Tag Archives: Running

10 Stocking Stuffers for Fitness Lovers

10 Stocking Stuffers for the Fitness Lover.jpg

Can you believe we are only 9 days away from Christmas?! I feel like we were just carving the Turkey and discussing Black Friday sales. Time needs to slow down just a little so I can catch up.

If you are anything like me, the majority of your shopping is done and you started to wrap, but the one thing you forgot about were the stockings! Dammit!  Well, I put together a list of 10 stocking stuffers for fitness lovers, that just might help you out!

Bonus: Each item is at or under $20 and many can be found locally without shipping! Score!

1. Skullcandy Ink’d 2.0 Mic’d Headphones:

skullcandy ink'd 2.0
These feature multi-sized silicone gel tips to deliver the perfect fit. You can also manage device and tunes with the single-button mic and remote. (Find them at Target or Walmart $20)

2. Stylish Beanies:

beanies.jpg

Perfect for outdoor winter runs as well as trips to the gym or the store. Beanies are stylish, functional and completely affordable. Give the gift of warm this year! (Starting at $6 at Target, Forever 21 and Kohl’s)

Apt. 9 ® lurex leopard ribbed beanie • Apt. 9 • $11.99
Merona® Jeweled Solid Beanie Hat – Black • Merona • $14.99
Merona Women’s Microfleece Beanie Hat • Merona • $6.00
Xhilaration® Reversible Star Beanie Hat – Black/Green • Xhilaration • $12.99
Xhilaration® Beanie Hat – Blue • Xhilaration • $6.98
FOREVER 21+ Multi-Tone Knit Beanie • Forever 21 • $6.23

3. Smart Gloves

Touchscreen gloves

In today’s tech world, your gloves MUST be able to work with the touch screen on your phone. Whether you’re running outside and activating your favorite run tracking app, or driving to the gym, these are a must-have for the social-media-driven fitness folks in your life. (Starting at $5 at retailers like Five Below, Target, TJ Maxx & Marshall’s)

4. Degree’s by 180’s Headphones:

Ear Warmer Headphone

Not a fan of beanies but want to keep your ears warm during your outdoor winter workout? Keep your ears warm and your tunes jamming with these ear warmer headphones! They are listed in the men’s section but I don’t see why us ladies can’t use them too! (Find them at Target.com and Kohls $19.99 or click here to purchase them via Target.com)

BONUS: Use the code JOY30 for 30% off these!

5. Quest Bars:

Quest Bars.jpg

Give the gift of the #CleanCheat this holiday season with some Quest Bars. They comes in a large variety of flavors and are heavenly when popped into the microwave for a few seconds to soften up. They are also gluten-free, have no added sugar and come in around 160 calories + 20 grams of protein per bar (depending on the flavor) My personal favorites are Cookies & Cream and Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough. There is also a brand new Smore’s flavor, but it’s not in stores yet. (Find these at your local GNC or Vitamin Shop around $3 per bar)

6. Gymboss Interval Timer:

Gymboss timer

The Gymboss Interval Timer and Stopwatch is a small, easy-to-use, dual interval timer. This multi-use timer has many versatile functions that make it beneficial to virtually any type of exercise program and helps keep your workout on track. You can program your work/rest times and not worry about starting and stopping a stopwatch. This little gizmo does it all for you. (Find it on Amazon $19.99)

7. Sparkly Soul Headband

sparkly soul

“I don’t sweat, I sparkle.” Kick your sparkle game up a notch with these non-slip, no-headache headbands that REALLY work. They come tons of different colors with two widths to choose from. Perfect for kids too (think cheerleaders, track stars and tumblers). (Find these on SparklySoul.com or Amazon. Starting at $15.00)

8. iTunes Gift Cards

itunes.png

Do I really need to explain why this is a great gift? From music to apps, I don’t know anyone who wouldn’t love to find one of these in their stocking on Christmas morning! (Find at grocery stores, Apple, Target, Walmart, Walgreens, CVS…etc. Starting at $10)

9. Burt’s Bees Lip Balm:

Burts Bees Lip Balm

Winter leaves our lips chapped and raw, especially if you workout outdoors. Give the gift of relief. Beeswax conditions skin, while antioxidant Vitamin E moisturizes. A final hint of Peppermint Oil provides that one-of-a-kind refreshing tingle. The result? Smooth, supple lips everyone will be buzzing about. (Find it many local retailers like Target, Walmart, Walgreens & CVS for around $3-$4)

10. Pampered Feet:

Pampered Feet.jpg

If you have a runner in your life, their feet take a beating! Give them a treat with a pair of Shea Infused Slipper Socks ($8.50) and some True Blue Foot Cream ($15.00) from Bath & Body Works.

