Written on January 22, 2014 at 9:32 am , by Christie Griffin
ICYMI: Our week 2 #GetFitParty Instagram challenge was to show us your pics of working out with a buddy. Studies have shown that working out with a partner improves weight-loss results, which could be because you push yourself harder, have more fun, and have the all-important accountability factor influencing you.
But if scheduling a workout sesh with a bud or even just getting to the gym creates a problem, we’ve got a stellar recommendation for you: Skypercise. Whether you’re partnering up with a pal to workout over the world wide web or enlisting a professional trainer to help you out virtually, it’s an excellent way to ditch the excuses so that you can stick to your resolutions.
Which is why we’re thrilled to offer a lucky reader a fabulous Skype prize package, courtesy of Skype!
One lucky FITNESS reader will score a $100 Skype gift card and two one-on-one sessions with Marc D. Thompson, a fitness trainer, personal coach, owner of Virtufit.net, and Skypercise pro. All you have to do is enter here by January 31, 2014. [Official Rules]
Good luck! Now get to work, #GetFitParty crowd!
Written on January 20, 2014 at 9:51 am , by Samantha Shelton
In the beginning of 2014, there are a lot of hopes and dreams. Not only about goals you want to accomplish (and will!), but about trips you want to take, places you’re eager to explore and adventures you’re excited to experience. If you’ve joined the #GetFitParty, you’re already well on your way to crushing those goals (one reader has already dropped 5 pounds!). If you haven’t joined, well, what are you waiting for?! Between the four-week workout plan that sheds unnecessary pounds off your figure, the “I refuse to starve or eat tasteless food” meals that energize your bod, and the digital support that’s waiting for you around every social media corner (with weekly prizes happening on Insta), there’s no reason to miss the fun. But if that’s still not enough, we have one more thing to entice you.
A four-night getaway – on us! – to Aruba, where you’ll stay at the swanky Hotel RIU Palace Aruba. Guys, I’ve seen this place up close and personal, and I can tell you one thing: it’s gorgeous. But that’s not all, of course. The winner of this trip gets to bring a date, and both of you will head off on a snorkel-and-sail excursion (I saw ship wrecks on mine!) and be treated to a blissful spa massage. Because every fit girl deserves a little down time to unwind and boost muscle recovery. And if that’s not enough for your adventurous selves, there’s plenty more to do – you can see our top recommendations here, but I love the idea of taking a jeep ride through the rugged Arikok National Park, swimming in Conchi, the Natural Pool or kayaking in the crystal-clear ocean waters.
After all that, we know you’re ready to get in on the action. So sign up for the Better Body plan here, which enters you to win this fabulous trip (or you could score a StairMaster!). And don’t forget to follow – and use – the #getfitparty hashtag online to keep you motivated on the journey of your “fit in ’14″ goals.
Written on January 17, 2014 at 1:15 pm , by Marla Horenbein
If you could play a round of golf with anyone in the world, dead or alive,who would it be? Leo Dicaprio is at the top of my list (obvi), but for Lexi Thompson, one of the LPGA’s hottest and youngest stars, Michael Jackson, Kellan Lutz and Tiger Woods all make the cut. Talk about a group of all-stars. Can I be your caddie, Lexi?
For the 18-year-old Florida native, golf has always been a way of life. Growing up she stayed active by playing basketball and soccer, but putting was what she was best at. And it runs in the family – she grew up on the course (this chick started playing when she was just five years old!) watching her older brothers, Nick, who is currently on tour with the PGA, and Curtis, who is on a full golf scholarship at LSU, sink putts. With a little bit of their help and some major determination, Lexi soon became the youngest person to qualify for the U.S. Women’s Open in 2007, at the ripe age of 12. Seriously, that’s one superstar family!
Since practice makes perfect, Lexi spends a lot of time, both on and off the course, working out and staying fit. While training for a competition, she hits the gym three to four times a week with her trainer, Craig Slaunwhite (he’s the strength & conditioning coach for the NHL’s Florida Panthers), and takes hot yoga classes. When Lexi isn’t kicking butt and winning championships (her latest was the Lorena Ochoa Invitational in November), she’s hosting clinics for young golfers. Her most important piece of advice: have fun. “I always tell people to go out and practice with a group of friends, and just have fun. Don’t grind yourself down!” So the next time we’re struggling at the driving range, we’ll have to remind ourselves of that!
For a peek inside our interview with Lexi, check out the video below!
Written on January 17, 2014 at 9:10 am , by FITNESS Editors
Written by Kathy Green, managing editor
It’s January and most of the U.S. is in a deep freeze. What better time to plan a trip to somewhere warm! How about Panama? I was there recently as a guest of the new Hard Rock Hotel Panama Megapolis. The temperature was perfect (it’s always around 80 degrees) and their eco-tourism is growing. There are lots of daily flights, which makes it an easy, sunny destination for a break from the cold.
