That belly looked B-A-N-A-N-A-S at the NFL kickoff concert. And has Gwen aged, like, a second since the Tragic Kingdom days? Drink from her fountain of hotness: She has said her fave onstage look (crop top, that’s you) inspires her to work out. Envision your dream wardrobe, and sweat for it.
2. Pimped Rides
The new It accessory? A bike! We’ve seen as many colorful cruisers (like a limited edition Villy; VillyCustoms.com) as designer bags. Your purse wishes it could help you burn 350-plus calories per hour.
3. Saving Face
Gymnast McKayla Maroney was not impressed when haters said she was a spoilsport on the Olympic podium. But she quickly poked fun of herself and the Internet meme she inspired.
4. Active Kiddies
Future SELF cover stars?! We adore seeing celeb Mini-Mes on the move (Suri Cruise was spotted riding a super pretty pink bike this year), and with child obesity rates stupid high, we applaud their parents for setting a healthy example.
5. Sweaty Birthday Bashes
So you say it’s your birthday? Swap a boozy night for a doozy of a workout like the coolest-of-the-cool kids Lena Dunham and Lady Gaga. Both celebrated at SoulCycle, the überpopular cycling studio in L.A. and NYC. Mark your big day with any kind of fun class, then toast to your health—with a glass of water on the rocks.
6. Cute Gym Hair
Ashley Greene is the queen! She shuns boring workout ponies and rocks topknots, braids or pigtails instead. Sport a bracelet-like hair tie on your wrist (Equinox will sell ribbon ones this winter) and you’ll always be ready to whip up a lightning-fast gym look.
7. Stereotype Swaps
After how many stripper movies flaunting how many lady parts, we finally got to see fit dudes drop trou in the, ahem, huge hit Magic Mike. (We’ve heard a sequel is in the works!) Meanwhile, this summer, Taylor Swift proved sexy doesn’t equal skimpy when she wore a retro two-piece that she could actually (gasp) swim in.
8. Twitter Challenge: #30DayHomies
This Twitter-born fitness challenge from our girl-crush (and past SELF cover star) @IMKristenBell was simple and brilliant: Do something active every day for 30 days, and tweet it to “help friends get off their hiney holes.” Bell, as self-appointed captain of the homies, tweeted gems like “Did an hour Bar Method class; my shoulders are sore as shit,” plus posted hilarious pics and recruited pals like Jenna Fischer. Several months later, people still hashtag #30DayHomies.
9. Yummy Health Food
It’s a real thing! Protein-packed Greek yogurt had a renaissance this year (Pinkberry, Jamba Juice, and Ben & Jerry’s all intro’d options), and celeb-fave Kind came out with a low-sugar (4 g!) snack bar. Greek yogurt company Chobani even opened its first yogurt bar in NYC’s SoHo neighborhood this past summer.
10. The “Mob” Scene
Total-blast Mob events (shorthand for “mud, obstacles, and beer”) are now any type of wackadoo race or physical challenge—tomato fights, mud races, zombie runs! People love them; participation is up 92 percent. Find one to do at Active.com. A Mob scene we love: Warrior Dash.
11. Stylish Fitness Trackers
In September, Fitbit launched Zip ($60; Fitbit.com), a 0.28-ounce wireless monitor in cheery colors that makes it easy and fun to track your every move—the Zip displays a smiley face as you approach your step, distance or calorie goal. We’ve heard Zooey Deschanel hearts them.
12. Women Who Kick Serious Butt
Is it just us, or was 2012 the year of the female action hero? Loads of movies came out starring serious whoamen. To infuse a little ka-bam and ka-pow into your workouts, add girl-power hits like The Hunger Games, The Dark Knight Rises (BTW, how smokin’ was Anne Hathaway?) and Total Recall to your Netflix queue and check out SELF’s get-warrior-ready workouts.