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Celebrity workout

Music Monday: How Katy Perry Roars Into Tip-Top Tour Shape

Written on December 2, 2013 at 9:23 am , by

Munching on healthy snacks helps Perry stay on track. (Photo courtesy of Popchips)

Whether you’re “Dressin’ Up” for a hot night out on the town or struggling to be “Wide Awake” for an early bird spin class, Katy Perry has the turn-it-up tune to tap into your inner-rockstar. I mean, is there a better workout anthem than “Roar?” I don’t think so.

In true Perry fashion, her newest album PRISM delivers hit after girl-power hit, all with that go-getter ‘tude we know and love (And talk about total arm envy in her music video “Unconditionally,” which was released last week). So how did the starlet shape up for her upcoming world tour? We got her svelte secrets and put together a killer playlist of our Katy faves for you to pop on whenever you need a boost.

Hit the Trail. “I prefer to get my exercise outside,” says Perry, confessing her love for hiking and bike riding with friends. Just don’t get her started early in the a.m. “I love feeling stronger and clearer-minded after a workout, but I HATE mornings!” What does she jam out to as she tackles the terrain? Drake, Lorde, Sky Ferreira and HAIM.

Strong is Sexy. “When I’m on tour, I get into a pretty steady rhythm so it’s not that hard to get in a workout every day,” says the avid SoulCycler. “I need to work out to keep my stamina up for singing and dancing at my shows.” When it comes to a gym sweat sesh, Katy (oftentimes sporting Adidas attire) kicks it with one of our fave trainers, Harley Pasternak, known in Tinseltown for his firm-and-burn routines. After a 15-minute warm up, the duo tackle two to three full-body exercises with weights, followed by three to four muscle group-specific exercises. “He has me constantly moving,” she says. Katy’s strengthening circuit is followed by cardio—she enjoys skipping rope to spike her heart rate!

Plan for Success. “The challenge on tour is eating healthy because not every place you go has fresh food,” she says. To avoid getting stuck with preservative-packed snacks, the singer comes prepared for on-the-go noshing with Popchips. Her signature flavor, Katy’s Kettle Corn, is a winner—just like her!

Veep Star Sufe Bradshaw Dishes About Her New Love of Yoga

Written on April 20, 2012 at 12:29 pm , by

Bradshaw fell in love with yoga last year. (Photo courtesy of Russell Baer)

Actress Sufe Bradshaw lives one hectic life. Whether she’s appearing on Bones, in the slim version of Star Trek, working on developing her documentary or volunteering in her Los Angeles community, her schedule leaves little room for down time. Yet Bradshaw still is able to find inner peace, thanks to her new love of yoga.

Read on to hear about her favorite poses and styles, then catch Bradshaw on Sunday for the premiere of her new HBO show Veep, co-starring Julia Louis-Dreyfus.

You began practicing yoga last year. Did you have other fitness favorites before that or was this your first love?

I’ve always been a physically active girl, dancing when I was younger, playing basketball and swimming. Adding yoga to the mix builds my muscles because it supports those activities as well. Yoga enhanced the things I did before and has created a greater awareness of my body now.

Do you have a style of yoga that you prefer over others? How about poses that you enjoy the most?

I like to practice Hatha/Vinyasa Flow. But I also like to practice Beach Walk Meditations. During these mediations, I feel more connected with nature, allowing the feet to feel the sand which grounds and roots me to the world.

In terms of specific poses, I feel that Crow challenges me mentally and physically and I also love Headstands. Being upside down, you rely on your hands to keep you balanced—and the pose gives you a new perspective. You have to focus on being present. I also love the Warrior series—not only does it build endurance, but it also gives me a sense of strength and courage.

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How Castle’s Tamala Jones Stays Healthy and Happy

Written on April 4, 2012 at 1:25 pm , by

Jones brightens up the screen—big or small. (Photo courtesy of Bobby Quillard)

Tamala Jones isn’t one of the biggest names in Hollywood (yet), but you’ve likely seen her onscreen before in movies like Can’t Hardly Wait and Up in the Air and on TV in The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air and ER. Now she’s one of the stars of ABC’s Castle, playing a forensic analyst who’s serious about her job but still maintains a sense of humor.

What makes her stand out in our eyes—beyond her serious acting and comedy chops—is her ability to overcome adversity. Jones was born with an abnormality that caused an aneurysm when she was just 23. She’s fully recovered since and now gets CAT scans yearly to protect her health (and advocates for those around her to take charge of their well-being as well).

