Self Magazine – Work out in the Park

On Saturday, May 15th I attended the 17th annual Self – Work Out in the Park, an amazing event that featured a full day of work-outs and healthy sponsors showing off their stuff – a Year of Hope smorgasbord!!

First of all, kudos to Self Magazine for creating an extremely well organized and on target event..  The space was perfect for the number of attendees (about 1,500) the vendors were well thought out and on brand and the exercise classes were all taught by high energy instructors who definitely knew their stuff.   Here are some event highlights:

Non-stop Classes

Love the energy of the classes.  Especially liked the fact that the classes were all at a level where I could participate.  As I struggle to get back in shape AND battle a bad shoulder and back from a car accident I was in a year ago, it’s hard to find classes that are heart-pumping and also are easy enough for me to participate.

Masala Bhangra Workout hundreds of women joined in for a high energy dance moves of Bhangra and Bollywood during a fun and heart-pounding Indian style workout.

Cardio Tai Box – Ok, I have to admit, I liked this class so much because Tamar is my favorite instructor from back at my Crunch days.  She could make any class fun.

Very Cool Sponsors

T-fal’s Acti-Fry was one of my top finds of the event.

LOVE, love, love this cooker that uses forced air and a rotating arm to cook food.  It uses a fraction of the oil than a traditional fryer to cook fried items AND as an added bonus (and what I consider a MAJOR plus,)  the ActiFry has a rotating arm that actually moves the food around – like your own personal chef.  Well kind of.  For me I think this feature is great since I love to cook, but never seem to have the time.

You just put a small spoon of oil in the cooker, add the items you are looking to cook, set the timer and viola! Dinner.  Since some items cook faster than others, you might need to add an item for 5 minutes or so and then add another, but in general the whole process TOTALLY beats having to stand by a stove for 20 minutes.  The ActFry is perfect for making French fries or stir fry.

It’s a little pricy at $299, but if you use one of the Bed, Bath & Beyond 20% off certificates you get in the mail every week, you can save $60.

Reebok Easy Tone

Reebok has entered the shaper market with two kinds of shoes, one walker and one jogger.  I’m a big fan of my BMTs and very curious as other players enter the market.  There are two unique features of Reebok’s line.

The first is that they have a walker and a jogger.  All of the shaper shoes I’ve seen (MBT and Sketcher) are both walkers only.  You’d actually do significant damage if you tried to run in MBTs.  It’s great having a running option, less need to have a million pairs of workout shoes.

The second is that they look like normal shoes.  Unlike the platform shoe like look of the MBT’s and Sketcher’s Reebok’s line looks like a regular, fashionable pair of running / walking shoes.  I only got the chance to try one shoe on, but it was very comfortable.  I’m looking forward to checking them out when I can try on a full pair and go for a jog.

They are priced at $99.00 which is in line with the Sketcher’s price and below MBT’s which range in price from $119.00 to $259.00 (MBT pricing has come down significantly since I purchased mine a few years ago)

Aeire f.i.t

Aeire f.i.t, a line of fitness clothing, was the shocker of the event, only because I had never heard of them and that they are a division of American Eagle Outfitters.  I picked-up a pair of cropped jogging pants and thin and thick socks.  Liked the pants right off the bat since they had a tiny pocket to store keys during a run.  I tried the pants and thick pants out during an hour long jog yesterday and give both items a thumbs up.  Not sure how the pants will breath when it’s really hot out, but they were fine yesterday.

What would make the pants even better would be – additional pockets! Yep, I’d like to have a larger pocket up front for my phone and one around the back for my ipod – then I wouldn’t have to wear my dorky fanny pack.  And before you say anything, always carrying a phone is a good idea. Besides the fact that I get a nervous twitch if I don’t check my email or send out a tweet every 10 minutes, it’s helpful if you get into a bind or sticky situation.

Silk – YUCK, Soy Milk I thought.  I wasn’t evening going to try it.  Glad that I did. The chocolate Silk soy milk was really good.  I typically stay away from soy.  My sister had estrogen receptor positive breast cancer and she was told to stay away from Soy Protein Isolate (I’m actually pretty passionate about getting the word out about this.)  Since we are related, I figured I would stay away from it as well.  I was also told by a nutritionist to stay away from soy since I am on thyroid medicine.  So my general takeaway about the Silk is that I like it and would drink it again, but likely wouldn’t become a regular.

What I was very impressed with was that the Silk website had a great Q & A section.  Here are answers to the breast cancer and thyroid question.  I would say. Take a look at the Q & A and see if it’s right for you:

Myth: Soy causes or worsens thyroid problems.

Reality: There is no scientific evidence that soyfoods or soy isoflavones adversely affect thyroid function. Some studies suggest that consuming soyfoods may affect the dosage requirement of synthetic thyroid hormones for patients already taking thyroid medication. This is similar to other common food-drug interactions, and does not indicate a relationship between soy and thyroid health.7 Patients using thyroid medication should work closely with a doctor to ensure consistent and effective dosing.

Myth: Soy increases cancer risk.

Reality: In fact, a number of scientific studies suggest a link between soy consumption and reduced risk of certain cancers, including breast 8 and prostate.9 Many researchers have noted lower rates of breast cancer in Asian populations, which have traditionally consumed a high-soy diet for centuries.10 More research is needed to draw firm conclusions about soy and beneficial cancer effects. However, today’s medical and nutrition communities recognize soyfoods like soymilk as a nutritious addition to a healthy diet.

Myth: Soy is not safe for breast cancer patients and survivors.

Reality: The American Cancer Society states that breast cancer patients can consume soyfoods like soymilk, tofu and edamame regularly. A major recent study lends credence to this perspective, indicating that soy is not only safe, but it may also have a positive impact, potentially helping to decrease the incidence of breast tumor recurrence.

All in all, I would give the event an A.  Self Magazine did a great job.  They even gave out copies of their magazine and a free year’s subscription was included in the $20 event fee.

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