Nike Training Club App

Today I want to share my two cents on the iPhone app “Nike Training Club“.

What is it?

Nike Training Club is a free app that offers a large variety of workouts and serves as your personal trainer. It will let you choose either specific body areas that you want to focus on (“Get Focused”) or a goal such as “Get Lean”, “Get Toned” or “Get Strong”. Some of the workouts require some extras like dumbbells, a yoga mat, medicine balls, etc. If you don`t have any of those at home, don`t worry, there are not only other workouts, but sometimes you can also skip the weights, especially when you are just starting off or you can use something else (a big water bottle, a heavy book, …).

How does it work?

After you choose your goal, you have the choice between beginner workouts or more advanced ones. In the next step you can select the actual workout.

After clicking on “Do Workout” a voice will guide you through the steps, telling you when to switch legs or motivating you to go on for another 5 seconds. Longer workouts include a warm-up phase as well as a cool-down and stretching phase and sometimes also breaks. If you don`t know what exactly you need to do, you can watch a little video of the set or look at some pictures that offer a short description. This will of course also stop the time and resume when you are ready.

After reaching specific time goals you get workout rewards such as little badges or recipes or additional workouts by famous athletes. This selection is also currently updated. One of the most recent ones is a great 15 minute Stretch guide by Shawn Johnson.

My thoughts…

I think this app is brilliant, not only can you work out with the help of a trainer and without needing to leave the house but you can also share your workouts on Twitter or Facebook, you can schedule reminders for your next workout and a sweat and soreness are usually guaranteed.

Of course you can also take this app to the gym if you are unsure what to do with all those dumbbells and different kind of weights.

For me, this is a must have app for quick results and a sweat in between.

 

Have you tried the Nike Training Club app? What are your thoughts?

All pictures via.

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That Spinning Class Last Night

A week ago I went to my very first spinning class. I felt pain when I sitting down up until Thursday. My strongest run I had on Wednesday.

Yesterday I decided to go to my second class. Same group, same instructor, a different bike. I was told that this bike was supposed to be “a looooot better” which I as a previous non-spinner didn`t think I would even notice. Well, I don`t know what it was but it did feel a lot more comfortable. The saddle was more comfortable, it seemed as if it turned a lot smoother (or maybe I just finally understood how to “spin”) and the handle bar part felt more comfortable.

What changed? My legs were a little more bent, the saddle a little bit closer to the handle bar (or vice versa?). I skipped the Nike Tempo shorts that I wanted to rock last week. I learned that the short length together with the built-in underwear part made for good chafing only, not for good spinning. This time I chose my knee length (running) tights. Very smart decisions, as I learned.

This time the music was definitely a lot more of my taste. That`s the famous “power of a playlist” that you might heard off. A fast paced “Moves Like Jagger” during harder hills and a good version of Hurts` “Wonderful Life” were among my favorites of the class. It was also nicer not to be sitting in the last row (5. row as last time) but in the second one where I could actually see the instructor.

I could feel the soreness and fatigue in my legs a lot faster than last time, but I did not rest once during jumps or hills or resistance changes. Finally I enjoyed a great stretch!

After the class I did try out something else that was new to me. Those awful looking machines that all the bulky guys are on and that look like you are going to die on? I did some calve and thigh training (honestly, I have no idea, I just did whatever felt right. Anyone want to educate me?) until I felt a bit like jello.

Today I again have a bit of a sitting-down problem, but my legs feel great. Just that spot right below the elbows feels a little bit beaten up from leaning down on the handle bar (or however the spinning experts call it).

Do you have any tips to share with me?

Half Marathon Week 1

So, my original plan of trying to run a half on April 1. ended shortly after I began. I traveled, got sick and the weather was horrible, too.
Now I’m taking my chance at a half in 12 weeks.

Monday:
I went to my very first spinning class and absolutely loved it. It took me until Thursday before all the pain from sitting on the saddle went away, but next week I’m sure I will go again!

Tuesday:
Due to time reasons, this is and will stay my day off.

Wednesday:
I planned and did an easy 3 miler on the island before classes. It was nice and warm and I brought out my new pink Nike Tempo shorts for their first official run. I felt good the whole time. Afterwards I stretched out using the Nike Training Club app’s Stretch guide on my iPhone.

Thursday:
I had another 3 mile run planned. After little more than half the distance I met another running friend and decided to join for the rest of his run. Turned out I did 4.7 miles and felt amazing. Temperatures were already in the 20s so this was my first Sports bra and Shorts run this year!
I also ditched my beloved music and concentrated fully on the run.

Friday:
This run was absolutely awful! I had to call it quits after 2.5 miles (planned 3 again). It was mostly just a mental thing. But since my run on thursday ha already been longer than my planned long run for the week I didn’t feel bad about it.

Saturday:
I was going to go to my first Yoga class but then decided I’d set different priorities. Yoga will come next week, probably. This was another rest day.

Sunday:
For today I had my 4 mile “long” run planned. I ended up doing only 3.6 simply because I didn`t want to run out and back another time and because I had actually topped my goal for the week already anyways.

