Guest Post: Five Easy Steps to be More Active in 2013

There’s no better time than now to get active, but trying to build a traditional work-out schedule into busy lifestyle can be a real challenge. Here are five useful ideas to help you lead an active life without spending the best part of it in the gym.

1. Join a recreational sports team. Whether it’s basketball, badminton or bowling, a bit of friendly competition has always been a great way to get active. Being committed to a team or exercise partner will provide the extra encouragement needed to get out of bed on those chilly Sunday mornings.

What’s more, the sports ground is a great social environment where you can meet like-minded people and exchange tips on living healthily.

2. Take the stairs. Avoid lifts and escalators and opt for the hard route. This may seem obvious, but apply the same principle to other areas of life and you’ll soon be the image of fitness.

Walk, cycle or run to work, and take on those arduous physical tasks around the house and in the garden. Follow this basic rule: don’t cut corners, and make your own corners where there are none. For example, you could get off the bus a stop early and walk the rest of the way.

You could even invest in a pedometer to make sure you are getting an adequate amount of exercise every day.

3. Deliver yourself from temptation. Rid your surroundings of anything that might tempt you to lethargy. Why not sell all those old DVDs, CDs and video games on MusicMagpieand use the cash you make and the space you freed up to install a simple home gym? For more information, click here.

Instead of stopping by the takeaway on your way home, take the long route. When you get home, watch TV while using an exercise bike rather than slumping on the couch. Use your imagination to come up with simple ideas to break bad habits.

4. Go out dancing. This can be one of the easiest and most rewarding of activities and is great for your physique. Dancing is a fantastic way of exercising with a partner and requires no special equipment, so there are no excuses!

5. Aim high. It’s important to have a goal to work towards in all aspects of life, fitness included. Sign yourself up for a local sporting event like a fun run, cycle race or sports tournament. Triathlons are increasingly popular as they require great stamina and a high level of all-round fitness.

The idea is to give yourself something to work towards. We thrive under discipline, so book early and draw up a training regime tailored towards helping you achieve your goals.

The benefits of an active lifestyle are enormous, so take the plunge and try these tips to get the most out of your body in 2013. With the right balance of activities, the risk of heart disease is significantly reduced  – so get started today.


Yopa! Why You Should Be Eating Greek Yogurt

I absolutely love Greek yogurt. I have always loved regular yogurt, but the texture is just off for me. I can never eat it without adding something in {usually granola}. But since discovering Greek yogurt, a thicker variety that includes many added health benefits, I’ve fallen in love! Greek yogurt is a great addition to a meal or even a stand-alone snack- and it’s so good for you that when I went to the doctor today for a cold, he suggested I eat one a day until I’m feeling better! So what makes it such a great choice?

Benefits of Greek Yogurt

The Yopa! Greek Yogurt I’ve been indulging in has many benefits, including:

-Good Source of Calcium
-0g of cholesterol & trans fat
-Made with 5 cultures & 3 probiotics
-No preservatives or artificial colors {&only vanilla has artificial flavors
-16% of the recommended daily allowance of protein {in 3.5 oz cups- 26% in 5.3 oz cups!}
-Kosher certified

I always try to eat healthy foods, but I’ve been especially focused on it recently since I’m getting married this week. I’ve also been crazy busy because of the wedding though, so I don’t always have time to eat at home. I love the new Yopa! Greek Yogurt because it’s great for on-the-go since the toppings are attached to the top of the cup. &When you open the yogurt, there’s actually enough room for you to pour in the topping & stir it- which sounds like such a little thing but makes a huge difference if you’re trying to stir in topping on-the-go and your yogurt is all the way up to the top. Not easy.

Yopa! Authentic Greek Yogurt

I love just about all Greek yogurt, but this is definitely going to become a go-to. It’s the perfect size, has delicious, easy-to-mix-in toppings & and great flavors- including vanilla yogurt with chocolate chips! Talk about an indulgent {yet still guilt-free} treat!

Whether you’re eating Yopa Greek Yogurt on the way to pilates, in the carpool lane or after a run, Yopa is a great balance between healthy foods & indulgent flavors.

Speaking of balance, gold medalist Gabby Douglas is an expert, and she’s challenging you to take the Yopa! Taste Challenge where you can win a variety of prizes, including $10,000! Just “like” Yopa! on Facebook for a chance to win and to grab a coupon for $.50 (or more!) off one cup of Yopa! Authentic Greek Yogurt.

 Note: I was selected for participation in this campaign as a member of Clever Girls Collective.

Track Your Activity Easily with the FitBit One {Review}

I’ve noticed that whenever I do well with weight loss, it’s thanks to tracking. Normally, I succeed by tracking what I eat- it always surprises me how quickly little bites of things add up that I often forget I’ve even taken. So since that always helps, I decided to literally step it up & try out the Fitbit One, since it helps to track your physical activity!

fitbit one

Not only does the Fitbit One track your steps and distance, but it also tracks the calories you burn & the amount of stairs you climb- and this particular version of the Fitbit even tracks your sleep habits! It times how long you sleep for as well as how many times you wake up at night. You can easily keep track of your progress with your free Fitbit account, which your Fitbit wirelessly syncs to on your computer or on select phones.


The Fitbit One is tiny & so easy to use- you just put it in the holder and clip it to your pants or bra, or put it in your pocket. All day it will track your movement, and you can easily check how close you are to your goal by pushing on the only button that it has. Just push the button repeatedly to cycle through all of the stats for the day.

sleep tracker

Then when it’s time for bed, take it out of the holder and put it into the wrist band so that it can track your sleep! The only time you have to be without it is when it’s charging {though it keeps a charge for several days at a time} and when you’re in water, since it can withstand some moisture but isn’t actually waterproof. {Confession: I totally forgot to unclip it from my pants one time before putting them into the washer. Somehow it survived, but I wouldn’t recommend doing that.}

fitbit one app

It’s so easy to keep your information up-to-date: I used the free iPhone app {also available for Android} and whenever I opened the app in the vicinity of my Fitbit, it automatically synced the information for me. {You do have to set this up first but it’s easy.} That information is accessible within the app or on their website. With the app you can also track your food consumption for optimal success, as well as your water and sleep. You can even add friends & cheer each other on!

