Written on November 11, 2013 at 1:08 pm , by Samantha Shelton
After watching season 3 of The Voice, I wasn’t sure I wanted to hop on the Christina Aguilera bandwagon. Her actions and clothes were a bit too provocative for my taste; she seemed to be grasping for attention. But after taking a step back from the show in season 4 with fellow coach Cee Lo Green, and reportedly spending more time with her family, the megastar is back for season 5 with a vengeance and I could not be more in love. Her look is more classic, the advice she doles out is top notch and she seems to really care about the contestants. Although we got a glimpse of Xtina’s season 3 behavior in last week’s performance of “How I Feel” with Flo Rida (girl wants to show she’s still got sass!), she reeled me back in with her performance of “Say Something” with A Great Big World the following night.
While I could go on and on about my reignited love for the singer (I mean, I did grow up working it to “Genie in a Bottle”), it’s her svelte figure that I’m going gaga over. And it turns out you are, too – you told us one thing you’re most curious about is how she slimmed down. Ask, and you shall receive! Reports say she’s worked with trainer Tee Sorge to peel off the pounds, citing yoga and hiking as two of the fat-blasters that worked for her. We personally recommend this yoga routine, where you’ll burn 500+ cals in a speedy 45 minutes.
We’re not sure if she jams to her own tunes (after all, sometimes LL Cool J catches his own hits), but I certainly will. Download these old and new hits to your next rise-and-grind playlist. There’s something about “Fighter” that’s guaranteed to bring out your inner badass.
Written on November 8, 2013 at 4:59 pm , by Samantha Shelton
This week’s fit links from around the web:
- You pay a lot of money for your personal trainer, but are they worth it? Here’s 10 signs you should ditch ‘em for good. -Daily Burn
- So you want to do an Ironman? This is your race-day breakdown of what to expect (with an extra dose of inspiration). -Meals and Miles
- Research shows that electro-pop music makes you move the fastest. Pump up your pace with this heart-throbbing playlist. -Songza
- This woman has run 100 marathons, so we take her word from it when she says these are the products for getting through 26.2 miles. -50 by 25
- Bucket list items are all the rage today. Make sure these six are on yours. -Thought Catalog
Written on November 1, 2013 at 4:30 pm , by Samantha Shelton
This week’s fit links from around the web, prepping everyone for racing or cheering the New York City Marathon on Sunday. Happy running!
- The best spots to cheer based on the experiences you’re after. Plus, a mile-by-mile breakdown for those first-timers tackling the famous course. -Losing Weight in the City
- Need a good race sign to cheer on your fave runner (and make a stranger smile)? All sorts of ideas wait for you here. -Best Race Signs
- How to not hit the dreaded “wall” during the marathon. -Mile Posts
- 7 reasons why this runner won’t be eating a pasta dinner the night before race day. -Run to the Finish
- Cross the final to-do’s off your list to make sure you’re ready to run. -Race Pace Jess
Written on October 31, 2013 at 5:07 pm , by Samantha Shelton
You’ve heard it before: when you want to run faster, it helps to hit the pavement with faster friends. Not only will you be motivated to pump up the pace, but you can gab about which pro runner you want to see break the finisher’s tape first.
But what if you had the chance to do more than talk about that runner, but actually feel what it’s like to run at their level – you know, without taking any crazy speed-boosting drugs? Consider it done, thanks to Asics and their latest challenge to New Yorkers. With the ING New York City Marathon set for its big return this Sunday, after being canceled last year due to Superstorm Sandy, the big sneaker brand wants runners to “Better Their Best” with the opportunity to step into top marathoner Ryan Hall’s sneaks – well, sort of. Instead of actually wearing his shoes (um, gross – there are some things we don’t like to share), you’ll hop on a one-of-a kind treadmill that’s set to one speed, and one speed only: 12.6. That’s the equivalent of Hall’s 4:46-mile pace, and we think you can keep up. But don’t worry – you’re strapped to a harness, juuust in case.
