Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Top Ten Gifts to Get Kids Active

Whether you have kids that love sports or maybe need a bit more encouragement to get moving, here are 10 gifts that will make fitness fun.

1. Jump rope- Simple but fun. I like this one by Green Toys because it's made with 100% cotton & the handles are recycled plastic. Ages 5+

2. Kite- Ideal for kids of all ages - so go fly a kite!

3. Cranium Hullabaloo- This high-energy game will have your kids jumping, spinning, dancing and giggling. Ages 4+

4. Kick to Get Fit Jr. DVD- Why should adults be the only ones with workout DVDs? Kids love following this exercise program with easy to follow moves just for them. Ages 3-12

5. Wild Planet Hyper Dash- This game will have your kids racing against time and testing their speed and coordination. Ages 7+

6. Fisher-Price Fun 2-Learn Smart Fit Park- This TV interactive game has kids hop, skip, jump and run all while learning too! Ages 3-6 years

7. Diggen Active Skuut Wooden Balance Bike- With no pedals or training wheels (kids move it by pushing off the ground), it teaches your little one balance and coordination. Ages 2-5

8. Trampoline- Kids will bounce their energy out! Ages 3+

9. Fisher-Price Smart Cycle- My daughter is always asking to ride on my stationary bike, and now there is one for her! As kids pedal, this TV interactive game guides them through both physical and mental challenges with educational games. Ages 3-7

10. Wii Fit Plus with Balance Board- This will get the whole family off the couch and having fun while getting fit. With a ton of different activities for all ages, there is something for everyone.

Do you have any other active gifts you love to give kids?

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Winter Splurge

Ruffles are one of this season's hottest trends and add a fun, feminine look to any style. While you wouldn't think to pair ruffles with athletic wear, Lululemon manages to add subtle but cute ruffles to their 
Run: Your Heart Out Pullover top ($108). While the price is steep, it comes packed with a ton of added details for your money.

Outside of the flattering fit and cute style, some of those details include:
  • Made with a soft, wicking fabric along with a special anti-stink material called X-static under the arms;
  • Flat seam construction and a zipper garage for comfort
  • Cuffins with thumbholes to cover your hands and keep them warm
  • Hidden love quote inside the cuffins
  • Zippered pocket at lower back to stow a key or gels

For the men, the equally cool Metal Vent Tech Zip *Camo top ($108) also by Lululemon is a great winter splurge. If you're tired of the same old plain colored tops, this subtle but masculine print will be a hit. It also comes packed with a lot of great details:
  • Made with the highly technical moisture wicking and anti-stink fabric Silverscent
  • Flat seam construction and zipper garage for comfort
  • Extra length in the arms with thumbholes to cover your hands and keep them warm
  • Hidden quote inside the waistband

Monday, November 21, 2011

Workout Buddy

I ran my longest run yesterday since hip surgery and it's all thanks to Kelly. An hour and a half! When I started running again after being away for 3 years I wasn't sure my hip would allow me to run regularly let alone run long distances again. I'm still on a high today (albeit a little sore!).

I didn't set out thinking I would run that long but time flies when you have a good friend to chat with. Instead of focusing on the little aches and pains you might be feeling, you focus on your conversation. Also, a friend can be really motivating and can help get you out the door to exercise. Not only can that person push you, but you are much more likely to push yourself a bit more and stick with a workout program if you have someone relying on you. Whether for a walk, run or bike, a workout buddy can make all the difference in the world. I hope you find (or have found) your own Kelly.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Swim Date?

Photo credit:

My friend Clare sent me a picture of these amazingly stylish swim flippers, so I had to share them with you and find out where they originated from. Called High Tide Heels, they were designed by Belgian artist Paul Schietekat for an exhibition in 2006. Unfortunately, they are not commercially available. But, if they were, snorkeling might actually become the newest "it" workout for fashionistas.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Eat, Sweat, Eat Some More

With the holidays coming up there are ample excuses to eat lots and lots of yummy foods. It's also a busy time of year with kids home from school, family visiting, parties and lots of shopping to do. What can you do to help motivate yourself to stay active throughout this time of year?

Sign up for a local fun run.

Most cities/towns have fun holiday-themed run/walk races, such as a "Turkey Trot" or "Jingle Bell Run," and offer a variety of distances such as 5k, 10k and shorter kid-specific distances. But, you probably still have a ton of excuses as to why you can't do it...

  • I'm not a runner. You don't have to be as they always welcome walkers! That's the best part about these local races.  You can run, walk or do a combination of both and no one will care as long as you can get to the finish line. 

  • I'm not fast. It doesn't matter at what pace you run or walk - you are only competing with yourself. There will be so many different fitness levels of runners/walkers in the race - and such a positive energy in the crowd - that you'll forget about being self-conscious about your pace.

  • I have family/friends coming into town. Sign them up too!  It doesn't hurt to ask.  Maybe you'll inspire one of your family members to do their first 5k. What a fun way to motivate each other and spend some quality time together. 

  • My kids are out of school. Kids love to get out and run in a race if only because they receive a ribbon or medal at the end of the run. It's a great way to get them outdoors and to do something active. We always sign up with a group of my daughter's friends so they can do it together which is even more fun. (The pic above is my oldest daughter stretching before the start of the local kids' race - can't you tell how excited she is to run?!) 

In addition to be able to eat with less guilt, many of these races support a good cause with a portion of the proceeds often going back into the community. What could be better during the holiday season? So, what are you waiting for?  Find a race ( is a good resource) and sign up today!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Runway Worthy Kicks

Who says you can't be a style-setter while working out? Animal prints are one of the hottest trends on the Fall runways this year. Enter Brooks with their funky Mach 13 spikeless shoes: with a leopard print for the ladies and a snake-like print for the men, be the king or queen of your jungle! 

