Posts Tagged by fitfluential

5 Tips for Coping With Holiday Stress

The holidays are getting into full swing and with that comes STRESS!!  Holiday parties, cookies, shopping, family, crowds…it’s easy to get lost in it all and burn yourself out.  But it’s important to take a step back, relax and remember what the holidays are really about.    

Here are 5 tips to help you cope with the holiday stress and so you can start off the New Year with a bang!


1. Plan

Start thinking about the holidays early. If you are hosting a party, start planning out your menu a few weeks ahead of time. To avoid the store crowds, make a list of your loved ones who you need to buy for well in advance and plan to find their favorite items online. The packed malls in December are enough to drive anyone insane!

2. Prioritize

There are things that we MUST do during the holidays and things we WANT to do. Often it can be hard to differentiate between the two. By prioritizing what needs to get done, you can finish those important tasks first, like buying a gift for your Grandmother, so you have time leftover to do some of those things you want to do, like volunteering at a soup kitchen.

3. Exercise

When all of these holiday obligations begin to pile up, exercise can often be the first thing to take a back seat. Make this one of your priorities! Not only can exercise burn off extra calories so you can enjoy those gingerbread men, but it also boosts your endorphins to help get you in the holiday spirit. You can even get creative with your exercise, like adding squats in as you decorate your tree!

4. Sleep

Like exercise, sleep is another one of those things that is less of a priority when we are busy. Skipping an hour or two of sleep to get a few extra things done over the holidays can actually do more harm than good. It can affect your metabolism and actually increase your stress level all on it’s own. Make a point to keep up with 7 to 8 hours of good sleep a night.

5. Indulge

Yes, indulge! Trying to stay away from that plate of holiday cookies or that pitcher of eggnog can be very stressful and often lead to overeating of seemingly healthier options. Allow yourself to indulge a bit this time of year and enjoy the time with your friends and family. You don’t have to go overboard, but a small slice of pumpkin pie or a helping of those buttery mashed potatoes is sure to put a smile on your face and take some of that holiday stress away.

I hope you enjoy the holiday season and don’t let stress get in the way of the real meaning of this season…to enjoy and appreciate your loved ones. πŸ™‚

***This post was originally written and posted for FitFluential.  Click here for the original post.***

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Events at Days 2 & 3 of the 2014 CrossFit Games Northeast Regional

The CrossFit Games Regional competitions are a grueling experience.  I know how tired and sore I get from just one WOD in a day…I can’t imagine doing multiple ones back to back over 3 days!  That’s why these athletes are so amazing to watch.  Their strength and stamina is very impressive.


So after an exciting first day, we got up bright and early to arrive in time to watch the Teams compete and cheer for Team CrossFit Milford A!  Events 4 & 5 were back to back and consisted of 50 thrusters, 10-14ft. rope climbs, 40 thrusters, 8-14ft. rope climbs, 30 thrusters, 6-14 ft. rope climbs to be completed in a 10 minute time cap.  In event 4, the women competed with 95 pounds on the bar and the men competed in event 5 with 135 pounds on the bar.  The bar couldn’t touch the ground once a set was started, which made for some interesting pass offs between partners.


Katie, Liz & Carolyn  of CrossFit Milford A – Event 4 Thrusters


Katie of CrossFit Milford A – Event 4 Rope Climb


Matt & Ryan of CrossFit Milford A – Event 5 Thrusters

CFM did awesome in these events with the ladies finishing in 5th and the men in 13th. They seemed pretty stoked with their performance πŸ™‚

Katie, Liz & Ryan of CrossFit Milford A

Carolyn, Katie, Liz & Ryan of CrossFit Milford A

So if those 2 events didn’t wreck their shoulders enough, event 6 was going to be a true test of upper body strength. This was a relay with all team members doing 9-6-3 reps of strict handstand pushups, hang power cleans (160# for men and 110# for women) and over the bar burpees.  It’s an interesting event because the cleans and the burpees and easy for these athletes, but the strict handstand pushups are where the separation occurs.

This is also where one of my favorite events of the day occurred.  Daniel of CrossFit Lindy was so enthusiastically cheering on his girlfriend Ricklynn in her last round of burpees that you can even see one of the coaches laughing…it was great!


CrossFit Lindy – Event 6 Burpees


Matt of CrossFit Milford A – Event 6 Hang Power Cleans


Liz of CrossFit Milford A – Event 6 Handstand Pushups


Katie of CrossFit Milford A – Event 6 Hang Power Cleans

Another kickass performance from CFM coming in 5th for this event!

