Showing posts with label Women's Health Action Hero. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Women's Health Action Hero. Show all posts

May 18, 2016

Live Healthier with the new Microsoft Band {Review}

Disclosure: In partnership with Women's Health as a WH Action Hero, I received a complimentary Microsoft Band for review purposes. As always all thoughts and opinions are my own. 

Now that I’ve made some big fall race decisions and have new fitness aspirations, it’s time to get motivated. I’m always looking for ways to keep living happier and healthier while getting involved in bigger and better things.  As a busy person, I’m also always looking for things that can help me do that.  With the school semester winding down (thank God) and a light summer class load (thank God again), I have more time to get into a really solid routine and focus a little more on getting stronger.  

I was lucky enough to get to try out another new fancy fitness band, this time the new Microsoft Band, thanks to my partnership as a Women’s Health Action Hero. While I’m not a huge numbers person I do find that casually knowing my steps and being reminded to move on more sedentary days can help. Also the sleep trackers on fitness devices is a great reminder of how much my body actually needs more sleep which leads to stronger fitness and better overall productivity. Getting better sleep is pretty much always a work in progress for me, le sigh

Out of the box, the new Microsoft Band was really easy to use and figure out, which is a huge plus. The Microsoft Band itself comes with a USB charging cable and a paper manual and quick start guide.  It's a little bulky but fairly comfortable to wear. 

Live Healthier with the new Microsoft Band {Review}

Using the Microsoft style of tiles took a little getting used to but merely because I had never used it before on their phone or OS interface.  It was easily to configure what tiles you wanted in what order to display on your band as well as change the settings. You can also customize the home screen color and design;  I chose a blue patterned screen.  You can tap or swipe the home screen to get information. Tapping lets you look at metrics like steps. 
Live Healthier with the new Microsoft Band {Review}
Home screen with step count
I found the step and floor count comparable to other devices, based on what they usually tell me my average is. I think they are all slightly inaccurate, so I don’t focus on it too much, but I do like to compare my daily averages to each other sometimes. 

Here are my thoughts on some of the Microsoft Band's features: 

Features Overview

Heart Rate Monitor
            I don’t find the HR sensor on the wrist as accurate as the chest band, in general. For basic HR though, this device was fine. It has an optical HR sensor on the inside of the device with two little LED green lights that supposedly read blood-flow in your wrist and determine your heart rate continuously throughout the day. 

  Microsoft Health App
            Their app gives you all the basic health & fitness metrics you want. I accessed this app on my Android™ phone, but it also works with the Windows Phone and iPhone®. The Microsoft Band can also connect to other for those only delivers basic data.   

Run and Exercise Tracking
            Obviously, this was one of the biggest tests for me since I usually use a Garmin watch (and not my phone) to track runs. I also used this to track my heart rate and calorie burn during a Yoga Sculpt class and a couple lifting sessions. During runs, I was surprised how much I liked it. I simply turned on my GPS if I was outside, tapped on the "running man" icon, and pressed the bottom button to start the run. I turned off the screen during runs to save battery, besides periodically checking my distance or pace. 

Live Healthier with the new Microsoft Band {Review}

The Microsoft Band has really nice functionality and statistics for workouts. You can download guided workouts, although I haven't used that feature. 

Phone Stuff
 Like smart watches, you can receive basic information from your phone, such as text messages, calls, emails and calendar, if you set it up. I found it burned the battery more, so I just had text and calls synced with my phone’s Bluetooth. 

GPS and Zzzzs
GPS during runs seemed surprisingly accurate and didn’t take long to connect in the city.It also tracks sleep automatically-without having to turn on it on-which was a big plus.

You can only have a certain number of tiles or apps on the band, which was a little annoying.  The battery lasted about two days which is comparable to my FitBit. I thought it was pretty for solid day-to-day use and a nice alternative to other fitness trackers and smart watches. 

Overall I think the Microsoft Band is a nice mid-range functionality-wise device that I can see myself wearing on a regular basis for daily tracking or workouts.  

Do you use a fitness tracker? What's the most motivating feature for you? 

