While we’ve loved watching Sarah Chalke play various roles throughout the years (Stella on How I Met Your Mother, anyone?), we first fell in love back in the early 2000′s when she starred as the hilariously loveable Elliot on Scrubs. As she spewed out medical jargon like a pro, we wondered how much actors learn while playing doctor roles–we’d have to think twice before saying no to Dr. McDreamy, after all!
Turns out, this blonde beauty knows quite a bit about healthy habits and passing them on to her three-year-old son, Charlie. As the spokesperson for Faces of Influenza, she told us why she’s so supportive of the flu vaccine (and how it’s not too late to get it!) and what life is like after becoming Dr. Elliot Reid for nine years.
What do you love about this campaign?
I’ve had the flu shot every year for pretty much the last two decades. My whole family gets it; it’s something we’ve grown up with. And now that I’m a mom, it’s that much more important to me. Charlie is three and he gets it every single year. None of us have ever gotten the flu, either. I just think it’s so important, especially for people in high risk groups and anyone caring for those people, so you can create a wall of health.
As a parent, why do you think it’s so important to get the flu shot?
I think it’s so common to put your kids’ health first and you kind of let yours fall to the wayside because you’re busy, stressed and tired. Bottom line: it has to go to the top of the list. You want to protect your kid and not bring all the stuff you’re exposed to home. In my job, I’m exposed to hundreds of crew members on a show and we’re all eating from the same trays. At Scrubs, they would have a day when they’d bring the vaccine and everyone would get it.
Is it ever too late to get vaccinated?
You can still get it now! The flu season doesn’t even peak until February, so if someone has been too busy with work, it’s still a great time to get it because it only takes one to become effective and then they’re protected. Flu season can continue through March. And I think it’s such a bad flu season this year – there are record numbers of people coming in. It’s absolutely a great time to still get it.
Whoever said people slow down as they get older never met Olympic bronze medalist Deena Kastor. The running superstar turned 40 on Valentine’s Day, then packed up and traveled to Pasadena to tackle the Kaiser Permanente Rock ‘n’ Roll half-marathon. As if finishing in 1:12:57 and, ya know, winning the race wasn’t enough, she’s got her eyes set on the LA Marathon in March. Her goal? Winning that one, too! We chatted with the pro to find out how running has changed her throughout the years, and to nab some tips for those looking to bust out of a rut.
First of all, happy belated birthday! Did you do anything to celebrate?
Well I was heading to the Kaiser Permanente Rock ‘n’ Roll Pasadena Half-Marathon the next day, so nothing too outrageous. But we had a barbecue that night – good food and good wine, of course.
That sounds perfect. Now that you’re officially in your 40s, have you looked back at how you ran in your 20s and seen any changes in your running style?
I think my mileage is a little lower. Now I make sure there’s a lot of quality to my miles, rather than quantity. I spent many years running 120-140 mile weeks training or marathons; now I’m focused a little lower. It was a natural process for me, rather than an age change, but I focus on recovery and rest a little bit more now and making sure my body can handle the intensity. That’s always been intuitive for me, so I’ve been really lucky. I’m rarely plagued with injuries because I back down before they come to fruition. The sport of running is very healthy, but people can go unhealthy and it’s all about maintaining that balance.
What do you like to do on recovery days?
Sometimes I’ll take a short 2-3 mile run to loosen up, and other times I’ll take a day completely off and give myself a rest. Resting to me isn’t going to the mall and heading out to parties. If I feel I need it, I lounge on the couch all day. There’s nothing wrong with that. There’s certainly days you need to disconnect from the computer and your running shoes.
A bowl of oatmeal for breakfast is…sexy? When Fabio Viviani is serving it, we like to think so. Which is why he’s the star of Quaker’s new video in support of the American Heart Association’s Go Red for Women movement. And on the day of love (Valentine’s Day, in case you missed it), we had to get a piece of this Italian’s mind. Here’s his take on breakfast, and what you should be doing to spice up your love life.
Tell me about this steamy video! What made you want to get involved?
