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Ditch the Parking Lot: How to Bring Tailgating Into Your Home!

Written on December 22, 2012 at 10:38 am , by

Written by Jennifer Fiorentino, editorial intern

Homegating [verb]: Bringing the spirit of football games into the comfort of your own home.

That’s exactly how we would describe what happened  when actress and singer Holly Robinson Peete invited us to the NFL homegating kickoff here in New York City. Along with celebrity chef Laurent Tourondel, who whipped up some of his favorite game day bites, we experienced the art of homegating first hand. It just may become a new tradition for some of our staffers!

How exactly does homegating work? It’s simple: if you love the spirit that surrounds tailgating, but want to ditch the unpredictable weather or can’t always afford to hit up a game, homegating is a fun alternative. Invite some pals over, decorate the house in team décor and serve the foods you’d see cooked up at your typical tailgate.

“Our fans have an incredible passion and we are pleased to bring them more ways to connect with the game and each other,” says Tracey Bleczinski, NFL’s vice president of consumer products.

Forget tailgating in the cold, crazy weather. It’s time to bring team spirit back home this season (Photo courtesy of NFL).

To find out more about how to bring a little health to the fan-friendly fun, we sat down with Peete and learned about her own family’s homegating routine. Check out the secrets this NFL wife (she’s married to former Panthers quarterback Rodney Peete) practices below!

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Friday Fashion Favs: When Sweat Meets Glam

Written on November 9, 2012 at 4:13 pm , by

There’s nothing we love more here in the fashion department than mixing sweat and glam. Let’s be real ladies, you can burn some major calories and still look good while doing it!  So when we caught wind earlier this week that one of our favorite SoulCycle chicks and October Express Workout model, Charlee Atkins, was the model in a collaboration video for SoulCycle and one of our fav jewelry brands, DANNIJO, you know we were all over it. I mean really, nothing says sexy, more than war paint, stacks of jewels, and lots of sweaty skin.

Check out the H-O-T video below. If that doesn’t inspire you to want to get out there and kick some butt, we don’t know what else will!

Spotted: FITNESS’ Fitness Editor on The Real Housewives of New York!

Written on August 22, 2012 at 3:05 pm , by

Jenna, our fab fitness editor is a self-proclaimed SoulCycle addict!

Jenna, our fitness editor making her RHONY debut!

I’d rather let you look in my middle school diary before letting you scan through my DVR. I’ll be the first to admit–it’s embarrassing. Living with my boyfriend has resulted in a complete TV monopoly, where suddenly it seems the only channel we get is ESPN. So needless to say, when the tube is up for grabs I do some serious reality TV damage, especially in the form of the Real Housewives series. I’m on a first name basis with all the gals–LuAnn, Tamra, Lisa, Gretchen, the whole gang!

So you can imagine my excitement when I actually knew someone on the show! That’s Jenna Autuori-Dedic (above), our fitness editor and SoulCycle-addict, who was attending a charity class at the studio for the One Step Ahead Foundation, an organization that helps kids with physical disabilities build self-esteem through athletics. Housewife Aviva Drescher is a spokeswoman for the foundation, as she became an amputee when she was just 6 years old after getting her leg caught in a conveyor belt. The class that Jenna attended along with the RHONY ladies raised enough money to give a boy involved with One Step Ahead his first set of prosthetic running legs, definitely a tear jerking moment for all who watched!

Jenna not only looks intrigued by the ladies in the class (hopefully none of them stole her bike!) but very ready to get her SoulCycle on. We basically have a celebrity on staff now, and Andy Cohen will be calling us any minute to do a spin-off–I can feel it!

 

Hot Topic Tuesday: Would You Hire A Fitness Concierge?

Written on August 21, 2012 at 6:15 pm , by

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Would you hire someone to schedule your workouts - so you just have to show up? (Photo by Ericka McConnell)

SIN Workouts, a fitness concierge service, launched this month in New York City. The services scored? A personal scheduler who creates a fitness calendar tailored specifically to you, books appointments and even provides an early bird wake-up call to ensure you don’t miss those 6 a.m. sweat sessions.

Founder Vanessa Martin began SIN Workouts (Strength in Numbers) when she realized there was a money-making opportunity in things she was already doing for friends – giving class recommendations and joining them to ditch the gym-skipping tendencies. Under SIN, she finds hard-to-book spots in busy classes (front row at SoulCycle, anyone?), and tags along if you need that extra motivational push to get the most out of your workout.

