When it comes to health and fitness, we know that Julianne Hough likes to mix things up. And after talking to her trainer, Astrid McGuire, it seems like Julianne will try just about anything to stay in shape — as long as it's fun! Keep watching to learn how Julianne stays fit both in and out of the gym, plus her secret to healthy snacking.
After signing up for a marathon earlier this year, I started out with nothing but the enthusiasm you'd expect when working toward a life goal. Cut to about the halfway point, and my go-get-'em attitude was replaced with running-route boredom (through the park again?), chronic knee pain, and a midrun breakdown brought on by a lingering cold. In short, I didn't know why anyone would ever sign up to run 26.2 miles, let alone me.
I know many marathoners who've felt the same way midway through their months-long training plan. The halfway point can be hard to power through — you've clocked hundreds of miles so far, but the big day still seems so far away. Luckily, all the effort is worth it once you wake up on race day (trust me!). Here are a few ways to stay motivated during that midtraining slump.
Don't put it off: By now, you have your schedule down — except for those weeks when you've got an afterwork event every day and a weekend trip planned. Be firm with your schedule; while it may be tempting to push all your running sessions in favor of something more fun, especially when you're feeling discouraged, saying you'll run Thursday through Sunday instead of sprinkling your runs throughout the week is a recipe for disaster. Reassess whether you've been prioritizing your training plan, and then choose which social engagements you need to skip.
Keep a record: If you haven't been keeping a record of all your runs, then now's the time to start. It'll help you visualize your progress, which is a great way to stay motivated. It'll also hold you accountable if you start to skip out on your training runs — you'll have the date of your last workout staring you in the face.
Know what works: As your race gets nearer, knowing exactly what works and what doesn't during long runs will keep you on the right path. There's nothing like a stomach ache or a major chafing incident to dampen any enthusiasm for those 20-milers as the weeks go on. Know which shoes work best for long runs, keep an eye on your laundry pile so you know when your favorite capris need to be washed, and stock up at the store so you always have the right pre-workout snack ready. Starting out on the right foot before a long run helps the time go by that much faster.
Know when to take a break: Sometimes, you shouldn't follow your training plan; if you're sick or injured, resting is the better option. You'll feel much better if you take a few days off to recover than if you stick with your plan and keep depleting your energy stores. Listen to your body — if you need to sleep in instead of suit up, then do so.
Share your experience: Whether you call a friend, commiserate with your running club, or join an online forum, it helps to share your frustrations and worries with someone who can encourage you and listen to you vent.
On that note, share your marathon training experience and advice below!
It seems like everyone is plagued by tight hips these days. Even if you're not a yogi, runners, cyclists, and deskbound workers will all benefit from the following beginner-friendly sequence that helps open the hips, prevent injury, and relieve compression in the spine.
Downward Facing Dog
Start your practice on a strong note with the mother of all poses: Downward Facing Dog.
From Down Dog, step your right foot forward between your hands. Turn your left heel in, press into your feet, and lift your torso up. You'll find yourself in Warrior 1.
From Warrior 1 with your right foot forward, lower your torso and lift your left leg, bringing your body parallel with the ground. Extend your hands out in front of you, pressing your palms together firmly for Warrior 3.
After holding Warrior 3, step back for to Warrior 1. After creating a strong base with your feet and legs, extend your arms out in T-position as you rotate your torso to the left, coming into Warrior 2.
From Warrior 2, straighten your right leg and shift your torso to the right, making your spine as long as you can. Release your right hand down, and rest it on your right shin for Open Triangle. Once you've completed Open Triangle, place both hands on the ground and step back for Downward Dog.
Repeat this sequence with your left foot forward, then keep reading for the rest of this hip-opening sequence.
New York Fashion Week is nothing if not a wealth of style inspiration. Whether you've had the privilege of attending the Spring 2014 shows or you've caught up on all of our Fashion Week coverage, there's no way to end the week without a few new styling tricks. So, in celebration of NYFW — and all of the sartorial inspiration it provides — we've launched a special contest!
We've teamed up with Kiwi fashion designer Rebecca Taylor to give away an impeccable $1,000 look from her collection. To enter to win, just pin a piece from one of our ShopStyle shops that you most consider "New York Fashion Week chic" to any of your own Pinterest boards by Thursday, Sept. 12, and complete an entry form with your contact details. The lucky winner will be chosen at random. Bonne chance!