It’s a good cause. If you’ve followed me in the last few years, then you know I’m all about good food and what’s good for you. As a chef, it has to be tasty. And well, let’s be honest, sometimes something that’s good for you is not necessarily delicious. But oatmeal is! So when I was approached by the Go Red for Women movement with Quaker Oats, it was perfect – we’re talking about food, breakfast and ladies – it was a good fit.
Whose idea was it to make it a funny, sexy video?
The good news is that it’s easy for me to make things steamy because I have an accent! But if I’m going to do a video, it’s got to be funny – food is fun!
Are you a breakfast lover yourself?
When I came to the United States, I learned to love it. Back in Italy, I didn’t really have it a lot. Now I like oatmeal and I like to make things different. Breakfast is something that can really change a lot about your day. We always talk about making the right choices, and something as easy and small as breakfast being done in the right way is huge.
Other than as a standard bowl for breakfast, how do you use Quaker oats?
It’s a staple for breakfast, absolutely. But I also use oatmeal powder as a thickening agent instead of using gelatin and other chemical-filled things when I work in the kitchen. I make an oatmeal gelato that is delicious.
Healthy eating is clearly a big part of strong heart health. What strategies do you like to follow?
You’re talking to an Italian guy, so you’re never going to hear me say drop carbs or meat! A balanced diet is the one that makes you happy while keeping you healthy. Being miserable is not healthy; it’s stressful. So I try to balance my diet with a lot of vegetables and good protein, but it’s OK to have steak once a week or so. Fish, in general, is good too. Maybe avoid tilapia because it’s really fatty, but others are great. And risotto – I love risotto! I’ll eat it any day of the week. I mean that, sometimes I’ve done it. And I’ll cook it in red wine instead of broth.
A new season of The Amazing Race begins February 17th on CBS, and we’re more than ready for a healthy dose of adrenaline-soaked TV. Watching teams work together to conquer obstacles, solve clues and race against others to be the first across the finish line for $1 million is our kind of reality TV (but we love a good episode of The Bachelor, too). While still dreaming of competing on the show ourselves, we connected with Nat Strand, one half of the winning team during season 17. Not only was she the winner, but she and best friend, Kat, were the first all-female team to win – and Strand, now 33, was the first diabetic victor. Can you say rock star?
What made you want to try out for The Amazing Race?
I was with Kat at a friend’s wedding, and for some reason that night we started watching episodes on her computer and just fell in love with the show. It was travel, adventure, competition and culture. I had just finished my medical training and this was a breath of fresh air to celebrate that. And I knew it would be a fantastic platform to show that having Type 1 diabetes doesn’t have to limit you. One minute you’re scaling a castle wall, the next you’re bungee jumping off a crane. I just knew that if I could get on the show, I would have such a wonderful platform to inspire people who are dealing with chronic disease.
How did your diabetes diagnosis affect how you approached a situation?
It just requires a lot of forethought and planning. One challenge, for example, was floating on a shield. People kept falling into the water, and I had a non-waterproof insulin pump. So I had to plan how I would take it off, how to store it, etc. And I always had to plan and make sure I had fast-acting carbs on hand, like sports beans, because exercise affects your body a lot.
But you’re only allowed one backpack for the whole show. What did you make sure was always in yours?
When I was first packing, I put in everything that was diabetes related, and I couldn’t fit anything else – not even a single sock! So I obviously had to reconsider things. In the end, I made sure that, along with my diabetes management products, I had a lot of shot blocks and sports beans for electrolyte replacement, and a letter in every language explaining that I was a diabetic so I could get through customs. My teammate also had a full supply of diabetes stuff in her backpack, in case I ever lost mine.
We love a nice box of dark chocolate as much as the next girl, but a date to get all hot and sweaty with loved ones on Valentine’s Day? That’s the real way to make us swoon. Grab your sweetheart and get ready for four heart-racing routines designed to spike your endorphins before segueing into a cuddle sesh after class.
