Monday, March 24, 2014

Review of @NathanPerfGear "Nathan Sprint Plus Handheld Bottle Carrier"

This post contains affiliate links, and is not a sponsored post. I purchased both my Prime membership and the water bottle with my own funds. 

I went on a strenuous hike last week with no water, and I ended up mooching some off of a friend. While I don't plan on doing that crazy hike anytime soon, it was a great reminder to get a handheld water bottle for my walks. I usually walk or run without water, which can be very foolish, depending on the conditions. I picked up the Nathan Sprint Plus Handheld Bottle Carrier for my short walks. When I bought it, it was about $8 with free shipping with my Prime Membership.

I took it on a 4 mile walk yesterday, to the drugstore and back. At the drugstore, I filled my 10 oz. water bottle. With the mild weather, it was the perfect amount of water for me. 

What I especially liked was how I carry it - through the palm and over the thumb. It doesn't feel very heavy and it still leaves your hand mostly free. And the little pocket was great. It has a small pocket inside the zippered pocket that is great for carrying cash or ID, and the rest of the pocket was perfect for carrying my small keychain of keys. My regular collection of keys would have been a tight fit, though. And my phone would not have fit at all. 

It is worth mentioning that the top is more like a sippy cup top?! You don't pop the top to drink - you have to suck on the top of the water bottle to get some water. For this reason, it isn't ideal for sharing. I also am concerned about the long term viability of the top, but hopefully it will not be an issue.

This is one of my favorite accessories or gift ideas for a runner or a walker or exercise enthusiast. If this size isn't the right size for you, I've found this, though I haven't tried it: Nathan Quick View Hydration Pack, Black. It has room for a cell phone, and I believe it has a pop top for drinking.

What's your favorite water bottle? How do you like to carry keys, phones, etc. when you are out exercising? Leave your feedback in the comments!

Friday, March 21, 2014

Review of @DeniseAustin_ "Denise Austin: Stretching & Flexibility Fitness Routine"

Today I am reviewing "Denise Austin: Stretching & Flexibility Fitness Routine" from the Lionsgate BeFit channel on YouTube.

The day I did this workout, I was planning to go on a difficult hike with some friends. I wanted to stretch a bit before, so I chose this video.

It is from her DVD, Blast Away the Pounds: Indoor Walk. (affiliate link)

For me, this was a nice, slow paced workout that left me feeling ready for my hike!

For the parts of the workout that required a chair, I used my couch. It would have been better to use a chair. I had to sit closer to the edge of the couch to get the firmness I needed.

Because the workout wasn't "see how many reps you can get in!", it was calm and somewhat relaxing. I used it as a way to get ready for the day, but the overall tone of the workout made it sound like a cool down. I especially liked when she explained "this stretch is good for people who sit", and "this stretch is good for walkers".

I would definitely do this workout again! It was refreshing and helpful.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Review of @DeniseAustin_ "5 Minute Waist Slimmer Workout with Denise Austin"

Today I am reviewing "5 Minute Waist Slimmer Workout with Denise Austin".

So, how do you make 5 minutes seem really long? Do this workout! While that might sound like I hated it, I actually liked it. I knew that I was getting a workout chock full of worthwhile moves.

Side crunches, planks, and plank twists are just a few of the moves included in this workout. And I love the stretch that I feel after the workout on my sides - I feel ready for the day!

I would love to do this consistently to see if it makes an actual difference. I enjoyed this one very much, and would definitely do this one again.

Monday, March 17, 2014

Review of @LionsgateBeFit "Cardio Barre: Lower Body Shred Workout"

Today I am reviewing LionsgateBeFit "Cardio Barre: Lower Body Shred Workout" from YouTube.

It is from the "Cardio Barre: Ultimate Advanced" Fitness DVD with Kelly Newkirk. (affiliate link)

Oh my goodness. I am really not wanting to move after I finished this workout! I was a little concerned when I read a YouTube comment on the workout about something like "doing it half time would be OK!", but I decided I should try it.