We spoke to Jones to learn more about her diet and exercise secrets and her favorite memories from the set.

Are you similar to your character on Castle, Lanie?

We are both very sassy and are serious about our work. But personally, I love love and love seeing people in love. Lanie is more shielded.

What are your favorite ways to stay fit and healthy during your busy filming schedule?

Sleep! For fitness, I love the treadmill, swimming and hiking—things that work the whole body. I don’t have a trainer because scheduling is tough, so I sneak in activity whenever I can. My home isn’t very close to where we shoot Castle, so sometimes I spend the night at a friend’s house that is closer to the studio and walk to work.

So do you rely a lot on takeout or on-set catering?

Cooking is one of my hobbies. My grandma is a master chef and is my true cooking inspiration. I don’t cook her dishes often because they’re so rich, but her mac and cheese and Jamaican curry chicken are great for treat days!

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Yoga During Pregnancy: Jessica Biel Does It (in New Year’s Eve)—Would You?

Written on December 7, 2011 at 10:57 am , by

Biel flaunted her fit figure at a premiere in 2010. (Photo courtesy of Shutterstock)

The holidays are sure a fun time to head to the cinema. Whether you prefer lighthearted family fare or awards show bait, it’s one of the best times of the year to take in a flick.

FITNESS was lucky enough to attend an advanced screening of the star-studded film New Year’s Eve last night, and besides being dazzled by the sheer number of A-listers in each scene, we were entertained by Jessica Biel’s antics as a soon-to-be mom. During one scene, she practices an amazingly graceful yoga headstand—while pregnant!

In our September issue, we reported that expectant moms often are able to achieve strength gains moderate-intensity resistance training routines (skipping on-your-back moves). But what about yoga? We turned to one of our advisory board members to learn more about om-ing while expecting.

“One recent study showed that yoga reduced levels of the stress hormone cortisol, which, in turn, should lower the chance of premature birth,” says Michele Olson, Ph.D, professor of exercise science at Auburn University in Montgomery, Alabama.

A couple other words to the wise from Olson:

  • “‘Gentle’ yoga is often practiced by pregnancy women. Hot yoga is out, though, because of the extreme heat. So are any serious seated flexion moves, like crunches or sit-up exercises, after about three months or when the abdomen is larger.” (This is true for yoga or any workout—skip the on-your-back moves while preggers.)
  • “Joints are more lax during pregnancy due to hormonal shifts, so pregnant women need to be careful not to over-stretch in yoga or any other activity.” *

So ladies who have or have had a baby on board, was exercise on your agenda during the nine months? If so, what was most comfortable and beneficial for you?

*Note: Pregnant women should always check with their doctors before starting any new fitness routines.

For those of you not expecting, you can still in shape like the New Year’s Eve stars do when not on camera:

A few last words of advice related to the movie: Stick around for the closing credits. You won’t be sorry!

Photo courtesy of Shutterstock

Now tell us: What movie are you most looking forward to watching this season?

Chef Giada De Laurentiis’ Tips for Healthy Cooking and Staying Fit

Written on July 7, 2011 at 3:02 pm , by

Written by Lauren Cardarelli, FITNESS Editorial Intern

Celebrity chef, TV personality, mother, author and entrepreneur, Giada De Laurentiis manages to find time to lead a healthy, fit lifestyle. How does she do it all?  We got her fitness tips, cooking secrets and menu for her lunch with the Royal newlyweds after interviewing the charming Emmy Award-winner. Here’s what we learned:

Lauren with Giada De Laurentiis

Lauren with Giada De Laurentiis

1. Adore your knife. “You need to have one knife that you absolutely love,” advised De Laurentiis. “This will give you confidence and make you feel good about cooking.” De Laurentiis grew up using mezzalunas in Europe, a curved blade knife with a handle on either side used to chop, and wanted to design an affordable, user-friendly product for just that. Her Stainless Steel Mezzaluna Knife, available at Target for $20.79, is lightweight, feels great in your hand and has a dip in its blade created for skilled and amateur choppers, alike. “It rocks back and forth so it makes chopping really easy and actually really fun,” she said. “It’s very unique to the market.”

2. Everything in moderation. Being a chef – with Italian roots, nonetheless – can certainly have its palatable perks, yet De Laurentiis always seems to maintain her petite, fit figure. What’s her secret? Small meals, several times a day. “I’m a big chocoholic and I like sweets a lot but I try not to overeat anything, basically, and I think that’s sort of the key. It’s calories in and calories out so if you overdo it one day, you have to take in less the next.”

