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40-Year-Old Olympian Janet Evans Chats About Her Trip to the Trials

Written on June 25, 2012 at 9:56 am , by

Evans with her biggest cheerleaders–her kids! (Photo courtesy of Metamucil)

Evans with her biggest cheerleaders–her kids! (Photo courtesy of Metamucil)

Tomorrow is a big day for U.S. swimmer Janet Evans. The 40-year-old mother of two will come out of retirement after 15 years and try to qualify for the 2012 London Olympic Games. We caught up with Evans before the trials to talk about her training thus far and most importantly, why she’s hopping back up on the starting block again.

Why have you decided to get back in the pool after all these years off from competitive swimming?

I decided to retire after the 1996 Atlanta Olympic Games. At that time I was 24, I had done everything I thought I wanted to do and I was ready for something new. I took time to travel the world, get married, have two beautiful children and enjoy my family. But a few years ago, I realized that I had put swimming on the back burner, and because it is a part of who I am, I wanted to bring it back to do something for myself. My family is everything to me, but I think it’s important for all moms to follow their passions, and I’m lucky enough to have a family that supports me in doing so.

What have you missed the most about competing?

I really missed the team camaraderie, and the passion and the thrill of the competition. It was such a big part of my life and personality when I was growing up, and I enjoyed being around people who shared that similar passion.

Anything you missed the least?

The lack of sleep! It wasn’t bad in my 20s when I could come home after practice and head to bed, but now I want to hang out with my family, make dinner and help the kids with their homework. I love it all and I love being busy, but I am definitely sleepy most of the time!

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#140Wednesdays: What Is Your Proudest Fitness Milestone?

Written on June 20, 2012 at 3:46 pm , by

Some goals are easier to reach with some friendly help! (Photo courtesy Amy Postle)

Written by Lisa Turner, editorial intern

Goals. Everyone’s got one (or three!) and no two are ever the same. Maybe you’ve always wanted to finish a half-marathon or maybe you’re looking to nail fifty push-ups at the gym–and if you happen to catch the eye of your Monday night gym crush, even better! Whatever yours is, there’s nothing like that feeling you get once you’ve reached it. It’s proof of all the hard work you’ve put in, so brag about it a little! This week we checked in with our Twitter followers to see what fitness milestone they’re most proud of. Check out some of their impressive achievements to get a little inspiration for your next goal.

@laura267n: Running a half-marathon, twice!

@theamotinada: Losing 50 pounds by simply introducing myself to a healthy, active lifestyle!

@mntnbnd: I have two moments that are my proudest: Doing 22 pull-ups in the gym (today!) and my first place female finish in a 5K.

@RxBethOntheRun: Finishing the NYC Half-Marathon in March, my first half!

@TreeStand_Wife: I ran and completed my first 5K a couple weeks ago.

@MsRuncredible: Running my first marathon, the Cincinnati @RunFlyingPig in 4:10:25.

@stretchjean: Running a 5K in under 30 minutes.

@mixtapemusings: I ran a half-marathon last year. I won’t take the tag off my shoes as it is a constant motivator.

Now you tell us: What’s your proudest fitness milestone?

More from FITNESS: 9 Steps to Reach Any Goal

Father’s Day Words of Wisdom from Paralympian Casey Tibbs

Written on June 15, 2012 at 12:49 pm , by

Tibbs, chasing the rabbit all the way to the finish line. (Photo courtesy of Kellogg's)

Tibbs, chasing the rabbit all the way to the finish line. (Photo courtesy of Kellogg's)

Here at FITNESS, we’re all about empowering women to embrace their strength and have a kick butt attitude. And while much of that comes from a healthy lifestyle, our foundation was built with the help of our parents. So in celebration of Father’s Day this weekend, we got some advice from father and gold medal Paralympian Casey Tibbs, who is the first active-military member to compete in a Paralympic Games after losing most of his right leg in a motorcycle accident. He’s now gearing up for the London Olympics this summer, but got the chance to tell us what his father and grandfather taught him, and what he hopes to pass on to his kids.

