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Softball Pro Jennie Finch Laces Up for the NYC Marathon

Written on October 28, 2011 at 2:30 pm , by

Jennie Finch gets a jog in with her running coach, Susanne Davis. (Photo courtesy of Timex)

It’s crunch time! Or should we say, taper time? The 2011 ING NYC Marathon is a week away and already the city is bubbling with excitement and preparations. Among the list of notable celebs running this year are U.S. Olympian Apolo Ohno, model Christy Turlington, and on behalf of Timex, U.S. Olympian softball player Jennie Finch. Starting last, for every runner Finch passes Timex will donate $1 to the NYRR Youth Program. Below, we got the chance to chat with Finch on her unusual marathon training, and some tips she’s picked up along the way.

Belated congrats on your second child this past June! What was it like getting in shape for the marathon right after pregnancy?

It’s been very intense! I didn’t know what it would be like to get in shape for a marathon in general; it’s a whole different ball game than softball. It took about 12 weeks to really get myself back into the shape I was before I was pregnant. I did stay fairly active throughout my pregnancy, but your body just goes through a lot of changes. Another hurdle has been making the time to train, especially with a newborn and not getting much sleep!

How have you been training for the 2011 ING NYC Marathon?

I’ve been using the Timex Ironman Run Trainer with GPS and it’s basically been my coach on my wrist. My running coach Susanne Davis is in California, so we’ve been doing everything virtually. She wrote out my running plan for me so all I have to do is complete my workout and upload it from my watch so she can see everything from my heart rate, pace, and distance. It’s great because it makes me accountable for my runs since I know she’ll be able to see what I’m doing. My husband suggested I just ride around in a golf cart to get the mileage in, but that sneaky trick clearly wouldn’t work with her!  Through my workouts we’ve also been able to create mini-goals. First it was just to finish the race, but now that my pace has been improving and my distance has been increasing I’m able to push it to the next level with her help.

What’s the best tip Davis has given you during your time training?

I finally got the chance to train in NYC the past weekend with Davis, and that was really great because she could check out my form to make any adjustments I needed. She’s talked a lot about my rhythm and keeping my strides constant with quick steps. This helps keep my pace up and is also a good distraction on long runs. Another great tip she’s given me is how to deal with hills. She’s always telling me to think about high knees when going uphill, and butt kicks going downhill.

Have you set a goal time to finish the race?

I didn’t until I ran with Davis a few weeks ago. She told me she’d like to see me finish in 4:10. It would be great to break 4:00, but we’ll have to see how everything plays out that day!

P.S. You could win a FREE VIP trip to next year’s ING New York City Marathon by guessing how many people Finch will pass this year after starting last. Click here to enter! Hint: Last year, former New York Giants player Amani Toomer finished in 4:13:45, passing 25,817 people. Think Jennie can beat him?

*Editor’s note: Jennie Finch did indeed beat Amani Toomer, finishing the marathon with an unofficial time of 4:05:26 and passing approximately 30,000 runners! Congrats, Jennie!

More from FITNESS: The 16-Week FITNESS Marathon Training Guide

 

 

 

U.S. Open Champ Sam Stosur’s On-the-Road Food and Fitness Tips

Written on October 11, 2011 at 10:01 am , by

2011 U.S. Open singles champ Sam Stosur. (Photo courtesy of 5W PR)

If you’ve ever taken a peek at Australian tennis pro Sam Stosur’s resume, you’d be mighty impressed. The 27-year-old just won the 2011 U.S. Open singles title this year and is ranked World No. 7, with a career high in singles as World No. 4. We were lucky enough to get the chance to chat with Stosur on her U.S. Open victory, and steal some of her fitness secrets along the way. Read on for how she stays fit on and off season, her favorite foods to fuel her up, and more.

Congrats on winning the 2011 U.S. Open singles title! How did it feel pulling off such a victory?

It felt amazing, it’s a goal I’ve had my whole career and something I’ve worked toward for a very long time. For that to finally come true is a weird feeling. I’m still thinking of words to describe the feeling of when I hit that last ball.

You’ve been playing tennis since you were 13 years old. How has the sport shaped your life?

I went on my first overseas match at 13, so it definitely made me grow up a little faster than all my friends. I knew I wanted to be a professional tennis player since I was about 10 years old, so I don’t regret missing out on some of those childhood staples everyone else experiences.

Tours require a ton of traveling. How do you manage to keep up a healthy diet when on the road?

When you dine in different countries, there are different styles of food that you’re constantly around and exposed to. I find that getting enough sleep helps me to make better decisions when I’m not at home. I also make sure to stay on top of my vitamins to make sure I’m getting enough of what my body really needs.

Read on for how Stosur stays in shape off season.

