Written on June 20, 2013 at 9:48 am , by FITNESS Intern
Written by Chloe Metzger, editorial intern
Boxing champ and fitness expert Laila Ali (you know, daughter of the Muhammad Ali) may have retired from the ring six years ago, but that doesn’t mean her fighting days are done. The mom of two is now battling a new opponent: age.
Laila has teamed up with Pfizer’s “Get Old” campaign to redefine the way we think about health as we grow older, explaining how wellness today will impact our tomorrows. “It’s a simple message,” says Ali. “How great is it to be preventative when you’re young, before you do get older and do start having problems?” And as the undefeated Super Middleweight Champion of our generation, she definitely knows her way around fit living. We chatted with the athlete to find out how she conquers motherhood, health and her hectic schedule…without feeling old.
Being a mom makes it harder. I can’t just do what I want, when I want, so I have to really make sure that it’s a priority to get my workout in early. Some days, I just don’t make it; there’s too much going on and I can’t do it, but I don’t beat myself up about it. I focus more on my health because I’m getting older and I want to make sure that I’m thinking about being here for my kids and living a long life.
Very wise. Other than being busy, how has your workout routine changed since you hung up your gloves?
I was boxing before I had kids, so the difference is that I’m not a professional athlete anymore, when it was my job to train. Before, I had to do it in order to compete. Now, I don’t. Instead of boxing, I’m doing things that other people do, like running, Spinning and Pilates. I’m trying new things that I’m not necessarily going to injure myself trying to do.
If you could only do one boxing move for the rest of your life to keep fit and toned, what would that be?
Hit the heavy bags! That’s what we do—we punch. I’m hitting something; it’s not a person, it’s a bag, and I can do everything that I’ve learned. I can do a jab or an uppercut, and I’m working my full body.
A big congrats, by the way, on making it to the final round on Chopped: All Stars! What’s your favorite memory from the show?
The whole entire show was fun, but being competitive again was great. I love being competitive—that’s my thing. Make it a competition and I’m in it all the way.
What healthy snack do you love to quickly whip up?
If I have a sweet tooth, it’s going to be Greek yogurt. I’ll sprinkle on a little bit of Xylitol, a sugar replacement, to sweeten it. Because if you buy yogurt sweetened, there’s a lot of sugar in it. So I get the plain Greek yogurt and add a little bit of fruit; maybe some granola and nuts. If I want vegetables, I’ll probably do kale—bake it and make kale chips.
I’m getting into the cooking space. That’s part of the reason I went on Chopped. That was a great experience for me; it gave me a lot of credibility. I would love to do a cooking lifestyle show. I also have a line of hair-styling tools. I have a lot going on!
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Take the Crazy Out of Busy: How to Live a Balanced Life
Written on June 13, 2013 at 2:52 pm , by FITNESS Intern
Written by Chloe Metzger, editorial intern
We like to think that each and every one of you exercises regularly, eats five servings of fruits and veggies daily, and gets adequate amounts of sleep at night (right?!). But how many of you regularly donate blood? Maybe not quite as many.
During the summer months, the nation’s blood supply often dips dangerously low as vacation and travel plans soar. So in celebration of tomorrow’s World Blood Donor Day, Nexcare give has partnered with the American Red Cross spokesperson and actress Soleil Moon Frye to launch a season-inspired collection of Nexcare give bandages, reminding you that “it’s always in season to give blood.” This week only, anyone who donates blood at participating American Red Cross locations can score free samples of the bandage collection, and of course, save a few lives at the same time.
Not a bad way to end the week, huh?
To find a blood center near you, check out the Nexcare give Facebook page and donate ASAP. Just this one time, your workout can wait.
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Written on June 11, 2013 at 3:31 pm , by FITNESS Intern
Written by Chloe Metzger, editorial intern
Olympic beach volleyball player Kerri Walsh Jennings is no stranger to pressure, but this time the mom-of-three is putting the heat on herself: “My post-pregnancy body needs a lot of work right now. I’m just starting to rebuild my foundation.” Walsh Jennings, who is gearing up for the seven-city AVP (Association of Volleyball Professional) Tour, stopped by the FITNESS office to chat with our uber-excited editors about pregnancy, Pilates and the secrets to her fit physique (spoiler: a ton of hard work). Bonus: YOU could win an autographed ball from the superstar herself!
You welcomed your third child, Scout Margery, to the world just two months ago. Other than a lack of time, how has motherhood changed your exercise routine?
