Whether you’re excited for the game, Beyoncé, or just an excuse to throw a party on a Sunday night, the Super Bowl is just around the corner. New York Giants Quarterback Eli Manning (you may have heard of him a time or two, especially this time last year?) is teaming up with Kinect for Xbox360 and NFL Play 60 for the 60 Million Minutes Challenge, to recruit one million kids across the country to pledge to be active for 60 minutes each day. According to the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention, more than a third of American children and adolescents are obese or overweight, and with Kinect for Xbox 360, families can get off the couch and get in exercise without it feeling like a chore. We chatted with Manning, who is in his hometown New Orleans for the Super Bowl on the campaign, and how he keeps his own family active.
Tell us about the 60 Million Minutes Challenge with NFL Play 60 and Kinect for Xbox360. Why was it important for you to get involved in this?
I love the concept of getting kids to make it a priority to exercise for 60 minutes a day. It’s easy in the summer and when the weather is warm, but now that it’s winter and it’s dark and cold out activity levels can really drop. With Xbox360 Kinect, kids can still play beach volleyball or track and field or whatever else they love to do inside. We clearly have a problem in this country with obesity, and I hate to see kids who aren’t healthy and missing school because of their health issues. I also want to get kids out and running around above all else because it’s fun! It’s fun to be a kid and play outside with your friends or parents or grandparents. The more active kids are with others, the more it won’t seem like exercise. Read more
Ali Landry has been kicking it up a notch at the gym. As a mother of two (daughter Estela was born in 2007 and her son Marcelo 10 months ago), she and hubby Alejandro Monteverde are planning a little getaway to Hawaii. “I have 7 pounds of baby weight left, and I’m on a mission to get them off!” she told us when chatting recently about her latest partnership with Hershey’s Simple Pleasures. Read on to see Landry’s baby weight plan of attack, her diet and why she’d never give up her chocolate. (That’s out kind of gal!)
As a mom of two, you must have a routine you use to lose the baby weight. What is it?
While I was pregnant both times, I worked out through the pregnancy. It really helped not only physically but mentally as well. But once I had the kids, I made sure to not feel pressured to drop the baby weight immediately. Our society is a little crazy with that, with all the magazine covers of celebrities getting back into a bikini three weeks after giving birth–I am just not one of those people! It’s a little unrealistic, and the average person does not bounce back that quickly. People also claim you lose weight nursing, but I nursed both of my kids and felt like a linebacker! I just made sure to eat healthy and drink water constantly. Even with that, once I finished nursing Estela, I had 10 pounds left to lose. With Marcelo, I have 7. I think that’s just the way my body is built.
What kind of exercises did you do while pregnant?
I did mostly the same workouts I normally do, just less intense. I ran in the beginning and then switched to the elliptical for cardio. For strength training I did a lot on the BOSU ball which was great because it worked more than one muscle at a time. Read more
Actress Valerie Azlynn, who appears in the new TBS comedy Sullivan & Son premiering July 18, doesn’t rely on trainers to stay fit. With her “weird hours” on set (you may have also seen in the movies Bewitched and Tropic Thunder) it can be tough to schedule a training session, so she is constantly on the hunt for gym inspiration to stay motivated. In fact, Azlynn considers FITNESS to be the perfect tool to keep her workouts fun and fresh.
“I tear out pages from magazines so I can do the workouts in the gym. Right now, I have a hot pink binder full of FITNESS magazine stuff,” Azlynn told us when she visited our office recently. “I flip it open for new ideas to constantly change up my workout. It makes such a difference to mix it up!”
Azlynn admits that she occasionally gets odd looks from strangers, but to her, it’s worth it. “If they’re talking about me, maybe they’re just jealous of my fun moves!”
Need some new ideas to mix up your routine? Print out, bookmark or Pin a few of our current favorites!
- Beach Body Circuit Workout
- Flat Abs Fast
- 5 Easy Moves to Banish Every Bulge (Seen here peeking through Azlynn’s binder cover!)
Health is particularly important to Azlynn, as she had open heart surgery as a kid to repair a defect that she was born with. She uses this to fuel her healthy choices (which include a daily green smoothie with kale, lettuce, banana, raspberry, pear and peanut butter), yet she still keeps things light around the topic.
“I bought a butcher knife pendant for my necklace,” the funny actress says. “If you can’t laugh about it, what’s the point?”
Now tell us: How do you keep your workout routine from getting stale?
