Written on November 4, 2013 at 10:41 am , by Karla Walsh
Did you catch FITNESS reader Cassandra in the I Did It! section on page 20 of our September issue? (In case you missed it or need a reminder, she raised $5,420 for the Boot Campaign which helps military veterans and their families.) Now through Veteran’s Day, November 11, you too can make an impact and support our nation’s heroes. No sweat: You don’t have to drop and give us 20—although that’s never a bad thing to do!
The Believe in Heroes campaign, now in its fourth year, gathers funds to help wounded soldiers get back to their favorite activities (through programs like adaptive sports and rehab). Contributing can be as easy as visiting your local supermarket.
How to help:
- Donate at your grocery store. Thousands of supermarkets across the U.S. accept donations as you check out.
- Download free coupons. Coupons for some of your favorite food and drink brands will be available for free through December 2 at wwpbelieve.org. A contribution will be made to the Wounded Warrior Project for each coupon redeemed.
- Click over to Facebook. Learn about participating stores and learn more about Wounded Warriors’ personal stories at www.facebook.com/wwpinc.fans.
More from FITNESS:
- All-American Workout Playlist
- Military Wives Use Fitness to Overcome Grief
- Marathoner Amy Palmiero-Winters: Back in Action After Amputation
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 November 1, 2013 at 10:35 am , by FITNESS Intern
Written by Alena Hall, editorial intern
Earlier this month, world-class triathlete Paula Newby-Fraser traveled to Kona, Hawaii like so many times before to experience the Ironman World Championship. But this time the Hall of Famer enjoyed the race from the sidelines, supporting all of the athletes who dream of one day accomplishing as much as she has over the course of her career.
The Queen of Kona was an athlete from birth, competing on swimming teams in South Africa until she was 15 years old, but she didn’t fall in love with fitness until after college. With a little positive peer pressure, she began running and going to the gym with friends in lieu of extended happy hours. “I started with running a 5K, then a 10K and just generally working out, enjoying the benefits of being back in shape and being healthy,” Paula tells us.
One thing led to another, and when a pal learned of Paula’s swimming background, a triathlon became the new goal. The rest is history. She won a spot in the 1985 Hawaii Ironman, despite the fact that her newfound passion was her most challenging feat yet. “I had never ridden 112 miles and I had never run a marathon, so when I went to go and do that event, I pretty much did everything wrong,” she says. “But I knew that once I got through it, it opened the door and the possibility of pursuing it on a multiple-time basis.”
Almost 30 years later, Paula has won 24 Ironman Triathlon races—eight of which were Ironman Triathlon World Championships. She holds the Ironman world record of 8:50:24, and along with the “Greatest Triathlete in History” title from Triathlete Magazine in 1999. Her mental and physical connection to the sport kept her focused on the finish line every time she stepped up to the racing line. “I would say to myself, ‘There’s nothing I haven’t faced in training. I’ve had days where I felt brilliant, I’ve had days where I felt absolutely awful, I’ve had very average days,” she explains. “I’ve been out there when it’s cold, when it’s raining, when it’s windy, when it’s hot, when I’ve had mechanical problems and yet somehow you make it through all those workouts and just deal with what the day gives you. There’s nothing that I can’t handle.”
Outside of race training, Paula loves taking her mountain bike to the trails near her home in San Diego, California. “It’s so incredibly peaceful and interactive because you’re off road and on the trails,” she says. “Off-road running is also something that I absolutely love. Being able to go up a mountain is always something I think is special.” She even looks for good trails when vacationing—Utah and Colorado are two of her frequented spots.
What’s next after the current Ironman season comes to an end? Paula has a few more race ideas up her sleeve. “Running an ultra-marathon is definitely on my list of things I would love to do. There are also some ultra-mountain biking events that I just feel like I have to get to do once or twice before too many more years go by.” She literally never stops, which explains why this ambitious gal lives by one word: consistency. “Find a way to integrate consistency in no matter what you choose. Being able to make it a part of you, of your life, of your grounding routine will make something rewarding, will make you want to do it, and give you the benefits,” she says. “If you can do something and make it a part of who you are, it just throws open the possibilities.”
More from FITNESS:
- Ready, Set, Goal: Win-It Strategies from Top Athletes
- Unleash Your Inner Winner
- Conquering a Triathlon, Relay-Style
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 31, 2013 at 12:06 pm , by Lauren Cardarelli
Dedication. That’s the name of the game for Grammy-winning rapper, entrepreneur and actor L.L. Cool J. Whether he’s memorizing lines for his Navy SEAL turned NCIS operative character (Sam Hanna) on NCIS: Los Angeles or hitting the gym, L.L. is committed to giving it his all—and then some.
