Written on October 22, 2012 at 9:35 am , by Karla Walsh
We’ve all been there: It’s an “off” day at the gym. Your workout feels more challenging than usual and the clock can’t move fast enough. Then the right song comes pumping through your earbuds (cue Kanye West with “Stronger”) and everything falls into place. Your feet start stepping to the beat, you forget about your worries and are finally happy to be exercising.
Matt Basso, president of Iron Lotus Personal Training, is a strong believer that the right playlist can transform a sweat session. So much so that he’s produced all of the music for each of the workouts in his new DBX3 program so that the pace lines up perfectly with the routines for an extra motivation boost. Read on for his dance and pop music picks, and a workout tailor-made for this Music Monday mix.
- “Too Long/Steam Machine” The consistent pulse builds, and since it’s live, “it’s like they’re cheering you to get started,” says Basso.
- “Don’t Wake Me Up” The intro allows you enough time to grab a kettlebell and swing along to the driving beat, Basso suggests.
- “Cry (Just a Little)” Do jumping jacks during this tune with 120 beats per minute (BPMs), the ideal tempo for cardio and dance.
- “The Way You Make Me Feel” “Do I even need to explain how hard Michael Jackson grooves? This song is ideal for some seated rows and push-ups,” Basso says.
- “The Night Out (Madeon Remix)” Get inspired by the 17-year-old DJ who created this remix (“he could make you happy doing the hardest exercises,” Basso says) and knock out burpees for as long as you can for the duration of this 120 BPM song.
- “Electric Feel (Justice Remix)” The tempo slows a bit, so pick the kettlebell back up and swing again.
- “Right Round” and “Da Funk” Freestyle! Try something new or your favorite moves from above through the hip-hop and dance beats.
Written on October 18, 2012 at 12:35 pm , by Karla Walsh
Ah, the spa lifestyle. Waking up and playing a low-stress tennis match, sneaking off for a massage and wrapping up the day with a nutritious meal. It’s vacation for most, but for spa director Kristina, these are events that she thinks about daily, and she tries to infuse these ideals into her own lifestyle. It’s a treat to follow along on her blog, Spa Bettie, as Kristina lives according to her personal philosophy: “Clean eating and fun movement balanced with the right amount of indulgence.”
So what is Kristina’s favorite way to start her day and how does she make eating clean feel indulgent (besides with these irresistible chocolate peanut butter pancakes)? Read on to find out.
My favorite way to work out: It’s an unappreciated workout—I love my treadmill! I know the value of a good weight workout and I also love tennis and rollerskating!
Most embarrassing song I’ll admit I work out to: “Brandy” by Looking Glass. Yep, I like the oldies. An upbeat song I can sing to gives me energy and that’s all I need. It’s also my favorite karaoke song…
My fitness mantra: “I never regret a workout.” When I am running, I am chasing that runner’s high. When I am playing tennis, it’s to get that perfect shot. Skiing down a hill, to have fun and go fast! Fitness to me is about motivation. It’s fun and goal-oriented.
Written on October 16, 2012 at 10:15 am , by Karla Walsh
This time of year, politicians are known for throwing verbal jabs during heated debates (like the second presidential one taking place tonight). But how do the candidates’ jab-cross kickboxing combos stack up?
Gold’s Gym recently surveyed 4,000 Americans to “exercise their right to vote” for the nation’s fittest president. Click here to learn more about the top 12 nominees, and keep reading to find which five were selected as fittest:
- Barack Obama: Our country’s current leader is an avid basketball player who frequently plays pick-up games on the White House tennis court, which he had converted into a half basketball court.
- George W. Bush: The second Bush in office is the first president who completed a marathon (he ran one in less than four hours!). He also enjoys cycling.
- George Washington: You might not guess that this strong military man was also a stellar dancer!
- Theodore Roosevelt: While on a 1,500-mile expedition to help map a South American river, this adventurer challenged his fitness and lost 57 pounds.
- Gerald Ford: He could have been a Green Bay Packer or Chicago Bear had politics not been in the picture—he was offered contracts to play with both after playing football on a scholarship at the University of Michigan.
Now tell us: Which commander in chief do you think is/was our country’s best fitness role model? And do you take a candidate’s health habits into account when heading to the voting booth?