Tough Love: Bars, Bands & Blindfolds Bootcamp – New York Sports Club
If you’re in New York City, head to the 59th and Park Ave location on Thursday at 5:15pm throughout the month to go through four sweat-dripping circuits that will definitely get your, um, blood pumping. We tested the routine ourselves, and before we knew it, they had us tied up, blindfolded and channeling our inner Fifty Shades of Grey characters for 45 minutes.
If you’re not in NYC, check out their schedule to see if there’s a class near you. The best part? It’s free! So there’s really no excuse to not experience this lusty routine yourself. (free; mysportsclubs.com)
Revolve’s Red Hot Rip Ride
All the single ladies, this one’s for you! Head to Revolve, where they’ll celebrate the hot bod you work hard for. Grab a girlfriend for the 7:30pm class and party on a bike with reckless abandon – no men allowed! ($28 per ride; revolvefitness.com)
Aerial Duo: Valentine’s Workshop with Seanna Sharpe
Always want to try the moves acrobats seem to pull off so effortlessly? Now’s your chance. Sharpe has been teaching people to fly for over seven years, and now she wants to help you and your best friend pull off the crazy bends and twists together. Solo but still want to try? No problem: they have options for singles, too. ($40 individuals, $75/duo; omfactorynyc.com)
Detox Your Valentine’s Day – Brooklyn BodyBurn
Get an exclusive sneak peak of one of Williamsburg’s newest fitness studios and experience sweat for a cause. There’s no entry fee, but organizers are asking for a $5 charitable donation with all proceeds going to New York Cares. After the warm fuzzies make your skin glisten, enjoy appetizers, desserts and smoothie shots with a side of Prosecco to wash it all down. Jonesing for a gift on V-day? Every attendee walks away with a goodie bag. Sweat and swag? These guys know how to take our breath away. ($5 suggested donation, urbandetoxclub.com)
More from FITNESS: Sweat with Your Sweetie at SoulCycle This Valentine’s Day
We know you’ve already gotten one workout playlist this week, but we just couldn’t resist pulling together another one after last night’s Grammy awards. With artists killing their performances one after the other, our ears were in heaven; our eyes weren’t unhappy either while watching Justin Timberlake bring sexy back with Jay-Z and Alicia Keys dominating on the drums with Maroon 5. If these tracks weren’t on your playlists already, be sure to download them immediately. If not, you’ll be missing out on some serious musical motivation.
Now you tell us: Did you watch the Grammy’s last night? What was your favorite performance?
Looking for a way to work up a sweat with your main squeeze this Valentine’s Day? Have we got a treat for you. SoulCycle, the Spinning studio taking the country by storm, is cranking the heat with tons of themed rides on the day of love. It’s a great way to catch up on the day and bond with your partner – our fitness editor, Jenna, has a regular weekend SoulCycle date with her hubby!
So grab your sweetheart and get ready to register Monday at noon to nab a bike! If you’re single, no worries – you just might find your soulmate on the bike next to you. Getting active is a great way to find someone with interests similar to yours, and if they’re working out, well, they may be a nice piece of eye candy this holiday.
Wondering which ride you want to raise your heart rate in? These studios are offering plenty to get your blood pumping:
- East 63rd Street, New York, NY: Grab a seat in the 10:30am ride and indulge in complimentary blowouts from Fix Beauty Bar!
- ROS, SCA, GWICH, New York, NY: Head over after work for the 7:30pm ride and sweat next to your special someone in the couples date night ride.
- NOHO, New York, NY: Getting over a breakup? This studio has your back in the Achy Breaky Heart ride at 7:30pm.
- East 83rd Street, New York, NY: Channel your inner vixen with the Moulin Rouge ride at 7:30pm. Bonus! There’s another ride on Saturday, February 16 at 2:30pm.
- WEHO, CA: Single but ready to mingle? Hit up the post-valentine’s day singles ride in Cali on February 15 at 7pm.
