Written on April 22, 2013 at 4:28 pm , by Samantha Shelton
One week ago, tragedy struck at the Boston Marathon finish line when two bombs exploded and changed the lives of thousands. Through the fear and grief though, is strength in numbers. The fitness community is a tough one, and people are coming out of the woodwork from every part of the world to lend a helping hand. Here, a few of our favorite initiatives:
Boston Strong Necklace, Erica Sara Designs
Featured in our March running guide, Erica Sara Designs delivers high-quality, personalized jewelry for every occasion, but the designer (ahem: Erica) behind the business loves to help those in need whenever she finds a few spare minutes. A runner herself, there’s no way she could sit back and watch the tragedy unfold without figuring out a way to help.
Enter the Boston Strong necklace. For the month of April, 100 percent of the proceeds made from the purchase of this necklace will go directly to The One Fund. Same goes for the Every Mile Counts necklace. Furthermore, The One Fund is now a part of ESD’s awareness program for April, so if you purchase a piece from the Awareness Collection, simply choose The One Fund as your choice of charity, and 20 percent of the net proceeds will be donated at the end of the month. Now’s the time to get that commemorative bling you’ve always wanted.
A global event started by the blogger behind Pavement Runner, runners from around the world will unite with those in their city tonight to dedicate miles. More than 2,500 participants in 80 cities are already joining the movement, and you should too. The plan is simple: run 1 mile, 5 miles or 26.2 miles – however many you want – “to demonstrate love of the sport and most importantly love for the fallen and the wounded.”
Here in NYC? Meet captain Abby Bales from Run Stronger Every Day in Central Park at Tavern on the Green at 6:30p.m. There will be a walking and running group, and participants are asked to wear a race shirt, bib, or blue and yellow (Boston’s colors). There will also be T-shirts sold for $20, and all proceeds go to The One Fund.
To find out where your city will meet, click here.
Tribute Wristlets, Run Now
Awareness bracelets still catch eyes, and this one sporting Boston’s colors is sure to be an attention-grabber. All proceeds benefit The One Fund, and at $1.99 per wristlet, Run Now hopes to raise $1 million by National Running Day on June 5. Companies like Brooks, Map My Fitness and Run Rock ‘n’ Roll are all a part of the effort. After you buy a bracelet, tweet why running is so important to you using the hashtag #runnow.
Want more reason to keep running? Run Now is also pledging free race entries to 4,500 Boston Marathon participants who were diverted prior to reaching the finish line. Read more
Written on April 8, 2013 at 5:02 pm , by Samantha Shelton
Country music is having a moment. Last night’s star-studded Academy of Country Music Awards and Jason Aldean’s seven-minute Madison Square Garden sell-out are proof that the guitar strummin’, banjo playin’ vocal powerhouses are moving outside of Nashville and into the mainstream…including our workouts. Worried you can’t get a good sweat on to something other than techno beats and peppy pop? We’re here to prove you wrong. In fact, last Saturday I ran a half-marathon and my playlist was mostly made up of Luke Bryan’s, Spring Break…Here to Party, The Band Perry’s Pioneer, and Blake Shelton’s Based On A True Story. It’s time to try something new…and maybe swap your sneaks for cowboy boots post-sweat.
Now you tell us: who are your favorite country crooners?
Written on April 2, 2013 at 11:23 am , by Samantha Shelton
While we love watching country crooner Blake Shelton on The Voice, it’s his spitfire wife, Miranda Lambert, that we are dying to know better. A well-known animal activist, she made our hearts swell as we learned about her involvement with Pedigree’s Pet Feeding Project, which provides dog food to animal shelters across the country at no cost. With Nashville and Chicago already being served, Pedigree turned to their Facebook fans to help determine which city would be next. People all over the U.S. nominated hometowns, and then voted, to select the top five finalists:
- Metro Detroit/Metro Flint, Michigan
- Erie, Pennsylvania
- Jackson, Mississippi
- Jacksonville, Florida
- Wausau, Wisconsin
Now it’s your turn to vote again, until April 12th, to help Pedigree narrow it down to the two winning cities, which will be announced in mid-2013. While we wait, we talked to Lambert about her soon-to-be-released sophomore album with band Pistol Annies, why she thinks this cause is so important and what it’s like to have her hubby swirlin’ around in a big red chair every week.
I hear you have a new album coming out with Pistol Annies?
