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Broadway Beats to Boost Your Mood and Workout

Written on September 5, 2013 at 11:23 am , by

Ever wish your life were a musical? Like, who wouldn’t want to break out into song after defying gravity in your weight training and every other daily razzle dazzle (maybe a little ditty about food, glorious food? I know that comes to mind every time I dig into a big bowl of gruel—er, oatmeal). OK, maybe it’s just me…

It’s no surprise, though, that research has found music to evoke nostalgia and induce happiness. What better a happy place than Broadway and the memories that go along with it? Just think about last time you cozied into the plush seats, the excitement that builds when the orchestra’s overture starts and the curtain begins to rise. Don’t even get me started on the costumes and intricate set designs. (Squeal!) For all of you theater buffs, a show tunes soundtrack can bring you back to those moments—not to mention power you through a grueling sweat sesh. Toe-tappin’ beats with lyrics weaving together themes of strength, passion and individuality will bring a smile to your face and put a pep in your step—I mean, who wouldn’t want to get moving after reminiscing the incredible choreography from “Newsies,” “Footloose” and the like. That’s why we put together a playbill playlist of some of our favorites in honor of Broadway Week. So go ahead, pop in those earbuds and in the great words of “Funny Girl,” no one can “bring around a cloud to rain on [your] parade.”

Now you tell us: What’s your favorite Broadway musical?

Boost Your Running Mix with Slacker

Written on July 31, 2013 at 10:22 am , by

I’m in the early weeks of training for the ING NYC Marathon in November, but my go-to playlist is already getting a little stale during those long weekend runs. Enter Slacker, a music service you can listen to and personalize on any device. The free subscription allows you to create and listen to stations ranging anywhere from Top 40 tunes to DJ-customized ones that are updated weekly. Slacker also has two subscription levels for even more music. The first allows you to have unlimited skips and the ability to download radio stations for $3.99/month. For $9.99/month you can create your own playlists, listen to full albums (aka never have to buy music again) and–my favorite part–download your own playlist or one that’s already made right to your device. You mean I never have to scroll through my music library and piece together a playlist again? Sold.

To sign up for Slacker visit www.slacker.com. Looking for a playlist boost of your own? Below, Slacker’s in-house music guru DJ Parker shares her favorite new songs that are perfect to work up a sweat to.

Brett Hoebel From ‘The Biggest Loser’ Now Teaching at Flywheel – And We Got His First Playlist!

Written on June 7, 2013 at 2:05 pm , by

Ever dream about hanging with a celebrity trainer every week while you get your sweat on? Now you can – just head to Flywheel Sports and look for Brett Hoebel on the schedule (you watched – in awe, we’re sure – his capoeira skills on season 11 of The Biggest Loser). He’ll be teaching at their Los Angeles studios, and making guest appearances in New York City. We scored seats in his debut ride at Flywheel’s Flatiron studio, and couldn’t stop raving about his crazy beats on our walk back to the office. But you know we’re not the type of girls to keep those tunes all to ourselves, so of course we nabbed the playlist before we left. Now get on a bike, blast each song and prepare for a serious dose of sweat.

Sheryl Crow Teams Up To Feed America + Chats About Her Upcoming Album

Written on May 24, 2013 at 9:08 am , by

Buy a vitamin, feed a friend. (Photo courtesy of Bayer One A Day Women’s)

You’ve heard her name for years, listened to her hit songs and likely watched her as a mentor on season 4 of The Voice. But when she’s not in the public eye, Sheryl Crow is volunteering at local food banks to help the 50 million Americans trying to make ends meet. For the second year, Crow teamed up with Feeding America and One A Day’s Nutrition Mission to fight hunger. We caught up with the busy star to find out how she eats healthy herself (while feeding her kids!) and how you can score a trip to NYC to hang with the music star.

You’ve teamed up again with One A Day for the Nutrition Mission. What keeps you coming back?

I just think it’s such a good program and the last I heard, there are nearly 50 million people in America challenged by food insecurity. With this mission, everyone gets meals three times a day. It seems like the work is never done, and this is just a great, easy way to be a part of helping your community. You just buy a multivatimin, which many people already take, and two meals are donated with each purchase. And if you have a story about volunteering at a local food bank, you can share it at nutritionmission.com for the chance to win a grant for your area, plus a trip to NYC to come hang out with me.

So do you have any fave spots in NYC you might take the winner to then?

