Category Archives: Workout Gear

5 Yoga Poses & Moves to Strengthen Hip Mobility + One Tribe Apparel Giveaway!

Hi friends!

Today’s post is a fun one. First up, we’re talking about moves to strengthen & lengthen our hips, then it’s time for a giveaway!

Sometimes people think of strong hip mobility as something that only yogis and gymnasts should focus on. But the truth is, every single person can benefit from having better range of motion in their hips – from runners and weight lifters that don’t own a yoga mat, to people that don’t workout at all. Everything in our bodies is connected, and poor hip mobility can often lead to pain in other places in our bodies, like the lower back.

Today I’m sharing some of my favorite yoga poses & moves that stretch & strengthen the hips. I do these moves pretty much every day – whether during a yoga practice, at the beginning of a strength or cardio workout, or even sometimes when I’m just watching TV.

1.) Figure Four Pose. Start standing, then lift one foot off of the mat, placing the ankle on top of the other thigh. Draw your weight into your standing leg, and sink into the pose, hands in prayer. You can do Figure Four sitting or standing, but I like the shown standing variation because it also challenges your balance.


2.) Pigeon Pose. This pose is done in most yoga classes because it’s great for the hip flexors. One way to get into Pigeon is by starting on all fours, bringing one knee forward and placing it on the floor just behind your hand, with your heel pointing toward the frontal hipbone of your other leg. You can sink deeper into the pose by bringing your elbows to the ground, and you kick it up another notch by rotating behind you to grab the straight leg with your hand and bringing your foot up to hand, bending the leg.

3.) Hip Swings. I do this move nearly every day because I think it feels awesome! Start by standing on both legs, then bringing one leg off the ground, keeping it straight and bringing the foot slightly diagonal in front of you. Swing the leg out to the same side, aiming to get the leg up to hip level, then bring it back down in a controlled motion. Try to do 20 of these without your foot touching the ground, then switch sides.

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Workout Gear Review: Beats Powerbeats2 Wireless Bluetooth Headphones

Hi friends!

Can you guys believe that we’re halfway through August? I actually can because I’m currently in Jersey with my family, where it’s been sweltering out as only August can be! Last weekend I was in Philly, and at 97 degrees and crazy humidity, it was just too hot to walk around much. It felt like a sauna every time I stepped outside!

Barley Point sunset-Aug 16

The place to be in this heat is definitely on the water, and fortunately I’ve gotten the chance to be out on both my parents’ and my father-in-law’s boats this trip. It’s sweet relief to feel the breeze in your hair when it’s so humid + hot out!

I haven’t been doing too much exercise outdoors while I’ve been on the east coast for fear of melting, but this summer when I’ve been home in California, I’ve been enjoying my latest outdoor workout gear: my Beats Powerbeats2 Wireless Bluetooth Headphones

Powerbeats2 Headphones-7

The lovely folks with AT&T San Diego recently sent me the headphones to try out, and I’ve been loving having wireless earbuds to listen to my favorite playlists while I’m hiking and biking.

Powerbeats2 Headphones-1

Hiking with my pup Harley & my Powerbeats2 headphones

The Powerbeats2 are so much more convenient than having wired headphones. I just slip the earbuds in my ears, throw my iPhone in my backpack, and I’m off! No tangled wires, no having to carry my phone in my hands. The sound quality is great, and I haven’t had any signal issues at all.

Powerbeats2 Headphones-4

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On-The-Go in Fabletics [Clothing Line Review]

Hi friends!

First thing’s first: The winner of my ProYo giveaway is Christa Lopez. Thanks to all who entered! Christa, I’ve emailed you for your contact info. 🙂

Now onto today’s topic: workout clothes! Since I work from home and exercise almost every day, I seriously live in my workout clothing. Naturally I love having cute workout gear that I can feel good about and comfortable in, and I usually buy a few new things every couple of months to keep my wardrobe fresh and fun. One brand that I’ve been buying lately is Fabletics, Kate Hudson’s line. Since I’ve now purchased a bunch of Fabletics outfits, I thought it’d be fun to share my experience with the line thus far.

Kate's Fitness Favs

How it Works: For anyone who isn’t familiar with them, Fabletics offers customers what it calls a VIP membership — which allows you to get special discounts on outfits each month. At the beginning of each month, you can either pick out an outfit or skip the month. I skip more than I actually buy, and it’s super easy to do so. Fabletics sends you an email to let you know that you need to skip or else you’ll be charged, which is usually my reminder to scope out outfits or pass on the month.