It’s made me more focused, for sure. I used to have plenty of time during the day to take care of myself and get my workouts in, but now it’s get in, get done, get out. When I was pregnant, I stayed really fit so that I could hit the ground running, especially with the AVP Tour coming back this summer. It’s a big objective of mine to come back and kick everyone’s butt, so I needed to start pretty fit. I’m building a strength foundation, trying to stay really flexible, and then working to get my agility back. It’s very humbling every day—but really fun, too!
So what were your workouts like during pregnancy? How’d you stay in such great shape?
I played volleyball, lifted three times a week, did Pilates twice a week, and then did other random workouts. I’m really lucky in that I can mix up my workouts a lot, and I have really nice trainers who help me think outside the box. I keep my body guessing—I think that’s huge.
That’s definitely a lot! Anything in particular you love to boost your flexibility?
I do Pilates twice a week. I’m a firm believer in it—I think everyone in the world should be doing Pilates, especially people who are pregnant or post-partum. It’s a beautiful way to get your core back and your body awareness back. Flexibility is a function of strength, and I need to be flexible on the court, so that’s a huge priority. You need to tackle every base.
Which moves do you swear by for toning your tummy, especially post-pregnancy?
Everything Pilates! It’s all about the deeper ab muscles. I work on the big Plyo Ball a lot. I’m also really into windshield wipers. I think that anything with twists is really good, not only for your spine and your obliques, but for your entire abdominal structure.
Categories: Celebrity, Fitness, Motivation, The Fit Stop, Workouts | Tags: beach volleyball, giveaway, kerri walsh jennings, Misty Mae-Treanor, Olympics, post-baby body, Pregnancy, Pregnancy Workouts, workout
Written on June 7, 2013 at 2:05 pm , by Samantha Shelton
Ever dream about hanging with a celebrity trainer every week while you get your sweat on? Now you can – just head to Flywheel Sports and look for Brett Hoebel on the schedule (you watched – in awe, we’re sure – his capoeira skills on season 11 of The Biggest Loser). He’ll be teaching at their Los Angeles studios, and making guest appearances in New York City. We scored seats in his debut ride at Flywheel’s Flatiron studio, and couldn’t stop raving about his crazy beats on our walk back to the office. But you know we’re not the type of girls to keep those tunes all to ourselves, so of course we nabbed the playlist before we left. Now get on a bike, blast each song and prepare for a serious dose of sweat.
Written on June 7, 2013 at 11:17 am , by Lauren Cardarelli
As an actress, singer, dancer, author, model and mother, Vanessa Williams puts a triple-threat to shame. No wonder she looks so darn good at 50! Since being crowned the first African American to be crowned Miss America back in 1983, Vanessa has conquered television (Ugly Betty, Desperate Housewives and 666 Park Avenue, to name a few) and the big screen. Most recently, she returned to the Broadway stage in “The Trip to Bountiful.” But a busy life of fame and fortune doesn’t stand in Vanessa’s way for one of her biggest passion projects: spreading heart health awareness. With loved ones affected by heart disease, she turned to Bayer and WomenHeart to make a difference. We sat down with the starlet to learn more about how a simple handbag item can save lives and—of course—found out her age defying secrets. Read on for the full interview.
What inspired you to connect with Bayer aspirin in this whole initiative of the Handbags and Hearts?
I’ve been involved with heart issues for probably 10 years now. My grandmother died at 28 of a heart attack, my other grandmother died at 64 of a heart attack and so I’ve always been pretty vocal about women’s health issues—especially heart disease. They approached me about starting the campaign for Handbags and Hearts to increase the awareness of the correlation, being the number one killer for women, but also to have people—especially women—carry aspirin in their handbags, their purse, their pocketbooks. That’s important. And also to have women know that our symptoms are different than men’s. We want to drive people to the website so they can see what the symptoms are, be aware of them. Obviously if there is an issue, the first thing they need to do is call 911, but go in their bag and grab an aspirin because it’s shown that it helps to reduce further damage to the heart once a heart attack actually happens to you. It helps save lives. It’s been a fantastic partnership with WomenHeart and Bayer. Every person that pledges and every woman that goes online to pledge at the site, they’re going to donate up to $200,000.
Besides aspirin, how do you personally boost your heart health?