In the spirit of Father’s Day this weekend, what is some advice from your father and grandfather that has helped you in your racing career and life?

Growing up, my grandfather used to always tell me a story of a coyote chasing a jackrabbit. The only thing the coyote could eat to live was the rabbit. So whenever times get tough for me, my grandfather would say, “Never quit chasing the rabbit.” This advice has been a huge inspiration to me throughout my life; it has helped me get through the hardships of my accident and pushed me to become an accomplished Paralympian, naval officer and father.

Now being a father yourself, what are three pieces of advice you want your kids to carry with them?

I always want them to know that no matter what you do in life you should always strive to be the best at it. Second, I want them to always do the right thing, even if it’s hard. Last, I want them to get as much education as they can so they can do what they love.

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#140Wednesdays: What’s Your Summer Workout Song to Keep You Motivated?

Written on June 6, 2012 at 4:18 pm , by

What tune helps you get-up-and-go? (Photo courtesy of Sarah Kehoe)

Written by Lisa Turner, editorial intern

It’s hot, you’re sweaty and you feel like if you run one more step, you just might pass out on the asphalt. But all of a sudden, that song comes up on your iPod that propels you through the rest of your workout. Whether it’s the fast paced beat or the uplifting lyrics, many of us feel empowered by a special song when we’re in the zone. So what song pumps you up the most? We asked our Twitter followers to share their summer workout anthem with us to stay motivated, no matter how hot it’s getting!

 @she_is_geeky: “My Body,” Young the Giant

 @erinmoorman: My workout song is “Sexy and I Know It,” LMFAO.

@renea_shirey: “T.H.E (The Hardest Ever),” will.i.am. I play this the last mile of my runs to finish strong.

@MsHealthyWife: “What Makes You Beautiful,” One Direction. I can’t help but #MOVE when I hear it!

@LiterallyHanna: “Titanium,” @davidguetta. Fire away, Fire awayy!

@happigolovely: “Where Have You Been,” Rihanna. It keeps me amped up!

 @CaressaCrawford: “Call Me, Maybe,” Carly Rae Jensen

 @onebabs1: “Till I Collapse,” Eminem and “Go Get It (Your Blessing),” Mary Mary

Now tell us: What summer song keeps your motivated when you work out?

Smash Star Katharine McPhee’s Go-To Shapers

Written on May 15, 2012 at 11:42 am , by

Katharine McPhee's sexy stems are due to lots of lunges. And dancing, of course! (Photo courtesy Getty Images)

Last night’s Smash finale had viewers on the edge of their seats waiting to see who would finally be crowned Marilyn. Don’t worry if it’s still on your DVR, we’re not giving any spoilers! While we were anxious to see how the performance would play out, Katharine McPhee is already focusing on her next performance in the Big Apple with her partnership with Tide to kick off the Olympic Games. We caught up with the star to hear about the campaign and snag a few fitness tips of hers.

Tell us about the partnership you’re doing with Tide for the Olympics!

To gear up for the Games, Tide is launching a project called My Story. Our Flag. We are asking people to go to the Tide Facebook page to share their personal stories of what the flag means to them. On July 3 I’ll be performing in Bryant Park to unveil a huge artistic rendition of the American flag. The stories that people have shared will be printed on swatches of fabric that will be sewn together to make the flag.

Like the Olympic hopefuls, the road to landing your dream career came with a lot of hard work. What’s one piece of advice you would tell someone with huge goals to help them stay motivated?

I have always loved the Olympics, and I was actually a competitive swimmer in middle school and high school. I remember how grueling the training was then, which is nothing compared to how these athletes train. Being an actress and a singer I understand how important it is to take care of your body. My advice would be to practice persistence and lots of discipline, much like these athletes do.

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Let the Countdown Begin: 100 Days Until the Olympics!

