Wednesday, 28 May 2014

FitTech | Health & Fitness Apps I Couldn't Live Without

I can't lie, being the stereotypical youth that I am, I use my phone for everything. Listening to music, buying clothes, reading the news - so it's no wonder that I also use my phone when tracking my workouts. Now there are other apps which I use - Jefit (a weightlifting tracker app which is good but annoyingly unintuitive to set up), my FitBit app, and a plethora of others which I dip in and out of. The three below however, are ones which will always have a space in the centre of my home screen.

Nike+ Running

I am a sucker for user experience, and the Nike+ Running app has it all for m.
Before setting out the Nike+ Running app allows me to select whether I am indoors and outdoors, and I can select what type of run I am going on whether standard, distance, time or speed.
As well as being able to select playlists or general music from your phone, I can also choose PowerSongs on the app meaning that if I'm ever starting to lag and need a motivational pick-me-up song I can switch to it with a couple of taps.
It has so many features that when I first typed this up, this section took up the majority of the post!
To try and shorten it, I will just say that is has hundreds of useful features that are too many to count, with my personal favourites being the social media features which are both motivating and great for sharing my progress with others.
For the competitive streak in me, I can set challenges with friends, keep track of how many miles I have clocked compared to my friends, and it even encourages me to compete against myself by telling me how my last run compared to the average of my last 7 runs. The 'Coach' feature is also something that I keep meaning to try but have never gotten round to it - mainly because I am yet to (successfully) enter a race.
Post-run I get a breakdown of my run through my headphones as well as any goals which I have accomplished showing on my screen. It automatically notes down the weather, and allows me to select the trainer that I used, how I felt and what surface I ran on. Oh and did I mention the post-run messages from the likes of Ellie Goulding, Mo Farah and Paula Radcliffe? They always bring a smile to my face when I'm cooling down!

Nike Training Club

This is an app which I have only begun using recently, and it's honestly given my workouts a new lease of life! My typical workouts tend to consist of running in the mornings, followed by weightlifting in the evening, but for the past couple of weeks I have been using the Nike Training Club app to change it up a little and add something extra to my routines. Typically I've been using them on Sundays when I don't have anything in particular planned, and I would like to confess now that some of them are pretty hardcore! I've been enjoying a lot of them and there is a lot of variety from HIIT all the way down to Yoga, but my favourite by far HAS to be their Total Body Sculpting routine. All that is required is 45 mins, some dumbells and a medicne ball, and I can honestly say that I have never sweated so much in my life! There is no rest in between movements (although I may have had to pause it a couple of times to grab water...) and there is no option to skip movements either which forces you to stick it out the whole way through, whether you want to or not.
There's also an option to begin a Program using the app, and you can even ask it to add runs into your workout using Nike+ Running, which is a feature of it I haven't yet used but am seriously tempted to in place of my current gym routine if the Total Body Sculpting routine is anything to go by!


I'm pretty sure that every man and his dog is using MFP, or has at least heard of it so I won't say much. This is however literally the most invaluable tool for me as I use it to keep track of my calories, my macronutrients, my weight and also my body measurements.
I don't tend to track my workouts on it although I do know that it is a feature. That said, when I'm using my FitBit, I do love that the two apps sync and will add a couple hundred extra calories if I've had a particularly active day - who doesn't love being allowed more food?!
The database on My Fitness Pall is HUGE, and it's super easy to track what you've eaten by a quick search or a scan of a barcode. There is also the option to add homemade meals which makes homecooking really easy to track, and is something I use a lot of the the recipes I keep gonig back to!

Do you use any of these apps? Which health and fitness apps could you not live without?? 

 The Barbelle

Don't forget to sign-up to come along to #FitMeet2014!!

Wednesday, 21 May 2014

Let's Get Together!: #FitMeet2014

It's been a long time coming and after chatting with some fellow health and fitness bloggers we thought that it was about time that we all got together for a day of fitness, fun, food and shopping! I've been to a few beauty blogger meet ups before and I can't tell you how much fun I had - it's amazing to meet other like-minded people who you all share a passion with, and I can't wait to meet other health and fitness bloggers and have some fun!

