Written by Carrie Stevens, editorial intern
Looking to re-energize your sweat sessions this spring? Instead of automatically blasting our favorite tunes, we’re listening to—wait for it—audiobooks. Macmillan Audio launched its “Listen While You Work Out” campaign, aimed to help people get in shape while listening to audiobooks. We plugged into Barbara Taylor Bradford’s Secrets From The Past, and were pretty impressed with how engaged in the story we became while still busting out a quality workout.
Here’s the rundown: lead character Serena Stone is a 30-year-old American photojournalist who’s covered wars in the Middle East. After her famous photojournalist father dies unexpectedly, Stone starts working on his biography. At the same time, a former flame returns after serving on the front lines overseas as a photojournalist, and he suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). While helping with his recovery, Stone stumbles upon a secret that sparks a series of events that can change everything she thought she knew about her own family.
Thanks to great narration, compelling characters and intriguing plot lines, Secrets From The Past made our workouts pass in a flash. Try it for yourself—you may sweat a bit longer just to find out what happens! In fact, one of our Fit Bloggers We Love, Meghann Anderson of Meals and Miles, is a big fan of playing books on the run. “You can only listen to the same song over and over again before you start to hate your iPod,” she says. “Lately I’ve been seriously obsessed with audiobooks; I just finished Stephanie Meyers’ The Host. It’s easy to get lost in a good story and the miles fly by.”
For a wide variety of audiobooks, check out the Macmillan Audio website, or Audible.com. There are more than 100,000 downloadable books to choose from, and Audible allows you to switch between listening and reading without losing your spot. Decide you don’t like your first pick? No sweat—swap it for another at no extra cost. Happy reading!
Now you tell us: If you could have any book on audio, what would it be?
As someone who is feverishly planning her own nuptials, I came to a realization I’m sure many brides arrived at much quicker than I did: Weddings are expensive! To then even think about shelling out beaucoup bucks on a pricey boot camp tailored toward brides made me want to curl up in a ball (or elope, though I’m not sure Mom would be too pleased about that).
Luckily, The White Gown, a bridal boutique in Dumbo, Brooklyn understands that brides want to look great despite their budget and are setting up a series of public workout sessions this summer in NYC at Pier 46 in Greenwich Village. Workouts will be led my Molly Winter Stewart of Molly Winter Fitness, and will be designed to hit the spots most visible on your wedding day based on your dress shape–mermaid, halter, strapless and backless. The best part? You can cross “find fitness plan” off your very long wedding to-do list without spending a single penny.
Fit to Be Bride Bootcamp starts Saturday, May 18 at 9:30 a.m., at Pier 46 in Manhattan. Sign up by emailing email@example.com.
More from FITNESS: Vow to Stress Less: Wedding Day Tips from Brides
The day before the Boston Marathon, I crossed the finish line of the More/Fitness Women’s Half-Marathon in New York City’s Central Park. About a month before Boston, I had crossed the finish line of the Los Angeles Marathon. Both times my tired legs somehow found the energy to surge through the last few hundred yards. With arms held high, a smile on my face and the cheering crowds drowning out whatever playlist has been pumping for hours through my earbuds, something magical always propels me forward as I run toward joy, exhilaration and complete satisfaction.
Crossing the finish line brings relief, pride and bliss, and there’s never a moment you want it more than that last .1 of a 13.1-mile half or the final .2 of a 26.2-mile marathon. On Monday, thousands of runners in Boston had that same drive and focus shattered by two cruel, horrific bombs.
The blasts shook them out of their thoughts of elation, of accomplishment, of post-race celebrations over beer and burgers. In seconds, their hearts went from swelling with gratitude and love for family and friends who had supported them on race day and through months of training, to pounding with fear and panic over when and how they would reunite with their loved ones, if ever.
I was not in Boston on Monday, but from my desk at Fitness magazine, I was there in spirit. That morning, still high on endorphins from the wonderful race we hosted the day before with New York Road Runners, I wished the runners in Boston the same exuberance, strength and determination that were so palpable from the women runners at our half-marathon. I excitedly logged onto the Boston Athletic Association’s website so I could track the progress of my friend and Fitness colleague Amy Macauley as she ran a strong pace through every split of her 26.2-mile trek into downtown Boston. When her final finish time popped up on my screen, I was thrilled and elated, just as I’d been the morning before.
News broke of the explosions less than an hour later. My heart sank for Amy, for the thousands of runners, spectators, organizers and volunteers. How could a day meant to be a celebration of all that is good about the human spirit—from the runners whose athleticism, dedication and grit are so deserving of admiration to the spectators who stand on the sidelines for hours hoping to catch a glimpse of their loved one and scream encouraging hoots and hollers at the sea of strangers running by—go from so right to so wrong?
Those two bombs placed in such close proximity to the finish line were intended to maim and kill, to stop us in our tracks. They robbed us of precious lives and limbs, and my heart breaks for those innocent spectators who were hurt and for their grieving families. The crimes took away our moments of celebration, but they did not end our journey. As any runner will tell you, every race is measured in much more than miles and the time it takes to cross the finish line. Whether in your training you went from fat to fit, weak to strong, doubter to believer, the course keeps going long after the race is over. The bombs in Boston will never take away our collective will to move forward, to sprint toward what is good in life. Already thousands on Facebook have committed to running 26.2 miles in the coming days, weeks and months to honor Boston. We run because we have to. We run for those who can’t. We run because that is how we keep reaching, growing, healing. There will continue to be many more start lines to join, and this weekend our thoughts will be with marathoners lining up in London, as they will be thinking of their running comrades in Boston. In tragic times like this, we simply keep moving forward. We run for joy. We run for good health. We run for peace. That is how we finish strong.
