April Health Dares from UnitedHealthcare

This post is sponsored by UnitedHealthcare.

April Dares

It’s time for the United Healthcare We Dare You To program for April! In case you forgot, each month United Healthcare has three health dares that are easy and have some great prizes.

April Dares 2The April Dares are:

  • Take the stress management quiz for a chance to win a HomCom Deluxe Heated Vibrating Leather massage recliner chair.
  • Watch the “3 Ways to Relieve Stress Naturally” video and offer your opinion for a chance to win a $400 Visa gift card.
  • Share a photo of yourself and/or your loved ones using #LaughOutLoudWDY for a chance to win a GoPro Hero 3.

Plus you have a chance to win one of the weekly prizes of a $25 gift card for each dare that you take. What are you waiting for?

As I looked for a picture to share for the dares, I realized that I have many pictures of smiling people, but not many laughing. We all smile for the camera, right? I think that is something to work on. More laughter, on and off camera.

laughoutloudwdy2I did finally find this though. About mile 16 (I think) of the Rock and Roll Marathon. Still laughing. Or grimacing, I can’t be sure.

In any case, look through those old photos, or take a new one, and enter now! We’re talking about a GoPro! Good luck!

What would you do with a GoPro? Or a reclining massage chair?

Friday Favorites

Did you see my guest post on Amanda’s blog? It’s all about how you can keep running until you’re 90. Check it out!

Popping in today to share some Friday Favorites! The folks at Asics have an amazing sweepstakes that you won’t want to miss, plus a little fitness motivation and something for your sweet tooth. Finally, an invitation (and discount code) to Blogfest. Check them out!

Asics Gear for the Year Sweepstakes

Asics has an amazing sweepstakes going on right now. You can win 10 months worth of Asics gear! How’s that for a prize? That’s $300 per month for 10 months = $3,000! Wow! Enter here. You can enter once a day until April 30!

Asics

What would you buy with with $3,000 to spend? First, I would stock up on Asics shoes, including these babies, the Gel-Electro 33. I love them for racing and speedwork.

Asics 9Click here to read my review of the Asics Gel Electro 33

Asics Gel SanaClick here to read my review of the Asics Gel-Fit Sana

 

Motivation from Skulpt

skulpt 2

I mentioned the Skulpt Aim a few weeks ago. It is a simple fitness tracker that can measure body composition with just a touch, and continue to track it using the free Skulpt app. It uses electrical impedance myography, which uses a weak electrical current to measure body fat and to give you a Muscle Quality (MQ) score based on those measurements. The app is a great motivational tool that will help to record improvements.

I wasn’t really happy with my original measurements, and that was enough to send me back to weight training. I’ve been doing some yoga and Pilates, but my main focus has been on training for the SLO Marathon.  I’m still not as consistent as I’d like, but once marathon training is done I will be ready to hit the gym on a regular basis. I want to see that body fat percentage go down!

NuNaturals

Nustevia

I told you before that I was lucky. Well, one of the things I have won (twice) is a sample package from NuNaturals. Thanks Jody! I say samples, but these are full size products of some of their best stevia products. I admit that I have a sweet tooth, and I need a little sweetener in my coffee. I love both the simple syrup and the cocoa syrup! And I’ve finally weaned Alan off sucralose, and he uses the NuStevia powder. They also have many great products for baking, which I don’t really do, but kind of wish that I did, because I’d love to use some of the great flavors of NuStevia like Cherry Vanilla, Orange, Lemon, and many others.

Blogfest

20140814 IDEA Anaheim Copyright 2014 Len  Spoden Photography.

If you are a blogger, and have any kind of interest in health and fitness, then Blogfest should be the one blogging conference that you attend. Not only do you get two days of great blogging information, workouts, and networking, you will also be able to attend the last two days of the IDEA World Fitness Convention! Gabby Reece will be the Keynote Speaker for Blogfest, and you’ll have a chance to see Beto Perez and Jillian Michaels (and many more fitness pros and celebrities) at IDEA World. You can read more about it here, but what are you waiting for? Register and save $100 with the code BLOG100. And we’ll see you in Los Angeles July 16-19!

So, did you enter the giveaway yet? Will I see you at Blogfest?

Learn about LBL and #RecycleYourPeriodPad

LBL is the new whispered “condition” for women. We’re slightly embarrassed, don’t want to admit that, yes, I have LBL! It stands for Light Bladder Leakage, and it is so common that almost a third of all women will have incidents of LBL at one time or another.  Weak pelvic floor muscles can contribute to LBL (remember those Kegels ladies!), and it can be triggered by coughing, sneezing, laughing, or exercising.

