Review: Sunny Sleevez

Disclosure: I got this product as part of an advertorial.

Now that winter is most definitely over, it’s time to get outside and enjoy some gorgeous spring weather! Summer will be here soon, bringing heat waves and sun rays. I’ll be slathering on the sunblock; I’m a bit fanatical about it. You see, in college I was one of those girls who’d lay out in the sun and slather on baby oil everywhere. After college, I had less time for the beach, but I’d still frequent the tanning salon. I regret those days. There are little freckles or sun spots on my arms now, that I didn’t have growing up. If that’s the sun damage I can see, I’m scared about what I can’t.

Skin cancer rates have been increasing. About one in five Americans will be diagnosed with skin cancer during their life. By the way, the CDC states ¬†in reference to indoor tanning beds that “people who begin tanning younger than age 35 have a 59% higher risk of melanoma.” There are other equally frightening statistics out there, and I sometimes feel like a walking time bomb!

I can’t do anything about the damage I’ve already done, but I can protect my skin from more harm. This summer I’ll be reaching for my new Sunny Sleevez. They¬†are UV-blocking sleeves that are designed to keep you cool while blocking 98 percent of UV rays.

The sleeves come in four adult¬†sizes¬†(0, 1, 2, and 3)¬†as well as numerous colors and patterns.¬†They provide 50 UPF protection from the sun and¬†are made with 90 percent nylon and 10 percent spandex.¬†They fold or roll up tiny, so it’s easy to keep them in a purse, diaper bag, or even your pocket.

I found the sleeves¬†very comfortable and moisture-wicking. Because my¬†underarms were still¬†bare, it was a lot cooler to wear my sleeves with a tee, instead of a long-sleeved shirt. I’ve worn mine biking and running, as well as at the beach and at the playground.

Although you can wear the sun sleeves with a tank, it leaves the shoulders bare. Sun shrugs are available, which I think are a better option in this case.

Over time and after a lot of movement, my sleeves do start to slip down a minimal amount, but never very far…maybe a quarter-inch?¬†I do wish the sleeves were longer. In most of the photos on the Sunny Sleevez website, the sleeves come all the way down to the hands on the models wearing them. Mine don’t, but I’m also wearing a size one.¬†I’m a tall woman, so it’s not surprising I have this issue. The next size up is three inches longer, but I’m afraid they¬†wouldn’t stay up on my scrawny arms.¬†My sleeves¬†still fully protect my arms, it’s just an odd length on me. #tallpersonproblems

Overall, I think these sleeves are a great idea and would like a pair for my son. They come in kids sizes too! Although I buy sunblock with good ratings by the EWG, I still hate putting chemicals on both my skin and¬†Baby J’s. These sleeves are a healthier option.

Something else that occurred to me- these sun sleeves would be great for someone who spends a lot of time on the road. When I drive for a couple of hours or more, a lot of times my left arm ends up a little darker than my right, because the sun’s rays of course¬†come right through the window while I’m driving. It would be easy to keep one or two of these in the car and pull on when needed.

And finally, I mentioned Sunny Shrugz in one of my photo captions above, and those are available for both adults and children as well. You can even get UV-blocking blanket and scarves.

What do you think? Would you give Sunny Sleevez a try? What family activities would you wear them during?

General Disclaimer- Floral

 

I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Tomoson.com. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

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Fitness Friday: Intermittent Fasting

Oh the shame…

The past two or three weeks, I got off track with fitness and nutrition. That isn’t to say I completely stopped working out or running, but I seriously downgraded what I was doing. I also ate too much processed food…and a LOT of it. I totally binged through my toddler’s Easter candy (he helped me; don’t judge!).

Sugar rush selfies!

It’s been a fun month. I’ve had family visiting, or I drove out and was visiting¬†them. I also got together with friends. There’s been lots of fatty foods and fun. But now it’s time to crack down. My jeans are snug again, so without stepping on the scale, I know that I’ve put fat back on around my middle (and everywhere, I guess). Even worse, these last couple of days, I’ve felt tired, sluggish, and bloated. I don’t like feeling this way.

