Fitbie Burn fat in less time with fitness tips, weight loss plans, exercises, and healthy eating tips you need to get fit and have the body you want from Fitbie. diet and fitness weight tips nutrition tips exercise tips fitness plans exercise plans weight lifting cardio diet Copyright © 2014 Rodale Inc. "Fitbie" is a register trademark of Rodale, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Wed, 01 Oct 2014 12:24:35 -0400 Wed, 01 Oct 2014 12:24:35 -0400 Another Reason to Take a Walking Break Blog entry Tue, 30 Sep 2014 16:54:58 -0400 Fitbie

Anecdotally, we know that taking a walk to clear your head gives you a change of scenery, some fresh air, and even a more positive attitude. And finally, researchers agree: According to a study from the University of Michigan, group nature walks are linked with significantly lower depression, less stress, and better mental health overall. Additionally, study subjects who had recently encountered a stressful life event -- think serious illness, death of a loved one, unemployment -- experienced a mood boost immediately after heading outside to walk with a group.

More from Fitbie: 3 Reasons You Need a Fitness Friend

"For decades, walking has been used for stress relief, fat reduction, heart health, and overall fitness for all ages and fitness levels," said John Rowley, certified trainer and author of The Power of Positive Fitness. "So often, I hear that clients believe the only way to be 'fit' is to log hours in the gym -- but it's far from the truth!"

Sure, grabbing some girlfriends for a walk outside is great for your mental fitness -- but it does wonders for your workout, too. Here are Rowley's main reasons why:

1. You can't beat outdoor terrain: Whether you're walking on the street, a dirt path, or the beach, the changes in ground, wind resistance, curved roads, and natural hills outside will provide more resistance (read: a more challenging workout) than a boring indoor track or treadmill ever could.

2. Sunshine is good for you: "Working out outside is great for your vitamin D levels, as it gets you out in the sun," Rowley said. 

3. Groups enhance your workout: Working out with friends keeps you accountable. In fact, a university study cited in the Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology revealed that those who recruited three friends or family members to assist them in their wellness journey had better weight loss results than those who had no buddy system to fall back on. That's exactly why workout buddies are a great source of encouragement to do the best you can. 

"Exercising in a group also allows us to make fitness a more enjoyable, social experience, and therefore becoming something you're more inclined to make a long-term habit," he added.

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Fitbie Find: Nutiva O'Coconut Treats Blog entry Wed, 01 Oct 2014 09:43:21 -0400 Fitbie
Nutiva O'Coconut

Coconut is the new kale. Actually, I take that back. Kale should never go out of style (That iron! That Vitamin K!). But with its hearty dose of fiber and medium-chain saturated fats, the tropical wonder is certainly worthy of superfood status.

Its notable nutritional profile is why you've probably seen an array of coconut products cropping up at your favorite grocery store. From coconut oil, to coconut flour, to coconut butter, you could say the hard-shelled fruit is having a moment. And when I tried today's #fitbiefindNutiva Organic O'Coconut packaged treats, I, too, had a moment -- an "mmmm, let me be one with this snack" kind of moment.

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If you like macaroons, you'll love these little guys! They have a simple ingredients list (they're predominately made of shredded coconut and coconut flour), they're chewy, they're subtly sweet, and they're oh-so coconut-y -- the perfect snack to keep on hand for a quick pick-me-up. Aside from the "Classic" flavor, they also come in a "Hemp & Chia" version, for an extra boost of superfood nutrients.

What else we love:

• Only 60 calories and 3 grams of sugar per serving

• Organic, fair-trade ingredients

• Available in major health food stores nationwide

The Details: Nutiva O'Coconut treats, $0.89,  

UP NEXT: 5 Ways to Curb Office Snacking

Cathryne Keller
7-Eleven to Introduce Fresh, Healthy Food Options Blog entry Tue, 30 Sep 2014 15:59:28 -0400 Fitbie

If your idea of 7-Eleven is a go-to place for a Big Gulp and favorite candy bar, know you're not alone. Which could explain why the convenience store chain is looking to market themselves as a place to also find "nutritionally balanced" eats. Think fresh sandwiches, salads, and cold-pressed juices. That's right, soon healthier food items will be hitting 7-Eleven shelves in 104 California stores under the banner of fitness guru Tony Horton Kitchen

Like what? Customers have a choice between two sandwiches (including grilled chicken with blueberry mustard on a whole-gain sub), two salads (including spicy quinoa salad with chimichurri dressing), two wraps (including spicy black bean hummus and vegetables), and four cold-pressed juices.

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According to the company, it's not planning on getting rid of store staples like the Slurpee's and junk food, but rather expand its menu of fresh foods. "We can provide a convenient way for healthy and fitness-oriented consumers to fuel their daily lives," says Raja Doddala, senior director for innovation at 7-Eleven.
He also adds that sales of fresh produce have increased over 30 percent during the past year. For instance: 7-Eleven sells seven times more bananas than Snickers. Not only that, but customers are asking for these healthier food items through social media, the web, and toll-free phone calls. In fact, they're the second highest requested products!

So what does this mean for the rest of us non-California folk? Well, depending on the popularity of the fresh food products, they products could go national. Trying to mind your diet, with or without the help of 7-Eleven products? We've got essential diet guidelines from Horton himself, adapted from his book Bring It!:

1. Drink at least eight glasses of water daily in addition to other liquids (like caffeine-free herbal tea). Thirst often masquerades as hunger. Keep a bottle or glass of water on your desk and sip it throughout the day. 

2. Eat more fresh foods than frozen or canned products. Buy seasonal and local produce, which provide the highest nutrient value at the lowest price. Eating seasonally balances the body and provides proper nutrition. And save money by buying in bulk seasonally—fruits, grains, beans, nuts, seeds, and so forth. 

3. Steer clear of artificial sweeteners. Chemical sweeteners have no calories and no nutritive value. Research suggests that when you eat or drink foods containing these sweeteners, your body interprets the sweetness as a sign that more food is on the way. Drinking diet soda, for example, can increase your desire for sweet flavors, which may lead you to eat more sweet nonnutritive foods. 

4. Don't skip breakfast. Breakfast really is the most important meal of the day. Eating a healthy, well-balanced meal in the morning helps you sustain your energy levels and can prevent those late-day sugar/carb snack cravings that are many people's downfall. 

5. Practice "conscious eating," eat slowly and savor every bite. Eating consciously gives your brain time to catch up with your stomach so that you're aware of being full. You'll know when you've had just enough food to be satisfied. 

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Activewear Designer Lorna Jane Clarkson Shares Her Healthy-Living Tips Blog entry Tue, 30 Sep 2014 11:27:27 -0400 Fitbie
Lorna Jane

Los Angeles may be most famous for its beautiful beaches, perfect weather, and glitzy Hollywood industry, but the city also has quite the reputation when it comes to living an active and healthy lifestyle (and OK, looking hot). Case in point, this past Sunday, the SoCal city held the country's first-ever Active Nation Day. Observed around the world, the day celebrated all things fitness and wellness with free fitness classes, massages, and healthy snacks and drinks. 

More from Fitbie: Skier Lindsey Vonn Talks About Getting Creative With Her Workouts 

How much impact can one day really have, you ask? Since the launch of Active Nation Day in Australia three years ago, participants have moved a total of more than five million miles. Now that's motivation! And it's also the reason why the brains behind the holiday, Aussie Lorna Jane Clarkson, is today's #MondayMotivation.

We recently chatted with the active-living advocate about what inspired her to launch the Active Nation Day campaign, her award-winning activewear clothing line Lorna Jane, and what's behind her philosophy (and blog) "Move Nourish Believe."

The 3rd annual Active Nation Day was held on September 28th. Tell us more about what the day is all about.
Active Nation Day is a unique day dedicated to improving women's health and creating a more active world. Like Valentine's Day is a day where we stop to celebrate and acknowledge those we love, Active Nation Day is day that we encourage women to celebrate active living! In the month leading up to Active Nation Day, we encourage women to start prioritizing and acknowledging the importance of putting their health and fitness first so that we can move together towards a healthier future. This of course all culminates at the end of the month with a day of celebration!

