This week’s fit links from around the web:
- Need a guilt-free treat? Try these four healthy ways to enjoy strawberries this summer. – FitSugar
- Don’t let the heat get in the way of exercise. Greatist has stay-cool tips for your summer workout. – Greatist
- Do you get cranky when it’s hot? Science explains why. – MSNBC
- Eat well wherever you go. Here’s your healthy eating plan for summer travel. – BlissTree
- Double amputee Oscar Pistorius was told he’d never stand or play sports. This summer, he’s racing in the Olympics. – L.A. Times Sports
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?
Here at FITNESS, we aim to encourage women of all ages to reach for their goals, which is why we’re happy to share with you the exhilarating video below. For the 40th anniversary of Title IX , Nike has released “Voices,” a new film with the personal stories of four amazing athletes who’ve broken barriers to become the best at their sport: Joan Benoit Samuelson, Lisa Leslie, Marlen Esparza and Diana Taurasi. In the film, these female pros talk about the challenges they faced and what it takes to succeed. It shows young girls voicing these athletes’ stories, hoping to inspire a new generation of go-getters and medal winners.
Watch the video below to see a preview of the film and see the full feature on the Nike Women Facebook page on June 23, on ABC Family on June 23 and on ESPN on June 26.
It’s safe to say by now that we have full-fledged Olympic fever. With just over one month until the lighting of the torch, teams are being fielded and the final training push begins! To hold us over until the official competitions begin, we have been speaking with competitors and checking out their covetable uniforms. We also recently watched a super-inspiring film, Warrior Champions, about wounded Iraq veterans chasing their dreams of competing the 2008 Paralympic Games in Beijing.
Melissa Stockwell, one of the film’s amazing stars, tells a fellow injured vet, “I’ve done more in life than with one leg than I would have done with two.” Talk about motivation to get off the couch and track down your own fitness goals!
Check out the trailer below and click here to find out when the full movie airs on Documentary Channel in your area.
Now tell us: Which athletes or events motivate you to get moving?
Just 40 years ago, girls were often sitting on the sidelines while boys had fun on the athletic playing fields. Before the landmark Title IX legislation was passed in 1972, 30,000 women (or one in 27) participated in high school sports. Today, that number is more like 3,000,000 (or one in 2.5)! Another fun fact: The 2012 Olympic Games will be the first in which male and female events will be held in equal numbers.
So this summer, leading up to the official 40th anniversary of the law on June 23, here are three ways we’re celebrating the fittest females we know.
- Relive all of the greatest women’s sports moments and superstars with espnW‘s Power of IX. They are counting down the Top 40 Female Athletes of the Past 40 Years, revealing a new selection each weekday. Click on over to see a video and details about each winner as they are counted down.
- While you’re at espnW, add your photo to the mosaic of female athletes! You’ll join the ranks of pros from Billie Jean King to Serena Williams as well as “everyday” women who love to golf, play frisbee and swim. Simply upload your image and explain why “Title IX is mine.”
- To take the Title IX celebrations to the gym, we’re wearing adorable tops by the aptly named company Title Nine. Their Power of 9 line includes eight tees which will be rolled out throughout the summer. As an added bonus, nine percent of sales will benefit Starting Block, a non-profit that helps girls across the U.S. get involved with sports. Our favorite designs so far: Champion Girl (seen above) and Determination.
Now tell us: What does Title IX mean to you and how has the women’s sports landscape changed since you started playing?
Five years ago, Dimity McDowell and Sarah Bowen Shea immersed themselves in running while training for the Nike Women’s Marathon together. While they had support from one another, they realized that there weren’t many resources to help working moms balance race training with life.
“There is a huge community of women just like us: women who get up before the sun rises, lace up and head out,” McDowell says. “We wanted to write a book that spoke to those women—our tribe—that addressed the various reasons why we run.” And that is how Run Like a Mother: How to Get Moving—and Not Lose Your Family, Job or Sanity was born. The pair’s new book, Train Like a Mother, hits stores today and “fills in the gaps.” You’ll find motivation tips, “motherly advice,” funny anecdotes and nine busy-woman-friendly training plans for races from 5Ks to marathons.
