IGNITE Your Life

Happy Monday friends! I hope you had a great weekend :) I lucked out and had the weekend off which was exactly what I needed in order to recover from my first week of clinicals. I was TIRED by the end of Friday! Fortunately this weekend I had the chance to be a little active which always puts me in a better mood!

Since it’s a brand new week I wanted to share a brand new product with you guys today. I had the chance to try out the PUMA Ignite shoes as part of my partnership with FitFluential and I am LOVING them!

A little bit about the PUMA Ignite features:

ENERGY RETURN: Full length IGNITED foam midsole’s PU blend offers high rebound cushioning
STEP IN COMFORT: IGNITE foam provides instant comfort where you need it most
LONG-LASTING PERFORMANCE: Foreverfoam is used in the heel to disperse impact and provide extra durability

I have had the Ignites now for about a month and I have to say I am SUPER impressed! So far I have done a variety of training in them – everything from sprints, to CrossFit style workouts, to being on my feet all day at the hospital. They haven’t failed me yet! As someone who tends to pronate I have been pleasantly surprised by how good these fee. The PUMA Ignites are incredibly lightweight and the Foreverfoam makes me feel like I am walking on clouds! I wasn’t sure how I would like an all black shoe but I am even totally digging the color :)

So if you’re in the market for a versatile and lightweight running shoe I highly recommend checking these out! I mean if they’re good enough for Usain Bolt they should probably be good for us too 😉

Do you have a favorite kind of runnign shoe? Have you tried a lightweight one?

This post is sponsored by FitFluential on behalf of PUMA.

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#SmartCoaching with the Polar FT60

The following post is sponsored by FitFluential LLC on behalf of Polar.

Now that I’ve shared my “body after baby” progress at nine months in I thought it would be perfect time to introduce you to one of my absolutely favorite pieces of FitGear.  I recently got the opportunity to try out the Polar FT6o as part of a FitFluential campaign and I was SO excited.  If you’ve been following along for awhile you know that I bought myself a Polar FT40 back when I was losing the baby weight from Emmalyne and it’s been my go-to gadget for 2.5 years.

 

Polar FT60 #SmartCoaching #Team Polar

 

Having a heart rate monitor has completely trained the name of the game for me when it comes to training.  I first started using my Polar to get a better indication of the amount of calories I was burning during my workouts.  As a breastfeeding mom having an accurate idea of energy expenditure is extremely important for maintaining milk supply.  For anyone, having an idea of what you’re burning at the gym can help you fuel your body for success a lot better.  The Polar FT60 takes into account your demographics (age, gender, weight, height, etc) when calculating your calorie burn based on heart rate giving you a more accurate representation of your workout.  The chest strap fits comfortably at my bra line, doesn’t move, and doesn’t chaff.  The watch itself is extremely stylish and one that I frequently wear with my scrubs as my regular watch!

 

Polar FT60 #SmartCoaching #TeamPolar

 

Some things I personally learned while using my heart monitor include:

  1. Cardio machines at the gym lie.  Every single time I have used my heart rate monitor and compared it to the machine at the gym, the machine grossly overestimated the amount of calories I burned.  For anyone trying to lose weight this can be a major issue.
  2. Which of my workouts are in the “zone”.  The Polar FT60 has tons of SmartCoaching features, one of which includes a breakdown of the amount of time you spend in different heart rate zones.  Seeing which of my workouts fall into high intensity (CrossFit, sprints) and those that target fat loss (weight training, incline walking) helps me tailor my intensity each day.
  3. Numbers are fun.  I am a geek at heart so seeing numbers is a big thing for me.  Even though my muscles shake from a solid workout I like seeing numbers.  They are a tangible source of accomplishment if you will.  Not something to obsess over but rather a tool to use to maximize your success and help to achieve your goals.  I love them.  Having a detailed and long-lasting training log is amazing to me.
  4. It’s super easy to use.  The Polar FT60 is incredibly easy to use which is awesome.  It’s very intuitive and just a push of a button gets you going.  Can’t get much simpler than that.

