As you’ve seen from watching major sporting events (or if you’re like me and my physical therapist, on a personal level) sports injuries can range from mildly annoying to career-stopping, which is why we’re big on proper warm-ups, stretching and listening to your body. This April is National Youth Sports Safety Month and tennis pro Sloane Stephens has teamed up with Johnson & Johnson to promote the new Donate a Photo app and the organization Safe Kids Worldwide. With the free Donate a Photo app, all you have to do is share a photo and J&J will donate $1 to the charity of your choice.
Like any athlete, Stephens stresses the importance of staying injury-free, which is why she chose to work with Safe Kids Worldwide. The organization helps teach kids, and their parents and coaches, how to protect against sports injuries at Safe Kids Sports Clinics. “Staying injury free is important to me and I want to help kids know what to do and stay preventative,” she said. The pro swears by proper warm-ups before training and icing after workouts to stay in top shape.
All you need to do is download the free app on your iPhone or Android, upload a photo (you can share up to one a day, every day) and a donation will be made. You can also view other shared photos at the Donate a Photo gallery and learn more about the campaign here.
More from FITNESS:
Written by Karina Smirnoff
I want to start this blog by sending my prayers to all the innocent people directly affected by the senseless violence in Boston. My condolences to the families who lost loved ones. It is devastating to hear the stories and see the pictures. Through all the horrific stories I found inspiration in several others and was reminded of how strong the human spirit is. Martin Richard’s message of spreading love and not hate or violence is one I will continue to be inspired by.
Going into Monday’s show on the heels of such an unfathomable situation was extremely hard. I’m thankful ABC and DWTS decided to move forward with the episode, as all of the dancers and celebrity partners wanted to dedicate the night to each and every one of you. We are extremely blessed to do what we love and hopefully by putting our passion to work, we were able to transmit that love into your homes.
Given that Jacoby and I had the Jive we needed to channel that inspiration and positivity into our performance. We had such a great week of preparation that I knew he was going to deliver. However, he never ceases to amaze me! His musicality, timing, strength, charm and commitment are incredible. When he said he was going to jump over my head without touching me, I thought he was nuts! After he did it, I was shocked. When he did it over and over I was convinced that what I was starting to realize was true – the sky is truly the limit for Jacoby Jones! Read more
On our quest to find the most unique classes around, we discovered the class for type As: Yoga Bootcamp. This variety includes a mix of flowing poses and muscle-building strength moves performed at a heart-pumping pace. In our class, a top 40 playlist kept the pace moving at a fast clip…until the final five minutes. Then, the instructor (and triathlete) Lindsey Opp of PowHer Fitness, says, “The most difficult part of the class begins.” In other words, the time you lie still in corpse pose and clear your brain to focus on your breath might be even more of a challenge than the super-sculpting moves. Yup, there is a yoga class for us all…even those who have slowing down.
Try this style yourself at home with two moves from the bootcamp:
- Start in plank position, with abs tight, body in a straight diagonal line from shoulders to heels and hands under shoulders.
- Slowly lower down in a triceps push-up, keeping elbows near ribcage. As you lower, bring right knee out to the side and forward to meet right elbow (see picture).
- Push back up to starting position and place right leg back behind to meet left.
- Switch sides and repeat. Try to complete 5 reps per side.
- Begin with feet about two feet in front of an empty wall. Bend down and place hands at shoulder-width, about one foot on front of toes (A).
- Place most of body weight on hands and carefully place one foot low on the wall while the other remains on the floor.
- Step other foot up on the wall and alternate stepping legs higher, until legs are fully extended (B).
- Hold handstand position for five seconds, then walk feet back down the wall until you can step back to the starting position.
- Repeat, stepping first with the opposite leg.