If you were going to put a label on mountain biker Georgia Gould, well rounded would definitely be the term. Between playing the banjo, raising two chickens, tending to her beehive and representing the U.S. in the London Olympics as part of the LUNA Pro Team this summer, she’s got a lot on her plate! To keep her eye on the gold and make sure she can reach her goals, Gould shared with us her five diet, fitness and time saving tips that have helped her along the way. Read on below to see how they’ve helped her make it to the Games.
1. Go hard on your hard days and easy on your easy days. Take recovery as seriously as you take training.
2. Anything is better than nothing. We lead busy lives and often it can seem hard to fit in a workout. Don’t scrap the whole idea of a workout if you are short on time. Instead, head outside for a walk. Again, anything is better than nothing!
3. Chop stuff! Cooking healthy is easy, but it can be time consuming. When you are short on time or tired we tend to grab whatever is fast, not necessarily the healthiest. When you do have some free time, chop up extra veggies and fruit and store them in the fridge so making a healthy stir-fry, pasta sauce or salad will be much easier. Have some nuts on hand too, they are a great snack when you need something quick.
Spending time outside this summer is sure to boost your mood, but don’t let the choices you make affect your waistline. Prevent weight gain this season by avoiding these common pitfalls.
Cooling Off With a Frozen Treat
Issue: Ice cream is definitely one way to celebrate summer, but since this treat packs tons of calories in a tiny serving, hitting your local ice cream parlor too often can also pack on the pounds. Frozen yogurt may be a healthier option since it’s lower in fat and calories, but it still contains calories, especially if you load up on tons of toppings and go a little crazy with portions at self-serve shops.
Solution: It’s OK to indulge in ice cream every so often, just be sure it’s a reasonable portion and not an entire pint. And if you go for lower-cal fro yo, don’t choose larger servings just because you think it’s good for you — you could end up downing the same amount of calories you would have if you chose a real ice cream cone instead! Be mindful of the toppings you choose and how many, knowing nuts, chocolate, and candies add on the most calories. If you’re really watching your weight, skip the creamy treats and whip up these refreshing and healthy homemade frozen treats.
Swapping Intensity For Scenery
Issue: Warmer weather inspires many of us to slip on lightweight tanks and take our workouts outside, but this can sometimes mean a more leisurely, gawk-at-the-gorgeous-scenery walk rather than the intense, kick-your-butt routine.
Solution: If you prefer exercising in the fresh air during the warmer months, just be sure your workouts maintain the same intensity as the ones you do at the gym. If you normally take a 400-calorie-burning indoor cycling class, when you hop on your bike outside, incorporate hills and intervals, and be sure your pace and the duration of your workout are comparable to the one you’re used to inside.
Continue reading for other summer mistakes that can lead to weight gain.
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Written by Andie Surget, editorial intern
Skimpy shorts and bikinis leave little room for your trouble zones to hide. That’s why we had FITNESS advisory board member Michele Olson, Ph.D., create (and model!) the “Banish Every Bulge” Express Workout in our June issue! Check it out on page 52, try it for yourself and hit the beach with confidence.
To learn more about the personality behind the powerful workout, we spoke with Olson. Read on to find out about workout of choice, what’s hiding in her gym bag and who would be her dream gym buddy!
How did you get your start in the fitness world?
When I was playing competitive tennis in high school, one of our assistant coaches was the head football coach. He made us go to the weight room and lift weights with his football players. I could not believe how much it did for me, my body, my fitness and my tennis game! This translated into my college tennis playing career. I was one of the few who worked out and used weights. Once I saw the power of fitness, I pursued it with even more passion.
There are a lot of fitness trends circulating right now: CrossFit, TRX, 90-day programs, Zumba, etc. Do you have any favorites?
Everything runs in cycles. In the early days of “aerobics” everyone trained hard and jumped their brains out—often causing stress fractures, shin splints, plantar faciitis and back pain. So I began doing studies on hard-style exercise and found that injuries often occur when you do these kinds of workouts more than four days a week without variation. Then, everything moderated to low-impact, more Pilates, less dance-based workouts. And, here we are again, with more extreme exercise programs and more dance-based workouts like Zumba. I like ALL of these formats! There is something in each for everybody. It’s just learning how much to do of each and how to vary these workout formats so avoid injury and optimize fitness gains. Personally, I love Tabata intervals, [high-intensity] metabolic resistance training and Pilates. I teach a lot of these formats.
