We all have different motivations behind our fitness goals. Regardless of what they are, we’re happy to have you join us in getting fit and strong. Which is why we were touched after seeing Dick’s Sporting Goods’ “Every Runner Has a Reason” campaign. Each week for 13 weeks, Dick’s is sharing a runner’s story about why they’re lacing up and getting on the road. This week’s video is about Sally, who was encouraged by her friend Lisa to start running to help cope with her husband’s death from melanoma. She’s gone from barely running a mile to completing marathons. Watch it below and head over to DicksSportingGoods.com in the next 12 weeks for more moving stories.
(You might want to have tissues handy for this.)
Now tell us: Why do you run?
Written by Carrie Stevens, editorial intern
In case you haven’t heard of professional tennis player Vika Azarenka, we’ll catch you up to speed: She’s won two Australian Open singles titles (2012 and 2013) and two mixed doubles Grand Slam titles (2007 US Open with Max Mirnyi and 2008 French Open with Bob Bryan), plus an Olympic bronze medal for singles and gold for mixed doubles (with Mirnyi) at the London Games. Impressive for a 23-year-old, right? Before the BNP Paribas Showdown against Serena Williams at Madison Square Garden (Williams won the exhibition match 6-4, 6-3), we chatted with Azarenka about how fell in love with the sport, what she enjoyed about the 2012 Olympic Games and how she keeps her workouts fun.
When did you first pick up a racket?
I started to play tennis when I was seven years old. I was very close to my mom, and she worked at a tennis center. I couldn’t go anywhere without her, so after school, I would come back and walk around with her. She didn’t get a chance to work, so she had to distract me somehow. She gave me a tennis racket and a ball, so I started hitting it against the wall, and it was fun. One of the coaches saw me and asked if I wanted to join the group with the other kids. I was scared at the beginning, but once I started I was so happy. I really found a love for the game as a kid.
As they say, the rest is history! Aside from winning your medals at the London Games, what was your favorite part about the Olympics?
The whole journey. It was very tennis-oriented because we played far away from the other sports, so I didn’t get a chance to visit anything else. It was an amazing experience. The transformation from Wimbledon to the Olympics was completely different. Playing in singles and mixed doubles was incredible. Read more
Olympic gymnast McKayla Maroney might have been less than impressed with her vault silver medal at the 2012 Olympic Games, but her attitude these days is straight gold. I got the chance to chat with Maroney as she helped launch TEN, a line of 10 calorie sodas from the Dr. Pepper Snapple Group on the lessons she learned in London, recovering from injury and what she thinks about teammate Aly Raisman’s Dancing with the Stars announcement.
I love that the tagline for the TEN campaign is “McKayla is finally impressed.” Are you so sick of hearing about and seeing your not impressed face all over the Internet?
I wouldn’t say I am sick of it, but it definitely comes up in every topic with every person I talk to. It’s great that now I can turn it into something positive, and be impressed with TEN. My favorite out of the line is the Sunkist TEN; I have always loved orange soda so now I can enjoy it without all the sugar.
What are some of the lessons you learned from your time in London at the 2012 Summer Olympics?
The first thing I learned was how to deal with the media. I came to the Games and I had no media experience and I didn’t know how to take it all with a grain of salt. All of us on the team had our media issues, Gabby with her hair and then my face – so we had to learn how to let it roll off our backs. At the beginning it was hard, because I was just a gymnast. I was never famous, I was used to being in the gym eight hours a day and I never had anyone judging me because of my face, they were judging me on my gymnastics! Now I handle life way better and I’m actually happy that it happened because nothing hurts my feelings anymore. And since I want to get into acting I have to be ready for a lot more of that kind of attention. Read more
It’s no wonder February is considered the month of love. According to the National Association of Bridal Consultants, it is also officially National Wedding Month–due to the number of couples who start planning for the big day. And with an estimated one million couples who got engaged over the holidays, you might be one of them! If you’re planning a summer wedding, check out this move of the month plan from Stephanie Walker and Sarah Ashenden, personal trainers from Fitness Formula Clubs, located in Chicago. To start, they recommend strength training for 30 minutes twice a week along with 30 minutes of cardio 3-5 days per week. Get started with the first move below and then add on a different exercise each month.
February: Triceps Dip
Since you’ll be standing with your back to all your guests for your ceremony, you want the back of your arms to look sleek and toned. Sit on a weight bench with legs slightly bent, feet flat on floor. Place hands on bench by thighs and press palms into the bench to lift your butt. Slide your butt off edge and bend elbows to drop hips 3 inches from floor. Straighten arms and slide hips back without sitting down. Repeat 8 to 10 times for 3 reps. Read more
The Fiscal Cliff may have come and gone, but according to Gold’s Gym, February 7 is considered to be the “Fitness Cliff”–the day those New Year Resolutions start to go astray and goals slowly start heading toward the back burner.
