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 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
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.
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?
If you’ve read the Fit Stop for more than 30 seconds, you know that here at FITNESS, we are quasi-obsessed with all things Dancing with the Stars. So when we heard that Season 13 winner J.R. Martinez would be running the 2012 ING NYC Marathon this year on behalf of Timex, we had to catch up with him. Read on to see how training is going with a newborn, his goal time and how you can train with him in your city!
This is your first marathon, but have you ever done any type of distance race before?
Never! I am definitely outside of my comfort zone here, but I’m so excited. This announcement comes at the perfect time, because 10 years ago I was sworn into the U.S. Army, and now 10 years later, I’m committing to something else. I am especially stoked to be doing this with Timex, because I get to test out the Ironman GPS, which is a big help for me since I’m always traveling for speaking commitments. On the road it’s hard to figure out how far you’re running, but I love that I can track my heart rate, distance and calories no matter where I am. I’m also excited to do this to help raise money for the New York Road Runners Youth Program. I’ll be starting dead last the day of the marathon, and for every person I pass Timex will donate $1 to the organization.
What’s your training been like so far?
I’’m very lucky because I have a running coach who helps me plan out my weeks. Right now I’m running five days a week, with Sundays being my long run days. Every week I up it another mile, so right now I’m at 11 miles. On the other days I mix it up–I’ll do 45-minute slower jogs or 5-10 minutes of jogging followed by five, 60-second sprints with a 1-minute recovery. On top of that I do a lot of planks to strengthen my core as well as strength training for my legs and calves. And I’ve recently discovered the foam roller when stretching, that thing feels so good! Read more
When balls fly at my head, I usually duck. Thankfully, U.S. Olympic soccer player Alex Morgan does not. As you might remember, Morgan scored the winning goal (off a header) at the Olympics in overtime against Canada to take the U.S. team into the game medal match against Japan. Now that the Games are behind her, Morgan is teaming up with DePuy Mitek, Inc., the official sports medicine sponsor of the 2014 FIFA World Cup to launch an initiative to educate parents, coaches and athletes about the importance of injury prevention. Read on to see how she stays injury-free and what she wants athletes everywhere to know.
What’s the main idea behind this initiative with the Sports Injury Prevention Program?
Aside from teaching parents, coaches and athletes how important it is to make sure your muscles are warm and ready to go before a game, they’ve also created the FIFA 11+, a warm-up program designed to reduce injuries in athletes 14 years and older. If you do these exercises twice a week, which consists of a mix of running, balance and plyometric exercises you significantly decrease your chance of getting hurt on the field.
Do you remember the first time you were badly injured playing soccer?
I tore my ACL when I was 17, which was a really important time in my life. It was my first college season and basically the worst time ever to get hurt. I had to get surgery and it took me five months to get back on the field. I wish they had this program back then, especially because female athletes have a much higher injury rate.
When My Big Fat Greek Wedding star Nia Vardalos decided to shed 40 pounds back in 2009, she did it for her health, not to squeeze into a smaller dress size. “I never felt well, I was constantly getting dizzy and because I already had thyroid disease I had a serious blood sugar issue. My choices were to lose weight or go on medication,” she told us when chatting earlier this week about her partnership the new health app from Life…supplemented called WannaBeWell app. Read on to see what simple steps led to Vardalos’ transformation and the tricks she uses everyday to maintain her weight and health.
Losing weight can be a daunting task. How did you get started?
After that visit with my doctor, I knew medication wasn’t an option for me. I’m not a pop a pill person, but I really wanted to find a way to start feeling better. So I started simple, just by walking. After that I cut out food high in starches and sugar and went from there. It was a slow process, but once I started it I looked better, felt better and even slept better!
What made you want to get involved with the WannaBeWell app?
For me it was a natural fit. I started taking supplements when I first started to lose weight, and I’ve kept up with it. My family makes fun of me because I take so many! So to have something to remind you when to take what, it’s really a no brainer for me.
What kind of supplements do you take?
First, every woman is different and we don’t all need the same things. So you should talk to your doctor before starting any type of supplement plan. I take fish oil, biotin and vitamins E, C and D (since I’m a writer and holed up in the dark all day!). If you don’t have time to get to a doctor but want to take something, start with a multivitamin and then discuss a plan at your next office visit. Read more
U.S. Women’s Olympic Soccer Captain Christie Rampone was no stranger to the Olympics this past summer. The team’s victory marked her third gold medal in the sport, in addition to the slew of championships and awards she’s racked up over the years. Now the busy mom of two is back home in New Jersey, and we got the chance to chat with her to see what life is like after London.
Congrats on your third Olympic gold medal! What was the first thing you did after the winning game?
After the gold medal match our team had a big celebration with family, friends and some of the U.S. Men’s Basketball players. We danced and chatted until almost 5 a.m.! After the party, my teammates and I headed back to the Athlete’s Village to get a couple hours of sleep before the media frenzy began.
Soccer is such an endurance sport. What did you eat and drink during the Games to keep your energy levels up?
I’ve been taking FRS Healthy Performance chews and drinks for a few years, regardless of if I’m training or not. Aside from that, my diet during competitions consists of a lot of pasta, chicken, strawberries, blueberries and peanut butter and jelly sandwiches!
We were amazed last year when we saw this video of West Hollywood Equinox instructor Briohny Smith doing some morning yoga in her viral video, “The Contortionist.” And we weren’t the only ones. Since then Briohny’s video has gotten almost 4 million views, leading her to create another one with her hubby, Dice Iida-Klein doing acro yoga for the Q by Equinox blog. Both yogis say this type of yoga takes a lot of balance, trust and communication (which also sounds like the formula to a happy marriage!). By the looks of it, they’ve got the yoga and Mr. and Mrs. thing down pat. Enjoy!
Written by Deanna Cioppa, editorial intern
There’s nothing like the feeling of accomplishment that comes at the end of an extra-tough workout. Whether the challenge is physical, mental or both, stepping outside of your comfort zone is always worth it in the end. We asked our Twitter followers what the toughest workout or race was that they’ve ever completed. From hiking trails in New Zealand, to the latest DVD crazes, our readers have been through the mill. Take a look at some of these tough girls below.
@TreeStand_Wife: Insanity! I loved it.
Now you tell us: What’s the toughest workout or race you’ve completed?
More from FITNESS: The Best Extreme Sports to Try