Posts Tagged ‘ fitness ’

“I’m in Better Shape Now Than When I Was 25″: How Weekend TODAY’s Erica Hill Trains for a Marathon

Tuesday, October 21st, 2014

We got to squeeze in a quick chat with Erica Hill, who between being a weekend TODAY anchor and mom of two boys, is training for the New York City Marathon on November 2nd, with a very dear person in mind. Go, Erica!

You’ve run two marathons but this is your first time running New York—and your first marathon after having kids. How would you compare where you are now, fitness-wise, to where you were pre-kids? 

I’m 38 and I’m in better shape now than when I was 25. I think it’s because I have to be more committed than I was in my freewheeling twenties. I have to not just consider my schedule, but also my kids’, my husband’s, and work’s. Like any parent, for me it’s not just about “you” anymore. Being a mom has forced me to be more focused, and exercise has become more purposeful: Running for me has become my therapy. I feel like it gives me a break. I’m a more patient parent when I’ve had time to run.

How do you make time to train?

When I wanted to do the marathon, I told my husband and he said, “Absolutely. I support you.” I needed his support, and my sons’, because training is a huge time commitment. Mondays and Tuesdays are my weekends, and I do my longest training run of the week then. [Erica's last training run was over 20 miles.] I get up at 4:45 a.m. and I start that long run in the dark, but then what’s nice is I get home in time to bring my boys to school. 

Have you always been a runner?

When I was in high school I ran, but I didn’t really consider myself a runner until the past six months or so.

But you’ve completed two marathons!

I have run two, but not well! It always seemed everyone else knew what they were doing. I’d say I’ve become more of a runner since joining a group a friend of mine, Nicole Burke, started in support of another friend of ours, Liz Shuman, who has cystic fibrosis (CF), OutRUN38. It has a Facebook page and members can log their running miles–or walking or biking or swimming miles—to help raise awareness for CF. And once you’ve logged onto this great group with all this community support you’ve made a decision: I am a runner. It’s a mindset: I’m going to be good at this, I’m doing this for my family, and I’m sending a good message to my kids of being healthy.

What do you love about running?

No matter where I am, I run. When I travel, I love to run because I think it’s a great way to see a city. With my friends it’s a social thing—we talk and we solve the world’s problems on our runs. When my older son was old enough to get in the jogging stroller, I could have him go with me. We would have fun chatting and then he’d fall asleep and I got in anywhere from three to six miles while he napped. What I love about running is that all you need to do to get ready is to put on your shoes and go.

We hear you’re running for a special cause?

Yes, I’m running with Fred’s Team [Memorial Sloan Kettering’s athletic fundraising team] in honor of and in memory of my dad.

What are you looking forward to most about the NYC marathon?

I’m kind of emotional about it. I’ve heard there are lengths of this course where there are just thousands of spectators cheering the runners on, so part of me feels like I’m going to be carried on this incredible wave of love and support. My mom, my dad’s sister, and a lot of friends are coming in to cheer me on. I’m just looking forward to seeing my husband, my sons, and my mom at the finish and knowing I’ve done it. Once I get that medal, I don’t think I’m going to want to take it off!


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Workout Tips For New Moms

Monday, October 6th, 2014

Whether you were a workout fanatic or an exercise newbie before becoming a mom, we’re guessing you want to take care of that post-baby bod in some way, shape, or form. Here to help: Simone de la Rue, a celebrity trainer and fitness instructor in Los Angeles, and author of Body By Simone. Celeb moms like Naomi Watts swear by her method.

In her book, which is filled with meal plans, nutrition tips, and exercise moves, de la Rue addresses both the pregnant and postpartum mom, stressing the importance of consulting a physician prior to working out. New mamas looking to lose a few pounds, take note: de la Rue says women who underwent C-sections should be careful when performing abdominal work (ask your doc when it’s safe to start, and take it easy on those crunches!). And don’t hold yourself to ridiculously high standards.”Sometimes, you simply don’t have the time or energy to work out,” de la Rue writes. “This is totally fine!”

