to hear the cheering crowd as I crossed the starting line.

It was hard to believe I was there. While training for and running the 2013 Boston Marathon, I had no interest in ever running a marathon again. And then everything changed. With the terror attacks at the finish line, I felt at a loss.  What could I do to help, to make this better? I quickly vowed to run again—to finish the race. Of course, this was easier said than done.

Training after the tragedy was difficult, and I found myself avoiding thinking about it and not running at all. When I did begin running again, I focused solely on mileage and the training plans; I put the bombings to the side. It was only in the last few weeks up until this year’s marathon that I realized I was still grieving. I knew that after months of training hard and pushing myself physically, I needed to focus on the mental aspect. Really, with any exercise, it is less about physically doing it, and more about mentally willing yourself. During my long training runs in the snow I focused on positivity—how else can you run in freezing temperatures for 20-plus miles? You tell yourself you can.

So that is what I did—that last week before the marathon, I told myself, “Yes, you can.” It was my new mantra. I focused on the anniversary of the bombings, and gave myself permission to feel upset, to feel sadness, loss and heartache. And then I reminded myself that my way of coping, my way of doing something about last year’s tragedy, was to run, to show up again and finish this thing.

I have heard people say there is nothing quite like running Boston, and it is true—the Boston Marathon is special. The people cheering you on, the historic course, the memories from last year—they all came together and pushed me forward. I kept looking for the spot where I was stopped last year, near Heartbreak Hill.  I obviously passed it, but didn’t recognize the exact spot. I knew I was close and kept waiting for terrible hills, and then all of a sudden I saw signs saying “You made it past Heartbreak Hill.” Thanks to training and the willpower to keep going this past year, I didn’t even realize I was on the hill!

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Enter FITNESS’ Make Fit Happen Contest on Pinterest!

Written on April 28, 2014 at 9:04 am , by

Woo-hoo, Memorial Day Weekend! OK, we’re getting a little ahead of ourselves, but we’re super stoked for the sunshine-filled holiday. Gear up for a long weekend of fun by joining our Make Fit Happen Contest on Pinterest. Entering is super easy, and you’ll score healthy recipes, low-cal cocktails and fun ideas for your next workout-wear shopping trip. Ready to join? Just follow these simple rules:

1. Follow FITNESS Magazine on Pinterest

2. Create a board called “FITNESS Make Fit Happen”

3. Email the link to your board to fitnessmail@fitnessmagazine.com with subject line “FITNESS Make Fit Happen”

4. Pin what helps you Make Fit Happen! Anything from workouts and recipes to fit quotes and bikini-style tips—the choice is yours, but be sure to include 5 FITNESS Magazine links (get some inspiration here and here) and include #makefithappencontest on your pins.

The contest runs until Sunday, May 25th at 11:59 p.m., at which point we’ll select a winner. What could you score? A Willow 3 beach cruiser from Brooklyn Bicycle Co., perfect for making this summer the best—and fittest—one yet!

Official Rules 

Happy pinning!

It’s Time to #MakeFitHappen! Everything You Need to Join the Fun (And Score Prizes!)

Written on April 23, 2014 at 10:05 am , by

Sexy abs, butt and legs—get ‘em while it’s hot! Our May issue (on newsstands now!) has the four-week plan full of moves, foods and swimsuits that will make you look lighter and tighter by Memorial Day. But you know by now that that’s not enough—you need to brag about your hard work, too! Let us show you how:

First things first: sign up for the Slim by Summer Sweepstakes. Not only will you get the Better Body Plan details we talked about above delivered straight to your inbox, but you’ll also be entered to win:

  • A getaway for two to the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Punta Cana in the Dominican Republic. The trip includes airfare vouchers, meals, activities like snorkeling and paddleboarding, and a spa treatment (a $2,000 value). Just start imagining the pure bliss now.
  • A shiny, new Smooth Fitness & Health 9.65LC treadmill (a $1,999 value) with a shock-absorption tread, a heart rate display with a wireless chest strap, and 28 programmed workout.

Now that we’ve got your engines revved, simply click here to sign up.

