Running In Style, Safety, and Happiness with the Reebok Harmony Road


 

The new Reebok Harmony Road shoes are designed to keep your feet and joints safe and happy for your long distance runs. Running (and especially long distance running) can take a toll on your feet and joints. But the new soles of the Harmony Road shoes take care of that! Plus they look good!Disclaimer: This is a sponsored post by Reebok. I received these shoes for free. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

 

Qualities of Good Shoes

 

Over the past few years, there has been a spike in the importance of what shoes you’re wearing. The shoes on your feet have become a status symbol. Working in a middle school, I see this on a daily basis. “WHAT ARE THOOOOOSE?!” can be heard regularly, referring to what shoes you have on. But this isn’t just a middle school, teenage trend. This spans across all age groups, genders, ethnicities, etc. If you need convincing, hop on Instagram and search for the hastag “shoegame.” Nearly 3 MILLION posts come up with that tag, and I’m sure there are even more with other popular hashtags referring to shoes!

 

For me, personally, I will admit that I like for my shoes to look good… but COMFORT and QUALITY are the most important factors for me. If I’m lucky, I can find a shoe that has it all! I was fortunate enough to be able to try the Reebok Harmony Road and I am thrilled to be able to work with Reebok on this sponsored campaign! All thoughts and opinions are my own. And I cannot wait to tell you (and show you) how wonderful these new shoes are. Fair warning though, you’ll want to snag a pair of your own ASAP!!

 

About Reebok

 

When you think of athletics and activewear companies, Reebok is one of the top brands that comes to mind. Reebok is a very famous company here in the US- and for good reason! Reebok is an American-inspired, global brand that creates and markets sports and lifestyle products.  

 

Behind the scenes, Reebok is a company that has a mission with strong values to provide and create the best for their customers. Reebok is dedicated to providing each and every athlete – from professional athletes to recreational runners to kids on the playground – with the opportunity, the products, and the inspiration to achieve what they are capable of.

 

About the Reebok Harmony Road

 

The Reebok Harmony Road was designed with distance runners in mind. In fact, the Harmony Road is such an impressive shoe that is the winner of Runner’s World 2017 Best Debut Shoe.

 

AESTHETICS:

First impressions are key; and the Reebok Harmony Road was on point. The second I opened the shoebox, I couldn’t wait to try them on. They look sleek, breathable, and

There are a few color options available on the Reebok website but the charcoal grey shoes with the mint and pink soles are by far my favorite. They look sharp and will match any exercise outfit you wear… not to mention, they have that pop of color on the sole for some extra personality!

 

 

COMFORT:

The comfort of these shoes is, hands-down, the BEST part about the Reebok Harmony Roads.  First, I have to mention how breathable and lightweight they are. I didn’t feel like I was lugging 5 pound weights on my feet, like I have with other running shoes. Second, the soles of these shoes have a new, innovative cushioning in the soles made from Kooshlan TPU foam. I’ve never felt a running shoe so comfortable. If you’re a distance runner, you know that the sport takes a toll on the foot, ankle, joints, etc. The Harmony soles absorb a lot of the shock from your shoe hitting the pavement.

 

 

The biggest takeaway for me, regarding comfort, was the lack of pain I felt throughout my joints and muscles after a long run from wearing these shoes! The sole cushioning is a LIFESAVER (or should I say – joint saver!)!! I have a tendency to overpronate when I run, and these shoes had the perfect amount of cushion and support for that!

 

 

SIZE:

The Reebok Harmony Road’s are fairly true to size. They felt slightly longer than my other running shoes, but not enough to make a huge difference. For my next run, I plan on trying a thicker pair of socks to see how that feels! They also weren’t too narrow or too wide for my feet. That is especially important to me because if a shoe is too narrow or too wide, I can’t wear it (let alone for miles and miles of training).

 

 

STABILITY:

This shoe features a low cut design; however, that does not impact the overall stability of the shoe. Your ankles have the mobility to move, yet they still feel supported by the overall structure of the shoe itself. They are lightweight but sturdy at the same time.

I discussed the soles of the Reebok Harmony Road in the “Comfort” section. But I want to mention some of the other aspects of the sole that help with stability too. For example, these shoes have a Carbon rubber heelstrike which provides traction. Additionally, these shoes have a high abrasion rubber outsole which is EXTREMELY durable.

 

 

Not a long distance runner? Not a problem!

 

But don’t worry if you are not a long distance runner, you can still see AMAZING benefits from wearing this shoes for other activities. I wore these shoes to the gym for a couple of workout sessions and they worked perfectly! The lightweight and low rise design make them great for gym workouts in addition to running.