With VIP membership, Fabletics picks out outfits for you based on the preferences that you’ve set, which I think is a fun way to quickly see styles that you’ll probably dig.

Fabletics gray top outfit

My very first Fabletics outfit

You also have the option to just shop as a regular customer with no commitment and monthly action necessary. However, you don’t get the best Fabletics deals this way, which leads me to….

Pricing: Something I love about Fabletics is its affordability. There are so many workout brands out there that I absolutely adore, but most of them – lululemon, Athleta, and Lorna Jane included – are not at all cheap. While I have unfortunately gotten used to paying $100 for a good pair of workout capris, Fabletics offers entire outfits for half that price. It’s great!

When you sign up as a VIP member, your first outfit is just $25 (How can you beat that?!). For the months following that, entire outfits start at $49.95, and go up to $89.95. This includes either 2 or 3 pieces.

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Ditching My Fitbit, Keeping My Active Lifestyle

Around a month ago, I kept noticing something missing from my wrist that’s usually there….

FitBit-2

My Fitbit Flex!

Unlike in the past when I’ve unintentionally lost my activity trackers, this time it was on purpose. I had been feeling the urge to stop wearing my activity tracker, but I had worn one pretty consistently for so long, that it almost felt weird to consider not using one anymore. It was almost this little fear inside of me that thought that if I didn’t track my movement, I somehow wouldn’t move as much – that not wearing a Fitbit would make me a less active person.

But then I realized that that notion was total crap. Who am I kidding? I lead a super active lifestyle. I don’t need a Fitbit to tell me that. I usually workout 6 days a week, and most of the time I do both a longer nighttime workout, along with a short yoga session or HIIT workout first thing in the morning to wake me up and get me feeling strong and energized for the day. Plus, I take my dog for daily long walks that usually are around 30 minutes long during the week, with a longer hike mixed in about once a week. A lot of the time when I meet up with girlfriends, we go for walks along the coast or meet up to do a fitness class together. Being active and moving my body a lot is a big part of my life – whether or not I have an activity tracker reinforcing the idea that I move enough or not.

My lunchtime Power Hour yesterday: a booty working Bar Method class!

My lunchtime Power Hour yesterday: a booty working Bar Method class!

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An Attitude of Gratitude: Little Things that are Making Me Happy

I’m big on enjoying the little things in life. I believe that our attitudes determine our direction, and if we cultivate feelings of gratitude and appreciating the great things in our life, both big and small, it can only lead to a happier heart and soul.

Attitude-of-Gratitude_1024x1024

(source)

In the spirit of this, today I want to talk about some of the little things that have been making my happy lately. Here we go!

Puppy snuggles – When I work in my home office, sometimes my dog comes and lays under my desk. Not only does she keep my feet nice and warm, but every time I look down at her, she’s looking up at me like this:

Harley desk snuggles

I picture her saying things in a little kid voice like, “Hey mom! How’s work going? When are we going to go on a walk?”

I just love my dingo.

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Thanksgiving 10K, My Holiday Shopping List & Plantronics Bluetooth Headphones Review

Happy weekend everyone!

Since I was MIA over Thanksgiving, here I am chatting with you all on a Saturday evening, which is a rare occasion! Let’s back it up a few days, shall we?

Late afternoon on Wednesday I drove up to Long Beach to my cousin’s house. We had plans to do a 10K on Thanksgiving morning, and spent our night hanging out and having dinner and drinks at The Yard House:

Yard House Collage

Anyone who read my recent 5K recap is probably thinking, “What? A 10K? Wasn’t she just saying that she doesn’t enjoy running?”

Long Beach Turkey Trot-1

Well, we actually just walked the 10K charity race, and it was great! It was right along the beach on a gorgeous day. I felt like I got some good low-impact exercise in, plus my calf and foot weren’t bothering me as they do with running.

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My Favs from Lorna Jane’s Fit Fall Fashion Collection

Hi friends! Hope that you all are having a great weekend and a fab start to your November! Want to laugh? I got home from a hike at 6:15 on Halloween night, and gave out all 4 big bags of candy by 7 pm. We had a ton of trick-or-treaters! My hubby and I then proceeded to turn off all of our lights and drink wine while trying to hide from them for the next couple of hours. 🙂

For those of you that live in a country that does Daylight Saving Time, how are you feeling about it ending? I hate how dark it’s going to get so early, but loved having an extra hour in my morning today. I put the time to good use and practiced some yoga!

Speaking of working out, today I’m talking about Lorna Jane’s new fashion line for the fall. It’s no secret that I love exercise clothes. I mean I workout almost every day and wear casual exercise clothes much of my life, so it only makes sense that I want those clothes to be cute!

