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Armour39 Heart Rate Monitor Review

While at BlogFest and Idea World Fitness Convention, I was lucky enough to receive a heart rate monitor, the Armour39, from Under Armour!

Let me first explain my past use of heart rate monitors.  Originally, I had the Polar FT4, which comes with a watch to display all the information.  I liked it. It never malfunctioned on me.  I don’t think I ever had any problems with it at all actually.  For how much I paid for it, it worked really well!  However, I started getting in a habit of constantly checking my heart rate and how many calories I had burned so far during my workout. All the information was right there on my wrist! It was just so accessible.

At first, this was really new and cool to me, and it made me push harder!  After a while though, I almost want to say it discouraged me in a way.  I was disappointed if I couldn’t push as hard or burn as many calories as I had before. In reality, I could have just been having an off-day or maybe my body was not fully recovered from the workout the day before…maybe I didn’t get enough sleep the night before, or eat a big enough breakfast to sustain me through my workout.

Point being, having all that information so accessible during my workouts was throwing me off, discouraging me and therefore causing me to perform worse.  So I have since stopped wearing my heart rate monitor so that I can get back in touch with my body.  I’ve re-learned to sense how hard I’m working, how much I’m exerting myself, how out of breath I am, etc.

I still miss that aspect of seeing how hard I worked at the end of my workout.  Enter the Armour39!

photo-56Armour39 connects with an app right on your phone.  You don’t have to be in the app for it to keep recording, so you can just start your workout in the app, leave the app and never look at it until the end of your workout!  That’s what I do, at least!  I find it keeps my focus in my workouts and on my intensity.  And then I get to just check it at the end.

(Sidenote:  If you are the type of person that likes having the watch to show your stats, there is a watch available that is sold separately)

This is a screen shot of my workout summary from a 4 mile run I did on Monday.

IMG_9782Something else I just discovered about this app that I love…it connects with any Map My Fitness app.  When I run I use Map My Run to track my mileage, so the two apps sync up and talk to me through my workout, letting me know my mileage and how close I am to my Willpower goal.

WILLpower™

By now you’re probably wondering…what is your “willpower?”  So I took this directly from Under Armour’s site…

WILLpower™ is based on an algorithm that combines how long you workout, what you did, profile info like gender and weight, and key heart rate measures to give you a single score. Set your target every day and go after it.”

This is another feature that separates the Armour39 from other heartrate monitors. It’s a great tool to use to compare your workouts.  So far, I really really like it.  It’s fun to use.  I’m having a lot of fun with the WILLpower targets, yet it’s not psyching me out too much.

You can read more about the Armour39 here.

Disclosure:  I received a free Armour39 heart rate monitor.  All thoughts and opinions within this post are my own.

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WIAW – First Day of School

Hello my WIAW friends!  What’s happenin’?  How’s your week?  Yesterday was my first day of classes. Senior year!  Woohoo! …even though I’m probably going to be going to school for at least two more years for a masters.  But that’s fine by me.  I’m finding that each year of college, I like school more and more.  It’s definitely not the social aspect because I don’t live on campus, I’m only there for classes, and I have no friends there.  I think I just genuinely like learning.  I couldn’t have said that five years ago!  Anyway, today’s food snapshots are from yesterday.

I woke up extra early to get to the gym before my day started.  Whenever I have to get up pretty early, I try to prepare overnight oats, to eliminate the extra time it would take for me to make hot oatmeal on the stove.

Overnight Oats topped with strawberries and sun butter

Overnight Oats topped with strawberries and sunbutter

Of course there’s always the option of not having oatmeal at all and having something more simple and less time consuming, but if you know me, you know that’s not happening.  If there were an Oatmeal Addicts Anonymous, I’d be first in line.

My workout consisted of abs and some interval speed training!  Oh, did I mention I just started training for a half marathon, which is in about…6 weeks?  Yeah, this’ll be interesting.  On my way back from the gym, I picked up a coffee from Starbucks to have with a quest bar for some quick post-workout protein before class.

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After my morning class, I ran some errands and then came home ready for lunch!  Lunch consisted of mixed greens and spinach, cherry tomatoes fresh from the garden, cucumbers, green peppers, all tossed in a balsamic vinaigrette and topped with some feta.  On the side I had a few roasted brussels.

IMG_9821So what…I like my veggies.

A few hours later, I had some cottage cheese before heading off to my second class at 2:30.  After returning home from class, I had some carrots and green peppers with hummus to hold me over until dinner time….and I forgot to take pictures of all of these things. Please forgive me.

I was on point for dinner though!  I had broiled tilapia, with slices of tomato and fresh basil (both from the garden) sandwiching the tilapia for flavor.  At the end I placed some parmesan cheese slices on top of the tomatoes and let it melt.  The tomatoes were SO flavorful though – they really made the dish! On the side, I had steamed asparagus and a small, organic baked potato from a friend’s garden.

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Kale and Squash Saute

Goooooood morning!

I know I’ve been talking a LOT about fitness lately, so I figured it was time to get some food up in here, yah?

It has been a long, long time since I have had kale, and I know it sounds weird, but I kind of missed this cruciferous, leafy green!  Last week, I picked up some kale and knew just what I was going to do with it.  With my garden exploding with yellow summer squash, I needed to incorporate it in somehow…so, a kale and squash sauté it was!

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1. I began by sautéing yellow onions in olive oil until they become translucent.

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2. Then, I cut the kale into smaller pieces and placed about three huge handfuls in the pan with the onions and olive oil, and placed the lid on to steam it.

3. Once the kale was wilted, I added the summer squash which was diced into quarter slices, and replaced the lid.

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4. When the squash is fully cooked, season with fresh sea salt and pepper.

IMG_9753This became my lunch along with a few turkey breast slices for some protein.

Try it out. Let me know what you think :)

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