When my kids are with me we almost always go to the Museum of Natural History. And Central Park, of course.

So how else can people get involved with the Nutrition Mission?

I think that volunteering at a local food bank is always helpful and very eye-opening. It leaves its mark when you see the kinds of people that come in. It’s not necessarily just homeless people. Oftentimes it’s a mom who has three or four kids, and she works but just can’t make ends meet. One of the problems that we see with food insecurity is that people don’t talk about it; they’re embarrassed. One day I went to school with my little boy, who’s in Pre-K, and we had to go do a morning program. By 9am I was like, “Where’s the snack?” These kids who are affected by food insecurity walk in and haven’t had a good morning meal and by 9 or 10 they really need something. And out of the 50 million people who are affected, 16 million are kids. It’s a problem we can all help with.

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5 Ways “Empire Girl” Adrienne Bailon Stays Fashionably Fit

Written on September 7, 2012 at 8:41 am , by

Bailon's gym uniform often includes capri leggings and brightly-colored accessories. (Photo by Tim Hiatt/Getty Images)

Actress and singer Adrienne Bailon is known for her former role on The Cheetah Girls, for being a founding member of the music group 3LW (remember “Playas Gon’ Play“?) and today for her reality show Empire Girls. Now, in addition to her series that “focuses on friendship and following your dreams rather than fighting,” according to Bailon, she is recording a solo album, working on an upcoming film and is in talks to expand into the fashion world.

Bailon recently teamed up with Lady Foot Locker to celebrate their Fashionably Fit “refresh.” The campaign aims to make stores brighter, cheerier and filled with bolder clothing and different music. We spoke with Bailon before an event in Chicago to find out her top five tips to look stylish while sweating.

  1. Invest in quality clothing. “You feel better when you look better while exercising. I get inspired to go to the gym if I feel good in my workout clothes.”
  2. Save time with multitasking wardrobe items. “My go-to outfit is capri pants with a bright top and Nike sneakers. The gym can really feel like a fashion show with the vibrant colors on the racks now! What I love most is that if I make smart fashion choices, I can throw on a hoodie and meet my girls for brunch right after.”
  3. Aim to be your best you.“My goal is to have the body of my dreams by age 30, but that’s strong and toned, not skinny.”
  4. Make the most of today. “I get up at 5 a.m. to hit the treadmill and don’t stop working toward my goals—in all areas of life—until I hit the pillow. There are so many things I want to accomplish and I don’t want to have any regrets!”
  5. Find a role model. “If I could join any other celebrity in the gym, it would be Beyonce. She’s extremely focused, so I know I would try hard to keep up with her. I wouldn’t be messing around with Instagram, that’s for sure! Even when I’m working out solo, her music motivates me.”

Now tell us: What is your favorite fitness outfit?

How to Stay Forever Young Like Madonna

Written on March 27, 2012 at 9:32 am , by

Flexibility is key, Winhoffer says. (Photo courtesy of Nicole Winhoffer)

When you see Madonna on a talk show this week promoting her new album MDNA (out today!) or during one of the stops on her world tour, which kicks off on May 29, you’ll be checking out moves choreographed by former Broadway dancer Nicole Winhoffer. She appeared in shows like Wicked and 42nd Street, among others, before joining the Material Girl for her Sticky and Sweet Tour in 2009. Winhoffer, who is also a personal trainer, now works in the gym with Madonna six days a week to ensure that she’s ready for her grueling performances.

We caught up with Winhoffer to take a peek behind the scenes and to learn more about how everyone can train just like the amazing 53-year-old pop star!

If our readers could steal one trick from your work with Madonna, what would that be?

Body awareness. One must engage their mind while performing their exercises. Time and time again, I see people reading papers or watching TV while they work out. This might bring about injury and if the mind is not connected to the body, you can’t exert the proper amounts of energy needed to gain the desired results.

You were in Indianapolis to help Madonna prepare for the Super Bowl and are now gearing up to go on tour with her. How do you prepare for each performance?

Right before the show, we warm-up in her dressing room. We complete active hamstring stretch sequences as well as other stretches, ensure joint mobility by performing jumps on the ground and on trampolines and do ab work. As a result, her body is connected, warm and ready for the performance.

