Category Archives: Working Out

Polar A300 – No More FitBit!

Good afternoon! I am back!! My blog was down for a few days due to some technical difficulties. Unfortunately, I don’t know much about the technical part of my blog but I worked with Scott from BlogCrafted and he helped me get my site back up and running.

I worked with BlogCrafted a couple of years ago when I switched to being self-hosting and contacted them again when my blog was having problems earlier in the week. If you need any blogging help, I recommend using BlogCrafted. I worked with Scott and he does a quick and thorough job. Everything was taken care of within a day and his prices are very reasonable.

Anyway back to the blog. :)

Danny, my super sweet husband, got me an early Christmas gift – the Polar A300 heart rate monitor.

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I was using the Polar FT7 monitor and I loved it but it was getting old and not working like it should. After doing some research, I decided to go with the Polar A300. This heart rate monitor will replace my FitBit.

I have the FitBit Charge HR and while I love it (you can read about it in this post and this post), I found that it didn’t record my heart rate accurately during exercise so when I worked out, I would wear my Polar FT7 in addition to the FitBit.

The Polar A300 totally replaces my FitBit. It records steps taken during the day, activity level, calories burned during the day, and sleep. You wear the chest strap during exercise to monitor your heart rate.

I like that it gives you a goal of being active for a certain amount during the day and then lets you know when you’re 100% at your activity goal. Some days I’m way over my goal.

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Reaching your goal of activity is done through any movement – exercise, walking, shopping, cleaning, etc. As long as you’re moving, it counts as activity. Of course, if you’re doing strenuous activity, you’ll reach your activity goal a lot faster. I usually reach my 100% goal after working out for about an hour.

Some pros and cons:

Pros

  • it records steps, calories burned, distance, activity level, and sleep (although I don’t find the sleep very accurate)
  • it has a chest strap for more accurate heart rate during exercise
  • it alerts you when you’ve been inactive too long
  • it gives you the option to choose which type of exercise you’ll be doing – strength training, running, walking, cycling, swimming, etc

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  • the battery life is very long (they say if you work out about an hour a day, the battery will last for 24 days! This includes wearing it all day long)
  • it has an alarm (see below)
  • the wrist strap is interchangeable – you can buy different colors if you want
  • you can sync it to an app on your phone

Cons

  • it’s pricey – around the same as the FitBit Charge HR. Mine was $180 but we had a $10 off coupon
  • it doesn’t alert you when you’ve reached your steps for the day (this isn’t really a big deal but I liked how excited the FitBit got when I reached 10,000 steps)
  • alarm – I used my FitBit alarm all the time so I was glad to see the Polar also had an alarm BUT you can only set it for Monday-Friday or Saturday and Sunday. I get up at 5am on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday but the Polar doesn’t give me the option of only choosing those days  like the FitBit did. I have to set it for 5am Monday-Friday.
  • it’s a little bulkier than the FitBit (this doesn’t bother me because I’m used to wearing a heart rate monitor)

I’ve been wearing the Polar since Monday and so far I’m loving it. :)

In Baylee puppy news, she’s being cute…

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…and naughty!

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Have a great day!

  • Do you use a fitness tracker?

 

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Workout and Lunch

Good afternoon! Only one week until Thanksgiving – I am super excited! I’m excited for turkey, mashed potatoes, stuffing, rolls, cranberry sauce, carrots, pie, and all the food. :)

This morning, I went to the gym and did a glute and cardio workout.

For glutes/legs I did:

  • sumo squats
  • jump squats on the bench
  • glute kickbacks on the cable machine
  • split quads
  • deadlifts

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After those exercises, I headed to the indoor track to walk/run for about 25 minutes. I started out walking one lap and running one lap. Then I walked one lap and ran two laps. Then I walked one lap and ran three laps. I did this up to four laps and then finished with walking two laps.

I finished up my workout with 20 easy minutes on the stationary bike. Ever since my hip surgery last year, I have found that I use the stationary bike more to cool down and keep my hip mobile.

Post workout was a protein shake and then home for lunch.

My lunches have been pretty boring lately. I have been eating the exact same thing for about three weeks. I tend to eat the same lunch for a few weeks and then change it to something else for a few weeks.

Lately, my lunch has been a big salad with carrots, tortilla strips, and Bolthouse Farms salsa ranch dressing.

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I also had a bagel thin with three egg whites, provolone cheese, and fruit preserves. On the side, I had snapea crisp. It’s my favorite lunch.

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My breakfast and post-workout snack usually contain a lot of protein so my lunch is a little more carb-heavy.

I’m so glad tomorrow is Friday – Danny and I are going to my cousin’s wedding tomorrow night and then we have something super exciting on Saturday – stay tuned!!

Have a great day!

