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Valentine’s Day

Get #FitForLove this Valentine’s Day: Workouts with Your “Sweatie”

Written on February 14, 2014 at 9:06 pm , by

All day on Instagram, we’ve been sharing partner exercises you and your loved one – whether that’s romantic or bestie status – can do together to break a sweat. After all, those who sweat together stay together, and saying, “See ya, I’m off to the gym” is no way to spend your Valentine’s Day. Head there together (the obvious solution) and bust out these exercises from some of our favorite trainers. Then be sure to follow us on Instagram for all the fun, fit updates your heart could ever desire!

Lovers Lunges and Passion Push-Ups: Extreme Weight Loss’ Chris and Heidi Powell

Follow them on Instagram: @realchrispowell, @realheidipowell

The married trainers challenge you to get physical with your partner. With a running clock, do as many rounds of 14 lunges, followed by 14 push-ups, as you can in 9 minutes. A kiss at the bottom of those push-ups is optional, but totally recommended.

Lovers Lunges: Stand facing each other with right hands clasped together. Step back with left leg into a lunge, keeping hands clasped. Drive through your front leg to return to starting position, then switch to clasp left hands and lunge back with right leg.

Passion Push-Ups: The stronger partner (1) should lay on the ground facing up with feet together. The other partner (2) will straddle partner 1′s legs and clasp hands. Partner 2 performs a push-up as partner 1 lowers and presses partner 2 back to starting position.

Couple Planks: 20-Minute Body Trainer Brett Hoebel and FlyBarre Instructor Shay Kostabi

Follow them on Instagram: @bretthoebel, @shaykostabi

Partner 1 starts in plank position, the other on hands and knees perpendicular to first partner. Partner 2 brings one leg up to tailbone area (avoid lower back!), then the other leg, until both are up and extended straight. Hold for 1 minute. For an extra sizzle, partner 2 lifts one leg up (shown).

Ain’t No Mountain (Climbers) High Enough: Barry’s Bootcamp Besties Rebecca Kennedy and Patrick Frost

Follow them on Instagram: @barrysbootcamp, @rksolidnyc, @patrickfrost2

Partner 1 lays on bench with soles of feet on bench, hands behind head, chin neutral. Do a sit-up, reaching hands forward. At the same time, partner 2 holds top of partner 1′s feet and does incline mountain climbers. Repeat for one minute; switch positions. And don’t forget a sweaty smooch at the top of your sit-up!

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Love (and Jewelry) is All You Need on Valentine’s Day

Written on February 14, 2014 at 9:32 am , by

This Valentine’s Day  will be the first one that I’ve spent solo in almost nine years (insert Beyonce’s Single Ladies dance here). Because I have a love-hate relationship with February 14th, I’m not totally bummed about not having plans (a night of rom-coms? Okay by me!), and knowing that there will be no pressure to find the perfect dress to be wined and dined in is a huge sigh of relief. But like most single gals, the thought of not receiving an embarrassingly large bouquet of flowers and a box of chocolate from a crush does sting a little. So instead of waiting for Mr. Right to suddenly appear and shower me with gifts, I’ve decided to take matters into my own hands. Here’s how I’ll be spoiling myself this V-Day, with a little love from some of my favorite jewelry designers. If you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em, ladies!

From top left: CatBird NYC ‘X&O’ rings, Ariel Gordon Jewelry ‘Mini Heart’ studs, Jennifer Zeuner ‘Loved’ necklace, Scosha ‘Arrow’ bracelet, Carrie Hoffman Jewelry ‘Mini Pave T-Bar’ necklace

 More from FITNESS:

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Sweat with Your Sweetie for Valentine’s Day

Written on February 13, 2014 at 9:13 am , by

Reach new heights together this V-Day (photo by Jocelyn Voo).

Let’s be real for a minute, guys: dinner and a movie for Valentine’s Day is not fun. The restaurants are going to be jam-packed, and well, you’ve probably seen all the good movies already. Instead, grab your special someone for one of these hot-and-sweaty adventures (you never know where it may lead after you get back home). And we won’t have any qualms with you digging into that box of chocolates post-workout, either. After all, you earned it!