I hope this list sparks some ideas for you as you wrap up your holiday shopping. If I missed a favorite of yours, please share it with me below!

blog sig

Advertisements

1 Comment

Filed under Health & Fitness, House/Fashion/Beauty, Products I've Tried

Happy May!

It’s May 1st already…when did that happen?!

May is my favorite month. It’s my birth month, Mother’s Day, the weather gets warmer but not so warm that I melt as soon as I walk outside, and it also marks the month that I started my weight loss journey… 5 years ago.

Yup, that’s right. I made the decision to change my eating habits, start moving more and become healthy, 5 years ago! It honestly doesn’t feel like I’ve been at that long, and I think that is because I am still learning so much about being healthy. I am always trying new workouts, new recipes, new food and meeting new people who have a passion for different areas of health and fitness.

While I still have my fair share of body issues, I am very proud that I have stuck with this lifestyle for this long and that I have not fallen back into my bad habits, like I did so many times in the past. Yes, I’ve had my nutrition slip ups. Yes, I’ve been a slacker when it comes to my workouts, but I’ve learned to notice the behavior and quickly correct it, which is a huge reason as to why I have been successful this time.

To celebrate this milestone, I plan on incorporating more yoga/meditation into my routine. I always feel more relaxed and centered after doing yoga but I am not a yoga lover, so I always find an excuse to skip it. I’ll also be participating in the #50MilesInMay challenge that a friend posted on Instagram.

50 miles in may

 

If you would like to celebrate my milestone with me, start your own journey or just take your fitness to the next level, please join me on Facebook for this challenge. Prefer using Instagram or Twitter? Use the hashtag #50MilesInMay to document your progress and make sure you follow me! Even if you don’t run, please join us. You can begin with walking, work your way to power walking and maybe even finish up with a light jog. It’s about leaving your comfort zone and finding out what you are really capable of.

blog sig

1 Comment

Filed under Health & Fitness, Running

#FFMarchMiles = 100 Miles in March

I’m a believer that things come into your life for a reason and I received proof of that yesterday.

I’ve been day dreaming about running again. It’s been about 2 months since I’ve laced up and felt the wind on my face and I’ve been a little depressed about that. To me, there is nothing like the quality time I spend alone, with the sunshine and the fresh air, while pushing myself to new limits.

Last year I ran all winter and I loved it. I actually did better when it was cold out, but this year, the Polar Vortex temps have made it to dangerous (in my opinion) to go out and enjoy myself.

Yesterday, while checking Instagram, I saw that FitFluential posted a new challenge for March and the focus was running!

I instantly got excited about this, since I’ve been daydreaming about hitting the pavement again. I tagged a few runner friends I’ve met on Instagram and they all responded yes to the challenge, so I’m really stoked to have not only a goal, but a support and motivation team too!

#FFMarchMiles

The challenge is to walk, run or hike 100 miles in the month of March. I know that sounds like a lot of mileage, but it breaks down to 3.2 miles a day. They even made a training calendar that changes up the mileage and makes it super easy to know what you need to do each day! CLICK HERE FOR THE CALENDAR

If you would like to participate, use #FFMarchMiles when posting to Instagram or Twitter, because FitFluential has teamed up with Reebok for this challenge and two lucky participants will win some amazing Reebok gear!

Now grab your running shoes, find a sidewalk, trail or treadmill and get moving!

blog sig

Leave a comment

Filed under Health & Fitness, Running

Hello, My Name Is Perfectionist

Hello My Name Is
The irony in this is that I know there is no such thing as perfection and I tell people on a daily basis that they don’t have to be perfect, they just need to do their best.  One would think I would take my own advice, but I don’t.

I have a tendency to set very high goals for myself, and when I fall short of them, I beat myself up.

Some might say my high standards are why I have had such success with my lifestyle changes, and it probably is. Setting the bar high makes me work hard toward my goals, however, when I fall short of my goals, I tend to beat myself up and that is not good.

Recognizing this problem is step one in my being able to fix it. I need to learn how to cut myself some slack, and show myself some love. I need to learn how to focus on the progress I’ve made and not dwell on what I wasn’t able to do.