All together I ran 13.8 miles and went spinning for 60 minutes. I`d call this a great week!

Share with me: which goals did you reach this week, what do you want to achieve in the next?

Trend Spot: Thin Rings

A big (or rather small) thing I have noticed a lot recently are tiny rings. I really want to have one (or more) of these. Often worn on multiple fingers at once, or multiple rings on one finger or even rings small enough to only fit the first half of your finger. Here are some favorites I found on Etsy:

via MARY JOHN on Etsy

via jayy2009 on Etsy

via GazitJewelry on Etsy

I think these rings are gorgeous because of how small and delicate they are but they still make a nice little statement. You could find twisted ones (Pandora has a nice selection, too!), different types of metals, stones and other things like that.

Let me know what you think of this look!

Read Recently: I`ve Got Your Number

“I`ve got your number” is the most recent Sophie Kinsella book and also the most recent book I finished (in a little more than a day).

If you, too love Sophie Kinsella`s books (e.g. the Shopaholic series), this book is definitely a must read. Like the books I posted about before, this is again a very easy read, perfect for travels or when you just don`t want to have to think about what is happening.

“I`ve got your number” is about Poppy, an engaged woman that looses her engagement ring (a family piece), on the weekend her future parents-in-law are supposed to come to the town. But to top it all off, she also looses her phone and “has to” use another one, which technically does not belong to her, but which she claims (according to a typical funny Kinsella logic). With the new number, a whole string of events are connected to the actual story. It`s about love, women, work and even has some suspense in it along with a whole bunch of funny foot notes (these work great in the e-book version!).

What I love about this book? Sophie Kinsella manages to write in a very easy and funny way but without using one of the stories that has been there hundreds of times before. Even an easy read has a level of suspense and it`s hard to put the book aside, because you just want to keep finding out what is going to happen next.

For me, this is definitely a must read!

Do you have any book recommendations? And, do you like Sophia Kinsella books?

City trip: Prague

As you know, if you read my post on packing light I spent the past (long) weekend in Czech`s beautiful capital Prague. I have been there before but was too young to remember anything.

My first thoughts when we drove into the city were that all of the buildings add such a beautiful character, it reminded me of my hometown Budapest. There is the castle and the river and a great view. And on top of that, we were lucky to have the most perfect weather for traveling. Sunshine and around 15 to 20 degrees celsius. It was perfect.

I have to special recommendations which I sadly can not provide pictures for, because I couldn`t take any during the performances. First the Laterna Magika. It`s an interesting concept of a movie and acting intertwined. The acting part is pantomime and ballet, the movie was a rather modern interpretation of stories about Prague. The Laterna Magika used to be just a movie that would stop at some point and then the actors would appear, playing on from the same point. Originally you could not even tell the differences sometimes. Now it`s not like this, but it`s really worth to go and see!

My second recommendation would be a black light theater. Prague is famous for them, they have about ten. The play I saw was a composition of the best sketches, with amazing dancers and costumes all in black light and some pantomime acting between. It was unlike anything I have seen before and I would go right back!

And now, the pictures:

Thoughts On My First Spinning Class

In my very first post I shared, that one of my 2012 new year`s resolutions was to attend a spinning class. I have never been to one before and was really curious to find out all about it. This post is without pictures, because I did not want to keep my phone on me during the class, sorry!

So, today I decided to go and check it out. It was a 60 minute class at a gym I haven`t been to before. I got a little introduction to the spinning bikes how I adjust it, how I change the resistance, what I need to do, when I should stop, … . For a total newbie the one thing I was stressed out about most was the typical biking pain that you get when you haven`t sat on a bike in quite a while.

The great things

  • I survived the whole class without actually stopping and changed the resistance exactly how it was asked
  • I understood a lot more than I thought (being that the class was in a language – Hungarian – that I basically don`t know)
  • I sweated. A lot. In a good way.
  • I felt extremely calm and refreshed afterwards
  • I never had to deal with any “pain” during the class that I sometimes feel when my legs are heavy during a run or cramping.
  • My shoulder and neck area was a lot more active than I had thought
  • I managed to drink, to ride, to keep the towel in place without dropping it to the floor
  • I had a really great stretching session afterwards
  • I`m going back!

The less great things

  • I had a hard time riding the bike in low resistance while standing up, somehow I didn`t quite get into the flow
  • I felt like the handlebars (how do you call them?) seemed a lot more uncomfortable after a while and I was wishing for a pillow like part that I could easily hold on to
  • I did not really like the music
  • I feel the pain coming and don`t want to think about having to sit down tomorrow. Please, no hard seats, everything should be cushioned!

