You’re Invited!

I was invited to participate in what’s called a blog tour by author and blogger Sheryl Dluginski. (Check out her website here!)

The plan is to answer four questions about my writing process, then introduce three new bloggers who will do the same next week as the tour continues on. You’re invited to jump in on the tour now!

1. What am I working on?
I am always juggling a number of projects professionally. My most pressing project is compiling all — yes, all! — of the best tips for a better night’s sleep. Coming up will be a piece on spring allergies (yay, spring!), and on the back burner are some fitness-heavy ideas, like all the things you’re doing wrong when you squat and a whole bunch of fun plank variations.

Personally, I journal regularly, often in the form of poetry. Most of these scribblings are not at all intended for public consumption, but every once in a while I let one slip.

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Destination Certification: On the Path to Becoming a Personal Trainer

About a year ago, one of my roommates was questioning passions. She’s a deep thinker, this roommate. She asks perceptive questions while others make small talk, and she’s more often than not ruminating on something. She asked me if I knew what my passion was, thereby immediately directing my attention, as she is so often able to do with just one question, to my own internal goings-on I hadn’t been so attuned to.

I’ve forgotten my answer by now, because her response meant so much more: She told me she always thought my passion was fitness, and not just in my work in health journalism, but in the way I live my life, in the way I care about others.

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January 4, 2014

2013 didn’t tick by in weeks and months, it passed in a series of three-month chunks, each punctuated by his quarterly visits to his oncologist.

 

On the one hand, each set of follow-up scans after his testicular cancer diagnosis at the tail-end of 2012 has been a little bit easier, for both of us. He knows what to expect, and I’m learning to — trying to — control my accompanying scanxiety. On the other hand, he’s now familiar with drinking contrast and having needles in both arms, and I’m saying things like “quarterly visits to his oncologist”…

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Relay for Life of Manhattan

I’m participating in the first-ever Relay for Life of Manhattan at the Roseland Ballroom on June 1.

I’m usually not one to fundraise, but for the first time this year I saw cancer up close and personal. I want to make sure that other people who need to fight cancer WIN just like my Valentine did.

If you or anyone you know would like to support me and my team at the Relay, please click here.

Thank you so much. And here’s to kicking cancer’s butt!

To Cancer, On Valentine’s Day

Cancer:

I doubt you’re getting many love letters this Valentine’s Day. Don’t get excited — this isn’t one, either. But since you paid my Valentine a visit last month, I’d like to get a few things off my chest.

Our story was tricky enough without you. We met toward the end of our senior year of high school and really hit it off, only to leave for colleges hundreds of miles apart just a few short months later. We tried the long distance thing, which I’m sure even you would say was a bad idea. It only ever got harder. We tried keeping in touch while we dated other people without much luck, and we eventually drifted into what we now fondly refer to as “radio silence” before reconnecting at a mutual friend’s wedding (cliché, I know) in 2011.

Read the rest on The Huffington Post.

The Best (And Worst) Foods For A Cold

Last week, I came down with what I now think is becoming my annual early-September cold (if two years in a row makes a trend).

I tucked myself in Monday night with the beginnings of a sore throat. After a restless night, I found my symptoms had escalated by Tuesday morning to a stuffy, runny nose, watery eyes and that telltale pressure headache unique to mucus-logged sinuses (sorry).

While it’s not even technically autumn yet, this is a prime time for colds: When the humidity drops, cold viruses can survive better, according to the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases; the past couple of weeks have really felt like fall, not summer, and the sneezes sounding off all around our newsroom are proof enough for me.

I holed up in my bedroom for a couple of days, armed with tissues and tea. But even with nighttime meds, it took longer than I was expecting to get some much-needed relief from the sniffles.

There are over a billion colds in the U.S. every year, according to the National Institues of Health. Yes, a billion. So it’s not surprising that we all think we know what to do to kick a cold. Everyone I spoke to over the past few days asked me if I was eating or drinking something different — but what really works? Click over to The Huffington Post to find out.

Sweat Into Summer!

I have this thing about triceps. I want them. Like, really want them. Maybe not quite Madonna triceps, but definitely Michelle Obama triceps, and maybe even Jessica Biel triceps. I know I need to move them more, but I have found plenty of excuses not to. I’m joining the 30-Day Summer Shape Up Challenge with the intention of strutting into the office on June 20, guns blazin’. I’ve decided, for me, that means 20 pushups — and not those lazy ones, either, these ones here with perfect form — every day.

Will you join me? Fore more details, read the rest on The Huffington Post.

I’ll Try Anything Once: Aerial Fabric Dance

When it comes to fitness, I’ll pretty much try anything once.

First it was Cirque du Soleil, then it was Pink at the 2010 Grammy’s. Most recently, it was this killer performance at the 2012 Oscars.

These stunning aerial displays have always caught my eye, not just for the sheer theatrics of it all, but, seriously, have you seen those performers’ bodies?

While no one is going to run off to the circus for killer triceps, a recent outcropping of studios offering aerial classes at least lets you try it — for an hour or so.

Read the rest on The Huffington Post.

Fix Your Form

There could never be anything as explicit as a sign saying “No Girls Allowed” — but there might as well be. At my gym, I have not once seen a woman in the section where people (i. e. men) actually lift weights.

There are plenty of women on the stair climbers. There are plenty of women stretching and crunching on the floor mats. There are too many women crammed into what just may be the hottest Spinning studio on earth. And there are even plenty of women using strength-training machines that take some of the guess-work out of lifting, if you don’t know your way around a weight room.

That back-room boys club always irks me. I know there’s no reason I shouldn’t lift there, and yet the feeling of not belonging is too strong to push aside.

While my sample size is small, I know I’m not the only one who feels this way. The women I’ve talked to about their workouts and the women I’ve worked out with have expressed feeling varying degrees of this air of exclusivity, as well as feeling varying degrees of comfort with and confidence in their own strength-training skills. It’s something by now we know we need to do, but many of us have never been instructed in how to do it.

Your first strength-training session is not like your first time on a treadmill; a good workout isn’t as easy as putting one foot in front of the other. So it’s understandable that no matter how strong of a Spinner or runner or swimmer or feminist a woman is, she may feel a little out of place in the weight room.

Partially to help ease my own discomfort and partially in hopes of easing yours, this week on HuffPost Healthy Living, we launched a new series (starring yours truly — one step closer to that dream of becoming a model!) called Fix Your Form.

I had the pleasure of working with trainer John Romaniello, who guided me through some of the most common mistakes women (and men!) make at the gym, and offered simple, straightforward tips on how to correct them.

In the weeks to come, we’ll cover squats, lunges, triceps presses, ab exercises and more, but we kicked things off with the pushup. Read John’s tips and see before and after photos here. I hope you find the series as helpful as I do!