This past weekend, over 6,000 cyclers rode together to raise awareness and funding for research led by Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center. New York City and Los Angeles Equinox clubs were packed with fit participants and celebs—Olympian Nastia Liukin, New York Giants linebacker Mark Herzlich and SNL funny guy Seth Meyers, to name a few—spinning their support for Cycle for Survival. As one of the fastest-growing athletic fundraising events, Cycle for Survival is dedicated to advocating for rare forms of the disease that account for half of all diagnosed cancers. The charity has raised more than $30 million since its 2007 inception, $13.5 million in 2013 alone.
Olympic gymnast McKayla Maroney might have been less than impressed with her vault silver medal at the 2012 Olympic Games, but her attitude these days is straight gold. I got the chance to chat with Maroney as she helped launch TEN, a line of 10 calorie sodas from the Dr. Pepper Snapple Group on the lessons she learned in London, recovering from injury and what she thinks about teammate Aly Raisman’s Dancing with the Stars announcement.
I love that the tagline for the TEN campaign is “McKayla is finally impressed.” Are you so sick of hearing about and seeing your not impressed face all over the Internet?
I wouldn’t say I am sick of it, but it definitely comes up in every topic with every person I talk to. It’s great that now I can turn it into something positive, and be impressed with TEN. My favorite out of the line is the Sunkist TEN; I have always loved orange soda so now I can enjoy it without all the sugar.
What are some of the lessons you learned from your time in London at the 2012 Summer Olympics?
The first thing I learned was how to deal with the media. I came to the Games and I had no media experience and I didn’t know how to take it all with a grain of salt. All of us on the team had our media issues, Gabby with her hair and then my face – so we had to learn how to let it roll off our backs. At the beginning it was hard, because I was just a gymnast. I was never famous, I was used to being in the gym eight hours a day and I never had anyone judging me because of my face, they were judging me on my gymnastics! Now I handle life way better and I’m actually happy that it happened because nothing hurts my feelings anymore. And since I want to get into acting I have to be ready for a lot more of that kind of attention. Read more
Kathrine Switzer didn’t sign up for the Boston Marathon in 1967 to stir any trouble; she just wanted to run. But when the then 19-year-old defied race officials and tradition by becoming the first female to officially enter the race and created headlines in the news, she became a trailblazer for women in running and fitness. Switzer, along with other strong, empowering women will star in Makers: Women Who Make America, a PBS documentary airing February 26 about the social revolution for women’s political, economic and personal power. We chatted with Switzer–who is still running marathons, finishing the Berlin Marathon in 2011–about her history-making race, the future of women’s sports and how running and fitness can change your life.
FITNESS: Before 1967, no woman had ever officially entered the Boston Marathon. Did you have an idea that it would make such an impact in sports?
Kathrine Switzer: I didn’t want to run it to prove anything. I had heard that other women had run marathon distances and that one woman in 1966 ran the Boston Marathon but without a bib number, so I wasn’t trying to break any barriers. It wasn’t until a race official attacked me during the run because I had officially signed up and was wearing a number did I become determined to finish and speak out on behalf of all women.
But I also knew that if other women could feel the sense of empowerment that I’ve felt since I started running when I was 12, that it would create a tidal wave.
What have you learned from running throughout the years?
KS: It’s not about running; it’s about changing your life. It’s about power and self esteem. The motivation to get other women running has kept me running. It’s also about equality. Women have led the charge in women’s sport. More women are running in the US now, compared to men. I’ve also learned that consistency and tenaciousness is better than talent. The more you do the better you can do. One of the best ways to get older is to keep active. I’m proud of myself for what I’ve done. Every day that I get to run is a bonus at this point.
I’m grateful for the things I’ve done and things I have to do yet. The very simple act of putting one foot in front of the other has changed my life so greatly. Read more
Want to know what makes you tick? Just find your archetype and the rest will follow. It may sound like the name of a fancy artifact (or something out of Legends of the Hidden Temple–remember that TV gem?) but really, an archetype is your personality and behavior type. That’s what Caroline Myss describes in her new book, Archetypes: Who Are You? by establishing what kind of person you are–for example a Visionary, Caregiver, or my personal favorite, Queen. Myss will help you recognize your hidden strengths, potential weaknesses and help you get an all around understanding of you.
And for those of us who are sick of perusing the Internet to read a bunch of stuff that frankly, just doesn’t interest us, visit archetypeme.com to take a personality quiz and set up a profile on the site that will deliver content you actually care about. I took a stab at the quiz and discovered I am made up of 30 percent Athlete, 28 percent Fashionista, 23 percent Caregiver and 19 percent Other (I’m going to assume by “Other” they mean “Queen”). My page is full of health content, New York Fashion Week news and DIY at-home spa recipes–score! In addition to your site, which is updated daily, you can create a “Me” board, with anything you think is a representation of your archetype, or the archetype you strive to be. And for all of you resolution droppers, figuring out exactly how you tick might just be the thing that helps you pick up your healthy habits again for good.