Finding the time for a healthy balance is his secret. “You just have to be willing to get [to the gym] when you can fit it,” says Cool J. With long-time trainer Dave “Scooter” Honig, one of Hollywood’s fittest musician sticks to a rigorous routine bursting with burpees, sprints, pushups, hanging abs, running mans and more. Hello, tank top-ready guns! And according to the multi-talented artist, there’s no excuse for skipping a sweat sesh. “It could be late at night when I get home around midnight, or early in the morning, like 3 or 4 a.m. I just try to figure it out,” he explains, adding that he couldn’t live without protein shakes, oatmeal, tuna and chicken breasts when it comes to refueling.
It certainly helps that fitness is a family affair. “Everyone loves getting to the gym and understands the importance of it, without a doubt,” the father of four shares. “[My kids] grew up seeing me work out like a maniac!” But many children aren’t nearly as lucky to have such a fit and fabulous role model, which is why Cool J teamed up with After-School All-Stars (ASAS).
The organization, which provides youth the tools they need for success through skill development programs coupled with athletic and academic competitions, struck a chord. “It’s great because when I think about how I grew up and where I come from, you know, after-school programs are super duper important,” he explains, hinting at his personal childhood struggles. “ACE Brand Sports Medicine Products just launched the ‘A’ Game Challenge. They’re paying it forward.”
In celebration of youth athletics, the trio created this video entry contest to inspire youngsters to showcase their outstanding athletic skills for a $10,000 scholarship. Learn more about the initiative with ASAS here and if you know any interested participants, be sure to submit their all-star moment by November 15.
More from FITNESS:
- When Fashion Meets Fitness for a Cause
- McDreamy Gets Dreamier (Believe It!) For Cancer Hope and Healing
- Misty May-Treanor Keeps Her Eye On The Prize With New Partner
Written on October 30, 2013 at 2:46 pm , by mohrresults
Happy almost-Halloween! Outside of the topic of costumes, the next important topic revolving around this ghoulish holiday is, of course, the candy.
With two kids, we’ll be hitting up the trick-or-treating circuit. I don’t know who will get more, but I do know that in either case it’s. A. Lot. Estimates suggest kids eat about 3 cups worth of candy on Halloween night alone. That doesn’t even speak to the leftovers for the next week or so!
If you and your family want to enjoy candy, enjoy candy. Our girls will, within reason. We usually have them pick their 5 favorites and then toss the rest.
But candy isn’t just coming into the house. Sometimes it just stays there, never leaving. After all, who’s guilty of buying too much candy when they invite trick-or-treaters to their doorstep? I know we have. For a fighting chance in the battle of the bulge, consider picking some better-for-you choices this year. That way, when your neighborhood kids don’t come in droves like you expect, you’ll still have some goodies to munch on (nom, nom, nom). Need some ideas? These are the 3 we’ll be offering:
Wonderful Pistachios. These are a go-to Halloween giveaway for us. It started last year when our then-3.5-year-old saw the little bags in the grocery store and wanted some. Always happy to oblige when she asks for quality foods, we picked them up. To our surprise, we actually had several kids thank us for giving something different, and their parents were equally as happy. Less sugar highs! They can be found in a 1-oz. bag, providing just 80 calories of nutrient-rich goodness without any added sugars.
POM POMS are new treats we’ll try this year, now that they’re for sale in convenient individual containers. Handing out fresh pomegranates might be a bit weird, so these prepackaged seeds are ideal. POM arils (the edible seeds) are nutritious, delivering nutrients like vitamins C & K, potassium and fiber, among others. They’re crunchy. They’re sweet. And they’re nice for variety to move away from the typical candy. The downside: they can be messy, so help your kids eat them (and steal some for yourself to enjoy in cottage cheese, Greek yogurt or just as a plain snack).
Justin’s 80-Calorie Nut Butter Packs. OK, these might just be a bit too addicting. I was recently introduced to them at the Annual Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Conference. They’re convenient, healthy and packed with nutrition.
Now while you might be thinking our house will get egged, last year when we gave out Pistachios and mini Clif Bars, we actually had several “thank you’s” from parents…and even their kids. Think about it, and enjoy your trick or treating!
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 25, 2013 at 12:03 pm , by FITNESS Intern
Written by Alena Hall, editorial intern
Halloween is the one night of the year when we can wear outrageous costumes and embrace silly fears without shame. But candy overloads, junk food binges and high-calorie adult beverages can follow us well into November, threatening the holiday party body we all work so hard to achieve. Luckily, we found these four creepy cocktail recipes: all are under 250 calories, so you can party on guilt-free. Do you dare?