 

Packing tips: Weekend city trip

Tomorrow I`m leaving for a long-weekend trip to Prague. I thought, I`d share my tips for packing light and using basics to create a number of different outfits. First things first:

  1. What`s the weather like? Check the weather at your travel location. For me, it`s supposed to be somewhere around 15-20 degrees maximum, sunny but also partly cloudy.
  2. What are your plans? I`m going to do mainly sightseeing around town. On Thursday evening and on Saturday evening I`m going to see to performances that I`m going to tell you more about then.
  3. Do you have everything ready? Are your clothes clean and wrinkle free? Do you have a lock for your suitcase? I like to put copies of my most important things in the liner of my suitcase (they usually open  with a zipper).
  4. Get working! Lay out things that you would otherwise easily forget. I have a list of these that I keep in my suitcase even when I`m not traveling, so that I will never forget anything. This includes medication, cables, converters, underwear, women`s necessities. If I have extras I will even keep these in the suitcase at all time.

So that`s where I will start off. I`m planning to wear my individual items twice usually, but paired differently. If you are not comfortable with this, you can easily add items.

Here is my basic clothes/accessories packing list according to weather and plans:

  • Skinny Jeans (these are by GAP)
  • Shorts (Zara, 2011)
  • Little black dress (H&M – jersey)
  • White T-Shirt (unknown)
  • Black T-Shirt (Tezenis)
  • Denim shirt (H&M, 2011)
  • Black flats (Zara, 2009 or 2010)
  • Two necklaces
  • Cross-body bag (Michael Kors)
  • Skinny belt (Zara, came with pants)
  • Lightweight black blazer (Zara)
  • other necessities could/will include sleepwear, underwear, sports clothes if you wish,…

Outfit option 1: 

A white tee and dark denim, layered on top I will wear my blazer and a necklace. As always my watch and as in all the outfit ideas, a pair of flats.

Outfit option 2: 

My LBD, with a belt and another necklace. This can go for an not too nice event in the evenings or just for sightseeing in town. You could add tights as needed or layer a sweater, jacket or blazer on top.

Outfit option 3: 

This is basically the same dress, but I put a denim shirt above. Rolled up sleeves are always a nice touch in my opinion. The necklace is the same as in the first outfit. This shirt could of course also be worn with the denim or what is going to come up next…

Outfit option 4: 

Here I`m pairing a pair of high rise shorts. The belt defines the waistline, the black t-shirt is just another basic so it can be worn with a lot of other things like the jeans. To layer up, you could add the blazer from before or the denim shirt, for example.
Sooo, these are the outfits that I will probably wear this weekend.
Because I still have a big amount of suitcase space, I might add my ankle boots. Maybe also another T-shirt or a lightweight sweater.
Please let me know, what your tips for packing light are or anything I must go and see in Prague?

#MarchPhotoADay – Part 2

For part 1 of this photo series, please click here!

Day 5: Smile: a little sticker on a picture drawn by my friends little sister.

Day 6: 5pm: Now, this was 5.59pm to be precise. And as you can see, it was not yet completely dark outside. This tells me that spring is coming!

Day 7: Something you wore: Running tights in capri lengths! As I said: it`s spring and I`m very enthusiastic about that fact.

Day 8: Window: Actually this is a flower I got, that I placed in front of the window. Lame. But the flower is very special. I love white flowers, and it was international women`s day. I have never before gotten anything for that day so I thought it was the sweetest gesture!

Day 9: Red: I wore this shade by OPI “Big Apple Red” on my toenails.

Day 10: Loud: I took this picture when I walked around town the other day. I found it inspiring, so I snapped a photo. I think the colors are “loud”.

Day 11: Someone you talked to: My mom. Her hand is the lower one, I am wearing Essie`s “Flirt” nail polish. A beautiful coral color.

Day 12: Fork: Yesterday I went out to Tom George, a local italian restaurant, with some high school friends.

Day 13: A sign: This is a print I bought in New York a few years ago and that is part of my picture wall in my living room. It reminds me of a great class trip.

 

Follow my Instagram @with_anna or via Instagrid, if you don`t have an iPhone!

Around the House: Small Things Organization

Last weekend after a way to long and way to busy week I wanted to treat myself to something nice and decided to get some little things for around the house. Because I have mostly white furniture and all my walls are white (or rather cream) as well, I thought I`d add some small elements that would add a bit of cheerfulness for the eye.

And off I was to IKEA. I returned home with two smaller glass jars, one glass bowl and two different sized drop shaped porcelain bowls.

Instead of having Q-tips and cotton pads in ugly drugstore plastic bins or bags, I put them into two glass jars. It`s easy to see what is inside, you can also open them easily (no unscrewing or pulling needed) and they look very clean.

Another thing was my nail polishes. I don`t have too many after sorting out quite a few bottles last year and giving them away. But still I did not have only one or two bottles that would make for a great display somewhere around the house. So I thought, don`t hide the colorful(l) little bottles in a drawer, why don`t put them out on a shelf that isn`t used anyways.

Lastly, I wanted to have some bowls for everyday jewelry items. I`ve seen similar displays around a lot and thought they`d be great for me, because I hate having to take time and put things away to a proper place.

And then, I found the box of my Michael Kors watch and thought that it would make for a great make up organizer. And it did!

What do you think? Any tips for organizing the small things around the house?