Women's Mach 13 Spikeless

Men's Mach 13 Spikeless

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Lil' Adidas

I couldn't help but share these incredibly adorable adidas Originals Superstar 2 sneakers that arrived today for my oldest daughter. She loved them, put them on right away and said, "I want to run the Turkey Trot in them."

I want a pair too!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

November Picks

As the rainy season starts and we spend more time inside, find a new indoor class to try and wake up some muscles that you don't normally use. I'm itching to try a Booty Barre™ class myself with some of my girlfriends. Here are some items to help get you on your way!

Here are my November picks for the ladies:

The Yoga Siren Racerback ($49) by Lucy has a body-hugging fit and comes in a variety of colors. While it has a standard shelf bra like most shimmels, it also comes with removable lucy CUPCAKES™(soft cup inserts which provide more coverage and support) for further customization. The skinny cross-back straps with a peek-a-boo keyhole detail on the back give this top a little something different.

As the days get chilly, this cute zip-up jacket from Puma called the Tech Performance Seamless Jacket ($65) is the perfect pre-class cover-up. Made with seamless construction for comfort and a moisture-wicking fabric for performance. What makes this jacket so chic is the modern graphic print and the gold accents on the zipper and logo. 

I instantly liked this Asics Reversible Vest when I saw their running line a while back. I love the fact that it's reversible - and the hood is a bonus. The blue side (pictured to the left), has a more sporty look to it and is made up of a water- and wind-resistant fabric. Whereas the black side has a more casual look to it and is made up of a soft quilted fabric that could easily be worn out to the coffee shop.

The Gaiam Bloom Printed Yoga Mat (Fuchsia) is the perfect mat to bring to a new class. With a bright girly color and pretty flower print, you'll be the envy of your class!

Here are my November picks for the men:

Cover up from the cold in this great looking Puma Long Sleeve Running Hoodie ($65). This top provides warmth with it's added hood and thumbholes along with a lightweight wicking material to keep you dry.

The adidas Response 3-Stripes 7" Shorts ($30) is a great all-around short. Another one of my hubby's favorites, it has a great fit to it and is the perfect length - whether for a run, weight training or a yoga class. The classic 3-stripe detail on the side adds just enough color to make it cool.

The prAna E.C.O. Yoga Mat ($44) is eco-friendly in that it's made with a toxic-free manufacturing process and can be recycled. Feel good both inside and out!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Interval Training: banish workout boredom

I am slowly but surely easing my way back into running after taking almost three years off. The lapse was due in part to pregnancies but mainly because of a nasty injury that was finally correctly diagnosed as FAI (femoroacetabular impingement) followed by a fairly invasive hip surgery to correct the damage.

Needless to say, most of my runs these days are more of a jog (or maybe a trot?) but I feel lucky just to be out there again as I wasn't sure it would even be possible. At this point, I feel like I have a good enough base to step it up a notch and get out of the rut of jogging at the same pace every time. To do that, I've started incorporating short intervals into my workouts which I plan to do once or twice a week.

So, if you're bored with your cardio workout, whether it's walking, cycling, swimming, etc. incorporate some interval training to add some spice to your workout and help the time pass more quickly.

What is interval training?

  • Interval training is a cardiovascular workout which consists of a series of high intensity efforts alternated with periods of recovery or low intensity efforts.
  • In other words, during a workout increase your speed for a set period of time and then decrease your speed after that set time to an easier recovery pace.

What are the benefits of interval training?

  • Interval training is one of the most effective ways to increase your speed and build your lactate threshold, aerobic capacity and muscle strength. Those things make you faster, stronger and more efficient, thus allowing you to exercise at a faster pace for longer distances as you improve over time.
  • You'll burn MORE calories and fat in the same amount of time. (Gotta love that!)
  • The added variety of the workout will make the time pass more quickly.

Incorporating interval training into your workout:

  • First, make sure you have the green light from your doctor before adding intensity to your workout.
  • Always make sure you are properly warmed up before starting any intervals.
  • If you're a beginner, stick to shorter interval periods such as 30 seconds to 1 minute and make sure you are fully recovered before beginning the next interval.
  • Timing each interval will help you to stay on your desired pace and each should be at the same pace as the last.
  • When an interval workout begins to feel easy and you want to challenge yourself, increase either your speed or the number of intervals - but never both at the same time so as to avoid getting injured.

Example interval workout:

  • Warm up: 5-10 minutes at an easy, leisurely pace
  • 1 minute followed by 1 minute recovery/easy pace (repeat this 3 times)
  • 2 minutes followed by 2 minutes recovery/easy pace (repeat this 3 times) 
  • 3 minutes followed by 3 minutes recovery/easy pace (repeat this 2 times) 
  • Cool down: 5-10 minutes at an easy, leisurely pace
*As always, make sure to listen to your body.  If it doesn't feel good, then stop.
**If you are a beginner, you will need to decrease the time and total number of intervals.  (You could replace the above times with 15 seconds, 30 seconds and 1 minute.)

Happy training!

Jacket Love

I've been drooling over this Zella 'Statement' Crop Jacket from Nordstrom for a while now. I love the ruching detail on the back and the slim fitted silhouette. The high collar offers more protection from the wind and the mesh panel on the back helps to keep you cool while you sweat. The sleek lines have a sort of motorcycle jacket inspired look making this a standout piece for your workout wardrobe.

What I love most about this jacket is its cross-over appeal in that I could easily see it paired up with your favorite jeans and a casual top for a cute look. Comes in black as well and best of all it's on sale now!