Written on January 8, 2014 at 9:05 am , by Lauren Cardarelli
Gabrielle Douglas really is America’s Golden Girl, as Vanity Fair so fittingly named the gymnast shortly after the 2012 Summer Olympics. Bling aside (she won both team and individual all-around gold medals—no big deal), it was Gabby’s all-star grin and heartwarming, underdog story that stole the hearts of viewers from around the world. Now with two books, a leotard line and a few acting gigs under her belt, the 18-year-old Olympian really is the whole flippin’ package.
Her positive attitude, despite her rocky past, still resonates with me when I think back to the London Games and look forward to playing fan girl during Sochi. After all, mental toughness is arguably just as important as physical strength when it comes to athleticism, right?
“I remind myself that I can do anything that I set my mind to do,” Gabby recently told FITNESS when we asked how she keeps her cool pre-competition. “I tell myself to stay calm and focus on one routine at a time.” Another important psych tactic, she says: “Trust your abilities.” Noted.
But like most of us, the pint-sized “Flying Squirrel” can be tough on herself—especially when she flubs up from time to time. “My coaches and family tell me to be proud of my accomplishments and not to dwell on the mistakes,” she says. “Sometimes it’s really hard to do, but I tell myself to look at my mistakes as fuel to drive me toward my success.”
The prep, dedication and sacrifices made along the way can be tough, she admits, but it’s all worth it in the end. Luckily, Gabby has a great sense of humor to make light of the not-so-fun days. “I’m a closet comedian,” she confesses. “I love to make people laugh!” And laugh you must when your daily routine consists of squats, calf raises and lunges. Ouch! “Gymnasts don’t normally work out with weights—we mostly use our body weight as resistance,” she explains, adding that a strong core and lower bod is paramount in her sport. “I focus on strength and conditioning exercises, but I also have to maintain my flexibility, so I stretch every day and really enjoy running outdoors.”
But what sport would she participate in if she wasn’t busy rockin’ the floor, beam, vault and uneven bars? “My brother took martial arts and it looked like a lot of fun! I love how fierce but graceful the moves are.”
More from FITNESS:
- 3 Squats to a Strong, Firm Butt
- Olympic Gymnast McKayla Maroney on Getting Back Into the Gym and Finally Being Impressed
- Shawn Johnson Talks Balance & Raising the Fitness Bar Post-DWTS
Written on January 7, 2014 at 10:38 am , by FITNESS Intern
Written by Alena Hall, editorial intern
If one of your New Year resolutions is to get lean, toned or strong (and let’s face it, that includes most of us), then it’s about time you download the updated version of the Nike+ Training Club app. We liked it so much that we included it on our must-have list for maintaining a fit lifestyle in the February issue (along with 17 other free apps we’re obsessed with – so grab your copy stat!).
The new version allows you to work through four-week exercise programs guided by a virtual personal trainer in your pocket. It translates your fitness level, exercise preferences and goals into workouts that motivate you to sweat (even on the days you don’t want to) and whip you into shape with varied routines.
If you’re not feeling the four-week design, you can also customize sweat sessions and download individual workouts from a library of more than 100 different routines. One of our faves: tennis superstar Maria Sharapova’s 15-minute New Year’s Crush Workout, which was designed by her strength and conditioning coach Yutaka Nakamura and added to the library last week.
And if you come across moves in a workout that you’re not a fan of, no sweat! The app lets you swap them out for ones you love to keep things tough and interesting. It also provides a data storage option that only holds onto the workouts you’ve designed or downloaded, making it lighter and faster than the previous version. Available for iPhone and Android phones, the app seamlessly connects with the Nike+ Running and Nike Fuel programs to make data measuring an afterthought. Now if that’s not motivation to get working on your 2014 sweat resolution, we don’t know what is. Happy downloading!
More from FITNESS:
- Reboot Your Life: 18 Apps That Make Life Easier
- Run App-y: The Best Running Apps for Your Phone
- Sticking to a New Year’s Resolution: It’s a Marathon, Not a Sprint
Written on January 6, 2014 at 3:07 pm , by FITNESS Intern
Written by Alena Hall, editorial intern
Fit moms, triathletes, power lifters and gym-goers looking for functional training have all benefited from the recent surge of small group workout classes tailored specifically to their goals and needs. And now, it’s the runner’s turn! Ultra-marathoner Robin Arzon knows first-hand about the proper training regimen required for a powerful runner. She’s also aware that plenty of people pounding the pavement aren’t always getting what they need. That’s why she teamed with celebrity trainer and founder of the new, New York-based S10 Training club, Stephen Cheuk, to create RUN STRONG, a series of strength and conditioning classes designed with the runner in mind.
Now you might be thinking, running only requires being in good cardiovascular shape and a little leg muscle to keep moving, right? Not quite. Core, quad and glute strength is critical for any runner looking to cover substantial distance with power and protect the body from injury at the same time.
