I’ll Try Anything Once: Barry’s Bootcamp

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

I wasn’t always this way. My parents love to repeat the story of how I refused to do anything but kick when presented with a ball as a child, something they had to frequently remind me of when I complained about having to resort to indoor track for a winter sport in high school. Continue reading

Are You Too Sick To Work Out?

I had the opportunity to speak with David Nieman Ph.D., director of the Human Performance Lab at Appalachian State University, a pioneer in exercise immunology research, as part of my reporting for a quiz on how to know if you’re too sick to work out. This nugget didn’t make it into the final version, but I find his research and the field in general particularly interesting, not only as a journalist, but also as an athlete, as someone who hates getting sick, and as someone who believes exercise is basically the best medicine.  Continue reading

Tweet It Forward: Celebrating the Gift of Giving

It’s not that I’m unlucky, I’m just not particularly lucky. (Cue Nicki Minaj: “No I’m not lucky, I’m blessed, yes.” I am incredibly blessed and want to take a quick moment to say thank you to the friends and family who have made that so. You know who you are.)

I lose expensive jewelry, I immediately scuff new shoes, and I can’t wear white while eating spaghetti–okay, maybe luck has nothing to do with it and I’m just a big klutz. But after a recent run-in with a pickpocket, I had been feeling like whatever smidge of luck I had left had just about run out. Continue reading

It’s Official, I’m a Social Media Nerd

I’m sure it started as something no one else really wanted to do. Social media became one of the day-to-day responsibilities of the assistant editor I eventually replaced. I took over half-heartedly, following her instructions by the book.

Using Facebook and Twitter for a corporate brand is nothing like using them personally, I quickly discovered. Sure, the mechanics are the same, but the voice, the tone, the personality, and the matter of authenticity are entirely different.

As I became accustomed to posting in my Health.com voice, responding to curious users, and monitoring the requests and complaints of devoted customers, I began to take ownership for Health.com in the social space. Social media is no longer something I have to do, it’s something I like to do, and in an office where using social media beyond the bare minimum is still relatively new, I’ve become somewhat of a makeshift guru. Continue reading

Mind Over Matter

I went for a long run with C this week. (When I say long, I mean seven miles. Long for me, but for C., now training for her third–or is it fourth?–marathon, I’m sure it felt like a quick jog.)

Since my first “long” runs with my high school track team, I’ve never quite decided if I think we get personal on long runs because the sheer physical endeavor requires instant and profound bonding with the people around us, or because we’re simply bored and in need of some serious distractions.

But I’m getting ahead of myself. Continue reading

I Was (Almost) A Spin Class Drop Out

My relationship with exercise has always been fueled by ulterior motives.

A competitive soccer player at heart, I started running to get in shape for what I thought would be the hardest team tryout in the history of soccer—my high school’s freshman girls’ team.

While it turned out I wasn’t required to run a sub-21-minute 3-miler, that became my goal the summer before high school, and somehow, even as soccer seasons came and went, running stuck. Continue reading

Sportsmanship vs. Competition

Now I can’t even remember how I stumbled across it, but this article has really stayed with me.

“Sportsmanship at its best: Rustay helps Shine finish” is an account of a high school girls’ cross country race. There’s little about it that’s monumental, other than the fact that one runner helped another after the latter had fallen near the finish line.

The comments,  tweets, and news coverage itself is a glowing love-fest for the sportsmanship of the girl who stopped running to help her competitor. Continue reading

Chivalry Isn’t Dead, But I Wish It Were

I wish chivalry would just kick the bucket already.

Not just any chivalry. In particular, the unsolicited acts of male strangers that they seem to think are expected of them that I have no use for. Somewhere down the line someone must have told them that’s how to impress, woo, or generally act around members of the female persuasion. But I’m so over it. Continue reading

“The 50 Fattiest Foods in the States” Goes Viral

Almost an entire year ago, sitting around the table in the conference room that overlooks Radio City Music Hall, the Health.com editors came up with a brilliant idea. What if we called out different states for their particularly unhealthy regional fare?

We tossed out suggestions, shared our own gross-out moments, and even reveled in some of the hometown delicacies that we dared to–gasp!–enjoy.

When the project was handed over to me, I had so much fun reading the Twitter replies to @goodhealth and browsing through food blogs that the regional foods idea quickly evolved into finding the fattiest foods native to each state. I found myself simultaneously disgusted at some of the combinations I came across–notably the fried-brain sandwich and the bacon-wrapped meatloaf–and yet strangely hungry at the same time. Continue reading