All Entries For product review
I've been really bad. You see, there's this new DVD—actually set of DVDs—that I tried months ago and loved. I mean L-O-V-E-D. And even though I continue to work out with these DVDs and still enjoy them, I haven't shared them with you. I know, it's completely unforgiveable. But I'm finally finding the time to share my this secret now, and the good news is that you, too, can now benefit from this fitness trifecta by Andrea Metcalf called "Keeping Fit" (Acacia, 2010). These were sent to the SparkPeople offices and I've been keeping "Keeping Fit" all to myself, and I don’t plan on giving up these DVDs any time soon.
The set ($32.49 at amazon.com) contains three distinct titles: Strength, Cardio and Pilates. Each DVD has 60 minutes of total workout time that can easily be split up into multiple 5-minute segments.
Based on the description on this box, it's actually geared toward middle age exercisers, designed to help "build lean muscle, increase bone mass, and enhance balance and flexibility so you can remain active." So I was actually expecting a pretty easy workout when I first popped in the DVDs. Boy was I surprised! Read More ›
The winners are: MCJULIEO, SPWITHSPIRIT, KLBS111.
A few months back, the team at CalNaturale reached out and asked us to try their Svelte protein drinks. We agreed, and we liked them. Now you can try them for yourselves!
They say: Svelte provides you with the lasting nutrition and sustained energy you need to navigate through your active and busy day. Each rich, creamy flavor is created with 16g of protein from fresh organic soymilk, along with complex carbs for sustained energy.
We say: Most of the ready-to-drink protein beverages on the market are milk-based. As someone who is lactose-intolerant, it was great to try these Svelte shakes. They are thick, creamy, and just sweet enough. I generally don't like the taste of stevia (I find it to be too sweet), but I don't mind it in these drinks. The chocolate one tasted like a milkshake that wasn't frozen. It was very satisfying and kept me full for a couple of hours.
Some of the guys in the office tried them as well and liked them. (View the nutrition info here.)
Today we're giving away Svelte products to you! You can get the chance to try all four flavors: chocolate (my favorite!), French vanilla cappuccino, and spiced chai.
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The editors of Fitness magazine recently sent me a copy of their newest book, "Fitness Fast Track to a Better Body" (Wiley, 2011). I dug into this paperback gem while traveling for work last week, and it helped me make the most of my wait time at the airport (and while flying). I'm a big fan of Fitness magazine, and love their workouts and sensible advice each month. But the healthy skeptic in me was, well, skeptical of this title. After all, can you really "fast track" weight loss or fitness in a healthy way? I wasn't too sure that that those two things could work hand in hand. Something had to give, right?
So when I reviewed the book, first and foremost I wanted to make sure it didn't contain any crazy claims, outrageous diets or wacky workouts. What I found were realistic, accurate and helpful tips to changing your diet for the better and squeezing in exercise in short chunks, like just 15 minutes at a time. I also found tons of quick recipes, fun and interesting new exercises, and a healthy dose of weight-loss myth busting. So will the book help you, too? Read More ›
Back in September 2009, I reviewed the Nike Plus sport band. Back then, I wasn't a serious runner. Running was a casual thing I did because I thought it was a good workout—not something I actually liked doing or looked forward to. When I reviewed the Nike band, I spent a lot of time using it to see how well it worked, and it definitely helped me enjoy running more. It's still a great running gadget at an introductory price point that I would definitely recommend to others.
But it wasn't perfect: It didn't calibrate very well, and wasn't the most accurate tool. Plus, it lacked a heart rate monitor, which I really love to use when I train. I was ready for an upgrade, so I bought myself a Garmin Forerunner in January 2010 and WOW. I love my Forerunner so much that I can't imagine running without it. It has been instrumental in helping me become a better runner—and in transforming running from something I tolerated into something I actually enjoyed. So why has it taken me more than a year to tell you about it? Good question! (I have no excuse other than procrastination.)
If you're curious about how the Garmin Forerunner works, or interested in a new workout gadget that can making running (or walking) a little more fun, here's what three SparkPeople's coaches who all use the Forerunner have to say about it. Read More ›
Editor's Note: We were recently sent the Gym Boss timer to review. SparkPeople's resident mixed martial arts expert, Paul, put it to the test.
By Paul Elfers
They say: The GYMBOSS is a small, easy to use, repeating interval timer. This multi-use timer has many versatile functions that make it beneficial to virtually any type of exercise program.
GYMBOSS will make any workout easier to plan and execute with more accuracy and consistency.
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As a fan of both Pilates and dance workouts, I have been dying to try one of the latest fitness trends: barre workouts. Many celebs (including Kelly Ripa) are reported fans of these toning workouts that combine ballet, Pilates, calisthenics and yoga movements into one workout, usually using a ballet barre as a prop—or a chair if you're exercising at home. Some barre workouts use just your body weight, while others incorporate some props like light hand weights or bands. The premise behind these workouts is to trim and tone and achieve the long, lean body of a dancer. They heavily focus on the lower body with focused movements and high repetitions with little to no added weight (besides your own body).