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A New Way to Shed the Baby Weight

Written on October 5, 2011 at 12:29 pm , by

Another calorie scorcher? Baby kisses of course! (Photo courtesy of iStock)

Here’s a fun fact: October 5 is one of the most common birthdays in the U.S. In fact, you’ve probably noticed that there is an influx in birthdays in general between the months of September and October because a large amount of babies are conceived around the holidays.

But with birthdays comes the baby weight. Everyone has it and everyone loses it differently. For those not a fan of logging miles on the treadmill or strength training with dumbells we chatted with Sheila Kelley, creator of the pole dance workout the S Factor to get a new approach to dropping the baby weight and getting your body back faster. Read below to see why this routine might be right for you.

What are some of the biggest body woes women have after having a baby that you’ve seen with your clients?

The biggest woe is that women lose their shape. Having a baby changes your body (along with everything else!). Your hips and your stomach, the way you walk, even your feelings about sexuality. By trying S Factor, you can reconnect with your body inside and out.

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The Dish on Glee: Cover Girl Heather Morris Spills

Written on September 15, 2011 at 10:22 am , by

Pick up the October issue of FITNESS Sept. 20 for Heather's sexy legs secret and tons more!

Calling all Gleeks! Heather Morris (known to Glee fanatics as Brittany) gave FITNESS the behind-the-scenes scoop on your favorite show.

Heather’s inspiration for playing Brittany: “She’s like a little kid who says, ‘I don’t get it.’ It’s funnier to me to play Brittany as not super-stupid, but really innocent.”

Why Heather thinks Glee is such a hit: “People love the music and the characters — everyone can relate to someone on the show, because everyone’s felt like an outsider at some point in their lives.”

Biggest OMG moment on set: “The Britney/Brittany episode. It was surreal. I was like, ‘Wow, I’m just hanging out with Britney Spears as Brittany the character. We’re doing a scene. I’m singing her songs.’ I was such a fan of hers! I was in a seventh grade talent show and I did her whole MTV Video Music Awards performance [from 2000] when she was in the sparkly skin-tone outfit. After the Britney/Brittany episode, she sent me flowers with a note that said, ‘Good Job, Love Britney.’ I’ll never forget that!”

Biggest oops: “While doing the ‘Singing in the Rain’ number, we were in a tub of water and after about the eighteenth take it was just disgusting. Water mixed with sweat and makeup, and it was gross. I was doing a dance move, and when I kicked, a whole puddle went all over Matt Morrison. I felt so bad!”

Heather’s favorite on-screen number: “MC Hammer’s ‘Can’t Touch This’ in the school library. There were a lot of sweet moves in that one.”

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Safety Tips for Runners and Cyclists

Written on September 9, 2011 at 3:35 pm , by

Safety in numbers! (Photo courtesy of Reggie Casagrande)

Safety in numbers! (Photo courtesy of Reggie Casagrande)

Poor Reese Witherspoon! According to this NBC LA article the actress was hit by a car running on a road in Santa Monica on Wednesday. Witherspoon was struck by an 84-year-old woman who failed to slow down at a pedestrian crosswalk. Luckily, Witherspoon only suffered minor injuries and after a quick trip to the hospital is said to be resting comfortably at home.

Unfortunately the chances of getting hit while running or cycling is greater than we often think. But that doesn’t mean you have to bring your routine inside. Instead, keep these precautions in mind the next time you head out.

For Runners:

  • Always carry ID! Whether it’s your actual license or an identification tag like Road ID, it’s important to have something on you in case you do get hurt and need assistance.
  • Run facing traffic, not with it. And always run on the outside of turns if possible, not on the inside where cars are likely to whip around before seeing you.
  • Keep your music low. Blasting Lady Gaga might make you run faster, but it’s also going to make you miss a car’s horn or warning call.
  • Wear reflective clothing, especially late at night.
  • When you can, run with a friend. You can be on watch for each other!

For Cyclists:

  • As opposed to running, make sure to ride with traffic, not against it.
  • Make sure your brakes are in top condition in case you need to stop suddenly.
  • Know the traffic laws! Many states have cycling laws riders have to abide by in addition to traffic laws that all riders should obey as well.
  • And we have to say it — wear a helmet! Not only will it protect your noggin, it will help cars recognize there is a cyclist on the road.

Now tell us: Are we missing something? What’s the best outdoor safety tip you’ve ever received?

More from FITNESS:

Get Fit Like Chelsea Handler: Tips From Trainer Mark MacDonald

Written on August 16, 2011 at 5:57 pm , by

Chelsea wrote the foreward to Mark's book, Body Confidence. (Photo courtesy of Mark Macdonald)

Chelsea Handler is known for her witty jokes, fit friends (how fun would a gym date with Jennifer Aniston be?) and her party-loving attitude. So how does the comedian and talk show host look so fabulous while seeming so carefree about her healthy lifestyle? We turned to Mark MacDonald, her trainer and the CEO and creator of Venice Nutrition to find out.