LJ Fall Line Graphic

Lorna Jane is such a fun brand. I’ve worked with them in the past and had the pleasure of meeting Lorna Jane herself last summer. You can tell that she really loves what she does and puts her heart into her brand, which only makes me like them more. Today I’m sharing a few of my favorite looks from their new Fit Fall Fashion collection, so here we go!

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Sweating it Out with Under Armour at IDEA World {Day 3 Recap}

Hi there!

Hope that you all had a fabulous weekend. My mother-in-law has been in town visiting from Jersey, so my weekend was full of showing her a good time in SoCal. More on that later, but today, I’m recapping my third day of the IDEA World Fitness Conference!boat pose

(Yoga posing in front of the convention center, of course.)

My Saturday morning began bright and early with a 4:45 AM wake-up call to get ready for a….

UA workout

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Bondi Band Headband Giveaway!

I have a love/hate relationship with headbands. I like them because they keep my hair out of my face while I’m working out, but I can never find headbands that don’t give me a headache with their tight bands or completely fall off my head mid-exercise.

Bondi Band Logo

So when I got the opportunity to review headbands from Bondi Band that looked comfy and cute, I gladly accepted the chance. My favorite one that I received was a black headband with the OM symbol on it, and I tested out my new fitness head gear with a few different exercise regimens today. First, I had a yoga session in my backyard bright and early.

yoga squat

I practiced some of my favorite poses, including downward dog variations:

one legged dog

Some Goddess love:Goddess

Eagle with a lunge: Eagle

Backbend play:

backbendOne legged side plank (I know, I like to point my toes! 😉 ):

side plank

And of course, a certain little puppy did some photobombing:

inverted plankAt lunchtime, my hubby and I ventured over to the beach for a bike ride along the coast:

bike ride - bondi band

Not too shabby of a scene for a break from work right?

It was pretty funny because I told my hubby that I was testing out the headband, and a few moments later as we were riding, a woman we were passing yelled out to me, “I love your headband!” My hubby joked that it was staged. By the way, he’s also vying to wear a Bondi Band for when he goes on runs (but there’s little to no chance that I’m letting him stretch mine out!).

This evening I also wore the headband for a heart-pounding 20-minute Jillian Michaels DVD cardio + strength training workout.

I pretty much wore the headband for a good 14 hour stretch of time, and found it to be comfortable to wear. Since it has no tight elastic, it didn’t give me a headache. It did fall out of place during my cardio workout a bit, but you may want to take that critique with a grain of salt, because it’s coming from a girl that can’t keep anything in place on her body. Seriously, athletic tape falls off me in half the time it’s supposed to, and my hair stays put in any hairstyle for about 15 minutes! All in all, I’m a Bondi Band fan….and now it’s time for me to give away 2 of their headbands! Here’s how it works:

I’m giving away one headband to two readers. Here are your options: 

bondi bands

How to enter: Just leave me a comment below telling me which of the pictured above headbands you’d like to win the most. I’ll randomly pick 2 winners next Tuesday, June 10th.

You can also visit the Bondi Band website to purchase some of their cool swag and use the code SWEATPINK to receive 10% off all items (except Bargain Bin, Design Your Own, and Custom Items). The coupon code is good thru June 28th.

Gear Review: Fitbit Flex

Hi there! Hope that you’re having a fabulous weekend. Happy Easter to all of those who celebrate it! Today I have a healthy living gadget review for you on the Fitbit Flex!

FitBit-2

If you’re a longtime Foodie Loves Fitness reader, you may remember that I used to have a Fitbit Ultra, which I adored and constantly used (I did a review on it in 2012 here). I used to clip it onto my pants at the waist, which never really was a problem…well, until about a year ago when I went for a motorcycle ride with my hubby, got home, and realized my Fitbit had somehow flung off of me during our ride (whomp, whomp). It was obviously never to be seen again, and while I loved using the tracker, I just didn’t feel like buying a new one.

Fast forward to last Christmas. My father-in-law and I had talked about the Fitbit, so we bought him one as a gift, and he wound up giving me one as a present. I was really excited, because naturally I had missed a gadget telling me to get off the couch and get moving if I needed a little extra motivation. 😉

FitBit Screen Shot

The Fitbit Flex activity tracker measures steps taken, calories burned and distance travelled. Now that I’ve been using it steadily for a bunch of months, I feel ready to give you the 411 on the Fitbit Flex. So here we go!