Ride with Your Crush at Cyc

NYC-ers, if you’re already set on plans for the 14th, head to Cyc Fitness for their 7:30pm “Crush Ride” on February 13th. They’ll be playing cupid for you and your crush with a themed playlist, special Valentine’s treats and a sweaty kissing booth in case you two really hit it off while pumping your legs (and heart). But they can’t do all the work – you’ll need to purchase two bikes, and email rsvpnyc@cycfitness.com with your crush’s name and address. Cyc takes it from there, shooting your hottie an invite and reserving side-by-side bikes. ($25 per class, cyfitness.com)

Reach New Heights at Brooklyn Boulders

Climb to new heights – in the gym and in your relationship – with BKB’s “It Takes Two” bouldering competition. Two teammates are required to enter the February 15th competition, and you’ll each work together to master routes of all levels. So gear up and see how well you two really work together ($20 per person, brooklynboulders.com). But if you’re not quite ready for a competition, sign up for the “Learn the Ropes” course for a special price, and score some sweet gifts both of you can enjoy. ($99, brooklynboulders.com)

Smile While you Sweat with SoulCycle

At all Soul locations, ride on February 14th with your SOULmate for a major party-on-a-bike calorie burn, and document the memory with the SOUL kiss cam. Can’t make it to class that day? For the entire month of February, bring a date to select classes – free! These classes don’t come cheap, giving you reason enough to drag your partner along or muster the guts to finally ask that cutie you’ve been eyeing on a date. (price and schedule varies; soul-cycle.com)

More from FITNESS: 

7 Secrets of Super Sexy Couples

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Pucker Up: Reap the Health Benefits of Kissing on Valentine’s Day

Written on February 10, 2014 at 9:02 am , by

She’s thinking about how healthy she’s getting right now.

Written by Alena Hall, editorial intern

We’re sure you know by now that the biggest date night of the year is swiftly approaching. While some are thrilled to be spending a romantic evening with their beaus and others are boycotting the holiday altogether, we’re concerned about something else entirely: our health. Unfortunately, Valentine’s Day coincides with the peak of cold and flu season, making us wonder if we’ll regret cozying up to that special someone when we wake up the next day with a fever, runny nose, cough or worse – all of the above.

To calm our over-anxious hearts, we reached out to kissing experts William Cane, author of The Art of Kissing, and Sheril Kirshenbaum, author of The Science of Kissing: What Our Lips are Telling Us, to find out if a flirty make-out sesh is worth the risk. Luckily, there’s good news:

It’s safer than shaking hands. “You’re a lot more likely to get sick from shaking hands with people during the day than from the people that you kiss,” says Kirshenbaum. “You’re touching a lot more stuff with your hands than you are with your lips.” So now we have one more reason to stress about work, but at least our love lives are in the clear.

It helps us chill out… and possibly eat less. Kissing makes us less likely to feel stressed by reducing the cortisol levels in the body, says Kirshenbaum. “That’s the bad stress hormone, which is also associated with overeating.” Being in an emotionally healthy relationship plays a key role in maintaining your physical health—and maybe even your waistline if you tend to handle stress with excessive snacking.

It puts us on cloud nine. Both Cane and Kirshenbaum noted how kissing increases our endorphin and serotonin levels, explaining that head rush you feel after a deep kiss or being intimate with someone you love. Cane calls it the afterglow, Kirshenbaum calls it the giddy, walking on air feeling—either way, its presence is undeniable after a really good smooch. These chemicals don’t necessarily boost our immune system, but they make us feel good and less depressed, therefore making us less susceptible to getting sick.

It helps us live longer. Kissing sends another powerful hormone circulating through the body that actually helps keep us alive and well. “Oxytocin is associated with bonding, connection and that sense of attachment you feel in a relationship,” says Kirshenbaum. “These kinds of bonds keep us healthier and less likely to die by any given cause.” Additionally, Cane noted a study that connected greater oxytocin levels with lower blood pressure. Sweet!