So do you choose which workouts you want for the week, or does Martin? Well, that’s up to you. If desired, Martin will get to know what workouts you enjoy, evaluate what your goals are and then provide your picture-perfect workout. No thinking (on your part) required.

Right now, the new service is only available here in the Big Apple, but we wouldn’t be surprised if this branch of concierge services started popping up across the country. While the service isn’t cheap – there can be a triple-digit monthly fee, but exact prices are determined on a client-by-client basis – it certainly blows the “I don’t have time” excuse out of the water.

Now you tell us:  Would you hire someone to schedule your entire fitness routine? If not, what keeps you motivated to squeeze in your workouts?

Embrace Your Belly! S.E.A.K. Can Help With That

Written on April 19, 2012 at 11:41 am , by

Jenny Gaither, founder of S.E.A.K. and the Sports Bra Challenge. (Photo courtesy of S.E.A.K.)

Are you that girl that wants to rip off your tank during a grueling Tabata class or during an extra hot and sweaty indoor cycling class, or maybe the heat in Bikram yoga just makes you feel so free that you want to…? Are you thinking how great it would be to lose the shirt and sport that pretty Lululemon sports bra, but you’re wondering is everyone else OK with me being OK with this? Wonder no more. Embrace this feeling, love your body, feel the sweat and let it all out!

Sometimes there is one moment that has more of an impact than you even thought it could—that’s what happened when SoulCycle instructor Jenny Gaither expanded a one-time sports bra challenge class into an entire movement. She wanted to empower more than a single classroom to push past their insecurities and really love their lady curves—and show the world they can rock it in a sports bra. So next month on May 17, Jenny’s nonprofit organization, the S.E.A.K. (Strive Embrace Achieve Know) Foundation will host it’s debut event in Union Square Park. This can’t-miss movement called the Sports Bra Challenge will be an outdoor workout, packed with back-to-back turbo-charged 100 seat SoulCycle cycling classes and a group yoga session led by popular yogi Halle Becker. All proceeds raised on this day will go to the S.E.A.K. Foundation, which will initiate and support after-school programs to help young girls face body image issues and promote positive self-esteem when it’s needed most; and the City of Hope, an organization which supports women going through chemotherapy and rehabilitation during medial treatments.

Love yours! (Photo courtesy of S.E.A.K.)

The Sports Bra Challenge asks you to take a look at yourself and be proud of where you are with your body—so pull out that best sports bra and hop on a bike or hit a mat this May during Women’s Health Week. You don’t have to be there on May 17th to participate—ask your favorite gym class to host a sports bra only day and raise money to donate to these charities.

I scored a coveted seat at last week’s kickoff event at SoulCycle Union Square and a sampler of instructors brought out their best tunes and tricks—a little taste of what I know is to come! Registration for seats are open now and although prices aren’t cheap—get your charity sites up (set up your own and create a PayPal account)—you’re sure to feel good about being part of this day.

Bonus: Hosted by the girls who got their groove back, Biggest Loser winner and runner-up Olivia Ward and her sister Hannah Curlee, and a surprise guest (Lady Gaga is that you!?) who will be motivating you to move!

Check out this movement that’s sure to touch anybody who’s ever thought about rocking it in a sports bra! (Need some inspiration? Check out our favorites!)

SPORTS BRA CHALLENGE REGISTRATION IS OPEN NOW!

Music Monday: Party Like It’s Your Birthday Playlist!

Written on March 26, 2012 at 4:54 pm , by

My sweat-tastic best friends and I!

Last week I had my birthday bash at my home away from home, SoulCycle—let’s just say I’m totally embracing the new party workout trend that’s taking place all over Manhattan (check it out HERE!). When fitness and working out is your lifestyle like it is mine, sitting bar side at your fave restaurant just doesn’t do it anymore—plus how many times can we do the same thing year after year? That’s why front row seats at my favorite Danny Kopel Thursday evening class was a must-do to celebrate none other than the day I was born. Tap backs, push-ups and a little choreography mixed into it, having my birthday party at SoulCycle was sort of like a no-brainer. When a spinning studio IS the party, that’s where I want to be.

