Written on December 6, 2012 at 10:55 am , by Colleen Travers
The holidays are a busy time for everyone, but when you have twin girls who are almost 6 years old and a son under one like retired soccer star Mia Hamm, busy takes on a whole new meaning. To help keep in mind the spirit of the season, Hamm still found the time to team up with Dick’s Sporting Goods Gifts That Matter campaign, to celebrate giving gifts that help inspire future athletes. We chatted with Hamm on her most memorable gifts, her go-to holiday workouts and how she plans to beat stress this month.
Do you have a gift that mattered most in shaping you as an athlete?
When I was 11 years old I got my first pair of real leather cleats, which in my mind made me a real soccer player. It inspired me to keep with the sport and work harder to get to that next level. That’s why I was so excited about this campaign, because sporting gifts like that can make a real difference. It seems like such a little thing, but to a kid something so simple like that makes their world. I also love the idea behind this campaign because in the spirit of giving, Dick’s Sporting Goods will also make a contribution to the Mia Hamm Foundation this month, so we can help out underprivileged children as well.
We just wrapped up our gift guides, and our readers told us the best gifts they’ve ever gotten. What’s a great gift you’ve received recently?
After the birth of our third child, my husband was working and traveling a lot. For two or three months he hired a woman to come in for three to four hours to cook our meals for the week. Everything was healthy and organic and it took a lot of pressure off of me and let me spend quality time with our kids. That was really great. Read more
Professional Freeskier Roz Groenewoud Teams Up with Target and Chats About the 2014 Winter Olympics!
Written on November 5, 2012 at 1:00 pm , by Colleen Travers
Imagine participating in a sport that lasts only 30 seconds. That’s exactly what Roz Groenewoud does, except she’s managed to master the sport of professional freeskiing. Last year Groenewoud won the X Games both in the U.S. and Europe and this year, she’s excited to not only try to hang on to her spot on the podium, but also to gear up for the debut of freeskiing at the 2014 Sochi Olympics. As Target’s newest Elite Athlete (joining the ranks of snowboarder Shaun White) we got the chance to chat with Groenewoud on how she’s getting ready for the qualifying trials and why being nervous before a run is a good thing!
How do you train for freeskiing?
The half pipe takes about 30 seconds to get down, so I do lots of plyometics and biking, things that work on bursts of speed. Right now I’m training at home (in Squamish, BC) and I’m not doing anything on the snow. I’m just working on getting stronger. In the summer strength training is lots of lower body reps like squats and dead lifts with less weight and then when the winter season gets closer it changes to less reps with more weight. I do a ton of trampoline training too, especially practicing how to fall safely.
What are some tips for when you fall so that you don’t get injured?
First, you have to protect your head. I wear bump pads, a back protector and a mouth guard all the time but it’s important to keep your limbs in. If not, your ski could snag something and that’s how you can get really hurt. Read more
Written on November 2, 2012 at 10:21 am , by Colleen Travers
Tired of tackling marathons and ready to take on a bigger fitness challenge? If you consider yourself an ultrarunner (as in, running 20 miles a day doesn’t make you woozy just thinking about it!), then you could be the perfect fit for The MS Run the US 2013 Relay, taking place April 16 through September 17, 2013.
But don’t worry; you don’t have to tag along for the whole thing! The relay will cover approximately 140 miles per runner over the course of six days to raise funds and benefit The National MS Society for MS research, a disease that affects 400,000 Americans. The course, starting in Los Angeles, CA and ending in NYC will mimic the 2010 trans-continental run the event’s founder, Ashley Kumlien, ran on behalf of her mother’s 30th anniversary of her fight against MS.
There are currently 14 Running Partner spots still open for various cities, so if you’re interested, visit msruntheus.com for more information and an application. Not quite up for the challenge? Check out the page to see how you can donate or volunteer when the relay comes to your town.
Now tell us: Have you ever done a run for charity? Which one?