This shoe has exceeded all of my expectations. I look forward to training for my 5k, 10k, and next half marathon with the Reebok Harmony Road, as well as continue my strength training workouts in them! To learn more and buy your own, click here!

Feel Confident In Your Workout With prAna

Wearing a killer outfit gives you a huge confidence boost, which in turn helps you crush your workout! Try prAna's activewear line for some confidence!

 

PrAna Gear Fueling Your Confidence

 

I don’t know about you… but when I have a killer gym outfit on, I completely crush my workout. Have you ever noticed that when you like what you are wearing and/or how you look, you get more accomplished? That’s something I’ve been thinking a lot about recently. Here’s my theory:

 

When you feel confident, you can conquer the world.

 

That feeling, or that mindset, spreads into everything that you do. And sometimes, a killer outfit does just that. It gives you CONFIDENCE!

 

Studies have been done that show the positive correlation between confidence and athletic performance. Other research has been done regarding self-confidence as it relates to motivational processes.


 


 

Spring Styles from prAna

 

So, it’s my pleasure to be able to work with a company like prAna and give you a sneak peek into their Spring collection. This line has a TON of activewear pieces that will set your confidence on fire! I received 2 selections from prAna for free, but all thoughts and opinions are my own. If you have never heard of prAna, let me tell you why I love the company.

 




 

The California-based company, prAna, that creates stylish and sustainably made clothes. prAna has a strong dedication to their community and the world. From prAna’s website,

 

“We go out of our way to ensure the impact we make on the world is mostly confined to our aesthetic. By using materials and partnering with companies and factories that adhere to strict guidelines for safety and efficacy, we’re able to make the beautiful and functional products we love, in a way that we can all feel good about.”

 

But, my absolute favorite thing about prAna is their devotion to giving back.

 

“Throughout the year we partner with several local and international charities to help make a difference. Whether it’s cleaning up beaches here in Southern California or sending aid to areas affected by natural disasters, we continue to find ways to serve our community.”




 

 


 

My prAna Picks

 

The first piece is the Mika Strappy Top. As you can see, this top is AMAZING. Nothing makes me feel more confident than being able to (successfully) pull off a strappy back tank. Having a bigger chest has made this more difficult, but the Mika has a built in cami bra. So I can do my stretches and yoga without a problem — and look damn good doing it!

Mika top from prAna

 

The second prAna piece is the Juniper pant. These pants feel like jersey – and they are ultra comfortable. The are fitted through the knee and flare out at the calf.

Yoga pants from prAna

If you want to get some prAna gear of your own, use the code “S4P17WPS” at checkout for a discount!

 


 

Why You Should Drink Essence pH10 Alkaline Water (+ Giveaway!)

 

Essence pH10 Alkaline Water has so many added benefits to help you reach your health goals!

 

Water. The most essential of all nutrients. We can’t live without it. So why is it so important? And past that, why is alkaline water, like Essence pH10, so beneficial for us?

 




 

How Water Impacts Health

 

1. The human body is approximately 2/3 water. Why? A number of reasons!

2. Our cells need it to function properly as it maintains the health of every cell

3. Our blood is comprised of nearly 90% water – which is extremely important carries nutrients and oxygen throughout our body

4. It aids digestion and the breakdown of the food that we eat

5. Water transports waste and toxins out of our bodies (i.e. pee)

6. Water helps us regulate our temperature (for example, sweating is our body’s natural cooling mechanism)

7. It protects our joints, spinal cord, and tissues

8. Water keeps us from being dehydrated (which is of the UTMOST IMPORTANCE!!)


 

These are just a few examples of why water is essential to our bodies. But it all comes down to this: we cannot survive without water. Our bodies will become dehydrated and dehydration can lead to death. Moral of the story: DRINK UP! However, we want to make sure that what we put in our bodies is clean, healthy, digestible, etc. Which is why we don’t drink straight out of a lake. So, we filter our water.

Furthermore, there are companies and organizations that have continued the process of creating healthy, clean water! I am fortunate enough to have been given the opportunity to try Essence pH10 Water, which is a premium alkaline water that has extra, critical nutrients in it. These include: calcium, magnesium, and zinc acetate.  So while you are drinking water, you are also giving your body more of what it needs to survive and thrive.

 

What Is Alkaline Water?

 

Alkaline water is less acidic than your tap water (higher pH level). Therefore, it has pH-balancing abilities (neutralizes / lowers the acidity in our bodies) while also being very hydrating.

 

Essence pH10 Benefits

 

1. Organic hibiscus is part of their formula. Hibiscus is an AWESOME antioxidant! It helps neutralize those free radicals in our bodies and also helps stop the degeneration of our tissues and organs.