The best part of this “Run with Ryan” experiment? The treadmill is on a truck, meaning it’s traveling throughout the city. So if you haven’t seen it in your hood yet, keep those eyes peeled and sneakers laced. Still need incentive to hop on? For every minute logged on the treadmill between now and November 2nd, Asics will donate $5 (up to $26,200) to the Mayor’s Fund to Advance New York City in support of public programs focused on youth development.
Now that we’ve got you feeling the need for speed, check out the times and locations below to find the closest area the treadmill will be traveling to. We recommend running there as your pre-sprint warm-up:
- October 31 (until 9pm): Time Warner Center, S/S 60th St. and Broadway
- November 1: Asics Bryant Park Store, 5th and 42nd St.
- November 2: Central Park, N/S 58th St. and 7th Ave
For an extra boost of confidence, watch this video to see how other New Yorkers fared in the challenge.
Now you tell us: How long do you think you could keep up with Ryan?
Written on October 25, 2013 at 5:19 pm , by Samantha Shelton
This week’s fit links around the web…all about our Meet and Tweet going bi-coastal! We headed to LA on Tuesday to bring all the information, fun and – of course – swag to the west coast. Here’s what you all had to say about it:
- The perspective from one of our blogger panelists.-Skinny Runner
- All the fun another one of our panelists had.-Run, Eat, Repeat
- A solid rundown of the day’s events, along with a link up to some of the fab bloggers in attendance. -That’s G
- This blogger became fast friends with Tony Horton – check out her biceps! -Running Hutch
- Five important lessons this blogger learned from our information sessions. -To Live & Diet in L.A.
- If you were running with our EIC, @FITNESSbetty, would you know it?-Cupcake Cardio
- If you want to turn your blog into a business, these are key points to remember. -Skinny Chick
- Swag, swag, swag! This blogger dishes on all the goodies in her bag.-Aprons Trainers and Bibs
Check out our Instagram account to see some of our fave pictures from the day. Follow the #fitblogla hashtag to check out the conversation.
Thank you to everyone who came out and enjoyed a gorgeous LA day with us. We had a blast!
Written on October 16, 2013 at 12:56 pm , by Samantha Shelton
If you’re anything like me, then you agree that there’s not much better than cozying up on the couch after a tough workout, flipping to the HGTV channel and watching two cute twins help people find a diamond-in-the-rough house, fix ‘er up and present a dream home – all within a budget that the new homeowners decide on. Of course, I’m talking about one of HGTV’s most popular shows, Property Brothers, featuring Jonathan and Drew Scott. The guys have been in the business since they were 18 (making a $50K profit on their first home), but they’ve had plenty of other things on their plate over the years. Fun fact: Drew – the real estate expert – was a personal trainer and has a degree in Kinesiology!
“Both Jonathan and I coached karate, basketball and volleyball in high school,” explains Drew. “So I studied kinesiology, fully planning on becoming a PE teacher, which ended up turning into me being a personal trainer instead.”
While he’s the gym junkie of the duo, Jonathan does his fair share of heavy lifting for work – after all, he is tearing down walls and putting them back up. And you might just catch him jamming to Hilary Duff while hammering away (no, we’re not kidding). Most embarrassing song on his playlist? “A remake of ‘Reach Out,’” he says. “It’s a really great song!” As for what’s pulsing through Drew’s earbuds, it’s a healthy mix of Miley Cyrus (now we know where Jonathan gets his wrecking ball and twerking inspiration from), Muse and…Tony Robbins’ motivational clips.
“I played Drew’s playlist once and he’s got good music playing,” says Jonathan. “There’s a country song here, pop there and all of a sudden it goes to, ‘You are a great person. And people like you.’”
Drew quickly interjects, explaining those are Robbins’ tracks. “It’s not like I have myself on my recorder saying, ‘Drew, you’re amazing. People love you. I accept you.’ I get made fun of all the time because I’m a motivated individual.”