Official Rules

But that’s not all (obviously). More fun is coming your way:

MONDAY, APRIL 28 – TWITTER PARTY

Follow @FitnessMagazine and the #makefithappen hashtag on Twitter from 2-4pm EST to score fresh ideas on healthy food and fitness so you can rock that swimsuit like a superstar this season. As if that doesn’t sound fun enough, we’ll also be giving 15 lucky partiers two Sparkly Soul headbands (these things are not only cute, but they stay put while you sweat). See you there!

Official Rules

APRIL 28 – MAY 26: FACEBOOK

Check out our Facebook page every Monday for weekly burn-and-firm video tips from your trainer, Tiffany Rothe. Hint: there’s a few extra-fun challenges mixed in there, and she’ll be checking in on your progress!

APRIL 28 – MAY 25: PINTEREST 

Gear up for Memorial Day weekend by joining our Make Fit Happen Contest on Pinterest. You’ll be able to find and share healthy recipes, low-cal cocktails and fun workout wear. Bonus: you could score a beach cruiser from Brooklyn Bicycle Co., perfect for making this summer the best one yet. Want deets on how to join? See here.

Official Rules

MAY 1 – MAY 31: INSTAGRAM 

Surely by now you’re following us, right? If not, hop to it because our prize-a-day photo challenge starts at the beginning of the month, and there is some serious swag to be had. Tune in for your theme of the day and, using #makefithappen, show us your best pics. We’ll regram our faves!

Official Rules 

Want even more so you can really #makefithappen? We’ve got it all right here.

Panama: Where You Can Play Hard, Day and Night

Written on January 17, 2014 at 9:10 am , by

 

That’s me ziplining in the Anton Valley!

Written by Kathy Green, managing editor

It’s January and most of the U.S. is in a deep freeze.  What better time to plan a trip to somewhere warm!  How about Panama?  I was there recently as a guest of the new Hard Rock Hotel Panama Megapolis.  The temperature was perfect (it’s always around 80 degrees) and their eco-tourism is growing.  There are lots of daily flights, which makes it an easy, sunny destination for a break from the cold.

Before this trip, my only association with Panama was the canal, but I discovered there is a lot to do there. My travel buddies and I drove for about 2 hours outside of Panama City to the Anton Valley—a rich rainforest that is a volcano crater.  We hiked into this beautiful park and then zip-lined over a tremendous waterfall called Charro el Macho.  I had never tried ziplining before, and soaring through the lush canopy was truly a special experience.

After ziplining, it unfortunately started to pour, but that didn’t stop us from ATVing around the hillsides of the valley.  Even in the rain, we had a great time.

We also discovered the Soberania National Park, just 20 minutes outside of Panama City. A rainforest this rich with wildlife so close to civilization is a true find.  When we entered the park, the guide told us we’d possibly see monkeys, kinkajous and an abundance of birds and plant-life. Soberania delivered on beauty and rainforest magic­­­­—just as we started off on our three-hour hike, we found a sloth high up in a tree relaxing in the sun.

My friend Jennifer and I ATVing in the rain!

An added perk from Soberania? Driving right by the Panama Canal to get there and back from Panama City.  So even though we didn’t have time to take a tour, we did stop and take pictures of ships going through the locks.

So if you like to party as much as you like to hike, the perfect place to stay in Panama City is the new Hard Rock Hotel Panama Megapolis.  It’s located right near the harbor and attached to a large shopping mall filled with stores such as Diesel and Nike (shopping and partying—what’s not to like?!). I stayed in a beautiful suite with a great view of the skyline and ships lined up to go through the canal. With no time for a pedicure before leaving New York City, hitting up the spa (at a reasonable price) was the perfect prep for the Hard Rock night scene.

The hotel is full of incredible rock n’ roll memorabilia and it has the greatest room service offer—you can get a Fender electric guitar or personal DJ box delivered so you can be a rock legend in your very own room. It is a party-hardy place with great restaurants (we ate in two of them–Soy and Tauro and the food was first-rate), bars (the roof bar has awesome views of the city) and a happening club called BLING—THE place to be seen in Panama City (Justin Bieber was hanging out there a couple of nights with his entourage). The DJ was exceptional, and my friends and I had a blast dancing into the wee hours of the morning. Calorie burning, right?

BLING, the trendiest club in Panama City

 

But if hiking isn’t your thing, and you’re not quite into the party scene, there are plenty of other things to satisfy your thirst for adventure in Panama. Try a visit to the Old City, bike along the Amador causeway or go to one of the great beaches on either the Caribbean or Pacific coasts.  Plus one essential perk: a Panama vacation can be reasonably priced. And we know that’s the real reason to start booking your next vacation.