While we originally launched in Australia three years ago, this year was particularly exciting for us as  Active Nation Day went global with celebrations of active living taking place in Los Angeles, all over Australia and in Hong Kong. 

Where did you get the idea for your activewear line, Lorna Jane? 
When I was in my early twenties, I was working part-time as an aerobics instructor and I started designing my own leotards because I was frustrated by the limited range of active wear available for women. The ladies in my classes loved my bespoke outfits and asked me to begin designing for them as well, which of course I was only too happy to do. Little did I know this was the start of Lorna Jane! Twenty-five years later, there are now 142 stores in Australia and 31 in the United States, as well as 36 international stockists, which is just incredible!  

Your brand is all about empowering women to live their best life. How can your clothing influence women to become more active? 
When you wear activewear it is proven that you will be more active! Because of that, I believe that it's important that women have access to activewear that they actually are excited to wear. Women should not have to compromise design and style when they work out. Therefore, when designing my collections, I endeavour to produce activewear that creates a sense of energy and vitality -- clothes that will not only make you look and feel good, but that will inspire and empower you to be more active. 

What's the best advice you can offer to those just starting to pursue an active lifestyle? 
By making a commitment to move your body every day, nourish from the inside out, and believe in yourself and your ability to achieve great things, a more fulfilling and active life is absolutely achievable. Remember, as you make your daily commitment to move, nourish, and believe, make it fun and keep it simple! Find a way to move that you love, whether it be a hike, playing with your kids in the park, or some form of group exercise. Nourish by exploring and trying new, wholesome recipes and taking time to do things that you enjoy. Believe by choosing a personal mantra each week. One of my favorites is, "Never, never, never give up!"

More from Fitbie: The Best Fitness Motivation Quotes

When did you start your personal healthy living journey? Did you always lead an active lifestyle?
I have been fit and healthy for as long as I can remember because, quite honestly, I don't know any other way to live my life. I am very clear on the importance of having a good diet, exercising regularly, and keeping a positive mindset because I believe it's the key to living my best, most fulfilling active life. Plus, it makes me feel so good! 

What was the biggest challenge you faced when you first started, and how did you overcome it?
I think the biggest challenge I faced was about 24 years ago when I made the commitment to live authentically -- to be ME and to live my life as I had always dreamt it would be. While I wasn't consciously pretending to be someone else for the first half of my life, I was too compromising. I was pursuing a career that I was not passionate about, taking the easy road and behaving like everyone else around me. I was happy, but I had a nagging feeling that I was missing out on something. I finally made the decision to give up on trying to change myself in order to win the approval of others, I let go of any negative thoughts that could hold me back, and I decided to forgo the security of a full-time job, step out of my comfort zone, and start my own business. I've never looked back. 

What are 3 of your favorite songs to sweat to? 
Ellie Goulding's song Burn seems to continuously find its way onto my workout playlist. I move a little faster the second that song comes on. I also love Lose Yourself to Dance by Daft Punk and Pharrell and Roar by Katy Perry.  

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What's your typical workout routine like? 
For me it's a combination of strength training, yoga, and cardio. The strength training shapes my body, the yoga keeps me flexible, and the cardio keeps me fit and stops me from gaining weight. In a typical week, I do two days of strength training, three days of yoga and two or three days of cardio.   

What workout do you absolutely despise? 
There are not many forms of working out that I despise; however, I did recently take a hot yoga sculpt class that was torturous! 

Do you prefer cardio or strength training?
It is so hard to choose between cardio and strength training because they work so wonderfully together. However, if I absolutely had to choose (and thank goodness I don't), I would choose strength training. Not only does it keep me strong and toned, but I have fewer injuries and can perform better in life. 

What did you eat for breakfast today? 
Today I had the Overnight Oats Parfait with Berries and Yogurt from my new cookbook Nourish, and one cup of black coffee. 

How do you use social media to help others?
Whether we post a 5-minute workout that can be done from your desk at work, a new recipe, instructions for a 3-ingredient DIY body scrub, or simply an inspirational quote, I believe that all of our social media platforms provide daily inspiration to continue to move, nourish, and believe. The connection that social media allow us to have with our customers is so amazing! 

Follow Clarkson on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, YouTube, and Instagram.

Are you a nutritionist, food blogger, or fitness expert with a large social media following? Email us at or Tweet us @Fitbie using the hashtag #MondayMotivation to be featured as our next Fitbie Spotlight.

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Kayda Norman
What Your Skirt Size Could Mean for Your Health Blog entry Mon, 29 Sep 2014 14:59:17 -0400 Fitbie
Jeans pants size

How much does your skirt size say about you? In an age of embracing women of all sizes, many of us have tried to step away from worrying about sizing on a tag. But new research tells us how important that little number could really be. According to a recent study by the University College of London, clothing size has a direct correlation with breast cancer risk.
This is the first study to evaluate weight gain as a risk factor, and is so important since weight gain (and waist circumference) is something that is easily measured and tracked. According to the findings, women who increased one skirt size every ten years between the ages of 20 and 60, showed a 33 percent rise in their risk of post-menopausal breast cancer. Those who went up two sizes per decade experienced a 77 percent increase in risk.
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The study is actually good news since this type of risk is highly manageable, says medical weight loss expert, Dr. Sue Decotiis. She gave us 3 easy ways to lower your waist circumference:
Lower Overall Body Fat
Get your diet on track by starting to incorporate organic vegetables, says Dr. Decotiis, “especially cruciferuos vegetables” like cauliflower, cabbage, cress, bok choy, broccoli and brussels sprouts.
These types of veggies are anti-inflammatory, high in fiber and, have disease fighting phytochemicals. You can even sneak them into your desserts!
Lower Alcohol Intake
Think before you drink is the message here. A lot of alcoholic drinks are high in calories but low in nutrients. It’s easy to forget that you could easily drink as many calories as you may eat in an entire meal. Additionally, alcohol intake has been associated with the late-night munchies, since it can stimulate your appetite, and also impair your judgment as to what may be the best choice of food at the time.
Lower the Number on the Scale
We all may have a favorite go-to workout, but sometimes the key to weight loss is in trying something new. "Our bodies are very smart and get used to the same old routine very quickly," says Dr. Decotiis, who notes that calorie burn may dwindle as your muscles get used to common practices. The solution? New activities. A swim, a walk with a friend, or that Barre class you’ve been meaning to take, could be just the ticket to stimulating your body.

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Allie Burdick
Could Stress Be Sabotaging Your Weight-Loss Efforts? Blog entry Tue, 30 Sep 2014 10:51:29 -0400 Fitbie
Stressed Woman

"I love being stressed out," said no one ever. Besides wreaking havoc on your skin (hello, breakouts!) and health, it’s also bad for your waistline. A new study found that increased levels of stress and depression make it really hard to stick to your nutrition plan and ultimately lose those extra pounds.

While this isn’t exactly news to anyone, the research in the journal Obesity looked to answer the question: How exactly do stress and depression affect our weight-loss goals? A total of 257 overweight adults were studied by researchers from Harvard and SUNY Upstate Medical University over a 2-year period, all of whom had the goal of reducing their body weight by 5 percent. 

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Results showed that for high-stress adults, at the 6-month mark, they had only dropped around 3 percent body weight. Meanwhile, low-stress participants saw a nearly 6 percent loss. At the end of the experiment, the stressed out group still only lost around 3 percent of their body weight, while those that were relatively stress-free saw a nearly 7 percent loss. An outcome that researchers say could be attributed to, "depression and stress limiting weight loss by negatively impacting behaviors that promote it."

According to Dr. Coral Arvon, PhD, LMFT, LCSW, Director of Behavioral Health & Wellness at Pritikin Longevity Center + Spa, everyone has an emotional eating cycle. 