February 12, 2016

5 Friday Favorites featuring Mizuno Running & Snacking

Disclosure: I was sent a pair of Mizuno Running Wave Catalyst shoes as a part of a sponsored campaign through the Fitfluential Network. I was also given a complimentary code for 3 meals through Galley Foods. As always all thoughts and opinions are my own. 

Workouts have been not too great this week because of being so busy plus trying to avoid running outside in the below freezing windy temperatures we've been having this week. Apparently it's going to be in the single digits this weekend. Um, is it spring yet? I plan on knocking out a workout and then getting nice and cozy and warm and watching the Olympic Marathon Trials from LA on Saturday, rooting for my #TeamNuun lady Kara Goucher, Shalane, and Meb of course as well as some other awesome runners.  I have a lot of exciting things planned for the spring, but need to survive a lot of work this semester and this crazy winter weather. Here are some of my favorite things from the past week:  

5 Friday Favorites

1. Favorite Package: Mizuno Running Wave Catalyst

5 Friday Favorites featuring Mizuno Running & Snacking

Thanks to a campaign with Fitfluential I was sent the new Mizuno Wave Catalyst shoes. Besides loving the neon color, I was really excited to try a lightweight shoe from Mizuno since I've only tried their more supportive shoes. I'm a fan of more lightweight shoes and so far like it. The bottom is still a little stiffer than I normal like, but I appreciate the light weight feel and the thinner upper on the shoes.  I skipped a bitter cold run last night, but still took these babies to yoga class!

2. Favorite Dinner: Lamb Bolognese Fettuccine from Galley Foods

November 20, 2015

5 Friday Favorites featuring Pumpkin Cookie Butter, Aziz Ansari, and Milkshakes

Disclosure: I was sent the OGX Argan Oil shampoo in connection with my partnership with Women's Health as a Women's Health Action Hero. All other products were purchased on my own. No compensation was received for any mentions and as always, all thoughts and opinions are my own. 

It's been too long since I've shared my Friday Favorites! Obviously school, racing, travel, and life has made me crazy busy, but I'm trying to get back into a more normal routine. Today is a rest day that started off with donuts and coffee for breakfast so I can't really complain! Today I am sharing some of my favorite things from the week with you.  

5 Friday Favorites

1. Favorite Treat: Christmas Cookie holiday milkshake from Shake Shack


Run don't walk to Shake Shack and try one of their new holiday milkshake flavors if you are looking for a treat. 

Or you can spin and then run over like I did last night. There was a special Shack Track and Field in partnership with Rev Cycle Studio last night that involved an awesome 45 minute spin class followed by a 2 mile run over to Shake Shack where I grabbed my free milkshake and purchased a burger for dinner because balance.  

Sarah and I both got this Christmas Cookie milkshake and OMG IT WAS DELICIOUS. It literally tasted like a sugar cookie and was covered in whipped cream and red and green sprinkles. Amazing and definitely the highlight of my day.

2. Favorite Haircare Product: Argan Oil Shampoo from OGX


August 20, 2015

Vanilla Cookie Protein Bites {Designer Protein Aria Powder Review}

Disclosure: I received a complimentary tub of Designer Protein Aria protein powder through my ambassadorship as a 2015 Women's Health Action Hero. As always, all thoughts and opinions are my own. 

Don't forget you have until Monday 8/24 at 12 AM to enter my SPIbelt giveaway!

There are a lot of protein powders out there. Most of them are just okay. I've found some I like but also have tried many I don't. When I received my Designer Protein in the mail I honestly wasn't expecting much after trying so many different protein products over the past few years. I had picked up an older version of Designer Whey protein from Trader Joe's years ago and don't remember it being a stand-out. 

I was however, excited when I started to read about Designer Protein (yup, name change) and all their new & improved offerings.  They have lots of different protein powders based on what you want and need, all for 100 calories or less per serving. I was sent the Designer Protein Aria (100% plant-based) in vanilla. I think the taste is good, and it blends easily in smoothies. I like that it only retails for $14.99 for a 12 oz tub so if you are flavor crazy like me, you can buy a bunch of different kinds to keep on hand that aren't huge, expensive protein tubs. 