Written by Carrie Stevens, editorial intern
Listen up, ladies: Triscuit’s new brown rice crackers aren’t your mother’s snack. The brand has developed delicious spins on its classic namesake snack—like sweet potato and sea salt and black pepper—that get two nutritional thumbs up from celeb chef and FITNESS advisory board member Rocco DiSpirito. The bestselling author developed three healthy, easy-to-make recipes centered around the cracker, and after sampling his culinary creations in Times Square (the turkey chili recipe below is OMG good), we chatted with DiSpirito about his cooking inspiration, eating for the season and saving calories with simple ingredient swaps.
Your Triscuit-inspired recipes were delicious! Why did you partner with the brand?
When an established food company like Triscuit/Nabisco decides they’re going to put a lot of money, time and effort to make something better for you, I’m a big fan of that decision. It’s brave because most food companies are like, “Why change it? It’s perfect, we sell a ton of food, we make a gazillion dollars, we have big homes in the Hamptons, we don’t need to do anything.” But this shows recognition that America needs healthier choices, including their snacks, and I’m proud to associate with a company that feels that way because that’s what I do every day: I try to convince Americans to make healthier choices.
What’s your main goal when developing a recipe?
My priority is to make a recipe that people can reproduce at home very easily. So I work backward from what I find in grocery stores. Every time I start a book, I go to the grocery stores and research what’s available, and that changes all the time. From the time I wrote Now Eat This to now, a lot has changed. There are a lot more healthy ingredients available, so that makes my job a little easier and more exciting. The point is to get people to try it and understand that when they cook, they’re in control, and cooking is better than buying from a restaurant. So those are my priorities: to make it super easy for people to make it at home.
How do you “healthify” a recipe?
You want to swap fats, dairy and sugar: those are the ones that are the most calorically dense. One ounce of any of those has more calories than one ounce of vegetables, for example. For dairy, fat-free Greek yogurt is a great swap. For fats, using something like xanthan gum. So let’s say you want to make an ice-cream smoothie, but you don’t want to use any ice cream. Skim milk and xanthan gum is a great way to create that texture that you’d get from cream. And for sugar, my favorite new sweetener is monk fruit extract. It’s an amazing calorie- and sugar-free sweetener.
What are some of your go-to spring produce?
It’s ridiculous what happens in spring! I start with asparagus, which is fresh in early spring. White asparagus is one of my favorite things on the planet. I plant a garden, so I grow several kinds of tomatoes, zucchini, squash, watermelon, cucumbers—I look forward to all of those things. If you’re one of those people who doesn’t like cucumbers, you’ve never had a home-grown one. Sometimes I pick off the leaves of squash blossoms and fry the blossoms, or make a squash blossom omelet. There are so many wonderful fruits and vegetables that are in season.
Click for the mouthwatering chili recipe we sampled, then recreate at home – it’s perfect for a party!
Written by Carrie Stevens, editorial intern
Have you started spring cleaning yet? Though it seems like a daunting project, Carolyn Barnes, author of The cLean Momma Workout, says these types of household chores—think dusting, vacuuming and loading the dishwasher—offer opportunities to “taskercise,” or get in shape while cleaning up. Multi-tasking at its finest? We’re in!
Combining isometric movements, functional training and bootcamp-like exercises, Barnes’ program lets pressed-for-time ladies (and men!) firm up—no equipment necessary. We chatted with this former professional dancer and mother of two about her program, the ins and outs of taskercising, and her favorite multitasking moves.
How did you conceptualize taskercise?
I originally came up with this after my now-six-year-old was born. When he was about four months old he spit up on the floor after I nursed him— I cleaned it up by using my legs to maneuver a cloth and said, “Oh! I’m onto something here.” I started to do more moves—let me do this while I change my baby’s diaper, do this while I vacuum. Since I’m multitasking, I’m not being pulled away from my kids to go to the gym.
Exercising while doing chores is a double-whammy, though. What are your tips for success?
The rule of thumb is it takes 30 days to make or break a habit, so practice it consciously. You want to make a choice to commit for 30 days, which is hard for a lot of people because they want immediate results. For a psychological jumpstart, do 10 pushups at your kitchen sink every time you’re in there; you’ll see definition within a week. That’s going to propel you to continue.