What Causes LBL?

Women are different, so there is no one cause of light bladder leakage. Some things that may contribute to LBL are changes due to pregnancy, childbirth, hysterectomy, menopause, or weight gain. Other causes may be from complications of surgery or chronic conditions such as diabetes, Multiple Sclerosis (MS), or Parkinson’s Disease, as well as bladder or urinary tract infections.

Managing LBL

The first step is to find, if possible, the cause of LBL. Consult with your doctor to find the root of the problem.  If your light bladder leakage is caused by weak pelvic floor muscles, which is common, adding some Kegel exercises can help. If your LBL is sporadic, keep a record to see if you can find the trigger. It may be something you eat or drink: spicy food, caffeine, and artificial sweeteners can all cause irritation or spasms.

Poise4

When LBL occurs, many women tend to use their period pads for protection. Poise wants you to know that there is a better solution. Poise Thin-Shape Pads feature super absorbent material and  thin flex design for extraordinary protection that is 3x drier than period pads so that you can feel confident in your protection. Because Poise pads are made specifically for LBL, you will feel fresher and dryer, whether you leak a little when your laugh or have a sudden urge to go. One less thing to worry about.

You can try out the new Poise Thin-Shape Pads for free! Simply click on this link to download a coupon for free samples!

#Recycleyourperiodpad

Now it’s time to show you how I will #recycleyourperiodpad. I’ll tell you right off, it’s been a long time since I’ve used a period pad. But, Poise has a fun concept, and it’s true that you should use the right pad for the job, so I’m playing along. It’s also true that I’m not crafty, so I admit I checked out a few other blogs to get some ideas. I finally settled on something more utilitarian than crafty.

Poise Recycle

I’ve spoken before about Goldie, my handicapped dog. She has a compressed disk from an accident when she was young. We were once told she’d never walk again, but Alan spent hours doing physical therapy and she is a determined dog, so she has had an almost normal life.

Poise Goldie

She’s getting older now, has a harder time getting up and walking, and is occasionally incontinent. We frequently use a diaper to prevent accidents, but the pads are expensive. This seemed like a great way to recycle my period pads.

Poise Goldie2

I will keep these on hand for emergencies, like when we run out of diapers and don’t want to run out to buy a new box.

Okay you creative whizzes out there! How would you #RecycleYourPeriodPad?

And don’t forget to download your coupon for a free sample!

Living, Playing, Breathing with prAna

prana 7Taking the Leap with prAna

I have had the great pleasure of working with prAna and Fit Approach for the last month to participate in and promote the Take the Leap 30 Days of Yoga Challenge.

Day 5

I guess you’d call that a disclosure, but it is also a statement of fact. The Take the Leap challenge was such an amazing experience, both on a personal and fitness level, because it brought me back to yoga, but also on a social level, because I had the opportunity to connect with the many other participants in the challenge.

Because of the challenge, I not only practiced yoga more frequently, I discovered that “practicing yoga” did not have to be a 90 minute power yoga class, or even any kind of a structured class (even though those are awesome!). I could spend 10 minutes warming up for a run, stretching afterward, or spend some time relaxing before bedtime, and it was yoga. You do have to have intention when you practice like this, but done correctly, yes, it is yoga.

Click here for tips for fitting in yoga on a busy schedule.

I also learned that my form is not as good as I thought. Seriously, as a personal trainer, I feel that I have pretty good body awareness and proprioception. My yoga studio does not have any mirrors, so I assumed that I looked like I felt, whether it was a fierce warrior or a joyful camel (my new favorite pose).

I found out, with my daily yoga selfies, that this was not necessarily the case. Yes, my form was pretty good, but I never looked as deep, fierce, or intent as I felt in a pose. Fortunately, I probably won’t be photographing all my yoga practices in the future!

prana 1

PrAna sent me the outfit you see above. There is something about beautiful fitness clothing that inspires me. It makes me want to move, to breath, to enjoy the process of exercise. And this outfit is particularly inspiring. The top is the Meadow Top, in Viola Magnolia. I even love the name of the color! It has a built in shelf bra and a soft, drapy fit that allow freedom of movement in comfort, with a stretchy band at the bottom which keeps it in place during yoga practice.

prana 2The pants are the Tori Capri in neon orange. They are made of a soft performance knit and are comfortable and stay in place.  I love the detail in the hem.

prana 4Sustainability

To me, yoga is about more than getting a great workout. It is a lifestyle of sustainability, kindness, and focus. PrAna is a Sanskrit word that means breath, life, and vitality of the spirit, and prAna has taken this meaning to heart because it helps guide their actions towards becoming an evermore socially mindful and environmentally sustainable organization.