My good friend and FITNESS Half-Marathon blogger, Olivia Ward, jazzed up my spinning bike!

Instead of downing an insane amount of cocktail calories, my best friends and I sweated out hundreds each—and we had just as much fun doing it too. (This class was extra special indeed as we were also celebrating the birthday of late Clare Veronica Walsh, a SoulCycle instructor and friend who passed away late last year. We miss you!)

Party workouts are here to stay and if your class or favorite studio doesn’t put on the show, bring your friends, wear a tiara and sweat your birthday away with your favorite people anyway!

Check out this awesome playlist from SoulCycle instructor, Danny Kopel.

Kicking and Cleaning with Kelly Ripa and Soccer Star Brandi Chastain

Written on March 12, 2012 at 12:30 pm , by

Kelly Ripa And Brandi Chastain kick off spring with a soccer clinic promoting the Electrolux Perfect Steam Washer. (Photo courtesy of Electrolux).

For everyone who spent this weekend running around in the springy weather, you probably now have a pile of dirty clothes to show for it. And while doing laundry may not be on your top ten favorite things to do in life, Kelly Ripa and World Cup Champ Brandi Chastain made it look fun hosting a soccer clinic on behalf of Electrolux’s Kicking and Cleaning campaign at Chelsea Piers in NYC last week. We got the chance to sit down with both of the busy moms to steal some of their time-saving tips, fitness routines and healthy eating tricks.

Read below to become a professional multitasker like these two and then do something good today! When you share your kids’ proudest moments on the Electrolux Facebook page, Electrolux will donate $1 to the Ovarian Cancer Research Fund.

Tell us about Electrolux’s Kicking and Cleaning initiative. Why is this program so important?

Brandi Chastain: The clinic is about getting kids active and involved, both boys and girls. When you have a boy you assume he will play sports, but it’s just as important for girls to get started in sports at a young age too. And with the Electrolux partnership it is a perfect fit. Helping keep kids clean and confident is an important part of being a mom. I can relate even as an athlete. As a player walking onto a field with a white U.S. jersey, you take pride in representing your country and it just looks better if it isn’t dingy and dirty!

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Conquering the Half-Marathon: Amanda Casgar, Newbie Runner

Written on February 22, 2012 at 10:11 am , by

Amanda realized she has what it takes to be a runner. (Photo courtesy of Jason Todd)

In our March issue, you’ll find four inspiring half-marathon stories from readers who went from couch to 13.1, from jogger to racer and more. For the remaining Wednesdays in February here on The Fit Stop, we’re sharing more personal stories from women who tested our half-marathon training plan.

Written by Brittany Vickers, editorial intern

Amanda Casgar, 32, has attended just about every fitness studio in New York City known to (wo)man: Physique 57, CrossFit, FlyBarre, SoulCycle, even a Trapeze class, just to name a few.  But she’s never been able to convince herself she’s a “runner.”  But before she knew it, Amanda went from being the queen of classes to the girl who flies solo to get her sweat on. After following our beginner half-marathon training plan, she crossed the finish line of the MORE/FITNESS half at 2:47.20 time with a huge smile on her face.

We caught up with the new runner to find out what her biggest obstacles were and how she pushed past her fears to cross the line successfully.

Think Positive
Keeping a positive mindset while you’re pounding the pavement can make all the difference. On her first run, Amanda was consumed with thoughts like, “My knees hurt. My hips hurt. I’m only a mile in?” To counteract all the negativity, she sent an email to her running co-workers to find out what they think about for such long stretches of time.  As a result, she put her brain to work by picturing each body part she was using and how running benefits it.  With this new mental ammo, Amanda hit the treadmill repeating “rock hard core” in her head to make time fly by.

Discover Your Passion
Run for you! Running may not always seem like something you can be enthusiastic about, but it can benefit your true “fit” passions.  Amanda’s new “runner” habits improved her favorite fit activity, yoga. “I have super open hips and loose joints that make me born to practice yoga, but I always needed to tighten up and pull my hips backward,” she says. “Running has helped me get fit in all the right places to bring my practice right into the sweet spot.” Try different activities, like Spinning or bootcamp, to break up all the miles logged and keep you mentally in the game.

