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outdoor workouts

Get Out and Get Fit with Rails-to-Trails

Written on April 8, 2014 at 9:34 am , by

Written by Jordan Clifford, editorial intern

Spring has finally sprung! Well, sort of. It’s still a little chilly, but the sun is out and we’re definitely ready to blaze some trails. With hiking (and allergy, unfortunately) season just around the corner, Claritin is teaming up with non-profit Rails-to-Trails to raise funds for those of us looking for more outdoor areas to get—and stay—fit.

Never heard of Rails-to-Trails Conservancy? Let me fill you in: basically, they turn abandoned railways into multiuse public paths—like the famous Highline in New York City or the 238-mile-long Katy Trail in Missouri. “Our mission is to try and retrofit communities to get people to lead active lifestyles,” says Keith Laughlin, president of Rails-to-Trails. When the organization launched in 1989, there was less than 250 miles of rail-trails, but today they span nearly 21,000 miles across the U.S. The ultimate aim is to have 90 percent of Americans live within three miles of a trail, Laughlin explains. With 700,000 miles of extensions and new trails currently in the pipeline, they’re well on their way, and it’s a goal we can totally get behind.

One celeb supporting the initiative? About a Boy star Minnie Driver. “I love the idea of communities recycling their unused rail lines,” she says. “If you’re living in proximity to [a rail-trail], that’s a wonderful part of your community to utilize as a way of staying healthy and getting healthier.” And as the face of Claritin’s new “Be a Claritin Trailblazer” campaign, Driver announced the company’s $50,000 donation to the conservancy last Thursday and launched a social media campaign to raise an additional $10,000.

Want to join in and help the cause? Visit Claritin’s Facebook page and for every like, comment or share between now and June 1st, they’ll donate an additional dollar (up to $10,000). Check out Minnie’s video and let us know where you’d like to see more rail-trails pop up.

Photo of New York City’s Highline courtesy of ©Iwan Baan

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The Savvy Girl’s Secret to Staying in Shape This Summer (Hint: It’s Free!)

Written on July 25, 2013 at 11:12 am , by


Free workouts? We’re in. (Photo courtesy of Merrell)

Written by Emily Mitamura, editorial intern

The price tag of staying fit got you down? You’re not alone. We all know that you have to get a little creative with your workout repertoire if you want to save some cash.  That being said, Merrell and Life Time Fitness have decided to make things a little easier…on our schedules and cute summer clutches.

For the very reasonable price of $0.00 (translation: free), these fitness giants are rewarding you for your commitment to staying healthy and happy outside the gym. Classes are offered at over 100 Life Time locations across the country through the end of August, with workouts focusing on using your body to get the physique you’ve always wanted. Led by Life Time Fitness’ certified personal trainers thrice-weekly, you and your friends can kick your summer exercise routines back into high gear without paying a dime (have we mentioned that already?). To find participating locations near you and register for a class, visit their website. It’s time to lace up your sneaks, dab on some sunscreen and have sweaty fun in the sun.

More from FITNESS:

Get Motivated: The Benefits of Outdoor Exercise

10 Exercises to Turn the Outdoors into a Gym

Play Away the Pounds: Work Out in the Park!

“Protect the Places We Play” with Clif Bar

Written on September 17, 2012 at 9:21 am , by

Does this motivate you to get outdoors? (Photo courtesy of CLif Bar)

By Deanna Cioppa, editorial intern

There’s a lot to love about the great outdoors – the fresh air, gorgeous scenery, and the chance to connect with something bigger than us.  Nature gives us a lot, and the more vulnerable our environment becomes, the more we need to give back. For the second year, CLIF® Bar is providing a way to do that.

The 2012 CLIF Bar Meet the Moment campaign is a unique way to share what you love about the outdoors while helping to protect it. At MeetheMoment.com, visitors can upload photos and descriptions of their favorite outdoor memories – whether it was a particular obstacle you overcame, a family adventure, or just a moment of Zen. Every time you post a moment, select from one of five charities to which CLIF Bar will donate $5 – up to $100,000 total.

That’s not all. Share or “Like” a moment on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ or Pinterest, and the company donates an additional $1. CLIF will choose the top moment from a list of the 25 most shared/liked by October 31, and an additional donation of $10,000 will be made in the winner’s name to the charity he or she chooses. The grand prize winner will also be treated to a year’s supply of CLIF Bars!