Read on for Giada’s workout, creative cooking tips and what she plans to serve to the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge!

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How Entertainment Tonight’s Nancy O’Dell Finds Balance

Written on April 22, 2011 at 10:12 am , by

Nancy O'Dell led hundreds of dancers at the Moderation Nation launch on April 14. (Photo Courtesy of Moderation Nation, by AP Photo/Bradley C Bower)

Last week, Hershey’s (yes, the chocolate company) launched an initiative called Moderation Nation, which aims to teach Americans about how to find a healthy, balanced lifestyle. Nancy O’Dell is the spokesperson for the cause, and is a perfect example of finding time in life for everything that’s important to her—including staying fit and eating well. She somehow finds time for it all as a wife, mom, author, journalist and entrepreneur. Whew!

We talked to the soon-to-be Entertainment Tonight co-anchor, who is often the one doing the interviewing on red carpets, and asked for her four secrets to health success.

  • Allow yourself a treat. “I try to eat very healthy, but extreme diets don’t work for me. I get intense cravings! Vegetables, grilled chicken and vegetable soup made with low-sodium chicken broth are my mainstays, but I always carry around dark chocolate for when I’m craving a treat! It’s all about balance.”
  • When all else fails: boogie! “Dancing is one of my favorite ways to stay fit. I feel all of my muscles working—plus it’s so fun. I even dance around with my baby girl! I launched the Batuka dance, which is a Brazilian style, at the Moderation Nation event. It was so appropriate since I just returned from the Fast Five movie premiere in Rio [de Janeiro].”
  • Set high goals…You may reach them! “This year has been such a big year for me. I hosted a show on Oprah’s OWN Network, and I’ve always dreamed of working with her. She’s just as amazing as you’d think she is! And for years, I’ve watched the classy and smart Mary Hart on Entertainment Tonight and hoped to someday be on that show. It’s surreal thinking about what I’ve been able to do.”
  • Remember how lucky you are. “Sometimes what I do begins to feel normal. But then events pop up and I think, ‘Wow, I’m going to the Oscars!’ I have a wonderful job, and it changes everyday. My family is it. Spending time with them is true happiness for me. I have such a good life. There’s not much to complain about!”

Now tell us: How do you find balance?

Tiffani Thiessen’s Healthy Teeth Initiative

Written on April 20, 2011 at 3:00 pm , by

Tiffani Thiessen as Elizabeth Burke on USA's White Collar. (Photo by Nigel Parry, courtesy of USA)

You may know her as Kelly from Saved by the Bell, Valerie from Beverly Hills, 90210 or Elizabeth on White Collar, but Tiffani Thiessen believes one role is more important than any other: mom. Her 10-month old daughter Harper has changed her priorities and has reinforced the value of being active and healthy.

We spoke with Tiffani, who recently teamed up with Crest to promote the importance of oral health, about how she lives healthy and why pearly whites are important to her.

Why did you decide to partner with Crest? Gum disease and gingivitis are often such silent diseases, but affect so many people. Did you have a personal experience that sparked your interest in raising awareness? You definitely do have one of the best smiles in Hollywood!

Being a new mom and an actress, my smile is very important to me. I was shocked to learn that one in two American adults have gingivitis and many don’t know it! By partnering with Crest, I can encourage people to pay attention to their oral health. I love Crest Pro-Health Clinical Gum Protection toothpaste, which provides advanced protection to help prevent and reverse gingivitis in just four weeks.

Were you anything like the famous characters you portrayed?

I am quite a bit like Kelly Kapowski on Saved by the Bell. She was outgoing and very close with her family, which I could relate to.

How did you learn to be comfortable in your own skin while being in the public eye during much of your life?

I was always very aware of my body and it’s different stages of development because I would see myself on TV so much. I always tried to take any criticism lightly and remind myself that being healthy is the most important thing. This is true for anyone: it’s not about fitting into a size 2 and looking good on the outside—it’s about living a healthy lifestyle!

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Justified’s Joelle Carter Shares Her Healthy Life Tips

Written on April 13, 2011 at 12:48 pm , by

Justified star Joelle Carter gives back by hosting a charity event. (Photo courtesy of St. Baldrick's Foundation)

Justified star Joelle Carter gives back by hosting a charity event. (Photo by JNP Studio)

Just days ago, the FX show Justified was nominated for a little thing called a Peabody Award. And the network announced recently that the hit show, a modern day Wild West tale, was also picked up for it’s third season.

