Written on October 28, 2013 at 10:59 am , by Lauren Cardarelli
Nelly was one of the first rappers I listened to. Although I consider myself more of a country girl (um, his collab with Florida Georgia Line in this summer’s smash hit “Cruise (Remix)” was the soundtrack to my windows-down car rides…), back in my early teens my friends and I would “Ride Wit” him en route to field hockey games, sporting Band-Aids on our cheeks and all—just like he did. Yes, it was a trend that lasted a few weeks in my preppy shoreline town. Don’t ask.
I’ve followed Nelly’s career ever since, and when his seventh album, M.O., was released last month, I couldn’t pop it into my running playlist fast enough. “There’s a bunch of good workout songs on it,” Nelly told me when we recently chatted. “From top to bottom, I think you’ll find there’s a lot of great music on there to do your thing.” He called me “sweetheart” at the end of our conversation, I might add, but I digress.
Featuring Nicki Minaj, Pharrell, Nelly Fertado, T.I. and others, Nelly’s newest pace-pushing beats are sure to get your rear in gear as you take your runs indoors. And if you’re anything like Nelly, maybe that athlete mentality will translate into your career. “The competitiveness, the will not to quit and basically being in attack mode definitely helped me,” he says, explaining that the new album’s title not only stands for his home state of Missouri, but also “Method of Operation.”
So what is the workaholic’s method of staying in shape? I mean, don’t mess with those biceps! “The majority of the men in my family are super duper skinny, so the hardest part is putting the weight on,” he admits. “If I’m working, I probably get to the gym three times a week. I’m not going as heavy, just trying to maintain.” And when it comes to cardio, you won’t find the singer on the treadmill, but on the court. “I think basketball is the best cardio in the world, especially with all of the movements—the stops, jumps, the agility part of it and just the constant running.”
When I asked the former vegetarian about his diet, Nelly couldn’t emphasize enough the importance of watching what you eat. To keep his pumped-up physique, the artist tries to take in a lot of protein and loves turkey burgers. “When I started filming The Longest Yard—they wanted me to play a running back—I started eating chicken and turkey again because I only had two months to get as big as possible.” Another staple in Nelly’s daily eats? Oatmeal. “I eat a whole lot of oatmeal with cinnamon. I’ll chop up some bananas and put some raisins in it.” Whoa, Nelly! We’re impressed!
In honor of his new album, here’s a Nelly-fied playlist (a nice mix of old and new) to “Shake Ya Tailfeather” to. Sporting a Band-Aid? Optional, but strongly encouraged.
Written on October 23, 2013 at 10:24 am , by FITNESS Intern
Written by Alena Hall, editorial intern
I’m quite the traditionalist when it comes to practicing yoga—all I need is my mat, my body and a soft-speaking instructor guiding me through postures in an otherwise quiet room. However, Flow Play, a new yoga class from Equinox that matches each yoga posture with musical soundtracks from around the world, helped me experience the mind-body connection of yoga in an entirely new way.
Co-created by Equinox instructor Derek Beres and three-time Grammy nominated musician Philip Steir, Flow Play is designed for yogis of all levels—especially those looking for a new style of practice. The class takes recent psychological research about the deep connection between listening to music and the body’s physical movement and brings it to life. Each song selected for particular postures helps students focus more purposefully on their pose and elicit a certain physiological response. Indian sitar music, for example, is proven to lower cortisol levels and inspire a state of relaxation, so the DJ plays these tunes during shavasana and other restful poses. Heavy beats, on the other hand, increase the heart rate and inhibit the body’s pain receptors, helping you push through the more difficult components of a workout (think sprinting to the finish line or lifting your maximum weight). So the DJ matches these more intense sounds with more challenging poses like the Vinyasa flow series or warrior postures.
No two classes are the same, because each instructor creates original series of postures and the DJs adjust their playlists accordingly. Flow Play debuted in select clubs in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago and Dallas earlier this month, and Equinox will continue expanding the class schedules through early 2014. They offer a Vinyasa class focused on energetic and athletic movements as well as a therapeutic Restore class that opens the joints with deep stretching and full breathing techniques. Are you ready to give this musically inspired yoga class a try?