I also need to learn that I am not Super Woman and I can NOT do it all. I am one of those people who don’t know how to ask for help. I’ve always been so independent that asking for help is like showing weakness to me, but it’s not weakness, it’s being human…and I know that I need to learn how to delegate.

I’ve come so far in the past four years, but my self esteem isn’t where it should be and that is because I spent so much time being a perfectionist.

A year ago, I would have never logged the miles running that I have this year. Instead of being happy about the miles logged or the fact that I’ve been dedicated enough to go out when it was 21 degrees or raining, I’ve spent time beating myself up because I haven’t increased my speed or because I took time off and didn’t log as many as I could have. This is not a healthy way to view things and I am working on changing that.

Personal development has played a big role in my life the past few weeks and I hope to free myself of this perfectionist pipe dream soon.

Do you hold yourself to high standards? Do you tend to overlook your accomplishments and only focus on your short comings? Read any good personal development books lately? If so, I’d love for you to share below!

blog sig

 

 

 

 

1 Comment

Filed under Health & Fitness

The Tale of a Running Slacker

Once upon a time, there was a girl named Nikki. She began running in the fall and fell in love with it. She set a goal for herself to run 500 miles in 2013 and while some people thought she was crazy, she was excited.

She ran all winter long, braving the snow, ice and frigid temperatures. She pushed herself to improve her form, avoid side stitches and set new PR’s. She participated in a Further Faster Forever contest and found that she was capable of amazing things… until an evil upper respiratory infection hit and sidelined her for a few weeks.

The evil upper respiratory infection left her with the need for an inhaler and a fear of going out to run. She tried a few times and a combination of anxiety and asthma always got the best of her. Leaving her only halfway to her goal of 500.

Then, the evil heat of summer came along and Nikki was not a fan of it, so she put her running on hold. She ran a few fun runs and logged a few miles on the days it wasn’t sweltering, but she was basically at a stand still.

She attempted to run on the hamster wheel of death, in an air conditioned gym, but it just wasn’t the same.

Part of what Nikki loved about running was the fresh air, changing scenery and the mind clearing effect the two had together. The hamster wheel of death just didn’t offer that, so the frustrated Nikki sulked off and just watched as runners tweeted and instagrammed about their runs.

Finally, one October morning, the air was crisp and the humidity was gone.

Nikki grabbed her running shoes, turned on RunKeeper and hit the trail for the first time in a while. Her head instantly cleared, her legs felt strong and her breathing wasn’t an issue.

She finally made it to 300 miles and while she knows there isn’t much time left in 2013, she’s going to do her best to reach the goal she set.

After all, the cooler temps, snow and ice never stopped her before.

The End.

Time to Fall in love with running again

blog sig

4 Comments

Filed under Fitness Inspiration, Health & Fitness, Running

September is National Yoga Month!

AthletaYoga

Leave it to me to run a 30 Day Yoga Challenge the month BEFORE National Yoga Month. I’m going to view it as being a trend setter. Maybe being a bit ahead of myself? Okay…okay…I don’t pay enough attention to these National “_____” Day lists, lesson learned!

Thankfully the wonderful folks over at Athleta sent me an e-mail sharing a series they have put together with YogaGlo, which starts today! They’ll be offering a series of FREE on-line yoga classes beginning today, September 1st through the end of the month!

Anyone can enjoy the classes by visiting www.Athleta.com/YogaMonth and pick from the 3 practice levels available:

– Level 1 class to kick start your day
– Level 2 class for recovery after a busy day
– Level 3 class designed as cross-training for athletes

Additionally Athleta will be hosting special events at both the Upper East Side and Upper West Side stores throughout the month! Please visit www.Athleta.com/Stores for details on events and free classes happening at both stores as well as the other NY locations in Scarsdale and Manhasset.

If you participated and enjoyed the 30-Day Yoga Challenge I hosted over on my Facebook Page in August, or missed that but wanted to try a month of yoga, I definitely recommend checking this out. I love that they are offering three different levels of yoga to fit your needs, as well as special in-store events!

Also, I’ll be running a Couch to 5K Accountability over on the Facebook page this month! If you have always wanted to try running but didn’t know where to start, now is the time to give it a shot and have a group to support you on your new journey. If you’re local to me, I’ll also be hosting a live group three times per week. Leave a comment or hop on over to my page to let me know you’d like to join. I’ll be posting more info this week as our start date will be September 9th!

blog sig

 

 

 

 

1 Comment

Filed under Health & Fitness, Quick Workouts, Running

Keep Calm…Dammit!

