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The Healthiest Ways to Celebrate a Birthday!

A new trend is officially gaining steam: Healthy Birthday Celebrations! When it come time to blow out the candles, it seems like boozing and binging are out and exercise and eating well are in.

To be fair, this could be a sign of being a certain number of years out of college, but I don’t think getting older is the only thing at work here. It’s probably about getting wiser too. I have definitely noticed an increase in the healthier birthday party: For my roommate’s birthday a year or two ago, we all woke up at six in the morning to go on a group run. We spent the rest of the day antique shopping, walking around town (even more exercise), and ended the night with a glass of champagne each.

birthday

That’s right. Birthdays do not have to be about totally throwing your healthy lifestyles out the window. Here are some fabulous (and yes, still really fun!) ideas for a more adult birthday party. Enjoy!

Fitness Class Fun
Yoga, Zumba, Indoor Cycling, Pilates, ballet, kickboxing?! There are so many different exercise classes that are an extremely good time—why not bring your friends? Your birthday wish can (and should!) absolutely revolve around getting your best pals to join the fitness class you love. A lot of gyms and fitness centers have group rates or bring-a-friend prices, so definitely take advantage of them. What better way to start a new year in your life than with a little healthy sweat alongside your best friends?

Group Run Get-Together
Similarly, a nice group run is a wonderful way to set yourself up for success. Start your special day off right with a gorgeous run outdoors. Yes, gyms are great, and treadmills are good for your joints, but Vitamin D is important and it’s a lot more fun to run en masse in a park or along a trail. You can even theme the run. How fun would it be to run with birthday hats on or along a trail of landmarks from your childhood? Make it a little more interesting and your friends will definitely be in.


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Taryn Denton’s 135 Pound Weight Loss. No Ah-ha Moment. Just Major Results

A few months ago, Taryn Haley-Denton happened to see one of our weight loss rock stars, Eli Sapharti, do a shout out on Facebook, asking for people who had lost at least 50 pounds to raise their hands if they wanted to be featured for our True Weight Loss (TWLS) segment. Taryn, contacted us immediately. After losing 135 pounds in 2 years, it’s easy to see why.

taryn denton

Usually our TWLS participants can pinpoint one instance that made them want to get serious about weight loss, but for Taryn, there wasn’t one specific catalyst, “I wish I could say I had some romantic moment where I had the whip cream can in my mouth and heard a divine voice say, ‘Taryn, this is not the life for you,’ she explained. “Mainly the reason I started getting healthy is, well, that’s what you do when you’re heavy – you think about losing weight and being thin, yet never really think you will.”

But she did! Spurred on by the thought of looking better, feeling healthy, and conceiving a future child, Taryn made a complete lifestyle change. “Theoretically, it was very simple,” she said. “I ate less, ate healthy, and exercised more. No secret pill, specific diet plan or premade meals.”

I modified my diet, that’s all.

By restricting her intake to a minimal amount of fast food, processed foods, refined flour sugar and grain, Taryn began to lose 10 pounds per month. “I eat five to six small meals per day that include a wide variety of vegetables (I dress them up with different spices and sauces), and lean protein (chicken, fish, turkey, egg whites, greek yogurt, and cottage cheese).”


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Atkins for Endurance Runs: Why Cutting Carbs Eliminates Tummy Troubles and Powers You for Hours

Running a marathon is serious business, which is why most competitive runners have an unflagging game face. (After all, any extra effort—like that needed to muster up a smile—might zap important energy stores!) But it’s hard not to grin when you get a look at the ridiculous signs held by fans, many of which refer to the gross things that can happen during long distance runs. All those banners about diarrhea and going number 2 while running down a crowded street? Well, they’re funny because they’re true.

dont_poop

However, stomach cramps, sprints to the port-potties, and worse don’t actually need to be a part of your marathon plan, according to Colette Heimowitz, MS, VP of Nutrition and Education at Atkins.

“Carb loading for cardio endurance can help you have energy, but it has side-effects,” says Heimowitz. “You have to take in so many carbs right before an event that runners get so many to intestinal upsets.” Even worse, she says, most runners who rely on carbs for their energy tap their stores well before end. 
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Q&A: Which Should Come First, Cardio or Resistance?

cardio weights 

If you’re anything like me, you’ve probably always wondered if there is more of a benefit to lifting before you run, or if the exercises should be performed in the reverse. (Sweat then strength or strength then sweat?) It’s an age old question, but finally, we have an answer.

Well, kind of.

According to a recent study from the Department of Biology of Physical Activity at the University of Jyväskylä, Finland, it turns out that the order doesn’t matter all that much. Fitness experts long ago discovered that the combination of cardiovascular exercises along with resistance increases the effectiveness of both exercises, but the order that works best appears to be based on personal preference more than any physiological differences.
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Get Your Run On: 6 Races to Add to Your Bucket List

So you want to run a race. Sure, there are probably a number of local runs in your home town, from a charity 5K fun run to full and half marathons. But if you’re going to put in the time to train to run a race, why not commit to running one to remember?  There are dozens of races held in fun and unexpected location and with themes that will make the whole experience even more fun, and unforgettable.

Our friends at Shape magazine have compiled lists of the best spring races and the best women’s races. Below is a sneak peak of our favorite 6. (Click the links to see the other 14!)

 

tinkerbell-half-700

The Disney Princess Half Marathon Weekend: Men are technically allowed at this Florida event, which has a Tinkerbell-themed sister run at the southern California park, but it’s clear that women rule the road for this one. You can run a 5K, 10K, or half marathon; costumes are, of course, encouraged. (February 2015)


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