Going for the Gold (#BabbleBoxxGold)

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**This post is sponsored by BabbleBoxx.com on behalf of Single Edition Media. All thoughts and opinions are my own.**

If you are like me, then you can’t get enough of the Olympics right now! I love that I’m almost guaranteed there is at least one fun sport to watch on TV at any given moment in the evening or on the weekend!

I was pretty pumped when I received a complimentary BabbleBox – full of products to bring out the Olympian in all of us. It featured a mix of brands including performance enhancing products designed to “ignite your inner athlete and encourage you to make self-care a top priority”.

Here is a breakdown of the awesome products in this box:

1. I loved the patriotic Casio Baby-G watchWith blocked red, white and blue, the timepiece combines fashion with function and pretty much goes with anything! Plus, it’s water and shock-resistant – which makes it great for the summertime. Other features include an LED light, world time, stopwatch, countdown timer and multiple alarms.

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    Staying on Track During the Holidays

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    This post is sponsored by Wellcoin. All opinions are my own. 

    With fall racing season behind many of us and the arrival of colder, darker mornings, it’s easier to choose to stay in bed rather than get up and run or workout or to choose the couch and covers over a nighttime walk or choose a second serving of cake at the holiday party. For years, I dreaded the weeks between Thanksgiving and New Year for these very reasons. They were usually my unhealthiest and by the time the New Year rolled around, I’d often be unhappy with how I felt.

    I’ve learned that a realistic and manageable approach to exercise, eating and routine can result in a much happier holiday season (for me, it has very little to do with the number on the scale – especially since we don’t have a scale in our house and more to do with how I feel).

    Below are a handful of things I focus on as the holidays approach.

    1. Be Realistic: Instead of completely avoiding my favorite foods during the holiday season (my mom’s cheesecake, seven layer cookies and mozzarella-packed Italian stuffing), I am more realistic when I show up to the holiday gatherings. Nothing is off limits, but I first on healthy food (veggies, turkey, sweet potatoes) and then allow myself a serving of cake, cookies or whatever else I want.
    2. Short, Hard Workouts: If you can’t run or make it to the gym for your workout one day, try adding on a few extra miles/minutes the day before. Or if you know you will be pressed for time, substitute a short, hard run in lieu of your planned longer run. I used to be of the mindset that it was a waste to do a shorter workout than the one I had originally planned, but the reality is a 20 minute run will always be better than no run.
    3. Go Early: It may not be easy to wake up early, but it will be over before you know it and you won’t have it hanging over your head for the rest of the day before you attend the parties, dinners or gatherings.
    4. Be Inspired: Wellcoin is one of the best ways to be inspired – whether it’s from someone’s early wakeups to workout, another person’s healthy and delicious lunch or someone else’s good night sleep. Wellcoin provides insight into various aspects of other user’s lives – and allows you to interact with them.
    5. Planned Rest Days: There are certain days during the holidays where I know a run will be tough to squeeze in – and I’m 100% okay with that. I coordinate my training plan for the week around the days I would prefer to sleep in or spend entirely with my family.
    6. Make it a Family Affair: There are tons of local turkey trots and other holiday races this time of year. You don’t have to be in “racing” shape to sign up. Get some friends and family to make a morning out of it. Push the stroller, run with your kids or just walk as a family.
    7. Track Your Activity: I started wearing an activity tracker (Garmin Vivofit 2) last year and it was the best way for me to learn about my activity tendencies. When I’m running high mileage and training, my step count is secondary – the steps will obviously come when I’m running 60+ mpw. But during the holiday season when I’m often not training or running high mileage and taking more rest days, it’s easy to go from being really active to completely sedentary (especially now that I work at a desk all day!). It makes me mindful of long periods where I haven’t moved while also providing some insight in to how much I am really moving throughout the day.
    8. Walk more: Go for a short walk with your family after dinner. There’s nothing as refreshing as a cold winter walk after a big holiday meal. And not only will the exercise be beneficial, but the fresh air will feel great as well.
    9. Drink Water: Holiday parties and family gatherings typically go hand in hand with alcoholic beverages and salty or high-fat foods. These have the tendency to make me feel bloated for days after. Rather than not allowing myself to enjoy it all, I focus on ways to minimize the effects. The easiest is by drinking more water. Not only does water keep you fuller, but it also will help prevent the bloating from overly salty food and alcohol.
    10. Be Easy On Yourself: It’s okay to indulge a bit during the holidays, sleep in when you didn’t plan on it and skip the workout altogether. Don’t beat yourself up if things don’t go as planned. Just be sure not to let that one missed workout cause a snowball effect for the rest of the holidays.
    11. Accountability and Support: There are tons of ways you can hold yourself accountable – friends/family, social media or “healthy” apps, such as Wellcoin.