What I love the most is that it's a plant-based, all-natural formula with 15 g of soy-free protein plus  like all the other Aria protein powders, it has wellness helpers like biotin, vitamin C, folate, calcium and vitamin D. It hits all the bullet points with being  non-GMO, certified vegan, gluten-free, kosher, and no artificial colors, flavors, or sweeteners.  


I tried the protein in a few smoothies and drinks. Next I was inspired by a Designer Protein recipe packet that was sent along with my powder that included a big fruit smoothie bowl. I made my own twist on an acai bowl using a frozen acai packet, banana, cashew milk, maca powder, and my vanilla Aria protein powder. I topped it with shredded coconut, half a banana, raisins, and some oats.   


This week I was looking to make some protein bites to grab as a quick pre-workout bite or snack. I ended up whipping up these awesome little vanilla no-bake bites that I made with what I had on hand, including my Designer Protein Aria. 

I know, another balls/bites recipe-what a basic blogger move, haha. I really do love having a container of little bites in the fridge to quickly grab or pack as a snack for work. I've been eating 1 or 2 before a run or workout in the morning this week since I'm the type of person that wakes up hungry and needs something in my stomach. They are nutty and slightly sweet and delicious. It's really hard to not eat half the batch in one sitting!


August 11, 2015

Work it Out Wednesdays #4: Internal Dialog of a Beginner Yogi

It's time for another Work It Out Wednesdays. On Wednesdays I share a new workout or special topic for you all to learn about featuring some of my fellow amazing 2015 Women's Health Action Heroes.  These fitness queens have so many fun workouts and great fitness & nutrition tips that I can't wait to share with all my blog readers.


Today I'm bringing you a hilarious post from the fabulous Lauren of Twenty Something Living. At first she was unsure if I'd like it and immediately read it, laughed out loud, and told her it was great. I used to do yoga weekly a few years ago so now when I sporadically go to a class it always takes me a little bit of flow to get into the groove. 


I also feel these thoughts WAY more in a really hot bikram class.  I'm also really get nervous about possibly farting in a quiet room!  I hope you enjoy this light-hearted take on yoga. 

Internal Dialog of a Beginner Yogi

As a beginner yogi it often feels like I am trying to convince my body to become a hybrid pretzel, all in the name of flexibility. Walking to class I try to prepare myself with some deep breathing and minor stretching, getting in the groove for some serious body work, but knowing that just one class will have the stress running down my body in beads of sweat instead of holding my heart and mind captive. There are feel feelings better than the last few moments of a yoga class, and the feeling of the air on your face as you walk out of the studio into the evening air… but the internal dialog isn’t always so carefree:

August 5, 2015

Work it Out Wednesdays #3: Burn It Out Workout {At-Home Circuit}

Disclaimer: I am not a health or fitness professional so try out this workout at your own risk. Always consult a medical/health professional before starting a new workout plan. 

It's time for another Work It Out Wednesdays. On Wednesdays I share a new workout or special topic for you all to learn about featuring some of my fellow amazing 2015 Women's Health Action Heroes.  These fitness queens have so many fun workouts and great fitness & nutrition tips that I can't wait to share with all my blog readers.


Unfortunately I've been having some scheduling hiccups so today's post is featuring a workout I created. I've been trying to work more strength training into my routine since I've been neglecting it as marathon training is in full swing. This workout took me around 40 minutes to do and left me drenched and sore all over. 

Yesterday I was scrolling through my Pinterest Working on my Fitness Board for a quick 30 minute workout I could fit in and found one from Muncher Cruncher that seemed sweaty and awesome. I took her format and changed up the exercises to make it my own little workout. It left me a lot sweatier and tired than I expected! I usually hate at-home workouts because I get bored, but I liked how simple and fast paced this one was.  

I used a set of 10 lb. dumbbells and tried to only stop to catch my breath when I needed but otherwise move through the reps.  I did 40 reps of all 6 exercises, then 30 reps of all 6 exercises, etc. 


This post was linked up with Tuesdays on the Run, The Fit Dish and Link Love

Do you like home workouts? What is your favorite workout from the past week? 