It helps us find that deeper connection. It’s not surprising that kissing makes us feel more connected to the people that we love. But according to Kirshenbaum, “it’s the most powerful, intimate way to show someone how you feel, beyond even sex.” Women use kissing subconsciously to identify compatible life partners, she notes. “It’s the ultimate way to get close—I would absolutely be promoting it all times of the year, but especially now.”

Alright, someone hand us the cutest gloss they can find. We’re ready to score some health benefits this holiday.

More from FITNESS:

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Top Chef Star Fabio Viviani Gets Sexy with Quaker Oats

Written on February 15, 2013 at 5:25 pm , by

Viviani cares about your heart. (Photo courtesy of Quaker Oats)

A bowl of oatmeal for breakfast is…sexy? When Fabio Viviani is serving it, we like to think so. Which is why he’s the star of Quaker’s new video in support of the American Heart Association’s Go Red for Women movement. And on the day of love (Valentine’s Day, in case you missed it), we had to get a piece of this Italian’s mind. Here’s his take on breakfast, and what you should be doing to spice up your love life.

Tell me about this steamy video! What made you want to get involved? 

It’s a good cause. If you’ve followed me in the last few years, then you know I’m all about good food and what’s good for you. As a chef, it has to be tasty. And well, let’s be honest, sometimes something that’s good for you is not necessarily delicious. But oatmeal is! So when I was approached by the Go Red for Women movement with Quaker Oats, it was perfect – we’re talking about food, breakfast and ladies – it was a good fit.

Whose idea was it to make it a funny, sexy video? 

The good news is that it’s easy for me to make things steamy because I have an accent! But if I’m going to do a video, it’s got to be funny – food is fun!

Are you a breakfast lover yourself? 

When I came to the United States, I learned to love it. Back in Italy, I didn’t really have it a lot. Now I like oatmeal and I like to make things different. Breakfast is something that can really change a lot about your day. We always talk about making the right choices, and something as easy and small as breakfast being done in the right way is huge.

Other than as a standard bowl for breakfast, how do you use Quaker oats? 

It’s a staple for breakfast, absolutely. But I also use oatmeal powder as a thickening agent instead of using gelatin and other chemical-filled things when I work in the kitchen. I make an oatmeal gelato that is delicious.

Healthy eating is clearly a big part of strong heart health. What strategies do you like to follow? 

You’re talking to an Italian guy, so you’re never going to hear me say drop carbs or meat! A balanced diet is the one that makes you happy while keeping you healthy. Being miserable is not healthy; it’s stressful. So I try to balance my diet with a lot of vegetables and good protein, but it’s OK to have steak once a week or so. Fish, in general, is good too. Maybe avoid tilapia because it’s really fatty, but others are great. And risotto – I love risotto! I’ll eat it any day of the week. I mean that, sometimes I’ve done it. And I’ll cook it in red wine instead of broth.

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Get Fit With Your Special Someone This February

Written on February 14, 2013 at 10:07 am , by

Sweat with your sweetie this February for a truly bonding experience (Photo courtesy of NYSC)

We love a nice box of dark chocolate as much as the next girl, but a date to get all hot and sweaty with loved ones on Valentine’s Day? That’s the real way to make us swoon.  Grab your sweetheart and get ready for four heart-racing routines designed to spike your endorphins before segueing into a cuddle sesh after class.

Tough Love: Bars, Bands & Blindfolds Bootcamp – New York Sports Club

If you’re in New York City, head to the 59th and Park Ave location on Thursday at 5:15pm throughout the month to go through four sweat-dripping circuits that will definitely get your, um, blood pumping. We tested the routine ourselves, and before we knew it, they had us tied up, blindfolded and channeling our inner Fifty Shades of Grey characters for 45 minutes.