"When you start feeling stressed, you want to cover it up with food," shares Arvon. "The second part of that cycle is the momentary bliss when you get to eat and you feel great for maybe 20 minutes maximum and then the last part of the cycle, you have an emotional hangover and feel guilty so do it all over again."

Arvon says one way to avoid stress eating is to plan out in advance what you are going to eat throughout the day and night. Also, include what you plan to accomplish that day and something nice that you can do for yourself. 

"People are at highest risk of self-sabotage with eating and drinking between the hours of 3 p.m. and 7 p.m.," she adds. "These hours would be a wonderful time to have healthy snack or do something social -- take a short walk or go the gym, grab coffee with friends/co-workers -- any place to interact with others before you go home for the day."

UP NEXT: 4 Ways to Stress Less

The Healthy Habit That Makes You Happy, Plus More Hot Health Headlines Blog entry Mon, 29 Sep 2014 16:33:39 -0400 Fitbie
woman eating salad

It's no secret that fruits and vegetables are good for your physical health, but eating lots of plants can also boost your mental wellbeing, according to a new study from the United Kingdom. Researchers at Warwick University discovered that packing in the produce can ward off mental illness. [Science World Report]

A penchant for porterhouse's means your heart is in trouble, right? Actually, no. But that doesn't mean all red meat is your friend. In fact, new research shows that some meats can actually shorten your life! Find out when to indulge and when to abstain with these expert tips for doing meat right. [Fitbie

Weight-loss surgery is often characterized as "taking the easy way out," but according to famously funny talk show host Rosie O'Donnell, going under the knife is no "magic pill." [People]

Have one too many margaritas Friday night? Run one too many miles the next morning. Even Steven, right? Ehhh, not exactly. New research shows that we tend to both drink more alcohol and log more gym time from Thursday through Sunday, but, sadly, that doesn't mean those behaviors cancel each other out, according to this report. [Women's Health]

If you've ever experienced "runner's high" or felt a total reversal of your bad mood after you leave bootcamp, you know that working out is just as good for your bod as it is for your mind. But in a fascinating new study, researchers discovered that exercise can actually shape your brain -- literally. [Fitbie]

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Cathryne Keller
Fitbie Find: Under Armour Gotta Have It Tote Blog entry Thu, 25 Sep 2014 13:36:56 -0400 Fitbie
Under Armour Gotta Have It Tote

A gym bag isn't always a woman's best friend, and we can't blame her. It's one extra thing she has to carry around, along with a purse, perhaps a lunch, and who knows what else in the morning. So what's a bag totin' woman to do? Find a tote that is chic, cute, and can admittedly replace even her favorite purse. That's where Under Armour's Gotta Have It Tote comes in, this week's #FitbieFind.

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The main question: What DOESN'T this bag have? With a large main compartment to stash all your gear, padded laptop divider, removable shoulder strap and laundry bag, and vertical storage pocket for a straightening iron or water bottle -- you're 100 percent covered.

What else we love: 
• Large size in compact structure
• Custom hairtie ring so you won't lose all those hair ties
• Available in 5 fun colors

The Details: Under Armour Gotta Have It Tote, $69.99,

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Emily Abbate
The Serious Reason Why Some Women Overeat Blog entry Wed, 24 Sep 2014 16:38:11 -0400 Fitbie
emotional eating

Most of us have experienced a bout of emotional eating in the form of, say, trying to forget a crappy day at work by hitting up the drive-thru or attempting to numb a painful breakup with a pint of Mint Chocolate Chip. But for those of us who have endured significant trauma, using food to cope with feelings can become a much more serious problem that's harder to shake.  

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) -- an anxiety disorder that occurs after a traumatic or highly stressful event and affects around 7.7 million Americans -- has been closely linked with obesity in the past but why, exactly, are people who have survived traumatic events more likely to gain weight? A new study published in JAMA Psychiatry may hold the answer: Harvard researchers discovered that the missing link may be a propensity toward food addiction.

More from Fitbie: 10 Simple Ways to Stop Emotional Eating
The analysis of 49,408 women, aged 25-42, was conducted using a questionnaire regarding traumatic events in 2008, and then followed up with an assessment for symptoms of food addiction in 2009. Using the Yale Food Addiciton Scale, the symptoms were defined as eating when no longer hungry four or more times each week, feeling the need to eat higher amounts of food to reduce stress, and worrying about reducing food intake four or more times a week.
The results: The data indicated not only a higher percentage of food addiction prevalence in those with PTSD (18 percent of those who reported six to seven symptoms suffered from PTSD), but also an age link -- the earlier age at which PTSD symptoms occurred, the stronger the association with food addiction.
Pamela Peeke, MD, author of The Hunger Fix and senior science advisor to Elements Behavioral Health, treats women for emotional eating at mental health treatment center Malibu Vista in California and wasn't surprised by these findings.
More from Fitbie: The Science Behind Stress Eating
The problem: During early development, our reservoirs of dopamine -- the "feel-good hormone" -- are depleted, which can cause pre-teens and adolescents to seek highly pleasurable activities to get their dopamine fill, says Peeke. And when you add a traumatizing event to the mix, the inclination toward addictive behaviors can increase even more. Why food specifically? “Because it’s easy and accessible -- it’s comforting” she says.
So, whether you suffer form PTSD or not, how can you tell if your overeating has become a serious problem? Here, Dr. Peeke gave us the key warning signs that emotional eating may be crossing over to food addiction.

Ask yourself these questions:
1. When eating a particular food, do you feel a loss of control? Loss of control is a hallmark of an addict.
2. After eating a particular food, do you feel shame, blame, and/or guilt?

If you answered yes, you may have a problem to address. So what's next?

“As I note in my book The Hunger Fix, when you realize you have a self-destructive, addictive relationship with food, you need to address it by eliminating the foods that are causing you loss of control as well as shame, blame and guilt."
Dr. Peeke suggests putting aside your "trigger" foods and substituting with healthier, more satisfying foods to decrease your cravings (if you tend to overeat sweets, for example, try making more nutritious treats, instead). Another must is physical activity because, according to Dr. Peeke, it will help re-regulate your hunger and appetite, improve your overall health and body composition, increase the size of your brain (bonus!), and improve your sleep (which improves appetite control) and overall sense of well being.
And if you haven't been diagnosed with PTSD but suspect you have the disorder, your smartest move is to get help. “If you think you have PTSD, you need to deal with this issue, as it’s a major trigger for self-destructive behavior," says Peeke. "It’s best to seek out a trauma therapist, which you can do by simply searching online for professionals in your area.”
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Allie Burdick
Exercise May Be the Key to Keeping Your Brain In Shape Blog entry Fri, 26 Sep 2014 13:55:31 -0400 Fitbie
Woman lifting weights

It's no breaking news that exercise is important when it comes to the overall health of your body, but did you know exercise also helps your brain? A new study found that physical activity has a direct link to the rate of deterioration of the white-matter in the organ.

According to the research published in the journal Plos One, white matter fibers that are responsible for the communication between brain regions begin to decrease as we age. Scientists found that the daily activity of an older person was strongly linked to the structural state of these tracts. 

"To our knowledge, this is the first study of its kind that uses an objective measure of physical activity along with multiple measures of brain structure," said University of Illinois postdoctoral researcher Agnieszka Burzynska, who conducted the research with University of Illinois Beckman Institute Director Arthur Kramer and kinesiology and community health professor Edward McAuley.

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Researchers tracked the activity of 88 "low-fit," but healthy individuals ages 60 to 78 over the course of a week. The participants wore accelerometers during most of the day while they were awake and also underwent brain imaging. =The goal? To harness stats that measured "not what they say they do or what they think they do, but ... what they are actually doing," stated Burzynska. The research showed that for older adults who regularly participated in moderate to vigorous exercise, there was less white matter lesions found in the brain. According to scientists, too much sitting had a similar effect on the brain as not enough physical activity. 