    I’ve been using Wellcoin since the summer – and love the accountability, support and rewards! it provides.  If you are interested in learning more, you can read about my experience with Wellcoin as well as some of the rewards I received.

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      Maximizing Wellcoin Activity + Rewards

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      It’s been about two months since I started using Wellcoin on a daily basis (I first talked about it here). It’s been a learning process for me – for the first week or so, I wasn’t logging my activity in the most advantageous way and therefore wasn’t maximizing the wellcoins I could be earning! So, I wanted to share some of the tips and tricks I’ve learned about the app and how to maximize your wellcoins!

      – Always choose “verification”. You can earn more wellcoins by letting the community verify your activity. The community can give you anywhere from 1 to 5 stars – if you earn 5 stars, you can triple the wellcoins you originally were receiving for that activity. So if you post a healthy lunch for 20 wellcoins, have the community verify it and you can receive 60 wellcoins! (Note: the verification option is on the final screen before you submit the activity (see below).)

      – Attach a photo. A photo will increase the chances of your activity being verified – picture of your meal, treadmill readout, weights, scene on your run – it doesn’t matter – as long as it helps show that you are logging the activity.

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        Introducing Wellcoin

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        Have you heard about Wellcoin? 

        Wellcoin launced this week as the world’s 1st health currency with a mission to help Americans lead healthier lives.

        What is health currency and how does it work?  

        On Wellcoin, members report and verify healthy activities they do and earn Wellcoins (health currency) for their effort. This health currency has real-world purchasing power: members shop with Wellcoins in an online marketplace stocked with goods and services from Skechers, DICK’S Sporting Goods, Pure Barre, Whole Foods Market and dozens of premier local fitness partners and vendors (see below for full list of partners). (Source)

        Some of the basics of Wellcoin:

        • It’s a free site for your computer and/or free app that you can download on your smart phone:
        • You can earn Wellcoins in an endless amount of ways – sleeping 7+ hours night, eating a healthy meal, logging physical activity, doing chores/helping others.
        • You can upload photos, recipes, or other info to go along with your activity
        • You have ability to view and verify other user’s activities (you can like/comment/follow them)
        • The more wellcoins you accumulate, the more rewards you can receive. They range from % off items to gift cards (stores such as Whole Foods, Dicks and Pure Barre)
        • The Wellcoin app connects to apps that you are already using (such as Fitbit, Strava, RunKeeper) so you don’t need to do double the work (you automatically earn wellcoins when you record a run, ride or sleep)
        • The Wellcoin app connects to a few yoga studios – you automatically earn wellcoins when you attend the class
        • At launch, some of the rewards are location-focused in the NYC and Boston areas (there are a lot that are redeemable online so regardless of where you live, you can participate). The plan is to grow and offer the same discounts to other cities across U.S.

        I’m excited to announce that I’ve teamed up with Wellcoin as one of their ambassadors to help promote and kick off this awesome program.

        It’s easy to sign up and start logging your activity -> Click here to head over to Wellcoin’s page. Use code “NYCRUNNINGMAMA” to receive 500 Wellcoins!

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