That motivation is a big part of the brothers’ success. Tune in to HGTV a few nights a week because you’ll find them more than once. There’s the aforementioned Property Brothers, then they have Buying and Selling and their latest competition show, Brother vs. Brother. So why three shows? “Every one’s a little bit different,” explains Jonathan. “I like that they’re all the perfect compliment to the others. On Property Brothers, I get to do the biggest designs, and they’re my designs, so I love that aspect of it. Whereas on Brother vs. Brother, we’re more just mentoring these contestants, and it’s completely up to them to make the decisions and mistakes, and of course, there a lot of mistakes.”
Written on October 14, 2013 at 1:45 pm , by Samantha Shelton
Ever since that notorious VMAs performance, people cannot stop talking about Miley Cyrus. And I’m no exception: every time I see a link about her latest antics pop up in my newsfeed, you know I’m clicking through to see what’s up. While I’m shaking my head most of the time, and I may not agree with all of her – eh hem – visual antics, the girl’s got me hooked. Which, of course, is the point. She’s even got me jamming to her music on my late-night runs, and no matter how ridiculous I find the music videos to be (I really want Michael Jordan to weigh in on “23″), I will admit to being mildly obsessed with “Wrecking Ball.”
But the latest Miley trend? Combining forces with other musicians, whether she knows about it beforehand or not. We’re talking mash-ups, collaborations, spoofs and covers. In case you’ve missed out on the good, the bad, and the absolutely hilarious, I’ve rounded up my faves. Get watching, and then maybe mix a few tracks from Bangerz into your playlist. Girl may be cray-cray, but her voice is motivating.
Miley and Mumford & Sons mash-up to create “Little Wrecking Ball.” Now this is a video I can actually get behind. And adding Miley’s power-ballad vocals on top of Mumford’s fast-strumming, bluegrass beats was brilliant.
Jimmy Fallon, Miley and The Roots sing an acoustic version of “We Can’t Stop,” and it’s set up Brady-bunch style. Genius.
Written on October 2, 2013 at 2:45 pm , by Samantha Shelton
You watched him heat up the small screen as Dr. Sam Bennett on Private Practice, and now you can catch him in his latest romantic comedy, Baggage Claim, as part of a star-studded cast (you’ll see the likes of Paula Patton, aka wife to one-half of the VMA twerking fiasco, Tia Mowry and Adam Brody). But what really fires up Taye Diggs happens behind-the scenes, in a place much closer to home – the school systems. Fun fact: Diggs is also the children’s book author of “Chocolate Me,”and he’s teamed up with Kellogg’s and Scholastic to get more reading material in kids’ hands.
With a four-year-old of his own, it seems like just the right time for Diggs to get involved. “I grew up reading a ridiculous amount when I was a kid, and now I read to my kid three or four times a day,” he told us during a visit to the FITNESS offices. “Childhood literacy is very important. Two-thirds of every family in poverty doesn’t have books, so we’re just trying to get everybody involved and put an end to that.”
How, exactly, can we help then? In one of two ways:
- Buy any Kellogg’s product, and visit kelloggsfreebook.com to enter the Great Starts, Great Stories codes you’ll find on the inside flap of the box. For each code entered, Kellogg’s will send you a free book that you can keep or donate. Up to 200,000 books will go to schools, homes and communities.
- Participate in the Frosted Mini Wheats Mini Missions program, and earn free scholastic books and the chance to win a sweepstakes for books and grants for your community.
We’ve all heard of Kellogg’s, and the company does a lot to give back, clearly. But when it comes right down to it, we wanted to know: out of all the cereal brands, why partner with this one? “It was what we grew up on,” Diggs says. “For my family, it was like a weekend delicacy. My father would mix up the different cereals – a lot of the time it would be Rice Krispies and Corn Flakes because it had a little less sugar.” And as far as eating as a family goes, there’s zero negotiation for the actor. “I didn’t realize how much of an impact a simple meal could have until I had Walker,” he says. “But now that’s a time, either as a family or just daddy-son time, that you don’t get during any other time of the day. For us, we talk about dreams or nightmares he had the night before, or what we’re going to do for the rest of the day. We can check in with each other. Not to mention, that’s when he’s the most cute. When he wakes up.” Cue a round of aww’s, please!