Keep CalmIt’s been awhile since I’ve stepped on a scale. I’m pretty sure I’ve made it known that I don’t like the scale and it doesn’t tell an accurate story of what’s going on with your body.

I normally just use my measurements and how my clothes are fitting as a guide and I adjust things from there. Well, today I stepped on the body mass calculator, in order to log all of my numbers for the official start of the Focus T25 challenge group that I am running with a friend, and the number wasn’t pretty.

Now in the rational part of my brain, I know why there was such a jump in the number on the evil little piece of bathroom equipment, but the rational part of my brain was abruptly over thrown by the irrational part of my brain when I saw the number. I immediately began to freak out and wonder how this could be. I mean, yeah, I haven’t followed a program for a while and yes, I’ve been a slacker with running…but I’ve been okay with my eating and I have been active. Where did I go so wrong? How could my clothes still fit well if there was such a jump?

Then I took my measurements and laughed at myself. They are all the same except for my thighs…they went up quite a bit and I always had a flat booty but that is no longer the case since I started running and squatting. THAT is my answer right there. I have built a lot of muscle in my lower body over the past few months. Now I know not all of it is muscle, the time of day as well as the month plays a role in a woman’s weight and I know there is room for improvement with my diet, but once again, measurements told some key plot points to the story.

It’s scary how quickly the rational part of my brain shut down and how upset I got over a number on a scale. I believe part of it has to do with how I refuse to go back to were I came from. It’s actually a big fear of mine, so knowing I’ve been off my normal routine and not as good as I should be with nutrition, teamed up with a weight spike, freaked me the fuck out!

On the bright side, I feel a little clearer on my goals, know that my nutrition is key and I’m truly looking forward to getting to know those participating in the challenge and seeing what a full 60 days with this program can result in!

Have you ever experienced a moment like this? Where you know better but your emotions just take off and leave common sense behind?

blog sig

 

 

 

 

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Health & Fitness, Running

Refocusing

focusMore often than not, I seem to be refocusing. I refocus on workouts, nutrition, cleaning schedules, and priorities in general. Life seems to be a constant juggling act, and more and more items keep getting tossed in. It’s hard not to drop something from time to time.

Running is the item that got dropped a while back and you know what? I miss it.

I set a goal for this year to hit 500 miles and I stalled out at 250 due to illness, frustration and then the heat. Frustration and heat are excuses and I know it. I know that you have to push through frustration and I know that there are ways around the heat. The time has come for me to stop making the excuses and start logging miles again. I’m a happier person when I run and I’m tired of feeling like a quitter.

This past week I started to refocus with Focus T25. The amount of sweat my body produces in 25 minutes with these workouts, is both amazing and gross. I’m hoping to build my cardio back up with this routine, so easing back into running will be a little smoother.

The next part of my refocus plan is an August “Clean Eating” accountability that I will be running over on the Facebook Page. I’ll be posting the basics of clean eating, shopping guides and recipes over there each day. My eating has been pretty good, but it took a nose dive during Mike’s vacation this past week. I’m hoping that as a group, we can stay accountable, help each other find new recipes and form new, healthier habits. I’ve always had success while working in groups and I’m hoping that those participating will too.

As well as the clean eating accountability, I plan on sharing a daily yoga workout on the Facebook page each day. If there is one thing I’ve learned during my fitness journey, it’s that no matter how badly I suck at yoga, it is important to my routine. I’ll benefit from a stretching/muscle recovery aspect as well as mentally with meditation/stress relief. I always feel better after doing yoga, yet I always manage to skip it…I clearly make no sense and need to fix this.

Ultimately, life happens, and our grand plans don’t always work out as planned. As long as you take a moment to stop, see where things went wrong and refocus, your goals can still be reached.

Are you ready to refocus with me? What aspect of your routine do you need to focus on?

blog sig

 

 

 

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Fitness Inspiration, Health & Fitness, Quick Workouts, Running

I’m A Rugged Maniac!

Back in March, I was participating in the #FurtherFasterFurther badge challenge and feeling like a total badass. I was on the top of my game  and achieving things I never thought I could do. One Saturday I was scrolling through Groupon and found an amazing deal on the Rugged Maniac mud run, so I obviously bought it and felt instant happiness! Poor Mike.

Fast forward to July 14th….race day. I had fallen off the running wagon, my cardio wasn’t close to where it should be and I was now nervous as I drove to the event with Mike. I didn’t know if I could hack the obstacles that were waiting for me, but thankfully we were doing the race with Mike’s childhood friend, Irwin and his two kids, Jess and Ryan… and this wasn’t their first mud run!