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Written on July 19, 2013 at 11:04 am , by Lauren Cardarelli
Jennie Garth is the definition of a supermom: She’s a mother of three and manages to juggle her career as an actress and director with family time. And don’t think a swamped schedule ever stands in this gal’s way of a good sweat—it’s obviously not a problem! The 40-year-old, notoriously known for her role as Kelly Taylor on Beverly Hills, 90210 and Melrose Place, has been flaunting a slim bod this summer and (holy teeny bikini) she’s never looked better. Sneaking in jogs and maintaining a healthy cuisine regime is key, Jennie told us this week when we chatted about her new passion project, Eye Saw Good. Read on to find out how you can donate and help kids’ eye care without ever whipping out your checkbook—plus Jennie’s must-do move for those six-pack abs!
What inspired you to connect with Alcon and Eye Saw Good?
I have three girls. Two of them are in glasses already and one of them wants glasses! It was startling to me to find out that one in four kids in America need vision correction and they don’t have access to it. So this is an opportunity for me to bring awareness to a campaign called Eye Saw Good. It’s a really interactive, fun way for everybody out there to get involved and feel good about something that they’re doing: Just take photos of something you consider to be good and positive and share them on Twitter with #eyesawgood. The hashtag triggers a donation to Kids Vision for Life, an organization that provides kids in need with glasses, eye care and exams. It’s a cool, sort of artistic, way for people to be a part of something. They just have to share their pictures; they don’t have to share their money!
Staying fit as a busy, working mom must be tough. How do you make time to keep up with fitness and a balanced diet?
It’s definitely challenging—I’ve been traveling so much lately. I do what I can wherever I am. I love running outside or just fast walking. All you need are sneakers! That’s how I do it—just mindful eating and continuing to stay active.
OK, spill. What’s your bikini body secret? Your abs are fab!
I like this ab move: Hold something behind your head (we suggest a weight, ball or your buddy’s ankles) and lift your legs up and down, like a straight pike. Just keep your abs tight the whole time! My other favorite is a handstand. Against a tree, a wall, or a person. It comes from yoga—I used to do yoga but haven’t been lately because I just can’t commit to a class schedule. It is one of my favorite yoga moves because it’s an arm wonder, too.
You rocked Dancing with the Stars a few seasons back. Do you still dance?
I don’t! I recently danced at a wedding and it was clear that I lost all my moves. I need a dancing partner; that’s my problem. Those are hard to find.
Best pump-up song on your workout playlist?
Lately I’ve been listening to a lot of Macklemore, and Dubstep is something that keeps me going. It’s funny to think that I’m running up the canyon listening to Dubstep!
What’s a healthy dish you whip up for a family dinner?
I’ve converted my kids to brown rice now, which I think is a great start if they’re going to eat a complex carb or starch. We drink a lot of coconut water at our house, and for oils, we love light olive or coconut oil.
Want to get involved with Jennie’s project? Do good with what you see. Simply “donate” a dollar by uploading your picture on Instagram or Twitter with #eyesawgood and help make a difference in children’s vision services, provided by Alcon’s The EyeSolution program and the Kids Vision for Life charity. Curious about what else Jennie has in the works? Be on the lookout for a forthcoming book and television show!
Written on June 7, 2013 at 2:05 pm , by Samantha Shelton
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.
Written on June 5, 2013 at 10:46 am , by FITNESS Intern
Written by Chloe Metzger, editorial intern
From cardio to cool-down, a good music playlist can work like magic on your motivation (we’ve pushed out more than a few extra reps to JT’s new album!). And today, in honor of National Running Day, Olympian marathoner Kara Goucher has teamed up with the Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon Series to share her top tracks that keep her running strong and speedy.
We took a listen and can guarantee you’ll want to get moving once the first track begins (at least, that’s what happened to us). Lucky for you, Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon is offering a whopping discount – $20 off any of their races in the country, so you can put your pumped-up motivation to good use (Assistant Web Editor Samantha Shelton is tackling Philadelphia and Vegas later this year – join her?). Visit Rock ‘n’ Roll today to sign up for a run, and check out Kara’s ultimate playlist below. We’ll be here, celebrating the day Goucher-style.