But reading and eating a morning meal together aren’t the only things the star does with his son. They get their sweat on together, too (which begins to explain that, um, enviable physique). “I’m trying to gently massage the importance of staying healthy and in shape. He likes looking at big muscles, so I use that as a bribe. I’ll say, ‘If you want those, you have to eat your protein, eat your vegetables, do a couple push-ups and stretch out.’” When he’s not, er, bribing the boy, they’re doing fun activities together, like running and soccer. And on top of that, Diggs manages to fit in his own workouts – think basketball, tennis and weight lifting – to stay in tip-top shape for his acting gigs. Maybe we’ll see him as an athlete in his next role? “Someone asked my son what I did for a living, and he said, ‘He changes into shorts and he plays basketball!’ Because I always go from the gym to work, so he rarely hears me say I’m going to work. It was pretty funny.”
Sounds like Diggs is a pro at leading by example. For more of his tips on getting active with your own kiddos, watch this:
More from FITNESS:
Written on September 18, 2013 at 2:35 pm , by Samantha Shelton
In our transition into fall, we tend to work out a little less and eat a little more. Why? It’s simple, really: we’re not spending every weekend at the beach, when the idea of flashing a bikini often motivates us to be on top of our sweat schedules. But if heading into a humid gym to log miles on the treadmill or elliptical sounds less than appealing, celeb trainer Harley Pasternak has one word for you: Don’t. When he trains clients like Julianne Hough, Rihanna and Katy Perry, he gives them all one piece of equipment, and has an easy trick to staying out of the gym. Watch the video to steal his no-gym secrets, and watch yourself shimmy right back into those skinny jeans.
More from FITNESS:
Written on September 16, 2013 at 11:14 am , by Samantha Shelton
Is it just me, or does it feel like now that summer is over, it’s time for another tropical vacation? If you’re in the market for a getaway, I have a great suggestion: Aruba. While I love lounging on the beach as much as the next girl, there comes a point in my trip when I feel the urge to get up and go. So, if you’re like me and need a healthy mix of active adventure sprinkled with total relaxation, then the One Happy Island is perfect for you to explore. Allow me to explain:
Beaches. Aruba’s got ‘em and they’re beautiful. The crystal-clear water is extremely inviting, and the temperature is perfect for swimming, snorkeling or a good ole’ splash fight with friends. The sand is pure white, and with more than 10 locations, there’s plenty to choose from if one spot is a bit too crowded for your liking. One warning, though: It’s windy in Aruba (making the high temps super comfortable). So if you’re a girl who prefers sun-bathing to water-splashing, I’d recommend lounging by the pool.
Water sports. This is the place to try it all and really test your limits. If you’re a beginner, try snorkeling or stand up paddleboarding. If you want to feel the wind in your hair, give wind- or kite-surfing a whirl. I hopped on a catamaran tour with friends, where we explored three different locations, including a ship wreck! And you have to be sure to try a unique water activity I had never heard of before: Snuba. A cross between snorkeling and scuba diving, this is for those who don’t have their scuba certification but still want to explore the depths of the ocean. The difference: instead of strapping a tank to your back, it stays above water so you can swim freely. Perfect compromise, right?
Guy-friendly adventures. If you’re bringing a special man along, most of the time they do a good job of relaxing on the beach beside you while sipping ice-cold beverages (I recommend tasting an Aruba Ariba, the island’s famous tropical cocktail). But if they’re being honest, most would rather explore in a more, er, rugged way. Enter ATV riding. The landscape in Aruba has turquoise waters colliding against desert-like terrain, giving you those Instagram-worthy views (#nofilterneeded) and him an adrenaline rush as you cruise over sand dunes, past cacti and through the rocky cliffs of Arikok National Park. And if that’s not quite your speed, you can hike or hop on a horse – you’ll still slowly walk along the beach for more of a romantic vibe, but there are plenty of trails that take you through the same rugged terrain as an ATV. Join a tour of more experienced riders and you won’t soon forget the feeling of moving along at a full gallop with ocean views to your left and rocky mountains to your right.