We hung around for the rest of the day checking out the vendors, tailgating (a story for another day) and watching the individual men and women compete in events 4 and 5. Similar to event 6 for the teams, event 4 was 21-15-9-6-3 reps of strict handstand pushups, front squats (195# for men and 125# for women) and over the bar burpees. Event 5 was interesting consisting of 10 rounds of 1 legless rope climb followed by a 200-foot sprint.      

One of the highlights was during event 5 of the men’s competition.  All of the competitors that had finished went to cheer on the final athlete who was struggling with the rope climb.  They even ran with him to the finish!  This is what the CrossFit community is all about!    



Big thanks to my friend Arie for capturing how impressed we all were with this!


The third day of competition is always the most exciting.  The top heats are competing for those top 3 spots to go to the Games and it is tense!  We were ready…to cheer that is πŸ™‚


The teams kicked off the morning again with a crazy pairs WOD!  Male/female pairs had to move through stations of 500-meter row while partner completes 125 double-unders (each), 50 deadlifts while partner holds barbell at the waist (275# for men & 185# for women), and 50 toes-to-bars while partner hangs.  The partners couldn’t move on to the next station until the pair before them were finished.  There was a lot going on here! 


Team CFM on Deadlifts and Row/Double Unders


Team CFM on all 3 stations


Team CFM finishing up Deadlifts


8th Place Finish Group Hug

The final event was a quick one.  Each team member had to complete 49 pull-ups followed by 7 overhead squats at 185# for men and 115# for women.  It was a speedy culmination to a grueling weekend!



Team CFM finished 5th in the event and 5th overall for the weekend.  It was so impressive to see these people who I see every week at my gym give it their all and finish so strong! Big group hug πŸ™‚


We stuck around to watch the final women compete before making the drive home.  This is where we saw one of the most performances of the weekend.  Kaleena Laderious, also a CFM athlete, who had been struggling throughout the weekend kicked some major ass in event 6.  I had been excited to see this event since it was probably the most difficult of all the WODs.  

Event 6 was a 50-calorie row, 50 box jump overs at 24 in. for men & 18 in. for women, 50 deadlifts at 180# for men & 120# for women, 50 wall-ball shots at 20# for men & 14# for women, 50 ring dips, 50 wall-ball shots at 20# for men & 14# for women, 50 deadlifts at 180# for men & 120# for women, 50 box jump overs at 24 in. for men & 18 in. for women, 50-calorie rowwith a 21 minute time cap. WHOA.

There weren’t any women in all of the regional competitions that actually finished this event, but Kaleena came close getting to 27 calories of the final row.  Endurance events are her strength and she sure showed it here.


Close up of Kaleena’s screen


Kaleena killing that row!

The men and women finished the day with a similar event to the teams, but instead had 64 pull-up and 8 overhead squats at 205# for men and 135# for women.  The top male finished this WOD in 1:38…insane!

What a fun weekend!  These athletes truly inspired me to be a better athlete as well.  The next day I went to the gym and switched my membership from 3 days per week to unlimited.  My goal is to go 4-5 days a week and get in shape from my upcoming event…the Disney Fit Challenge in September!

What was your favorite event during the 2014 CrossFit Games Regionals?

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A Day With Reebok at the CrossFit Games Northeast Regional

The following post is sponsored by FitFluential LLC on behalf of Reebok.

When Reebok invites you to attend the first day of the CrossFit Games Northeast Regional competition, you think you are the luckiest CrossFitter on the planet.  When they ask for your size to send you a brand new outfit to wear, you think you’ve died and gone to heaven.  Well both things happened to me last week and it was amazing!

The day before the big event, this super rad outfit arrived in the mail!  I received a Reebok CrossFit Perform Tri-Blend CF 74 Short Sleeve Tee, Reebok CrossFit Skinny Capris and a pair of the new Superhero Inspired Reebok Nano 3.0

CrossFit-Games-NE-Regionals-ReebokI had already planned on attending the competition on Saturday and Sunday, but this was an added bonus.  My friend Ashley and I got up at the crack of dawn and drove up to Reebok Headquarters in Canton, MA.  I was supposed to meet representatives from Reebok and four other FitFluential Ambassadors (Allie of Running on Peanut Butter, Jill of BakedFit, Joanna of Baby Gators Den, and Sarah of Ingredients of a Fit Chick) at the main gate at 10am, but had requested to pick up my ticket earlier so I could watch Team CrossFit Milford A compete in the first event at 9:40.  They were more then happy to accommodate that…awesome!