“Reaching your health goals isn’t the easiest thing. But it’s possible if you make your health a priority and develop a rhythm with your eating and fitness routine. It’s really freeing once you set that foundation,” says MacDonald, who has worked with Chelsea since 2003. He and his medical board, including a registered dietitian and an osteopathic doctor, help non-celebs optimize their well-being through customized diet and exercise programs as well.

Mark stopped by our offices to share four tips that have worked for Chelsea—and can work for you too:

  • Don’t skip breakfast. “Eat within one hour of waking up,” MacDonald recommends. “Egg whites with oatmeal or Greek yogurt with nuts and berries are great choices. Aim for a mix of protein, fat and carbs and eat every three to four hours for the rest of the day. You never want to be starving or too full.”
  • Prepare a “mobile readiness food kit.” “Stock items like turkey jerky, fruit, edamame, string cheese and nuts in your car or desk in case you get stuck in traffic or in the middle of a busy project when meal time rolls around,” Macdonald says.
  • Eat enough protein. Dietary protein helps your body maintain and repair tissue, which is especially important for those who lift weights and are constantly breaking down and rebuilding muscle. MacDonald’s favorite sources? Chicken, turkey, cottage cheese and eggs.
  • Sip alcohol with meals. “Chelsea eats really clean and trains hard [Pilates is a favorite, but she also fits in cardio like incline walking or running] so she can enjoy a couple of nights a week at a restaurant with a vodka cocktail or two,” MacDonald says. He suggests a meal of protein and veggies, like grilled salmon and asparagus, to go along with your beverage of choice (in moderation, of course).

To learn more about MacDonald and his book Body Confidence, visit venicenutrition.com.

More from FITNESS: Shape up like another funny lady, Christina Applegate, with this tummy-toning move.

Who Is Your Top Celebrity Body Role Model?

Written on August 2, 2011 at 2:29 pm , by

Jennifer Aniston seems to be in great shape thanks to all of that yoga! (Photo courtesy of Getty Images)

Jennifer Aniston seems to be in great shape thanks to all of that yoga! (Photo courtesy of Getty Images)

LA Fitness recently asked 2,000 members to nominate an individual for the “body of the year.” So who came out on top? None other than stunning 66-year-old Dame Helen Mirren! In fact, the age-defying actress (who has appeared in ads promoting Nintendo’s Wii Fit video games in the U.K.) beat out fellow frontrunners who are decades younger, including Elle Macpherson and J. Lo, according to Sky News.

Of course, this all depends on what you consider to be a “hot” body. Being FITNESS, we’d love to hear who you believe is the top fit, healthy role model in Hollywood. We think it has a lot to do with confidence! So sound off in the poll below, or share other picks in the comments.

Then tell us: Do celebrities inspire you to “work on your fitness” as Fergie says, or do you find your motivation elsewhere?

How Chef and Swimmer Marisa Churchill Stays Fit

Written on June 8, 2011 at 2:54 pm , by

Chef Marisa Churchill (Photo courtesy of TK)

Chef Marisa Churchill enjoys swimming and sweets! (Photo by Holly Stewart)

When making dessert is your job, staying fit can be a challenge. We recently sat down with swimmer and competitive chef (she was on season two of Top Chef and Food Network Challenge) Marisa Churchill to discuss the launch of her new cookbook, Sweet & Skinny: 100 Recipes for Enjoying Life’s Sweeter Side Without Tipping the Scales. Though she’s around tempting desserts all day, Marisa is in amazing shape and even competes in swim meets. Here’s how she makes that possible:

What’s your workout routine like?
I try to exercise at least five days a week. I swim three times, completing about 6,000-8,000 yards weekly, and strength train twice a week.

Aside from swimming laps in the pool, what’s your favorite way to work out?
Since the launch of Sweet & Skinny, I am on the road a lot traveling for my book tour. Therefore, I’m all about “exercises on the go.” Here are a few of my favorite ones that you can do just about anywhere:

  • Squats and Lunges: These are perfect for when you’re on the go because you don’t need a lot of space or equipment. You just need your body! You can easily do either exercise in a hotel room or hallway. I do three sets of 15 squats and three sets of 20 lunges.
  • Sit-ups and Push-ups: Any style works. It doesnt matter what type of sit-up or push-up you perform, as long as you get it done!
  • Planks: Drop down and hold for 30 seconds! I aim for four sets.

