Regardless of where in the country you live, Summer is the season we all find ourselves outside more than any other time of year. I put together this list of gadgets that will help you make the most out of your time outdoors, and you’ll find something for everybody.
Jawbone JAMBOX Bluetooth Speaker ($150 $115)
Whether you’re doing laps in the pool, soaking up the sun at the beach, working in the yard, or taking your yoga to the park, you’ll appreciate being able to blast your tunes from something more than the tiny built-in speakers of your smartphone. The Jawbone JAMBOX consistently gets rave reviews and it’s usually on sale at Amazon.
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We’ve all lost motivation from time to time. We’ve all hit the wall. We’ve all wanted to stop mid-mountain climber and lay down on the cool gym floor.
But then THAT SONG comes up on our playlist and somehow we find the strength to push on. That song has become known as the POWER SONG.
Perhaps it’s a line that brings back a memory of a past struggle overcome. Maybe the message in the lyrics helps you remember what you’re really working for. It may be nothing more than a driving beat. Something about our Power Song makes us push on, push forward and push over the top. We know we can count on it to drag us through the last mile or help us get through the last set of deadlifts.
I’ve got a couple Power Songs I keep on my iPhone for just such occasions. I’m sure you do too. But are you curious what the most “powerful” Power Songs are? I’ve done a little research to find the top Power Songs from around the fitness world.
1. Eye of the Tiger by Survivor. At the FuelBand launch at SXSW in 2012 one of the Nike executives challenged the audience with a trivia question: What is the top Power Song on Nike+? This was the answer (and the winner was rewarded with a FuelBand)
2. Welcome to the Jungle by Guns and Roses. The team at Muscle and Fitness named this 80s anthem the Top Power Song of All Time. I wonder what Axl Rose would think of that?
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If you are anything like me, you love to run and workout, but you hate making playlists. Right? Every time I go for a run (which is almost every day, so you’d think I would learn), I always beat myself up for not creating my version of the perfect playlist. And then I got wise and realized that I don’t have to do anything for myself anymore! Smart phones are the best!
Here is the lazy man’s guide to making a great playlist:
I don’t have Pandora One, the Pandora subscription service, but a commercial every once in awhile doesn’t bother me that much. I used to run to “Today’s Hits,” until I discovered the workout lists. Try “80s Cardio,” if you are a Madonna / MJ gal, “Country Fitness,” if you are a honky tonk person, or, if you are sprinting, “Electronic Cardio.” All are great, super inspiring, and catered to your workout style!
Spotify is wonderful. User friendly, immediate, and no commercials! Try searching any workout terms to find the kind of playlist you prefer. My recommendaations? “R&B Workout” by Rhino Records, or “Songs to Work Out To” by EMI.
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Color us surprised when the KC Bear Fighters started their set on Stage 5 at Winfield’s Walnut Valley Festival on Saturday afternoon and asked the crowd to get up off their bums. It wasn’t to dance, although there was plenty of that going on, but instead to do squats. By the end of their 30-minute (incredibly entertaining) set, the lead singer, Quinn, estimated we’d completed 70 squats. If you aren’t used to that kind of workout, you were most definitely feeling the burn on Sunday morning while tearing down your tent.
The show was part of the 42nd Walnut Valley Festival, the largest bluegrass and flat-picking championship in the world. It’s a music festival set the third weekend in September in south central Kansas and people flock with acoustic instruments, tents, and visions of peace and recharging dancing in their heads. Like any festival, over-consumption of any kind is bound to ensue. But we went in ready to come home mentally recharged without the weight of the weekend carrying around our waists.
The KC Bear Fighters’ squats workout helped. But so did a few other things that we either happened on or deliberately planned.
This is how we survived Winfield in a healthy way while having as much fun as everybody else.
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I am very aware that I have no rhythm. Despite that fact (and much to my husband’s chagrin) I still love to dance. I dance at weddings, concerts, in my living room, and even in the car. My motivation for being a self-proclaimed dancing queen is that it’s fun - but it doesn’t hurt that dancing also burns a ton of calories. According to Health.com, 30 minutes of dancing burns 221 calories (which would vary based on the individual, of course). I believe it too – just look at how much weight the contestants on Dancing With the Stars lose. To be a dancing queen, you’ve got to have the right music that gets you fired up. There’s no better music to bust out a move to than that made by my guiltiest of guilty pleasures: boy bands.
Debby Wong / Shutterstock.com
My love of boy bands is very deep-rooted. As a child I was obsessed with New Kids on the Block (I was a Joey girl). In fact (at the tender age of 10-years-old) NKOTB was my very first concert. My appreciation for squeaky clean boys who performed choreographed dance moves while singing brilliant harmonies continued through grade school on in to college. I’m not ashamed to admit that I saw Backstreet Boys and ‘N Sync in concert between the summer of my junior and senior years of college. To this day my heart beats a little faster when Quit Playing Games With My Heart or I Want You Back comes on the radio (and that results in some serious car dancing).
I recently conducted a little experiment in the privacy of my own basement to find out which boy band gets me the most pumped and results in the biggest calorie burn. To measure how many calories were burned during each song I relied on my trusty old Polar Heart Rate monitor. I selected eight different songs from eight different boy bands (ranging from NKOTB to One Direction) and put on my dancing shoes. Even though I am a little more partial to certain boy bands over others, I made sure to keep my dancing completely unbiased and consistent.
The results are shown below from lowest to highest calorie burn (based on average heart rate). Each band/song is listed followed by the length of time (of the song), total calories burned and average heart rate.
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