 

Polar FT60 3 #SmartCoaching #TeamPolar

 

Smart Coaching Features with the Polar FT60

 Pre Training

  • Training plans and challenges on polarpersonaltrainer.com

During Training

  • STAR Training Program: Shows users how hard and how much they need to train to reach their long-term goals. It’s designed to keep users motivated all week and every week by using a personal guidance program that’s no further away than their wrist.
  • OwnZone: Knowing the right intensity to improve fitness can be a challenge. OwnZone adjusts a user’s heart rate training zone to perfectly match their body’s current physiological condition. By using OwnZone, users can be sure they’re training at an intensity that improves their aerobic fitness

After Training

  • Training Load: This feature within polarpersonaltrainer.com displays a color- coded graph of a user’s cumulative training load, notifying a person when he or she has recovered enough for the next session, and accurately predicting training developments to prevent overtraining. This data also provides intelligence to modify training sessions as necessary
  • Fitness Test: This feature gets a measure of users’ current fitness level in just five minutes. By regularly comparing test results, users can see what progress they are making and how their fitness is improving over time

 

Polar FT60 4 #SmartCoaching #TeamPolar

 

With my Polar FT60 I also receive the FlowLink which plugs into your computer to easily sync your watch to PolarPersonalTraining.com.  It couldn’t be easier to use – you download the sync software, plug in the FlowLink and set your device on top.  Seriously that simple!  All of your workouts get uploaded so you can graphically see your accomplishments and figure out how to achieve your goals faster.  Other accessories available include the G1 GPS sensor that you can use to track speed and distance.

 

I seriously can’t say enough good things about Polar.  I have invested my own money in products (my FT40 and Chris’ FT7) and have been thoroughly impressed with their quality of product as well as their customer service.  I was thrilled to get a chance to check out the “upgraded” version f my beloved FT40.  I know many of you have asked about my heart rate monitor in the past so I am happy to have gotten this up for you guys.  I am more excited to offer you a discount code for your own Polar FT60!   You can purchase one here with the code FitPolarFT60.

 

Have you used a heart rate monitor?

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Ab Burner Workout

So I got a frightening notice in the mail this week …. our neighborhood pool opens this weekend.  YIKES.

 

Now, I am pretty content with how I am looking these days but I am still working hard on my post-baby body.  Even though there are areas I am working on improving nothing will stop me from dining my bikini soon.  However, MAYBE I could whittle my middle down a little bit more?  HA.

 

I have been focusing a lot since starting back to school to fitting in workouts most days even if they’re short.  This ab burner is just that … short, sweet, and effective.  My core is still pretty weak from carrying Bryn and giving birth so this workout is not only a great bikini season prepare but an awesome way to continue to add core strength.  A strong core is SO important for so many things!  Best part?  It takes less than 10 minutes.  WIN.

 

Ab Burner

 

Hope you guys have a great Thursday! Today is actually my Friday since we have tomorrow off school for Good Friday. YEAH! Let me know if you try the workout :)

 

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Fit Gear for the New Year

**The Koss portion of this post is sponsored by FitFluential LLC.  All opinions are my own.

 

It’s FRIDAY!!!!  As of 10:30 this morning I will have survived my first official week as a PA-S (Physician Assistant student) and I get to celebrate with a 3-day weekend.  WIN.  Even better?  Chris is off from today to Monday so we can catch up a bit on some family time since most of my evenings are spent at my desk.  One of the things that has kept me sane and going this week though has been fitting in my workouts.

 

One of my goals for the New Year was to consistently get my workouts in and despite a crazy busy schedule so far I am doing good.  One of the ways that I have been motivated is with some awesome new FitGear.  Here are a few of my favorite things to help keep me (and you!) motivated to stay on track in 2014.

 

Fit Gear for New Year

 

1.  Koss Fit Series

Koss Fit Series

 

 

Koss teamed up with Gold Medalist Dara Torres to make the world’s first headphones designed by women and for women.  I received both the FitBuds and FitClips to try out.  Between the two I prefer the FitClips myself.  They don’t fall out and are sweat resistant.  I have worn them on a couple of runs and they fit my ear perfectly … it helps that they come with three different sized ear cushions so you can create a “custom” fit!