The key is to slowly get back into the groove. De la Rue recommends new moms try out her Level I: Corps de Ballet workouts. “Stick to the low-impact moves for a month or two to allow your body to regain some strength,” she writes. “After that, ease back into the regular routines.” As de la Rue reminds new and expectant moms, cardio, “contrary to what you might think, gives you a boost of energy.”

Anyone who’s tried a Body By Simone workout knows you’re going to break a sweat! A soothing shower with a cleanser like Olay Ultra Moisture Bar ($5.99 for 6) will feel great afterward.

In New York City or Los Angeles? Sign up for a Body By Simone class! Elsewhere? You can still squeeze in a workout from the comfort of your home. This one even incorporates Baby!

Exercise With Baby: Quads, Hamstrings and Butt
Exercise With Baby: Quads, Hamstrings and Butt
Exercise With Baby: Quads, Hamstrings and Butt

Image courtesy of Body By Simone. 

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Brooke Burke-Charvet: “I Try To Lead By Example”

Thursday, May 22nd, 2014

Brooke Burke-Charvets new line of workout apparel, Caelum, promises to help achieve fitness goals while staying stylish all for under $100.  Celebrity Baby Scoop caught up with the always on-the-go mom of four to talk about Caelum and where her inspiration came from.

CBS: Tell us about your recent photo shoot in Venice Beach for your fitness line, Caelum Campaign. Was it nerve-wracking getting in those teeny tiny outfits for the camera?

BB: “We decided to let Venice Beach be the home for the Caelum Campaign photo shoot. I absolutely love the energy in Venice Beach so we chose to use graffiti walls and have the heart of Southern California be the backdrop for the launch of the line.

The line offers styles for every type of woman and the goal is to inspire women to dress the part and live their fittest life.”

CBS: Tell us all about the brand. It looks colorful and cozy. What inspired the various designs?

BB: “My goal for Caelum is to inspire women to get fit and dress the part. I always say, if you are going to sweat to do it in style.

I created Caelum, derived from the acronym that defines the brand: ‘core, active, evolve, live, uplift and motivate,’ for women with active, on-the-go lifestyles. I also believe that fitness is fashion! This line was inspired by seasonal colors and current fashion trends so women can have fun when they are pulling their fitness wardrobe out of their closet!”

CBS: We hear the line will be available in Nordstrom. Congrats, and tell us more!

BB: “Thank you! I am very excited that a two year dream is becoming a reality and Nordstrom is the perfect home to launch my brand. Right now, the line is available at and within the next week, will be available in Nordstrom stores across the country.”

CBS: How do you stay in check re. body image and staying healthy? How do you bring a healthy message home to your daughters? To your son?

BB: “It is very tricky. Right now, my older girls are totally into fitness, which I think is great. I try to never use words like ‘fat’ or ‘skinny’ and instead I talk about being healthy, strong and getting fit. I try to lead by example, because working out is so much more than just the body. It is about mind, body and souls as well as the benefits of choosing to be active go so much deeper than the surface.”

CBS: Shall we watch for a fitness DVD to follow? Maybe you’ll be helping moms to get back into shape post-baby?

BB: “I currently have a DVD with Sony and have already produced four titles and plan on producing four more in the next year. For these DVDs’ I did not just lend my name, but instead I developed workouts such as Sexy Abs, 30 Day Slim Down, Tone and Tighten and Strength & Condition that individuals at a variety of different fitness levels can use and truly work!”

CBS: What’s with Hollywood’s obsession to lose the baby weight fast? What’s your best advice to new moms in the postpartum period?

BB: “I totally believe in belly binding! I wrapped my post pregnancy belly in a belly binding sleeve I developed, Tauts, for forty days and forty nights. This totally helped support the baggy baby skin and forced me to keep my core engaged. I really truly believe this is the best natural approach to getting back in shape.

I will say it takes a miracle to make and grow a baby. All women need to embrace the time and anything that happens to their bodies is so worth it, but it should not be used as an excuse. Stay healthy, stay strong and be positive… remember the pregnancy belly does not have to be forever.”

