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The Scoop About the Polar Loop

FitFluential LLC compensated me for this post. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Many of you asked me what I thought about my new Polar Loop and, as promised, here’s my review!

Polar Loop

Pretty

Let’s be honest. Some of the activity trackers are not that pretty. The Polar Loop looks nice on and, with the silver accents, looks more like a piece of jewelry than a sports band. Another thing I like about the Polar Loop is that it tells time. I mean, if you are going to wear something in place of your watch, it might as well tell time too right? That is something my last activity tracker didn’t offer, and I really enjoy that simple feature.

Polar Loop Simple

If you are looking for a ton of options and fancy features, this isn’t your band. This activity tractor is super simple and focuses on covering the basics. The band syncs easily with the iPhone via bluetooth, which I love. No special adaptors or cables needed to see your updated activity.

Once you have synced your band with your Polar Loop app, you can view just one screen that shows everything you need to see at one glance.

The circular graphic displays activity from light to dark blue:

WHITE: Sitting or passive behavior
GREY: Medium activity – walking or moderate activity
LIGHT BLUE: Resting or lying down
BLUE: Low activity, standing work or light choirs
DARK BLUE: High activity, jogging, running and intense activity.

polar loopClick on the circle and it will display your activity in real time so you can see your movement and rest patterns. That’s my favorite screen, because it doesn’t look as bad as allllll that white and light grey! ha! BUT, it’s good to see the reality of how inactive even an active person like me is!

Polar loop

polar loop

The Polar Loop gives you goals and displays where you are for the day. You can see here, above (at the top of the screen), that I was 254% of my goal. If you scroll down on this same screen, you will continue to see more information including:

 Calories Burned
 Steps Taken
 Active time
 Sleep Time

The Polar Loop shows I received one inactivity alert to remind me to get moving! It also has some motivational words about your activity to make you feel like a super star! …AND, if you need some help getting moving, you can click on the “i” (information) button and it will display ways to reach your goal.

The most exciting thing to me about the Polar Loop is that it’s the only activity band that connects with a heart rate monitor – so this bracelet will track calories burned and activity even more accurately than any other exercise band. This is something I’m still working on how to learn, and use.

Polar LoopI wore it on our LiveXFit show yesterday and I traced my calories burned in one of Steve’s kickboxing classes – where it showed I burned over 500 calories. I LOVE knowing how many calories I’m burning when I exercise!! It makes me love those darn burpees a little bit more! I’ll share more as I learn it. I still have a lot of playing to do!!

Check out this cool video showing all the features!

Technical features:

  • Waterproof for swimming
  • Custom-fit bracelet
  • Time of day
  • Display texts in English
  • Data transfer via custom USB cable or Bluetooth Smart via Polar Flow mobile app
  • Memory capacity 12 days activity data
  • Rechargeable battery with 5 days continuous use
  • Web service compatibility with Mac OS X 10.6, OS X 10.7, OS X 10.8, or later, and PC Windows XP, Windows 7, Windows 8, or later
  • Mobile app compatibility with iOS 6 (iPhone 4S, iPhone 5, iPhone 5C, iPhone 5S, iPod touch) or later

Bottom line, if you really love fitness and tracking calories burned, get the Polar Loop, as well as the chest strap heart rate monitor, for the most accurate calorie and activity tracking around! I’ll share more as I learn more!! Now, I better get ACTIVE!!

Top 25 Fitness Gifts for Your Fit Friends

In order to create one of the best fitness gift lists online, I reached out to people like you! I asked you what YOU wanted for Christmas, searched the web to find some of the coolest gadgets in the industry, and thought of all the fitness toys I can’t live without. Unlike many articles, no one has paid me to add them to the list. This is just a list of the top 25 fitness gifts, from $9 to $199, that I either have myself and love, or would love to have under my own tree.

I did all the work for you! Now shopping for your bestie is easy as clicking on any of the links below! Have fun making your BFF’s Christmas one of the best yet!

Top 25 Fit Gifts for Your Fit Friends

1. 6 Pack Bag – A deluxe 3 or 6 meal lunch cooler designed to organize meals, protein drinks and more. Finally, being prepared can be easy – and look nice too! The Foil lined back has 5 meal compartments in the 6-pack, 3 meal compartments in the 3-pack, a top organizer for supplements and vitamins, side slots to keep drinks upright, and ice packs to keep it all cool. $49

2. Yurbuds Inspire for Women – Music to my ears, these awesome earbuds, made specifically for women, are made to fit smaller ears and stay put while you move, sweat, lift, plyo and run. Don’t fret guys, they also have Yurbuds for men too! These earbuds are no joke. If you’re sick of earbuds falling out while working out, you will be thrilled to get these for Christmas, because they fit the ear like a custom fit hearing aid – and they ain’t going no where! $29

3. The Jawbone – I honestly have NO idea how it does it, (maybe I’ll get to try it myself and give you an in-depth review some day), but evidently, this incredible bracelet literally is like a healthy spy that tracks your every move. It intellegently tracks your sleep (light and deep sleep), tracks your activity (calories burned, activity and inactivity), reminds you to move when you’ve been still too long, tells you when to wake up with a smart alarm feature than knows the optimal time to wake up to feel refreshed in your sleep cycle, gives you the best power naps (waking you up at the perfect time to be recharged), and more. Waterproof, comfortable, crazy cool, good looking and a great healthy fitness tool any fitness peep would LOVE! $129