2. Some alkaline water companies use questionable processes to raise the pH of their water.

3. Essence pH10 is 100% sodium free (as opposed to other brands that use sodium based chemicals).

4. Essence water is chemical free.

5. Meets all FDA Regulations required!

Related: Gerolsteiner Detox Challenge

 

 

For me, it is really hard to drink the recommended amount of water every single day… So it gives me peace of mind to know that the water I am drinking has all these added benefits!

 


 

We can’t live without water. So you might as well drink the best! Lucky for you, Essence is doing a Giveaway for the Cardio, Weights, and Protein Shakes readers!

Essence pH10 Filtered Alkaline Water Giveaway

 

The Best Shoulder Exercises To Tone Your Delts and Upper Body Quickly

 
The best shoulder exercises to do to tone your upper body and tone your delts! The deltoid muscles should not be neglected!! So try these deltoid exercises for your shoulder day workout.

 

Discover the best shoulder exercises for toned, sexy shoulders! 

Why You Need To Do Shoulder Exercises

 

Whether you run, hike, play sports, or lift weights in the gym, your lower body muscles naturally receive more attention and are more frequently worked out compared to your upper body. Therefore, your upper body muscles need some special attention! This muscle group includes your biceps, triceps, back, chest, and shoulders. That being said, the shoulder muscles are often neglected in upper body workout routines over arm workouts, chest workouts, and back workouts.

If you don’t want to dedicate an entire workout to shoulder day, you should absolutely incorporate shoulder exercises, especially the BEST shoulder exercises, into your workout routine. Here’s why. 

 




 

 

 

The Benefits of Training Your Shoulder Muscles:

 

1. Aesthetically, sculpted and toned shoulders look fantastic. 

2. Shoulder exercises and toned deltoid muscles promote better posture.

3. Working out your shoulder muscles will support your shoulder joints (and keep your rotator cuff safe!). 

4. Healthy, strong shoulders will help you do most upper body exercises. Additionally, strong shoulders will help you increase weight when performing those exercises and perform more reps!).

Related: Sculpt and Tone Your Delts with this Shoulder Workout

 

 


 

 

 

The Best Shoulder Exercises

 

These are the 5 best shoulder exercises to tone your delts and shoulder muscles. These deltoid exercises will give you the sculpted shoulders you've been wanting!1. Front Raise: Stand with your feel shoulder width apart. Your arms will be relaxed by your side, holding light to medium dumbbells in each hand (overhand grip). Starting with your right arm, slowly lift the dumbbell in front of you until your arm is straight out in front of you. Lower the weight steadily back to it’s starting position and repeat with your left arm. 

2. Lateral Raise: You will be standing with your feet shoulder width apart, with your arms at your side holding light to medium dumbbells in each hand. Slowly and steadily raise your arms outward (to make a T with your body). Raise them until they are parallel with your shoulders, or slightly past parallel. Bring them slowly back down to your sides in a controlled way. And don’t lock your elbows!

3. Overhead Press: You can be standing or sitting for this exercise. If you choose to stand, I recommend standing in one of two ways. Either stand in a split stance, with one foot in front of the other, or with your feet shoulder width apart. You can also do the overhead press with either a barbell or with dumbbells. You will start with the weight at your upper chest. Your palms will be facing forward; and your elbows will be directly under the weight (and keep them slightly inward towards your body). Push the weight upward and keep it in line with your body – just don’t hit your face! Push it all the way up – but don’t lock your elbows at the top. 

4. Rear Delt Fly: The rear delt raise / fly can either sit or stand for this exercise. Either way, bend your torso and chest forward, while keeping your back straight and your abs engaged. Your arms will be hanging down in front of you, holding dumbbells in each hand. Your palms will be facing each other and your elbows will be slightly bent. Raise the dumbbells outward until your arms are parallel to the floor and your shoulders. Make sure to control the movement as you lower the weight to avoid accidents or injury!

5. Crawlout / Inchworm: You will begin in the plank position (on your hands). Slowly walk your hands towards your feet. Once you’ve made it up to your feet, push with your hands to propel yourself so that you can either clap or so that you can tap your shin bones with each hand. Then, start walking your hands back out to the standard plank where you started. You can bend your knees slightly if you are not very flexible like I am!

 




 

 

The five exercises listed above are, hands down, my favorite and the BEST shoulder exercises that you can do. These five shoulder moves target and strengthen each of the muscles within the shoulder. There are plenty of other exercises you can do that will make your shoulders and upper body stronger. 