CBS: Tell us your best tips for moms wanting to get started in a regular fitness routine. What’s the key to success?

BB: “I firmly believe you have to be stronger than your excuses. There are a lot of tips and tricks, but no real secrets.

Making a commitment with a friend, signing up for a gym membership, purchasing a DVD, signing up for a workout class are all really helping and keep you honest. I also think women need to mix up their workouts, set reasonable goals and make the commitment to start.

If you are not sweating, you are not working out hard enough. So push yourself to your limits, write it down and make a schedule that allows you to be as equally important as everyone else is in your life. Make fitness a priority.”

CBS: How are your kids doing? Do they enjoy working out with you? Or are they into sports? Maybe they like both?

BB: “My kids are doing awesome! They love to workout with me. I really enjoy family fitness and sometimes will bring my son to a class and I love bringing my older girls to my Booty Burn class. It is a fun, rhythmic and free space for everyone to have a blast.”

Offering the perfect balance of performance and style, Caelum’s design aesthetic is luxe, modern minimalism using soft, stylish and functional fabrics. Providing maximum performance and comfort for a better fit and a better workout at an affordable price, Caelum apparel will help achieve fitness goals while staying stylish all for under $100. Caelum will be available at Nordstrom stores nationwide in early May.

Use our Baby Name Finder to find the perfect name for your little one, check out which celebrities are pregnant, or find family fitness gear at Shop Parents.

Exercise With Baby: Lower Abs and Obliques
Exercise With Baby: Lower Abs and Obliques
Exercise With Baby: Lower Abs and Obliques

More celebrity & parenting news:

Tamera Mowry-Housley: “I’ve Learned To Trust My Mother Instincts”

Gilles Marini: “I Want To Raise Beautiful Minds & Kind Kids”

Terri J. Vaughn: “I’m A Great Mother” is one of the most popular blogs on the topic and the foremost provider of everything celebrity-baby, featuring baby fashion, baby names, baby trends and up-to-the-minute celebrity baby gossip and pics. Get all the latest news, updates, and photos about Hollywood’s most beloved celebrity moms, dads and their babies. Who’s the latest Tinseltown baby? Who’s due next and who just announced a pregnancy? It’s all on

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Postnatal Yoga Tips from Rockstar Teachers

Monday, December 23rd, 2013

** Guest-edited by Kristen Kemp, yoga instructor

My last baby popped out 6 years ago, but I vividly remember the feeling that everything—my strength, energy, muscle tone and stamina—had been completely zapped. Where I was once able to run two miles up and down steep hills for exercise, all of a sudden, walking up and down the stairs to the laundry room was as strenuous as running a marathon. I reassured my latest yoga student—her adorable baby is 6 weeks old—to start slowly and steadily. All of our muscles remember what they used to do and luckily, our minds are even stronger than our bodies. We can think ourselves back into fitness.

I learned all of this at the amazing Yoga Journal Conference I attended in November. For yoga geeks, it was a dream come true. I spent two days in an intensive anatomy workshop with the brilliant celebrity teacher Jason Crandell. He taught me about muscles and bones—and how to make them strong. Another famous yogi, Kathryn Budig, taught arm balances (these are post-post natal moves you’ll love working up to). I did some crazy 8-point pose (see photo) where my arms were bent and my legs were parallel in the air about a foot off the ground. I thought, ‘I’ve come a long, long way since my kids were born.” I was so proud of myself. As Kathryn had said earlier, “getting stronger is amazing and empowering.”

For the holidays and New Year, I, of course, recommend yoga. In the wise words of the great teacher and sage Cyndi Lee, sometimes you have to put you first. “Take care of yourself so you can be a better mom, business partner, whatever. You can take better care of other people when you take care of yourself first. Only then will you have a little extra to give.”

If you’re interested, the next Yoga Journal Live conference is in San Fran on January 16 through 20. I’ll be at the YJ Live in New York City in April. Message me if you’ll be there, and we can meet up. I’ll definitely post new-mom moves I get from there, so stay tuned.