What do you eat to fuel up for a tough workout or swimming competition?
I cut back on sugar the week before a competition and make sure I eat well-balanced meals with lots of fruits and vegetables. I also drink a lot of green tea to keep me energized.

Stay tuned for healthy cooking and eat-right tips from Marisa in an upcoming issue of FITNESS!

Surf Secrets Behind The New Blue Crush 2 Movie

Written on June 6, 2011 at 9:48 am , by

The stars of Blue Crush 2 soak up the sun—with SPF, of course! (Photo courtesy of Universal Studios Home Entertainment)

The stars of Blue Crush 2 soak up the sun—with SPF, of course! (Photo courtesy of Universal Studios Home Entertainment)

Tomorrow, the follow-up to the popular surfing movie Blue Crush hits stores on DVD! We were lucky enough to get a sneak peek (which made us dream to have those surf skills) and meet with the film’s stars (who seem to be great pals in real life). We asked the ladies for their best surf tips for beginners, and to top it off, we had them team up to create a killer beach playlist!

Blue Crush 2 Starter Surfing Hints

  • “Be safe and have fun! Know your boundaries when it comes to the ocean, but don’t be scared to get out there and give it a go!” —Sharni Vinson, also seen in Step Up 3D (Tara in the film)
  • “At first you’re going to fall a lot. But keep getting back up! And always wear your leash—never get into the water without it attached. Have fun and watch your body transform. It’s such a great workout!” —Elizabeth Mathis, also seen in Unstoppable (Pushy)
  • “Relax! Even if you don’t stand up on your first try, you can still enjoy being in the ocean. A lot of surfing has to do with muscle memory, so if you are relaxed and keeping in mind how you are feeling on the board you will learn a lot faster.” —Rosy Hodge, ROXY pro surfer from South Africa (Catherine)
  • “It’s very daunting and scary to go into the ocean at first, but I got the best advice from our free diving coach Hanli Prinsloo: When being tossed and turned underwater or held under, instead of being frightened, just smile and acknowledge that the ocean is ‘playing with you.’ It’s easy to feel very small and powerless when you first surf, but if you switch your mindset it changes your experience drastically.” —Sasha Jackson, also seen on One Tree Hill (Dana)

Blue Crush 2 Star’s Surf-Friendly Playlist

Now tell us: What sporty movie inspires you to get up and move?

4 Things I Learned About Celebrity Fitness

Written on May 25, 2011 at 4:11 pm , by

Climbing the rope at Training Adventure sparks memories of gym class!

Recently, thanks to ASICS , I was lucky enough to spend a few days living (and training) like a celebrity in L.A.! A team of writers were treated to six workouts over the course of two days—and each was hosted by a different celebrity trainer. Along the way, I had four “aha! moments” about exercising like a star:

  1. Variety is the spice of life. We tried a beats-driven spinning class at Equinox, a zen yoga session with Kirschen Hagenlocher (who traveled to India with Julia Roberts during Eat, Pray Love!), a sculpting class with Jennifer Garner’s pal Valerie Waters and more. Each workout challenged our bodies in different ways and proved to us that exercise can never get boring.
  2. Improvise with what you’ve got. Surprise! Many celebrities don’t have home gyms and squeeze in their workouts outside or at their homes using furniture like coffee table for step ups and swap in bands for heavy equipment. Christopher Ross Lane, who has helped whip Valerie Bertinelli and Sara Rue into shape, showed us how to tone up outdoors with the Pro Gym in a Bag, which he uses with his clients. They also slip in plyometrics and neighborhood runs for some cardio. (Christopher also trains our pal Jillian Michaels—trainers need to be pushed by trainers too!)
  3. Take advantage of your surroundings. Have a beach nearby? Run on it! A ladder or swing set? Climb it! Just because it’s not considered “exercise” doesn’t mean it’s not a fabulous workout. This was exhibited during our amazing, fast-paced hike in Temescal Canyon, led by Michelle Lovitt, trainer to Courtney Cox, Eve and Yvonne Strahovsky from Chuck. We didn’t run once, but our heart rates were pumping the entire time. The amazing views didn’t hurt either!
  4. Victoria Beckham is more adventurous than I thought! We couldn’t stop laughing (or sweating) during our workout with Paul Vincent and his team at the Training Adventure. We flipped on mats, climbed over walls as high as our shoulders and maneuvered the monkey bars. I could picture Tom Cruise doing this to prepare for a film role (he has), but had a harder time imagining Posh Spice completing the stunt workout! But Paul claims she comes, with family in tow, and knocks out similar workouts to the Olympians he also trains. Hardcore!

Now tell us: If you could train with any celebrity, who would you pick and why?

Testing my yoga limits.

We were treated to a workout like Jillian Michaels, thanks to Christopher Ross Lane.