February Favorites!

February in Ohio has brought some realllllllll weird weather, but it was a quick and pleasant month. Here are some of my favorite products that I enjoyed the whole month of February, enjoy (:

 

lululemon Toasty Tech Tight II

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I wear these leggings 99% of my life and I’m not even made about it. They are so incredibly warm because they have sweat-wicking tech fleece brushed on the inside of them. I’ve worn them in single-digit weather and could barely feel the cold wind on my legs, it was insane. They are probably the most comfortable pair of leggings I own, they’re stretchy & thick, they have a higher waist band & reflective pockets so they’re great or running at night. If it’s cold where you live & you want to get a good pair of leggings that will keep you warm outside, these are perfect!

 

Skin Food by Aubrey

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I discovered these products at my local Whole Foods store a few weeks back & decided I’d give them a try! I got the Detox Face Mask, the Lavender Probiotic Natural Deodorant, and the Immunity Body Butter. She creates Artisan organic skincare and all of her products are made with raw ingredients. Aubrey lives somewhat close to me & her products are sold locally in Ohio at select Whole Foods stores! Supporting local is huge for me & her products are seriously amazing. The detox mask you mix with water & then apply the serum after and the next day your skin will be glowing and radiant looking. The deodorant is fantastic & I can go through a workout and not smell myself (which is a huge feat for me lol). The body butter is probably my favorite item of all because it’s so hydrating and smells AMAZING! I really believe its very important to watch what you put on your body as well as what you ingest. It’s hard with all these products out now a days, but products like these make going to organic products so much easier! Check out her Etsy shop here (: She has everything you possibly think of!

 

Nike Air Force 1 Ultra Flyknit

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I’m obsessed. Lol. I really don’t have much to say about them except I was so excited to get these and they’re so different for me because I usually wear Free Runs & Air Max shoes. These are super light & they are actually incredibly comfortable, if you’re looking to change up your shoes or you’re bored with your current shoes, check these out!

 

Young Living Essential Oils

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I discovered Young Living not long ago & I’m so glad I decided to finally take the leap of faith. These oils are actually amazing & I’m not gonna lie, I was super skeptical about them to begin with. I figured what could an oil actually do for you? But boy was I wrong. I already have a few favorites but I’m thinking about doing a whole post on that here in the near future (let me know if you’d be interested in seeing a post like that!). Since using these, I’ve really reduced the anxiety I deal with, my sleep has gotten dramatically better, my stress has really lessened & so have the effects I have from it, and my energy level have increased. Sounds like a miracle but I really do believe these oils have worked, at least my mind believes they have because I’ve seen really great improvements from using these. I got the Starter Kit with the Dewdrop diffuser & if you don’t know a whole lot about essential oils, definitely do some research on them!

 

Sephora Express Cleansing Wipes

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These cleansing wipes are EVERYTHING. I’ve used just about every makeup remover wipe under the sun and these easily take the cake. I used them to take up normal makeup for about a week, but the real test was just the other night when I used them to take off a full face of glam makeup. I use the House of Lashes lash glue & if you’ve used it before you understand how incredibly hard it is to get all of it off. I’ve had lash glue stuck in my lashes before for over a week with this stuff. But I used one of these remover wipes and not only did it take every little bit of makeup off my face with just one wipe, it took off every last bit of the lash glue and a liquid lipstick with one swipe. I was so incredibly surprised & I’ll never use any other brand of makeup remover wipes again. Online it says they cleanse and tone the skin while hydrating thanks to the hyaluronic acid them. Best part? They’re $9… you seriously can’t beat them & if you’re looking for a great makeup remover wipe for travel or anything else – TRY THESE!

 

lululemon Base Runner Pant III

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I will never love a pair of sweatpants as much as I love these. Bold statement, but these are seriously the bomb. They are made with Rulu fabric & if you’re familiar with lulu’s fabric, you know when you see Rulu in anything, it’s going to feel like you’re putting heaven on your body. They are also sweat wicking, but honestly I wear these to lounge around the house in (currently have them on as I type this post..lol). They’re similar to jogger pants, they have a hugged sensation on your legs, but they’re baggy at the same time. They have a higher waist band and are tight around the ankles. The pockets are huge and they have a drawstring at the top. They’re just so comfortable, you need to at least try them on in a lulu store to feel them, I promise you’ll fall in love!

 

This post was relatively short, but so was this month! Let me know what some of your favorites for this month were & as always, thanks for reading (:

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Product Review: Beets Blu Wireless Heart Rate Moniter

We all know the importance of cardio-respiratory health and how it helps keep our body in healthy working condition. However, many people do not know their target heart rate zone, their max heart rate, their resting heart rate, or how to calculate any of these.

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Resting heart rate is pretty self explanatory and it’s just your normal heart rate at rest. Ideally, although everyone is different so there is no SET resting heart rate for everyone, your pulse should be around 60-100 bpm (beats per minute). Athletes generally have a lower heart rate than that since they train a lot & the opposite would be much higher for a person with a poor diet and lack of exercise.

