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Give the Gift of Fitness

iStock_000014614375SmallWith Hanukkah and Christmas creeping closer by the minute, this Motivation Monday is all about keeping things as simple as possible!

That means I’m offering reminders from holidays past to help you get through this season without completely falling off the health and fitness wagon.

Click on the following links for refreshers on:

1) Navigating your way through a healthy holiday party circuit

2) An ideal workout option for your time-crunched schedule

Finally, I offer three simple gift ideas for the fitness buffs on your list:

I’d love to hear about the items on your wish list! In the meantime, I send tidings of joy and and wishes for a season filled with plenty of chances to have fun, be fit and feel fabulous!

Using Music for Motivation

music jpegThis short and sweet Motivation Monday post is all about the music. It’s amazing how some great tunes have kept my love affair with fitness fresh after all these years!

I remember making countless mix tapes back in college and more of those tapes were littered around my car when I went to gyms in the different states where I worked. Now my iTunes playlists have replaced those old-school cassettes. In the “old days,” I never went anywhere without my Walkman, and today, I make sure to have my ear buds with me at all times so I can play my motivational music for long walks in the city or when I work out at the gym or in the park.

Since music is such a big motivator in my routine, I thought I’d share my favorite top 10 songs of the moment. I always love to hear what everyone out there is listening to so don’t be shy about sharing your own top picks. Remember, whether you use music to move you or soothe you, it’s a great tool to add to your routine that can help you have fun, be fit and feel fabulous!

Laura’s November 2013 Faves:

  • “Let It Go (Laidback Luke Remix)” by Dragonette
  • “Cry Baby (Paul Oakendfold Mix” by Roisin Murphy
  • “Berzerk” by Eminem
  • “Little Bad Girl” by David Guetta
  • “TKO” by Justin Timberlake
  • “Starry Eyed (Penquin Prison Remix)” by Ellie Goulding
  • “It’s All Good (The Scumfrog Mixshow)” by Fantasia
  • “A Little Party Never Killed Nobody (All We Got)” by Fergie, Q-Tip & GoonRock
  • “Victim” by WIN WIN
  • “My Songs Know What You Did in the Dark” by Fall Out Bo

Give the Gift of Fitness!

iStock_000014614375SmallI thought I’d kick off the new work week with a double-dose of motivation. The idea is to keep fitness on your mind even when you’re trying to get motivated to cross those names off your holiday shopping list.

With 14 shopping days left until Christmas and possibly a few more Hanukkah get-togethers on your social calendar this week, here are some gift ideas for the fitness fanatics and wanna-be fitness lovers in your life.  Of course, if you’re still working on your own list for Santa, maybe one or two of these items could help you stick with your fitness routine in the New Year.

  • Personal Trackers: There are so many cool gizmos out there that track everything ranging from your heart rate and how many steps you take in that hip-hop group exercise class to how much sleep you really get each night. There are all kinds of brands and price tags, including items from Nike+Fuel to FitBit. This gift could be a boost for someone looking to get serious about fitness or take his or her goals to the next level.
  • Workout Wear. Never underestimate the power of a moisture-wicking pair of running shorts, shirt or yoga pants to help keep your cool during a workout. (My personal favorite is Under Armour.) Not sure of someone’s size? A gift card to a store like Target or Modell’s allows someone to find the style that works best for his or her routine. (For “high-end” workout wear, check out Lululemon and Athleta.)
  • Footwear. Wearing the right footwear when you workout is one of the easiest ways to protect yourself from exercise-related injuries. Since my exercise routine involves a mix of cardio, weight training and group exercise classes, I can’t live without my cross-trainers. I get a new pair every six months and time it so that brings me one of them at Christmas.
  • Fun Gift for Guys: How bout a “Performance Sports Crate” that includes everything from push-up bars to energy drinks? This and other sports-minded guy gifts at
  • Fun Gift for Gals: Know a fitness chick who loves to break a sweat at home with the Wii? Check out the Wii 5-in-1 Lady Fitness Workout Kit.
  • Fun for the Whole Family: With so many active games to choose from, maybe this is the year you buy the Nintendo Wii, Playstation 2 or XBox. Zumba Fitness 2 is also out for the Wii just in time for the holidays. For Playstation 2 or Xbox lovers, there’s still plenty of good buzz going around about Dance, Dance Revolution. If you don’t want to go the electronic route, then how bout an “old fashioned” pair of ice skates, a jump rope or a basketball? With fun like this to choose from at home, there’s no excuse not to get up and get moving!
  • Accessories for All:  Yoga mats, ear buds, re-usable water bottles, snag-free hair ties.
  • Musical Motivation: I know I’d be lost without my music to keep me moving, so an iPod or mp3 player could be a great gift to keep someone going. iTunes gift cards also allow mp3 owners to download songs and create their own motivational mixes.

Check out for other ideas for the exercise lovers in your life. Whether you’ve been naughty or nice, adding some of these new “toys” to your daily routine could be just the boost you need to have fun, be fit and feel fabulous!

Fast Take Friday


In anticipation of the sunny, summery weekend they’re predicting here in New York City,  I thought I’d wrap up the work week with a list of some of newest favorite iTunes. I’ll be listening to them during my workouts and chill time between now and Sunday. Enjoy!

Energy for the Elliptical or Tabatas (No rhyme or reason on music genres here, the tracks just keep me moving!):

  • “How You Like me Now” The House That Dirt Built (I can’t get this song out of my head since recently seeing the movie “Horrible Bosses”!)
  • “Unconditional Love” (feat. Melissa Loretta) Amurai
  • “Titanium” (feat. Sia) David Guetta
  • “Let’s Go” (feat. Ne-Yo) Calvin Harris
  • “Scream” Usher
  • “Looks That Kill” Motley Crue
  • “Shout 2000” Disturbed
  • “The Final Countdown” Europe
  • “In de Ghetto” Crystal Waters

Mellow music for cooling down, stretching or sitting at the pool, beach or backyard:

  • “Empty Streets” Late Night Alumni
  • “Like a Waterfall: Flipside Ambient Remix” JES
  • “Change Your Mind: Chill Version” (feat. Kyler England) Sunlounger
  • “Complicated” Paul van Dyk
  • “Everything” (feat. JES) Tiesto
  • “Me & You: Dimitri Andreas & Madox Remix” (feat. Rami) Mr. Sam
  • “Show Me” DJ Encore

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: good music is one of the things that keeps me motivated to move. I’m always looking for recommendations, so please don’t hesitate to share some of the tracks on your playlists. Here’s to the weekend ahead filled with good tunes, good times and plenty of reasons to have fun, be fit and feel fabulous!

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