Written on April 18, 2012 at 4:32 pm , by

Nastia Liukin is just one of the many athletes we're looking forward to seeing at the Games. (Photo courtesy of USOC)

It’s time to dust off patriotic paraphernalia! Today marks 100 days until the London 2012 Olympic Games and to celebrate the United States Olympic Committee is kicking off a new campaign to give you a chance to back Team USA. Starting today you can sign up to be the Team Behind the Team through the initiative Raise Our Flag. Relax, it’s easier than you think!

Visit teamusa.org/raiseourflag to buy a stitch of the American flag Team USA will carry with them at the Opening Ceremony of the Games. Each stitch costs $12, and you can buy as many or as few as you want. Dedicate your stitch to a loved one or just to show your support. Your donation will go toward helping cover the costs of preparing American athletes to compete (which is approximately $100,000 for elite athletes alone!), from training facilities to travel, medicine and more.

Check out how the flag is coming along online throughout the donation period (April 18-July 27) and then see the real deal stitched by the Annin Flagmakers of Roseland, NJ–the same company that restored the 9/11 flag carried by Team USA in the Opening Ceremony of the Salt Lake 2002 Olympic Winter Games. Plus, get bragging rights by telling your friends you helped make the USA flag.

Want to get even more pumped up for the Games? Visit teamusa.org/road-to-london-2012 to see 19-featured U.S. Olympic Team Trials and more behind the scenes of the athletes leading up to London.

#140Wednesdays: If You Were Going to the Olympics, What Sport Would You Compete In?

Written on April 18, 2012 at 1:20 pm , by

We'll be watching these ladies bump, set, spike before you know it! (Photo by Marc Serota for the National Volleyball League)

Just a few more months until the 2012 Olympic Games kick off! While we’re anxiously awaiting the Opening Ceremony, athletes are already gearing up to compete with the best of the best all over the world. And though we may not be able to claim a gold medal this year, a girl can still dream! If you were heading to London this summer, what sport would you compete in? Read below to see what our Twitter followers had to say–no previous skills required!

@KerriOlkjer: The marathon! #inmydreams

@PipersRunI would compete in women’s soccer for Canada!

@Lucille_Roberts: Olympic Zumba! (Wishful thinking.)

@Philly_Terrier: Since marathon napping isn’t an event, I’d go archery or boxing. If I had the skill I’d be a gymnast, though.

@kmstoc3: I’d compete in track and field, specifically the triple jump and 100-meter hurdles!

@itssmilenaa13: Beach volleyball!

@sandiegosmom: Fantasy: Gymnastics. Reality: Pin-trading.

More from FITNESS: Exclusive Interview with U.S. Beach Volleyball Pair Jenn Kessy and April Ross!

How U.S. Sailor Paige Railey Is Gearing Up for the Olympic Games

Written on April 13, 2012 at 11:30 am , by

Paige spends an average of eight hours a day training for the summer Games. (Photo courtesy of Sperry Top-Sider)

As one might expect, becoming part of the U.S. Olympic Sailing Team is no easy feat. The squad was picked in nine of 10 events based on combined performance at two selection events in the U.K. and Australia in 2011. But 25-year-old Paige Railey made the cut, and now she and her brother Zach will be the first brother and sister to compete at the same Olympics (though in separate races). We chatted with Railey, who is being sponsored by Sperry Top-Sider to see how she’s getting ready for the Games. (Hint: It involves a lot of eating!)

How did you get your start in sailing?

Our family dentist suggested my mom take Zach (her older brother) to a sailing program at our local club in Florida. Zach fell in love with it from the first day, and when I was little he used to sail my twin sister and I. The thought of being free on the water, controlling a boat on my own and being outside all day just seemed like perfection to me.

Sailing requires serious muscle strength. How do you stay in shape?