#FitMeet2014 will be on Saturday 21st June in the Covent Garden area of London, and (hopefully) all of the information that you will need to know will be in this post, however if there is anything else that you would like to know more about let me know!

If you're interested in coming along I've got a bit more information here for you! If you do decide to come please let me know as soon as possible so I can let the venue, sponsors etc know how many to expect - there will be a limit on spaces as well so the sooner the better! :)

Who is organising it?

I'm currently organising it solo but if anyone would like to be more involved in organising the meet-up and helpnig with any set-up on the day then please send me an email or tweet me (@tweetrhii) as I'm sure there'll be plenty that I'll need a helping hand with!

Who can come?

 Anyone can come along regardless of whether you're a health and fitness blogger or not, as long as you blog! The day is all about getting like-minded bloggers together and having fun, so whether you're fitness, fashion, or anything in-between it honestly doesn't matter. :)
There will be a limit on spaces so if you do want to come along try and let me know as soon as possible! 

Where is it?

The meet-up will be centered around the Covent Garden, area of London as there is a good mixture of shops, food, drinks and gyms/studios etc. Lululemon have also not long opened a store there so that'll probably demolish any money I have in my bank account... I am still waiting to hear back on specifics from some of the venues but it's definitely going to be that area!

What time is it?

We'll aim for everyone to meet in Covent Garden by midday and could potentially last until around 8 or 9pm. Obviously you don't have to stay for the whole time but it would be amazing if you were able to as I will have a lot of things lined up!

What will we do?

The day which I have planned so far will begin with a fun fitness class before getting showered and changed ready for some talks from people in the fitness and nutrition industry whilst having some drinks and snacks. We'll then go for dinner and some shopping - where I may have a couple of surprises lined up for you!

If you have any questions

If there is anything else that I haven't mentioned that you would like to know please get in touch either by Twitter @tweetrhii or via email - I've tried to remember everything that I need to tell you, but knowing me I might have forgotten something!

I really hope that lots of you guys can come along - it'll be so lovely to meet everyone and for us to all finally get together for a day full of things that we love! Please spread the word as much as possible to make sure everyone who might want to come knows about it - I've even included a blog button for you to put on your side bars/blog posts etc!

The Barbelle

To let me know that you want to come, please send me an email with your name, email address you want me to contact you on (if different), your twitter handle, and blog URL.

See you all soon!!! :)

Tuesday, 20 May 2014

A Runner's Must-Have Summer Product

 As my first post back from basking in the Egyptian sun for 10 days, I wanted to share a brilliant product with you all which has become an essential for whenever I venture outside for my runs, or to do anything for that matter!
With summer just around the corner and the sun staying out of the clouds that little bit more, my attention has turned a lot more towards how to protect my skin when I exercise. I've been finding myself outside a lot more going on runs, doing yoga or even bodyweight workouts, and it's something that I definitely prefer over the stuffy gym! However with all this pavement pounding under the warmth of the sun, I've needed to find a product which will protect my skin from too much sun exposure. Luckily for me I stumbled across Soap & Glory's Make Yourself Youthful Sunshield Superfluid SPF 50+ before I ended up red-faced from sun burn!

I tend to apply it while I'm getting ready to give it time to sink in - after moisturising but before applying anything else. It absorbs into the skin super quick meaning there's no waiting around and it doesn't leave a weird oily sheen like some can either which is perfect in my eyes. The only shime I've ever had while wearing it is that of a hot, sweaty nature - which of course is no fault of the product. I've always found that when I have worn it day-to-day under makeup, I haven't suffered from any shine either which is lovely.

When I do wear it with makeup I've also teamed it with their Make Yourself Youthful CC Cream which I treated myself to as part of an offer which was on at Boots, and is another product I really rate at the mibute although I'll perhaps save that one for another time. :)

Both of these products are currently on offer in Boots by the way so if you're interested snap them up quick!

Have you been using sun protection when you're exercising outdoors? What's your favourite outside workout? Let me know!

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