Cardio—I work out all the time. I mix it up, whether its treadmill at my house, or riding bikes. Recently, I’ve been doing in LA a gym called Body Theory, and there’s a class called “Drench.” You are literally drenched by the time you finish it! It’s an hour and a half of pure cardio and weights, which is fantastic and I’m obsessed with. In NY, I do at Westchester MMA a heavy bag fit class, which is everything from jumping rope to a lot of boot camp exercises. But then you tape up your hands—you do wraps—put your boxing gloves on and you fight a heavy bag, one of those big six-foot bags. You do combinations of that—kicks and punches. I like to mix it up.
So staying fit as a busy mother on four, killing it on Broadway…that must be really tough. How do you keep up with fitness and healthy food on-the-go?
You make time for it. Sometimes, you can’t. If you cant make it to the gym, try to get on a treadmill. If you cant get into the gym or to a treadmill, try walking. Try to do something for at least (for me) 45 minutes to an hour in a day, just to feel energized, and feel like my body is woken up, that I’ve felt all the endorphins, then start my day. And I like to work out in the morning—I can’t do afternoon or evening workouts. I need to do it in the morning. Get it done, start my day, feel the adrenaline. But you have to make time. Same thing with food. You have to make an effort. My biggest tip is to not have anything that I don’t want to eat in my house. It’s one thing when you know there are cookies that are calling your name and you know that every time you walk by the cupboard, they’re there and you’re battling with yourself—should I open it, should I not, should I have one…you’re going to torture yourself. So don’t have them in your house. As soon as, if I get a basket or gift bag filled with something delicious that I know I don’t want to wipe out the entire thing, I’ll bring it to the cast and say, “Put it on the green room table, enjoy!” I’ll have one and walk out of the room so I don’t have to wrestle with should I or should I not. Because food is good! It’s easy to make healthy choices, too. Living in this country, there are so many opportunities for anything, anything online, for sure. I fast, I do juice cleanses maybe three times a year. I’ve done BluePrint for probably five years. But that’s always great to kind of reboot your system, especially if you feel sluggish or a bit toxic like after holidays—you just want to clean yourself out and start fresh.
Written on June 5, 2013 at 10:46 am , by FITNESS Intern
Written by Chloe Metzger, editorial intern
From cardio to cool-down, a good music playlist can work like magic on your motivation (we’ve pushed out more than a few extra reps to JT’s new album!). And today, in honor of National Running Day, Olympian marathoner Kara Goucher has teamed up with the Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon Series to share her top tracks that keep her running strong and speedy.
We took a listen and can guarantee you’ll want to get moving once the first track begins (at least, that’s what happened to us). Lucky for you, Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon is offering a whopping discount – $20 off any of their races in the country, so you can put your pumped-up motivation to good use (Assistant Web Editor Samantha Shelton is tackling Philadelphia and Vegas later this year – join her?). Visit Rock ‘n’ Roll today to sign up for a run, and check out Kara’s ultimate playlist below. We’ll be here, celebrating the day Goucher-style.
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Written on June 3, 2013 at 2:15 pm , by Christie Griffin
If you thought the buzz about the London Olympics ended last summer, we have news for you: There’s a brand-new sports documentary that chronicles the journey of 12 first-time Olympians, including Americans Missy Franklin and John Orozco. Aptly titled “FIRST: The Official Film of the London 2012 Olympics” the two-hour film is a real treat for anyone who enjoys the emotional personal stories, montages set to killer soundtracks, and gripping recaps that accompany the Olympics. Last Thursday, select theaters screened the film, but you can watch it on NBC on July 27 or buy the DVD here.
During the Olympic Games in London, Caroline Rowland—the film’s director and the Executive Creative Director of New Moon—was granted special access to exclusive areas by the International Olympic Committee. Here she shares some behind-the-scenes insights into her behind-the-scenes film.
Why do this film now, instead of four or eight years ago? What makes this the right time to film and release FIRST?
CR: Throughout the history of the modern Olympic Games, each Games has been immortalized on film. But the London 2012 Olympic Games made a specific commitment to inspiring a generation—so it’s fitting that FIRST focuses on young people and their transition into adulthood through their experience of being an elite athlete at their first Olympic Games.
What were some of the biggest challenges in creating/filming FIRST?
CR: It’s always challenging to film at major sporting events, but the challenges of creating a feature film—using the technology and approach that would typically be used in a more controlled environment— certainly kept the entire production team on their toes! Between 26 sports, 10,500 athletes, hundreds of thousands of spectators, and unpredictable outcomes…it was all challenging. But at the heart of it were 12 superstars who kept us all immersed in the experience and we were able to confront everything that was thrown at us.
What were your favorite parts in creating/filming FIRST?