Hubby will be home in just over two months. He’s been working out hard on his own, and I’m feeling a little competitive, hahah. In a healthy way, of course! One silver lining about taking it easy the last few weeks is that my right foot has barely bothered me. I was disappointed to bail on my half marathon this month because of it, but I’m hoping to run the Divas Half Marathon this fall. Several of my friends are interested in running with me, so I’m optimistic that this will be a blast!

Being realistic

I’ve become addicted attached to Instagram. I follow all these amazing fitness women, and it’s easy to look at them and want their bodies. But there are a couple of things I keep reminding myself.

First- we all have different body types and genetics.

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And second- whatever it takes to get me to that goal, that’s probably what it’s going to take to keep me there. So if I have to spend six hours in the gym every day to get the body I want, am I prepared to continue to spend six hours a day to keep it? I need to be realistic about what I can actually maintain.

Intermittent Fasting

Even before I started slacking off on my diet and exercise, I could tell that I’d hit yet another plateau in my fat-loss journey. After doing a bit of research, I know it’s important to incorporate even more High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) in my routine. And I’ve also decided to try intermittent fasting.

Have you heard of intermittent fasting? It’s not really a new concept, although it’s been gaining popularity in the last few years. Everyone fasts. That’s what the word “breakfast” means. You go to bed at night, fast while you’re sleeping, and when you get up, you “break” your “fast” when you eventually eat.

Intermittent Fasting (or IF) is based on studies that indicate while your body is fasting, it’s likely to pull energy from stored fat cells, since there’s no recent meal to burn. Additionally, your body is most sensitive to insulin after a period of fasting. The more sensitive you are, the more efficiently your body consumes food. In a nutshell, IF can help your body better burn fat and build muscle.

There are numerous methods of intermittent fasting. A common way is to eat normally for five or six days a week. On the other days (and they shouldn’t be subsequent to each other), you don’t eat.

Another popular method is a daily 14-16 hour fast. This is the one I’m following. I don’t eat after 8pm, and then my next meal is at 10am or noon the next day. Basically, I skip breakfast. I still eat my full amount of calories, but it’s in a shorter¬†period of time than I used to.

There is, of course, controversy where IF is concerned. You’ve probably been told that the key to weight loss is eating six to eight small meals a day.¬†You may have also heard that breakfast is the “most important meal of the day” and that people who skip breakfast are more likely to be obese.

However, 90 percent of Americans eat breakfast¬†but about 70 percent of adult Americans are overweight or obese. So clearly, eating breakfast is not helping the general U.S. population lose fat. So what’s with all the studies then? This article can shed a little light.

Of course, this doesn’t mean that skipping breakfast is automatically going to make you lose fat. You still have to monitor your overall caloric intake as well as the quality of food that you eat. Some people may have trouble with bingeing after a fast, so that is something to take into account.

It’s also important to point out not many reports¬†have been done to study the effect of IF on women, and the studies that I have read indicate IF works better for men than women.

When it comes down to it, intermittent fasting is not going to be for everyone, but I’m giving it a try. I’ll update you after a month and let you know if I’ve noticed a difference in my body composition.

Do you practice intermittent fasting? What ways do you try stay healthy?

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5 Tips for Jogging with a Toddler

Although in the past I have self-professed to “hate” running, it’s grown on me (can’t believe I just typed that). There’s something relaxing and freeing about not only hitting the path, but doing so with your child. I’m teaching Baby J from an early age that not only is it good to be active, it’s fun!

Over the last six months, I’ve packed Baby J up several times a week -rain, snow/ice, or shine- and headed outside to jog. Some days we push for ten miles, other days we barely reach two. It’s been a journey, but I’m proud that I’ve stuck with it and improved.

If you’re thinking about taking up jogging with your toddler, I’d like to share with you my top tips garnered from our experiences.

First, something to keep in mind- although many jogging stroller brands sell attachments allowing you to use the stroller with certain infant car seats, your little one may not be ready physically for your jogging until six months or older. Babies must have sufficient neck control, so before jogging with your baby, always check with your little one’s pediatrician.

