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Face of FITNESS Winner Spotlight: Caroline Seymour

Written on November 29, 2011 at 3:31 pm , by

Our November/December cover girl makes sleep a priority. (Photo by Amy Postle)

You’ve seen her gracing our November/ December cover and hosting our Facebook page last month, now get to know our inspiring Face of FITNESS winner, Caroline, a bit better! This fit inspiration kicked off her healthy habits early, playing soccer, softball, basketball, dancing and running track as a youngster.

Caroline Seymour, Atlanta

This has been a busy year for Caroline, who graduated an MBA program, got engaged and moved to a new city. Luckily, the 26-year-old’s exercise habits keep her sane: “My favorite way to clear my head is to hit the golf course,” she says.

My gym-free routine “Mixing up outdoor activities, like swimming and tennis, with Jillian Michaels workout DVDs inspires me to sweat five days a week.”

Nightly stress buster “I sleep at least eight hours a night. I make a to-do list for the next day before I hit the sheets so I can doze off with a clear head.”

Go-to snack “I make smoothies for an afternoon energy boost by blending 3/4 cup Trop50 orange juice, 1/2 cup V8 Diet Splash Berry Blend, a banana, 1/2 cup frozen fruit and a handful of ice.”

In case you missed any of the four finalists and their top tips, find them all here:

  • Lauren Lopez, a multitasking military mom with a sweet tooth
  • Melanie Millan, a gluten-free boot camp lover with Bieber fever
  • Jordan Fish, a dancing queen with a taste for country
  • Maria Pontillo, a personal trainer and physical therapist who loves her Sundays

The Perks of Being a Morning Exerciser

Written on August 3, 2011 at 12:10 pm , by

Rise and run! (Photo courtesy of A.Green/Corbis)

After recently moving in with my boyfriend at the beginning of the summer, I quickly realized that a lot of my routines needed to change. I couldn’t hog the remote to watch Real Housewives of New York, things like waxing, bleaching and any other hair removal techniques were to be done strictly behind closed doors, and my after work runs would need to be adjusted if I ever wanted to actually spend time with my new roomie.

So I embarked on the task of becoming a morning person. Truthfully, I’ve always wanted to be one of those perky people who bounced into work with their cup of coffee and have already checked off their 3-mile run on their to-do list. In reality however, the transition was not as smooth. There were a lot of cranky mornings, nightly complaints of how tired I was (where my boyfriend probably wished I was out running instead of sprawled out on the couch), and 3 p.m. slumps that no Starbucks Venti coffee could rescue me from. Read more

Fit Links: The Most Searched Health Topics and 20-Minute Workouts

Written on July 22, 2011 at 6:16 pm , by

Note to self: Check with my doc for the most accurate health info. (Photo by Alexa Miller)

This week’s fit links from around the web:

How Filthy is Your Pillow?

Written on June 30, 2011 at 12:50 pm , by

They sure look nice and welcoming, but do you know what's inside? (Photo courtesy of Flickr user Joelk75)

They sure look nice, but do you know what's inside? (Photo courtesy of Flickr user Joelk75)

Bed bugs seem to be getting all of the attention lately. There may be more stealth organisms hanging out where you hit the hay, SleepBetter.org has found in a new study appropriately named “Fungus Among Us.”

SleepBetter tested pillows owned by more than 1,000 college students across the country, and they found that the average pillow has 350,000 potential live bacteria colonies and nearly 100,000 potential live yeast and mold colonies. Eek!

Some other fast pillow facts:

  • Of those tested, men’s average nearly twice as much bacteria as women’s
  • Not surprisingly, pillows that were three to five years or older had many more microbes than those less than one year old
  • More than 40 percent of those surveyed admit to never washing their pillows Did you know you should do this twice a year? Here are instructions!

The SleepBetter team asked me if I would like to submit a pillow for testing as well, so that I could compare my (very unwelcome) bedmates with those already uncovered in the test. I was a little leery at first to learn the truth. But I had to admit that after hearing how common the microbes are, I might just sleep better knowing what was really hiding under the pillowcase.

I’ll share the good news first: My pillow was relatively clean on the yeast and mold front. The not-so-good news? It was about average when compared to other pillows tested for bacteria. One strain in particular they were able to detect was a generally harmless microbe (that can, in very rare cases, cause pulmonary issues) often found in water, dust and soil. The perfect nudge I need to make sure I schedule time for evening showers—and also invest in new pillows every 18 to 24 months!

For complete results of the study, click here.

Image via

Now tell us: Are you vigilant about keeping your bedding tidy?

Fit Links: Better Burgers and Music To Go Gaga For

Written on May 27, 2011 at 4:17 pm , by

Photo by Joseph Deleo

This week’s fit links from around the web:

Test Your Knowledge: Fitness Fact or Fiction

Written on May 24, 2011 at 9:43 am , by

How much weight should you use for bangin' biceps? (Photo by Alexa Miller)

How much weight should you use for bangin' biceps? (Photo by Alexa Miller)

In the new book Which Comes First, Cardio or Weights?, Alex Hutchinson, Ph.D. tackles dozens of health hot topics, from vitamins to VO2 max. You’ll find research-based answers to the most common questions related to gear, strength, competition, managing your waistline and more. Talk about a comprehensive resource!