CR: Having the opportunity to be at the London 2012 Olympic Games for 17 days, 17 hours a day, at the heart of the action was unforgettable. I fell a little in love with every one of the athletes featured in FIRST. Getting to know them ahead of their events meant that I had a very special interest in their performances.
What do you think this film means for the athletes in it, as well as other Olympians?
CR: Several of the athletes in the film have commented on how the film has given them a prism through which to see their own Olympic experience, after they emerged from the most heady and defining experience of their young lives. FIRST is the sort of story that any athlete—amateur or professional—can relate to. It is about triumph and adversity and the very human experience of being vulnerable in the face of unseen forces.
What’s the one takeaway you hope the audience will get, upon watching the film?
CR: I hope that FIRST is an uplifting, inspirational film that reaffirms all the things that make it incredible to be human—and specifically, an athlete.
FITNESS had a chance to screen the film and we loved it! So make sure to tune in on July 27…and in the meantime, we’re going to try and hunt down some of the songs from the fab soundtrack! For more info, like /OlympicsFilm on Facebook.
Written on June 3, 2013 at 12:13 pm , by Samantha Shelton
Ever since we chatted with Sheryl Crow, we can’t stop listening to her rockin’ tunes. So why keep the music sharing to ourselves? We put together a playlist of Crow’s top hits, including her latest single, “Easy.” Plug into her current songs with a healthy dose of the classics, and get ready for a totally blissed-out Monday.
Written on May 28, 2013 at 10:04 am , by Samantha Shelton
If you’re looking for a charismatic personal trainer who knows how to turn into a drill sergeant the second it’s time to work, look no further than Dolvett Quince. He makes up one-third of the trainer team on hit reality show The Biggest Loser, and now that we’ve met the man, we see why so many of the contestants love him. In NYC to promote Dr. Scholl’s Active Series Insoles, Quince put us through a quickie circuit full of step-ups, squats and burpees, convincing us to keep pushing with his mega-watt smile shining after every set. We chatted with him in between gulps of water afterward to find out his favorite part of being on Loser.
Why did you choose the moves that you did for us in this workout?
Everything that I do is a combination movement. I love combinations. Why? Because I don’t have a lot of time. Most people that I train don’t have a lot of time. So what can I do to work the glutes, the legs, the shoulders and the core all at the same time? Do more than one movement in more than one way.
Do you like to do a lot of workouts just using body weight?
I love weights personally. Unfortunately, a lot of people don’t have them in their homes or offices. I like to show people they don’t need a gym or weights to get in a great workout. You can still do amazing things using just your body weight.
What are some of your favorite workouts personally?
The combination movements. I’m a huge fan of squats, lunges, core stuff, chest. I love doing both cardio and strength training every time I workout. Commit the same time frame – 10 minutes here, 8 minutes there – to maximize my time; maximize my results.
Written on May 27, 2013 at 10:33 am , by Samantha Shelton
As a cohost of CBS This Morning, it’s safe to say Norah O’Donnell spends her fair share of time on the go. Between waking up at the crack of dawn to head to work, taking care of her kids, reporting from major news events (check out Instagram for her coverage on the tragic Oklahoma tornado) and squeezing in her own sweat sessions, we think she’s a bit like superwoman. To help bring her back down to our human level, and let you get to know the woman behind the anchor’s desk, we decided to play a little game. So Norah, would you rather…
Workout in the morning or at night?
Afternoon. I can’t really do it in the morning because I have to be here at 4:30am and it’s hard enough getting here on time! So usually it will be sometime in the afternoon after I’ve left the office. I don’t like exercising at night because it totally revs me up and I would have trouble falling asleep.
Run or Spin?
Run. I run and do P90X, but I don’t do it every day like you’re supposed to. I’ll do it like two times a week and then I try to run 2 or 3 times a week. And then my kids do swim time three times a week and while they do that I’ll work out in the gym that’s right next door.
Run a 5K or a marathon?
5K. I’ve never run a marathon before; I greatly admire people who run marathons. I mean 26.2 miles – that .2 matters! – it’s not easy. It requires incredible dedication and endurance, and I think it can be really tough on the body. For me, the shorter distances are what I favor.
Run alone or with friends/family?
I like to run by myself. It’s kind of my only alone time during the day. When I leave work, I go and be with my kids or do some kind of work or social-related event. So for me, running is kind of my private time. But I do run regularly with my husband, who runs much faster than I do. So that is certainly a workout. And I have girlfriends that I run with when I’m in DC.