Flip Belt by Level: The Runner’s Best Friend

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I’ve always been one who enjoys a nice run. It eases my mind and helps me relax, plus cardio in the gym every day gets stale quickly. A problem I’ve had that’s deterred me from an outdoor run is how to bring everything I need; keys, iphone, money, etc with me.

In the past I have ran with a small nylon backpack (the draw string type businesses give out, you know what I’m talking about) but I constantly found myself holding the straps to keep them from sliding, which limits my ability to enjoy the run. Quite honestly, it’s also a pain in the ass having everything bouncing around your back while you run. Who likes that?–NOT me.

A friend of mine ran the Boston Marathon this year in April and had mentioned to me the flip belt. At the time I thought it was cool but I was in no hurry to run out and find it. Then, a coworker of mine ran a half marathon and was raving about her awesome new running accessory; the flip belt. I thought okay, fine if two runners I’m friends with love it so much, for $25 I’ll give it a try.

The concept of the belt is simple. It is 25″-48″ inch spandex band that you place on top of your running pants. If you can image the top of a lululemon pant it looks like that. There are slots cut into the band to allow you to stash whatever you need (except water, that is my only complaint). When you flip the belt after inserting all your items, they “lock” into place.

about to head out for a 6 AM run w my flip belt

While on a run the band doesn’t move and somehow doesn’t feel heavy or like its sagging. To put it simply: if you are a runner looking for an effective, lightweight running accessory that doesn’t like ridiculous-BUY THE FLIPBELT.

In all seriousness it has improve my running experience by allowing me to bring with me what I need without weighing me down or making me uncomfortable. It also blends into your outfit seamlessly and while some of you might not care about this, it looks cute.

check it out here!

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Back Bay Yoga

If there were an equivalent to an oasis but instead of a pool of water in a desert it was an escape from the city and the stresses of life; it would be Back Bay Yoga

Every time I step into BBY I get this feeling of automatic calm. Maybe it’s the yogis with their tattoos of moons and buddhas and trees. Maybe its the dim lights. Maybe it’s the open space and cool, calming colors. Honestly I don’t know what it is about that place but you walk in from a long day, after shuffling around and maneuvering the T to get there, and its like BAM— calm.

I started going to BBY a little over a year ago because my body was riddled with illness and I had heard yoga can help the mental and physical healing process. And while this post is not about yoga and it’s effects on the mind, body and soul, I have to at least comment for anyone struggling with a mental or physical ailment, I found yoga to be extremely positive.

BBY is not just any studio, and I honestly consider myself fortunate to have happened to stumble upon it. The reason it is outstanding is that it’s not a fitness center, it’s not a yoga and pilates place, it’s not owned by a chain or someone who bought a yoga studio to be trendy. BBY is owned, operated, decorated, staffed and attended by people who live their lives around yoga principals. That’s not to say that you can’t be a normal 9-5 working person and stop in for a class now and then, you most certainly can, but the aura at BBY is one of comfort, acceptance and tranquility. Things that are normally embarrassing (like wiggling your body in weird ways, or breathing heavy, or vocally saying om) are so commonplace there that nearly everything feels safe and natural.

All of the classes at Back Bay Yoga are in vinyasa style but of them all (click here for their class schedule) my favorite class is hip hop yoga. It is so fun and it’s the one I feel gives me the best cardio work out. Anyone in the Boston area I really highly recommend checking it out!

Should You Work Out on a Sick Day?

So it’s 1:20 in the afternoon, and I am just rolling myself out of bed. Considering I normally am up and out by 5:30 this is quite the change for me but I am home sick from work and let my body take all the rest it needed.

 My head is foggy and I have so much mucus both seeping from me and stuffed within me that I feel like my brain might explode. My throat is sore and scratchy, my eyes are dry, and my ears are ringing. Yes, spring has sprung and with the gorgeous flowers blooming all around comes this horrid nightmare we so nonchalantly call allergies…

The View From My Street 
I’m in my bed writing this post and I’ve decided to try a little test. Even though I feel like complete poo I’m going to see if going to the gym and doing a little cardio (and maybe some lifting if I feel up to it) will help me feel better. I’m going to get myself ready and go now and will report on what I did and how I feel when I get back!

When I got to the gym I was shocked to see how many people were there at 1:45 in the afternoon. Don’t people work? Jeeze, considering I looked like a puffy half dead person I was not thrilled to have all of this company, especially since there were a few cute guys there! Anyways below is the workout I did. I was there for a total of about 1 hour 15 minutes.

Me looking like death on the elliptical. Thank you allergies #nofilter 

Exercise I did at the gym:

-40 minutes of medium intensity cardio on the elliptical w 2 min cool down (I refrained from doing any intensive interval training since I am sick)

-3 sets of dips 10 reps each

-3 sets up incline push ups 10 reps each

-Short ab workout with bosu ball and v-sits

When I left the gym I was feeling a bit light-headed so immediately I bought myself a Vita Coc0 coconut water.

I find that coconut water helps me feel better anytime I’m feeling off so I figured I would drink one before eating to get my body back on track. Aside from a little light-headedness I felt significantly more energized than I did before my workout. I also had more ease breathing through my nose and felt that the workout had facilitated the mucus moving from my sinuses to my chest. (Not to say I don’t still have a boat load of mucus in my sinuses).

In the short term (few hours directly following the workout) I felt noticeably better than I did before I worked out. As mentioned above I had more energy, and my nasal passage felt clearer and easier to breathe through.

In the long term, I don’t think exercising had a huge impact in ridding me of my allergies other than it may have helped mobilize some of the mucus from my head into my chest. But, I think mentally it had an enormous impact on me. Getting myself out of bed and in motion helped me regroup and take a mental break from being sick. So in retrospect although exercise may not have directly influenced my allergy symptoms, it allowed me to energize, regroup, and feel better mentally, which in turn made me feel physically better for the time being.