We laughed, nodded in agreement and dog-eared countless pages while reading Train Like a Mother, but nothing stood out quite like the running bucket list. It’s like a fitness game full of fun challenges that you can start today! Here are a few bucket list items from the authors to get you started—check out the book for more or brainstorm your own ideas that will inspire you to “run this mother!”
- Get a non-running friend to drink the Kool-Aid, then guide her through her first race. (Bonus points for letting her cross the finish line in front of you.)
- Plan a vacation around a race.
- Register for a race the day before, just because you feel like it.
- Wear a shirt with your name on the front in a race so spectators can cheer for you.
- Be on a relay team, either for a marathon, triathlon or longer 12-person relay race.
- Use the phrase “track workout” casually in conversation.
- Write down all the thoughts you have after a great run or race, then refer to them when your mojo goes MIA.
Now tell us: What is on your running or fitness bucket list?
When Tao Bo master and creator, Billy Blanks, stopped by the FITNESS offices a few months ago he created quite a stir! Women were popping out of their offices and cubicles to get a sneak peak of the man himself, as Billy and I tried out moves from his hit new workout, PT 24/7 in our conference room. Not only was Billy super-fun to hang with, but we have a shared passion for martial arts, and anybody with a butt-kicking background will always be on the top of my list. (I spent 10 years practicing Shotokan karate growing up!) After our February Express Workout shoot, I sat down with Billy for a little one-on-one.
Why did you decide to create the PT 24/7 DVDs?
I wanted a 30-minute workout with strength and cardio combined. People complain they don’t have time for both, so we put them together. The plan includes a rotation calendar for when to do the workouts and an eating plan too. We called it 24/7 because within 24 hours you’ll feel the difference and within seven days, your body starts to change.
For someone who is unfamiliar, how would you describe them and how they are different from other DVDs?
Tae Bo as a whole is a basic workout that will help you recognize your true self, change your body and your attitude. PT 24/7 will teach you how to put together a physical fitness program and make healthy living a lifestyle, not just something you do for 60 or 90 days. It builds you up mentally and physically.
Do you have any tips for readers trying this Express workout?
Pick out basic moves first. I really recommend the gloves that come with the PT 24/7 kit because they help you feel like a fighter and give you confidence. The gloves that come with the system, with bands attached, are easy to pick up. It’s really interactive with the bands. The moves in this workout and the DVDs will test and challenge you, but you’ll quit if you’re not engaged.
What do you do to exercise when you have just 15 minutes?
I take the gloves with bands and do punches. I use them for push-ups (with bands looped behind your back, hands in triangle position), military press, squats and lunges. You can really do everything with them and combine moves together, like a military press with a side lunge. Your core gets involved when you work multiple muscles.
Written by Lauren Cardarelli, editorial intern
Keeping a balance between realistic action scenes with “the Hollywood of it all” was one of the obstacles technical adviser and mixed martial arts (MMA) trainer legend, Greg Jackson, had to overcome in the new movie, Warrior. The film, which stars Tom Hardy (who you may recognize from Inception), shares an inspiring story about two brothers fighting for their family.
Jackson grew up in a family of wrestlers and has developed 10 world champions. He was responsible for ensuring the authenticity of the MMA aspects in the film, which was released on DVD last month. Besides the jabs and takedowns in the cage, Jackson found it important to convey the culture (specifically the coach-fighter bond) of the MMA world. “We’re real people and we have normal lives. We’re not these extreme and crazy, as we’re sometimes portrayed,” Jackson said.
Here are five tips from Jackson to train like the stars.
- Shop around. Go online and find a reputable school in your area that provides kickboxing, jiu-jitsu and wrestling classes. Make sure it is an atmosphere that you feel comfortable in before committing.