Photos courtesy of Jim Raycroft

A New Year’s Pre-solution? Genius, Flywheel!

Written on November 28, 2013 at 10:07 am , by

Cycle off that holiday weight!

Here it is. The homestretch to 2014. What lies between now and next year are potentially weeks of unbridled eating and holiday abandon. But in the spirit of “the best defense is a good offense,” Flywheel studios may just yet give your year, ahem, a tight end.

The hip indoor cycling chain is kicking off what it calls a Holiday Express Challenge on Monday, December 2 (Yes, this coming Monday, after you’ve polished off the last slice of pie). Your mission for the following 21 days, if you choose to accept it: Take five classes per week. At  Flywheel studios that also offer sculpting classes, the split will be three FlyBarre classes and two Flywheel classes.

The Holiday Express Challenge will also include a special workshop on techniques and a nutrition seminar for surviving all that party food. Check out Flywheel’s website to sign up or get more scoop.

So, who’s joining the challenge? We’re ready to get our rears in gear!

More from FITNESS:

Everything You Need to Know About Bicycling and Spinning

Your Post-Thanksgiving Tune-Up

9 Steps to Reach Any Goal

Music Monday: Assistant Fashion Editor Melissa Freeswick’s Summer Playlist Picks

Written on August 26, 2013 at 11:15 am , by

Now that summer is officially in full swing (and bringing the heat!), we really want your playlists to pop. And don’t worry, we get it – your tastes vary. Heck, they’re ridiculously diverse amongst our staff! To keep everyone’s earbuds happy, we’re plugging you in to the songs that make us sweat. Every Monday will reveal a new editor’s playlist – pick one who lines up with your preferred beats, download their top tunes and get back to enjoying your workouts.

***

Melissa Freeswick, Assistant Fashion Editor

I’m not a runner or a yogi, and I don’t do Pilates – my workout of choice is hardcore High Intensity Training, otherwise known as HIT. Music plays a huge part in my sweat sessions because sometimes I just don’t feel like lifting a heavy weight or doing a pull-up. But when I step through the doors of my local gym, there’s always a sick beat pumping through the speakers, and it instantly puts me in the mood to move. Check out my list of favorite techno tunes that will hopefully make you want to get of the couch and workout, or at least dance!

Follow Melissa on Twitter for more of her faves!

More FITNESS Editor Playlists:

Heidi Smith, Freelance Designer

Marla Horenbein, Fashion Assistant

Lisa Haney, Senior Editor

Jenna Autuori-Dedic, Fitness Editor

Juno DeMelo, Nutrition Editor

Pam O’Brien, Executive Editor

Heather Muir, Beauty Director

Colleen Moody, Senior Web Editor

Music Monday: Designer Heidi Smith’s Summer Playlist Picks

Written on August 19, 2013 at 12:42 pm , by

Now that summer is officially in full swing (and bringing the heat!), we really want your playlists to pop. And don’t worry, we get it – your tastes vary. Heck, they’re ridiculously diverse amongst our staff! To keep everyone’s earbuds happy, we’re plugging you in to the songs that make us sweat. Every Monday will reveal a new editor’s playlist – pick one who lines up with your preferred beats, download their top tunes and get back to enjoying your workouts.

***

Heidi Smith, Freelance Designer

Whether you were born in the 90s, like me, or just enjoy a throwback to a great decade, this playlist will bring back old memories that you just can’t help but sing along to. Whenever I need an extra push to stay energized and keep moving, I always plug into these picks. Now do the same and travel back in time a bit!

More FITNESS Editor Playlists:

Marla Horenbein, Fashion Assistant

Lisa Haney, Senior Editor

Jenna Autuori-Dedic, Fitness Editor

Juno DeMelo, Nutrition Editor

Pam O’Brien, Executive Editor

Heather Muir, Beauty Director

Colleen Moody, Senior Web Editor

Music Monday: Fashion Assistant Marla Horeinbein’s Summer Playlist Picks

Written on August 12, 2013 at 10:40 am , by

Now that summer is officially in full swing (and bringing the heat!), we really want your playlists to pop. And don’t worry, we get it – your tastes vary. Heck, they’re ridiculously diverse amongst our staff! To keep everyone’s earbuds happy, we’re plugging you in to the songs that make us sweat. Every Monday will reveal a new editor’s playlist – pick one who lines up with your preferred beats, download their top tunes and get back to enjoying your workouts.