Leg lifts of many varieties, as well as knee circles, dominated this workout, at a furious pace. I tried to keep up - I just did my best. I couldn't see the TV for the first half of the workout, as the posture really didn't call for me to be lifting my head up. I had to sneak a peek at what the new move was. That brings up a point of criticism - I was disappointed by the lack of cuing and the explanation of the form of the moves. I had to look hard at the TV and then try to catch up. I felt that the moves could have been explained better, especially when the posture calls for the exerciser not to be looking at the video.

I am generally super sore after barre workouts, and I imagine I will be tomorrow. The amount of repetitions were insane (in a good way, I think)!  It is definitely a workout for the gluteal muscles.

I think I will reserve my judgement on whether or not I would do this workout again. While I was muttering, "Never again!" during this workout, if I am able to move my lower body tomorrow, I might want to try doing this one just to see if I can keep up. It is a challenge!

Friday, March 14, 2014

Review of @FitnessBlender "Home Upper Body Workout without Weights - Bodyweight Upper Body Workout for Beginners" on YouTube

Another beginner workout today! This one is Fitness Blender's "Home Upper Body Workout without Weights - Bodyweight Upper Body Workout for Beginners". 

Oh, my. I did this workout just now and my arms are still burning. I think I might be feeling this one tomorrow! You wouldn't think that the sliding forearm presses would be so hard, or that the arm circles that you may have been forced to do in gym class (sorry, junior high flashback!) would make your arms want to fall off. But that's what it did for me! There were also chest presses and tricep curls and a few other exercises that make you grateful that this is only a nine minute workout.

I was going to argue that this isn't a workout for beginners, since I don't consider myself a beginner! Apparently, though, I am a beginner when it comes to arms, so I'll stop arguing the point. 

I would do this workout again, just to get better, and to show myself that I can get better!

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Review of @SparkPeople "10-Minute Beginner's Pilates Workout" on

I decided to try something a little different today. Rather than going to look for videos on YouTube, I went to look for videos on SparkPeople. I wanted to do an easy Pilates video. I found this 10 minute beginner's Pilates video to try:

I did like the selection of videos - this video suited the amount of time I had, and the intensity I wanted to do. I have been walking a lot lately, and I just wanted to do something that was lower impact and didn't require shoes. 

This workout included hundreds, saws, scooping the belly, and also sitting up from lying down. The hundreds were interesting as the first set was at the beginning, and was done sitting up. I had never done that before. The other set of hundreds was lying down. 

I must point out that I am not sure that "beginner" is the best term for this workout. It starts out very easy, but I think that if I were completely out of shape, or hadn't worked out before, I might not think that this was at beginner level. 

When I did this workout, it appeared that if you wanted to buy the DVD that contained this workout, you could click on the link on the Sparkpeople Page (listed above), and you could buy the workout DVD directly from Acacia at a discount for buying through the SparkPeople site. Alternatively, the DVD is sold at Amazon: Pilates for Beginners (affiliate link). Also, it looks like Acacia TV has its own streaming channel that you can use on computers, iPhones, and iPads. I might look at it when it arrives for the Roku, my favorite streaming device, but it is marked as "coming soon". Here's the link - Sorry for the un-fancy looking links - Blogger doesn't want to do nice looking links this morning for me!

I might do this one again. I've bookmarked it for easy access later. I think I still am on the hunt for the best 10 minute Pilates video, though!

Monday, March 10, 2014

Review of @DeniseAustin_ "Denise Austin: Legs & Lower Body Workout- High Intensity" on YouTube

Today I am reviewing the YouTube video, "Denise Austin: Legs & Lower Body Workout- High Intensity". It is on the Lionsgate Be Fit channel, and is from her DVD, Denise Austin's Personal Training System. (affiliate link)

I wanted to sneak in another workout today after dinner. I think I need to admit that I was too tired for this. I especially thought that after I realized this workout is labeled "high intensity". To me, high intensity means that I will be jumping around a lot and that I will want to collapse by the end of the workout. It really wasn't the case here. My main problem going into the workout is that I walked a lot today, so my legs were very tired. My legs reminded me of this during the workout as I did reverse lunges, squats, and plies. I was able to finish the workout and I didn't want to collapse, so I consider the workout a win in my book!

