Making Time To Slow Down with Resveralife

Resveralife Review

Disclosure: While I was not paid to write this post, I was gifted these items by Resveralife for review here on the blog. I always keep it honest here, so all content, opinions, and images are my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that support this blog!

It seems like everyone’s life is crazy busy… but I don’t need to tell any of you that. I could list all the reasons why my life has been insanely hectic recently (graduate school being number one), but that’s not the point of this post. Yes, all of us have a crazy number of to-dos, life demands, relationship demands, worries, stressors, etc. etc., it’s no wonder we’re all so strung out. It’s funny, I was sitting in the sauna recently and a woman (speaking to her friend about a meditation & yoga class) said, “It’s sad when we have to take a class to learn how to relax.” Ain’t that the truth.

But it really is true. We have to force ourselves to MAKE the time and space for calm, for slowing down. Grad school has been quite a challenge, but this last semester has me freaking out. I’ve never felt this sense of dread and imposter syndrome like I do now trying to develop my culminating research project. The mounting anxiety I have is almost paralyzing sometimes (and I’m normally a cool-headed person), so I’ve been purposefully taking a few minutes every night to lie down on the floor, close my eyes, breathe, and listen to calming music—a mini meditation if you will. I’ve also (slowly) been trying to reintroduce yoga into my routine. I’m not naturally drawn to it (Go strength! Lift all the weights!), but I am taking classes here and there to try to introduce calm. Given all of that, I was excited about the chance to review a few products that can certainly help with this relaxation vibe and create that calming space we sometimes need. Enter Resveralife.

Aromatherapy and Relaxation

Resveralife Essential Oil Diffuser

I was pretty pumped to try this essential oil diffuser. I’ve wanted to get into oils for a while, but I don’t want to walk around smelling like them, so diffusing them was the next best thing. I’ve been diffusing lavender before bed just about every night, and maybe it’s a placebo effect, but I do feel like it helps me relax and wind down. In fact, those 5 minutes of lying on my floor listening to calming music or a guided meditation are becoming something I really look forward to.

The diffuser itself is very lightweight and easily used. The plastic top comes off, you just put in a few ounces of water and a few drops of oil, and voila. I’m sure that’s how almost all diffusers are, but this is the first one I’ve ever had. :) I like the ambiance it creates with the LED lighting that gradually transitions between all colors on the spectrum. The one drawback I found is that the plastic top doesn’t lock into the base, so if it tips, the lid just comes right off. Great for ease of filling, but could be better designed. I also think it’s a bit on the expensive side at $59.99, especially since it doesn’t come with any oils. That said, it seems like diffusers can run the gamut from $20 to $120+, so this one is right in the middle.

Resveralife Essential Oil Diffuser
Resveralife Essential Oil Diffuser red

Stretching & Yoga

Stretching and yoga are two things I am admittedly horrible at maintaining in my fitness routine. I feel like a hypocrite for saying so, but I have to actively think about making time to stretch. (Probably why my muscles and joints are now screaming at me these days to go slower!) I’ve been trying to attend more yoga classes recently in order to force myself to move slower, breathe deeper, and have an hour of guided stretching that I wouldn’t do otherwise.

Resveralife Mandala Yoga Mat

It sounds really silly, but having a nice looking, good quality yoga mat helps to actually want to go to class or stretch at home. The mandala mat from Resveralife fits the bill. Because yoga hasn’t ever been something I practice regularly, I never invested in a quality yoga mat, so I am excited to have one now. It’s really well made with a beautiful blue microfiber top and non-slip rubber bottom. It does get dirty easily (and attracts all kinds of dog hair, haha), but that’s no problem because this thing is machine washable! What a nice feature. :) This one will run you $50, which I think is perfectly reasonable for its quality and design, especially compared to other mats on the market.