Pick up Archetypes: Who Are You? for $15.61 on www.amazon.com (or download it to your Amazon Kindle for $11.99!). To take a personality quiz and start getting personalized content toward your archetype, visit www.archetypeme.com.
Now Tell Us: What kind of archetype do you consider yourself?
The story behind how Denise Austin met her future husband, Jeff, couldn’t be more fitting for the workout instructor. The two, who have been married for almost 30 years, met in 1981 at a fitness studio where Denise was teaching and Jeff, a former professional tennis player, was practicing with his sister, Tracy. The manager introduced the two and they have been together since. (Cute, right?) We asked the world-renowned fitness expert, who just launched a new book, Side Effect: Skinny, how she and her husband stay fit and her tips for a healthy relationship.
You and Jeff both have busy schedules. How do you make time for fitness and quality time together?
We like to mix it up and do different activities together. We play tennis, go on bike rides. We work out together in the morning, before kids would wake up.
How can other couples squeeze fitness in their routines?
It’s so much fun to have your spouse working out with you. Jeff puts together playlists, or our daughter would put together playlists, and we talk about music. Riding bikes is also an easy way to hang out. You become each other’s motivation, like a personal trainer. Pre-plan based on each other’s schedules. My husband is a guinea pig for my workout DVDs. I make sure that my exercises are still good for guys too.
What about when you have different fitness preferences from your husband? Say he’s a runner and you’d rather take classes at the gym.
The simplest thing you can do is stretching at home. Whatever you’re doing, stretching is usually ignored. You can help each other stretch, which can be sexy. Everyone has the same set of muscles to stretch. That’s an easy thing to do at home. Especially if your husband doesn’t exercise, you can encourage him and get him started. I don’t play tennis as well as my husband, but we play together and have fun.
What do you two have planned for Valentine’s Day?
We’re just going to have a nice healthy dinner with red wine. We’ll work out in the morning. It’s also my birthday the day before (Ed’s note: Happy Birthday Denise!), so maybe we’ll mix the two celebrations.
Do you have any fit date ideas? What about ways you can make the dinner and a movie date healthier?
You can go for a walk, even if it’s just around the neighborhood. Play golf, play sports. It can be anything, like playing Frisbee. Jeff and I play ping pong together. We also do plank challenges.
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?
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?
It’s no wonder February is considered the month of love. According to the National Association of Bridal Consultants, it is also officially National Wedding Month–due to the number of couples who start planning for the big day. And with an estimated one million couples who got engaged over the holidays, you might be one of them! If you’re planning a summer wedding, check out this move of the month plan from Stephanie Walker and Sarah Ashenden, personal trainers from Fitness Formula Clubs, located in Chicago. To start, they recommend strength training for 30 minutes twice a week along with 30 minutes of cardio 3-5 days per week. Get started with the first move below and then add on a different exercise each month.
February: Triceps Dip
Since you’ll be standing with your back to all your guests for your ceremony, you want the back of your arms to look sleek and toned. Sit on a weight bench with legs slightly bent, feet flat on floor. Place hands on bench by thighs and press palms into the bench to lift your butt. Slide your butt off edge and bend elbows to drop hips 3 inches from floor. Straighten arms and slide hips back without sitting down. Repeat 8 to 10 times for 3 reps. Read more
“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.
Do you have a favorite fit blogger you want us to highlight? Leave a comment below or email email@example.com
The Fiscal Cliff may have come and gone, but according to Gold’s Gym, February 7 is considered to be the “Fitness Cliff”–the day those New Year Resolutions start to go astray and goals slowly start heading toward the back burner.
Gold’s studied check-in patterns at gym locations around the country over a three-year period to establish this cliff. After the initial gym craze around January 1, they noticed a gradual decline in check-ins beginning January 30, with the biggest drop happening on February 7. To help keep you from falling off the edge, Dr. Belisa Vranich, author and clinical psychologist created these five warning signs that your resolutions may be slipping:
- You suddenly find yourself too busy to get to the gym as often as when you first started.
- You’re getting angry that the effort you’re making to work out and eat healthy aren’t equaling the results you’d like to see in the mirror.
- You find yourself less motivated and begin to wonder why you made this goal in the first place.
- You slowly start to ease back into old patterns, trading treadmill time for the TV and in caving into your usual guilty pleasures.
- You start arguing with yourself that you don’t really need to change, convincing yourself that you’ll make a better effort next year.
Do one or more of these points sound like you? Get back on track with these tips from Gold’s Gym Fitness Institute expert and celebrity trainer Mike Ryan: Read more