  • What do you usually eat for lunch?
  • Favorite glute or leg exercise? I love deadlifts. 

 

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Filed under Fitness, Lunch, Working Out

Family Fun and Workouts

Good afternoon! I hope you all had a great weekend!

On Friday night, I went with my grandma, aunt, and sister-in-law to a byow (bring your own wine :) ) dinner and craft show.

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It was a fun girl’s night and I even got to paint a cute mason jar. That’s about the extent of my painting skills. Those are supposed to be snowflakes that I painted on there…

On Saturday, both the kids had doctor’s appointments and I got my first peppermint mocha of the season. Jaden got a kid’s hot cocoa with soy milk and at kid’s temperature. Such a Starbucks connoisseur.

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I like the peppermint mocha but I’m not a huge fan of mocha coffee so it’s not my favorite but I do enjoy it every once in awhile.

On Sunday morning, Danny and I went to the gym. We did a glute and shoulder workout.

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Our workout included:

  • deadlifts
  • split squats
  • reverse lunges
  • hip thrusts on the bench
  • shoulder presses
  • bent arm lateral raises
  • cable front raises

The weather was really nice yesterday so Danny started putting up the Christmas decorations.

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It’s always better to put them up when it’s nice outside rather than when it’s freezing and snowing! And I heard we’re supposed to get some snow this weekend!

This morning, I went to the gym and did a quick cardio workout before running some errands. Post workout, I had a protein shake.

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Always trying to get that protein in!

Have a great day!

  • Are you creative or artistic? 
  • What did you do this weekend?

 

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Filed under Family Fun, Fitness, Working Out

Back and Shoulder Workout and Everything Christmas

Good morning! My day started out with peppermint bark coffee in my North Pole mug.

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I’m so happy for all of the holiday coffee flavors and to be using my Christmas mugs!

I worked for a couple of hours this morning and then I did my own workout. I did a back and shoulders superset workout. The exercises I did included:

  • assisted pull-ups
  • upright rows
  • one arm cable rows
  • standing shoulder presses
  • close grip lat pulldowns
  • push presses

After strength training, I walk/ran one mile on the indoor track. My legs are still so sore from Sunday’s workout so running was hard. I’m a little nervous about this weekend’s 5k because my achilles is starting to bother me again, but I’m just going to make sure to use lots of KT Tape. Pretty much my entire lower half will be covered in KT tape.

After my workout, I had a protein shake and a mini Clif bar.

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I love those mini Clif bars! I think my stepmom got this one at a race for me. The mini ones are hard to find.

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After the gym, I stopped by Target to pick up some fish for dinner. Of course, I got sucked into looking at all the Christmas decorations.

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I seriously love looking at the Christmas stuff. This little guy found his way into my cart, and I bought him to put on our Christmas tree.

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Don’t worry, my tree isn’t up yet. We don’t get a Christmas tree until December.

Unfortunately, Target only had the spicy flavors of their Simply Balanced salmon, so I bought the tilapia to try instead. I haven’t had the Simply Balanced tilapia yet so hopefully it’s as good as the salmon.

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Well, I’m off to make a late lunch! Have a great day!

  • Did you workout today?
  • If you celebrate Christmas, when do you usually put up your tree? 

 

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Filed under Christmas, Running, Working Out

Halloween 2015

Happy November 1st!!! Let the holiday season begin!! I tried to get Danny to put up our outside Christmas decorations today but I don’t think he’s ready to jump aboard my All Things Christmas Holiday Train. 😉

Yesterday, we meet my mom and family friend at the mall so the kids could trick-or-treat a little bit. The mall was insane and that’s probably the last time I’ll do that but the kids had fun. In the afternoon, we went over to my brother and sister-in-law’s house to go trick-or-treating and for dinner.

Jacob was a banana yet again. My niece was Skye from Paw Patrol and Jaden was a polar bear.

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My dad and grandpa even got in on the fun by dressing up. My dad was a pirate.

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My grandpa was a chef.

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The weather was chilly and rainy but it really wasn’t too bad compared to some other years. It rained all day but it was more of a light mist while we were trick or treating.

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Danny and I.

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Those are the first pair of leggings/yoga pants that I have ever owned that I wore for real life and not working out. I was a little self conscious because I pretty much wear my big baggy Victoria’s Secret boyfriend sweatpants 24/7. These leggings are really comfortable and I liked them, I just have to get used to them. Danny told me I looked good about 74,000 times so I’m thinking he doesn’t love my giant sweatpants as much as I do. :)

The kids had a great time trick-or-treating and got lots of candy. It was so nice having Halloween on a Saturday this year!!

I definitely indulged in quite a bit of Halloween candy yesterday – sweets are my weakness! Danny and I made sure to get to the gym this morning for a glute/leg workout.