PrAna’s approach to sustainability is three pronged and focuses on: 1) The materials to make their products, 2) Materials and energy to service the business, and 3) People and working conditions. You can read more about prAna’s commitment to sustainability here.

prana 5bluesign

Headquartered in Switzerland, bluesign is a worldwide standard that is applied to production chains to measure the safety and sustainability of raw materials used by chemical and manufacturing companies. PrAna is a bluesign partner and works to implement bluesign standards in their supply chain.

prana 6

Save 15% at prAna!

Be sure to check out the new Early Spring Collection where will you will find both active and lifestyle clothing for men and women that will fit not only into your yoga practice, but into your life. You can save 15% on your purchase by using this code at checkout: psps15LFL.

Prana

Most of the photos above were taken my my husband in the trail system area about one mile from my home. Aren’t I lucky (both for the beautiful neighborhood and the husband who actually enjoyed the photo shoot)?

Alan

Alan, my photographer, showing me the shot that he wanted.

Did you participate in the Take the Leap challenge? Do you practice yoga regularly or try to fit it into your workout schedule? Where is your favorite place to work out?

My Busy Life. Getting a Boost from Pure Earth Juice

This post is sponsored by Del Monte and Pure Earth Juice. All opinions are my own.

I kind of touched on this a few days ago, but now that my personal training schedule is starting to fill up, life is becoming really hectic. I’m in the middle of marathon training, and the schedule that I planned out a few weeks ago is getting harder to keep up with because I keep scheduling clients earlier and earlier. Something has to give, and I’m not going to let it be my running.

Instead I have been taking my breakfast on the road several times a week to save time in my morning routine. I’ll make a smoothie if I have time, but even that sometimes is difficult. This morning as I took off for work I grabbed a banana and my new juice obsession Del Monte Pure Earth Juice.

Del Monte 5

Continue Reading

Life at the Gym: Asics Gel-Fit Sana Review

I am one of those lucky people who get to spend more than half of their life at the gym. I work there. I work out there. I teach classes, I go to classes, I…well, you get the idea. I’m at the gym a lot, and I’m on my feet a lot.

Asics Gel Sana 6For years I wore my retired running shoes. Yes, I admit it. My old Kayanos took me a long way on the road, then a quick wash and they were off to work with me. I finally figured out though, that as much as I love them, old running shoes probably weren’t ideal for teaching classes, working out, and standing on my feet all day.

When I learned about the Asics Gel-Fit Sana I was happy to try out a shoe from a company that I have trusted for years to take care of my feet. The Gel-Fit Sana is designed to be light and flexible, and has an inner lining that supports the foot from heel to forefoot. And they are very good looking too.

Asics Gel Sana 1So good looking in fact that I’ve pretty much had them on my feet since the first day. From teaching a fitness class, to training clients at work, then off to lunch or to the market, they are fashionable and comfortable.

When I first slid my feet into the Asics Gel-Fit Sana I let out an audible sigh. Yes, they are that comfortable. Thanks to the inner lining, they fit like a glove. So light and flexible that you can almost forget you’re wearing shoes. Like barefoot with benefits.

Asics Gel Sana 7Because I spend so much time on my feet, I really need a shoe that will cushion and support my feet, and the Gel-Fit Sana does that. At the end of the day, instead of needing to rip off my shoes as soon as I get home, I’ve actually been keeping them on, just because my feet feel so good. And that is quite an accomplishment.

While comfortable is great, since I am using the Gel-Fit Sana while teaching group exercise classes, it is really important that I have a shoe that will keep my feet healthy and cool while I’m working hard. I don’t teach high impact classes, but I can still feel how the cushioning in the heel helps absorb the shock, and the mesh upper is breathable, so my feet don’t get sweaty and overheat.

Asics Gel Sana 2The sizing seems accurate, or at least what I wear in my running shoes. And Asics realizes that women’s feet don’t stop growing in half sizes once we get over size 10 (size 11.5 and proud here!). While they have a glove-like fit, my feet don’t feel constricted in anyway, and instead feel supported and secure.

The MSRP is $80 and the Asics Gel-Fit Sana is available in a variety of pretty colors.

Asics Gel Sana 14Hmm, I’m trying to pick my next pair! It’s difficult.

I really like the Asics Gel-Fit Sana. It is the perfect shoe for me.

Do you wear one type of shoe to do everything? Or do you have specific shoes for each sport or activity? What color of Gel-Fit Sana to you like best?

 

This post is sponsored by FitFluential on behalf of ASICS.