Beginner Resistance Band Workout

I didn’t get a chance to check in last night, because I was busy screaming over multiple country singers like a thirteen-year-old. When it comes to celebrities, I’ll never grow up.

hunter hayes

I went to the Guitar Pull with my friend Aubrie, stayed out past my bed time, wore heels for the first time in forever, and got to hug up on Kip Moore. I’d say the evening was a success. What I haven’t been as successful with lately is finding time for actual workouts. I’ve done my best to move around, but I have been failing miserably at keeping up any sort of running or weight routine. It’s getting bad, guys. I think it’s about time to get back to basics: quick, simple workouts with stuff I can lug around anywhere I go. Resistance bands were the first thing that popped into my head. The problem is that I was at a total loss on how to use the ones I had. I’ve owned them for a long time, but I only occasionally incorporate them into my workout. It’s shameful, really.

resistance band workout

If you’re like me and need to brush up on your resistance band skills, this workout is for you. I swear I’m this close to stashing a few bands in my little cubicle, so I can at least stretch out every once and a while. The awkward stares would be worth it, right?

Resistance Band Workout

And now for a breakdown of the moves:

Bicep Curls: Stand with your feet together, holding the handle of a resistance band in each hand. Step onto the middle of the band, keeping your feet about hip-width distance apart and your hands down by your side. Simultaneously bend both elbows, bringing your forearms toward your chest. Slowly return to the starting position.

Front Squats: Stand on the middle of the band with your feet slightly wider than shoulder-width apart. Grab each end of the band and bring your hands above your shoulders, palms facing forward. Squat down, keeping your chest up and core tight. Rise back up to start position.

Shoulder Presses: Loop the middle of the band under one of your feet and then step your other foot forward, so that you end up in a split stance. Grab the ends of the band in each hand and bring your hands up to your shoulders, palms facing out. Press your arms directly over your head. Slowly release to the starting position.

Bent Over Rows: Grab each end of a resistance band and stand on the middle of the band. Bend slightly at the knees and hinge at the waist. Let your arms hang by your side with your palms facing in toward your body. Bend your elbows, pulling the band up toward your hips. Squeeze your shoulder blades together until your elbows form a 90-degree angle. Slowly release your arms to the starting position.

Flutter Kicks: Sit down with your legs extended straight out in front of you. Loop one handle of the resistance band on each foot and grab the center of the band with your hands. Lie onto your back, pressing your lower spine into the floor. Lift both legs slightly off of the floor. Holding the center of the band, move your legs up and down slowly, keep your navel tucked into your spine.

Now I better go actually do these moves. Anyone else gotten off track this week?

iFit Active Review + Giveaway

Happy Halloween! We’re not quite in our costumes just yet, so I don’t have any pictures to share before all of this Trick or Treating madness sets in. I do, however, have a special treat for y’all in the form of a giveaway. Before we get to that part, let’s discuss why you’ll want to win the prize.

In the weeks leading up to the Runner’s World Half & Festival this month, I had the chance to test out some amazing products from the race sponsors. One of my favorites ended up being the iFit Active fitness tracker. (While I received this item free-of-charge, I was not required to review it. I genuinely had fun using it!) The band effortlessly measures and tracks your diet, exercise, and sleep each and every day.

photo(32)

The tracker can be worn alone (like, literally tossed in your pocket), as an adjustable wristband, or as a simple clip-on accessory. I felt most comfortable wearing it as a clip, and I was incredibly glad they created that option. It doesn’t detract from your outfits and it’s more of a “set it and forget it” type deal. That way I’m not constantly checking my numbers, you know?

ifit active review

One thing I love about wearing a fitness tracker is the constant motivation. Today, after a forced rest day thanks to Report Card Night, I got out for a run. After seeing my measly number of steps from yesterday, I decided to do something about it and go for a nice and easy thirty-minute run. It was gorgeous outside, so I’m really glad I got out there.

halloween run

Since I brought up the numbers, let’s look at what a difference a day makes. On the left are today’s stats and on the right are yesterday’s. A common goal for people to reach each day is 10,000 steps. Yesterday at 3:30, I hadn’t even gotten half way there. Ouch. Since I was at school until 7 pm, it didn’t get much better. Today, though, I’ve already blown those numbers out of the water. Instead of getting upset about not reaching my goal yesterday, I used it as motivation to really kill it today. (PS: isn’t it odd that I somehow got screen shots at almost the same time and my battery life and signal strength was exactly the same? Or is that only weird to me?)

ifit active

Another fun (or depressing if you’ve been up all night) feature the iFit Active comes with is the ability to track your sleep patterns. I’ve had shockingly scary stats some nights, but for the most part I’m hitting my goal of 7-8 hours each night. According to the iFit, this is a pretty typical night of sleep for me:

ifit sleep tracker

I think it’s so interesting to see how much my sleep affects my workouts and overall daily energy. I mean, I know that’s just basic science but sometimes I naively think I can “function” on just a little bit of sleep. Dumb.