Resveralife Yoga Mat

The mat bag comes separately ($30), but it’s so nice to have. This is another thing I never invested in because I just always carried my mat. It’s funny looking back though, because my mat would always unroll under my arm and I’d think to myself “man, I need to get a mat bag or strap to harness this thing…” The bag matches the mandala pattern on the mat and has a little zip pocket on the outside for holding essentials—handy so you don’t have to carry this AND your purse AND your gym bag. (Anyone else out there a bag lady? * raises hand *)

Resveralife Mandala Mat

So here’s to learning to slow down, moving with intention instead of speed, taking deeper breaths, and calming the body in order to calm the mind. I’m excited to start this new phase of my fitness regimen, and hope you’ll join in if you feel you need to introduce some peace and mindfulness into your life. (Come follow along with me on Instagram!)

Readers: chat with me! Do you MAKE time for calm and relaxation in your day? What does that look like for you? Do you currently diffuse essential oils, practice yoga, and/or purposefully stretch? How have they benefitted you? If not, are they something you want to try? What practices do you have that help you slow down?

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Spotlight On: The ActivMotion Bar (+ discount!)

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Disclosure: While I was not compensated to write this post, I was gifted this bar by Fit Approach on behalf of ActivMotion Bar in exchange for review on the blog. As always, all opinions, photos, and workout images are my own. I hope you guys love this piece of fitness equipment as much as I do!

Alright, let’s first disregard the fact that this is my first blog post in WELL over a year (hello graduate school! - more on that and my life lately in an upcoming post). And let’s focus on new fitness equipment! Have you gotten your Christmas shopping done yet? Do you have your gifts for the fitness fanatic? If you need an idea for them, or for yourself, here’s a great one: The ActivMotion Bar.

ActiveMotion Bar

This LOOKS like your traditional weighted bar similar to a Body Bar, but it is most definitely better. The ActivMotion Bar is hollow and has weighted ball bearings inside that roll around as you shift it. It’s definitely something you have to hear and feel.

The shifting of the ball bearings creates a whole new challenge for, well, all your muscles, but particularly your abs and core. It takes a lot of concentrated effort to keep that bar still! There are SO many exercises you can do with this, the opportunities are endless. And it doesn’t just come in one size either. I’m using the 10-lb bar here, which let me tell you, is a LOT more challenging than I thought it would be. (Haha… #humbled.) The bars also come in weights of 3, 4.5, 6, 8, 10, 12, 15, and 18lbs. They also have a “glimpse” bar where you can actually see through and watch the balls roll as you move. That one weighs 4.5lb. The lighter ones are good for Pilates and building general strength, coordination, and core activation. The heavier ones are suited more for advanced use, with the 18lb-er being proooooobably for more of your athletes. (I’m not sure I could swing around 18lbs of shifting weight!) So, all that said, there are a variety to choose from and each has its own benefit. I’d be really interested in trying a Pilates class with this!

ActiveMotion Bar

As I hope you know, I only share fitness equipment that I genuinely love and actually use in my own training. Now that I’ve had a chance to play around with this, I’ll be creating an ActivMotion Bar series here on the blog, so stay tuned for some great workouts! In the meantime, here’s an exercise I tried a few nights ago that is way more challenging in practice than it appears: the side plank leg lift. Helloooo outer thighs, obliques, and shoulders! (For a video of this and to HEAR the bar in action, check out my Instagram post… complete with bloopers too!)

Side Plank Leg Lift - Start in a traditional side plank (or bottom leg tucked under for more support). Rest one end of the bar on the top leg in the crook of your ankle, and hold the other end with your top arm (shown below, top). From there, lift your top leg up as high as you can, allowing the ball bearings to roll all the way down (shown below, bottom). Then lower your leg back down, allowing the balls to finish rolling back before lifting again. Try 10 each leg, and let me know how you do!