Bling it on!
You can enter to win between now through next Tuesday. Don’t want to wait to see if you won? Pop on over to the ESD site and use the code FITNESSHALF to purchase this fabulous necklace for 20 percent off.
Enter to win here and good luck!
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?
Have you ever wished you could meet tough trainer Jillian Michaels? Well here’s your chance! Our April cover girl is kicking off her first live tour, “Maximize Your Life,” today. She’ll be in Winnipeg, MB, today and traveling throughout North America until late May with her motivational tips to help you reach your goals–whether it’s to get a better body, eat healthier or feel more confident.
But who better to explain what’s in store for attendees than Jillian herself? Watch her video below and read on to get tour dates and locations.
Find out when she’ll be at a venue near you and how to get tickets: Read more
The men’s NCAA March Madness Final Four is officially set. Congratulations to Syracuse, Wichita State, Louisville and Michigan (and their fans)! The ultimate winner will be decided one week from today, but there’s another heated competition going on for a fitness-related trophy this week: Gold’s Gym’s March Music Madness.
In this battle, fans and celebrities, including Will Ferrell and Gabby Reece, nominate their favorite workout songs. Each round, tracks are voted on at marchmusicmadness.com and winnowed down until a victor emerges on April 18. “We thought it would allow for some spirited debate and, more importantly, help people discover new music for their workout playlists,” says Dave Reiseman, vice president of communications for Gold’s Gym.
This program caught our attention with the awesome, varied selection of tunes, but we were completely sold once we heard that the person who nominated the winning song gets $5,000 to award to their charity of choice.
After listening to the sweet 16 with us, go vote and make your voice heard. Fans who select the most winning songs win sweet gym swag and memberships!
“Music is just as much a part of the workout experience as a towel or water bottle. The right song can be just the motivation you need to push through when you feel like quitting, or the inspiration you need to take your workout to the next level,” Reiseman says. We couldn’t agree more.
Now tell us: Which of the contenders do you hope to see come out on top in the music bracket?
Have you taken the time to go for a walk today? Lacing up your sneaks for a 30-minute walk daily has been shown to help you lose more weight, boost your heart health and get legs you’ll want to show off when it’s warmer. To help you stick to this healthy habit, world-renowned podiatrist Phillip Vasyli, health expert Dr. Andrew Weil and celebrity trainer Juliet Kaska have teamed up to kick off a nationwide Walkabout campaign on National Walking Day this April 3rd.
What exactly is a Walkabout? The idea behind this campaign comes from the Walkabout, an Australian journey during which one reflects on life and reconnects with family and the community. This version of the Walkabout aims to promote well-being and create healthy habits during the 28-Day Quest for Good Health.
You don’t need to be an Aussie or celeb trainer to join in; anyone can commit to walking 30 minutes a day for 28 days. Once you’ve signed up here, you’ll receive daily email tips and get the chance to win prizes. Now put on your sneaks and get going!
To celebrate 10 incredible years of the More® Magazine/Fitness® Magazine Women’s Half-Marathon, we’re honoring Women who Run the World—fearless game-changers who’ve paved the way for women over the last decade. These leaders will no doubt inspire you to run faster, train harder and work smarter.
From a U.S. Congressman to the CEO of Girl Scouts USA to a co-host from “The View,” these women are changing the face of business, education, women’s health, sports, and more. We’re thrilled to welcome these leaders to the biggest women’s-only half-marathon in the country!
As you train for your 13.1 mile journey, we want to know: Who inspires you to “run the world”? Let us know in the comments below, on our Facebook, or through Twitter. (Please us the hashtag #womenruntheworld.)
Written by Carrie Stevens, editorial intern
Wouldn’t you love to have access to a studio-quality yoga class whenever the desire to practice strikes? A calming atmosphere and knowledgeable instructor make for a restorative flow that keeps yogis coming back for more. So if you can’t get your om fix live, we recommend checking out Yogify, a new app from EA Sports.
Studio yoga flows promise different sequences every time you unroll your mat, and Yogify offers more than 30 hours of practice across 50 progressively challenging classes. The app can be downloaded for free and contains five complimentary classes. Think of it this way: once you master sun salutations, then you can try warrior poses. And thanks to audio cues and photos, you’ll have no trouble applying the basics to a beginner flow class. For intermediate and advanced yogis, there are three levels of classes available, so there’s no reason why you can’t up the ante when you feel mat time might be getting mundane.
After you’ve used the five complimentary classes, the app offers pay-to-download programs that focus on building strength, balance and flexibility. Like its free classes, these workouts span three levels and help you perfect certain poses and engage specific body parts. We bet workouts like “Superman Abs, “Teddy Bear to Tripod,” and “Inversion Excursion” will fire up your muscles and keep your practice fresh.
For more information, visit the Yogify website.
Right now, Yogify is only available on iOS. For you Android lovers, we recommend checking out yogatoday.com – the website posts one free yoga class per week, and you can get an unlimited access for $9.99/month. Keep calm and om on, friends.
Now you tell us: What’s your favorite fitness app?