Written on October 25, 2012 at 9:08 am , by Colleen Travers
Actress and former WWE wrestler Stacy Keibler has a busy social schedule. (But at least she’s got George Clooney as arm candy to go with her dress!) Whether it’s a gala, charity affair or an awards show, she seems to be always on the go. Which makes us wonder, how does she find the time to look so darn good? We chatted with Keibler at–you guessed it–an event as she helped launch the Valspar Love Your Color Guarantee Project, which is partnering with Habitat for Humanity to donate $1 up to $50,000 by virtually painting houses through the Valspar Facebook page (through November 7). Read below to see why Keibler got involved in the project and how she manages to stay fit with her jet-setting schedule.
What made you decide to be a part of the Valspar Love Your Color Guarantee Project and Habitat for Humanity initiative?
I’ve actually done a build with Habitat for Humanity, which was a rewarding experience for me. What I love about the Love Your Color Guarantee Project from Valspar is that not only if you don’t love your color that you’re putting up in your house they will guarantee a replacement color for you, but they are also going to give $21 million in cash and paint to Habitat for Humanity, so it’s an amazing partnership all around.
Written on October 23, 2012 at 9:00 am , by Colleen Travers
Challenge a runner to a toe touching contest and you’ll probably bend yourself into a pretzel before they make it past their shins. That’s because running can tighten muscles like your hamstring, IT band and calves if not properly stretched and cross-trained. But lucky for you (and us!) we got the top five yoga poses Andrea Orbeck, fitness consultant and Heidi Klum’s secret weapon uses to train the supermodel to celebrate the launch of HealthyChic.com, a new site for yoga and fitness lovers to find curated gear from pros like Orbeck, yoga instructor Anita Goa, track and field coach Scott Cohen and others. Below, Orbeck explains why all runners should start incorporating these poses into their cross-training routines.
“When training Heidi or any runner, I focus on poses that open up the muscles that tend to make us tight from repetitive habits, like sitting all day or exercise-induced tension,” she says. “By working on poses that open the hips, lengthen the psoas (the only muscle that runs from front to back and top to bottom and is usually the culprit for back pain), stretch the hamstring and open and lengthen the lumbar. When these muscles are properly opened and lengthened, we dodge back pain and can continue to run and do our favorite exercises.”
5 Yoga Poses Runners Must Do:
- Child’s Pose: When our tailbone is seated on our heels and our arms are outstretched, it opens up the lumbar spine and gently opens our quads, too.
- Happy Baby Pose: This makes for a happy runner! It opens up the lumbar spine and hamstrings and when legs are open to the sides, stretches inner thigh muscles.
- Pigeon Pose: My personal favorite! This can bring immediate relief to tight glutes, groin, back psoas, and even the shoulders and pecs. Everyone from a runner and a model, to a mogul and mom will know the stress from these muscles.
- Warrior Pose: This movement provides some hip flexor stretch, but also activates the quads and core. Holding it before transitioning out bears weight on the quads statically and is great for balancing and conditioning.
- Goddess Pose: For runners especially, this is a great way to open up the inner thigh muscles and chest while letting gravity give you some much deserved “me” time.
Written on October 16, 2012 at 2:48 pm , by Colleen Travers
A few weeks ago I got the chance to stash my Brooks running sneakers for some hiking shoes as I headed West to the Jenny Lake Lodge nestled in the Grand Teton National Park in Jackson, Wyoming. As a self-professed cardio queen, I was excited to tackle mountains instead of asphalt for four days of trekking. And trek we did! With tons of hiking trails ranging from 2 miles to 19 I definitely got a glimpse into what life in the mountains is really like.
After arriving in the afternoon, I got a chance to meet with some of the super friendly staffers that work for the Grand Teton Lodging Company. We took a short hike (though as my first hike ever, it felt like it lasted days!) around String Lake, with sights that looked like they fell right off a postcard. I was a bit panicked starting out, as one of my hiking materials was an actual can of bear spray (!) but within minutes I was too busy checking out the view to worry about anything else. This may explain why the above-mentioned staffers are so friendly. It’s hard to be in a bad mood when you’re looking at this every day:
Written on October 8, 2012 at 10:14 am , by Colleen Travers
In the October issue of FITNESS (on newsstands now!), we pooch-tested a slew of running leashes to help you find one that will keep you and your pup happy on a jog together. Our tester, Charlotte, runs with her dog Nala (a mix of Australian Shepherd, Spaniel and Jack Russell) almost every day, running 3 to 4 miles in the summer (depending on the heat) and up to 6 in the winter months! Below, see what Charlotte’s criteria for testing was, and her thoughts on the winning leashes:
1. Length: The right length depends on how big your dog is and how big you are. I’m 5’2, so a long leash would be overwhelming for me, as I don’t want my dog that far in front of me. If the leash is too short, there’s not enough clearance for the dog to have her gait and for me to have mine. We’re going to clash and trip over each other.