Gold’s studied check-in patterns at gym locations around the country over a three-year period to establish this cliff. After the initial gym craze around January 1, they noticed a gradual decline in check-ins beginning January 30, with the biggest drop happening on February 7. To help keep you from falling off the edge, Dr. Belisa Vranich, author and clinical psychologist created these five warning signs that your resolutions may be slipping:
- You suddenly find yourself too busy to get to the gym as often as when you first started.
- You’re getting angry that the effort you’re making to work out and eat healthy aren’t equaling the results you’d like to see in the mirror.
- You find yourself less motivated and begin to wonder why you made this goal in the first place.
- You slowly start to ease back into old patterns, trading treadmill time for the TV and in caving into your usual guilty pleasures.
- You start arguing with yourself that you don’t really need to change, convincing yourself that you’ll make a better effort next year.
Do one or more of these points sound like you? Get back on track with these tips from Gold’s Gym Fitness Institute expert and celebrity trainer Mike Ryan: Read more
By now you’ve had the statistics drilled into your head–a third of people who make resolutions will break them by the end of January. Make it a point to not fall into that group this year with the help of Lululemon. Throughout the month they’ll be promoting the campaign #readysetgoal, to help others experience the power of goal setting for themselves. Below, some tips to get started on your to-do list from Chloe Gow-Jarrett, program manager of self-development at Lululemon.
- Set goals in present tense. State them in terms such as I am, I have, I create, I own.
- Be specific with your goals. You’re placing an order to the universe, so make sure to ask for exactly what you want.
- Put a deadline on your goals, this will help spur you into action.
- Don’t be afraid to set goals that are audacious. Failing 50 percent of your goals means you are really challenging yourself.
For more goal-setting help, tune in to Lululemon’s live goal coaching event at livestream.com/lululemon on January 23 at 6pm PST for tips and strategies to reach your mile markers this year. If you’re still not totally into the whole buzz around goals and the New Year, check out this video below of Steph Corker, manager of recruitment, who nailed one very big personal goal last year. And make sure to follow @FitnessMagazine on Twitter, especially any tweets with the hashtag #goalgetter for ideas every day on new goals you can accomplish.
If one of your resolutions is to get moving more, there’s a perfect way for you to kick off 2013 doing just that. Life Time Fitness is kicking off January 1, 2013 with a Commitment Day 5K, hosted in 30 major U.S. cities. The race’s mission is to bring focus to living a healthier lifestyle and beating those scary stats we see year after year– 2 in 3 American are considered obese and because of obesity, our children’s life expectancy is now less than our own.
See if there is a Commitment Day 5K in your city by visiting commitmentday.com. As an extra perk for being so motivated, FITNESS readers will get $5 off registration by using the code CORP0598. Entry is $40 per adult and free for kids 17 and under. Each runner will receive a Commitment Journal to help make healthy living a little easier and more organized this year. If that doesn’t make the first day of resolution season easier, we don’t know what will!
More from FITNESS: Find Other Races in Your Area
September’s Top DVD: Yoga Is: A Transformational Journey
Best for: Someone who wants to go past downward dogs and learn how to best channel your inner calmness through yoga.
Why it’s a star: Normally we give you the top DVD’s to sweat to, but to celebrate National Yoga Month; this flick is our top pick for discovering your true self through yoga. After losing her mother to a battle with cancer, journalist Suzanne Bryant went on a journey to the West to interview prominent yoga teachers and learn about the different practices to help herself and others to find peace with their mind and lives. “Your mind is like a muscle,” Bryant says. “I had been practicing yoga since 1991 and became a teacher in 2000, but it wasn’t until I started a daily practice that I felt that mental shift of being able to control my mind. Now whenever I feel anxious I’m able to close my eyes and instantly calm down. It is a powerful thing.”
Sprinkled in with interviews of yogis from all over the world are a few celebrity appearances. Christy Turlington-Burns, who wrote Living Yoga: Create a Life Practice as well as Russell Simmons share how yoga has changed their lives. “Christy Turlington-Burns is someone who is able to be in both worlds and can channel peace in everyday life, which is incredibly important,” says Bryant. “Not many people knew Russell Simmons practiced yoga, so I thought he would be able to motivate people that are his audience to find a way to use this path to be a better person and contribute to the world. He told me that he used to think his anxiety drove him, but after practicing yoga and quieting his mind he realizes how much more productive he can be.” For anyone going through a tough time or just wanting to learn how to chill out after a stressful day, this film is a front row seat to the best yoga teachers in the world telling you how.
Where to get it: amazon.com, $14.99
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
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!