Category Archives: Workouts!

Product Review: Lucy Activewear

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If you’ve been reading this blog for any length of time you know I love workout gear.  I moved to Boston when Lululemon was just catching on and I fell in love.  I owned more Lulu than I did regular clothes and stalked the weekly emails to see what new products came out.  Eventually I out grew my Lulu addiction and found myself with an Athleta addiction.  I’ve since branched out and now own a little bit of everything.  I like to think I spread the love!  When Lucy Activewear reached out and asked me if I wanted to review their clothes I immediately jumped on it.  One of my favorite yoga teachers lived in Lucy and always raved about it.  I’d also walked by their store and was also intrigued.  After wearing their gear for runs, barre and yoga I see why people love it.

Lucy Activewear

Lucy Activewear

The lovely folks at Lucy sent me a pair of the Breeze On By Capri, the Breeze On By Dress and the Zen Seeker Tunic to try out.  I was immediately impressed by the little details.  The capri had adorable little cutouts behind the knee for venting, and the seem on the front had a nice little detail.  On the dress there was scallops on the trim, and the same little cutout detail on the back to match the capri.  The tunic was super soft and had a really cute and stylish back.  Everything felt as good as it looked when it was on.  It also fit true to size which I appreciated.

I’ve worn all of the pieces for both yoga and barre.  Here are some of my thoughts:

  • Extremely comfortable.  I often find capris like this to be really tight and not that comfortable.  These are very stretchy and soft and they moved with me the whole time.  I was really impressed at how comfortable they are.  The tops are both really loose but still flattering.  I really liked the length of the Breeze On By Dress.  The tunic is super, super soft.  I really liked how it’s fitted in the chest but fluid in the waist.  Both tops stayed snug around my hips during yoga which was awesome!
  • Wicking.  There is nothing worse than a piece of workout gear that doesn’t keep you feeling dry.  No one likes to sit in their own sweat.  All three of these pieces did a great job at wicking the sweat away.
  • Quick drying.  This goes hand in hand with the wicking properties but all three pieces dried so quickly.  It was actually really impressive.  Kudos to Lucy for that!
  • Lightweight.  I love a workout top that’s lightweight, all three pieces were made of lightweight, stretchy material that moved with me.
  • Durable.  I’ve washed all of the pieces quite a few times now and I’ve been really impressed with the quality.  They’ve come out like brand new each time.  I haven’t had any trouble with piling or the like.  The only thing I did notice was that the drawstring on the pants pulled out in the dryer really easily.  Thankfully I was able to quickly thread it back through the waistband.  I tied a knot at the end and haven’t had a problem since.
  • Versatile.  I’m actually thinking I’ll wear the dress at the beach this summer as a cover up.  I LOVE when a piece of workout gear does double duty!  I could also see myself wearing the tunic in the summer with a pair of shorts since it was so comfortable.

I like to give an honest review and usually that means some negative feedback.  Aside from the waistband issue on the capris which turned out to be a non-issue I don’t have anything negative say.  I’ve been really impressed with the product and completely get why yoga instructors and the like rave about Lucy gear!

Lucy Activewear at the Barre!

Lucy Activewear at the Barre!

In terms of price I felt that the items were on par with the cost of other major brands.  The capris are $89, the dress was $79 but is currently on sale for $54.99 and the tunic is $59.  A little bit of an investment but certainly a quality product that would be able to own and wear regularly for years to come.

I’ve gotten a ton of compliments on the Lucy Activewear clothes at both barre and yoga classes.  I’d recommend all three items I was sent!  Be sure to check out Lucy.com for the latest styles and follow Lucy Activewear on Instagram for updates and more!  A huge thank you to Lucy for letting me test and review some of their latest styles!

Have you bought Lucy Activewear before?  What do you love about their products?

Getting Fit with Gaiam

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Hi Friends!  So last time I was here I talked about the workouts that are helping me lose weight.  Today I wanted to share a little bit more about the tools that are helping me to lose weight.  Back in January Gaiam offered to send me a few different workout products to test and use as part of their Get fit with Gaiam campaign.  As a yogi, I’ve always been a big fan of Gaiam and all they have to offer.  I’ve bought yoga videos, blocks, straps, mats and props from them and have been following them on social media for years.  I love their philosophy, and I love their products.