July 22, 2015

Work It Out Wednesdays #2: Hi-Lo 30 Minute Elliptical Workout with Kaila Proulx

It's time for another Work It Out Wednesdays. On Wednesdays I share a new workout or special topic for you all to learn about featuring some of my fellow amazing 2015 Women's Health Action Heroes.  These fitness queens have so many fun workouts and great fitness & nutrition tips that I can't wait to share with all my blog readers.


This post features my my fellow WH Action Hero & total badass, Kaila Proulx from the Healthy Helper blog (which I love reading!) who is sharing an awesome interval-based elliptical workout. My favorite ways to cross-train are with November Project Baltimore, Crossfit ,and spinning, but the elliptical is a great alternative to running on the treadmill at the gym. 

Hi friends! I'm Kaila from Healthy Helper and I'm happy to be hanging out in Lauren's corner of the web today for Work it out Wednesday. I love this weekly feature and I think it's a great way to discover new workouts and learn more about the cool stuff happening in the fitness world.


I am a recently certified personal trainer through NASM and I love sharing my passion for movement and healthy living with others. On my blog you'll find a ton of cool workouts, lots of healthy (and tasty!) recipes, and daily tips on motivation and self acceptance. I believe we are at our best when our mind and bodies are working in sync. There is nothing better than a healthy relationship with food and exercise. Easier said than done though, right? Well, that's okay. Life is a journey and we're all on our own path to wellness! Right now since it's summer, and since I am finally healed from an injury that's been burdening me for the past 9 months, I've been slowly getting back into running. Running is my fitness passion and I love the way I feel after completing some tough miles!


 What I've learned though, is that I need to be smart about my training. Now I stretch, foam roll, do physical therapy exercises, and properly fuel my body after each and every run. Another thing I'm doing more consistently? CROSS TRAINING

July 7, 2015

Work It Out Wednesdays #1: Dance Cardio Workout with Nikki Pebbles

I'm really excited to bring a new post series to the blog called Work It Out Wednesdays where each Wednesday, I'll feature a new workout or special topic for you all to try out or learn about. What better place to start off the series then by featuring all of my other amazing 2015 Women's Health Action Heroes.  I recruited some of these fitness queens to share with my blog readers a fun workout or fitness & nutrition tips. 


This first post is an amazing start to the series with my fellow WH Action Hero & total badass, Nikki Pebbles who is sharing an awesome dance cardio workout. While I'm not very comfortable (or very good at!) cardio dancing, I'm definitely going to try this out, in the privacy of my own apartment of course.  I'll trip to not look completely ridiculous!

Here’s an easy dance cardio combo that you can literally do ANYWHERE! Even if you aren’t a dancer, this routine has a number squat variations and offers a great cardio alternative to the treadmill! Take your time, smile, and WORK IT, GIRL!

If the embedded video file is not working, you can check out the video here

Meet Nikki Pebbles!

About Nikki
I am a Badass Redhead who is the co-founder of the dance fitness program, Kerboomka, the creator of the cycling program, Rip n’ Ride,Certified Personal Trainer, NAFC Nutrition Coach and Social Media Ninja. I believe that EVERY woman is a powerful badass. I want to show that not only can women be leaders, but we can literally rule the world. O and if you don't know... I want to be the Beyonce of the fitness and business world. 

Find me on Instagram, Facebook or Twitter for more fitness tips and empowerment!

This post was linked up with Wild Workout Wednesdays

Do you enjoy dance cardio? What's your favorite workout lately?

December 29, 2014

Focusing on Progress with Seiko

As the holiday season comes to an end, there is a lot of focus on resolutions and changes for the next year.  I prefer to first reflect and look at all the progress I made in the past year. As always, there is still plenty to work on, but I am proud of my accomplishments in 2014. 

To me, progress means celebrating your accomplishments while always striving for more. 

I  trained hard and PRed in my second full marathon, again almost hitting my goal time exactly despite setbacks.  I also worked hard on growing my blog and staying active in the Baltimore community. In 2014 I focused on networking with others, helping grow the November Project Baltimore tribe, and raising money for the Women's Health and FEED Run10Feed10 Campaign .  