"This relationship between the integrity of tracts connecting the hippocampus and sedentariness is significant even when we control for age, gender and aerobic fitness," said Burzynska. "It suggests that the physiological effect of sitting too much, even if you still exercise at the end of the day for half an hour, will have a detrimental effect on your brain."

So what can we take away from this study? Exercising is beneficial with age, but it also needs to be couple with daily walking breaks -- something important to keep in mind for those of us with jobs that enable a day of sitting. While traditional forms of exercise such as running, jogging, or biking can get old fast, try mixing it your fitness routine with some of these classes that are Fitbie tried and true. You'll be challenged and most of all have fun!

Trapeze School. Flying and swing through the air doesn't sound like a "workout," but take it from our writer who was definitely feeling it in her abs, back, and shoulders the next day. 

Beginner CrossFit Class BX. This class is a twist on a traditional bootcamp-style workout. The 60-minute interval-training session incorporates CrossFit-inspired movements, minus the heavy lifting.

Barre3. Unleash your inner dancer with this class that combines ballet, Pilates, and yoga. An added plus: It'll help build a long and lean body. 

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Why Cross-Training Is Great for Runners (VIDEO) Blog entry Wed, 24 Sep 2014 13:36:20 -0400 Fitbie
Marathon cross-training

There are a lot of things that people don't talk about when it comes to training for a great race. For most, it's what can happen to your toenails if you wear the wrong sneakers. For others, it's what could happen if you don't make it to the bathroom before the start. For me, it's always been the C-word: Cross-training.

More from Fitbie: Just 5 Minutes of Running a Day Can Change Your Life

You see, as a diehard runner, I'm fickle. I like to roll out of bed, put my sneakers on, get outside, and start my workout immediately. It's not that I don't understand the benefits of mixing up your workouts, or that I don't enjoy a change of pace. Call it a mental block, if you will. That's where Dr. Jordan Metzl, author of The Exercise Cure comes in. 

Dr. Metzl recently invited me to join him at an early morning bootcamp class he ran along with Runner's World in Central Park. Sure, getting up at 6 a.m. wasn't easy, but in the days following the workout filled with burpees, lunges, and other bodyweight exercises, I felt better ... stronger. Plus, Dr. Metzl took the time to talk to me about the benefits of incorporating cross-training into my training plan, and what beginner runners should know about diversifying their routine. 

New Fit video page

Continue to follow along with Emily's journey to the New York City Marathon for expert tips on race training, whether you're gearing up for a 5K, 10K, half-marathon, or beyond. Miss the first installment? Check out Emily's backstory about losing 70 pounds and what inspired her to tackle the marathon distance in the first place. 

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Emily Abbate
The Healthier Way to Eat Meat Blog entry Tue, 23 Sep 2014 17:07:06 -0400 Fitbie
red meat

We already know that eating too much red meat isn’t the best for your heart or your overall health, but new research shows that it might be worse than we ever thought. According to findings published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, indulging in a diet high in red meat can actually shorten your life.

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Researchers surveyed and observed nearly 75,000 men and women over the course of 15 years, paying close attention to their red meat consumption. Scarily enough, consumption of red meat was indeed associated with a progressively shorter lifespan, but (can we call this a silver lining?) researchers chalked it up to the fact that most red meat is processed -- eating unprocessed red meat did not seem to yield any negative impact on lifespan. 

"Processed red meats are high in fat and sodium," explained Lori Chong, a registered dietician at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center, "which most likely contributed to the shorter survival time."

So while abstaining from meat altogether might be one approach to a healthier and longer life, it’s not the only one. “A vegetarian diet can be a healthy alternative to the standard American diet if it is based on whole, unprocessed foods,” she explained. That means plant protein every day, topped off with healthy helpings of whole grains, fruits, and vegetables. 

Her recommendations for meat eaters? 

• Eat fish at least twice per week, and swap out a conventional meal for a vegetarian once at least once per week. 
• Invest in wild-caught fish and grass-fed beef and dairy. 
• Trim any visible fat from the meat. 
• Always cap your portions of meat at around 3 to 5 oz at lunch and dinner.

"Red meat can be a lean source of protein if you make good choices," Chong says. You know what that means? When you hit the grocery store, keep an eye out for beef round and loin -- those are the leanest cuts.

UP NEXT: The 5 Best and Worst Meat Substitutes

Fitbie Find: SuperSeedz Gourmet Pumpkin Seeds Blog entry Wed, 24 Sep 2014 10:09:09 -0400 Fitbie
SuperSeedz pumpkin seeds

Nuts are the golden child of nutritious snacks -- the perfect balance of protein, fiber, and healthy fats -- but as much as I love 'em (especially when they're spreadable), sometimes a girl (or guy) needs some variety. An awesome alternative when your go-to almonds just aren't cutting it: Roasted pumpkin seeds, like today's #fitbiefind from SuperSeedz.

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They satisfy that need for something crunchy, all while providing a combo of protein and monounsaturated fats that'll kick your hunger to the curb and, research shows, help you burn more fat. Plus -- though I'm more of a plain sea salt kind of girl -- they also come in a variety of delicious, surprising flavors like chocolate (Coco Joe) and curry (Curious Curry). Yum!

What else we love:

• Non-GMO Project verified

• 7-9 grams of protein per serving

• Vegan and gluten-free

The details: SuperSeedz gourmet pumpkin seeds, $4.99, 

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Cathryne Keller
This Pork Chop Recipe Proves That Low-Carb Doesn't Have to Be Bland Blog entry Mon, 22 Sep 2014 17:17:49 -0400 Fitbie
pork chops

I wrote Low Carb 1-2-3 10 years ago, but thanks to a growing body of recent research linking low-carb diets to better overall health, it's never been more relevant. Case in point: A new study funded by the National Institutes of Health showed that people who avoid carbohydrates and eat more fat, even saturated fat, lose more body fat and have fewer cardiovascular risks than people who follow much-touted low-fat diets. 

More from Fitbie: 10 Rules for a Healthy Low-Carb Diet

The new equation, then, for weight loss and better cardiovascular health seems to be fewer carbohydrates plus more good fats -- unsaturated fats are better than saturated fats, and trans fats should be avoided all together. 

And low carb doesn't have to be boring or time-consuming, either! The recipes in Low Carb 1-2-3, for example, use only three ingredients (not counting salt, pepper and water). The result is a repertoire of fresh and seasonal dishes that rely on high-quality proteins and healthy, satisfying fats. And they work for any low-carb program, too -- including Atkins, The South Beach Diet, Sugar Busters, and others. 

Skeptical that low-carb can keep you satisfied? This pork chop recipe should change your mind.

Garlic-Miso Pork Chops from Low Carb 1-2-3
(Makes 4 Servings)
Nutrition per serving: 309 calories, 17g fat (6g saturated), 33g protein, 5g carbs

I’ve become addicted to using white miso, also known as shiro miso, to deeply flavor all kinds of protein. It makes a great marinade for pork chops, imparting an indefinable taste and very moist texture. For the brave of palate, you can finely chop an extra clove of garlic and sprinkle it on the chops before serving. You can find shiro miso in Asian food markets, health food stores, and many supermarkets.

You'll need:
1⁄4 cup white miso
3 medium cloves garlic
4 center-cut thick pork chops (8 ounces each)

How to make it:

1. Up to 1 day before you plan to serve, in a small bowl, mix together the miso and 1 tablespoon water. Press the garlic through a garlic press, add it to the miso, and mix well. Thickly spread the miso mixture on all sides of the pork. Put the pork in a shallow baking dish large enough to hold the pork in 1 layer and cover with foil. Marinate, refrigerated, for 8 to 12 hours, turning several times.

2. When you’re ready to cook the pork, preheat the broiler. 

3. Remove the pork from the baking dish and evenly respread the miso marinade over the chops. Place the pork on a rimmed baking sheet. Lightly dust the pork with freshly ground black pepper. Place the pork under the broiler, 4” to 5” from the heat, and broil for 5 minutes. Turn the pork over and broil 5 minutes longer. Remove the pork from the oven and serve immediately.

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10 Thoughts You Have Doing At-Home Workout DVDs (PHOTOS) Blog entry Mon, 22 Sep 2014 15:49:21 -0400 Fitbie
woman working out TV

It’s too hot. It's too cold. It’s raining. You hit snooze one too many times. You have a zit the size of a peanut M&M. We get it! Some days, you just don’t want to leave your house to sweat it out. But that’s no reason to skip your workout entirely. So what do you do? You pop in a workout DVD (or hit Netflix!) and let Jillian Michaels do her thing, quickly realizing that staying in the shirt you slept in doesn't mean your workout is going to be easy breezy.

Sound familiar? Then you can totally relate to these 10 thoughts you have when you work out at home:

“So many options, so little time!” You want to get this over with but you're faced with an immediate dilemma: Do you go with the tried-and-true bikini bod workout, a calming yoga sesh, or a high-octane bootcamp?! 

“Do I really need to put shoes on?” Let’s face it, the whole reason you opted out of the gym or a run outside is because of laziness. Own up to it! But don’t risk breaking your neck. The answer is yes, yes you need to put shoes on.

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"No, I don’t need to follow Debbie.” Low-impact version? Pssshh. That’s for newbs.

“How is it that they always call me out when my form is wrong?” It’s almost like you're really there on that sandy beach and the instructor can see that your laziness is messing with your plank technique. Yet, you continue.

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“Where did she get those leggings?” You're standing there in a faded T-shirt from your 10-year high school reunion, and they look like they're ready to film an episode of America's Next Top Model. There’s nothing like a highly stylized workout DVD to make you realize you need a new workout wardrobe

“If I skip this part, will I feel bad?” Wait, burpees? Should I fast forward past this part? Taylor Lautner says:

“Where do they get this energy from?” Kale smoothies and goji berries aside, it's like they're a 6-year-old on Christmas morning, while you feel like you just ran a full marathon. Except, well, let's be real -- you're nowhere near that sweaty. 

“Yeesh, I need to vacuum.” Being nose-to-floor during push-ups will make you question your tidiness. 

“How. Much. Longer?!” You've actually been thinking this from the first lunge, but until now you've been distracted by your persistent daydream of Ryan Gosling reading his vows to you on your wedding day -- "I WILL make you the happiest man on the planet, Ry."

“Hello, sweet stretch session.” Ahhh, the end-of-workout stretching session that you usually skip when you exercise solo at the gym. Congrats, lady! You've nailed another workout!

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Fitbie Find: Athleta Contender 2-in-1 Skirt Capri Blog entry Sat, 20 Sep 2014 10:00:07 -0400 Fitbie
Skort Athleta

We have a confession: For a while now we've been interested in trying running skorts. Skirts? Skorts? Whatever they are, technically, there's something kind of flirty and fun about the idea of running in a super feminine way. Second confession: We haven't been too keen on the notion of splurging for one. Not that it won't be worth it, but if you don't know if you're going to love it, that would be sort of a bummer.

Enter today's #FitbieFind, the Athleta Contender 2-in-1 Skirt Capri. The all-in-one lightweight bottom features a ruched-skirt capri with reflective details to make sure you're totally visible on your run. Bonus: It's ventilating, and has a rear-zip pocket. 

Was: $74.00
Now: $29.99

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The Dance Workout That Can Boost Your Body Image Blog entry Fri, 19 Sep 2014 16:44:37 -0400 Fitbie
belly dancer

Belly dancing may bring to mind visions of sexual, come-hither moves by sultry ladies with hips that don't lie (Shakira, Shakira), but a new study found that women who practice the time-honored art find far more benefits than simply looking or feeling sexy. In fact, the findings suggest that belly dancers get a body image boost because they're focused on the activity itself, instead of how they look doing it.
More from Fitbie: Talk Yourself Into a Better Self Image
For the study, a research team assembled 112 belly dancers from Australia, alongside 101 college women who had never participated in the hip-shaking art. All of them were required to complete a questionnaire, giving details about their bodies, how they think others view their bodies, and the attention they get from the opposite sex. 
The results showed the belly dancers were more likely to have a positive body image and less likely to be unhappy with their overall appearance. They also were less likely to be influenced by what others think about them.  
Oreet, creator of SharQui -- "The Bellydance Workout" -- isn’t surprised at all by the study's findings. In fact, she points out that the thought of belly dancing as a sexual activity is a Westernized mentality. “The art of belly dancing was created by women, for women, to help in childbirth," she says. "It has nothing to do with being sexually attractive, and everything to do with women communicating about childbirth, through dance.” 
Oreet says that the most uninhibited women in her class tend to be either over 50 or those who have had children because “at 50 you just don’t care as much and, after you’ve had kids, you know exactly where your core is!”
More from Fitbie: Doonya Actually Made Me Think I Could Dance
Curious to try a class but feel a little awkward about swiveling your hips in public? Oreet says that participants typically start to feel comfortable after a month of attending at least one class per week, and that the atmosphere is a strict no judgement zone that welcomes any skill level and body type. In her hour-long classes, there's a lot of movement (as you might imagine!), a lot of sweat, and class is always closed with a “circle of improv” where participants can show what they’ve learned.
“Belly dancing studios are community based, and a place where women can feel comfortable and confident," she says. 
UP NEXT: Lindsey Vonn Talks About Getting Creative With Her Workouts

Allie Burdick
The Playlist That'll Help You Push Through Your Workout (LISTEN) Blog entry Fri, 19 Sep 2014 10:00:15 -0400 Fitbie
Barry's Bootcamp

Every week Fitbie is featuring rad playlists from rad fitness instructors. This week, Courtney Paul, instructor at Barry's Bootcamp, shares his with us. (Warning: Hottie alert!)

"If you expect change and transformation from your body, it must start in your mind," says Paul. "Change the way you think your body will adapt. I use music in my class to help build hype and give my students that burst of energy they need to push harder. It’s all mental -- when you believe you can sprint faster, lift heavier weights, and wake up for an early workout, your body will respond!"

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Emily Abbate
How to Find Your Activity Tracker Soul Mate Blog entry Fri, 19 Sep 2014 10:45:23 -0400 Fitbie
woman workout watch

When networking, photo albums, and even scrapbooking (Pinterest, anyone?) are possible at the touch of a button or the swipe of an iPhone screen, it’s safe to say that our lives have become digitized. So why should our workouts be any different? No, we’re not talking about skipping your training session and firing up the Wii Fit instead. We’re talking about those handy dandy activity monitoring wristbands everyone and their mother (literally) is wearing these days, which can track everything from calories burned to heart rate. But do fitness bands really help you reach your goals? A new study has the answer.

Researchers from the University of Texas analyzed 13 electronic activity monitors, and compared how each device and its companion app worked to motivate the wearer and promote healthy and fit behaviors. The verdict: While many of the apps were in line with the goal setting, self monitoring, and feedback that health professionals recommend for their patients, they weren’t as effective at increasing physical activity because they seldom included action planning, instruction, or problem-solving assistance.

Essentially, while activity wristbands might be great for tracking or enhancing already established routines, they might not be the right investment for an exercise newbie looking for initial motivation.

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“Despite their rising popularity, little is known about how these monitors differ from one another, what options they provide in their applications, and how these options may impact their effectiveness,” said senior study author Elizabeth Lyons. In the end, researchers determined that monitors with the most features may not be as useful as those with fewer, but more effective, tools. But which features are the most effective? That depends on the user and her unique goals. 

Here’s a quick cheat sheet on some of the more popular activity tracker models:

Fitbit Wireless Activity and Sleep Wristband

Price: $99.95
What it tracks: steps, distance, calories burned, active minutes, sleep time and quality
What we love: Fitbit can wake you up with a silent alarm, and it’s pretty easy to read -- little LED dots simply track progress towards the day’s goals. Fashionistas will love the new Tory Burch accessory collaboration.

UP by Jawbone

Price: $79.99
What it tracks: Food and drink intake and nutritional info, steps, calories burned, distance, activity time, sleep time and quality
What we love: Mobile app compatibility is pretty common with activity trackers, but UP has a pretty extensive reporting structure that will impress even the most enthusiastic data crunchers. It also prioritizes nutrition more than others.

Nike+ FuelBand SE

Price: $99
What it tracks: Workout intensity, steps taken
What we love: Keep yourself and your friends motivated through Nike+ Groups, which allows users to work together towards a common goal.

Garmin vivofit Fitness Band

Price: $129.99
What it tracks: Steps, calories, distance, sleep time and quality
What we love: Sitting at your desk too long? Vivofit will alert you when you’ve clocked in an hour of inactivity.

UP NEXT: The Playlist That'll Transform Your Next Spin Workout

Fitbie Find: Under Armour Pure Stretch Sheer Cheeky Blog entry Thu, 18 Sep 2014 10:00:15 -0400 Fitbie
Under Armour Underwear

Is it just us, or does no one ever talk about workout underwear? Sure, it's simple to just slip on a pair that you'd wear out to dinner or to the mall, but what's the fun in that? Want the stinky truth? Your lady parts need to breathe while you're gettin' your sweat on, and that's where today's #FitbieFind comes in. The Pure Stretch Sheer Cheeky from Under Armour is made with super soft fabric that delivers maximum comfort. Yes, please!

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Our favorite part? Sure, they're super soft. (Think of the softest sheets you've ever touched. They're better than that.) They're also close-fitting to the skin without compression, meaning no awkward panty lines or uncomfortable muffin top. 

What else we love:
• Tag-less construction
• Cheeky design
• Available in eight fun colors
• If thongs are more your style, they're available too

The Details: Under Armour Pure Stretch Sheer Sheeky, $12,

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Emily Abbate
9 Reasons You Should Feel Like a Total Badass After a Great Workout Blog entry Thu, 18 Sep 2014 13:05:53 -0400 Fitbie
woman flexing bicep

Unless you’re Taylor Swift, you’re probably not met with a crowd of admirers when you leave the gym or return home from a run. But that doesn’t mean you don’t deserve to feel like a sweaty superstar!

Who needs a cheering section when you have these 9 reasons you should feel like a badass after a killer workout:

Because thanks to that hour of stress relief, your boss suddenly seems less demanding, your inbox more manageable, and your laundry less dirty.

Because that cute dude in the weight room who’s usually mesmerized by his own reflection was eyeing your biceps while you curled.

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Because Beyonce probably worked out at the same time as you this morning, which means, yes, you can totally call yourself a queen for the day.

Because binge watching Parks and Rec in your bed is so much more satisfying when your glutes are sore.

Because it’s one of the two activities in life after which you’re happy to be a sweaty mess.

Because you felt like stopping, but you didn’t. Your mom/uncle/third-grade teacher was right: You can do anything you set your mind to.

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Because you just saved some serious cash -- butt lifts are way more expensive than your gym membership.

Because endorphins. They’re real, and they’re AWESOME.

Because killing a workout makes you a Bad. Ass. It just does.

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Cathryne Keller
Skier Lindsey Vonn Talks About Getting Creative With Her Workouts Blog entry Tue, 16 Sep 2014 10:00:08 -0400 Fitbie
Lindsey Vonn

Lindsey Vonn is the definition of a badass. Arguably the most successful American ski racer in history, the 29-year-old has four World Cup championships under her belt, one of two female skiers to do so. Now in the process of rehabilitating from her crash at the 2013 World Championships in Austria which caused her to forgo competing in the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, she won't let her spirits be defeated. 
We recently caught up with Vonn at the Under Armour Brand House here in New York City, where she spilled how she keeps that positive body image, her thoughts on working with Gisele Bundchen as a part of Under Armour's "I Will What I Want" campaign, and offered beginners one major piece of advice: "Believe in yourself." 

How do you keep up that positive body image?

It's hard, especially when I got to fashion events. I'm definitely the most muscular person there but I think that generally the perception of beauty is changing, especially with this new [Under Armour] campaign. It's empowering strong women. I love that. It's about time that we encourage people to be who they are, and believe in themselves no matter what their body is. It's all about their personality and their will and that's the most important thing. 

More from Fitbie: Celebrity Trainer Noah Neiman Gives Us His Muscle Toning Tricks

Speaking of Under Armour, are you excited with the news that Gisele will be joining the "I Will What I Want" campaign? 

Definitely, she's a really nice person. Her commercial is really awesome. I was joking with her, saying "I don't want to hang out with you -- you'll punch me and kick me." She's pretty badass in [her commercial].

When it comes to living on the run, how do you make sure you're getting in your workout on the go?

It is hard, but I make it happen. If I have a busy day, whether I'm getting up early in the morning or staying up late at night, I always make time to go to the gym even if it's just staying up and doing stuff in my room. I've got my glute exercises I do, bodyweight squats, push-ups; If I want to do a leg workout, I get creative. I do single-leg lunges, single-leg squats, squats, glute raises. There's always something you can do you just need to have the confidence that you know what you're doing, even if you don't -- Google it, there's always someone out there that has a routine that you can do at home. Sometimes it does feel better to be on your own and knowing that you're doing it yourself ... there's always something that you can do but you have to be committed and willing to put in the time.  

What was your mentality when you knew it was time to start over after getting injured?

When you're injured, no matter what it is, it's difficult. You want to let it heal and take time, but you also don't want to get lazy and stay active. It's a balancing act. For me, I lost a lot of weight and it was really difficult to put the muscle back on. The thing to keep in mind is it will come around. You will get healthy, you will get better, you will get stronger and fitter. It's just believing in yourself and what you're doing. 

It's critical to keep your rehab, your training, whatever it is. You can't just get to a point and say to yourself, 'Oh, I feel good,' because most likely you're not good yet. Just because you feel good doesn't mean your body is heeled, it's just important to stick to it.

If you could pick what workout you wanted to do always, what would it be?

I would just do core, elliptical, and yoga, and pull-ups. I love core. I feel like you can be so creative with your exercises, there are so many unique things. I like watching other athletes workout, I found a surf video of some cool core exercises that they do on the Swiss ball. I tried a couple of them and they were really hard. I love experimenting, and that's the great thing about going to the gym. You can look at someone, see what they're doing, and think 'hey, I like that, I'm gonna try that,' and just going for it. 

What's your biggest piece of advice to a beginner who feels like the journey ahead of them too much to handle?

You're always going to have bad days, but you have to believe in yourself. That's the one thing that I've always done, no matter what it is ... I still have not lost faith in the fact that I will be back. I haven't come back yet, but I know that I will so there's not really any specific thing that I can say to make it easier, but you just have to believe in yourself.

Where do you gain most of your strength from?

That's a great question, but honestly I've just always been the person that's on the hill the longest I'm in the gym first thing, I leave at the end of the day. I can't tell you why I am this way, but I just am. I want to succeed and I know that it takes hard work, and I'll work as hard as it takes to be on top.

Okay, so now you have to tell us: What's in your fridge?

Yogurt, coffee creamer, Red Bull. I usually have meals prepared because when I get home from the gym. I know I'm too tired to prepare food when I get home, and if I didn't do things this way I wouldn't eat the way I need to. Of course I need a certain amount of protein a certain amount of carbohydrates, vegetables. Lots of steak in my fridge.

UP NEXT: Celebrity Trainer David Kirsch Says to Face Your Fear of Failure

Marathoner and Coach Bart Yasso Says Running May Have Saved His Life Blog entry Mon, 15 Sep 2014 17:27:08 -0400 Fitbie
Burt Yasso

Runners across the country agree: Bart Yasso has one of the coolest jobs in the world. As the Chief Running Officer at Runner's World magazine, he gets to attend races around the globe, meeting tons of fellow runners and learning how the sport has changed their lives. 

But Yasso didn't become a running sensation over night. He first began running when he was 22 by tackling a single mile. Eventually, he went on to become one of the few people to run a race on every continent and in all types of conditions -- from Antarctica to Death Valley. In 2009, he wrote My Life on the Run, chronicling his adventures racing around the world.

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Now, almost 40 years after he first hit the pavement, the co-author of The Runner's World Big Book of Running for Beginners has become so influential to the running community that he's been nicknamed the "Mayor of Running."

Here, the running icon and today's #MondayMotivation chats with us about the best way to prevent those way-too-common running injuries, and why he doesn't keep track of how many races he's completed.

What's the best advice you can offer for beginner runners?
Think about being a runner for life. It’s a mindset you need to establish early in your running career. Beginner runners have to start out slowly, you literally have to walk before you run. Be happy with small gains and build up your endurance slowly.

What's the biggest misconception about runners?
One misconception is we’re a bunch of loners. Runners are a very social group, and we raise millions of dollars every year for lots of great causes. Running is not always about our personal goals -- we love to help out others.

More from Fitbie: Pro Runner Lauren Fleshman Says Marathons Aren't Everything 

When did you start running? Why did you start?
I didn’t start running until I was 22 back in 1977. I did participate in other sports in my younger years including wrestling, basketball, and football. However, I made a critical error and chose the path of alcohol and drugs, mostly marijuana. I was very lucky to gravitate towards running -- it may have saved my life.

To date, how many marathons have you run? 
To date I’ve run countless marathons -- well over 100 -- and if you count ultras and Ironmans the number keeps growing. I’m not a numbers guy, though. I don’t want to know the exact the number. I count the friendships I encounter through running -- that is the most important number for me.

What do you eat the night before a big race?  
I’m a vegetarian. The night before a big race I love a big vegetable stir fry.  

What's the most important advice you can give to prevent running injuries?
Listen to your body. It always sends us signals to back off. Always better to miss a day of running to avoid an injury. The biggest mistake runners make is increasing mileage too quickly and not running easy on recovery days.

What are 3 songs on your workout playlist that are your guilty pleasure?
I never listen to music when I run. I love being part of nature and listening to my body rhythms.

What's your typical workout routine like? 
I ride my bike to work almost every day. I have a commute of 10 miles each way. I run 2 days per week -- 3 to 4 miles is my normal routine. I like to hit the gym 2 to 3 times per week.

What workout do you absolutely despise?
I love every workout. I never regretted working out, and I mean never.

What's your go-to post workout snack? 
I love energy bars. I always snack on one after a good workout.

What did you eat for breakfast today?  
Coffee first followed by a fruit smoothie. It's my favorite breakfast.

How do you use social media to interact with others?
I love connecting with runners on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. I love to share training tips and race recaps!

Follow Yasso on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.

Are you a nutritionist, food blogger, or fitness expert with a large social media following? Email us at or Tweet us @Fitbie using the hashtag #MondayMotivation to be featured as our next Fitbie Spotlight.

UP NEXT: My Journey to the New York City Marathon (VIDEO) 

Kayda Norman
Fat Shaming Doesn't Work, Plus More Hot Health Headlines Blog entry Fri, 12 Sep 2014 14:43:26 -0400 Fitbie
depressed overweight woman

Health experts are constantly working to develop solutions to America's obesity epidemic, but there's one tactic that certainly won't help us slim down: Being mean. New research from the United Kingdom suggests that not only does "fat shaming" not encourage weight loss, but it can actually result in weight GAIN. [Huffington Post]  

If you keep going back for "just one more" handful of chips, you may assume that the palate-pleasing combo of fat and salt has you hooked. But is that really the case? Are Doritos like drugs? Not exactly, says a new study. [Fitbie]

Do you hang out with junk junkies or fresh-food fiends? The answer could say a lot about your eating habits, according to a new study in the journal Appetite. [Women's Health]

Running low on diet motivation? A recent John’s Hopkins study found that simply receiving a text reminder may increase your chances of sticking with your healthy lifestyle. Harness the power of e-motivation with these five fun, free healthy and wellness apps. [Fitbie]

A growing body of research supports the fact that if you struggle to avoid junk food, your brain may be to blame. The good news: A new study out of Tufts University found that you can reprogram the reward mechanisms that drive you to the drive-thru. [Rodale News]


UP NEXT: The Playlist That'll Transform Your Next Spin Workout

Cathryne Keller
The Playlist That'll Transform Your Next Spin Workout (LISTEN) Blog entry Fri, 12 Sep 2014 10:00:07 -0400 Fitbie

Every week Fitbie features rad playlists from rad fitness instructors. This week, Heather Adair, instructor at Cycle House, shares hers with us. 

"What is important to me about creating a playlist is that is an opportunity to take my students on a unique journey during each class -- no playlist will every be exactly duplicated and it's important to keep a diverse selection that still flows," says Adair. "It is certainly hard to please everyone, so I like to keep an eclectic mix that ranges from Beyonce to The Killers, from Lady Gaga to Afrojack, from Avicii to U2."



UP NEXT: The Playlist That'll Amp Up Your Next HIIT Workout (LISTEN)

Emily Abbate
Trapeze School Tested My Fear of Heights, and My Abs Blog entry Fri, 12 Sep 2014 10:24:27 -0400 Fitbie
trapeze school

Full disclosure: My trapeze experience was part of my bachelorette party and wasn't intended to be a workout. Boy was I surprised when I woke up the next morning sore as anything -- the exercise equivalent of a hangover. But flying to new heights (or, as Woody says in Toy Story, "falling with style") not only tested my body in an unexpected way, it also pushed my boundaries for adventure.

More from Fitbie: 7 Bachelorette Destinations for the Active Bride-to-Be

The Gist: Trapeze School has several locations in New York, Washington, DC, Boston, Los Angeles, and Chicago. The routine is pretty straightforward. Once you're harnessed up, they clip you into safety ropes. You climb to the top of the "rig" (where one instructor meets you to get you situated) and gently jump off, holding onto a trapeze bar. A second instructor (holding your safety line) calls out instructions to you from the ground and you progress through three tricks: "Simply" hanging upside down, doing a backflip, and getting passed to a third trained trapeze instructor mid-air.

The Experience: After learning the proper way to stand and swing (with your feet firmly on the ground), I began my long climb up to the platform. While secured with safety lines and my harness, the shaky climb up to the platform got my heart going, but more in an adrenaline way than a cardio way. At the top, the amazingly supportive and friendly instructor takes my hand and guides me to the edge of the platform. I suddenly realize that this activity is seriously testing my comfort with heights. 

"It's totally OK," the instructor assures me. "If humans felt comfortable this high up, we wouldn't have lasted this long as a species."

Surprisingly, the scariest part isn't jumping off, it's grabbing the bar. Getting one hand on the bar is easy. The hard part is the second arm. The instructor holds my belt and tells me to lean my hips forward. My brain yells: "YOU'RE GOING TO FALL, IDIOT!" but I'm secured by the safety lines and the instructor.  I lean out and grab the heavy bar and pull it back to myself, keeping the shoulders back posture they taught us on the ground (it's kind of like mountain pose in yoga with your feet apart).

Then, on the instructor's command, I hop off the platform and swing through the air. There's a bit of a lurch, but not nearly as bad as a roller coaster (and I cannot stand roller coasters). 

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Now the workout begins. 

For my first trick, I learn the basic move -- hanging by my knees. On the back swing, I tuck my legs towards my head and swing them over the bar. Then, I let go with my hands and arch my body backwards so that I create a C with my body, facing away from the platform. After a (somewhat) graceful swing, the process is reversed, and I let go to fall gently on my back. 

The next trick is a back flip. Same set up as before, and as I come out from the knee hang, the instructor yells "FORWARD BACKWARD FORWARD" meaning I swing my hanging legs, let go with my arms, tuck into a ball, and open just as I hit the net. 

Finally, we get to the pass. Another instructor is also swinging on the rig and is ready to catch me off of my bar. While upside down hanging from my knees, I reach out and grab his hands and release my legs and go floating in the opposite direction, feeling totally weightless. Then, on his command, we let go and I fall into the net.

My Take: The instructors say anyone can do this, regardless of strength or flexibility. And they're right -- I barely recognized that it was a workout because so much of the movement is done by the momentum, but my abs, back, and shoulders assured me that it was the next day. And, not only did I get a killer workout, I also had an amazing flying adventure that was both fun and challenging and left me feeling so accomplished!

UP NEXT: This Surfing Workout Had Me Holding On for Dear Life

Cathryne Keller
Fitbie Find: BlenderBottle ProStak Blog entry Thu, 11 Sep 2014 10:00:06 -0400 Fitbie
Blender Bottle

We love a good protein shake. The only problem? When you're on-the-go, there's no way you're toting around a tub of protein power, and putting things into plastic baggies? Forgettaboutit. Before you know it, there's powder in your purse, and we're not talking about the pressed kind to rid yourself of that post-workout glow. That's where today's #FitbieFind, the Blender Bottle ProStak comes in handy. 

Essentially, the ProStak is everything you need in one container. A secure screw-on lid, 150- and 100-cc jars, easy-to-read measurement markings, AND of course -- the 22 oz bottle -- there's nothing else you could want in a shaker cup. Bonus: it's dishwasher safe.

What else we love:
• Comes in eight colors
• Convenient loop for easy carrying
• BPA-free

The Details: Blender Bottle ProStack, $13.99,

UP NEXT: 10 Tasty Protein Shake Recipes

Emily Abbate
5 Fun, Free Health & Wellness Apps Blog entry Wed, 10 Sep 2014 15:53:48 -0400 Fitbie

In need of some new motivation? A recent John’s Hopkins study found that something as simple as receiving a weekly text reminder to stay healthy greatly ups your odds you’ll actually follow through on it. You could just ask your BFF to send you one, but we’ve done you one better. Since interactivity is such a simple key to success, here are 5 fun, free apps to inspire you

1. Fittr 
Animated and voice-guided, Fittr uses an algorithm to help pinpoint the exercises that got you your best results today, and then work them into future workouts to optimize your fitness results. It even has an option where it will post to your Facebook or Twitter account if you skipped a planned workout -- a shame-worthy but effective way to hold you accountable.

More from Fitbie: Expert Tips for Living a Healthy Lifestyle on a Budget

2. Fooducate
Scan the barcode on any product at the grocery store, and Fooducate instantly spits out a detailed analysis of its nutritional pros and cons -- even giving it a letter grade based on its good-for-you merit. It also offers up healthier suggestions with a similar feel to the product you were inclined to buy, and it lets users share their best tips among themselves. 

3. RockMyRun 
Sick of all of your playlists? RockMyRun developers worked with a team of runners and professional DJs to come up with dozens of energizing, streamable song mixes to suit any runner's fitness level. The premium version of the app ($2.99) can even adjust the tempo of the music you're listening to -- either to match your pace or make you push yourself a just little bit harder.

4. Nudge 
If your screen is already filled with different health trackers, Nudge synchs with MapMyFitness, Strava, FitBit and other programs to bring together all that data in one place. It rates how healthy you're living on a point score from 1 to 110, and has clubs you can join to give you social support.

5. Waterlogged
Never sure if you're drinking enough water? This app tracks how much you're quaffing on any day, week or year by measuring the amount you're consuming via photos of your favorite drinking vessels. The premium version ($3.99) will even send you reminders that it's time to stop and take a sip.

UP NEXT: Fun iPhone Apps for a Healthier You

Eating is Addicting in a Different Way Than Drugs, Study Says Blog entry Wed, 10 Sep 2014 15:02:35 -0400 Fitbie

We’ve all been guilty at one point or another of mindlessly munching on snacks while say watching TV or scrolling through Facebook. Well according to a new study, the act of eating can be addictive for some people. 

An international team of researchers found that for individuals who had developed a psychological compulsion to eat, this desire was driven by the happy feelings the brain associated with the act. Findings showed that while the physical act of eating was addictive, participants had no signs of addiction to specific foods. And according to scientists at the University of Edinburgh, this behavioral disorder could also be classified with other conditions such as gambling. 

More from Fitbie: 3 Ways to Make Healthy Eating Easier

"People try to find rational explanations for being over-weight and it is easy to blame food,” said Dr. John Menzies, Research Fellow in the University of Edinburgh's Centre for Integrative Physiology.

"Certain individuals do have an addictive-like relationship with particular foods and they can over-eat despite knowing the risks to their health. More avenues for treatment may open up if we think about this condition as a behavioral addiction rather than a substance-based addiction."

For registered dietitian Jaime Schwartz, Vice President at Ketchum, this study reinforces that the focus of conversations about weight should not be on food itself but rather people's relationship with eating and the eating behaviors and habits they develop. 

"Stress and feeling sad are common triggers for turning to food as comfort," shared Schwartz. "It's important for people to identify what their triggers are and find ways other than by eating to get them through tough times."

Her tip for having a more healthy relationship with food is to find a balance between seeing food as fuel for your body and an experience to be enjoyed. "Make eating a mindful experience," said Schwartz.

UP NEXT: 7 Foods Missing From Your 'Healthy' Diet

How to Get All the Benefits of Hiking Inside at the Gym Blog entry Wed, 10 Sep 2014 11:06:24 -0400 Fitbie
Lea Michele Hiking

If you follow Lea Michele on Instagram, you know that she went on her, oh, millionth hike with beau Matthew Paetz over the weekend -- as she does EVERY weekend. We've gotta give it to the girl. Hiking is a great way to squeeze in quality time while staying fit and active, and Ms. Michele has never looked better. 

"The biggest benefits of trail hiking, besides smelling and looking a hell of a lot better than the inside of a gym, is the diversity the terrain offers and the fact that dirt is generally softer on the knees than pounding the city pavement," said Barry's Bootcamp Master Trainer and media fitness personality Noah Neiman

More from Fitbie: 4 Benefits of Hiking

If you ask Neiman, hiking delivers great cardio and muscle building benefits because the hills, plateaus, and valleys create a natural interval training course. "With hiking, especially as we increase incline, quads as well as deep muscles in the glutes and lower back begin to work overtime," he said, "making it an excellent choice for strengthening not just our cardiovascular systems, but our back and legs as well."

The problem? Not all of us have access to the fab Los Angeles hills found in Lea's backyard. In many parts of the country, we're heading into another cold winter. (We're shuddering just thinking of another Polar Vortex.) But just because you're stuck inside -- or in a city -- doesn't mean you can't simulate a great hike in the gym. Here are Neiman's top tips for a rocking hike workout when you're relegated to the indoors:

1. Climb high. Don't be stingy with pressing the incline up button on the treadmill, or using the stair climber. "As we increase the vertical on the treadmill, it can mimic the elevation we might climb naturally on a trail hike," Neiman said. "Try playing with different elevations bouncing between high, medium, and low grades throughout your treadmill time to constantly vary which muscles are emphasized. "

More from Fitbie: Celebrity Trainer Noah Neiman Gives Us His Muscle-Toning Tricks

2. Grab your hand weights. Adding weights to your walk will boost your quads, hamstrings, glutes, and core, Neiman said. "Or try working lunges in with weighted bench step-ups to really target the glutes and hamstrings," he added. "Try four sets of 12 repetitions on each leg of each exercise to really feel your legs burning like you're being chased by the paparazzi through Runyon Canyon!"

3. Kick it into high gear. "The only thing better than walking trails, especially the hills, is sprinting them," said Neiman. "Shake it up and push your body. Hop on the treadmill. Jack it up to the highest incline. See how fast you can go in 45 seconds." Repeat eight to 12 times with a one or two minute rest in between, and you'll see results fast.

UP NEXT: Barry's Bootcamp May Just Be the Best Workout Class I've Ever Taken