You even have moves to do outside of the home, like the gas squat and grab and stretch. Have you ever been caught doing a move in public?
Yes, and I make them do it with me!
Oh, I’ve ambushed people and have been like, “let’s do some calf raises!” You can be free about it or do it discreetly, if that’s more your style. If you’re in the checkout line, for example, take your grocery cart and push it out and pull it back in, keeping your core tight the entire time. That’s an ab workout during idle time. I do it all the time!
Aside from “taskercising,” what other types of workouts do you enjoy?
I go for runs and hikes in the beautiful rural country. I don’t do it for weight loss, but rather peace of mind.
What does fitness mean to you?
Being healthy. My thighs are always going to be my thighs. I used to be so self-conscious about them, and my butt, but I’m over it. I wear my cellulite with a badge of honor because it’s still there, but I’m healthy.
Now you tell us: Do you/would you workout while cleaning?
Now that I have finally jumped the hurdle of being an early morning runner, there are a number of reasons I lace up instead of hitting the snooze. Fun weekend plans. My brother’s wedding. My wedding. Wanting to PR in the Pittsburgh Marathon next month. The list goes on. And of course, there are dozens of reasons that inspire others that aren’t on my list. To figure out what motivates healthy lifestyles among its consumers, Tyson Foods on behalf of the Tyson® Grilled & Ready® product line surveyed over 2,000 participants all across the country and found out what really sparks the masses to eat healthier and work out harder. Below, some findings we found particularly interesting:
- Nearly everyone surveyed–94 percent–is looking to make a positive change related to his or her health this year. Of those, 79 percent want to eat healthy. (Get started with our new Healthy Snack Finder, to make mid-morning and afternoon munching satisfying, without being total calorie bombs.)
- When it comes to motivation, 79 percent say their health motivates them to live a healthy lifestyle while 58 percent want their clothes to fit better. Around 52 percent stay motivated for their family (aww!) and 28 percent do it for an upcoming social event.
- In terms of the most motivating tool, there’s no surprise here–social media! About 43 percent said they were more motivated to work out after seeing a friend post or tweet about having a great workout.
Some other fun facts: For those wishing a celebrity chef would pop up in their kitchen and help them cook, 1 out of 4 picked Emeril Lagasse. As for favorite trainer, Jillian Michaels is queen by both women (45 percent) and men (41 percent).
Now Tell Us: What motivates you to live a healthy lifestyle?
According to the Center for Disease Control, more than 440,000 Americans lose their lives every year to smoking related illnesses. On top of that, for one death, 20 more live with serious illnesses from smoking and 8 million Americans suffer from chronic diseases caused from smoking. With stats like these it’s not surprising that 70 percent of smokers say they want to quit.
This sparked the CDC to launch the first anti-smoking campaign funded by the U.S. government, Tips from Former Smokers. Due to the response and success of the campaign the CDC is launching a second phase this month, with more personal stories from smokers and how the habit has hurt their health, their family and their lives. We got the chance to chat with Dr. Tim McAfee, director of the CDC’s Office on Smoking and Health on how smoking affects more than just the person doing it, and how you can help a friend, family member or yourself quit for good.
This campaign if pretty graphic. What made the CDC decide to go this route?
This campaign is the first that the federal government has funded since the 50thAnniversary of the first Surgeon General’s report in 1964, although separate states have run campaigns consistently. We felt that we needed the ads to get a visual point across so we could be a counterweight to the tobacco industry’s promotion. They are spending $8.5 billion a year on promotion, so it’s a steep climb to compete with. This is not something you can do once and then it’s done with, people need to hear it and see it regularly to really register with them.