I was lucky enough to speak with one of the show’s stars, Joelle Carter (Ava Crowder on the show), whom you may also know from her work in High Fidelity and American Pie 2, or from her appearances on CSI: Miami, Monk and Cold Case. Read on to learn more about Joelle’s take on overcoming physical hardships, charity work and her family’s healthy habits.

Tell us about your character on Justified, Ava.

“She was in an abusive relationship and actually killed her husband at the dinner table. Now she’s finding a new love interest and discovering what she wants and needs. She’s a very complex character that seems sweet, but will pick up a shotgun to protect herself [Joelle does her own stunts!]. There are so many layers to Ava that have yet to be discovered.”

Are you active off set?

“Yes! I actually was very into sports as a kid and loved soccer, but then was diagnosed with scoliosis. I had to wear a back brace for six years, and that experience definitely left me shy. But when I came out of it, it felt like I was leaving a turtle shell!

While I was dealing with the condition, my doctor suggested swimming to keep me limber and stretch my muscles. I really enjoyed it. Then I joined cross country in high school. I stuck with both activities after I received scholarships to swim and run in college. My knees aren’t great today, but I enjoy running every now and then along the reservoir near my house. I wish I could swim more often than I do today, but I do look forward to teaching my 8 1/2-month-old daughter to swim!”

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Olympic Skating Star Tara Lipinski Is Living Fit

Written on March 30, 2011 at 12:39 pm , by

Tara Lipinski hasn't hung up her skates for good quite yet!

Tara Lipinski hasn't hung up her skates for good quite yet! (Photo by John Russo)

Flashback to the 1998 Nagano Olympic Games: Fifteen-year-old Tara Lipinski was about to hit the ice to nail seven triple jumps in her short and long programs (salchows and toe loops—makes us dizzy thinking about it!) and best Michelle Kwan for the women’s figure skating gold medal. But all she could think about was her nerves.

“I had been preparing for this since I started skating at three-years-old! I realized that four minutes could change my life, and my legs were shaking,” Lipinski says. “I called my mom after the warm-up, as I do before every time I hit the ice, and told her ‘I can’t do it!’”

The confidence that helped her tighten her skate strings and bring home the medal still serves her well today, as she’s stepping back onto the ice again and enjoying life as a TV commentator for her sport-of-choice. We caught up with Tara to talk about why she really turned pro at 15, how she stays fit today and who she thinks will be skating’s next big star.

You seemed to be on the top of your game! Why did you retire at such a young age?

I didn’t think of it as retiring. I took five to seven years to make friends and be “normal” for a while. I felt like I had already accomplished all that I wanted to by winning the national, world and Olympic championships. And my personality always has me focused on ‘what’s next?’

Read on for Tara’s thoughts on getting back on the ice, becoming a commentator and who she thinks will be the next big skating star!

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Meet the Trainer Behind Natalie Portman’s Oscar-Winning Workout

Written on March 2, 2011 at 5:34 pm , by

If you saw the movie Black Swan you knew Natalie Portman was a shoe-in for the Best Actress Oscar. What you didn’t see was the intense ballet lessons and training that Natalie went through to prepare to play the perfect Swan Queen. I caught up with Natalie’s high-in-demand trainer, Mary Helen Bowers, to talk ballet, pliés, and the big win!

Mary Helen Bowers, founder of Ballet Beautiful

What are some misconceptions about ballerinas? So many people think they’re too thin, but they do have that sleek, strong body we all try to achieve!

I think the biggest misconception about a ballerina is that you have to be on an extreme diet or training regimen to sculpt that toned, graceful shape. But a ballerina’s body is an incredible combination of strength and artistry—it’s not about how thin you are. Ballerinas have a very specific, unique body shape because of the way in which we train and build muscle. This elegant yet powerful body shape is attainable for all women though! You do not have to spend hours a day in a gym or ballet studio to achieve it.

How has ballet helped shape your life?

Ballet has been a HUGE part of my life from a very young age. I just always loved dancing and when I was really young I made up my mind that I just had to dance in New York City—so I left my family in Charlotte, North Carolina when I was just 15 years old to attend the School of American Ballet in New York. The following year I was invited to join the New York City Ballet! I was just starting my junior year in high school, so it was a really exciting time. I danced with the NYCB for 10 years and then founded Ballet Beautiful, an online global studio. My first studio location opens this spring down in Soho, NYC.

Read on for Bowers’s favorite sculpting moves — plus behind-the-scenes stories from Natalie’s training! Read more