“Too many runners can’t even do a single push-up. That’s about to change,” says Arzon, who recently ran five marathons in five days for MS Run the US. “RUN STRONG is about challenging a runner’s body with weight-bearing exercises that don’t add bulk, and VO2 Max drills that can’t even be replicated on the track.”
As the spring race season approaches, there is no better time to take your training to the next level (especially if you’re giving the More/Fitness Women’s Half Marathon a go on April 13!). Each class is limited to eight people, which helps inspire an encouraging yet competitive environment, and ensures individualized assistance from Arzon herself. Visit the S10 Training website for available class times at the downtown Manhattan studio.
More from FITNESS:
- Ready, Set, Run! Training Plans for a 5K, 10K, and Half-Marathon
- The Top 7 Foods for Runners
- Rev Up Your Run: Marathon Training Drills
Written on January 6, 2014 at 11:42 am , by Samantha Shelton
Ready to shed 10 pounds and keep them off – for good? In our February issue (on stands now!), we give you the exact moves and foods that helped our testers trim up to 15 pounds from their figures in a mere four weeks. So first things first, go on out and pick up a copy (or download it to your tablet). Don’t worry, we’ll wait.
Got it? Good. Now that you’re ready to sweat in the gym and eat like a queen, we want you to share your journey with everyone. Your friends, fam and followers. Because we know you’re on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, which means that YOU have followers, too. And come on, let’s be real – if you don’t post your hard work online, then it didn’t really happen. So go ahead, brag a little – here’s how:
All month long we’ll be dishing out digital support for you to reach those slim-down goals. Follow the guide below to see where and how you can join the fun, then log in on the respective dates and remember to use the hashtag above so we can brag about you, too.
MONDAY, JANUARY 6th (TODAY!): TWITTER
Follow @FitnessMagazine and the #getfitparty hashtag on Twitter from 2-4pm EST to score fresh ideas on healthy eating and exercise so you can slam-dunk your goals. Bonus: We’ll be giving away boxes of KIND Healthy Grains Bars to 15 lucky participants. Snack happy, friends.
JANUARY 6TH – FEBRUARY 16TH: INSTAGRAM (SWAG ALERT!)
Tune in to @FitnessMagazine every Monday to catch each week’s fresh photo challenge (get creative!), then post your pics with #getfitparty. At the end of each week, we’ll select which one of you will win a bag of sweet fitness prizes (each valued over $250), and highlight your phenom photos in our feed. That gives you six chances to become FITNESS famous and score new workout gear. If that’s not an incentive to start sharing, we don’t know what is. We’re kicking things off by asking for your workout views; one lucky chick will score a pair of sweet hiking boots, jacket, and six months worth of Naturebox goodies!
JANUARY 13 – FEBRUARY 10TH: FACEBOOK
Start every week with a motivational kick in the pants from your drill-seargeant-with-a-heart trainer. Head to our Facebook page every Monday at 4pm EST to catch a video from Sylwia Wiesenberg, when she’ll be spilling her top stick-with-it strategies.
JUST BECAUSE WE LOVE YOU…ENTER TO WIN A TRIP TO ARUBA OR A STAIRMASTER!
To help you stay motivated (and envision yourself in that bikini), the prizes got kicked up a notch. Join the Better Body Plan online and enter to win these suh-weet prizes:
- A trip for two to the swanky Hotel RIU Palace Aruba, including airfare, meals, a snorkel-and-sail excursion, and a spa massage (a $3,690 value)
- A StairMaster StepMill 3 with a built-in heart rate monitor and more than 25 programmed workouts (a $3,000 value)
So what are you waiting for? Let’s get this party started!
Written on January 3, 2014 at 4:20 pm , by Samantha Shelton
It’s a new year, so it’s time for some new goals. And fresh recipes. ‘Cause seriously, making the same healthy dinners over and over again can get boring really fast. So what’s a girl to do?
I suggest helping FITNESS celebrate a milestone we’ve reached on Instagram – posting 500 photos (and sharing them with more than 24,000 of our favorite readers)! OK, so it’s not the biggest milestone EVER, but we like to think the pix we post are full of helpful tips, fun food and bursts of motivation to help you reach the next level of awesome. And the comments and hearts you leave behind (we heart you too!) tell us we’re on the right track, but you want more – so that’s what we’re going to give you!
First, head to Instagram and follow us (you can find us @FitnessMagazine) so you can get daily doses of inspiration like the ones mentioned above. Then visit our Facebook page to find a month’s worth of our fave 500-calorie recipes to save on your computer or print for your recipe book. Now it’s time to start cooking! 500-calorie dinners in honor of 500 photos? I say that’s a pretty sweet deal. And now I’m hungry, so I’m going to check out some ideas myself. Happy New Year!