I’m so glad that worked out because the first event was very exciting to watch!  For teams the event consisted of 15-12-9 reps of muscle ups and clean & jerks at 135# for men and 95# for women.  One male and one female must do each rep count.  The team did great and ended up finishing 4th in the event.



Next up were events 2 & 3 back to back.  Event 2 was a 1-rep-max hang squat snatch.  In 8 minutes, each member had to attempt their max weight and in only 2 tries.  Carolyn on Team CFM threw up one of the heaviest weights for a female in the team competition with 155#!  However the team fell a bit short overall and ended up finishing 21st for the event. 



If their arms weren’t tired, they were about to be as event 3 started 2 minutes later with a max distance handstand walk for each team member.  This was a much better event finishing 8th with 515 feet total.


After the team events were finished, we walked around to check out some of the vendors and then I met up with the rest of the Ambassadors and the Reebok team at noon.  We were originally supposed to meet with Reebok’s VP of Training, but he ended up not being available.  Surprise surprise…we were going to get to meet Christmas Abbott instead!!  You can read all about that awesomeness here. πŸ™‚


While inside Reebok’s Headquarters for our meeting, we were taken for a quick shopping spree inside the official employee store and got to see some of their amazing facility.  Check out the basketball court and fitness center right in the middle of the building!




After a quick bite to eat, we headed over to the Reebok CrossFit One box which is for employees only and about a 5 minute walk from the main building.  The exact words that came out of my mouth when I walked in were “HOLY SH*T!”  This place is amazing!  I mean, how could it not be…it’s right on the Reebok campus.  It was huge and had all the best equipment…oh and that long stretch of turf!  I probably wouldn’t mind sled pushes so much if I could do it on that!




We gawked at the facility for a bit and then got to meet Austin Malleolo who is one of the individual male competitors and head coach at Reebok CrossFit One.  He talked to us a bit about training and competing in the regional competition, and also shared his thoughts on the brand new Reebok Nano 4.0s we was fortunate enough to be wearing.  Actually the entire Reebok CrossFit One team was wearing them!  All he had were good things to say…I’m pretty psyched to get a pair!  


The Nano 4.0 will be available in July, but guess what…you can create your own custom pair right now!  Check it out here.  

Before heading for a massage to get ready for event 3 that afternoon, Austin was cool enough to get a photo with us.  Seriously nice guy and he ended up finishing 5th overall in the competition…congrats!!

Photo Credit: Allie Lewis

Photo Credit: Allie Lewis

We were then left to watch the rest of the games and enjoy the day.  We caught event 3 for the men and women which was called Nasty Girls V2.  This gruel WOD was 3 rounds of 50 one-legged squats (pistols) alternating legs, 7 muscle ups and 10 hang power cleans at 175# for men and 115# for women…killer!  Sheila Barden ended up breaking the event record by 12 seconds…it was so cool to watch!


What an amazing day!  I can’t thank Reebok and FitFluential enough for this super rad opportunity!!  Stay tuned for more coverage of the CrossFit Games Northeast Regional competition including the events on days 2 & 3 and some of the crazy shenanigans that go on when you get six CrossFitting chicks together for the weekend πŸ™‚

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**This post contains affiliate links and I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on my links. 


Headed to the CrossFit Games Northeast Regional!

The following post is sponsored by FitFluential LLC on behalf of Reebok.

Tomorrow I’m headed up to Reebok Headquarters in Canton, MA for the CrossFit Games Northeast Regional competition!  The competition consists of 7 events (8 for teams) over 3 days.  That might not seem like a lot, but these are grueling events!  Obviously I’m not competing, but I’m going to support the team from CrossFit Milford and all of the other athletes that train there, including the number 1 female athlete Kaleena Ladeairous!

Team CrossFit Milford Photo Source

Team CrossFit Milford
Photo Source

Kaleena training last weekend with Coach Jay

Kaleena training last weekend with Coach Jay

My friends and I had so much fun at the Games last year (read the recaps here: Part 1 & Part 2) that we have been so excited about going again this year!  I’ve got the air mattress ready, pop-up chairs and most importantly sustenance.  The tailgating was one of the highlights of the weekend!




Turkey & Cheese Roll Ups!