Yep! I’m very excited about that. In the video for “Taking Pills” [from first album Hell on Heels], two of my rescue muts have cameos throughout the song. They’re like mini Annies, too.
Editor’s note: Their new album, Annie Up, hits shelves May 7!
What about a personal album? Can we expect one anytime soon?
Hopefully I’ll have one out in early 2014.
Your other half, Blake Shelton, is a judge again on The Voice. What is that experience like? Do you get to go to the set a lot and hang out?
I go to the set on the live shows. The reality stuff and the auditions are long, long days and frankly, it’s boring for me to just sit there and wait for them to get done. But I love the live shows; the energy of it. The Voice is very family-friendly. You see all of the judges and Carson [Daly]‘s kids running around – families, moms, wives, husbands. Everyone who works there is so nice. So it’s really welcoming, and I love to go there because they make you feel really at home.
Do you think you would be a guest mentor again?
I would love to be a mentor. The first year I performed with Dia [Frampton], and then the second year I was a mentor. I just watched as a fan the third season, and it was really fun to do that, so maybe it will be time for me to do something again. I tapped Blake on the shoulder and was like, “I know people…can I get back on The Voice somehow?” We’ll see.
Written on March 28, 2013 at 12:30 pm , by Samantha Shelton
At the beginning of the year, many staffers made the resolution to read more in 2013. While statistics show that most resolutions fall by the wayside by the end of January, we’re determined to stick with this one! Reading during a commute to work (bonus of public transportation!) and unplugging from technology for a few hours before bed has allowed me to not only unwind after a busy day, but sleep better and prep for tomorrow.
The only downside? When you get a really good read in your hands, it’s so hard to put down! That’s what happened when Jodi Picoult’s latest title, The Storyteller, landed on my desk. Here at FITNESS, we like to get lost in the story of a strong female protagonist, and Picoult gives us just that with Sage Singer, a baker who’s trying to escape a reality of loneliness and the emotional scarring her mother’s death has left behind.
At her grief group, Sage meets Josef Weber, an elderly gentleman who seems to be the nicest guy in town. Before long she’s confiding in him, telling her own stories and developing a friendship. Unfortunately, Josef’s befriended her for a reason – he asks her for a huge favor; one that will make him feel better about being a Nazi who worked at one of the worst concentration camps known to man. Yup, he was at Auschwitz.
Not only do we watch as Sage develops her own confidence, but the story bounces back to that of her grandmother’s – a survivor of Auschwitz. In her soul lies true strength, love and determination to get out alive, even while her family and loved ones are falling victim to the Holocaust left and right.
And of course, we can’t have a page-turner without a love interest, right? Don’t worry, Picoult delivers when Leo Stein enters the picture. I won’t reveal how or why he’s there, but he definitely provides relief in an otherwise intense novel, and satisfies those of us craving some romance.
If you’re a fan of books surrounding World War II and the Holocaust, this is definitely one for you. Picoult manages to be searingly honest in her portrayal of each character, yet delicately explores what people will do in order to protect family and not repeat the mistakes of our nation’s history.
Now you tell us: What books are at the top of your 2013 must-read list?
Written on March 25, 2013 at 10:02 am , by Samantha Shelton
Today marks the launch of a new season on The Voice, with newbie judges Shakira and Usher heating up the oversized spinning seats. Veterans (and major #bromance boys) Adam Levine and Blake Shelton return to the show better than ever – Shelton releases his latest album, Based On A True Story, tomorrow, with tons of tunes destined to be summer hits. Meanwhile, Levine is touring the world and making ladies swoon with the rest of his Maroon 5 bandmates. And as someone who has seen the Overexposed tour live (with @FITNESSkarla, no less!), I can definitely say the tunes are hot, hot, hot!
Try these tunes during your next workout and don’t be surprised if you find yourself wondering about your own future singing career – these artists always make us want to try!*
*For the sake of everyone’s ears, we’ll stick to singing in the shower and car.
Now you tell us: Will you watch season 4 of The Voice? Which judge is your fave?
Written on March 21, 2013 at 1:04 pm , by Samantha Shelton
After a tough workout, the first place we tend to head isn’t the shower, but the kitchen – gotta squeeze in that recovery fuel within a half hour! As someone who loves food just as much as we do, it’s safe to say Gina of Running to the Kitchen does the same thing. After all, it’s in her blog name! This CrossFit junkie makes us drool with all of her beautiful recipe images, and she’ll make you do the same. Go ahead and check it out – we bet you can’t prove us wrong.