Written on October 12, 2012 at 9:15 am , by Karla Walsh
This week’s fit links from around the web:
- A destination race can be a treat, but don’t let these potential travel pitfalls trip you up. — FitBottomed Girls
- Spice up your workout wardrobe and help a great cause! We can’t wait to try this fun alternative to our faded running shorts. — MizFit Online
- Who hid the Ho-Hos? A new scientific report says it may be possible to decrease obesity rates by making less healthful foods harder to find at the supermarket. — Washington Post
- A bowl of chicken pot pie soup sounds just about perfect with the weather cooling down. Comfort food at its finest! — SkinnyTaste
- Have you heard of HIIT? Here are five ways to try it—and boost your cardio capacity. — Fitnessista
Written on October 5, 2012 at 12:58 pm , by Karla Walsh
This week’s fit links from around the web:
- Don’t just sit there…stretch! Try these six options for desk jockeys. — Greatist
- Perk up a tired workout playlist with these new-for-fall songs. — Fit Sugar
- Do you like to cook using a crockpot? Find dozens of tried and tested recipes here. — Carrots ‘N’ Cake
- You might recognize a supportive sibling of that gutsy news anchor who took a stand about weight-related bullying this week. He starred in Office Space! — ABC News
- Two of the world’s greatest desserts combine in these lightened up candy: Pumpkin Pie Peanut Butter Cups! — Chocolate-Covered Katie
- How do you style your hair for workouts? — Healthy Tipping Point
Written on October 1, 2012 at 11:07 am , by Karla Walsh
On Iron Chef, Bobby Flay has slayed the competition using ingredients as varied as buffalo, bananas and blue foot chicken. Clearly, this is one man who knows his way around the kitchen (or grill!). So what’s this Food Network star’s dream secret ingredient? “Greek yogurt. It’s good for so much more than just eating straight topped with honey and berries,” Flay says.
In fact, the tangy dairy item has made an appearance in several of his Iron Chef battles, including a grilled lamb dish with pomegranate and mint yogurt sauce that “takes 60 seconds to make.” [Editor's note: Can we be on the tasting panel?]
Flay loves the versatility of Greek yogurt, using it as a meat marinade, substitute for heavy cream or creme fraiche as a soup-topper, and in dessert, of course. “Frozen yogurt is nothing new, so why not frozen Greek yogurt?” he suggests. “Think of it as a vanilla base and add berries, cinnamon or ricotta cheese.”
Flay, who dreams of taking on Gordon Ramsay in Kitchen Stadium one day, has teamed up with Fage Total to host a recipe contest. They want to see your most innovative, flavorful Greek yogurt ideas. The winner will see her recipe featured on the menu at a special Plain Kitchen event (not to mention a trip to New York City to meet the chef himself)!
To get things rolling, Flay shared one of his favorite snack recipes that includes Greek yogurt: hummus with pita chips. Click below for the recipe, and find more at fageusa.com/plainkitchen.
Written on September 27, 2012 at 2:51 pm , by Karla Walsh
True, she’s a marathoner, group fitness instructor and personal trainer, but we’re pretty sure any busy mom—or woman in general—will relate to STUFT Mama‘s Kristin. In a recent post, she hilariously used her compression socks as an excuse not to shave her legs (love those time-saving tricks!).
We love her humorous approach to all things fitness, so we asked this speedy mom of twins to share the tips and tools that keep her energized and how she treats herself after all those hard workouts.
My fitness mantra: I have a couple:
- “A journey of 1,000 miles begins with a single step.” I tell my clients that every step towards health counts, even if it’s a small one. We have the opportunity every day to succeed instead of letting fear or insecurity hold us back. Being uncomfortable and going for it is not a bad thing.
- “You can do anything you want, anything you put your heart and your mind into.” —Ronald Miller, Can’t Buy Me Love
My “I Did It” moment: When I finished my very first marathon right after my twins turned one. I always told myself that I wanted to be that person who stayed fit throughout pregnancy and then ran a marathon after having kids. That’s exactly what I did and now racing is a part of who I am. In a way I got to live the dream I always wanted. I have since gotten a Boston qualifying time.
My biggest motivation comes from: Being the best mom I can be to my boys. It’s hard to balance motherhood, career and taking time to exercise and take care of myself, but every day I want to lead by example and show my boys the importance of healthy eating and fitness.
5 things I can’t live without: My BOB double jogging stroller, Mizuno running shoes, egg whites, dark chocolate and espresso.
Most embarrassing song I’ll admit I work out to: I have more than one Kenny Loggins song on my current playlist. “Footloose” is my favorite.
Do you have a favorite fit blogger you want us to highlight? Leave a comment below or email email@example.com
Written on September 19, 2012 at 12:22 pm , by Karla Walsh
The numbers paint a clear picture: Nearly one in three American kids and teens are overweight or obese, according to Michelle Obama’s health initiative Let’s Move! So it wasn’t surprising when her husband, President Obama, signed a proclamation a few weeks ago that declared September as “Childhood Obesity Awareness Month.”