Vampire Kiss Martini
- 1 ½ ounces Finlandia Vodka, chilled
- 1 ½ ounces Korbel Champagne
- ¾ ounce Chambord Black Raspberry Liqueur
Rim the glass with red sugar (use food coloring) or drop in a set of wax vampire teeth for a real surprise. Pour vodka and half of the Chambord in a martini glass, top with Champagne and pour the remaining Chambord over the back of a spoon to make it float.
Recipe courtesy of Chambord
- Skinnygirl Piña Colada
- 2 tablespoons corn syrup
- ¼ teaspoons red food coloring
Pour the corn syrup in a shallow bowl and add a few drops of red food coloring. Stir with a toothpick to combine. Holding a glass by the stem, dip the rim into syrup mixture and turn the glass, coating the entire rim. Flip glass upright, allowing mixture to drip down the sides. Repeat for desired number of glasses. Pour chilled Skinnygirl Piña Colada into prepared glasses and serve.
Recipe courtesy of Skinnygirl Cocktails
Written on October 24, 2013 at 10:30 am , by Marla Horenbein
We love when fashion and fitness join forces, so we were especially excited to get sweaty at the Pink Pony Ride hosted by our friends at Ralph Lauren and SoulCycle. Ralph Lauren generously donated the cost of each attendee’s ride to the Pink Pony Fund of the Polo Ralph Lauren Foundation, which benefits cancer care and prevention, in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness month. Two of our favorite things coming together in one place for a good cause= one super inspiring night!
Pink Pony’s mission is to reduce disparities in cancer care in medically underserved communities, and ensure that treatment is available at an earlier, more curable stage. The Pink Pony Fund is internationally recognized (currently in 20 countries!) and by donating 25 percent of the purchase price from each Pink Pony product sold in the U.S. (shop the collection here…we’re totally loving these sweatpants!), the initiative has been able to support programs for screening, early diagnosis, treatment, research and patient navigation.
And the best part, Mr. Lauren (as in the Ralph Lauren), is totally hands on with this project.
“Over 20 years ago, I lost a good friend to cancer, and I promised that I would do my best to fight the disease that took her life. Watching the incredible progress we have made—to not only raise money to fight cancer but also to educate and support people, particularly those in underserved communities, navigate the sometimes isolating experience of patient treatment—is the greatest gift I could ever receive.”
For more information on how you can donate to the Pink Pony Fund, click here.
More from FITNESS:
Written on October 21, 2013 at 2:06 pm , by FITNESS Intern
Written by Alena Hall, editorial intern
With Halloween just a few weeks away, it’s time to head over to the local pumpkin patch. But this time, when you’re searching for the perfectly shaped pumping for your carved creation, snag another one for the kitchen counter. You’ll be amazed by all of the different ways you can cook with this nutrient-rich vegetable. Amie Valpone, HHC, AADP, is just as excited about pumpkin season as we are, and gave us the scoop on everything there is to know about getting the most out of that orange gourd.
“For being so sweet, pumpkin is a great food to add to your pantry and diet,” says Valpone. “It’s low in saturated fat and carbohydrates, and very low in cholesterol and sodium.” As far as vitamins and minerals go, there are very few the veggie doesn’t have. Pumpkin is a solid source of vitamins A, C, E, B6, thiamin, niacin, folate, iron, phosphorus, magnesium, riboflavin, potassium, copper and manganese.
While one of the easiest ways to prep pumpkin and reap the nutritional benefits is to roast it in chunks with a little salt and olive oil, it doesn’t hurt to get a little creative—especially around the holidays. “Try adding mashed pumpkin when you’re sautéing onions and garlic in a Dutch oven,” suggests Valpone. “Add a little cinnamon, cardamom, cumin and sugar, then stick the covered pot in a preheated oven until the flavors are combined (about 30 to 40 minutes)—really, the longer you cook it, the better. Add water if it seems to be getting dry. Top with a dollop of Greek yogurt, salt and pepper for an Afghani-inspired dish that is too good for there to be any leftovers.”
When clearing out the pumpkin’s “guts,” be sure to save those seeds. “Toast the washed seeds with salt or get fancy with your spice cabinet for a protein, magnesium and zinc-rich snack that is low in cholesterol and sodium (just go easy with the salt shaker),” recommends Valpone. And thanks to your local grocery store, you can enjoy pumpkin seeds even when they’re not in season. Try tossing them into a salad for extra crunch.
If you’re looking for a quick way to enjoy pumpkin on the go all year round, try a pumpkin-based snack, like KIND’s new Maple Pumpkin Seeds with Sea Salt bar . “All natural, Non-GMO, gluten-free and boasting a blend of 100 percent whole grains, these bars make a great snack for anytime of the day,” says Valpone.
Craving pumpkin’s sweeter side? Give Valpone’s pumpkin “cheese” cake recipe a try for a healthy, yet decadent, dessert that simply screams fall!