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We did calf raises three ways to target the entire calf: toes together, heels together, and regular. We also did: deadlifts (lots of deadlifts!!), split squats, kettlebell swings, and hip thrusts on a bench. Well, I did hip thrusts. Danny did not.

We definitely got a great workout in this morning. After today, I going to take it a little easy on legs this week since I’m running the Hot Chocolate 5k next Sunday and I don’t want too much knee and quad pain.

Have a wonderful Sunday!

  • How was your Halloween?
  • Favorite Halloween candy?
  • What are you looking forward to about November/December?

 

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Filed under Family Fun, Fitness, Fun, Halloween, Working Out

Tabata Circuit Workout

Good afternoon! It is a cold, windy, and rainy day here in Chicagoland so I am enjoying some hot cocoa out of my super cute mug from Self magazine.

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Don’t you just love the gold lip print on the mug?! So cute! I haven’t had hot cocoa in forever so it was perfect on this cold day.

This morning, after Jaden went to school, my niece and I headed to the gym.

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Today I did a tabata circuit style workout. I did six different exercises for 40 seconds with 20 seconds of rest in between. Once I completed all six exercises, I rested for  minute or so and repeated the six exercises. I did this four times through.

Yesterday, I was going glute and bicep exercises, and I kind of tweaked my quad. It still hurts today so I did the exercises all little slower than I normally might. Some of the exercises I did included: box jump burpees with a tricep push-up, fast feet on a bench, and lateral shoulder raises to parallel shoulder raises.

These workouts are great because you can add any kind of exercise you want to make it a full workout – burpees, mountain climbers, running, jumping jacks, bicep curls, tricep dips, etc.

After my workout, I foam rolled and stretched my quad for quite a bit. I’m going to try and take it easy on lower body exercises next week because I am running the Hot Chocolate 5k next Sunday and I want to do as well as my body will let me. My knee is a constant battle so I really don’t want to add in quad pain!

After the gym, I stopped at Target to pick up eggs and I got two boxes of Yasso Greek yogurt bars.

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Chocolate chip cookie dough is the best flavor of Greek yogurt bars and Target is the only place I can ever find them and usually they’re sold out. I grabbed two boxes while I could because I’m sure they’ll be sold out for months again.

Tomorrow, Jaden has his Halloween party at school and then Saturday is Halloween! I hope the weather isn’t as bad as they’re predicting! Have a great afternoon!

  • Do you ever do tabata or HIIT workouts?
  • Favorite treat?

 

 

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Boo at the Zoo

This past Sunday, we went to Boo at The Zoo at Brookfield Zoo with Danny’s family.

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Jaden wore his polar bear Halloween costume which I was a little nervous about since it’s pure white and he has to wear it to school on Friday and again on Halloween. But luckily, he managed to keep it pretty clean.

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My nephew was the cutest little dinosaur.

It was such an amazing day and the weather was absolutely perfect. We got to the zoo just in time to see the zookeeper give pumpkins to the lions.

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Honestly, the lions didn’t care too much about those pumpkins. They kind of sniffed them, knocked them down, and then went about their lion day but it was still fun to watch.

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The kids loved seeing all the different animals and having fun at the zoo.

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Jaden was very happy to be with the polar bears. He has loved polar bears since he was little and all he wanted to be this Halloween was a polar bear.

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Polar bear costumes are harder to find than you might imagine but we managed to find one online. Luckily, it fit perfectly when it arrived.

We spent all day at the zoo and the kids were worn out by the time we were done.

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Today

I went to the gym this morning and did a back and shoulders workout and then I taught my Women on Weights class. I really love instructing the class. It’s a great group on women that come on a regular basis. Afterwards, I had a protein shake and a mug of hot caramel apple tea.

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The weather is cold and rainy here today so the hot cup of tea was perfect!

Have a great afternoon!

  • When was the last time you went to the zoo?
  • Favorite zoo animal?

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Filed under Family Fun, Uncategorized, Working Out

Back to Butts and Guts Class

Good afternoon!

I worked until 2pm yesterday and I usually bring my gym clothes with me so I can workout when I get off of work, but I still wasn’t feeling that great yesterday so I just went home instead.

Then, I randomly decided to take the 5:15 pm Butts and Guts class at my gym.

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I never workout at 5:15 pm and I haven’t been to Butts and Guts class forever but I’m glad I went!

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I got a great workout and we did lots of exercises with resistance bands. I burned 409 calories according to my Polar heart rate monitor.

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Do I think heart rate monitors are 100% accurate? No. But I do think they give you a good estimate of what you burned. I personally don’t eat back the calories that I burned during a workout but I do like to see my heart rate to make sure I’m working hard enough especially during HIIT workouts.