So go ahead and get started now. I’ve posted one of my favorite beginner videos by Jason. He’s a super-safe and inspiring teacher who offers this cool and relaxing 15-minute beginner yoga sequence. I’m taking this to my postnatal client on Friday.


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No Child Left Inside

Friday, May 24th, 2013

Should kids get an hour of gym every day? 

With physical activity as a proven brain booster, the Institute of Medicine is recommending that schools provide opportunities for at least 60 minutes of physical activity each day for students.

Since the passage of the No Child Left Behind law in 2001, 44 percent of school administrators report slashing big chunks of time from physical education, arts, and recess in order to boost classroom time for reading and math. Mandatory PE classes can help lower our nation’s childhood obesity rates, increase brain power, and add a healthy dose of fun to our kids’ school day, experts say.

A recent study by the Delaware Department of Education and the nonprofit Nemours Health & Prevention Services analyzed the records of more than 80,000 Delaware public-school students. It found that the kids who were more physically fit generally performed better on reading and math tests than their less-active peers.

Another study done by researchers at the University of Rome found that the test scores of 8-11 year olds improved by an average of 10 percent when they exercised right before an exam.

The Institute of Medicine recommends that PE be adopted as a core subject.

Do you think PE should be a core requirement?

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Parents Daily News Roundup

Monday, January 14th, 2013

Goody Blog Daily News Roundup

Newtown Weighs Future Of Sandy Hook Elementary After School Shooting
Newtown residents are divided on what to do with the school building where 26 people were killed, with some favoring demolition and construction of a memorial and others encouraging renovations. (via Huffington Post)

Longer School Year: Will It Help Or Hurt U.S. Students?
Did your kids moan that winter break was way too short as you got them ready for the first day back in school? They might get their wish of more holiday time off under proposals catching on around the country to lengthen the school year. (via Huffington Post)

Pedestrian Safety Program Prevents Student Injuries
Fewer kids were injured during early morning and after school hours once new traffic lights, pedestrian signals and speed bumps were put around New York City schools, according to a new study. (via Reuters)

Fast Foods Linked to Asthma, Eczema in Children: Study
Eating fast food three or more times a week was linked to a higher risk of severe asthma and eczema in children, researchers found. (via Bloomberg)

Digital Health for Kids, Seniors and Workout Buffs
Any pedometer will count how much you’ve walked, but a good, connected mobile app can push, encourage and sometimes even shame you into putting down the milkshake, getting out of the beanbag chair and meeting a fitness goal. (via CNN)

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I Kept My New Year’s Resolution and Lost 80 Pounds

Wednesday, January 2nd, 2013

“Lose weight. Get fit. Do a triathlon.”

Those were among my new year’s resolutions last year, and for once, I accomplished them.

In hindsight, my goals for 2012 seem preposterous. I’d just given birth to my third child three months earlier. I was weary from sleep deprivation, carpooling duties, homework, laundry, slapping together meals, freelance work, and postpartum hormones. I didn’t have a lot of “baby weight” to lose, because I hadn’t gained much. It didn’t matter, though: I went into my third pregnancy already vastly overweight. I remember stepping on my ob-gyn’s scale that first visit after I learned I was pregnant again: I weighed 198 pounds. By the time I was ready to deliver, I weighed in at 220.

Through the miracles of birth and breastfeeding, by the time the new year rolled around (so to speak), I weighed 185 pounds, heavy by any definition but especially large on my 5’4″ frame. I posted only pictures of my kids on Facebook, and retreated from public view like Greta Garbo, if Garbo had been a puffy-faced mom and not a movie star.

After the new year, something clicked. I’d been committed to losing weight before, but as corny as it sounds, this time I had a mantra in mind, “This is your year,” and I just believed it. When I got roughly 30 pounds down, people really started to notice the change. Their kind words–and the thrill of clothes shopping–encouraged me to keep going, until I’d lost a total of 80 pounds: 45 of those through my own work and 35 due to delivery and nursing (thank you, my baby girl Fiona!). And just shy of my baby’s first birthday, I completed my first sprint triathlon.