Test your wellness IQ with five true or false questions straight from Which Comes First…

  1. Fact or Fiction: You will perform at your best if you include plenty of dietary fat in your pre-workout meal.
  2. Fact or Fiction: It doesn’t matter what I think about while training.
  3. Fact or Fiction: Exercising when illness symptoms are “above the neck” won’t harm your body.
  4. Fact or Fiction: When women want to build muscle, they should focus on completing a large number of reps with a light weight.
  5. Fact or Fiction: Getting plenty of shuteye will help your speed and reaction time.

Click below for the answers.

Read more

Don’t Forget to Spring Forward!

Written on March 11, 2011 at 6:00 pm , by

Wake up!

Photo courtesy of Flickr user alancleaver_2000.

The not-so-welcome news for some of us: Clocks “spring forward” this Sunday—meaning that we lose an hour of our already limited sleep. But we at FITNESS consider this well worth it, since what we lose in sleep we gain in extra post-workday sun time. That means more opportunities for outdoor evening exercise!

Here are a few fun sleep-related tools that may not help you snooze more, but do guarantee to make the switch a bit more bearable or fun:

For soothing…The White Noise app will play your favorite soothing sounds (wind, showers, ocean) as well as some options that strike us as not-so-calming (vacuum, violent noise or train). And it will play for as long as you like, because, appropriately, there are multiple sleep timers.  ($1.99, iTunes Store)

For laughs…The mattress company Sealy recently released a new app that harkens back to the popular junior high fortune cookie joke. Simply snap a photo you’re your smart phone or iPod touch and place a “in bed” caption after whatever you like. (Free, iTunes store)

When all else fails…Perhaps you could find someone who actually sells the Sleep Safe Tape, so that when you do finally nod off, others will think you’re as alert as ever. (Of course, we don’t really endorse this kind of trickery, but it sure is a creative idea!)

Do you look forward to setting your clocks ahead or struggle with the switch?

More from FITNESS: 5 Steps to a Good Night’s Sleep

Categories: Health, The Fit Stop | Tags: , ,
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Sleep-Deprived? 3 Ways You Can Get More ZZZs

Written on March 9, 2011 at 4:10 pm , by

Photo by Nick Cardillicchio

Photo by Nick Cardillicchio

Yawn…Are you already on your fourth cup of coffee or trying your best not to fall asleep at your desk today? Chances are, you’re part of the 1/3 of Americans who don’t get enough sleep at night. Since this week is National Sleep Awareness Week we’re sharing easy ways you can  relax and snooze soundly.

Do you have a bedtime ritual to help you get a good night’s rest? Share it in the comments below!

Categories: Health | Tags:

7 Common Workout Dreams–Decoded!

Written on March 2, 2011 at 9:00 am , by

She might be winning Olympic gold, right now...

Shhhh. She's working out her issues.

Have you ever had a dream about your morning workout? Or maybe you dreamt you were back in middle school gym class? Regardless of what your slumber was about, there could be some helpful symbolism behind it. We asked DreamMoods.com, an awesome site with tons of dream info, for their help deciphering some of your most common fitness-related dreams.

1. Jumping Jacks
To dream of jumping jacks signifies your need for more balance in your life. Try to maintain order while you pursue your goals.

2. Sit Ups
Doing sit ups in your dreams suggests that you need to pay better attention to something…whether it’s a relationship, work, or project. Alternatively, doing sit ups could also indicate that you need to show more pride and confidence in your abilities. (MORE: Check out our Top 10 Ab Exercises!)

3. Lifting Weights
This dream is a simple metaphor. You’re flexing your muscles—you want others to know that you’re in charge.

4. Running
If you dream that you’re jogging, it suggests that you’re not looking for change—you’re just pacing yourself. But dreaming of being in a race is a little more complicated…it could symbolize that you’re comparing yourself to others, that you need to slow down, or that you’re feeling particularly empowered and mentally “rehearsing” for success.

5. Swimming
Water always has tons of symbolism behind it and often has to do with your emotions and unconscious mind. If you dream you’re swimming, it could be that you’re seeking emotional support—this is a common dream for people going through therapy. If you’re underwater while swimming, then it suggests that you’re completely submerged in your own feelings. Take note: You need so badly to deal with your emotions that your unconscious self is forcing you to do it while you sleep!

6. Pull Ups
To dream of doing pull ups symbolizes a situation in which you must—or will—rise above. It could be a difficult challenge you’re facing or it could be that you need to move on from the past and look toward the future. (MORE: Get sculpted arms with this workout from The Biggest Loser trainer Bob Harper!)

7. Pushups
Simply put, dreaming of pushups could mean that you need to be more assertive and take initiative.

Have you had a recent fitness-related dream, but don’t see it above? Check out dreammoods.com to see their complete dictionary of terms.