Goodies

Get Fit with Gaiam

I opted for the Gaiam Sol Natural Cork Block and the Banyan & Bo by Gaiam Premium Yoga Strap.  I was pretty excited for the cork block as I have a foam block at home at it’s just not quite wide enough or sturdy enough for poses like supported bridge.  This cork block is really wide and thick so I feel very safe and secure when using it for supported bridge or standing splits.  I was actually thinking I need to order a second one so I can use them as props to help deepen my backbends or when working on splits.  I also really liked the yoga strap, it’s nice and thick and doesn’t have any stretch to it.  I’ve found that some yoga straps will stretch when I use them to lengthen my hamstrings or open my shoulders.  This one did not do that at all and again felt really sturdy and supportive when using it.  I’d definitely recommend both!

Gaiam Sol Natural Cork Yoga Block and Banyan and Bo Premium Yoga Strap

Gaiam Sol Natural Cork Yoga Block and Banyan and Bo Premium Yoga Strap

The other item I received was the Step360.  I was hesitant about reviewing this as I was really worried it would be another workout item I’d never use.   I have to tell you, I’m so happy I decided to test this out!  With this winter being so cold and snowy it’s really given be another outlet to sweat it out.  So what is a Step360?  The step has 2 air inflated chambers with a solid surface on the top making it a combination between a step, a trampoline and a balance board.  It was super easy to set up, I pretty much inflated the air chambers and was good to go.  It came with 2 DVDs with a variety of workouts on it and a sculpting cord.  I absolutely love the workouts.  They are interval based and really easy to follow.  The best part is they are 10 or 20 minutes long.  The cardio based workouts do a great job of increasing your heart rate and working your agility.  The strength workouts with the use of the sculpting cord really work your whole body.  I’ve been sore after every workout! The Step360 has been really fun to use and has added a whole new dimension to my workouts.

Step360 by Gaiam
Step360 by Gaiam

A big thanks to Gaiam for letting me test out the Gaiam Sol Natural Cork Block and the Banyan & Bo by Gaiam Premium Yoga Strap and the Step360.  They’ve definitely made my workouts more fun and helped me to continue to live a healthy life!

Have you tried the Gaiam products?  Would you try the Step360?

Healthy Habits for Weight Loss: Workouts

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So I’ve shared with you how Michael and I modified our breakfasts, lunches and dinners to help us lose weight.  Beyond the food and the portion control there is one other main component that has helped us be successful…workouts.

By now you all know that I love running and to run long.  I also love yoga for strength and stretching.   Occasionally I”ll find myself in the gym focusing on strength…until I get bored again and decide yoga is enough.  I don’t do intervals unless I’m chasing down a half-marathon or marathon PR and even then I’ll usually try to justify that I don’t need to do them.  As a college athlete strength sessions were how I got fast, and intervals were how I got faster.  After years of focusing on them, I was just happy to workout how I wanted, when I wanted.

Recently, I’ve been back to strength and intervals but in a whole new way.  And I  haven’t been running long very much at all.  I have to say, it’s making a difference and I see it in the tone of my muscles and the overall look of my body.   So here’s a peek at what I’ve been up to…

Barre Workouts.

Since November I’ve been attending Barre N9ne every Friday morning.  I absolutely love the workouts.  An hour flies by and I’m sore for days!  The class I take involves mat and barre work to tone your whole body.  Each exercise lasts about 5 minutes.  Typically it’s about 3 variations of small muscles movements done in sets of 12.  You repeat the whole sequence for each muscle 3 times.  It was amazing how quickly I started to see my muscles tone up!  In addition to my weekly barre class I also subscribe to barre3.  Barre3  incorporates some yoga into the workouts which I really like and it ties everything together nicely for me.  For $15 a month I have access to unlimited videos of barre classes that I can do at home.  With a set of 3lb. weights, an ab ball and my kitchen countertop I’m able to get a great workout in.  They have videos that are 10, 30, 40 and 60 minutes long.  Sometimes I’ll do a quick barre workout after a run or other days I’ll keep it simple and just do a 40 or 60 minute workout.  I love how long, lean and toned my muscles are looking thanks to these workouts.

Barre!!

Barre!!

Intervals.  

With all the snow and cold it’s been hard to run outside.  Lucky for me Gaiam sent me the Step360 to try out.  The workouts are 3o minutes long and are 6o second intervals that are cardio based.  They also have videos that are for strength and utilize a resistance band.  I usually combine a 30 minute cardio workout with a 10 minute strength workout.  This definitely does the job in terms of getting my heart rate up and working up a sweat.  I really like the workouts and find them really fun!

Step360 by Gaiam

Step360 by Gaiam

Yoga.

You didn’t think I could give up yoga did you?!  I love adding yoga in for more strength, stretching, relaxing and mind clearing.  It’s just something I can’t do with out!