Winner: Ruffwear Flat Out leash
Size-wise this was just right. If I had a bigger dog, I would have to tie some knots in it so I could have better control, but Nala is only about 30lbs. so the knots weren’t needed. Other than that, this leash is nice and light and perfect for shorter runs.
Written on September 19, 2012 at 2:58 pm , by FITNESS Intern
Written by Deanna Cioppa, editorial intern
A little treat can go a long way, especially when it comes to hitting your fitness goals. Setting a non-food reward for yourself can help you hit your milestones faster, not to mention come in handy when your workouts seem to be never-ending. We asked our Twitter followers how they reward themselves for a fitness feat well done. And from the looks of it, these ladies know how to treat themselves right!
@stephanieyogini: I buy a new piece of workout clothing.
@BritterMC: I buy a new workout outfit or fitness DVD to try.
@AbliciousMoms: Smaller jeans!
Now Tell Us: How do you reward yourself when you reach a fitness goal?
More from FITNESS: 9 Steps to Reach Any Goal
Written on September 19, 2012 at 9:42 am , by Lauren Cardarelli
Have a rough day in the office? We recently tried a fun new workout that would make sure to get rid of that bottled up tension. LA rockers Kirsten Potenza and Cristina Peerenboom turned a sweat-astic idea into reality by revolutionizing their passions for drumming and exercise into a workout unlike any other, POUND. The high-intensity 45-, 30- or 15-minute classes transform cardio interval training into an exhilarating concert with 2.5-lb weighted drumsticks, known as “Ripstix,” and an upbeat playlist.
POUND combines traditional Pilates and barre method-inspired exercises with rapid drummer-based movements. Each jam-sesh is a full body blast, scorching more than 600 calories! We recently embraced our primal aggression with Kirsten and Cristina, sporting a smile and a lot of sweat through each burn-worthy sequence. Crank up the music and rock out with these three moves:
Twists: Start by laying flat on the floor with your feet extended straight. Lift shoulders off the floor until body is at a 45-degree angle and then raise your feet 45 degrees so your body forms a ‘V’. Twist from side to side with your elbows tucked. Lightly tap the ground on either side of the hips with your fingertips. Add Ripstix for an ultimate challenge and make some noise! This move scorches the obliques and your muffin top zone.
Rainbows: In a deep plié squat, begin with your arms over your head. Start by stepping to the right and hinge body forward to tap the ground (or close to it) with your right hand. Return to center and repeat to the left. Again, add Ripstix to turn up the volume and burn.
OH Thrusts: Lie down on the floor with your knees bent and feet hip-width apart. Lift your hips and tap the ground on either side of the body with your fingertips. Next, lower yourself to the mat and bring your arms overhead. Bending at the elbow, lower and extend arms. Repeat 20 times or to your favorite up-tempo song. Add some Ripstix for additional resistance and clatter!
In need of a mini POUNDtrack? Get moving with Rage Against the Machine’s “Killing in the Name Of,” Travis Barker’s “Let’s Go (for Rainbows)” and the Bassnectar Remix of Ellie Goulding’s “Lights.” To find a class near you, check out the POUND website.
Written on September 17, 2012 at 12:00 pm , by Colleen Travers
Already feeling a little frazzled and it’s only Monday? Get centered plus save some cash by celebrating National Yoga Month with Exhale Mind Body Spa on Thursday, September 20. The spa is launching its second annual NamasDAY, with complimentary yoga classes throughout the day and an evening yoga party with DJs, giveaways and goody bags at night. And yes, a healthy cocktail or two!
To find a location near you and book your complimentary class, visit exhalespa.com/namasday. You’re already feeling a little less stressed, aren’t you?