This year, the non-profits to benefit include the Access Fund, which focuses on conservation of climbing lands; the International Mountain Biking Association; Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics, an outdoor ethics advocate; the Surfrider Foundation, dedicated to protecting oceans; and the Winter Wildlands Alliance, which works to protect “winter ecosystems” and encourage outdoor winter activities.

To date, the 2012 CLIF Bar Meet the Moment campaign has raised $14,601. There’s a long way to go until October 31, so start sharing your favorite moments and help protect the lands we love.

Explore the National Parks for Free on Saturday!

Written on June 6, 2012 at 12:10 pm , by

Take a break to soak up the amazing views! (Photo courtesy of Grand Canyon NPS)

Here’s advice you don’t often hear from us at FITNESS: skip the gym. That’s right, we’re giving you permission to erase your name from the treadmill list or take a day off from your exercise class because this Saturday is National Get Outdoors Day!

As part of Let’s Move Outside, included in First Lady Michelle Obama’s health intiative, Saturday, June 9 has been designated as a day to promote healthy activities in the great outdoors. One of our favorite nature-filled ways to stay fit? Hiking! Not only will the average 140-pound woman burn 384 calories on the trails, but she’ll also tone her lower body and will be able to take in some breathtaking views and fresh air.

For Get Outdoors Day, you can try hiking out yourself and explore your national parks for free this Saturday (learn more about fee-free day here). Before you go, download the Happy Trails guide—which is also free—to find 25 can’t-miss hikes across the country. Maybe you can check one off your list this weekend!

If you enjoy yourself and want to support these beautiful parks, click here to find out how to do so. And for more about hiking, don’t miss our July/August issue, which hits newsstands on June 26!

Now tell us: What are your favorite ways to exercise outside?

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Why You Should Take a Recess—Regardless of Your Age!

Written on April 12, 2012 at 11:56 am , by

Do you hear the recess bell ringing? Take notice: It’s not just for the kids! Sportswear company KEEN is on a mission to encourage companies to jump on the break bandwagon. Why? Because it just makes sense (and cents)!

(Photo courtesy of KEEN)

Check out these facts:

  • 62% of employees who don’t take regular breaks
  • 40% increase in premature death risk for those who commonly experience bouts of prolonged sitting
  • Each 2 hour increase in work time sitting has been linked to a 5% increase in obesity and a 7% increase in Type 2 diabetes
  • More than 1/10 of American healthcare costs can be attributed to inactivity
  • 44% of adults would participate in recess, if offered at their workplace (count all of us in!)
  • Employers get about $2 back for every $1 spent implementing a paid recess break program

Source: Methodology for the Recess Revolution Toolkit, research performed by UCLA School of Public Health

That’s why KEEN has declared that “Recess is Back.” They want employers across the country to offer 10-minute breaks for workers to step outside, breathe fresh air and simply play. Research has proven that these paid recess breaks increase productivity and morale and decrease absenteeism and medical costs. If you forget what to do during recess, check out some of their awesome activity ideas on the very Pin-able recess.keenfootwear.com!

Now tell us: What would your ideal workday recess include?

We Tried It: Camp David Outdoor Boot Camp Class

Written on July 19, 2011 at 12:08 pm , by

TK and Lauren push it to the limit.

Push it to the limit.

Written by Theresa K. Brady, editorial intern

After one day at Camp David, you’re sure to LookBetterNaked —the mantra of DavidBartonGym. The free (yes, free!) boot camp class offered by the gym is designed to burn fat and build muscle through intense cardio drills, agility training and core strengthening moves. But this class is for you, even if you’re not a gym junkie—it’s entirely outdoors! Last Tuesday, I made my way to the gym’s Uptown location in New York City to experience the Camp David for myself.

Wasting no time, trainer Carlos Frias started the class with a brisk jog to the Great Lawn in Central Park. He led our group of 12 to a small picnic area where we completed sets of lunges and cardio drills. Although the drills were simple like running in place and jumping jacks, we all were dripping sweat! After finishing loads of squats, it was time to work our upper bodies.

Theresa (left) and Lauren share sweaty smiles with boot camp instructor Frias.

Theresa (left) and fellow intern Lauren share sweaty smiles with boot camp instructor Frias.

Using picnic tables, we performed multiple reps of push-ups and triceps dips. (Frias made sure to help each person individually with this section to prevent any injuries.) We ended the class with a light jog, some stretching and a short walk back to the gym.