People sometimes ask me how I lost weight and now seems like a good time to look back, as a handful of those pounds crept back on over the holidays and like a few of us here at Parents and well, everywhere, I’m on a kick again, getting up before dawn to exercise and deleting emails about free brownies in the office kitchen as fast as I can. (Trade secret: There is always free food when you work at a magazine!)

Here’s how I did it:

I gave myself infinite time to lose weight. There would be no crash diets or crazy schemes I couldn’t stick with for a long time. I needed a sensible approach with flexibility. For me that plan was Weight Watchers. I did it online.

I shook off setbacks. Sometimes, I ate more than I’d planned. There were weeks I’d lost only a half-pound, or nothing. I remembered my goal, and kept going.

I didn’t exercise right away. My past attempts at doing it all at once–dieting and hitting the gym–left me discouraged, and hungry. I focused exclusively on my food intake for a good six weeks, before I started feeling a little lighter, and felt encouraged to get moving. I walked my kids to school, and started jogging home with Fiona, just a few yards at a time at first, until I was running a mile, and then another, around the neighborhood.

But I did set a big fitness goal. That was a triathlon. I hadn’t laced up a pair of running shoes in years. I didn’t own a bike. But I had months to train. Think about it: What can’t you accomplish with months to prepare? I seized opportunities to exercise: If my husband met us in the evening at our outdoor community pool, he handled the kids while I swam laps. Sometimes I didn’t get to the gym until after 9pm, but I never regretted peeling myself off the couch to go.

I surrounded myself with crazy people. When you have a vision of yourself in mind–for me, it was “athlete”–it’s not the time to listen to skeptics wonder aloud how you’re going to fit in exercise between your baby/kids/commute/job. I hooked up with an awesome training group of crazy-in-a-good-way local women called the Triwomen. Why crazy? They believe anyone–that includes you–can do a triathlon. I met a 65-year-old who learned to swim just so she could compete in her first tri. Talk about inspiring!

I bought a bikini! I’d like to say I got fit for my health, and for my three kids. That’s true. But my happiest moment, second only to finishing the triathlon, arrived in the form of a Nike two-piece I bought for our beach vacation last summer. My body’s far from perfect, but in my new midnight-blue bikini I felt…good. I felt free playing in the ocean with my kids and husband, and boogie boarding to shore beside my son. I was healthy, happy, and for once, completely unselfconscious about how I looked. That tremendous high is motivation enough to keep me on track this coming year.

In 2013, I plan to run a half-marathon, another reach, considering I hadn’t run more than 4 miles at a stretch in all of 2012. But with the help of (crazy) committed friends, time, and training, I know I’ll get there.

Good luck with your goals, whatever they may be. This is your year!

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Parents Daily News Roundup

Friday, December 7th, 2012

Goody Blog Daily News Roundup

Fit Kids Finish First in the Classroom
New research shows middle school students in the best physical shape outscore their classmates on standardized tests and take home better report cards. (via ScienceDaily)

Parents Live Longer than Couples Without Children
Researchers calculated that women who gave birth to a child were four times more likely to be alive at the end of the study period compared with women who remain childless. (via Los Angeles Times)

How Parents, Kids Interact on Facebook
The world’s largest social network released new data about how parents and their children interact online. But the findings also illustrate how personal interactions on Facebook can mirror those in the so-called real world. (via CNN)

Kids’ Sleep-Related Breathing Problems
Children with sleep-related breathing problems frequently have concurrent behavioral sleep problems, new research finds. But children with one type of sleep problem are not routinely evaluated and treated for the other. (via ScienceDaily)

New Study Reveals The 7 Best Ways to Keep Your Kids From Drinking
The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) released new details about drug and alcohol use by 12 to 17-year-olds, and found that alcohol use by middle and high school students is at an all-time low. (via Examiner)

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