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Written on January 3, 2014 at 9:43 am , by FITNESS Intern
Written by Alena Hall, editorial intern
Now that the calorie-loaded holiday spreads are off the table and we are getting back into our weekly routines, those New Year resolutions can make their official debut! Of all the goals we set that relate to health and wellness, weight loss constantly tops the list. So let’s really get it right in 2014 with some sound nutritional advice, a fresh perspective and boost of motivation. We spoke with Jacqueline Marcus, R.D., a nutrition consultant to The Dukan Diet, about her top tips to make weight loss attainable, maintainable and worth every minute of the hard work you put into it!
Think lean and clean for your fitness routine. This catchphrase guides Marcus in helping her clients work towards their goals. “As you’re thinking about an exercise plan for life, you want to feed your body with the cleanest types of foods and beverages that are low in fat and high in protein,” she says. Lean protein helps support the muscles as the body breaks down its fat cells and low-starch vegetables high in vitamins and minerals support the work of these lean proteins. Soon you’ll convert your bod into a lean, mean, fat-burning machine!
Create a combo deal. Most people who achieve their fitness goals use a combination of methods to get there. A healthy diet tailored to your lifestyle, a customized workout plan and a behavioral component, like a food journal or online diet community, create a triple threat against fat. “The most successful people use at least three methods,” says Marcus.
Don’t forget about fiber. It’s essential for creating the feeling of fullness and maintaining healthy digestive system. Plus, Marcus says it can decrease your total daily calorie consumption by about 5 percent. She swears by oat bran because it keeps her from ever getting that “OMG, I can’t get enough food in me” feeling. Try sprinkling 1 1/2 tablespoons of oat bran on top of a cup of Greek yogurt with fresh berries to kick start your day.
Go easy on the sodium. While a little bit of the salty stuff is important for helping balance water in the body, we tend to overdo it and end up experiencing bloat, lethargy and sometimes blood pressure problems. Marcus suggests minimizing your intake by avoiding the saltshaker after your meal is cooked, and staying away from as many processed foods as possible. “Use real foods to keep it in check. Proteins and vegetables contain sodium, so it’s not like you’re going sodium-free,” she says.
One step at a time. If you’re looking to inspire an entire diet and lifestyle overhaul, focus on one change at a time so the habit really sticks. “It’s better to focus on the different stages of a well-constructed diet program and do those well without doing too many other things and feeling overwhelmed,” she says. When you start seeing the results form one habit, you’ll be motivated to push yourself to that next step. Eight of our readers took this advice to heart and made major changes in their lives – you can too!
Stop counting. Some diets require people to count calories and nutrients like carbs, but Marcus sees this process as a potential distraction. Instead, focus on healthy options, eat to a feeling of satisfaction or fullness and learn how to use good-for-you foods in a way that put you in charge of your new lifestyle.
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Written on January 2, 2014 at 10:10 am , by Marla Horenbein
You’ve indulged more than you’d like to admit this holiday season, and now it’s time get back out there and burn some serious calories. But thinking about getting out of your warm bed at 6am to head to the gym seems less than appealing, right? Getting dressed is half the battle, so leave the excuses and whining at home, and take on the cold with some of winter’s best accessories and layers.
- Nike’s Aeroloft vest is the perfect layering piece for winter runs. It’s super lightweight (800-fill goose down!), so it keeps you warm without weighing you down.
- Whether you’re heading to the gym or venturing out for a snowy run, this Under Armour Charged Cotton Storm beanie will keep your noggin dry in the worst conditions. UA’s water-resistant storm technology wicks away moisture to help keep you dry longer, so using weather as an excuse to slack-off is not an option!
- Editor tested, athlete approved. Altheta’s Queen of the Mountain jacket is on the top of our list for keeping warm while being active this winter. And with 360* reflective detailing, you’ll be fully visible during those early morning or late night workouts.
- Sometimes all you need is a little color to get you inspired and out of your rut. These Saucony Space Dye Run gloves will add a fun pop to your outfit, and are sure to get you motivated and out on the streets.
- Jumping into a workout with cold muscles can cause injuries, so when you head to your next barre or Pilates class, try a pair of flats to help keep your tootsies warm. Blake Brody has tons of cute options, but the colorful braided strap on the Leah flat is just too good to pass up.
- Headed to the mountain? Keep your ears warm with the Bauhaus Knitted headband from Sweaty Betty. The fun jacquard print will make you stand out on the slopes, while staying put for extra comfort.
- Layer up for your next savasana sesh with Lululemon’s Savasana socks. The cozy merino wool will keep your toes toasty both in and out of the studio.
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Written on January 1, 2014 at 7:30 am , by Guest Blogger
FITNESS has teamed up with Gilt to bring you up to 60 percent off the best workout clothes and gear. Shop the sale at gilt.com/fitness starting January 1. Here, check out the go-to pieces Tracey Lomrantz Lester, the women’s editorial director of Gilt, chooses for looking stylish while working out.