Related: Halter Top Ready Shoulder Workout

The Best Upper Body Exercises to Help You Do Your First Pull Up Quickly

 

It took me a very long time to do my first pull up. I could have accomplished my goal of lifting my body above that pull up bar in a fraction of that time if I’d had the right training and the right help, like a “Pull Ups for Beginners” guide. Having some guidance and know-how would have saved me a lot of time and frustration. In hopes of helping others learn how to do their first pull up, or increase the number of pull ups they can currently do, I’m sharing the best arm and back exercises I did that made the difference. 

Pull Ups for Beginners

If you are ready to learn how to do a pull up and willing to put in the work, then you’re already half way to your goal. Doing a pull up is not about sheer upper body strength. It’s about will, determination, perseverance, and form. Ha, almost anyone could do a pull up if they could have a jumpstart and swing their body into it! But… would they have that overwhelming sense of accomplishment and pride afterwards? No. You want to be able to do a perfect pull up, with pristine pull up form. 

Before trying these upper body exercises, refer to the tips found in How To Do A Pull Up to help you reach your goal. These tips, combined with the exercises detailed below, will give you exactly what you need in order to do a pull up. This is not an easy task. But it is well worth the effort you will put in. Not only will you be able to say “I can do a pull up,” you will also have the lean and strong muscles required for it (which is a bragging right all by itself!). Your back will be sexier, your arms will be slimmer, and your confidence will be shining. Reaching a goal like this is so much more than the goal itself.

The Best Upper Body Exercises For Pull-Ups

 

1. Rows:

Rows are pulling exercises that primarily strengthen your back muscles. There are a ton of ways to perform rows, but they all work your back (and your arm muscles) – so they are PERFECT for helping you increase your upper body strength so you can eventually pull your body weight up! 

 

  • Bent Over Dumbbell Row: With a dumbbell in one hand, place your opposite knee and hand on a bench to become parallel to the ground. The arm with the dumbbell should be hanging at your side. Bring the weight towards your chest, while keeping your elbow inward and tight to your body.
  • Barbell Row (Overhand and Underhand Grips): Bend your torso forward, bend your knees slightly., and keep your back straight. Bring the barbell towards your belly button.
  • Inverted Row: Best done with TRX equipment or a Smith machine. With your back towards the ground and your hands on the bar (or TRX grips), pull your chest up.

2. Lat Pulldowns:

Using a cable machine or a lat pulldown machine, sit facing the machine. Grip the bar, lean back slightly (but keep your back straight), and slowly bring the bar down towards your chest. Squeeze your lats together (imagine your back muscles are swallowing up your spine). There are many variations of the lat pulldown, but they’re ALL great! Pulldowns are a tried and true exercise for “Pull Ups for Beginners.”

  • Wide Grip Lat Pulldown: Many pulldown bars curve downward at the end. So, instead of gripping the bar at shoulder-width apart, go wider (like to wear the bar is curving down).
  • Narrow Grip Lat Pulldown: Decrease the distance between your hands and keep your elbows tight by your side.
  • Reverse Grip Lat Pulldown: This is usually done with a narrow grip (less tension for the elbows). Usually your palms are facing away from you. When performing the reverse grip, your palms should be facing towards you.
  • Behind The Head Lat Pulldown: Instead of pulling down towards your chest in front of you face, you will sit up straight and pull the bar down behind your head (towards your traps).

 

3. Assisted Pull Ups:

You will either be performing the pull-up motion with an assisted pull up machine or by using pull up bands. Regardless of the method, the band or the machine will help you lift your body weight. Not every gym or workout space has the full machine; So, I personally recommend investing in a pull up assist band!

4. Pull Up Negatives:

This is the ONE time you have permission to jump into your pull up… only because this is a strength building exercise to work on doing a pull up! Jump (or use a chair) to get your chin above the pull up bar. Then SLOWLY and STEADILY lower your body back down to the hanging position. This exercise should only be down if you have at least some upper body strength to depend on!

Don’t neglect your other muscle groups while you are working on your pull ups. Just because pull-ups primarily utilize your arms, shoulders, and back muscles,  you still need to train other areas. For example, your core needs to be strong for pull ups as well! Dedicating some time to cardiovascular exercise as well as strength training for your core, legs, glutes, etc. is needed. This will also give your upper body some time to rest (and rest is REQUIRED for muscle growth!!) and will help strengthen other areas of your body. Additionally, giving your upper body some rest will help prevent injuries, like excessive muscle soreness, sprains, strains, tears, etc. Your physical fitness level will be at a much higher level if you train your entire body. 

Another note: always listen to your body and consult your medical doctor if you feel that something might be wrong! It’s always better to be safe than sorry, right?!

If you enjoyed “Pull Ups for Beginners” and learning the best arm and back exercises to help you strengthen and tone your upper body muscles, you may also enjoy: Say Goodbye to Back Fat with This Back Workout and Your Guide to a Toned, Sexy Back.

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