In light of New York Fashion Week and all those long legs, we're showing you how to get the bod of your favorite top models. Whether you're looking to tighten and tone your abs like Miranda Kerr or get Heidi Klum's shapely gams, these workouts are just what you need to rock the latest fashions. With help from celebrity trainers like Andrea Orbeck and Valerie Waters, you can get runway ready at home with these seven videos. Pick a favorite or do them all, but get ready to sweat like a supermodel!
Want to turn your body's fat-burning potential up a notch? Check out these five ways to wake up and up the calorie burn.
- Exercise: That dawn workout doesn't just put a pep in your step; exercising in the morning also helps boost your metabolism, more than exercising at other times of the day. Studies have shown that people who exercised in the morning burn more calories than those who exercise at other times of the day, so lace up your sneaks and greet the sun for an added calorie burn.
- Add intensity: Good news for the time-strapped: a recent study found that a simple intense 2.5-minute burst of exercise can lead to an increased afterburn all day — up to 200 calories worth, in fact. Need ideas on how to add intensity to your workouts? Here are five short exercises that will help you burn extra calories fast.
Three more ideas after the break!
Do you have Dancing With the Stars fever? Check out Self's review of the hit TV show's newest workout DVD!
What do Elizabeth Berkley, Bill Nye, Snooki, and yours truly all have in common? We're all on the upcoming season of Dancing With the Stars, you guys! Okay, fine, so maybe I'm not officially on the bill — but I swear I could be after spending some time with Karina Smirnoff and Kym Johnson and their brand-new DVD DWTS: Sizzle & Groove Latin Dance. I've been sampling this new workout vid for the past few nights as I gear up for the new season, and let me tell you: It's crazy fun, crazy challenging, and a crazy-good workout. (Also: I'm a crazy bad dancer, but it doesn't even matter. For real.)
Sizzle & Groove Latin Dance, just released, had a lot to live up to: Its predecessor, Dancing With the Stars: Latin Cardio is currently the No. 1 bestselling dance fitness DVD of all time. Plus, DWTS buzz is at a high right now, with Season 17's premier slated for Sept. 24 and the new cast announced just last week. (We're pulling for Jessie Spano.)
Luckily, hosts Karina and Kym aren't just smokin' hot fitness role models; they're also really good at teaching dance. So even though the segments shown here look like they might be really difficult to master, they're actually . . . only kinda difficult to master. Plus, I really feel the burn, too, since the moves work so many different muscle groups.
My favorite part of the hour-long sweat session is the 15-minute "Salsa Sizzle" section, with lots of hip shaking, side kicks, and box-step action. Plus, even if I'm not gonna be on DWTS, I'll still be better prepared to tear it up on the dance floor at all the fall weddings I'm attending this year!
More from Self.com:
There's a reason why so many people love kettlebell training — after all, who doesn't want a total-body resistance and cardio workout that only takes half an hour? And even more surprising, an American Council on Exercise (ACE) study recently found that the average person can burn 400 calories in just 20 minutes with a kettlebell. That's an amazing 20 calories a minute, or the equivalent of running a six-minute mile!
What makes the workout so effective, especially when compared with traditional weights like barbells or dumbbells? "You're moving in different planes of movement," says Laura Wilson, director of programming for KettleWorX. "Instead of just going up and down, you're going to move side to side and in and out, so it's much more functional. It's like you move in real life; kettlebells simulate that movement, unlike a dumbbell."
As a result, Laura says, you end up using more of your stabilizer muscles than traditional weight training, which translates into an increased calorie burn and a killer workout for your core. All this makes kettlebell training not only great for weight loss but also for improving fitness level; an ACE study found that eight weeks of kettlebell training two times a week improved aerobic capacity by almost 14 percent and abdominal strength by 70 percent in the participants. "You're recruiting so many more muscles than you would with traditional training," Laura explains.
If you're ready to jump on the kettlebell train, don't just grab a weight and start swinging. Proper form is essential for ensuring you stay injury-free when performing kettlebell exercises. Start with light kettlebells and visit a certified kettlebell trainer (check your gym to see if classes are offered) to learn the right way to train — then check out all of our kettlebell exercises here!
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