Your max heart rate is the maximum about of beats per minute your heart can achieve. When doing HIIT, this is where your heart rate should be for a short period of time since this is not sustainable because it is an all out effort – but I’ll get into HIIT training later. So, to calculate your max heart rate you do your age minus 220. So for example, I am 22, so I would do 220-22=198. 198 is my max heart rate and where I shoot to keep my HR during my on period of HIIT.

Now, target heart rate zone is important because this is where your heart rate should be to improve your cardiovascular health and where you’ll see improvements in your cardio abilities. Your target heart rate should be around 70% of your max heart rate. So, I take my max heart rate of 198 and multiply that by .7 (198x.7=139). 139 is where I shoot to keep my heart rate when I’m out on runs when I’m training for races, but I also incorporate HIIT as well to improve my pace & cardio.

Now, HIIT training. This is where you’ll get the most bang for your buck in terms of weight loss and cardiovascular improvements. HIIT stands for High Intensity Interval Training, which consists of an ON period of all out effort, and an OFF period to bring your heart rate back down. When I do HIIT, this means I bring my heart rate up to around my max of 198 for a short interval of time, then back down for my recovery period around my target heart rate of 139.

With all this information, how the heck do you track all this during your exercise, how do you know where your heart rate is?! Some people track their pulse by counting the number of beats on their wrist for 15 seconds and multiplying it by 4, but I find that inaccurate and hard to do when I’m focusing on my workout. This is where heart rate monitors come into play. These handy tools track your heart rate for you so you don’t have to.

The specific heart rate monitor I’m reviewing is from a company called Beets Blu. Just to give you some background, Beets Blu started in 2012 by specialists in the fields of fitness technologies, mobile apps, and electronics. They have paper tags (which are a life saver if you lose your phone a lot), scales, and heart rate monitors.

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So, the wireless heart rate monitor is first of all wireless and connects with your iPhone (4s & later), iPad (3 and later), and Android (4.3 and later). There is a list of compatible apps on their website, but I already had RunKeeper from my half training so I didn’t have to download anything extra. All you do is connect the monitor with the adjustable strap, and put it around your chest near your diaphragm making sure the electrodes are properly attached to the case and the skin. I had absolutely no problem with this connecting to my RunKeeper app and it never disconnected which is a HUGE plus in my book because if you’ve ever tried HR monitors before you know the biggest problem is making sure it stays connected with your skin. I didn’t have to use any gel to connect it with my skin, it didn’t slip & slide around, and I never had any issues with its battery dying. Good practice tip with heart rate monitors, ALWAYS disconnect the monitor pod from the straps because this will save your battery life and you will avoid any potential issues with your monitor! The strap is also washable so you don’t have to worry about it getting all gross and stinky.

I tried 4 different environments multiple times: outside, inside, resting, and at the gym.

Outside: I ran 2-3 miles a few times and used this monitor every time I went. It’s very cold where I live right now so I had some concerns that it would affect the monitors ability to track my heart rate, but to my surprise – it worked perfectly fine! I’ve used monitors in the past that I go out to run, and it drops my heart rate after 2 minutes and I finish an entire run to find out I had my heart rate tracked for 2 whole minutes… I never once had my heart rate dropped with this monitor and it stayed connected to my RunKeeper app the entire run with no problem! It didn’t slip out of place and was comfortable to run in.

Inside: I do HIIT training on the treadmill at my home and this is where I really noticed a huge improvements in my workouts. It’s really hard, like I said earlier, to know where your heart rate is while exercising. I learned I was keeping my heart rate WAY too high for my rest periods and not high enough for my on periods, which was why I wasn’t seeing any improvements or weight loss. With my Beets Blu monitor, I was able to get my heart rate up to around 198 and let it come back down during my rest periods at a good place. I have seen so much improvement in my cardio since I started using it and I’m actually able to catch my breath so much faster now which is a great indicator that my cardio health is really improving.

Gym: I used this while lifting in the gym and just let my RunKeeper app go while I worked out and I didn’t have any problems with the monitor staying connected with the app even when I walked away from my phone to get a drink.

Resting: I wore the monitor for almost an hour one day just to see if it would stay connected for that long while I cleaned and to my surprise 1. it stayed connected the entire time, and 2. my heart rate was much higher than I thought it would be for cleaning (aka, cleaning is a workout lol).

Overall, I would recommend investing in a heart rate monitor and if you want one that stays connected, won’t give you problems, and is great quality – I highly recommend the Beets Blu wireless monitor which can be found at www.beetsblu.com! As always, thank you so much for reading and I hope this post was informative and let me know if you try out this monitor for yourself and what you think of it! I know you’ll love it! (:

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FTC Disclaimer: This heart rate monitor was sent to me by Beets Blu for consideration of a review. All opinions are 100% my own because I value my credibility & am an honest person. Thanks for all your support!