The iFit Active also tracks calories out and calories in, with the ability to easily add in your meals, drinks, and snacks. I don’t personally use this feature but it seems to work pretty seamlessly with the rest of the functions. In addition to tracking basically your entire life, it can help you wake up for it through the alarm function. Pretty neat. For a detailed explanation of everything the band can do, just head over to the iFit website. But, before you go, iFit wants to give one of you a chance to win an iFit Active to try out for yourself!

ifit giveaway

The giveaway will end on November 7th and a winner will be announced the following day. Enter via the Rafflecopter below.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Good luck, y’all! I hope you have a great weekend and enjoy some much-deserved candy! Trick-or-treating ain’t easy, folks.

 

Running Workout + Mizuno Wave Rider 18

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

Remember how I thought about working out out last night? Well, I didn’t. We made popcorn and watched a movie instead. Tonight I ended up walking by my new shoes and they totally guilted me into running. I still wanted to incorporate the strength training that I skipped, so I mixed ‘em up a bit. I’ve done variations of the following workout in the past, and it definitely breaks up the miles and makes the time fly by.
the running workout

Let’s get back to the star of the workout: the shoes. I was recently sent a pair of Mizuno Wave Rider 18s and I’ve truly enjoyed breaking ‘em in. I’ve worn them to run up a mountain, clean the entire house, and complete a bodyweight circuit. It’s fair to say that they are a great multipurpose, neutral running shoe. Plus, they are freaking easy on the ol’ eyes. That never hurts. mizuno waverider 18 The 18s are an update on the 17s (did you all just say “duh”?), and I think they nailed it this time. I actually really liked the 17s at the time, but the 18s are definitely an improvement. They’ve gotten even more flexible and comfortable, which is really inspiring me to get back into longer distances sooner rather than later. They also look sleeker and more fashionable, in my opinion. I know that shouldn’t mean much, but I wear my running shoes around while running errands. I want them to look nice. I also pose in them a lot, because a run obviously didn’t happen if you don’t have photographic evidence. I’m only half joking. mizuno waverider 18 review If you headed over here for some more specific shoe-speak, you’re in luck. I totally know how to compile facts into one mean bulleted list. The Wave Rider 18 shoe:

  • comes in three color options in both men and women’s
  • weighs 7.8 ounces in women’s and 9.2 ounces in men’s
  • is built to have an ideal heel fit and secure midfoot embrace
  • has been upgraded to include the most innovative technology
  • is pretty daggum sweet, y’all

Okay, fine. So I’m no shoe expert. I just know what works for me and what doesn’t. The Wave Rider 18 running shoes are keepers. That’s all I need to know.

Question: Do you ever break up your runs with other types of workouts? If so, what’s your go-to combination?

Friday Favorites + Eating Clean with Urban Remedy

It’s FRIDAY, y’all! Get excited. I typed this post up on a four hour ride to the beautiful mountains of North Carolina. I swear I’m torn between the beach and the country. I don’t really need to worry about that, because I don’t have the money to move to either of them. One day, y’all. One day. Anyway, the end of the week means a new round of Friday Favorites. Let’s just get right to it.

 

Urban Remedy

For the past three days, I’ve been experimenting with cleaning up my eats. I will be the first to admit that I rely heavily on sugar, caffeine, cheese, and bread. They are typically present in every single meal I eat. It was getting out of hand. Urban Remedy recently reached out and asked if I would like to try out some of their products. A total juice cleanse is something I wasn’t interested in, but I really liked the look of the Beauty Kit. I decided to give it a try, but I was legitimately 100% nervous to cut out all of my addictions at once. Thankfully, I was distracted by the delicious food they sent me. (PS: one set of juices missed the picture. Whoops.)

urban remedy beauty kit review

My favorite thing, by far, was the raw vegan chocolate mousse. There are no words, y’all. Overall, I’m really glad I decided to try this out. It was three days of clean eating, and I truly feel like my palate was “reset” afterwards. I supplemented the plan with some grapes and apples and they tasted so much sweeter than usual. I definitely feel better in general and I’m just going to pretend that eating veggies for 72 hours made me more beautiful. ;)

The only downside was cutting out caffeine. I swear I couldn’t have spelled my name yesterday for a million bucks. I was out of it, but it just goes to show how dependent I had become. I still plan to eat sweets and drink coffee, but I want to do it on a much smaller scale than I had been doing lately. I know for sure that making these changes would have been harder for me if I hadn’t found a quick “plan” to follow. If I had been left to my own devices, I would have been chugging lattes and burying my face in a carton of ice cream the first night. Three cheers for some structure up on my life! If you have any other questions about the Urban Remedy Beauty Kit, just let me know. I’m more than willing to share even more details if you want them.
 

