A Marathon Playlist, BioSport Headphones & Hanging Out with Me This Weekend

running-playlists-spotify-soundcloudWith the marathon right around the corner, Boston is BUZZING. I live a couple blocks from the finish line, and as cliché as it sounds, you can feel the excitement in the air. Even as a non-marathoner, it’s one of my favorite weekends in the city (a day off from work, friends, roof decks, beer—yes, please!).

Although I’m not running it, I thought it’d be fun to share some of my current favorite workout music in case any of you marathoners need some inspiration for your race-day playlist. I go back and forth between using Spotify and SoundCloud, so I’ve included both (with different music on each). I actually prefer SoundCloud because you can find crazy good remixes, but they’ve started playing ads so I can’t use it while teaching class. What a bummer!

First up, some jams for all you SoundCloud users:

Next up, some jams for all my Spotify peeps:

 

Intel x SMS Audio BioSport Headphones

intel-sms-audioSpeaking of music, I’m working with Intel and SMS Audio on a fun project for their new BioSport headphones (spoiler alert: I get to give away a couple sets to you guys!). These headphones, which have an in-ear heart rate monitor, are the lovechild of Intel’s technology and SMS Audio’s studio-quality sound.

For all you techies: They use a built-in optical sensor that continuously and accurately measures your heart rate while simultaneously removing noise signals caused by your body’s motion during your workout. The earbud shape allows it to sit deeper in the ear canal for consistent data collection, and the headphones are sweat and water-resistant.

The headphones also have a self-charging system (it’ll draw power from your smartphone) so no batteries are required. It won’t drain the battery life though—it uses the same amount of power as any set of headphones with a built-in mic.

For all the rest of us: 50 Cent—or as I like to call him, Fiddy—is the CEO of SMS Audio. So yeah, if the man who made the soundtrack to my high school years stands behind these headphones, count me in, too. (Anyone else jam out to Hate It or Love It at high school parties??) 🙂

runkeeper-biosport-headphonesThe in-ear heart rate monitor wires directly to your smartphone and syncs with the RunKeeper app. I’ve been playing around with it the last couple days, and it’s pretty cool!

Also, it’s worth noting that I’m super picky about earbuds (usually I don’t like having something stuffed in my ear), but the part that goes inside is actually pretty narrow on these. I think they’re comfortable–and that’s saying a lot! I’ll be giving away two sets of these headphones (they retail at $150 so it’s a pretty kickass prize!) in the coming weeks on the blog.

Come Hang Out with Me This Weekend!

marathon-playlistAs part of this project, I’ll be at the SMS Audio booth at the Boston Marathon Sports & Fitness Expo this weekend. If you’re local or will be in town to run, I’d love for you to swing by and say hi! I’ll be there Saturday from 3 to 3:30PM. The expo is open to the public, so you don’t have to be running the marathon to check out all the exhibits. It’s at Hynes Convention Center and you can check out a full list of the exhibitors/where their booths are located HERE. I’ll be at booth #2735 and hope to see some of you there!

Are you running Boston this year? Let me know if you’ll be by the expo!

What workout songs are currently on repeat for you? Side note: You can enter to win a pair of the BioSport headphones by sharing your top workout songs on Instagram or Twitter using the hashtag #IntelxBioSport. The contest is open until April 19th so hop on it! Terms and conditions

Enjoy your weekend! signature

Disclaimer: This post is sponsored by Intel. Although I was compensated, all opinions—as always!—are my own.

Winter Workout Playlist & Layering Up

Winter Workout Playlist (music to pump you up for that cold-weather workout)Mmm looks like whatever I’m listening to in the above picture smells delicious.

Blogging is a two-way street: I share workouts/information with you guys, and I also learn a ton from all that you share in the comments section. When I wrote this post last year with tips for running outside in the winter, lots of commenters suggested wearing a base layer made from merino wool to stay warm. I have low blood pressure and Raynaud’s Syndrome (essentially bad circulation to the extremities in response to cold temperatures), and I couldn’t believe I hadn’t heard of merino wool before!

Layering for cold weather with merino wool Layering for cold weather with merino woolWhen Icebreaker reached out to me and offered to send over some of their merino wool products, I was pumped. Given my issues with the cold weather and the historically snowy winter we’ve been having in Boston, the timing was perfect. I was most excited about the Rush Sports Bra because (overshare alert!) Raynaud’s affects my chest as well as fingers and toes, and it’s hard to find a base layer for that area that isn’t spandex or cotton when it comes to activewear.