- Exercise smarter. Explosive training and the work-to-rest ratio is the key to success.
- Keep an eye on your plate. “One word: diet.” According to Jackson, you can exercise all day long but if you really want to lose weight, it’s all about what you put into your body.
- Allow for recovery. Greg refuels with protein like MusclePharm Re-Con. A tall glass of chocolate milk is another great alternative!
- Find a “why.” “Inspiration is our most precious commodity,” Jackson says. “Everyone has their own muse.” Find what moves you and don’t give up.
Now tell us: Which movies or characters inspire you to get active?
First there was The View, then The Chew and now ABC’s starting The Revolution, the network’s latest talk show which is actually not all talk but more so action. We got the skinny from one of the show’s hosts, celebrity trainer Harley Pasternak, when he showed up at the video shoot of his Express Workout routine coming in the March issue of FITNESS.
“Small changes can make a big change in your life,” says Pasternak, who trains big-name beauties like Katy Perry and Lady Gaga. That’s the message of The Revolution which premieres this Monday, January 16 at 2 p.m. and each week features another woman’s five-month journey as Pasternak and a dream team of pros give her life a 360-degree upgrade. Think Extreme Makeover’s Ty Pennington remodeling your kitchen and Project Runway tastemaker Tim Gunn acting as your personal stylist. (They’ll be joined by top health, wellness and money experts to leave no rut unturned.)
“We make over her home, her fashion and her body. And unlike other shows, we do it while they’re still living their day-to-day lives,” says Pasternak, who packed his gym bag to travel around the country making house calls. Each day’s episode represents one month of one lucky gal’s transformation with Friday being the big reveal.
All along the way, viewers at home get DIY how-tos for achieving their own aha moments. “The goal is to inspire others with the lessons we share,” Pasternak says.
Written by Theresa K. Brady, editorial intern
Starting to feel the “winter doldrums” setting in? Many days, it’s way too comfy to stay tucked under the covers to lace up your shoes exercise outside—or even to scurry from the car into the gym! So we asked avid runners and stars of the Discovery series Flying Wild Alaska, Ariel Tweto and her mom Ferno, how they stay motivated to run 365 days a year. They should know: Both women have run through snowstorms, crazy winds and other outrageous weather patterns in Alaska!
Read on for their tricks to keep energized and active no matter how low the temperature goes.
- Consistency is key. These two have been running, at least a little bit, every day for over 15 years! “For us, it’s something we have to do,”Ariel says. The women run anywhere from three to 15 miles no matter the weather. “Stormy days are the most fun,” Ferno adds. She and Ariel have run through snow, 40 mile per hour winds and have even been chased by moose!
- Dress for the weather. “We never leave without a face mask and gloves,” Ariel says, adding that layers are the best way to stay warm and insulated. They start with a basic T-shirt, then add a fleece and some kind of windbreaker. Ariel explains that “polyester fleece” material covering her mouth helps to make breathing easier. “Don’t use a cheap neckwarmer,” she says.
- Treat it as an adventure. “No way!” is what both women immediately said when asked if they would ever run on a treadmill. “Running is the best way to explore a city,” Ariel says. The pair runs throughout cities like Boston, Minneapolis and New York to familiarize themselves with their surroundings. And Ferno thinks that running in her home state of Alaska is a “magical thing.”
- Do it for yourself. “Everyone knows when I haven’t run,” Ferno says. According to Ariel, not running puts her mom in a bad mood. The minutes alone with her thoughts are crucial after she’s spent the day surrounded by others. “It’s her relaxation time,” says Ariel. Ariel can relate: “I’m the most boring person if I haven’t run.” Don’t love jogging as much as the Twetos? For a different activity that’s perfect this season, try cross-country skiing, the pair recommends. (Skiing bonus: A 140-pound woman burns 256 calories in just 30 minutes!)
More from FITNESS: Find answers to all of your burning cold-weather workout questions here.
Now tell us: What keeps you motivated to keep moving all winter long?