1. Invest in a quality jogging stroller.

Your jogging experience will be less than enjoyable if you’re fighting with the stroller the entire time, or if your toddler is fussing while being jarred from a poor suspension and bumpy ride. Go to a local running or sporting goods store and take a look at jogging strollers in person.

Currently, I own, use, and love the single BOB Ironman, but the BOB Revolution SE Duallie with its swivel lock wheel is a top contender for when we eventually need a double jogging stroller.

If you’re not sure where to start looking for a jogging stroller, I came across a great article from Baby Gear Lab. They tested ten of the most popular jogging strollers and ranked them according to their findings.

Once you’ve decided which stroller you want, you may be able to find it in stock in a local store, or you can always order online from Amazon or PishPoshBaby. Many sites will have sales or release coupon codes you can put towards your purchase; just keep your eyes open.

The other option is to purchase your stroller used through a service like Craigslist. That’s what we did! It’s a great way to save on a quality stroller. Just make sure you check the stroller out thoroughly before money changes hands.

2. Plan the logistics: route, weather, and time of day.

The logistics will most likely depend on the individual child, and it may take a few times to figure out what works for you and your toddler.

Think about what route you’re taking. What is the path like? Will you be on the road at any point; is there a danger from vehicles? If your little one is potty trained, then even something like a restroom needs to be considered ahead of time. I prefer to jog on a circular path at a local park. I know that every lap I pass a water fountain and a restroom with a baby change table inside.

Check the weather ahead of time. Should you bring rain gear, sunblock, blankets, jackets, or stroller covers? My rule is to take more than I think I need. Invariably, if I pack light, I always need something I didn’t bring that one time.

Time of day matters too, for more than one reason. Obviously it’s usually warmer in the afternoon. If it’s winter, you may want to postpone your morning jog until the afternoon. Then again, if it’s windier later in the day, earlier may be better.

Also consider when your child naps. If I’m planning a long jog, I prefer to jog during nap time, as I know my son will sleep soundly in his stroller the entire time.

3. Dress your child appropriately.

I touched upon this above, but make sure your toddler is going to be comfortable, no matter the weather and route. It’s always windy at the park and even windier at the beach boardwalk, so that’s something I have to keep in mind when dressing my toddler. I might get warmed up during a run from my rising body heat, but my son won’t. He will get plenty of wind in his face, so I bring a hat and mittens for him when it’s below 60 degrees.

I recommend dressing your toddler in layers. You can always take clothing off if he or she gets too warm. In freezing temps, I’ve been known to bundle Baby J in a snowsuit, even without snow on the ground. If he sleeps, I know he’s comfy!

4. Pack food and diversions.

Always pack a snack and drink for your toddler. You never know when he or she may suddenly decide they’re having a growth spurt and are hungry NOW. Or maybe you’ll have an amazing run and decide to jog longer than planned.

Depending on your child, toys may also be a must. Baby J is usually happy now just watching the other joggers and doggies go by. But for a few weeks last fall, he went through a stage where he had to have several stuffed toy animals with him at all times. If this is your case, just keep an eye out for fallen toys. A stroller cover or toy leash may come in handy.

5. Be realistic.

It takes a while to get used to jogging with a stroller. Your form will be different (don’t lean into the stroller and make sure to alternate your arms). You’ll be slower…especially on windy days. Over time, you will get faster, but don’t expect to reach a personal record when you first start pushing your toddler around.

Also, some days your little one may be happy and thrilled with the entire experience. Other days, you may have to pack it up early and head home to keep your sanity.

6. Take care of yourself.

Okay, I said five tips, and here’s a sixth! But I think it’s important to remember that your toddler can be happy and comfortable, and if you’re not, the run is going to be miserable. Make sure YOU have snacks and water and dress appropriately.

It may take you and your toddler a few times to find your groove, but stick with it. Jogging with your little one can be not only a relaxing and fun time, but also a way to bond and develop healthy fitness habits as a family.

Have you ever jogged with your toddler? What tips do you have? If not, would you be interested in giving it a try? What are some ways you and your family stay active together?

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