As far as 2015, I want to only create bigger goals to strive for

It was fabulous to receive a watch from Seiko at the end of the year, especially since their message is about progress. 

I was sent the Seiko Core SSC877 which is a solar-powered chronograph watch with features such as split-time measurement, stopwatch function, and a date calendar. I usually take forever to replace a watch battery once it dies so I love that this Seiko model has a 6 month power reserve once fully charged by light.

Besides the innovation of the Seiko watch, I love the way it looks. It is beautiful and is just as much like a piece of jewelry as it is a functional timepiece. It mixes in well with my wrist full of various pieces and can be dressed up or down. 

Having it on my wrist during the holidays has been a great reminder of the progress I have made this past year. Despite a few missed workouts, many Christmas cookies, and a few lazy days, it is nice to remember how far I've come and to ponder what 2015 may hold for me.  

Disclosure; I received a complimentary Seiko watch of my choice through my partnership as a Women's Health Action Hero. I received no other compensation. As always all opinions are my own. 

October 27, 2014

My New Fall Fashion Staples

It's been all about running on the blog lately but now that my marathon training is over, I'm taking some time to talk about other things that make me happy like fashion and beauty. I devour my monthly fashion magazines and love creating outfits so I thought I'd share some fall pieces that are becoming staples of my wardrobe as the weather gets colder.  


June 16, 2014

Monday Updates and a Face of Fitness

Hello to another marvelous Monday.  I can't believe we are already halfway through June! I'm getting super pumped about Fitbloggin' and even picked up some sweet new Baltimore blue crab business cards via a Klout Perk with Moo using a photo I took with Instagram. I love how they came out and know they'll be a big hit at the conference.

After a fun filled but long afternoon/ evening celebrating Baltimore Pride weekend in my neighborhood on Saturday (along with many adult beverages!), I was happy to spend most of Sunday finishing up Season 2 of Orange is the New Black on Netflix.  It's so good, and now I'm sad that I finished it so soon! I also finished catching up on The Mindy Project's last season, which is such a funny & sweet show. 

Image from here
Now I'm lost since summer TV is pretty sparse. Anything I should check out next on Netflix?

June 10, 2014

Buy a Shirt to Help Fight Hunger!

Tomorrow I'm going to recap all about my fun weekend and first trail run, but today I'm asking for your help!

 I've already talked about how you can sign up for the Women's Health RUN 10 FEED 10 race series and get a $5 off discount any race through me with the code "WHSESERKO"! 

There is even the "Run Your Own 10K" option where you can run a solo 10K or get a group of friends together to register and still receive an awesome tote bad and know that your registration fee is going to help fight hunger in the US. 

 I'm a Women's Health Action Hero and want to spread the word about the race series and great cause!

While I have a fundraising page to make donations to the FEED organization I thought I would try something fun for people to get involved in so I designed a tee shirt

June 4, 2014

Happy National Running Day 2014!

Happy National Running Day 2014! 

Yes, it's a real thing-you can check out more information here!

First of all, I've made it to day 10 of #RWRunStreak. I'm pretty proud of myself for making it a quarter of the way through the streak. Many of my runs are me convincing myself it'll just be 10 minutes (or less!) on the treadmill to run a mile in the evening when I really don't feel like it, but I've stuck with it and that's what counts. Today I'm counting my one mile as all the  running we did at November Project Baltimore this morning even though I didn't track it-I'm sure we ran over a mile with all those sprints!

To celebrate National Running Day you can pledge to run miles for charity, call a friend and go for a run after work, find a new running group, sign up for a summer or fall race, or just maybe just go for a run because it makes you happy. 

I'm going to share 5 reasons why I run

1. I run for me. Running is stress-relief. Sometimes it's challenging, sometime's it's relaxing. It's a hobby and a passion. It makes me happy!

June 2, 2014

MIMM: Will Run for Bananas

Um, when did June get here? I don't mind right now because I am loving sunny summery weekends. This weekend was one of those marvelous ones. 

 Time is flying by, and I'm SO excited that Fitbloggin' is in 26 days! YAY! I'll be talking about it before, during, and after the trip so stay tuned (and sorry in advance!). 