My favorite way to work out: CrossFit! I know, I know, it’s all the rage right now and that’s a totally predictable answer, but I started CrossFit when it opened in my town last July and have been hooked ever since. It’s efficient, effective (hello, muscles I’ve never seen before) and an absolute blast. I think every box (read: gym) has different vibe, but something that seems pretty consistent across the board is the rapport among members. It’s not only my workout for the day, but a time I get to hang out with like-minded people and have fun. An hour of endorphins pumping, music blasting and people cheering each other on beats any other workout I can think of.
On my fit life list: A strict unassisted pull-up. No marathons, no triathlons. Just one darn pull-up without a band or kipping.
My “I Did It” moment: Finishing my first half-marathon in less than two hours. 2010 was a year of a lot of change for me. I lost 20 pounds, revamped the way I ate (slowly) and started running. Having played sports all my life as a kid, running was always something I was “forced” to do, not a sport I enjoyed. When I decided to pick it up as an adult in an effort to live a healthier lifestyle, I had no idea I’d grow to love it as much as I do. What started as a little competitive bet with myself to run my first 5K ended with my first half-marathon seven months later. Finishing it in under two hours, when I couldn’t even run one mile eight months prior, was pretty awesome.
I’m happiest when I’m: Doing anything with food. Eating it, cooking it, photographing it – anything. As cliche as it may sound, food is definitely my life passion. I contemplated going to culinary school in my mid-twenties, and while that didn’t actually happen, my blog has become the perfect creative outlet for that passion.
Olympic sport I’d love to try: While I think I’d be horrendous at it, I would pick gymnastics! Considering I can stay in an unassisted handstand for about three seconds, at best, and still haven’t come close to mastering the muscle-up in CrossFit (both gymnastic-type skills), it would be interesting.
Do you have a favorite fit blogger you want us to highlight? Leave a comment below or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Categories: Fitness, Motivation, The Fit Stop, Weight Loss, Workouts | Tags: cooking, CrossFit, fit blogger we love, half marathon, Healthy Eating, running, running to the kitchen, Workouts
Written on March 15, 2013 at 9:31 am , by Samantha Shelton
Anyone who knows anything about ice skating knows about Kristi Yamaguchi and her gold-medal victory at the 1992 Olympics. Since then, the figure skater has been actively involved in the sport, created a foundation that supports children’s education and inspiration, and won the sixth season of Dancing with the Stars. Yep, it’s safe to call her a rock star.
These days, Yamaguchi’s joined Team Kellogg’s, where she’ll be mentoring athletes hoping to make the journey to Sochi in 2014. While some may think it’s a bit early to be chatting about the Winter Games, we think the timing couldn’t be more perfect. Catch up on what else Yamaguchi is up to, then get a head start on meeting the athletes she’s hoping to coach all the way to the Olympic podium. While all your friends are in the dark, you’ll be the fountain of knowledge they turn to. Look at you, smarty pants.
Tell me a bit about Team Kellogg’s. Whose faces can we expect to see?
I’m the co-captain of the team, along with Jim Craig, the goalie from the 1980 Miracle team. The other athletes are all Olympic hopefuls, who will probably be competing and representing Team USA in the Sochi Games next winter.
It really is. Team Kellogg’s is all about following these athletes as they start their journey for getting ready for Sochi. I mean, of course they’ve been getting ready for years, but now fans can follow along. Kellogg’s Facebook page will have video clips of their stories, training tips and nutrition advice straight from the pros.
That will definitely be fun. Any other fun features?
You can find out how these athletes got their start – who was the coach who first got them going, which people gave them inspiration and, of course, what breakfast does to fuel their start.
So are you and Jim mentors, then, as accomplished athletes yourself?
Yeah, in a sense. Jim and I have been there, we’ve experienced the Olympics and know what they’re going through. We hope to encourage them to keep dreaming big, and we want to be there to give whatever advice we can to help prepare them for what lies ahead.
Written on February 25, 2013 at 10:42 am , by Samantha Shelton
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.
Written on February 19, 2013 at 11:01 am , by Samantha Shelton
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.
Written on February 15, 2013 at 5:25 pm , by Samantha Shelton
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.