Pro: The Fitbit Flex has a simple bracelet design and is pretty easy to use once you learn the basics.

Con: Unlike the Fitbit Ultra I had (which, by the way, they no longer sell – but the Fitbit One on the market is similar), the Fitbit Flex doesn’t display all of your stats on the device itself. It simply displays 1 LED light for every 2,000 steps you’ve taken for the day. At the beginning, I actually really didn’t like my Flex because of that. It just seemed like a hassle to have to go on the computer to look up my stats during the day, and I found myself just not doing it much. Until…

Pro: I discovered the Fitbit app on my iPhone! It tells you all of your stats in realtime, and the Flex automatically syncs up to your phone. After figuring this out, I like my Flex so much better!

Con: A few times the bracelet has unhooked and flipped off of me by accident. The last time it happened I was getting out of a taxi at the airport, and I just happened to have noticed it. But given my track record with Fitbit devices, I’m predicting this to be the demise of my Fitbit Flex. Let’s hope I’m wrong!

FitBit-1

Pro: The Fitbit is pretty good at accurately measuring steps taken in a given day. However…

Con: What it’s not good with is gaging most other activities or even calorie burn during walking activities. I can spin for an hour, and according to my Fitbit, I haven’t moved at all. I’ll go for a 2-hour hike, and while my step count will be awesome, the Fitbit will estimate my calorie burn pretty low. It seems like it can’t really distinguish between a walk on a flat surface to a hike with crazy inclines. However, I manually add calorie burn during workouts to MyFitnessPal because I have the Polar heart rate monitor, which provides me with that info (I know, I kind of seem like a gadget nut!).

MyFitnessPal Screen shot

Pro: My Fitbit data automatically syncs up to the MyFitnessPal app I have on my phone where I log in my eats for the day, which on one hand, is neat. On the other hand…

Con: Refer to the con above. It incorrectly gages calorie burn, and then once I manually add the correct number, every time it automatically syncs, it changes my number back to what the Fitbit estimates. I’m all NO! I’m not lying about this Fitbit, I burned 700 calories! Why don’t you believe me??

Okay, it’s not that traumatic, but MyFitnessPal readjusts daily net calorie goals based on activity and it just bugs me a bit.

Pro: A feature of the Flex that I love is its silent alarm. I set the alarm via my iPhone Fitbit app, and it silently buzzes in the morning to wake me up. I’ve always gotten startled by ringtones and noises as my wake-up call, and it’s so much nicer to be woken up gently by my wrist buzzing. Side note: I always wake up right away, but I suppose if you’re a really deep sleeper you possibly could sleep through it.

I love to get my steps in for the day by hiking with Harley!

I love to get my steps in for the day by hiking with Harley!

Pro: You can wear the Fitbit 24/7. It’s waterproof, and I really only take it off to charge the tracker.

Con: In my experience, Fitbit products aren’t the most durable or glitch-free products out there. With my last Fitbit, I experienced some malfunction issues, and it has been the same thing with my Fitbit Flex. Just a few months after I got it, I was experiencing display issues. However…

Pro: The Fitbit team is awesome at responding to complaints to help you troubleshoot or to send out a new product ASAP. I had a new Fitbit Flex in a couple of days, and so far so good with the new one.

Con: The FitBit Flex also monitors your sleep. I like to check this feature out just to see what it says, but to be honest, I don’t trust it or find it to be very reliable. Some nights it’ll say I wake up and toss and turn a ton, which is usually true. But some nights I put it into sleep mode while I’m laying in bed watching TV, and the next day, my Fitbit will say I was snoozing for the entire time I was watching Law & Order.

FitBit Sleep Shot

Overall, I think that the Fitbit Flex is a neat healthy living gadget to have. It’s a nonchalant-looking bracelet that costs $100 and comes in a bunch of colors. I like just knowing how many steps I’ve taken because I’m a number crunching kind of gal. Some weeks I’ll make it a goal to get at least 10,000 steps each day, since my steps can be around 8,000-9,000 during the week when I tend to be more stagnant working. Here were my stats for the last time I challenged myself to this a few weeks ago:

  • Sunday – 10,288 steps
  • Monday – 13,807 steps
  • Tuesday – 11,094 steps
  • Wednesday – 17,525 steps
  • Thursday- 10,189 steps
  • Friday – 12,103 steps
  • Saturday – 15,451 steps

One of the nights that week this happened…

Twitter FitBit-2

…but hey, I met my goal!

Twitter-FitBit-1

Have you ever used an activity/step tracker?

Do you think that you walk at least 10,000 steps most days?