Yoga!

Yoga!

Notice I didn’t put running in the list?  It’s because I really have only ran a handful of times in the last couple months and I don’t contribute it to my weight loss.  It’s kind of crazy to me because typically when I want to lose a couple pounds and tone up I just run more.  I’ve learned this time though that the variety and more so the strengthening is the key for me.  I’ve also learned that it’s not really about time either.  For many years I was so caught up in working out 5 days a week for an hour or so each day.  Now I really don’t stress.  I still try to workout 5 days a week but with work and life I end up working out about 3-4 days a week.  And an hour a day?  No way!  I’ve learned that I can get in a sweaty, effective workout done in less than an hour!

It’s been a really interesting few months in terms of working out for me.  I’ve learned a lot about what works for me personally and what doesn’t.  The best part is that I feel like I’m looking and feeling great these days!

What kind of workouts help you lose weight? What works for you?  What doesn’t?

Don’t forget to follow me on Instagram and Facebook for daily posts on healthy living, food and workouts!

Life Lately

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Life has been busy.  So busy in fact that I checked my blog to see the date of my last post…surely it was in December.  Wrong!  How could it be that I haven’t posted since November?! I’ve been MIA but I guess you already knew that. 

Let’s talk about life lately, shall we?  It seems like a fitting topic since I haven’t been around much.

You may or may not remember that I was promoted in September at work.  It has been quite the transition from manager to director.  No one really tells you how challenging and humbling that transition will be.  Instead most people tell you congratulations and that you’ve earned it.  The last few months have been equal parts challenging, frustrating, exciting and rewarding.  I finally feel like I’m starting to find my stride, my ideas are being heard and things are moving forward.  All good things.  My weeks have been particularly busy- filled and focused on my job.  Truthfully, it’s tiring to make the transition.  I certainly feel like it’s challenged me as a professional, there have been some incredibly hard days, lessons and decisions to make and simultaneously some rewarding and fulfilling moments as well.  In fact, I think this job has given me a whole new perspective on what a job can offer you and that definition of a “good day at work”.  As each day passes, I’m feeling more and more comfortable in the role and thankful for this challenge and opportunity to grow and develop.

Beyond the job, M and I have been busy planning our wedding!  It’s been so fun to choose our venue, set the date and bring our vision and ideas to life!  Choosing the caterer was one of the most fun parts.  I loved going to all the tastings. Trying and tasting all the food was a blast and I loved hearing all the wedding day tips and tricks from the catering managers.  My mom and my cousin (she’s my maid of honor) made a special trip to Boston just before Thanksgiving to help me find the perfect wedding gown.  That experience was pretty amazing and all that I’ve ever hoped and dreamed it would be.  We found my dream dress pretty quickly and I’m so in love!  I seriously can’t wait to walk down the aisle!  We have lots to do in the next 11 months but we’re taking it one thing at a time and enjoying the process.

I know you’re probably thinking…what about yoga and running?!  After all that’s what this blog is about!  I’ve been staying active but in a new way for me.  It feels so good to be mixing things up and the best part is that it feels so much less stressful and so much more enjoyable!

I’ve been spending a lot more time on the yoga mat, I’m still not practicing as much as I’d like but it’s enough for now.  Every Sunday I head to one of my favorite studios for a Sunday morning flow and during the week I focus on my home practice.

Side Crow Pose

Side Crow Pose

I’ve also introduced barre workouts into my weekly workouts and I’m in love with the class.  I look forward to it everyday Friday morning and the results I’m seeing in just 4 weeks are awesome.  My arms and abs are more toned and I feel like my legs are slimming down as well.  It’s really fun and I leave the hour class feeling the burn!

Here and there I’ve been getting to the gym to get in some low impact cardio on the elliptical and treadmill.  I haven’t been running outside more than a handful of times since October which is probably the biggest change for me. It’s not been a focus for me right now and that’s ok.  For the last 6 or 7 months I’ve been experiencing pain in my right hip and low back.  All summer I trained through it but after my half marathons in October it became really irritated.  Resting it has definitely been helping and the barre has been strengthening it which feels good.  I’m still not 100% with it so I’m trying to really rest and recover.  Beyond my hip I’ve been experiencing a lot of wheezing and breathing issues when I try to run outside that I have really hindered me.  The cold air and I are just not getting along.  When I was in high school and college skiing and racing I struggled with cold-weather induced asthma.  I seemed to out grow it in my early 20′s and trained for Boston Marathon 2 years ago without any issues.  Towards the end of last winter it started to bother me but before I knew it the weather warmed up and I felt fine.  This October it came on the vengeance as soon as the temperature started dropping.  It makes running outside really frustrating and discouraging.  I have a doctor’s appointment in the next week or so to get both things checked out.  I’m hoping that I can get these issues resolved and hopefully start running a bit again!