Friday I went to Crossfit and rocked some deadlifts and then lounged around watching TV and eating this kale salad I made to dinner from an Eating Bird Food recipe. This salad was so good and was boyfriend approved! I added some chicken on top to make it a full meal.  

I also picked up my latest package from Women's Health as part of my partnership with the magazine as a Women's Health Action Hero-two new flavors of the LUNA Protein Bars to try in lemon vanilla and chocolate coconut almond. I LOVE the chocolate chip cookie dough LUNA Protein Bar so I was excited to get to try these flavors.  I even got a couple chapsticks in the  chocolate coconut almond flavor and knew that flavor would be my favorite after testing those out!

As predicted, I loved the coconut chocolate almond which I gobbled up as a snack yesterday. It is gluten-free and packs 12g of protein in a delicious little bar that tastes like dessert! I packed the lemon vanilla flavor today as a pre-workout afternoon snack. 

Saturday morning I meant to go to a free AM yoga class but instead slept in. I did my first Surfset class at a new Baltimore fitness studio called Beachfit (more on that later this week!) which was fun and definitely worked my core.

May 9, 2014

Recovery Tools: Got Chocolate Milk?

When I was offered the chance to try out chocolate milk as a recovery tool as a Women's Health Action Hero, I jumped at the chance. I'm sure you know by now that I have a huge sweet tooth so being asked to drink chocolate milk post-workout was such a treat! Personally I have switched over to almondmilk because I limit dairy due to my tummy troubles, so it had been a while since I've had some real low-fat chocolate milk. 

Some goodies and information about chocolate milk from WH 

Anyways let's be honest, after some swigs of water lately my post-race beverage of choice is a cold beer. 

After the Rock and Roll National half marathon in March I actually drank some chocolate milk I was handed right after the race  before I downed my bottle of water and was reminded how great of a recovery tool it was, before I even started this assignment! I've been having an 8 ounce glass (let's be honest, probably a little bit more!) of chocolate milk immediately after some runs and workouts. 

 I usually look for something I can quickly eat after a workout within the 20 minute recommended time-frame so I love having some chocolate milk in the refrigerator ready to go. It's also great because it's portable! Many times I don't have the tools or the time to blend up a protein shake so having a post-workout beverage handy right away that has carbs, protein, and electrolytes to start repairing my muscles immediately is great!  Since starting to use chocolate milk as a recovery beverage after my half marathon training runs, I've noticed I've been less sore and more ready to attack my next workout!

Lowfat chocolate milk is a natural source of protein, the right mix of protein and carbs, and provides fluids and electrolytes.  

April 14, 2014

First Action Hero Assignment-Ahnu Hiking Boots

Well I had a super fun weekend full of lots of good eats, good beers, running and sunshine! I'll recap the Sole of the City 10K that I ran Saturday tomorrow! 

As I had mentioned before, I was chosen to be a Women's Health Magazine Action Hero 2014, and today I have my first assignment to share with you! I was really excited to receive some new hiking sneakers from Ahnu Footwear. With the temperatures warming up in the city, I really want to do more outdoorsy weekend activities like hiking so these boots are a perfect incentive to get moving on it.  I was sent the Ahnu Sugarpine Air Mesh shoes and immediately fell in love with the purple/maroon color (named anemone on the site!). These are some pretty stylish hiking shoes! 


March 19, 2014

Two Big Blog Announcements-WH Action Hero 2014 and HTC

Well I still feel exhausted from this long weekend (thanks snow day for giving me extra time to study for my A&P lab practical!).  I was lucky enough to takeover the I'm Fit Possible community Instagram on Saturday so you might have been following along with my half marathon adventures in DC.  I'll have a big weekend race(s) recap later this week or so once I get down to writing it. Here's a spoiler alert: it went well and beer was had :)


Well 2014 is turning out to be not too shabby, despite some recent crappy news and this never ending winter we are living in.  I've got not one, but TWO big blog news tidbits to share today. Drum roll please!


I've been keeping this a little bit under the radar, but I was chosen as a 2014 Women's Health Action Hero!