Beer & Wine πŸ™‚

On Friday, I will be there as a FitFluential Ambassador sponsored by Reebok!  Not only will I get to cover the event, but I will get in depth information on the games from the Reebok Training team and learn about their product lines, including the all new Nano 4.0 being released in July!  The awesome folks at Reebok also sent me this rad gear to wear for the day!  I received a Reebok CrossFit Perform Tri-Blend CF 74 Short Sleeve Tee, Reebok CrossFit Skinny Capris and a pair of the new Superhero Inspired Reebok Nano 3.0


Make sure to follow me on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter all weekend to catch all of the action…it’s going to be a lot of fun!  Oh and now that you know what I’ll be wearing, make sure to say hi if you see me πŸ™‚

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**This post contains affiliate links and I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on my links.**

Rethink Your Day With the Polar Loop

The following post is sponsored by FitFluential LLC on behalf of Polar.

How much do you move during the day?  Probably less than you think.  Well at least that’s what happened to me when I got my first step tracker.  So when I was given the opportunity to test out the brand new Polar Loop activity tracker, I jumped at the chance.  I know I’m fairly inactive during the day because I have a desk job that involves sitting at the computer and working on spreadsheets and other lovely documents.  So I wanted to see how this new tracker could help me get moving and rethink my day!


My first impression was that the Loop was chunky and bulky.  It felt heavy compared to my FitBit Flex.  But the more I’ve worn it, the more I really like the design.  The Loop can be worn 24 hours a day and since it is waterproof, you can even wear it in the shower.  It is designed to accurately capture all movement and exercise with the ability to distinguish between varying levels of activity.  



Polar Flow is the online tracking service and iPhone app (Android coming soon) that syncs up with the Loop via Bluetooth Smart.  This gives you a ton of charts and graphs to track your performance over the days, weeks and months.  You have the ability to monitor five levels of activity: running, walking, standing, sitting and lying down/sleeping.  Look at the difference from a day that I exercised and a day that I didn’t:



Polar Flow allows you to track your progress over time to so you can see where you can make improvements.  For me, I know that I need to make an effort to get up and walk around during the day more or maybe just do some air squats at my desk.


What I really like about the Loop is that it suggests activities for you to achieve your daily goal and how long you will need to do them for.  For example, at the end of a typical work day, my activity level is pretty low.  The Loop tells me that I need to go jog for 45 minutes to reach my goal…pretty cool!

The iPhone app will also notify you when you’ve been sitting down for too long and tell you to get your butt into gear!  Well, it’s a bit nicer than that πŸ™‚

Probably my favorite thing about the Polar Loop is that it has the ability to pair up with a heart rate monitor.  The Polar H7 Heart Rate Monitor has BlueTooth Smart technology to pair with both the Loop and Polar Flow.  It will tell you what zone you are in based on your heart rate (fat burning vs. fitness) so you can scale your workouts based on where you want to be.  The soft band is so comfortable that you could even where it all day.

Polar_Loop_18  Polar_Loop_12

While many of the features of the Polar Loop are great, it does fall short in a few areas.  First, the band is not adjustable.  Before you can wear the Loop, you need to fit the band to your wrist which is an involved process as you can see by this video.  I often wear wrist wraps at the gym, which obviously makes my wrists thicker.  When I first adjusted the band I made it loose for that reason, but it would be nice if it could just be easily adjusted.

Second, syncing problems via Bluetooth.  The Loop does not easily sync to the iPhone app or pick up the heart rate monitor.  It will after a few minutes, but it definitely takes a while.  Also, after a few emails back and forth with the company I was told you must have the most up to date software installed on your phone (which I didn’t).  And actually, once I updated to iOS7 it still won’t sync to my phone.  I had to sync it to B’s phone to test the app out.  There are definitely some glitches that need to be worked out there.

Syncing via USB

Syncing via USB

Third, I wish there was some sort of vibration or sound that would notify you when you reach your goal or if you should get up and move.  Now that it’s cold here in CT, I’m wearing long sleeves so I don’t see any notifications that might pop up.  Plus, while I’m at work I’m not always looking at my phone to see if the app is telling me to move.

Even with the few shortcomings, the Polar Loop is a great activity tracker.  It really does help you #RethinkYourDay and get you moving more…something we all need!  This model is now available from Polar…a perfect holiday gift for the fitness buff in your life!  I also hear that a pink version with white LEDs is expected in early 2014.

What do you think of the Polar Loop’s features?  Do you see one in your future?

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