Before this trip, my only association with Panama was the canal, but I discovered there is a lot to do there. My travel buddies and I drove for about 2 hours outside of Panama City to the Anton Valley—a rich rainforest that is a volcano crater. We hiked into this beautiful park and then zip-lined over a tremendous waterfall called Charro el Macho. I had never tried ziplining before, and soaring through the lush canopy was truly a special experience.
After ziplining, it unfortunately started to pour, but that didn’t stop us from ATVing around the hillsides of the valley. Even in the rain, we had a great time.
We also discovered the Soberania National Park, just 20 minutes outside of Panama City. A rainforest this rich with wildlife so close to civilization is a true find. When we entered the park, the guide told us we’d possibly see monkeys, kinkajous and an abundance of birds and plant-life. Soberania delivered on beauty and rainforest magic—just as we started off on our three-hour hike, we found a sloth high up in a tree relaxing in the sun.
An added perk from Soberania? Driving right by the Panama Canal to get there and back from Panama City. So even though we didn’t have time to take a tour, we did stop and take pictures of ships going through the locks.
So if you like to party as much as you like to hike, the perfect place to stay in Panama City is the new Hard Rock Hotel Panama Megapolis. It’s located right near the harbor and attached to a large shopping mall filled with stores such as Diesel and Nike (shopping and partying—what’s not to like?!). I stayed in a beautiful suite with a great view of the skyline and ships lined up to go through the canal. With no time for a pedicure before leaving New York City, hitting up the spa (at a reasonable price) was the perfect prep for the Hard Rock night scene.
The hotel is full of incredible rock n’ roll memorabilia and it has the greatest room service offer—you can get a Fender electric guitar or personal DJ box delivered so you can be a rock legend in your very own room. It is a party-hardy place with great restaurants (we ate in two of them–Soy and Tauro and the food was first-rate), bars (the roof bar has awesome views of the city) and a happening club called BLING—THE place to be seen in Panama City (Justin Bieber was hanging out there a couple of nights with his entourage). The DJ was exceptional, and my friends and I had a blast dancing into the wee hours of the morning. Calorie burning, right?
But if hiking isn’t your thing, and you’re not quite into the party scene, there are plenty of other things to satisfy your thirst for adventure in Panama. Try a visit to the Old City, bike along the Amador causeway or go to one of the great beaches on either the Caribbean or Pacific coasts. Plus one essential perk: a Panama vacation can be reasonably priced. And we know that’s the real reason to start booking your next vacation.
Photos courtesy of Jim Raycroft
Written on January 16, 2014 at 9:25 am , by Samantha Shelton
We’re midway through January, so let’s check in on those New Year’s resolutions. Have you started (and stopped)? If one of your goals is to sweat more, we may have found the perfect incentive to hop back on the wagon.
New Balance, a brand known for its annual partnership in October with Susan G. Komen, decided there’s no reason breast cancer awareness and support should be dedicated to just one month. And since, ya know, someone doesn’t stop fighting cancer after BCA month has come and gone (although we wish that were the case), we couldn’t be more stoked about the new Lace Up 365 program. Here’s how it works: Go about your daily business, eating healthy and sweating on the reg. Now, every time you work out, tweet or Instagram about it (you’re going to anyway for #GetFitParty) and use the #LaceUp365 hashtag. That’s it.
Easy, right? Every time that hashtag is used, it alerts New Balance that a workout has been dedicated to a breast cancer survivor to help raise awareness year-round. And if a monetary donation is what you’re after, simply visit New Balance’s website and check out the Pink Laces Club. Not only will you find exclusive features, personal stories and get-fit tips from and for those fighting breast cancer, but five percent of every purchase from the Lace Up for the Cure Collection, with a guaranteed minimum donation of $500,000, will go to Susan G. Komen.
So next time you’re going back and forth about whether or not you have time for that workout, remember that you GET to workout and use #LaceUp365. Someone else in this world could want nothing more than a sweat-dripping workout, but their body is too busy fighting a terrible disease. You never know if seeing your tweet (or Insta!) will brighten their day and remind them we’re all in this together.
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Written on January 15, 2014 at 10:20 am , by Samantha Shelton
Last night, someone in the world decided to click “Like” and become FITNESS’ one millionth Facebook fan. Perhaps she (or maybe even he) had been browsing the page for a while before committing to a stream of regular content in their news feed. Or maybe a friend shared a sweat-tastic workout that drove her to find out what other goodies we have to offer. Or better yet, maybe she just discovered FITNESS and decided she wanted a companion on her journey to healthy living (and we’re sure all of the awesome peeps that are part of the #GetFitParty enticed her, too). Regardless of how she came across our page, we’re glad she decided to join the FITNESS fun. In fact, we’re glad all of you are along for the ride – whether you’re fan #3, #589,286 or 1,000,001.