SidePlankLegLifts

READER DISCOUNT! (Through 1/7)

ActivMotion Bar was kind enough to share a 25% off discount code with you! Use code FITAPPROACH25 now through January 7, 2019 for some savings! The bars are slightly on the pricey side ranging from $99 - $139, so I’m happy to be able to share this discount. Go experience one for yourself! You won’t regret it, especially if you work out at home and/or need to breathe new life into your fitness routine!

And if you need more exercise/workout ideas, check out ActivMotion Bar on Facebook, Instagram and YouTube. AWESOME resources for motivation!

Readers: chat with me! Have you used an ActivMotion Bar before? If so, what’d you do with it and how did you like it? If not, are you interested in giving it a try? Have you used any other fitness equipment with shifting mass like this? And lastly, but most importantly, HOW HAVE YOU BEEN??

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Strength + Cardio Total Body Circuit Workout (no equipment!)

Strength + Cardio Total Body Circuit Workout | In Fitness and In Health

I'm really excited about sharing today's workout with you because this is a format I've been teaching for a while now at Life Time Athletic, and I LOVE it!  At Life Time, the class is called C9 Challenge, and we typically use dumbbells and resistance bands for equipment.  Today's workout is all bodyweight though, so it's PERFECT for those of you going on vacation who are in need of a killer sweat sesh with no equipment!

I love this format because it's over and done in about 45 minutes (with a warm up and cool down), and it goes by SO quickly!  The format goes as follows: 3 blocks of exercises, and in each block there are 3 moves targeting the upper body, lower body, and abs, all done for 1 minute each and repeated 3 times through.  So it's a 3x3x3 workout, if you will.  Each block ends with 1 minute of a cardio move before you go onto the next block.  You ready to bring the heat??  Let's get going!

Strength + Cardio Total Body Circuit Workout | In Fitness and In Health

Strength + Cardio Total Body Circuit Workout

What You'll Need: just a mat, a timer, and yourself!  And maybe a water bottle and sweat towel. ;)
What You'll Do: time each exercise for 1 minute, completing each circuit 3 times through.  After each circuit, complete the cardio move for that circuit (shown below) for 1 minute.  After the cardio burst, rest for 1 minute before moving onto the next circuit.

CIRCUIT 1 (x 3)

Regular Push Up to Pike Push Up - start in a regular push up position and do 1 push up (shown).  Then walk your hands back toward your feet so your body forms a V (shown).  Look back at your feet and do 1 pike push up, bringing the crown of your head to the floor.  Walk your hands back out to a regular push up position and do another regular push up concentrating on lowering your chest to the floor and keeping your entire body straight.

Curtsey Lunge to Step Back Lunge (alternate legs each round; last round = 30/30) - start with your left foot planted on the floor, and bring your right leg behind and back to the left in a curtsey lunge.  From here, staying low in the transition, bring both feet together and then step back in a regular lunge on the same leg (i.e. right leg steps back).  Keep that pattern going for the full minute.  Switch legs for the second minute, and the last minute do each side for 30 seconds.

10 Knee Presses + 10-second Hold - start in a supine position with your knees bent at a 90˚ angle, knees in line with hips (as shown).  Lift your upper back off the mat slightly, and press your hands into your knees and knees back into your hands to engage your abs.  Press and release 10 times, making sure to really engage your abs with each press.  After 10 presses, hold the press in for 10 seconds.  Keep that pattern going for the full minute.

- repeat circuit 1 two more times -

Circuit 1 Cardio: high low jabs (shown below) - start in a low squat facing one side and punch out to the side in a jab.  Propel yourself up in a high jump and as you rise, jab again.  Land back down in that squat and jab, and then jump up again and jab.  Do each side for 30 seconds, focusing on hard punches and recruiting your quads & glutes for the jumps.

high low jabs

CIRCUIT 2 (x 3)

Swimmer Pulls - start lying down on your stomach in a Superman position with legs and arms raised.  From here, extend both arms out straight (as shown), and then pull them back slowly so your shoulder blades come together.  Squeeze your back here for a second, then release back to starting position with arms out straight.  Keep the pulls and squeezes going for the full minute.