Whether you’re single or coupled up, love is in the air this February! Instead of hating on February 14, we’ve decided to take a more optimistic approach: showing our friends, family and loved ones just how much they mean to us, whether it’s through a quick “thinking of you” note, a box of conversation hearts or a workout playlist.
Wait, what was that last one? Yes, we said a workout playlist – how else are you going to share the best songs all about love? After all, music is such a dominant part of our every day lives, and it’s such an easy way to tell someone how you’re feeling. So we turned to our friends at Sony to find out exactly what you wanted to hear. Turns out, you guys are all suckers for the mushy, gushy songs belted out by chart toppers like Aerosmith and the late Whitney Houston.
So go ahead and plug in your headphones for this playlist and indulge in the serenades that top Americans’ list during your next sweet, er, sweat session.
Now you tell us: What’s your favorite love song?
“Did you ever think that swishing just once would be worth $21,000?”
“No, absolutely not! My mother is proud!”
Our moms would be too, if one simple swish of Listerine could trigger a $21,000 donation to Oral Health America and kick off the 21-Day Challenge to Healthier Smiles. But we’re not Ginnifer Goodwin, as much as we like to dream about it.
We can still aspire to be like her though, right? We quickly jumped on board with the 21-Day Challenge once we realized how simple it was! Log on to Facebook, click “Get Started” under the 21-Day Challenge icon and you’re set to go! For every person who signs up, another donation is made to the Smiles Across America program, which will help provide oral health services to children in need. Now all you have to do is swish with Listerine twice a day, every day after brushing and flossing, for 21 days. Gum disease, find someone else to torment!
While chatting with Goodwin, we found out that brushing those pearly whites only kills 75 percent of the germs in your mouth, leaving the rest behind to wreak havoc all over your smile. Another scary fact: half of American adults have some form of gum disease and they don’t even know it. Yikes!
Keep reading to find out what else we learned from the Once Upon A Time actress, including which characters top her list of all-time favorite roles.
“Hit the Road, Jack, and don’t you come back no more, no more, no more, no more…”
That’s exactly what we think of every time we head over to visit Lynda’s blog, Hit the Road Jane, no matter how much we try not to. But we say that’s the perfect kind of branding – nothing like leaving a lasting impression! Instead of setting off solo though, we’ll just hit the road running with Lynda, an energetic Latina from Florida who’s showing us day by day how to keep moving, going after goals (no matter how crazy they may seem!) and always having a good dose of hope in her back pocket. Find out what she’s dreaming of next and how she keeps her workout routine interesting.
I’m happiest when I’m: Done with a tough workout! Nothing compares with the satisfaction I get after completing a tough run, group class or swim. I always gain more confidence and am amazed at how strong my body can be, even if I had my doubts coming into the workout. It just goes to show that we are all stronger than we think!
My favorite way to workout: Variety really is the spice of life. I enjoy mixing things up and have really embraced training for my first triathlon because of this. I noticed that doing the same workouts every week bored me in the past. So I like having a plan to run, bike, swim and cross-train with weights, Zumba or a Spin class.
5 things I can’t live without:
- Books. I’ve been an avid reader since I was a kid, thanks to my Dad. If I had to choose only one thing I couldn’t live without, this would be it. Books are an escape, an inspiration, and can sometimes offer my personal favorite – perspective.
- Technology. Call me a nerd, but I love gadgets (especially fitness ones like Polar, Garmin or FitBit). It’s just fun to learn how to use them and make them a part of daily life.
- Music, especially during runs. Try listening to the movie soundtrack channel on Pandora during your next long run and tell me you don’t feel like you’re on your way to save the world.
- My passport. I’m addicted to travel and exploring the world around me. I want to keep visiting new places for as long as I can! Running has definitely helped me travel to places I never would have gone otherwise, like Bethlehem, Pennsylvania.
- Hope. It drives everything I do an aspire for. Without it, I’d never dream big or set out to accomplish the things that scare me.
My biggest indulgence: Chocolate, hands down. Mmm…
On my fit life list: A half-Ironman, the Boston marathon, and an international marathon, like Paris or Athens.
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