If you’re not in NYC, check out their schedule to see if there’s a class near you. The best part? It’s free! So there’s really no excuse to not experience this lusty routine yourself. (free; mysportsclubs.com)

Revolve’s Red Hot Rip Ride

All the single ladies, this one’s for you! Head to Revolve, where they’ll celebrate the hot bod you work hard for. Grab a girlfriend for the 7:30pm class and party on a bike with reckless abandon – no men allowed! ($28 per ride; revolvefitness.com)

Aerial Duo: Valentine’s Workshop with Seanna Sharpe

Always want to try the moves acrobats seem to pull off so effortlessly? Now’s your chance. Sharpe has been teaching people to fly for over seven years, and now she wants to help you and your best friend pull off the crazy bends and twists together. Solo but still want to try? No problem: they have options for singles, too. ($40 individuals, $75/duo; omfactorynyc.com)

Detox Your Valentine’s Day – Brooklyn BodyBurn

Get an exclusive sneak peak of one of  Williamsburg’s newest fitness studios and experience sweat for a cause. There’s no entry fee, but organizers are asking for a $5 charitable donation with all proceeds going to New York Cares. After the warm fuzzies make your skin glisten, enjoy appetizers, desserts and smoothie shots with a side of Prosecco to wash it all down. Jonesing for a gift on V-day? Every attendee walks away with a goodie bag. Sweat and swag? These guys know how to take our breath away. ($5 suggested donation, urbandetoxclub.com)

More from FITNESS: Sweat with Your Sweetie at SoulCycle This Valentine’s Day

Denise Austin’s Secrets to a Fit Relationship

Written on February 13, 2013 at 10:06 am , by

Fitness pro Denise Austin

The story behind how Denise Austin met her future husband, Jeff, couldn’t be more fitting for the workout instructor. The two, who have been married for almost 30 years, met  in 1981 at a fitness studio where Denise was teaching and Jeff, a former professional tennis player, was practicing with his sister, Tracy. The manager introduced the two and they have been together since. (Cute, right?) We asked the world-renowned fitness expert, who just launched a new book, Side Effect: Skinny, how she and her husband stay fit and her tips for a healthy relationship.

You and Jeff both have busy schedules. How do you make time for fitness and quality time together?

We like to mix it up and do different activities together. We play tennis, go on bike rides. We work out together in the morning, before kids would wake up.

How can other couples squeeze fitness in their routines?

It’s so much fun to have your spouse working out with you. Jeff puts together playlists, or our daughter would put together playlists, and we talk about music. Riding bikes is also an easy way to hang out. You become each other’s motivation, like a personal trainer. Pre-plan based on each other’s schedules. My husband is a guinea pig for my workout DVDs. I make sure that my exercises are still good for guys too.

What about when you have different fitness preferences from your husband? Say he’s a runner and you’d rather take classes at the gym.

The simplest thing you can do is stretching at home. Whatever you’re doing, stretching is usually ignored. You can help each other stretch, which can be sexy. Everyone has the same set of muscles to stretch. That’s an easy thing to do at home. Especially if your husband doesn’t exercise, you can encourage him and get him started. I don’t play tennis as well as my husband, but we play together and have fun.

What do you two have planned for Valentine’s Day?

We’re just going to have a nice healthy dinner with red wine. We’ll work out in the morning. It’s also my birthday the day before (Ed’s note: Happy Birthday Denise!), so maybe we’ll mix the two celebrations.

Do you have any fit date ideas? What about ways you can make the dinner and a movie date healthier?

You can go for a walk, even if it’s just around the neighborhood. Play golf, play sports. It can be anything, like playing Frisbee. Jeff and I play ping pong together. We also do plank challenges.