Running outside comes with tons of perks, but one of the best is being able to bring your dog along. They’re the perfect exercise companion because there’s no skipping out on a workout when you see that excited grin and wagging tail. Now that temps and humidity levels have risen, here are some things to consider in order to keep your dog happy and prevent heat exhaustion.
- Ease into training: If you’ve never taken Spike out running before, ease into it, especially if he’s overweight. Start off with 10-minute workouts that include running and walking to not only build his endurance, but also to get him used to running alongside you on a leash, or to train him to run freely in the woods without running away. Gradually increase the duration of the workouts to prevent pushing him too hard too soon. Remember — dogs can suffer from heat stroke and injuries, too.
- Check the weather: It’s no fun to exercise on a 95 degree day with 80 percent humidity — for either one of you. Check the weather the night before and be flexible with your workout time, choosing cooler times of the day to get your run in. Your dog may be really sad and whine when you shut the door, but if it’s way too hot, it’s best to leave him at home in the air conditioning.
- Consider the surface: Asphalt and concrete can be too hot for furry feet, and rocks and gravel may cause cuts, so stick to dirt roads or sandy trails. After the run, check your dog’s pads for cracking or other injuries.
Keep reading for more safety tips when it comes to running with your dog in the heat.
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#140Wednesdays: If You Could Give Your 16-Year-Old Self One Piece of Advice, What Would You Tell Her?
Remember when you colored your hair pink with a highlighter, got into a screaming fight with your sister over lip gloss and declared to never speak to your parents again for making you get a summer job? You probably thought the world would end, and if you’re reading this then you know that it in fact did not. They say everything happens for a reason, but looking back at our younger selves we can’t help but cringe over some of the choices we made in our teen years. Read below to see what our Twitter followers would tell their 16-year-old selves and post your tidbit of advice below. And if you haven’t seen it already, watch this video to ingrain it in your head to wear SPF this summer. (Warning: It’s a tearjerker!)
@thinmydreams: That cheeseburger and poutine are going to catch up with you when your metabolism slows.
@wishandwhimsy: Life gets better. High school doesn’t define you. Keep being you.
@AbigailLimHo: Love yourself. Believe that you’re beautiful. Don’t let other people destroy your self-esteem.
@enthusiasticrun: Don’t take life too seriously, be nice to everyone, and watch what you post on the Internet!
@she_is_geeky: Drink more water, wear sunblock, join a sport, exercise more!
@angeladecenzo: Keep up that jogging habit, it’s great stress relief!
@sensibleflutist: Life gets better and the world doesn’t revolve around you.
@theamotinada: Break up with him.
Now tell us: What piece of advice would you give your 16-year-old self?
These days it seems like everyone is an expert. We’ve gotten our share of unsolicited advice and have even debunked common myths. Now it’s your turn: What’s the worst diet or fitness advice someone’s given you?
@nwstobsession: Cutting out carbohydrates is probably the worst diet advice I have ever received!
@MrsPetrillo: “No pain, no gain.” So I’m supposed to hurt myself to get in shape?! No thx! [Editor's note: We love this mantra, but we agree: Pain (versus soreness or tiredness) is a signal something's wrong!]
@MaiTime2012: Go on a celery soup diet! Uh, NO, I don’t think so!! Lol.
Now tell us: What’s the worst tip you’ve gotten?
Indoor cycling classes are an amazing cardio workout, but if you don’t know what you’re doing, you’ll walk away frustrated, or, even worse — injured. Compared to other group fitness classes, indoor cardio cycling is also a little harder to pick up on when trying it for the first time. After getting the lowdown on what to expect from your first class, follow these rules on things you should never do in an indoor cycling class.
- Arrive to class late: As a rule, be on time for any fitness class, but more so if you plan on riding. Since there is a cap on the amount of bikes in a class, most gyms require students to register ahead of time (either online or using a sign-up sheet). A few minutes before or after class starts, instructors often release unclaimed bikes to those on the waiting list. Show up late, and chances are the bike you registered for will be taken, or, if you didn’t sign up at all, the class will be full.
- Hop on the bike as-is: This is definitely not a one-size-fits-all scenario — the person who was on the bike previously may have a good 10 inches on you. To avoid injury and ensure a comfortable ride, adjust the bike to suit your body. You’ll also want to make sure the handlebars and seat are firmly secure to avoid any wobbling during class. Watch this video to learn the proper way to set up an indoor cycling bike.
Keep reading to find out three more things you should never do during an indoor cycling class.
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