In the October issue of FITNESS (on newsstands now!), we pooch-tested a slew of running leashes to help you find one that will keep you and your pup happy on a jog together. Our tester, Charlotte, runs with her dog Nala (a mix of Australian Shepherd, Spaniel and Jack Russell) almost every day, running 3 to 4 miles in the summer (depending on the heat) and up to 6 in the winter months! Below, see what Charlotte’s criteria for testing was, and her thoughts on the winning leashes:
1. Length: The right length depends on how big your dog is and how big you are. I’m 5’2, so a long leash would be overwhelming for me, as I don’t want my dog that far in front of me. If the leash is too short, there’s not enough clearance for the dog to have her gait and for me to have mine. We’re going to clash and trip over each other.
Winner: Ruffwear Flat Out leash
Size-wise this was just right. If I had a bigger dog, I would have to tie some knots in it so I could have better control, but Nala is only about 30lbs. so the knots weren’t needed. Other than that, this leash is nice and light and perfect for shorter runs.
True, she’s a marathoner, group fitness instructor and personal trainer, but we’re pretty sure any busy mom—or woman in general—will relate to STUFT Mama‘s Kristin. In a recent post, she hilariously used her compression socks as an excuse not to shave her legs (love those time-saving tricks!).
We love her humorous approach to all things fitness, so we asked this speedy mom of twins to share the tips and tools that keep her energized and how she treats herself after all those hard workouts.
My fitness mantra: I have a couple:
- “A journey of 1,000 miles begins with a single step.” I tell my clients that every step towards health counts, even if it’s a small one. We have the opportunity every day to succeed instead of letting fear or insecurity hold us back. Being uncomfortable and going for it is not a bad thing.
- “You can do anything you want, anything you put your heart and your mind into.” —Ronald Miller, Can’t Buy Me Love
My “I Did It” moment: When I finished my very first marathon right after my twins turned one. I always told myself that I wanted to be that person who stayed fit throughout pregnancy and then ran a marathon after having kids. That’s exactly what I did and now racing is a part of who I am. In a way I got to live the dream I always wanted. I have since gotten a Boston qualifying time.
My biggest motivation comes from: Being the best mom I can be to my boys. It’s hard to balance motherhood, career and taking time to exercise and take care of myself, but every day I want to lead by example and show my boys the importance of healthy eating and fitness.
5 things I can’t live without: My BOB double jogging stroller, Mizuno running shoes, egg whites, dark chocolate and espresso.
Most embarrassing song I’ll admit I work out to: I have more than one Kenny Loggins song on my current playlist. “Footloose” is my favorite.
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When was the last time you ran one mile? Just one mile, nothing else. For many, it dates back to high school when you were required to run a timed mile for gym class. But 11 staffers at FITNESS laced up their sneaks last weekend to see how quickly they could pound the pavement in New York City – straight down 5th Avenue, famously known as Museum Mile.
Eight from our editorial staff and three from our advertising team donned black “FITNESS” T-shirts and bright bottoms to step into the gorgeous fall weather Saturday morning for New York Road Runner’s 5th Avenue Mile race. We sprinted the street during the media heat, where we competed against other fun staffers from Runner’s World, Live with Kelly and Michael, and more.
When you’re running only a mile, there’s very little time to develop a strategy. Looking for the mental mindset many of us followed? Follow these tips to run your best mile:
- First 400 meters – Run at 85% effort. You feel tired, but like there’s a little more to give.
- Second 400 meters – Run at 75% effort. Catch your breath and get ready for the second half of the race.
- Third 400 meters – You’re halfway, so it’s time to sprint! Run at 100% effort.
- Last 400 meters – Give it everything you’ve got. Your chest may or may not feel like it’s going to explode, but it’ll be over before you know it.
After glancing at our official finish times, it looks like the strategy paid off! We have some speedsters on staff – four finished in under seven minutes! We had such a blast running this race, and encourage you to set up your own mile-long race in your community. After all, every mile counts!
Now you tell us: When was the last time you raced a mile?
The numbers paint a clear picture: Nearly one in three American kids and teens are overweight or obese, according to Michelle Obama’s health initiative Let’s Move! So it wasn’t surprising when her husband, President Obama, signed a proclamation a few weeks ago that declared September as “Childhood Obesity Awareness Month.”
We have a few too many candles on our birthday cakes to directly impact those statistics, but we can take steps to promote healthy habits to the little ones in our lives (like leading by exercise example and cooking nutritious meals with them). And one new way to help—while fitting in our own workouts—caught our eye. In the case of fighting childhood obesity, yes, there’s an app for that.