We have a few too many candles on our birthday cakes to directly impact those statistics, but we can take steps to promote healthy habits to the little ones in our lives (like leading by exercise example and cooking nutritious meals with them). And one new way to help—while fitting in our own workouts—caught our eye. In the case of fighting childhood obesity, yes, there’s an app for that.
“The Saucony Run4Good app allows people to support the cause by earning donations for miles run,”says Chris Lindner, Chief Marketing Officer of Saucony. “The GPS-enabled app tracks your mileage. Each month, when a collective predetermined mileage goal is reached, Saucony will double its current donation to selected youth running programs.”
The free app is part of Saucony’s Run For Good Foundation, which was launched in 2006. To date, the foundation has awarded nearly $1 million to over 100 organizations dedicated to getting kids active through running (these include American Diabetes Association chapters, YMCA locations and United Way groups). Monthly leader boards allow users to “challenge friends and join teams that compete together to accumulate mileage toward the monthly goal,” Lindner says.
So the next time your motivation to lace up your sneakers is flagging, think of the benefits of your workout beyond the calories and stress that’s burned off. Your mileage could add up to awesome active opportunities for some youngsters out there.
More from FITNESS:
- What is Your Weight Destiny?
- Fit For a Cause: Real Women Who Are Changing the World
- Quiz: How Fit is Your Family?
Written on September 18, 2012 at 10:02 am , by Karla Walsh
Even health pros struggle with making smart diet choices all the time. FITNESS advisory board member Pam Peeke, MD, admits that she “turned to food for comfort” after a family illness when she was a teen. “Bridge Mix was my ‘crack’ and seemed to numb my pain,” she says.
Peeke learned to avoid her trigger foods, and says that we can all learn to bypass temptation or emotional eating by doing the same. According to Peeke, it’s sometimes necessary to “reclaim your hijacked reward system in your brain” to conquer this issue (for example, going for a walk rather than scooping up a bowl of ice cream when you are stressing out about your upcoming performance review).
Easier said than done, though. So we asked Peeke to share tips from her new book The Hunger Fix, on sale today, for some examples of how to overcome life’s most stressful situations and still be able to slide into our skinny jeans afterward.
Struggling with a work deadline…
- False fix: Staying up too late, using caffeine as a crutch, stress eating
- Healthy fix: Eating nutritious foods every three to four hours, sipping green tea, standing up every 30 minutes to stretch
Written on September 13, 2012 at 9:06 am , by Karla Walsh
It’s a trend that we probably first noticed with the bodybuilding kid C.J. Senters, continued on with the Fierce Five (median age of 16) and now is spreading to the triathlon circuit: young athletes seem to be making their mark on more serious athletic events than ever. Clearly, it’s not just team sports either. The number of teens participating in road races and triathlons continues to grow, according to USA Triathlon.
To learn more about this trend, and how students balance their coursework with their workouts, we spoke with Fiona Chesley, a 15-year-old who aims to complete her 18th triathlon at the Nautica Malibu Triathlon on September 16 to benefit the pediatric cancer research program at the Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles.
Most kids stick with team sports like basketball, volleyball, cheerleading, etc. What drew you to triathlons?
I’ve played many sports, but none seemed right. I enjoy competing in sports with a finish line. There isn’t a coach on the sidelines telling you if you’re right or wrong—it’s all you. You’re the one who has to find all of the determination deep within and put it to use.
What does your training regimen look like, and how do you fit it in with school and your social life?
It helps that racing is a family affair for me. Typically, I swim with my stepmother and run with my dad when he gets home around 6 p.m. I also go to the YMCA and do weight and ab workouts when I have time. Sometimes, I train and bike with the Cal Tri team.
Time for the lightning round…Fill in the blank:
- My role model is: “Chrissie Wellington, the four-time world Ironman champion. She is a great triathlete and has inspired me to do an Ironman someday!”
- My top motivation trick: “When I’m not in the mood to exercise, I play long games of Ultimate Frisbee with friends. It’s loads of fun and an easy way sneak in a workout.”
- My go-to pre-race meal: “The night before a triathlon, my family has our favorite pasta dish: fusilli pasta with butter, ham, peas and mozzarella cheese.”
- My dream competition: “I aim to do my best at every race, but I eventually want to compete in the triathlon at the Olympics.”
More from FITNESS: