It’s never too early to get beach-ready! Slim down and shape up for summer with our celebrity fitness challenge! From AcroYoga to cardio and strength training, these Hollywood workout tips will get you fit-minded in no time.
If you’ve ever visited Nashville, you know it’s a city of runners. They fill the sidewalks of West End and Hillsboro, jog their way over the crosswalks downtown and zip past Belmont with their dogs and strollers (and quite often both at once). But there’s only one time each year when all those runners converge in the same place, and that’s at the annual Country Music Marathon and 1/2 Marathon.
This year’s race marks the 13th in the marathon’s history, and it’s a significant year because the race landed a sponsorship from St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, making it a part of the Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon Series.
According to the Tennessean, St. Jude signed on for a three-year title sponsorship deal with the race. St. Jude’s CEO of Fundraising, Richard C. Shadyac Jr., told the newspaper that the event is a big fundraiser for the hospital, as runners can become St. Jude Heroes and raise support for their run.
“The event is truly a marriage of fitness enthusiasts and country fans alike nationwide who want to do something meaningful in the fight against childhood cancer and other deadly diseases,” he said.
The only hospital that doesn’t require patients to pay for anything, St. Jude requires more than $1.7 million per day just to operate. The marathon is a great way for Nashvillians and others to get involved in the cause and channel their athletic energy into a worthy cause.
As with every Country Music Marathon in the past, this year’s run will feature a good bit of live music, with more than 50 local artists taking 28 stages to perform for runners during the race. JoDee Messina will also be offering up a live performance at the pre-race pasta party for St. Jude Heroes Friday, April 27, just one day before the race.
The race begins Saturday morning (April 28) at 7 a.m. at Nashville’s Centennial Park and ends at LP Field. A post-race concert will feature Rodney Atkins and Gloriana, rounding out the Country Music Marathon experience.
I don’t mind admitting it: Some of my hesitancy toward running is steeped in vanity. I’ve always heard that running can cause wrinkles by jiggling and jarring your face with every stride, breaking down valuable collagen in the process. Could I–and all the folks I’ve heard that from–be wrong?
And what about when a trainer or aerobics instructor insists that you cool down before leaving class to minimize muscle soreness? Hogwash?
The April issue of Fitness magazine tells us that these are some of the fitness lies we–and our trainers–tell ourselves.
“Having performed surgery on many women marathoners, I can say that their bodies overall are very toned, which refutes the notion that pounding breaks up collagen,” said Dr. Joe M. Gryskiewicz, president-elect of the Aesthetic Surgery Education and Research Foundation. Instead, that gaunt and loose look more likely comes from having less body fat and spending more time in the sun. that said, if you take up running, you’ll have yet another great reason to wear good sunscreen.
And that cool down? Turns out it’s more for your heart than your muscles. “I would recommend doing it after any class to allow people to get their heart rates down,” says Dr. Carl Foster, professor of exercise and sport science at the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse.
Not to worry if you need to cut your session a little short, though. “After a moderate workout, walking to the locker room will provide all the cool-down a healthy person needs,” Foster adds.
You’ve heard me say it before, and I’ll say it again: I’m not a runner. No matter how much I want to make it happen, becoming a runner intimidates me for some reason. I start out well, but when a training schedule requires me to run for 20 minutes without stopping, I always tend to find something else I’d rather do with those 20 minutes.
Then the March/April issue of Women’s Running magazine shows up in my mailbox.
Right there on the cover, in big black letters, they introduce me to their “no excuses” training plan for a half marathon. Their 16-week schedule includes training only three days a week. And–this is where they won me over–there are a few “spa weeks” on the schedule as well.
A bit to my disappointment, the spa weeks don’t include massages and breakfast in bed. Instead, these weeks include what the trainers call “chill runs”–runs that are more at a leisurely pace. They’re a bit easier than runs that show up in other training weeks, but they still get you out there running, working toward your goals. Also on the training schedule: cross-training days that can be filled with Zumba classes, swimming or even hiking with the dogs.
Now, I don’t know if a 13.1-mile race is in my future, but this training schedule makes it look almost possible for me, a non-runner, to fit running and training into my weekly calendar.
Can I also just say bravo to the designers of Women’s Running magazine? I’ve long been disappointed and even distracted by the blaring glow of the white cover with each and every issue that shows up at my house, but with this March/April issue, you’ll notice a difference when it comes to yours. The colors are soft and inviting, not harsh and stark like the solid white covers of the past. I hope this is a trend they’ll continue!
Recent studies show that just 15 minutes of exercise a day could keep you living — and working out — longer.
Sometimes it seems like experts can’t make up their minds. First we need an hour of exercise a day to stay healthy. Then it’s just 30 minutes five times a week. Now, research says 15 minutes of exercise a day could add up to three years to our lives. Awesome!
Lead researcher Chi Pang Wen of Taiwan’s National Health Research Institutes told Reuters “It’s for men, women, the young and old, smokers, healthy and unhealthy people.” He also said that doctors can successfully offer any patient this “one-size-fits-all type of advice.”
The study followed almost half a million people for 13 years, looking at their medical records and and reporting on their activity from year to year. When considering age, weight, sex and other health conditions, Wen and his fellow researchers found that just 15 minutes of exercise a day — compared to study participants who were inactive — increased their lives by three years.
Who can’t squeeze that into their busy schedule?!
When you add those three years to your life, you won’t want to stop there. Take Mary Harada for example. Featured in the article “Golden Goddesses” in the Jan./Feb. issue of Women’s Running magazine, Harada’s activity of choice is running, and she holds the bragging rights to an American record in the mile. She’ll turn 77 this summer.
Whatever your activity and whatever time of day you choose to do it — get out there and get your 15 minutes in. Maybe you can break a record before you turn 77, too.