Lunge + Kick Sequence (alternate sides each round; last round = 30/30) - start standing and step forward with your right leg into a forward lunge (shown).  Get as low as you can.  Push yourself back up to standing and immediately do 1 front kick on the right leg (shown).  Then step out to the right into side lunge (shown).  Push yourself back up and immediately kick that leg out into a side kick (shown).  Now step your right foot back into a backward lunge (shown), push back up, and do 1 back kick on the right (shown).  Keep the pattern going on the right leg for the full minute, then switch to the left for second round and do each side for 30 seconds in the last round.

Birddog Plank + Crunch (30/30) - start in a high plank extending your right arm and left leg out straight in birddog position (shown).  Hold this position for 2 seconds, actively engaging your abs.  From here, bring your elbow and knee in to meet in the middle, exhaling and bracing your abs at tight as possible.  Extend back out without letting the right hand and left foot to touch the ground.  Hold the plank for another 2 seconds, then bring your elbow and knee in together.  Keep the motion going for 30 seconds on one side, then switch for the next 30.  Take it slow!

- repeat circuit 2 two more times -

Circuit 2 Cardio: Up & Over Jump Lunges (shown below) - start in a low lunge on one side, reaching your hands toward the ground (as shown).  From here, push off your legs to get height in the jump, and reach up and over to the other side, landing in a lunge on your other leg (shown).  Keep alternating jumps side to side for 1 minute, focusing on loading the jump, then exploding upwards. 

alternating jump lunges

CIRCUIT 3 (x 3)

Tricep Dip Toe Reach - start with your feet and hands flat on the ground, butt raised slightly off your mat (shown).  Bend your elbows to lower yourself down so your butt touches the mat.  Push back up to starting position, and extend one arm and the opposite leg to meet in the middle, reaching for your toes (shown).  Go back down in a tricep dip, and as you come up, extend the other arm and leg up.  Keep that pattern going for the full minute.

Single Leg Glute Bridge - start supine with one leg raised in the air, the other foot flat on your mat, arms by your sides.  Pushing through your heel, raise your hips up as high as you can, lifting your butt off your mat, and squeeze your glutes at the top.  Lower back down to starting position.  I'll give you the option here of either doing each side for 30 seconds, or staying on one side for the full minute, then switching for round 2, and 30/30 in round 3.  Up to you!

Toe Reach to Leg Lower - staying in that supine position, raise your legs up straight, bottoms of your feet toward the ceiling, arms extended straight upwards as shown.  From here, reach for your toes lifting your upper back and shoulder blades off your mat as much as possible.  Lower yourself back down slowly, and while keeping your arms extended upwards, lower your legs toward the floor (but don't let your feet touch the ground!).  Raise them back up to start, and reach for your toes again.  Keep that pattern going for each minute.  Feel those abs!

- repeat circuit 3 two more times -

Circuit 3 Cardio: Side to Side Burpees (shown below) - start on one side of your mat and do 1 full burpee.  When you come back up to jump, simply hop over the mat and land on the other side.  Do 1 full burpee here, and hop back over to the other side.  Keep 'em going as quick as you can for the full minute.

side to side burpees

Woo baby!  How'd that workout go for you??  Are you feelin' the burn?  I love this circuit format because it really pushes you, and that cardio burst at the end is always a killer.  I hope you enjoyed the workout today, and if you haven't yet entered the GIVEAWAY from yesterday's post, make sure you do it before midnight tonight!! 

Wear It To Heart Leggings

Wearing: Teal Adder leggings & Mahalo bra c/o Wear It To Heart; Lululemon tank; New Balance sneakers

Readers: chat with me!  Do you add bodyweight workouts to your fitness regimen during the week?  How often do you work out at home or on the go and need a no equipment workout to bring with you?  How was your weekend?