Fitness is a really important part of my life. I’m prone to being a stress case, so I love the opportunity to turn everything off and sweat it all out. Here’s a peek at my best get-sweaty looks.
Bikram is my therapy! I aim to get to the studio three mornings a week, usually on my busiest weekdays so that I can get centered before the crazy comes. I think my most productive workouts are my sweatiest ones, and there is no lack of that when you spend 90 minutes in a 105-degree room. I keep my wardrobe minimal so the laundry isn’t as daunting; a sports bra and little boogie shorts do the trick.
I do most of my spinning on the weekends, because that’s when the class times are most convenient for me. I love to do a 9am on a Saturday–it makes me feel energized all day (and a little less guilty for that second martini on Saturday night). My go-to gear is a long bike pant and a tank top with a built-in sports bra. I like something streamlined so it doesn’t get in the way of my ride.
Cardio at the Gym
When I can’t commit to a class time or am in a crunch, I’ll head to my gym for some cardio and light weights. I like 45 minutes on the stair climber or elliptical, usually in running shorts and an old college T-shirt swiped from my husband’s drawer.
Even in the colder months, I love getting a little fresh air when I exercise. I live close to Central Park, so I take my bike around the 6-mile loop once or twice. They key is to layer up so you don’t freeze your butt off! I usually wear my bike pants, a sweat-wicking top, a zip-up jacket, and a fleece or a vest on top.
Written on December 31, 2013 at 10:24 am , by Colleen Moody
Looking to kick off 2014 with a new smoothie recipe? We’ve got one right here for you, thanks to Lauren Slayton, MS, RD and author of The Little Book of Thin, out today. Slayton’s smoothie has a healthy dose of matcha in it – a powdered green tea that packs more antioxidants than brewing an actual cup of green tea. Print out the recipe and watch her make her Matcha Colada, below.
- 4 to 6 ounces coconut water (or plain water)
- 1/2 teaspoon matcha powder (Slayton likes the organic brand DoMatcha)
- 1 cup fresh of frozen pineapple or papaya
- 1 scoop protein powder
- 1 cup spinach or kale
- 1/3 of an avocado, peeled and roughly chopped
- 1 slice peeled fresh ginger (about the size of a penny)
- handful of ice cubes
- 6 drops NuStevia
Place water in a high-powered blender followed by the other ingredients in the order given. Blend well and serve.
More from FITNESS: Healthy Recipes for Green Smoothies
Written on December 30, 2013 at 10:13 am , by FITNESS Intern
Written by Alena Hall, editorial intern
Tonight is the night—a time for us to remember all of the great things that 2013 brought us, and to celebrate the fresh start that begins at the stroke of midnight! However, these fiestas oftentimes don’t factor in all of the hard work we put into maintaining our healthy diets (even through the holiday season!). With help from celebrity nutritionist Heather Wilson, we have the perfect solution to this party diet dilemma: a delicious (and surprisingly healthy) menu for your table, tips for indulging in alcohol without the caloric consequences, and ways to snack smart and stress-free at a friend’s soiree. So slide into that LBD, add a little extra shimmer to your makeup and get ready to shake it into the New Year!
First things first: the last thing you want is for your guests to feel like they have to eat before your party because of an over-the-top healthy menu. Focus on revising the classics with good-for-you ingredients so they won’t even notice the difference, and introduce a few new recipes that are loaded with flavor, along with incredible health benefits.
- Devilled eggs are a must, but swap the traditional mayo for an olive-oil based version to cut calories and fat.
- Class up your chip-and-dip display by adding a few health benefits: trade chips and pretzels for rice crackers, which work with a wide variety of dips and give a nice, satisfying crunch. Swap sour cream for Greek yogurt in any classic dip recipe for an extra protein boost.
- Bring on the healthy fat spreads. Guacamole is one of Wilson’s go-to spreads at holiday parties due its hefty dose of monounsaturated fats and satiety power. She also makes a chopped olive tapenade that is loaded with flavor and omega-3s (recipe below).
- Fruit platters are the way to go! If you want to upgrade your spread, trade apples for Asian pears. They are in season this time of year, taste great and provide twice the amount of fiber that apples do.
- Bust out those Asian pears again and turn them into a dessert of their own by slicing them into bite-size wedges and sprinkling them with cacau powder. So easy but so yummy!
- Start with red wine—we all know about its heart-healthy benefits by now. If possible, go organic to avoid any preservatives or pesticides that could cause unintentional bloating.
- When drinking hard liquor, go for top-shelf vodka and infuse with fruit. Flavoring it yourself ramps up the taste and removes any artificial flavoring or sweetener from the equation. Wilson serves her watermelon and pineapple-infused vodkas on ice with fresh blueberries.