While it's not my favorite workout, I would do this one again. It is a nice way to get a little workout in without equipment (one of Denise's workout buddies is using weights, but Denise isn't), and it really gave my legs a good workout today!

Friday, March 7, 2014

Jessica Smith Kickboxing Abs

I wanted to do a super quick kickboxing type workout today, so I searched YouTube and found Jessica Smith's Kickboxing Abs. Coming in at just 9 minutes, it is quick and fun!

The side plank and kicks were killer! The punching and twisting was fun, and the sit ups with punches were difficult. I couldn't sit all the way up. I just did the best I could!

If you are used to Jessica Smith's more recent workouts, you will notice the difference in this workout in terms of production. At times, a slow-motion tip is shown while you are supposed to be doing reps. Also, the camera work isn't as good. However, I can overlook these flaws. It's a nice quick workout that challenged me more than just doing a walking workout this morning.

I would do this one again. I liked the length of it, and I liked that Jessica kept at it and made even more workout videos after she got started!

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

"Thin in 10" by Jessica Smith and Liz Neporent - Part 5

I am continuing my review of The Thin in 10 Weight-Loss Plan: Transform Your Body (and Life!) in Minutes a Day (affiliate link) by Jessica Smith and Liz Neporent.

Today's 10 minute workout to review was "Thin In 10 Stretch and De-Stress Workout with Jessica Smith". It is available through the DVD that comes with the book, or currently is streaming with a $2.99/month Sportskool subscription on YouTube.

I must advise that I am uncomfortable with yoga, especially the spiritual aspects that differ very much from my beliefs. Therefore, I approach stretching workouts with some skepticism. This workout did start out with some breathing, but it reminded me of the sound of breathing that people make when they are sleeping.  And there was also another breathing section to encourage you to not breathe so shallowly. The stretching workout seemed to be just that - stretching without yoga. It was a nice, slow stretch. It was all on the floor, even though some of the stretches are ones you would normally do standing up, like the quad stretch. It wasn't a boring stretch, and I think that had to do with Jessica's instruction and encouragement.

I would do this stretch again. I might not pop in the DVD just to do it, but I would do this after I did another workout on the DVD.

Of all of these workouts, I would say that "Cardio Quickie" is my favorite, and that, fortunately, is the one that is free on YouTube.

I still haven't finished the book. When I do complete the book, I'll write a review here for the blog. I hope to get it finished this spring.

Monday, March 3, 2014

Fitness For the Rest of Us - Amazing Giveaway!!!

Fitness For the Rest of Us is having an amazing giveaway! The prize is:

"This giveaway ROCKS! Courtesy of P&G Always - a Nike gym bag packed FULL of awesome must have goodies to keep your 2014 fitness routine going strong! One lucky winner will take home a fabulous fuchsia Nike gym bag, 2 packs of Always ultra thin liners that are perfect for all your workouts, Oil of Olay makeup removers, Goody Hair Ties, an Athleta head band, and Secret Deodorant. Seriously everything you need to keep your workouts going strong!!!!  "

Go to the post here and enter!

"Thin in 10" by Jessica Smith and Liz Neporent - Part 4

I am continuing my review of The Thin in 10 Weight-Loss Plan: Transform Your Body (and Life!) in Minutes a Day (affiliate link) by Jessica Smith and Liz Neporent.

Today's 10 minute workout to review was "Thin In 10 Core Conditioning Workout with Jessica Smith". It is available through the DVD that comes with the book, or currently is streaming with a $2.99/month Sportskool subscription on YouTube.

I am sometimes intimidated by ab workouts, which is what I assumed "Core Conditioning" would be. I have done ab workouts where it hurts to laugh the next day! This was my state of mind as I approached this workout.

I found "Core Conditioning" to be an interesting and doable workout for the core. There were curnches, but not so many that I was hurting bad. There were a lot of planks and side planks. The planks were short enough or had enough movement to them that I could do them. I am lousy at holding a static plank! The side planks didn't have movement, but were short enough that I could do them, with the knee down, of course.

I would say that this workout was challenging enough to be interesting, and I would do this one again!

I'll be back next to review the final workout on the DVD, "Stretch and De-Stress".