Sweat with Your Sweetie at SoulCycle This Valentine’s Day

Written on February 11, 2013 at 10:55 am , by

We love a good ride at Soul, then relaxing in their comfy clothes post-sweat! (Photo courtesy of SoulCycle)

Looking for a way to work up a sweat with your main squeeze this Valentine’s Day? Have we got a treat for you. SoulCycle, the Spinning studio taking the country by storm, is cranking the heat with tons of themed rides on the day of love. It’s a great way to catch up on the day and bond with your partner – our fitness editor, Jenna, has a regular weekend SoulCycle date with her hubby!

So grab your sweetheart and get ready to register Monday at noon to nab a bike! If you’re single, no worries – you just might find your soulmate on the bike next to you. Getting active is a great way to find someone with interests similar to yours, and if they’re working out, well, they may be a nice piece of eye candy this holiday.

Wondering which ride you want to raise your heart rate in? These studios are offering plenty to get your blood pumping:

  • East 63rd Street, New York, NY: Grab a seat in the 10:30am ride and indulge in complimentary blowouts from Fix Beauty Bar!
  • ROS, SCA, GWICH, New York, NY: Head over after work for the 7:30pm ride and sweat next to your special someone in the couples date night ride.
  • NOHO, New York, NY: Getting over a breakup? This studio has your back in the Achy Breaky Heart ride at 7:30pm.
  • East 83rd Street, New York, NY: Channel your inner vixen with the Moulin Rouge ride at 7:30pm. Bonus! There’s another ride on Saturday, February 16 at 2:30pm.
  • WEHO, CA: Single but ready to mingle? Hit up the post-valentine’s day singles ride in Cali on February 15 at 7pm.

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Music Monday: Your All-Time Favorite Love Songs

Written on February 11, 2013 at 10:01 am , by

Sweet songs to go with your conversational candy. (Photo by Peter Ardito)

Whether you’re single or coupled up, love is in the air this February! Instead of hating on February 14, we’ve decided to take a more optimistic approach: showing our friends, family and loved ones just how much they mean to us, whether it’s through a quick “thinking of you” note, a box of conversation hearts or a workout playlist.

Wait, what was that last one? Yes, we said a workout playlist – how else are you going to share the best songs all about love? After all, music is such a dominant part of our every day lives, and it’s such an easy way to tell someone how you’re feeling. So we turned to our friends at Sony to find out exactly what you wanted to hear. Turns out, you guys are all suckers for the mushy, gushy songs belted out by chart toppers like Aerosmith and the late Whitney Houston.

So go ahead and plug in your headphones for this playlist and indulge in the serenades that top Americans’ list during your next sweet, er, sweat session.

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

Run to Fight Tumors…In Your Underwear!

Written on January 28, 2013 at 2:31 pm , by

Undie runs…a chance to get to know the gal or guy running next to you real quick. (Photo courtesy of Daniel Pagel)

Sometimes, heading out for a typical run can be, well, boring. When you’re doing the same thing day in and day out, a punch of excitement helps spice things up. And we say there’s no better way to heat up a race than to strip down to your skivvies!

Bear with us, we swear it’s a good idea. If streaking 1.5 miles down the street in your underwear sounds a smidge too extreme for you, maybe the fact that this run helps fight tumors will convince you. Cupid’s Undie Run, the world’s largest organized underwear run, takes place every year to raise funds for The Children’s Tumor Foundation and Neurofibromatosis.

Never heard of neurofibromatosis? It’s a genetic disorder that disrupts cell growth in the nervous system and can lead to deafness, blindness, learning disabilities and chronic pain, according to Mayo Clinic. Most who have the disorder are diagnosed at a young age, but unfortunately there’s still no cure.

If that still isn’t enough to persuade you, maybe the starry-eyed love theme will push you to click “register” on that computer screen. After all, it isn’t called Cupid’s Undie Run for no reason – celebrate Valentine’s Day a few days early, and bring a loved one in on the fun. Single but ready to mingle? We think this could be the perfect fun run -  you never know what tumor-fighting hunk you might find there!

Ready to sign up (we are!)? Find a location near you here. And if there isn’t one near you and you still want to strip down and run, we recommend checking out the Santa Speedo Run or Undie Dash later this year!

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