Despite my hip and my breathing issues I’m feeling really great.  My body is appreciating the change in workouts and I feel stronger and more rested than I have in ages.  I’m only working out 3-4 times a week which is a lot less than normal.  I think I just needed this break.  Surprisingly I haven’t gained any weight and am actually feeling really lean lately.  I’ve definitely noticed that my appetite has adjusted.  I’m a lot less hungry than I was just a few months ago and find myself snacking less and skipping the second helping more often.  I even find myself reaching towards the sweets less!  I’m not sure how long this little change-up will last but I’m certainly enjoying it and in no rush to get back to my normal routine.

I’ve also been thinking a bit about this blog lately.  I feel like I’ve evolved over the last few months and the blog needs to as well.  I’m still not quite sure what that looks like or what the focus will be but I can tell you I want to keep writing and sharing my passions of running and yoga with you all.  And I’d like to share them more often too! I’d love if you’d tell me what posts you’ve been missing from me lately, or if there is something you’d like me to talk about more often!  I want to be sure I incorporate that too!

So that’s life lately.  It’s been crazy busy, challenging, fun and filled with love.  All good things in my book!

Tell me, how’s your life lately?  What posts have you been missing from me lately?  What would you like me to share with you more often?

Things I’m Loving Lately

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It’s no secret that I’ve been taking a step back but I still love my active, healthy lifestyle.  I thought it would be fun to share with you a few of the things I’m loving lately…the slowed down version.  Lately I’ve been into things that are nurturing and relaxing…and warm.

Baking and Cooking. 

Yep, I’m baking maniac lately.  Last week I made an apple bread and apple pie.  This week I’m all about banana nut muffins and healthy mocha cake from Ellie Kreigers cookbook.  Baking has been really therapeutic for me lately and it gives me that time to shut down my mind and focus on what I’m doing.  Michael has been busy in the kitchen too making some new and fun recipes too.  We’re loving being home and spending the day in the kitchen and relaxing.  Not going lie…that man and I sure know how to eat some good food!

Apple Pie Made With Love!

Apple Pie Made With Love!

Barre Classes. 

I’ve been wanting to take these classes for a while but never got around to it.  I recently bought a Living Social deal for a barre studio a few minutes from my house.  I took my first class and holy burn!  I’m still crazy sore 2 days later!  I’ve decided this needs to be part of my weekly workout routine.   I’m hoping that it will tone my arms so they’ll look fabulous in my wedding gown next fall!

Barre N9ne Deal!

Barre N9ne Deal!

Paisley Tights. 

I LOVE these tights.  I’ve been wearing them a ton…with sweaters and boots during the day, with a comfy hoodie to lounge around and with bright yoga tanks in the studio.  I love the paisley pattern and how comfortable they are!  In case you’re wondering they’re from my favorite store Athleta!

Love these tights!

Love these tights!

The Yoga Studio. 

You know I love yoga.  That never really changes but what does change is where I prefer to practice.  When I’m busy I usually opt for my home practice in the early morning.  It eliminates the stress of getting to the studio at a set time.  Lately though I can’t get enough of being in the studio for classes.  I love the warmth and the sweat, flowing through the practice surrounded by other yogis and the guidance of a good yoga teacher.  It’s so nice to roll out my mat and let someone else tell me how to flow and move.  Plus savasana after a challenging sweaty class in a warm room is just so nice!

My go to place lately!

My go to place lately!

Slow and Easy Mornings.

Usually I’m up and running at 5:30am.  Lately however, I am not.  I’m loving slow and easy mornings.  Somedays it’s a gentle flow on my mat, other days its extra rest or maybe it’s just some extra time.  Yes- time.  It’s so nice to get up and have time to enjoy breakfast and catch up on the news before heading out for the day.   On the weekends I’m loving sleeping in and starting my day slowly.  There is nothing like savoring your breakfast and cup of tea before running around.  It’s a welcome change of pace and I’m thoroughly enjoying it!

Coffee at Home!

Coffee at Home!

And speaking of things I’m loving lately I’m off to catch a late day yoga class!  I’m getting the best of both worlds today…a slow and easy morning, time in the kitchen and yoga studio!

What are you loving lately?