Stay Social
Amanda’s biggest obstacle was getting out of her own way and ditching the insecurities. She had never been brave enough to head out on a lone run and doubted she could push herself striding solo.  How’d she get through it? “I mentally prepared for my long runs by sharing my plans with as many people as possible,” she says. “Brunch with family and friends was planned with time to push hard and fit in all those miles beforehand.  I’ve never felt more deserving of that first beer!” Incorporating the people around you in your new fit plans will help you stay motivated, and once you hit a new milestone, celebrate with them!

Accessorize!
Having the right equipment can make a huge difference come race day. Make sure you stock up on the basics: A good pair of personally fitted running shoes, energy foods to snack on while on the road and tools for stretching are all must-haves for the serious runner. “Now that I believe I’m a runner, I’ve started accessorizing like one,” Amanda says.  She is now the proud owner of the “The Stick,” a great tool for rubbing out sore legs. “My IT bands never hurt so good!”

Be Proud
No matter what your finish time, you’ve accomplished something many only dream of! Amanda was worried about her pride getting the best of her, but she was also afraid she wouldn’t be able to finish the entire 13.1 running.  “I got great advice about pacing my run with walking intervals,” she says. “The competitor in me wants to run until I can’t anymore, but I wanted to just finish the race even more.”  Amanda’s racing strategy created possibilities for her she’d never expected, like experiencing the city in a whole new way and finishing faster than she ever thought possible. Set goals for race day, but remember to embrace the experience and soak in all of the positive energy from such a major accomplishment.

Now you tell us: What’s your favorite race and why?

A Special Valentine’s Playlist

Written on February 14, 2012 at 2:38 pm , by

These songs are another way to treat yourself today! (Photo by Doug Hetherington)

Happy Valentine’s Day! Today is filled with love and joy, and what’s better than showing yourself a little of the good stuff? Fitting in a workout on a holiday is tough, so we’ve got the tunes to get you in the festive spirit while torching those unwanted calories. Download these upbeat tracks today, courtesy of SoulCycle instructor Danny Kopel, and be prepared to immerse yourself in a full-blown love-fest.

Want more SoulCycle? Don’t forget about their SoulSingles ride on Thursday!

Now tell us: What’s your favorite love song?

How Heart Disease Survivor Star Jones Stays In Shape

Written on February 7, 2012 at 12:51 pm , by

Star Jones opened up about her heart disease history at the Macy's Go Red event on Friday.

Two years ago, Star Jones woke up on an operating room bed after undergoing open heart surgery at ago 47. “They took my heart out, stopped it for 22 minutes and put it back in—although some people from the Celebrity Apprentice don’t think they did put it back!” Jones says.

The lawyer, author and TV correspondent co-hosted the National Go Red for Women Red Dress Dash on Friday at Macy’s in New York City with actress Elizabeth Banks and former Project Runway competitor and fashion stylist Nick Verreos. Jones, Banks and Verreos teamed up to increase awareness about the number one killer of women: heart disease. After the event, we caught up with Jones, who raised more than $160,000 for the American Heart Association (AHA) during her fifth place finish on last season’s Celebrity Apprentice, to get her top three tips for a heart-healthy lifestyle. You may want to take notes—wise lifestyle choices can reduce your heart disease risk by as much as 80 percent, according to the AHA!

  1. Eat your heart out. While Jones made big nutritional changes after her weight loss surgery in 2003, open heart surgery inspired her to clean up her diet even more. “I lowered my sodium intake and eat a high-protein diet,” Jones says. She avoids processed breads and sweets and now satisfies her bacon cravings with turkey rather then pork.
  2. Keep raising the bar. “Since my surgery, I gave up my sedentary lifestyle and do a minimum of 30 minutes of exercise each day. For 2012, my goal is to include at least three days a week of high-intensity cardio. Right now, I’m loving SoulCycle because I feel like I’m pushing my heart as much as possible, and I’m really pushing myself in every way,” Jones says. She found an instructor she loves, which makes attending class even more fun. “I feel good every time I walk in the door of the studio and every time I walk out,” she adds.
  3. Sneak in exercise. Rather than relying solely on the 45-minute group exercise class as the way to challenge her heart and burn calories, Jones builds fitness into her day. “I walk the 12 blocks to the SoulCycle studio before class and walk the 12 blocks back home after,” Jones says. “It’s like a built-in workout!”

To learn more about Go Red for Women and take your cardiac vital stats, click here.

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