We arrived early to park, pick up our race packets and hang out for a bit. We were in the first wave for the day, and I was grateful for that since it was going to be in the upper 90’s!

Rugged Maniac NJ 2013

Top: Hanging out before the race – Bottom Left: Let the fun begin! – Bottom Right: 1/2 mile run. *Special thanks to Lisa for taking these photos!*

Our first obstacle was a wall that you had to jump in order to get to the starting line. I honestly felt a little intimidated by it, but I made it over on the first try, and I felt the doubt wash away and some confidence kick in. The first stretch of the course was a pretty easy 1/2 mile run before we hit our first obstacle, which were two A-frames that we had to climb up and over. From there, we headed into the woods and were greeted by ankle to knee-deep mud (which smelled awful) and some 5 foot walls to hop, like the one at the start gate. These were a little trickier to do because my feet and the wall were slippery with mud, but I made it over all of them on the first shot, which made me feel kinda badass again. From there it was more mud and then a football style tire run with swinging tires that you had to push through. Our reward for making it through was a water station, which ended up being the only one on the course!

Rugged Maniac NJ 2013

Top: A-Frames – Bottom Left: Tire carry & hurdles – Bottom Right: Sprint to the Finish              *Special thanks to Lisa for taking these photos!*

After our water break we headed onto around the motocross hills and toward the barbed wire obstacles. Thankfully the barbed wire wasn’t as low as I was anticipating, so I was able to crawl under it without army crawling. The downside to crawling? I wore shorts and didn’t have knee-pads so my knees got really cut up! Lesson. Learned. The next obstacle I remember was the slide! Nothing like sliding into a lake of muddy water to cool off!

Left: Fire jumps - Top Right: Barbed Wire - Bottom Right: Sliding into muddy water.

Left: Fire jumps – Top Right: Barbed Wire – Bottom Right: Sliding into muddy water.                 *Photos taken by Rugged Maniac Photographers*

I honestly don’t remember the order of the rest of the obstacles. I think the drainage pipes were next and I skipped that one. I’m EXTREMELY claustrophobic and didn’t feel like having a panic attack if I had a hard time making my way back up the second pipe. I think it was this obstacle where my teammate Jessica’s hair got stuck in the barbed wire while making her way between pipes….OUCH!

Team After Photo: Ryan, Irwin, Jessica, Mike and Myself

We’re Rugged Maniacs!!  (Ryan, Irwin, Jessica, Mike and Myself)

Thankfully there were lots of sprinklers along the course so you could wash mud off your hands and out of your eyes. Although the one time I needed a sprinkler I couldn’t find one. I lost my traction going down a small mud slide and ended up going completely under the muddy water at one point. I wasn’t expecting it so I didn’t have time to hold my nose and ended up with mud in the my eyes and up my nose….talk about gross! I had to skip the obstacle after that because I couldn’t see.

A big thank you to the volunteer who offered me a clean spot on her t-shirt to wipe my eyes!

From there it was the fire jumps and then off to the final obstacle which I failed at. Between the mud in my eyes and the amount of mud on the wall, I just couldn’t pull myself all the way up. I was pissed I couldn’t make it to the top and across the cargo net, but I achieved a lot and I was proud. Mike and I waited for our teammate on the other side of the wall and then we sprinted to the finish line (and Irwin’s kids who ran off ahead racing each other to the final obstacle and finish line. I loved the competitive nature between them)!

Before & After

Before & After

The finish line had a water table which was a welcome blurry site. I grabbed two bottles and started rinsing out my eyes, while rehydrating. From there we showered off, headed to the truck to change and then went back to the after party for our post race beer, music and snacks!

Overall, the course was challenging but not awful. I loved seeing all of the team-work going on around us as well as all of the laughter. I can’t wait to do another mud run with this team….they were awesome!

Cheers!

Cheers!

Have you ever completed a mud run? Which one and what did you think of it?

blog sig

 

 

 

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Health & Fitness, Running

{Semi Wordless Wednesday} Halfway There

20130611-121325.jpg

 

Yesterday I hit the halfway mark on my journey to 500 miles. It came a month later than I thought, I almost got hit by a falling tree branch on the trail and I apparently didn’t lace up correctly, because I ended up with a killer blister, but I did it!

blog sig

 

 

 

 

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Fitness Inspiration, Health & Fitness, Running