 

The FitBuds are a lot smaller than anything Koss has made which can fit women a lot better.  The fun and bright packaging is just an added bonus 😉  You can find your own Koss Fit Series headphones at Wal-Mart, Best Buy, Walgreens, Kmart, or Sears.  Koss can also be found on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest.

 

2.  A Fit Bit and Polar FT 40

Polar FT40 and Fit Bit

 

 

I bought myself my Polar FT40 heart rate monitor when I was getting back into working out after having Emmalyne and haven’t looked back.  I think it’s one of my favorite pieces of fit gear EVER.  Knowing how many calories I burn is especially important while I am breastfeeding because I significantly have to up my intake to keep my supply and fuel my body properly.

 

I bought myself a Fit Bit this last week after seeing a lot of my favorite people sporting them.  Now that I am a full-time grad student I have found myself sitting SO much more than I usually do.  Keeping track of my steps helps make sure I keep myself moving and helps motivate to get my exercise in for the day.  Even more fun?  A few of my friends in my class have them too and we check in on each other for our steps.

 

3.  New Running Shoes

Brooks Adrenalines

 

 

Nothing gets me out the door and hitting the pavement faster than new running shoes.  It’s like running on air.  I got my first new pair of running shoes since the Augusta Half Marathon LAST February.  Shameful.  My shins and feet where killing me and now they like me again.

 

There you have it!  Some of my favorite fit gear for the New Year.  I am off to Anatomy and Physiology Lab and getting ready to embrace the weekend!

 

What piece of fit gear can you not live without?  Is there a new gadget you got that’s helping motivate you?

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**The Koss portion of this post is sponsored by FitFluential LLC.  All opinions are my own.

Running in My Third Trimester

As you guys know, I happen to love running.  I have been fortunate enough to still be logging miles at nearly 35 weeks pregnant but sadly that journey might be coming to an end soon so I thought it was time to write this post.

 

Running While Pregnant - Running for Two

 

 

Right now I am 34 weeks and 5 days pregnant and did a 2 mile run yesterday.  Between last week and this week something has changed in my body.  It could be that Baby B has turned (hopefully!) and her position makes it more uncomfortable or my body is just starting to realize that it’s 8 1/2 months pregnant.  Either way, running is starting to get uncomfortable.

 

Running While Pregnant

 

I feel extremely fortunate to have logged miles for 7 weeks of my third trimester and I am not quite ready to throw in the towel completely yet.  Here is what my plan is to keep going:

  • Keep my pace slower.  I have found that keeping my pace slower (for me) is helping keep the round ligament pain at bay.  What does that mean?  My miles are looking more like 11-12 minutes/mile which is a lot different from just two weeks ago when they were sub-10 minute miles.
  • Keep my distance short.  I am keeping my runs to 2-3 miles and keeping up with walking the dogs to keep me moving more.
  • Sport my maternity belt for walks.  I LOVE my Gabrialla maternity support belt and have worn it every run since like 28 weeks, however, I wasn’t wearing it on walks.  I am going to see if the extra support keeps my belly happy.
  • Incorporate run/walk intervals.  Before this week I was pretty much running my my miles straight.  I am going to do more walking during my runs now.
  • I’m not going to push it.  I have super competitive … with myself.  I hate giving up.  Chris and I have had some talks about how I need to realize how pregnant I am and just go with it.  Easier said than done but I have to prepare for labor and delivery and not wear my body out NOW when I need it more THEN.

 

The issues I am currently dealing with are most likely due to how Baby B is sitting.  My round ligaments start to flair up during my workouts and my right sciatic nerve is being compressed.  I had bad sciatic pain with Em near the end too so this doesn’t surprise me.  Sometimes stopping and walking helps, other times just stopping is what I need to do.

 

Most importantly, I plan on listening to my body these last few weeks.  We aren’t sure if we will have more children after B so this could be my last time being pregnant EVER.  Plus, I have to get the nursery done because well, I haven’t started.  HA.  No matter what, I am PROUD of my body and what it has been capable of during pregnancy!

 

Other posts on running while pregnant:

 

Enjoy your weekend friends!  We have Chris’ battalion Fall Fest tonight so Em gets to go trunk-or-treating :)

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