“The Saucony Run4Good app allows people to support the cause by earning donations for miles run,”says Chris Lindner, Chief Marketing Officer of Saucony. “The GPS-enabled app tracks your mileage. Each month, when a collective predetermined mileage goal is reached, Saucony will double its current donation to selected youth running programs.”
The free app is part of Saucony’s Run For Good Foundation, which was launched in 2006. To date, the foundation has awarded nearly $1 million to over 100 organizations dedicated to getting kids active through running (these include American Diabetes Association chapters, YMCA locations and United Way groups). Monthly leader boards allow users to “challenge friends and join teams that compete together to accumulate mileage toward the monthly goal,” Lindner says.
So the next time your motivation to lace up your sneakers is flagging, think of the benefits of your workout beyond the calories and stress that’s burned off. Your mileage could add up to awesome active opportunities for some youngsters out there.
More from FITNESS:
- What is Your Weight Destiny?
- Fit For a Cause: Real Women Who Are Changing the World
- Quiz: How Fit is Your Family?
When we think of Florida, we imagine palm trees, sandy beaches and an escape from the hustle and bustle of New York City. If the weather is cool-ish, we’ll toss a jog in for good measure. Mary, a Tampa Bay resident, sees things a bit differently. She details her running adventures on her blog, Food and Fun on the Run, filling us in on the nitty gritty of what it’s like to train in such humid weather, along with the fun food she gets to devour after accomplishing a beastly workout. Nothing screams “balance” to us more!
My favorite way to work out: Definitely running! I started in high school to stay in shape for other sports, and haven’t stopped since! I love the feeling of getting outside and hitting the pavement, with only my current run on my mind. It’s therapeutic for me!
On my fit life list: I want to run all five of the major marathons! I have already completed NYC and Boston, I have Chicago in a few weeks, and then I need to complete London and Berlin! I cannot wait for the day that I have the chance to say I completed all five races!
My biggest indulgence: Chicken fingers and french fries with a side of honey mustard. Yep, it’s that specific! I love this guilty-pleasure meal. A little secret: my husband and I had it the night of our wedding after we left the reception, and it tasted so good! [Editor's note: Be sure to check out our more waistline-friendly chicken fingers. Just as tasty and only 212 calories per serving!]
My fitness mantra: “Attitude is everything.” I truly believe that we all create our lives, good or bad. If you start your fitness journey thinking that you are going to fail, then you have created that for your future. Rather, know that you are going to work incredibly hard to achieve everything you set out to do, and you will accomplish it, little by little. Your attitude is everything – make it amazing!
My motivation comes from: A burning desire deep inside me wanting to beat my times and accomplishments from before. I am very competitive with myself, and constantly strive to make myself a better athlete and overall person. As soon as I reach a goal, I set another one to continuously push myself harder.
After we saw the delicious spread of food she whipped up at a recent bridal shower for another Fit Blogger We Love, we couldn’t help but beg Mary for a tasty dish sending us into the fall season. Check it out below!
If you’ve read the Fit Stop for more than 30 seconds, you know that here at FITNESS, we are quasi-obsessed with all things Dancing with the Stars. So when we heard that Season 13 winner J.R. Martinez would be running the 2012 ING NYC Marathon this year on behalf of Timex, we had to catch up with him. Read on to see how training is going with a newborn, his goal time and how you can train with him in your city!
This is your first marathon, but have you ever done any type of distance race before?
Never! I am definitely outside of my comfort zone here, but I’m so excited. This announcement comes at the perfect time, because 10 years ago I was sworn into the U.S. Army, and now 10 years later, I’m committing to something else. I am especially stoked to be doing this with Timex, because I get to test out the Ironman GPS, which is a big help for me since I’m always traveling for speaking commitments. On the road it’s hard to figure out how far you’re running, but I love that I can track my heart rate, distance and calories no matter where I am. I’m also excited to do this to help raise money for the New York Road Runners Youth Program. I’ll be starting dead last the day of the marathon, and for every person I pass Timex will donate $1 to the organization.
What’s your training been like so far?
