Running is the new celebrity fitness favorite

On Sunday April 15, More and Fitness magazines hosted their annual half-marathon in New York’s Central Park, the largest women’s-only half in the country. The View’s Elisabeth Hasselbeck returned for her second year, running as the celebrity host of the fitness-focused event.

elisabeth hasselbeck running more marathon

She’s not the only famous face to pound the pavement, especially in recent years. Celebrities of all kinds seem to be embracing running as their calorie-burning activity of choice.

Celebrity running fever

Hasselbeck isn’t alone when it comes to stars who don sneakers. From Katie Holmes and Christy Turlington to Reese Witherspoon and Renee Zellweger, the number of celebs who run to stay in red-carpet shape continues to grow. They might have access to the best gyms and trainers in the world, but stars lately are trading fancy fitness equipment for a good pair of running shoes.

The ‘it’ way to move your body

Last year, Hasselbeck finished the half-marathon in Central Park in a speedy 1:42:33. In addition to the veteran View host, more than 10,000 women, including two elite runners (one of whom was planning to use this year’s race as a warm-up to the Olympic trials in June) also participated in Sunday’s event. “Running has taken off for everyone, not just celebrities,” says Betty Wong, editor-in-chief of Fitness. “It’s an easy do-anywhere workout that is practically equipment-free. You just need a good pair of sneakers and away you go,” she adds.

Says More editor-in-chief Lesley Jane Seymour about the race: “The More/Fitness women’s half-marathon is a powerful event that not only celebrates health and wellness, but the incredible spirit of the thousands of women who come from all over the world to reach a goal — to get out there and get moving, and to have a blast doing it.”

Getting started

It’s true — there isn’t much that goes into getting started when it comes to running. If you’re not sure where to start (or haven’t run anywhere since you were chased across the playground as a kid), fear not. There are several apps that can help get you ready to run. We like Couch-to-5K ($2 for iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad) for its simplicity and effectiveness. We know more than a few run-phobic friends who were pleasantly surprised at how this app helped make running accessible to them.

Other benefits of running

In addition to being cost-effective and a great way to stay in shape, preparing for and competing in a race in particular can allow you to get even more bang for your fitness buck, Wong says. “Entering a race is a great way to set a goal for yourself and apply all your workouts toward training for the big day. That feeling of accomplishment you get crossing the finish line is addictive, no matter how fast your time,” she explains. Just how good does it feel to finish that race? “Donning a shiny medal afterward is like earning our very own Oscar, Emmy or Golden Globe – not to mention all that training we put in means we’ve got strong, sexy legs to show for it, too!”

More fitness tips and trends

Top 3 reasons to work out with a friend
5 Fresh ways to get fit this spring
How to have your fittest spring yet

Photo credit: PNP/