While I admit that I forget to use it some days, I find that on the days that I remember I really push myself to walk more. It is easier to push yourself to meet a goal when you can see your progress, and much more motivating! I’m trying to get into the habit of making it an every day thing.

Buy It: You can find the Fitbit One or any of the other Fitbit products online on their website or at various electronics retailers. Prices vary, but the Fitbit One retails for $99.99.

How do you track your food or activity?

Note: I received the Fitbit One to facilitate this review. All opinions are my own.

Top 5 Exercise Recovery Tips

Tomorrow night, my sister & her two kids will be coming to town to visit for 10 days. I’m unbelievably excited & already have so many ideas for what to do while they’re here. One of the things on my list is to attend a Jazzercise class with my sister, who is an instructor.

I’ve been wanting to start putting effort into exercising lately, but I know that I have to really enjoy what I’m doing or else I won’t do it. I’m optimistic about Jazzercise as I’ve always loved dancing, but I have to admit I’m a little worried. I’m not in great shape, so starting to exercise seems a little overwhelming.

I’ve been doing some research to make sure that I can get a good work out without burning out after my first class, so I thought I’d share some of the best tips I’ve found with you!

exercise recovery tips

1. Use a foam roller. Muscles can knot after being overworked, which can be painful and can cause scar tissue if left untreated. You can use a foam roller before a work out to relax your muscles in an attempt to prevent muscle cramps, or you can use it after the work out to continue preventative action or treat muscle knots that form.

2. Drink lots of water. The body struggles to repair itself after a work out if it is dehydrated. This seems pretty common sense, but many {myself included} still don’t drink enough water so it bares mentioning.

3. Take time off. Exercise pushes your body, and it needs time to build itself back up again. Don’t do the same workout for too many days in a row without rest or you will stop seeing progress as the body struggles to repair itself.

4. Get some protein. Researchers suggest eating a protein packed breakfast as well as around 20 grams of protein within 30 minutes post-exercise to help your body begin to build itself back up & prevent muscle loss.

5. Take an anti-inflammatory. As long as it’s okay with your doctor, research suggests that some anti-inflammatory drugs can help speed muscle recovery.

I’m excited to put these tips to good use next week- wish me luck!

What’s your top exercise recovery tip?

Note: This post was brought to you by Net Focus Media but all opinions are my own. Tips come from my own research using these articles. Be sure to check them out for more great tips!

Sponsor Spotlight: BlenderBottle

As you know, I’m currently on the Nutrisystem plan. One of the major parts of the plan is a daily protein shake, every morning. Now, half of my mornings I am rushing out the door to get to work and if I had to make my shakes in a big blender, I wouldn’t drink them. At all. But my Welcome Kit for Nutrisystem came with something completely amazing- a BlenderBottle!

A BlenderBottle is literally a blender IN a bottle. If I were to use my blender to make a protein shake, it would involve taking out my big chunky blender from my cabinet, assembling the parts, plugging it in, adding the ingredients, blending them & then scraping them out of the blender {and then of course washing the whole set up later}. Using my BlenderBottle, I just pour the ingredients into the bottle, drop in the BlenderBall Wire Whisk, put the lid on & shake! Then I just pop the top & drink it on the go!

What is a BlenderBall?

blenderball blenderbottle

“The patented BlenderBall wire whisk is the secret behind the SportMixer’s power. Add your ingredients, drop in the BlenderBall, and shake. The BlenderBall whips around inside the bottle, mixing your drinks to a smooth and light consistency every time.

Made of 316 surgical-grade stainless steel, the BlenderBall is designed to remain in the bottle until you’ve enjoyed it’s contents. Just drinking water? Feel free to leave the ball inside – it’ll never rust, chip, or peel.”

My Nutrisystem kit came with the Classic Mini bottle, but I wanted to try something a little bigger & a little sportier for when I finally get a gym membership next month. I wanted something bigger so I could use it for a water bottle if I wanted OR for blending smoothies, shakes, etc. and I love the look of the new SportMixer bottles! Both the Classic and the SportMixer are available in the full 28-ounce size and the 20-ounce mini size, are dishwasher safe, have always been BPA and Phthalate free and are available in a variety of colors. They both use a BlenderBall and work the same way, so I recommend them both! &They’re all very reasonably priced- ranging from $8.49 for the Classic Mini to just $14.99 for the full-sized SportMixer!

&They’re SO easy to use!

Step 1

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Step 4

I love the BlenderBottle because it’s easy to use, affordable, super cute & helps me enjoy my shakes & smoothies, even when I’m in a hurry. BlenderBottle encourages healthy lifestyles by making it easier for people to mix smoother, better tasting healthy drinks and meal replacements- and I love them for it!

Buy It: BlenderBottles are sold in thousands of retail stores around the world and at  The BlenderBottle Classic is sold under the BlenderBottle brand logo, as well as other private labels.  It is easy to spot a BlenderBottle, as it is the only portable mixer with the patented BlenderBall inside.

Win It: You can enter to win the BlenderBottle of your choice in the Spring Fever giveaway!

Make sure you check out BlenderBottle on Facebook & Twitter to learn more!

Susie’s Note: I received the bottle mentioned to facilitate this review. All experiences are authentic & all opinions are my own!

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