With this phase of the campaign we address several conditions linked to smoking, although there are so many more. We have a story about diabetes and smoking, as well as someone with COPD and someone who suffered serious lung damage from secondhand smoke exposure. The first time around we stuck to the impact of smoking on the smoker, this time we’re focusing on the impact on those around a smoker. Read more
Written by Carrie Stevens, editorial intern
These national food holidays are seriously some of the best inventions ever. Nothing hits the spot quite like a warm and crispy grilled cheese sandwich, and if you’re looking to add some flavor and a boost of well, adulthood, to your comfort food game—without a ton of extra calories—then you’re covered here. We recently sampled gourmet sandwiches crafted by Jason Sobocinski of The Big Cheese with wine pairings from St. Francis Winery and Vineyard, and two sent our taste buds into a frenzy. Grill one up for a classy, no-fuss weekend meal that your guy will love. Because everyone needs to channel their inner kid a little bit, right?
Fresh Chevre, Caramelized Pear, Pickled Ginger and Honey on Sourdough
Paired with Sonoma County Chardonnay
What we think: Don’t knock it til’ you try it! The crisp chardonnay intensifies the cheese and pear flavors while the ginger and honey are great complements.
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 large ripe pear, skin removed, cored and sliced
- 1 tablespoon pickled ginger, drained and finely chopped
- 2 teaspoons honey
- 3 oz fresh goat’s milk chevre
- 4 slices sourdough bread
1. Coat a small sauté pan with olive oil and heat over medium heat. Add pear slices, pickled ginger and honey and cook, stirring occasionally, until pear begins to color and soften, 5 to 7 minutes. Pour mixture into a bowl and set aside. Let cool slightly.
2. Meanwhile, spread fresh goat’s milk chevre onto sourdough bread. Add 4 to 6 slices of cooked pears to 2 bread slices. Top with remaining bread.
3. Spread butter onto outsides of each sandwich. Coat a large sauté pan with olive oil and heat over medium heat. Toast sandwiches until golden brown, 1 to 2 minutes. Flip sandwiches and repeat. Let cool slightly before serving.
Calories per serving: 488
We finally had our first glimpse of some warm weather this week in NYC and to celebrate, we did it with popsicles of course! To help kick off the launch of Fruttare Fruit Bars, Grammy-Award winning singer Ne-Yo and platinum-selling superstar Cher Lloyd are teaming to do a song collaboration–inspired by you!
To make it into the tune, all you have to do is log on to Twitter, Facebook or Instagram and share what keeps you looking on the positive side of things, with the hashtag #itsallgood. And let’s be honest–when the sun is out and you’re heading on your long awaited vacation, beach trip, a hot and sweaty outdoor workout or whatever else you’ve got planned, there’s not much that’s not good.
Ne-Yo, who admitted to thinking of himself as a “fake freelance photographer” with his Instagram photos and Cher Lloyd, who loves Twitter (follow her @CherLlyod!) to connect with her fans and catch up on the news, will round up your responses to work them into their tune. The duo will also sing it live at the iHeartRadio Music Festival in Las Vegas this September. Pretty sweet, right?
To see Ne-Yo and Cher Lloyd in the studio and to purchase their song, visit the Fruttare Facebook page.
More from FITNESS: Tony Horton’s Sweat-Dripping Workout Playlist
Think dancing’s not a workout? Think again. This week, celebrity guest blogger Karina Smirnoff talks about the added perks of the Fox Trot, and pushing past mental blocks.
Written by Karina Smirnoff
After last week’s sexy, emotionally charged Rumba I was eager to tackle the Fox Trot. We had a really special theme, which was “My Most Memorable Year” and Jacoby’s couldn’t have been more incredible! As most of you now know, Jacoby has a beautiful baby boy, Jacoby Jones Jr. and despite winning the Super Bowl, he was the obvious highlight of 2012.
The song we danced to was Rodney Atkins “Watching You”, which is extremely sentimental for JJ. Never knowing his own father, he has vowed to do all the things he never got to experience with his own dad. It was so fun to watch Jacoby with his son! He’s so sweet and gentle yet can make his little boy laugh with ease. It was great to spend time with them and really helped to inspire this week’s dance. Read more