At first glance, these may look or even sound easy, but everyone I know who has ever tried a barre workout has said the same thing: that they are very challenging.
I was ready for a new challenge! So when Tracey Mallett's Total New Body: The Booty Barre ($14.99) workout DVD landed on my desk, I was eager to try it. Read More ›
Some of you may not know, but I am a techno-nerd. I find this to be a positive though, as technology has really improved the way we do things and has introduced a lot of new and fun ways to do things, including fitness. Keeping up with my techno-nerd ways, I purchased an iPhone a couple years ago and actually wasn't sure I would like it, but now I can't imagine parting with it. I always have it with me and I love to try out new apps when I get a chance.
This week I am sharing with you my reviews of four iPhone fitness apps that I have found to be fun and helpful. Read More ›
Some women can't wait for the latest fashions to hit their local department store, but for me I get that same thrill when I walk into my local running specialty store. I must confess in the five years since I took up running I have bought more pairs of running shoes, socks, shorts, tech shirts and sports bras than I have any other 'real' articles of clothing. Because I have the liberty to work from home, many times I am sitting in my running/workout gear waiting to pound the pavement or hit the gym so purchasing other clothing really isn't a need.
Below are just a few of my favorite running things and even if you are not a runner, walkers can benefit from them as well.
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Over the years I have built up my stock of home gym equipment. While I currently have a gym membership, I find having a variety of home gym equipment helps to add more choices to my workouts, especially during the winter months when I can't make it to the gym due to bad road conditions. I'll share with you some of my favorite pieces of home gym equipment. Read More ›
Last week, when the temperature dipped into the single digits and the snow piled up outside, there was no way I was heading outside for some cardio. Instead of skipping my workout, I reached for one of the many workout DVDs we have here at SparkPeople: Work Out One-on-One Training with Jackie.
I rarely do workout DVDs and instead rely on yoga and running for the bulk of my workouts. This reminded me what a great option they are, especially when you can't go outside.
I searched the blog for 10 of our favorite DVD reviews. Maybe you'll find a new workout to shake up your routine!
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A chance visit to a fancy lingerie shop recently revealed something completely unexpected: the Coobie, a seamless bra that happens to be great for working out.
A number of features prompted me to try it on: the seamless construction, the padded cups, the fantastic array of colors and the price (just $20 for the scoopneck style and $22 for a lacier v-neck). But what really sold me on the Coobie, despite its silly name, was its in-gym performance. Read More ›
As a long-time exerciser and fitness instructor, I've tried my fair share of fitness gear over the years. But only a few items have withstood the sweat test! My workouts consist of a combination of running, walking, Pilates, Spinning, and general fitness training (weights, aerobics, etc.), and today I'm sharing some of my top picks for apparel, gadgets and gear in all of those categories!
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I get lots of requests from people who want to know what equipment, clothes, and other gear I prefer. Today I'm going to share with you a range of products that I use both as a yoga practitioner and a yoga teacher.
Confession: January has been "Wear Your Spandex to Work Month" for me. Between marathon training, yoga practice, and teaching, I wear workout clothes at least three weekdays and both weekend days. I feel like I'm always washing workout clothes! For me, it's important to have gear that's durable and attractive. Read More ›
I never learned to ski or snowboard. I've never been tubing or snowmobiling. And not once have I donned snowshoes, ice skates (as an adult anyway) or cross-country skis. Why? Because I have always hated winter. I'm cold when it's 75 degrees out, so just imagine how I feel when it's in the teens! "I don't want to be outdoors in the winter unless I have to be," I'd think. As a result, I've missed out on a lot of the events above…but at least I could always feel my toes.
When I became serious about running over the last year and a half, I knew that running outdoors in the winter would be a must. And happily, it has become something that I look forward to! I actually enjoy the winter and tolerate the cold so much more now that I am a runner; sloshing through all kinds of elements and pushing through dropping temperatures for mile after mile puts the walk from the car to the office into perspective. Running in the winter has taught me to appreciate the cold, ice and snow, and I'm thankful for that. But the key to enjoying an outdoor workout in the winter isn't an attitude adjustment (although that has been part of it): It's all about the clothes.
When you wear the right apparel and layer properly, there is nothing uncomfortable about heading outdoors to work out. I've ran in snow, single digits, cold rain (not that I recommend it), and never once suffered for it. And I attribute a whole lot of my comfort and ability to withstand the cold to a single piece of apparel… Read More ›
As a busy mom, my free time is limited and very valuable. So if Iím going to spend it exercising, I want the workout to be something that really challenges me. I love running, so thatís my primary form of cardio. But at the beginning of this year, I made a real commitment to focus on strength training. Even though Iím a personal trainer and know what kind of exercises to do, I prefer to strength train using videos that tell me what to do and when to do it so that I donít have to think about it too much. Read More ›