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Written on March 25, 2013 at 10:02 am , by Samantha Shelton
Today marks the launch of a new season on The Voice, with newbie judges Shakira and Usher heating up the oversized spinning seats. Veterans (and major #bromance boys) Adam Levine and Blake Shelton return to the show better than ever – Shelton releases his latest album, Based On A True Story, tomorrow, with tons of tunes destined to be summer hits. Meanwhile, Levine is touring the world and making ladies swoon with the rest of his Maroon 5 bandmates. And as someone who has seen the Overexposed tour live (with @FITNESSkarla, no less!), I can definitely say the tunes are hot, hot, hot!
Try these tunes during your next workout and don’t be surprised if you find yourself wondering about your own future singing career – these artists always make us want to try!*
*For the sake of everyone’s ears, we’ll stick to singing in the shower and car.
Now you tell us: Will you watch season 4 of The Voice? Which judge is your fave?
Written on December 31, 2012 at 9:44 am , by Samantha Shelton
Here at FITNESS, we like to play music. A lot. It’s not uncommon to see editors working away at their desks with headphones plugged in, jamming to the latest beats. And every Monday, you know you’ll find a new playlist on The Fit Stop.
So for the last Monday in 2012, let’s have a final jam session to launch us into the new year on a high note. With a little help from our friends at Yahoo!, we present to you the most-searched songs of the year - we gotta admit, you guys have great taste.
Now you tell us: What was your favorite song of the year?
Written on December 24, 2012 at 9:28 am , by Marianne Magno
We’re wishing our lovely readers a happy, healthy holiday season. We hope you’re spending time with the ones you love and enjoying good food, good drinks and good company.
To add extra cheer as you get ready for your celebrations, we’re taking a cue from DailyBurn.com trainer Keaira LaShae and moving along to the holiday hits. “Dancing is the best way to stay fit while taking the time to celebrate with your family and friends at this time of year,” she says. Hey, dancing along while you tidy up or get dinner ready counts as a workout!
Written on November 5, 2012 at 9:40 am , by Samantha Shelton
We may be adults now (whether we like it or not), but our favorite Disney characters will always hold a special place in our hearts. Whether it was waking up to watch cartoons on Saturday mornings, singing along to The Lion King soundtrack or re-watching Toy Story until we’d memorized every line, our animated childhood friends always gave us an extra boost of excitement, and we’re not ashamed to say they still tug at our heart strings.
I’m headed off to the land where dreams come true this weekend to race my fifth half-marathon, the Disney Wine and Dine through Disney World! To channel that childhood energy, I’ve added these top Disney tunes to my race-day playlist. Download them yourself and enjoy a blast of nostalgia – and maybe a little fairy dust.
Now you tell us: What are some of your favorite Disney songs?
Written on March 19, 2012 at 9:40 am , by Karla Walsh
Just like much of the rest of the country, we are caught up in The Hunger Games hoopla. The books kept us riveted, and they earn bonus points for having so many fitness-related angles. The running! The climbing! The swimming! That’s why we decided to declare this “Hunger Games Week” here on The Fit Stop. We’ll have at least one HG post daily to help you prepare for the big premiere on Friday.
To kick things off, we crafted a #MusicMonday playlist full of songs inspired by the sure-to-be-hit film. Sure, there’s an official soundtrack for the movie, but we’re partial to this eclectic mix of gym-ready tracks that will inspire you to get into tribute shape.
- “Hungry Like the Wolf,” Duran Duran
- “Survivor,” Destiny’s Child
- “The Ruler and the Killer,” Kid Cudi
- “Let the Flames Begin,” Paramore
- “Quit Playing Games (With My Heart),” Backstreet Boys
- “Hungry Heart,” Bruce Springsteen
- “Set Fire to the Rain,” Adele
- “Uprising,” Muse
- “Heartbeat,” The Fray
- “LoveGame,” Lady Gaga
- “Safe & Sound,” Taylor Swift, featuring The Civil Wars
Photo courtesy of Shutterstock
Now tell us: What songs remind you of The Hunger Games?