Today, I was back at the gym this morning for a chest, triceps, and core workout. After strength training, I did about 20 minutes of cardio on the Stairmaster.

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I finished up with a little bit of stretching.

I work tomorrow, on Saturday we’re going to the Chicago Marathon expo, and then on Sunday Danny will be running the marathon! I can’t wait. I’m so proud of him!

Have a great day!!

  • What’s your favorite exercise class?
  • Do you use a heart rate monitor?

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KT Tape Review and Giveaway!

Disclaimer: KT Tape sent me their limited edition pink zebra tape at no charge to me and are sponsoring this giveaway. I am a big supporter of KT Tape and all opinions are my own. 

In honor of breast cancer awareness month, KT tape has released a limited edition pink zebra tape. The purchase of this tape helps donate $10,000 or more to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation.

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As a KT tape lover myself, I was excited to receive this limited edition KT tape to use. If you’re not familiar with KT tape, it is an elastic sports and fitness tape designed for muscle, ligament, and tendon pain relief and support. I first heard about KT tape from my sister-in-law when she was training for the Disney half and full marathon and I have been using it ever since.

KT tape works by providing pain relief and support to sore muscles or injuries before, during, and after activity without restricting motion. I use it for everything! Mainly, I use it while running since I have so many hip/quad/calf problems, but I also have used it in the past to tape my wrist when I was having a lot of wrist pain.

I also have been using it on my knee when I do any leg workouts that require lunges or squats because my left knee has really been bothering me lately.

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I have always suffered from tight calves and my quad tends to hurt a lot when I run, so KT tape is a life saver when I run races. I wore KT tape for the Humana Rock ‘n’ Roll 5k and I think I KT taped every body part I possibly could – ankles, calves, knees, quads. :)

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KT Tape is great for injuries such as lower back pain, knee pain, shin splints, carpal tunnel syndrome, and tennis elbow. The KT tape is applied along muscles, tendons, and ligaments to provide lightweight external support. The purpose of KT tape is to create neuromuscular feedback that relaxes or facilitates stronger firing of muscles and tendons. The feedback creates support elements without the bulk and restriction from wraps and heavy bracing.

There are two different kids of KT tape. KT Tape Original which is made from reinforced cotton fibers and provides up to three days of support and KT Tape Pro which is made up of a specially engineered, ultra-durable synthetic fiber that provides durability and increased performance. Both tapes come in a roll of 20 pre-cut strips. The original tape is about $12.99 at most sporting goods stores and the pro tape is around $19.99. I prefer the pro tape.

A lifesaver for my knees:

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KT tape is super easy to use. All you have to do is go on to their website and click on the  instructions tab. They have all different body parts listed and you just click on the one you’ll be using the KT tape on and then watch on video on exactly how to apply it. You can apply KT tape yourself, but I always have Danny apply it for me because it’s easier and he’s pretty much a pro at it now.

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The pink zebra print is only available on the KT tape website but KT tape has offered to host a giveaway for one lucky reader to win a roll of their own KT tape in a different color. Enter below!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Filed under Fitness, Giveaway, Product Review, Running, Working Out

Only Five More Days

Hello!

We are counting down the days until the Chicago Marathon this Sunday! Danny will be running the marathon on Sunday and the kids and I will be there to cheer him on! I can’t believe it’s almost here. Danny has been training for about 12 weeks and finished his last long run of 8 miles last Sunday. I am so proud of him. :)

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I woke up yesterday about 3:30 am feeling terrible. I felt fine when I went to bed Sunday night but overnight I was hit with a terrible cold. I feel a little bit better today but my nose is still stuffy and I feel so tired.

I spent most of the day sleeping and resting yesterday although I did venture out to get some groceries.

This morning, I was up for work at 4:50 am and then taught my Women on Weights class in the late morning. Even though I don’t feel the greatest, it feels good to get back on schedule.

I started out my morning with my normal breakfast – plain Greek yogurt mixed with one stevia packet, raspberries, and Special K protein cereal. I also had some egg whites and coffee.

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I worked on back and biceps at the gym this morning before teaching my class. Some of the exercises I did included:

  • seated rows
  • barbell 21s
  • pull-ups on the Smith machine
  • alternating bicep curls
  • one arm rows
  • bicep curl machine

Although I still don’t feel great, I felt better after my workout.

After the gym, I stopped at the store to pick up a few items that I need for my Halloween costume.

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It’s a secret for now….shhhhhh. I needed a pair of cheap sunglasses and luckily I found this pair at Kohl’s for only $2!

We have a Halloween party every year and this year it’s a little earlier than normal on Oct. 17th so I have less time to work on my costume!

Have a great afternoon!

  • Did you workout today? 
  • When was the last time you were sick?

 

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