I think my favorite items from the gift bundle were the two hats (Skyline Hat in black & Boreal Hat in white). I’ve been wearing them every day! They’re cute, ridiculously soft and oh-so-warm. But, most importantly: cute. 🙂 

Layering for cold weather with merino woolEverything I’m wearing in these pictures is a base layer. For the sake of showing them off, I’m not wearing anything over them, but—of course—you would if you were going for a winter hike, skiing or other outdoor winter activity. I’m heading up to Maine in a couple weekends for some snowboarding and snowmobiling, and will definitely be packing everything pictured. Icebreaker actually put together a whole infographic on how to layer for the cold that’s really helpful. Here’s the breakdown:

  • Base Layer: Warmth & Moisture Control (natural fibers, soft, fitted, moisture-wicking)
  • Mid Layer: Insulation (you want to trap in your body heat)
  • Outer Layer: Weather Protection (keep out rain and snow, but you still want ventilation capabilities)

Layering for cold weather with merino woolWEARING | Everyday Longsleeve / Oasis Longsleeve Half Zip / Oasis Leggings / Women’s Multisport Cushion Micro Sock (not pictured) / Terra Gloves / Skyline Hat

My dad always used to tell me that the weather is never too cold if you dress appropriately for it (as high-school me is staring blankly back at him wearing a ruffled denim mini skirt with Uggs in February), and I finally have started following through on his advice.

Winter Workout Playlist (music to pump you up for that cold-weather workout)Even if you do layer up, winter workouts can still be brutal, so on that note, I’m leaving you with a pump-up playlist to power you through your next chilly run or snowshoeing adventure. This is my current workout playlist, and if you follow me on Spotify, I’m constantly updating it with new music. I also use Soundcloud (that’s the playlist embedded in the right sidebar of the blog), but haven’t updated it in a while. Enjoy!

What songs are you currently working out to? Any tips to share for dressing for the cold weather?

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Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Icebreaker. Although I did not receive compensation, I did receive complimentary product. All opinions—as always!—are my own.

Panasonic #OpenYourEars Headphones Review (Plus a Playlist)

Panasonic Open Ear Headphones Review (plus a playlist)

This post was sponsored by Panasonic. I was compensated and given the product free of charge, but all opinions—as always!—are my own.

Lately I’ve gotten the chance to try out a lot of fitness-related technology and gadgets, and I’ve been loving it. In fact, I’m actually heading to NYC a little later today to attend a health and fitness demo event (more on that to come!). Most recently, I was given the opportunity to check out Panasonic’s Open Ear Headphones as part of their #OpenYourEars challenge. These headphones actually transmit sound through the cheek bones, leaving your ears open to hear surrounding noise (car horns, people calling your name, etc.).

Panasonic Open Ear Headphones Review (plus a playlist)

As shown in the above picture, the speaker part goes in front of your ear opening, and the headset then goes over your ears and connects behind your head. They’re comfortable, and I found they stayed put well during activity (I went for a run to test ‘em out). They’re sweat and water resistant, and have reflective strips for outdoor nighttime visibility/safety.

When Panasonic first reached out to me, I thought these were essentially mini speakers (i.e. everyone around you would also be able to hear your music). How else would you be able to hear the music if your ears aren’t covered, right? Wrong. Just like regular headphones or earbuds, only you can hear the music (unless of course you’re that annoying person on public transportation blasting your music at max volume). The sound vibrations go directly to the cochlea through the cheekbones, so you can hear the music without clogging your ear opening, and on songs with heavy bass, you can sorta feel the vibrations through your face—it’s pretty cool!

From a workout standpoint, I think these would be ideal for someone running/biking/etc. outdoors during quiet hours who is concerned about being able to hear surrounding noise for safety. I tested these out on a run around the city and along the Charles River and found that the noise from cars actually drowned out the music a bit, and even at max volume, the headphones couldn’t get my playlist quite as loud as I would have liked it (I do admittedly like loud music during workouts though).

I also think these are perfect for the work day—especially if you work in an office. I remember I always liked to listen to music through headphones in my cube, but then I could never hear when a coworker was trying to get my attention or ask me a question. These would have solved that! Listening to music without bothering anyone and still able to overhear workplace gossip: Win! 😉

Panasonic Open Ear Headphones Review (plus a playlist)

Since we’re talking about jammin’ out, I wanted to leave you with a playlist of mine. These aren’t necessarily workout songs (although, depending on what you like to listen to when you work out, you might find some in here), but these are the songs that are currently on repeat for me when I’m working at my computer, walking around running errands, getting ready in the morning, driving in the car, etc. Enjoy! 

 

What do you think–would try these headphones out? The Panasonic Open Ear Headphones retail at $79.99 and are available in multiple colors HERE. You can follow Panasonic at @PanaAdventure.

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