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A Special Valentine’s Playlist

Written on February 14, 2012 at 2:38 pm , by

These songs are another way to treat yourself today! (Photo by Doug Hetherington)

Happy Valentine’s Day! Today is filled with love and joy, and what’s better than showing yourself a little of the good stuff? Fitting in a workout on a holiday is tough, so we’ve got the tunes to get you in the festive spirit while torching those unwanted calories. Download these upbeat tracks today, courtesy of SoulCycle instructor Danny Kopel, and be prepared to immerse yourself in a full-blown love-fest.

Want more SoulCycle? Don’t forget about their SoulSingles ride on Thursday!

Now tell us: What’s your favorite love song?

Healthy Monday Tips Help Your Resolutions Stick All Year

Written on January 23, 2012 at 12:04 pm , by

Another tip: Park at the back of the mall lot to sneak in more steps. (Photo by Joseph Montezinos)

We’re about three full weeks in to the new year—how are your healthy living resolutions going? The folks behind the Meatless Monday campaign, which aim to brand Mondays as healthy in a variety of ways, are determined to keep you health-focused and on track with your resolutions long past January.

Recent research has found that most people view Monday as a fresh start and often vow, on that day, to start a diet, join a gym or put out the cigarettes for good. Plus starting early is a kick in the pants to make healthier choices all week!

So at the start of each week, you can get a new Healthy Monday motivation tip that focuses on a different aspect of health, from tricks to add more variety to your diet to how to create a mood-boosting music playlist.

Find out more about Healthy Monday on their Facebook page or follow them on Twitter @healthymonday to build on your wellness-minded habits and make each week healthier than the last.

FITNESS editors are constantly updating our Pinterest page with ideas and inspiration too! Check out our 2012 Fitness Resolutions and Goals board to find out how to achieve anything from learning to surf to getting more comfortable in the kitchen.

Now tell us: How are you doing on your resolutions? Have they become a habit?

Music Monday: Sweating It Out a la Madonna

Written on October 10, 2011 at 10:21 am , by

Even the front desk was tricked out to pay tribute to Madonna. (Photo courtesy of SoulCycle)

Have you ever gone to a workout not really in the mood to sweat, but knowing it’s something you need to cross off your to-do list? That’s how I felt Tuesday when I headed to SoulCycle for my weekly spin session. I was excited because it was a themed ride, which are always fun, but after a less-than-stellar weekend, my head wasn’t in the game.

That all changed the moment I walked through the doors of the Union Square studio in New York City. The front desk was decorated with photos of Madonna and the staff was dressed in cute tanks that splashed her name across the front, long pearl necklaces and fingerless black gloves that instantly made me think of the star’s style. The first of many smiles spread across my face and I knew I was in for a wild ride.

MB taught this themed ride and boy, does she know how to get a crowd pumped up! We walked over to our bikes, only to realize we were all gifted with the same tank the staffers were wearing. Score! I instantly changed to channel my inner Material Girl.

A DJ was set up in the corner to keep our tunes flowing, one Madonna chart-topper playing after the next. MB took us through a killer workout, constantly varying between first, second and third positions, tap backs, hills and upper body strength work with light dumbbells. Sweat was dripping down my forearms and my tank was soaked halfway through the class, but the music and energy kept us all going strong!

In the end, we had a little dance party to just embrace the classic tunes of the marvelous musical icon. Everyone expressed themselves (pun intended) in their own unique way and left feeling empowered and invigorated. Not bad when I thought I was going to get a mediocre workout, huh? I should have known better. I never get a mediocre workout when I’m at SoulCycle.

For your Music Monday playlist filled with tunes from the Madonna ride,  Read more

Music Monday: Soundtrack From SoulCycle’s Britney Spears Ride!

Written on August 15, 2011 at 1:06 pm , by

Clare, our instructor, giving us her very best Britney impersonation. (The class was actually quite a show!)

Clare, our instructor, giving her best Britney impersonation—the class was quite a show! (Photo courtesy of SoulCycle)

If you grew up in the ’90s (or even just lived through them!), then I bet you’re just as in love with Ms. Britney’s tunes as we are. Every song she belts out is like an ode to working out hard and sweating it all out. That’s why when my favorite studio hosted a Britney Spears-only class, I was first in line to saddle up on that bike.

Here’s the awesome playlist from SoulCycle instructor Clare Walsh, who’s also an actor and singer in New York City. The fast-paced beats and fun hooks kept us pedaling through the intense class!

Now tell us: If you could pick one artist’s music to help power you through a workout, which would it be?