Runner’s World Cookbook

To continue the clean eating theme, I’d like to send a huge shout out to the Runner’s World Cookbook contributors. Those people know their food. I finally snagged a copy of the cookbook on Friday and I’ve already bookmarked about thirty things I need to eat immediately.

runner's world cookbook

I was able to try a few things over the weekend, but my favorite was the Mushroom Tacos al Pastor. I don’t even like mushrooms. They were just that good. I also heard rave reviews about the homemade energy bars, but I was too busy eating corn bread and butter. I plan on making the bars soon, though! I think they would be the perfect grab-and-go breakfasts for Maddux and me. I’m sure I’ll share they details once I try them out.

 

Fall Traveling

We have been out of town for the past three or four weekends. Normally I’d be pretty exhausted, but right now it’s a good change of scenery. Fall hasn’t quite reached my neighborhood, so I’ve gotten my crunchy leaf fix elsewhere. As much as I love the spring and summer, there is something about fall colors that can’t be beat.

mountains

In other news, I think I’m officially an old lady. Who else waxes poetic about the seasonal changes? I need to get a life, and it needs to happen soon.

 

Continuous Learning

When it comes to all my hobbies and passions, there is so much more to learn and so many more ways to grow. This weekend I was able to listen to people who are a heck of a lot smarter than me and I am so much better off because of it.

First up was a quick breathing lesson from Budd Coates, the author of Running on Air. He’s one of the best running coaches on the planet, so I decided I should probably pay close attention.

budd coates

I don’t notice my breathing pattern all that much when I run. I mean, I’m just usually happy that I am breathing at all. Budd taught us how to monitor our breathing in order to get the most of each run and to ultimately become better runners. I read his book on the flight home and my mind basically exploded. I would explain the process to you, but I’m sure I’d butcher it completely. Read the book, y’all.

Then came a form lesson from Golden Harper, another total authority on running. He only, like, invented his own shoes and stuff. No big deal. Seriously, though, if you haven’t tried on a pair of Altras, you’re missing out.

golden harper

He basically taught me that I know absolutely nothing about running properly. I’m now working on having a proud chest, short strides, tucked back elbows, and soft knees. No injuries for this gal. Seriously, though, I know I just run for fun but I loved learning more about the sport. Maybe one day I won’t have horrendous race photos when I learn how to actually run. Wishful thinking?

Well, I better go. We have Toy Story on the TV and nachos on the way to the house. It’s getting pretty serious over here. Have a great night!

Question: What have you been learning or trying recently? I think it’s hilarious that I’m so interested in things (running well and eating clean)

I’m so terrible at right now. Gotta love it.

Fitness Meets Fashion: Target® C9 Collection

Disclosure: This post was sponsored by Target® C9 through their partnership with POPSUGAR Select. While I was compensated to write a post about Target® C9, all opinions are my own.

Today’s post is one of my favorites of the week for two reasons: I got to go shopping at Target® and I got to pose awkwardly in the clothes I found before writing it. I never need an excuse to shop at my favorite store, but embarrassing myself is icing on the cake. Luckily for me, the clothes steal the show so you don’t notice my insanity quite as much.
target c9 collection

During my little fitness shopping spree, I chose the C9 by Champion® Paisley Legging and Cowl Neck Layered Tank. I’d be lying if I said it was an easy decision. I mean, I wanted to try so many different outfits on. Is this not the typical Target® problem or what? So much good stuff, y’all.

Ultimately, I decided to go with a combination I didn’t have much of: printed leggings and a bright tank top. I really, really love the pieces I ended up with. They even inspired this emo-style selfie, so you know it’s real love.

target c9

I told Ryne this was my “bae caught me slippin” look but he didn’t get it. He’s getting old. Anyway, back to the clothes.

C9 by Champion® Paisley Legging: While the look of these leggings initially caught my eye, the fabric’s feel and fit is what ultimately won me over. They are extremely comfortable yet tight enough to stay put during even the toughest of workouts. I run in these and they are perfect. Not to thick and not too thin. Plus, hello, they’re paisley.

C9 by Champion® Cowl Neck Layered Tank: I cheated a little on this one and chose a tank that I already owned, just in a different color. Why? Because it’s amazing. The built in bra is actually thick and supportive, which is usually not the case with these types of tanks. The top layer is flowy but very flattering. Definitely a keeper.

target c9

One of the best parts about my new outfit is that it’s perfect for fall evening runs. Right now it’s not quite cool enough to bring out the winter running gear, but the slightly cooler temps mean that my legs are loving a little covering. When it does finally get chilly, all I’ll need to do is grab a jacket on the way out the door.

night run

And with skies like that, I hope I’ll be outside more often than not. What about where you live? Have you busted out the cold-weather gear yet? We’re in this weird “60 degrees one day, 90 degrees the next” phase which means it’ll be 30 degrees before you know it. ;)