We’ve come a long way since joining the Facebook world (on that note, can you believe the site is celebrating its 10th anniversary in 2014?), and to thank you all for clicking back again and again, we’ve posted a little treat for you. You have until 11:59 p.m. to enter our speedy giveaway – one lucky fan will win a bag of SERIOUS fitness swag. Check it out now, and don’t forget to enter! We’ll select the winner shortly thereafter. Good luck!
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Written on January 14, 2014 at 5:37 pm , by Samantha Shelton
She’s one of the biggest names in the world of soccer, whether you’re looking at men’s or women’s teams. Christie Rampone. The superstar defender has been playing since 1997, experiencing firsthand major moments in the sport’s history (you know, the 2008 Olympics in Beijing, where she led the underdog team to come from behind and snatch gold. NBD.) As the first U.S. player to compete for four Olympic teams - not to mention the only active player remaining from the 1999 World Cup championship team – she knows what’s what. But that doesn’t mean this captain is ready to retire her cleats. In fact, even though she admits the thought of coaching sounds appealing, that’s all it is – an idea. With her focus zeroed in on giving her all – whether that’s to her teammates or her family of four (husband, Chris, and daughters Rylie and Reece) – Rampone is powering ahead, determined to stay on top of her game despite an ongoing battle with Lyme disease. We sat down with her to find out what it’s like being the only mom on the team, and how, even after thousands of hours of playing outside in the sun, she still manages to look so freaking fab. Steal her secrets below.
You’re one of the most iconic players in the sport, but you’ve also been able to work with other phenomenal athletes. Who have been some of your favorite teammates to play with?
I’ve looked up to Kristine Lily from the start. As an older player, she always led by example and always gave 100 percent, and I always aspired to have that on the field. Playing with Shannon Boxx in front of me has been a lot of fun, the two of us being able to coordinate and lead on the field. And going up against Abby Wambach in training to then step it up on the field.
Our readers love proving that age is just a number. As one of the oldest active players, what are your thoughts on that?
I think it’s great to be able to be that role model and aspire others to still compete and not look at age. Age comes up a lot for me, but I try to defer it and have them just look at my play. I’m not talking about the word retirement at this point – I’m going to continue to do what I love and just enjoy it while I can. My goal right now is to keep proving myself, earning my spot and helping grow the sport of soccer.
I would probably play ice hockey. It’s something I’ve always wanted to try to do because it’s a team sport – I don’t think I’d be good at an individual sport. Seeing how passionate they are [the hockey team], it coordinates with the soccer side. I think they’re just as inspiring. It looks fun but definitely challenging.
You’re the only mom on the team. How do you juggle parenting with being a team captain?
It’s a lot. I try to balance it all by not overdoing one thing more than the other. For me, there are no days off, so being strong and healthy is critical. I compete every day on the field, and then I take care of my kids. But I think educating them is key. They know mom stays active – they see me run and lift, and we’ll bike to dinner if we’re going out, or bike to the soccer field. Reece loves that I pick her up from school every day on the bike.
As a player, becoming a mom has been great for me. It puts things in perspective, realizing that soccer is a privilege and I’m very lucky to be playing it for this long. And my kids help motivate me to be a better person and look after my teammates before myself. I have that motherly instinct, and I think that’s helped bring the whole sport full circle, rather than just thinking about myself on the field. It completes me.
You announced in 2011 that you have Lyme disease. How has that affected your career, and daily life?
I take Epicor, which helps my immune system tremendously. It keeps my insides strong while I work to stay physically fit and keep my outside strong. Otherwise, I have to be mindful of the fatigue and try to stay ahead of the game, resting when it’s necessary. To stay mentally strong, I think of my teammates and the end goal – the World Cup. If I’m having a bad day and need to rest, then I do. But when I feel good I make sure I go all out. I’ve learned from experience when to push through and when my body is telling me to give it a rest.
I have to say, your skin looks fabulous. What are your beauty secrets?
I drink a ton of water and use light makeup that my aunt makes to get that nice glow. Then I just eat right and take care of my body. I used to think I was invincible, but as you get older you realize how much time, energy and effort it takes every day to stay fit, so you become more mindful. And I use a little mascara to open up the eyes, and I’m good to go.
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Written on January 13, 2014 at 4:40 pm , by Samantha Shelton
Ever wonder if you’ve got the same taste in music as the girl on the treadmill next to you? If she’s busting a move to Katy Perry’s “Roar” or rapping in her head to Eminem’s “‘TIll I Collapse?” Turns out both of those songs are likely beating through your gym pal’s ear buds as often as they stream through yours – despite being released more than 10 years apart, both are on the latest list of top workout songs. Spotify decided to satisfy your curiosity about other songs, too: below are the top 10 songs people across the U.S. are sweating to. Might we suggest adding them to your #GetFitParty playlist?