I’’m very lucky because I have a running coach who helps me plan out my weeks. Right now I’m running five days a week, with Sundays being my long run days. Every week I up it another mile, so right now I’m at 11 miles. On the other days I mix it up–I’ll do 45-minute slower jogs or 5-10 minutes of jogging followed by five, 60-second sprints with a 1-minute recovery. On top of that I do a lot of planks to strengthen my core as well as strength training for my legs and calves. And I’ve recently discovered the foam roller when stretching, that thing feels so good! Read more
One of the best things about our digital age is how small it makes the world feel. Just a decade or two ago, it may have been tricky to connect with UK resident Dannii of Hungry Healthy Happy (requested by you, her fans, as an individual to feature on a previous Fit Blogger We Love post!). But when we reached out to her just days ago, we heard back within minutes. Awesome news for us, since we could hardly wait to hear how she was able to drop nearly 100 pounds!
Read on for success secrets from this clean eating fan who inspires readers worldwide.
My “I did it” moment: Winning the mental battle that comes along with losing weight. One day everything just “clicked.” I realized that eating didn’t have to be a battle. I didn’t have to deprive myself and I could still enjoy the foods I loved every now and then. Working out didn’t have to be a chore, I just needed to find the workouts that I enjoyed and looked forward to doing. Of course there are still days when I don’t want to get up at 6 a.m. to hit the gym and other days where I want to eat a giant pizza (I’m human), but giving myself permission to sometimes skip a workout and indulge in a pizza was pretty liberating. I have found balance, happiness and health, to me that means that “I did it.”
My favorite fit snack: I am a big snacker—that is something that hasn’t really changed since I have lost 98 pounds—but what I snack on has changed. I definitely have a sweet tooth, so I get creative in the kitchen and create healthy snacks that taste like chocolate cake, but don’t come with all the calories, like these healthy chocolate fudgey brownies. You would never know they were healthy and only 135 calories a slice!
Written by Deanna Cioppa, editorial intern
Whether you run 3 miles a day or 10, runners are one-of-a-kind. Not many other people would think it’s acceptable to cover yourself in BodyGlide or compare blister sizes, but when it comes to the sport, not many topics are off the table. We checked in with our Twitter followers to see when they realized they had joined the club.
@WannaBHeathNut: People take one look at your calves and ask how often you run!
@KarenSmither: You have a knee injury. (Editor’s Note: Feel better!)
@zam8: You have 10 pairs of sneakers!
@MissColochita: You carry running shoes with you in your car.
Now tell us: You know you’re a runner when _____
More from FITNESS Magazine: 8 Tips to Rock Your Next Run
“With all the talk of Paul Ryan and P90X, I feel like we all need to step our fitness up a notch to keep up the with candidates!” says Shannon Bream, Supreme Court reporter for Fox News. The former Miss USA and Miss America competitor, law school grad and self-proclaimed news junkie is walking the walk—her nearly daily fitness habit “is a huge stress reliever.”
We wanted to learn more about what it was like to try to stay in shape on the campaign trail, so we turned the tables and put Bream in the hot seat right before the Republican National Convention that she’s covering in Tampa.
What are you most looking forward to at the upcoming convention?
It’s basically like a big pep rally that the political parties hold every four years. They elicit the best speakers and you are able to see the party faithful gather and get ready for the final election push. I lived in Tampa for years and actually trained for my first marathon there—my husband and I actually ran past the convention center hosting the event hundreds of times. I’m excited to go back and revisit the place where I turned into a runner!
We’ve heard a lot about how Paul Ryan and his P90X routine. How do you stay fit, both at home and on the road?
I run, lift weights and take bootcamp classes. For me, fitness is about feeling a certain way. It’s a huge stress reliever.
There’s not much we love more than a tasty, easy-to-whip-up recipe for any meal of the day. Which is why we love popping over to Clean Eating Chelsey when hunger strikes – we’re always guaranteed to find something as yummy as it is healthy! Pop on over for some inspiration of your own and you might find some fun – we hear there’s a delicious giveaway going on this week.
My favorite way to work out: Running! I’ve had to cut back lately, but running will always be my favorite way to exercise. I have run a few half-marathons, and I hope to continue to compete in races in the future. It’s a great time for me to clear my head and get some “me” time.
On my fit life list: I would love to run a marathon or complete a triathlon some day!
My fave fit snack: Raisins and almonds – I usually eat that combination every day after school (I’m a teacher) to get me through the afternoon until dinner time.
My biggest indulgence: Chocolate – I can’t live without it.
Most embarrassing song I’ll admit I work out to: I’ve got something even better: during my last half-marathon (Disney Half in January 2012), I sang out loud to Justin Bieber’s “Never Say Never.” Apparently that song made me run really fast because I was flying as I was singing it! I figured I would never see those people again or they couldn’t hear me anyway.
Do you have a favorite fit blogger you want us to highlight? Leave a comment below or email email@example.com