My family has always been very active. We were never allowed to stay inside and play video games or watch TV when we were younger. My brother, sister and I would go for three-mile runs just for fun. Zach was 9 and my sister and I were 6! I began training to sail when I was ten years old. I did a lot of abs, push-ups and cardio. Once I was 15 I started weight training. My favorite exercises are deadlifts, cleans (the first part of a clean and jerk), stability ball work, biking and Jacob’s ladder work. Google it if you’ve never heard of it–it’s really hard!

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#140Wednesdays: What Machine Intimidates You the Most at the Gym?

Written on April 4, 2012 at 11:21 am , by

Move over boys, it's time to share the weights! (Photo courtesy Jay Sullivan)

The gym can be a bit overwhelming. Between rush hours, grunting men and too many options, it can take a bit to get into the swing of things. While it’s always good to switch up your routine and try something different, everyone has one machine they just can’t seem to master. Read below to see what our Twitter followers admit to skipping below.

@cherielianne: The whole thing! That’s why I lost my 80 pounds in the happiness of my own home gym! (Editor’s note: You can skip the gym too with these tips to make your own at-home gym.)

@MsPumpnRun: I used to say the StepMill, but after some quality time we are great friends now!

@runjamiereilly: The pull-up bar! I want to do an unassisted pull-up, or two or three even!

@AubreyTweets: Probably the odd folding weighted ab crunch machines, and I’m a trainer! I mean really, how do you fold like that?

@Colette111: The chin-up machine! I’m female and not hugely strong (yet) and it’s always swarming with big muscly men. #intimidating

@kelceyz: The StairMaster. I can only last about five minutes on that thing!

Want to step up and try something new? This guide will help you make the most of the gym machines without embarrassing yourself.

Now tell us: What machine intimidates you at the gym?

Fit Blogger We Love: The Wannabe Athlete

Written on March 8, 2012 at 3:18 pm , by

Callie rocked the Disney Princess Half-Marathon in February. Doesn't she make a pretty Belle?

Have you ever read a blog and felt like you were never going to reach the same levels of healthy living superstardom? (We know we have!) While those blogs give us a great, powerful dose of inspiration, sometimes it’s nice to remember that not everyone needs to be a hardcore elite athlete. In those moments, we head over to The Wannabe Athlete to catch up with Callie. Her fun-loving, “always aspiring to do better” attitude keeps us looking forward to her next post, and her adorable baby leaves us feeling all mushy gushy inside. Read on to find out what she can’t live without and how she finds the motivation to just. keep. pushing. through the tough stuff.

My favorite way to work out: Lately, it’s running. I never thought I would be someone who said that! But ever since having my first baby last summer, I’ve realized it’s the easiest thing to work into my crazy schedule. I’ve also gone through phases of loving Tae Bo (anyone else?), triathlons, a kickboxing class and yoga.

My “I Did It” moment: Crossing the finish line at my first half-marathon just eight months after having a baby. I saw the finish line come in to view and just kept saying (out loud), “Oh my gosh, oh my gosh, oh my gosh.” I couldn’t believe I had done it!

5 things I can’t live without:

  1. My family, obviously.
  2. An Internet connection—I am a blogger after all!
  3. Peanut butter. My husband can’t stand the smell of it, but I just can’t live without it. Hardly a day goes by that I don’t eat at least one thing with peanut butter on it!
  4. Sunshine. I crave it! I’m the type of girl who likes to have all of the windows open with the sun streaming in as brightly as possible. I get that from my mom. I also could never live in a place where I can’t wear flip flops for at least 11 months of the year. I’m a Floridian, through and through.
  5. My faith. It’s absolutely vital to my existence.

My fave fit snack: Chobani! My husband actually told me to put this as one of the five things I can’t live without. He might be right.

On my fit life list: Running a marathon. (Gulp!)

My motivation comes from: I want to set a good example of a healthy lifestyle for my son. But I have to admit, being able to fit back into my pre-pregnancy jeans has been a pretty motivating goal as well!

Do you have a favorite fit blogger you want us to highlight? Email blog@fitnessmagazine.com