***

Marla Horenbein, Fashion Assistant

Music is everything for me when I’m out on the road training for races—there’s nothing better than a good beat and a sweaty body! I like to switch up my playlists frequently, and they usually have a mix of pop, hip/hop, and techno tunes, but lately I’ve been running to a lot of Mac Miller. He’s got sick rhymes and awesome beats, perfect for an energizing run. One song you’ll always find on my playlist though is Kanye West & Jay-Z’s “No Church in the Wild.” No matter where I’m at on my run– tackling a hill or flying down a straightaway–it’s always the perfect pump-up song, and it pushes me to run harder and sprint faster.

More FITNESS Editor Playlists:

Lisa Haney, Senior Editor

Jenna Autuori-Dedic, Fitness Editor

Juno DeMelo, Nutrition Editor

Pam O’Brien, Executive Editor

Heather Muir, Beauty Director

Colleen Moody, Senior Web Editor

Music Monday: Senior Editor Lisa Haney’s Summer Playlist Picks

Written on August 5, 2013 at 9:29 am , by

Now that summer is officially in full swing (and bringing the heat!), we really want your playlists to pop. And don’t worry, we get it – your tastes vary. Heck, they’re ridiculously diverse amongst our staff! To keep everyone’s earbuds happy, we’re plugging you in to the songs that make us sweat. Every Monday will reveal a new editor’s playlist – pick one who lines up with your preferred beats, download their top tunes and get back to enjoying your workouts.

***

Lisa Haney, Senior Editor

I mostly listen to alternative music, but for working out, I have a lot of hip hop, rap and pop on heavy rotation to pump me up. This mix is a little of bothgood for a medium-length run at a moderate pace with bursts of speed built right in. And since I’m running in NYC, it includes “Empire State of Mind,” which I could listen to on repeat for an entire run and still not get sick of it.

Follow Lisa on Twitter for more of her faves!

More FITNESS Editor Playlists:

Jenna Autuori-Dedic, Fitness Editor

Juno DeMelo, Nutrition Editor

Pam O’Brien, Executive Editor

Heather Muir, Beauty Director

Colleen Moody, Senior Web Editor

 

Music Monday: Fitness Editor Jenna Autuori’s Summer Playlist Picks

Written on July 29, 2013 at 9:56 am , by

Now that summer is officially in full swing (and bringing the heat!), we really want your playlists to pop. And don’t worry, we get it – your tastes vary. Heck, they’re ridiculously diverse amongst our staff! To keep everyone’s earbuds happy, we’re plugging you in to the songs that make us sweat. Every Monday will reveal a new editor’s playlist – pick one who lines up with your preferred beats, download their top tunes and get back to enjoying your workouts.

***

Jenna Autuori, Fitness Editor

The eclectic style of running music is sometimes as disarray as the hectic to-do list my days start with and end on. With an upcoming marathon on my training schedule, my running playlists might just be my very best friend. I see my music as I see the road ahead of me.  Each song brings visualizations to mind that help me get the miles done. Songs like Eminem’s “Till I Collapse” make me think about the popular YouTube video of snippets from the Kona Ironman Championship set to the song. As a triathlete with an intense competitive side, I use this song to constantly inspire me to keep going when I want to quit—or to simply get my workout started on the right foot (no pun intended). However, it’s ballads like Leona Lewis’ “Bleeding Love” that emotionally make me shiver when I hear it. The power behind her voice becomes the power behind my steps. Or The Verve’s “Bittersweet Symphony,” for instance, is not a typical running tune, but as the song I walked down the aisle to with my husband by my side, when it hits my ears I am instantly empowered. Does anybody else mix rap with divas and alternative rock? Maybe not, but check out my playlist and you just might get hooked on this random array.

Follow Jenna on Twitter for more of her faves!

More FITNESS Editor Playlists:

Juno DeMelo, Nutrition Editor

Pam O’Brien, Executive Editor

Heather Muir, Beauty Director

Colleen Moody, Senior Web Editor