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January 2017

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Counting Steps with the Amazfit Moonbeam Activity Tracker

Now that I’m no longer living in New York City, I find that it’s a little harder to get my steps in sometimes. While the weather is certainly nicer in California during the winter, I don’t walk everywhere like I used to. An activity tracker bracelet is a great way to monitor your steps, but sometimes I like the idea of one more than the reality. Often, they are too clunky looking for my wrist and while I might wear one during a run, I don’t necessarily want to wear one to dinner.

Until now. Amazfit has several activity trackers that you will actually want to wear not only during the day, but even out to dinner. My favorite one they offer is the Moonbeam. You can wear a watch style band with this tracker, or another type of band that is even more slim in design. This is the first tracker that I’ve used that actually adjusts well to my wrist, so I’m over the moon…Moonbeam for it (ok, kinda cheesy there).

In addition to counting your steps, the Moonbeam is also a sleep tracker and allows you the option to have silent vibration alerts for call notifications and alarms. It is water resistant up to 3 feet and 30 minutes and the battery life lasts for up to 10 days!  If you’re looking to up the ante on your steps but not wanting to compromise style, I highly recommend checking Amazfit out.

 

 

 



Photos:  Jeff Tse

Activity Tracker: Moonbeam by Amazfit 

Top and pants: Lululemon

Fanny pack: New Balance 

Sunglasses: Roka 

*This post is sponsored by Amazfit, and all opinions expressed are my own.*


What is your favorite activity tracker?

 

 

 

 

 

 

Three Butt Exercises You Can Do On the Floor

Have you ever had one of those days where you planned on going to the gym, but then decided to skip out because you’re too tired?  Sometimes rest is exactly what you need, but it can become all too easy to keep skipping workouts, thinking that you’ll hit the gym the next day. With that in mind,  here are three exercises to tone your butt that you can do without even getting off of the floor!  I promise that after I post this, I’ll get off the couch and do these exercises, too!

Bridge 

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1.  Lie on your back on an exercise mat or solid surface. Bend your knees and place your feet hip-width apart, with both feet flat on the floor. Flatten your low back against the mat by gently contracting your abdominal muscles, and try to maintain this contraction throughout the exercise.

2.  Exhale and lift your hips up off the mat, pressing your heels into the ground as your squeeze your butt and pull your belly button back toward your spine, making a straight line from your knees to shoulders.

3. Inhale as you slowly lower your hips back to the mat. In addition to helping tone the glutes, this exercise is often used in physical therapy for core training.  🙂

Side Lying  Hip Abduction 

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  1. Lie on your side on an exercise mat with your legs straight and your feet stacked together and your hips, shoulders, and arm in a straight line. You can lay completely flat with your head resting on your arm, or have your head slightly up but supported by your arm (flat will help ensure your body is in a parallel line). You can rest your other arm on top of your hip or in front of your body (on top of your hip will again help keep a parallel line). As in the bridge, engage your abdominal muscles for the duration of this exercise.
  2. Exhale and raise the top leg up in a slow and controlled manner, away from the bottom leg, while keeping the knee straight and the foot neutral.   Avoid lifting too high, as this will shift the focus from working on the targeted hip muscles. If you feel any tension in your low back or feel your hips/pelvis begin to shift, move in a smaller range of motion.
  3. Inhale and return the top leg to the original position in a slow and controlled manner. Do reps on one leg, and then switch to the other. This exercise is very effective if done properly, but if you simply swing your leg through, you won’t get the benefits of it. As they say, put your mind in your muscle (or something like that).  This exercise works the muscles on the side of your hip, including the gluteus medius, which is a small but important muscle.

Donkey Kick

_b2a50381. Come down to the mat on all fours, with your hands shoulder width apart and your knees directly below your hips.

2. Contract your abdominals and exhale as you raise one bent leg up towards the ceiling, keeping the foot parallel to the ceiling.

3. Inhale as you bring your leg back to the starting position and complete reps before switching to the other. This exercise works all of your glute muscles and is one of my favorites! I like to sink back into child’s pose after doing reps on one leg before switching to the other.

There are multiple variations of these exercises. Do 2-3 sets of each exercise, 12-15 reps and rest 30-60 seconds in between sets before switching to the next exercise. If you are up for a bigger challenge , do the exercises in a circuit–each exercise back to back, resting 45-60 seconds in between each circuit through. You can also add resistance bands for an extra burn.

*Always consult your physician before beginning any exercise program.  If you experience any pain or difficulty with these exercises, stop and consult your healthcare provider.*


Photos by Jeff Tse

Sports bra: Kenneth Cole

Pants: Athletic Collection


Do you prefer to exercise outside, at a gym, or at home?

–Hill


 

 

 

 

 

 

New Zealand Adventures: A Plane You Can Actually Sleep On

I don’t know about you, but I don’t sleep well on airplanes. It’s a combination of the noise, the lack of space, and the anticipation of the destination I’m heading to. While traveling about the north island in  New Zealand, Jeff and I were intrigued by the idea of an airplane hotel for a possible shoot location. At Woodlyn Park, you have the option of sleeping on an old war plane, a train carriage, a navy patrol boat, or a hobbit home. We chose the airplane.

I was surprised by how perfect the accommodations were–while it was small, they have everything you need here. There are two units on the plane, and we chose the one with the cockpit. It has two bedrooms–one downstairs, and one upstairs by the cockpit. There is also a bathroom and small kitchen area that has a microwave, stove, small refrigerator, dishes, and some nice teas (always important, even though I had brought my own matcha).  After checking out the motel, we went to the Waitomo glow worm caves a couple of minutes away and then drove to the Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Wonderland in  Rotura.  More to come on these adventures!

An image of the plane back in the day

The stairs lead up to the cockpit and the second bedThere is another small bedroom across from the cockpit! 


Photos: Jeff Tse

Pants and top:  Cotton On 

Jacket:  Rock & Republic (website seems to not be available–have had this jacket for awhile!)

Shoes: Asics Gel Kayano


Would you rather sleep in the hobbit house, boat, plane, or train?

-Hillary

Shades of Purple: Noli Winter Camo

Growing up in West Virginia, I saw a lot of camo print. A LOT of camo. While I never really got into wearing my dad’s camo hunting jackets (maybe partially because he uses unscented fox pee or something to throw off his scent), when I saw this Noli winter camo leggings and sports bra set, I fell in love. I love the shades of purple, and these leggings were great for running at the track because they stayed put on my waist. I hate when I feel like I have to constantly pull up my pants, and these ones are perfect! It seems like I ran a little faster in them, too–but maybe the boost was just psychological. Who doesn’t feel like a badass in camo? :p


Photos: Jeff Tse

Sports bra: Noli

Leggings: Noli

Shoes: Hoka 


Will you be rocking any camo this winter?

-Hillary