The best part? All the positive reinforcement! Frias is all about making his recruits feel great about the hard work they put into the class. “There you go” and “that’s right” seem to be his personal mantras.

Camp David is great for people of all ages and fitness levels. The best part? You don’t have to be a member of the gym to attend. Camp David classes are offered at the DavidBartonGym New York City Uptown, Miami and Seattle locations until September 1. Find out more at DavidBartonGym.com!

Fitness Guru Jake Steinfeld Teams up with Coca-Cola to Make Parks Healthier

Written on July 6, 2011 at 9:44 am , by

Bear Head Lake State Park in Minnesota

Bear Head Lake State Park in Minnesota (Image courtesy of Coca Cola)

Written by Alexa Cortese, Web Intern

When the weather cooperates, there’s nothing like going to the park for an outdoor workout . Last week, The National Park Foundation and Coca-Cola launched “America Is Your Park” to make getting fit outdoors even easier. The campaign, which is taking place for the second year in a row, will award a $100,000 recreation grant to a local park that receives the most votes at LivePositively.com

We spoke with fitness guru Jake “Body by Jake” Steinfeld about his involvement in the campaign and L. Celeste Bottorff, Vice President, Living Well, Coca-Cola North America, to find out how you can get involved in this fun project.

How did you first get involved in the “America is Your Park” campaign?

Jake Steinfeld: I have been in the fitness business for 30 years and I’ve been urging folks to get outside and be active and have fun!  So when I learned about “America Is Your Park,” I knew I wanted to be involved. “America Is Your Park” is giving people the opportunity to give their favorite park a facelift and continue to be a “go to” place for families to get outdoors and play.  I’m thrilled to be part of such a great initiative.

How do you think parks can help Americans to have a better quality of life?

JS: Parks offer us endless opportunities to be active, whether it’s throwing a Frisbee with your kids, biking, kayaking, jogging, or just playing a game of touch football with your buddies.  The recreation grant that Coke is giving will help restore and rebuild parks by funding new equipment, building new activity areas and more.  This program helps ensure that parks continue to be a place everyone will want to play and be active.

What kinds of activities do you hope to see people integrating into their lives as a result of the campaign?

JS: I’m hoping the awareness raised through America Is Your Park will remind people that parks are not only a place to be active, but a great source of fun.  People can make simple steps to enjoy the outdoors, like park their car farther and walk more, take their kids in the backyard instead of watching TV, go for family bike rides.  Or if people are looking for more adventure, there are great parks in almost every town or city that can provide opportunities for kayaking, rock-climbing or trail running. You just need to get out there and find out what works best for you and your family.

What are some of your favorite outdoor activities, and what advice do you have for people who want to become more active?

JS: I really like playing basketball, and love getting outdoors with my family.  Most mornings I go kayaking with my kids, and we go on bike rides all the time.  And soon we are heading to Nantucket for a family vacation and I know we will be outdoors a lot!

My advice to people who want to become more active outdoors is to find activities you truly enjoy and are passionate about – and do them with friends and family who’ll keep you motivated.  If you love running, join a running club or start running with a buddy; if you and your family love the water, try a weekly kayaking outing at the park.  The more enjoyable it is, the more likely you are to stick with it.

Last year’s winner of America Is Your Park was Bear Head Lake State Park in Minnesota.  What has that park done with the money, and how has it improved since winning?

Celeste Bottorff: The grant is being used on long overdue improvement projects including building a warming hut to ensure safety and comfort for winter sports enthusiasts all season long.

What kinds of activities do you believe parks should provide to give people opportunities to lead healthy lifestyles while having fun at the same time?

CB: What we at Coca-Cola love so much about our nation’s parks is that the activity opportunities are endless.  People of all ages, families, couples and individuals can all use parks to create their own active fun.  It’s organizations like The National Park Foundation, America’s State Parks, and National Recreation and Park Association that ensure we have what we need to do these activities – jungle gyms, sand boxes, baseball diamonds, soccer fields, walking trails, etc. Our aim with America Is Your Park is to help restore and rebuild these outdoor spaces for everyone to enjoy during a time where funding is declining.

Tell us: Do you have a favorite park? (Make sure to vote for it at LivePositively.com! Voting ends September 6, 2011.) How do you get fit outdoors?