Written on January 13, 2014 at 9:55 am , by Guest Blogger
Paige climbed in India to support Apne Aap Women Worldwide, which works to combat sexual exploitation of women and girls. Help Paige raise $10,000 for Apne Aap on her Crowdrise page and don’t miss this bonus video from Louder Than 11 about the three million women currently trapped in prostitution.
By Paige Claassen
In our society, we strive towards a similar ideal. Whether that comes in the form of a high ranking, high paying job, a slender waist, or elegant clothes, the model women of magazines all look much the same. We’re praised for creating our own paths and for defining ourselves as individuals; but if we step too far outside the box, our motives might be questioned. I, for example, am currently traveling around the world to rock climb. I’m not earning a salary, I haven’t worn makeup or fixed my hair in months, and I don’t have a permanent home. The path I’m taking is not straight, it’s not predictable, and I don’t know what’s around the next bend.
I spent the month of December in India, and my goal was to climb the hardest route in India, called Ganesh and graded 5.14a. Unfortunately, the hot Indian sun beat down on Ganesh all day, making it nearly impossible to climb. I woke up at 5 a.m. each day to put in my attempts before the sun rose at 7 a.m. My day ended at 9 a.m., when I walked away from the cliff, dripping in sweat, hair disheveled, and frustrated with my efforts. This route lent itself better to a male’s strengths. The moves were long and powerful and I would need to channel all my strength and motivation to complete this climb.
Meanwhile, India offered a few additional obstacles of its own. The small, dusty town I visited had a reputation for inflicting the dreaded traveller’s diarrhea on visiting foreigners (which I did not avoid). A high risk of malaria in the region also had me taking preventative medication, rumored to have a variety of unpleasant side effects. Oily food, few fresh fruits and vegetables, and no opportunities to run or cross train provided further fitness challenges.
But I had traveled all this way for one route, which was one of the best in the world. I knew I was capable. So with that determination, the matter was settled. I punched through the long moves that a girl isn’t supposed to be capable of doing. I finished the route, and I finished it before the boys. A little extra icing on the cake!
I realized that my path, with all its turns and unknowns and new challenges each month, is a path of choices. Sure, India wasn’t the most comfortable month of travel, but it was a month I’ll never forget. The sites I saw, the people, and the colors each left their own special imprint in my mind and opened my eyes to a new world.
Part of that world is beautiful, but deep scars lay behind the beauty. Lead Now’s non-profit partner in India, Apne Aap, offered a glimpse into the struggles many women in India face. Apne Aap says that “every year, nearly two million people are trafficked for sexual exploitation; of these, the vast majority are female, and half are aged 12-16.” This is a statistic I can’t even begin to grasp, but I want to do what I can in reducing that figure so that other women can have the choices that I enjoy day to day. Join me by donating online at http://www.crowdrise.com/leadnowtourindia
To get involved and donate online to help combat sexual exploitation, visit Crowdrise.
Check back next month for a video and update about Paige’s next location. And stay tuned for the video of Paige’s time in India! FitnessMagazine.com, with thanks to Marmot and Louder Than 11, will have the first-look exclusive video .
Written on January 10, 2014 at 11:45 am , by FITNESS Intern
Written by Alena Hall, editorial intern
It seems that as soon as we set our healthy eating and weight loss resolutions, the blustery winter sends us running into the comforting arms of our favorite coffee shop to down those delicious cold-weather drinks we love so much. They warm us up from the inside out, and let’s face it, they taste like happiness in a cup on the days we really need a lift.
Unfortunately, those daily pick-me-ups come at a caloric cost and it leaves less room for good-for-you food choices. So in an effort to have our coffee and drink it too, we tapped executive chef Anthony Stewart of the Pritikin Longevity Center to serve up the best-tasting ways to slim down our favorite winter beverages from popular specialty chains, rather than ruling them out altogether.
“It’s always good to remember that the food industry is big on presentation and taste but not so much on nutrition,” Stewart says. “So whenever you can dilute or make a simple substitution request, it will serve you well.” Little things like skipping the caramel drizzle, choosing from available fat-free milk and asking for unsweetened cocoa powder can go a long way. So the next time you hit up Starbucks, Dunkin Donuts or Tim Horton’s in an effort to escape from the cold, make these simple requests to save your calories without skimping on flavor.
Starbucks Tall Peppermint Mocha
Original calorie count: 320
- Replace syrup with 1 ½ tablespoons of Crème de Menthe
- Add 3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
- Request hot skim milk over whole milk
- Choose frothed skim milk instead of whipped cream
New calorie count: 213
Calories saved: 107