4. NXE Active Sleeve – After tying this myself, it quickly became one of my favorite ways to hold my iphone while working out. This slick stretchy fabric iphone arm sleeve is not only comfortable to wear, it makes it easy to slip the iphone in and out for quick access, unlike most armband cases that lock your phone in and are hard to view while the armband is on. So if you find yourself always trying to access your phone, or you like to tweet between sets, this is a great option for your smart phone. Comes in a 2-pack (one white, one black) at Radio Shack. $20

5. LiveWell 360 Core – The Core bag is not only WAY sleek and stylish, it has 9 perfectly designed pockets, complete with separate vented compartment for stinky shoes or sweaty clothes. With an interior mesh pocket for your water bottle, and slip pockets for your phone, wallet and keys, there’s no need to take your purse in to the gym with you. This bag does it all. The fabric is thick, soft, comfortable and durable. The hardware is all satin nickel hardware that looks pretty, and also will withstand the test of time. This bag is totally unlike any gym bag I’ve ever seen in stores. At first glance, you may think it’s a little pricey, but when I think of all the gym bags we’ve gone through – I would have come out cheaper if I just bought one LiveWell bag. Available in 3 styles. $187

6. Wahoo Fitness BlueHR Heart Rate Monitor – Say goodbye to Bulky Heart Rate monitor watches and hello to Wahoo – the world’s first wireless blue tooth heart rate monitor. This handy dandy device syncs to your iphone for easy tracking and works with other popular Apps, like RunKeeper, MapMyRide, 321Run, Cyclemeter and endomondo. Even if your connection is interupted, the Wahoo heart rate monitor continues to record data. It’s even waterproof up to 5 feet – perfect for our triathlon peeps! You can even use the Blue HR while using bluetooth headphones so you can track your heart rate while listening to your favorite motivational tunes. Yes! This is on MY wish list!! $75

7. Design Your Own Reebok Gift Card – Get the gift of individuality. This totally fun and unique gift lets your bestie choose the style and their favorite color combination to create their one-of-a-kind shoe. Choose from a variety of patterns, colors and styles to create a totally unique pair of shoes that’s as unique as the designer. Lack creativity? That’s OK, there are over a million custom designs created by other people that are available for purchase, or for a starter template to get the designer going in the right direction. Totally fun and totally awesome! (Another one on my list!) $100+

8. FitBit Aria – This extraordinary scale not only records your weight, BMI and body fat, but it uploads all the information to your computer so you can track your progress and set calorie goals. It’s also family friendly, with automatic recognition for up to 8 people. There is even a community option to share your progress with family members and friends, for added accountability. The FitBit Aria syncs with their matching free iPhone app and computer so you can view graphs and progress no matter where you go. $129

9. Camelback Glass Eddy Bottle – If you are like me, you don’t like that nasty plastic taste of cheap water bottles, then you’ll love this PBA free glass water bottle. Simple, clean, healthy & yummy water making bottle comes with a pretty protective silicone sleeve! A simple gift that will get a lot of use. $22

10. Wordlock – OMG, can I just tell you how I wish I had this in high school. For people who can’t remember their darn combination code, this lock makes keeping your valuables safe easy. With many colors and styles to choose from, including bike locks, cable locks, pad locks, luggage locks, utility locks, sports locks, discus locks and even commercial locks, you can choose the perfect lock for your perfect fit friend. $9

11. iPod Shuffle – This itty bitty music maker comes in 8 colors and lets you have all the musical fun without the weight and bulk of an iphone or ipod. With up to 15 hours of playtime, runners and triathlon athletes can enjoy music for miles and miles. With the voice over feature, it’s easy to find the right playlist or find out the name of the band playing at that moment because it talks to you. Cute, convenient, portable and smart – you can’t go wrong! Just clip it to your clothes and go! #49

12. Smartwool Arm Warmers – Most of you know I’m a sucker for accessories (like knee high socks!), but these are not just stylish, but have purpose too – they keep you WARM (in style of course!). Perfect for your active friends who like to play outside in the cold, this is a great gift for a bestie who likes living life in the great outdoors. $25

13. Reebok Compression Arm Sleeve – You don’t have to be a CrossFitter to love this gift. More than an accessory, this arm sleeve not only keeps your arms warm in the cold, the UV protective and heat reflective material prevents you from overheating in the sun. Compression gear also helps aid in recovery, making it a must-have for athletes and performance driven fitness fanatics. And can I just add that they toootally look ridiculously cool too?! WANT! $44

14. GymBoss – This interval timer turns into a trainer that tells you when to work, and when to rest. Adding a timed component to training majorly boosts intensity. Trade sets and reps for a predetermined time of work and rest, like 40 seconds on and 20 seconds off. A great tool to add to anyone’s fitness tool box. Just clip the GymBoss to your clothes and get ready for muscles to burn – and your body to sweat! $19.99 and up.

15. Lose It! Premium App – The Lose It! app is free, but the premium app has a slew of handy features to help your friend reach his or her fitness goals, like syncing to their favorite fitness app like Nike+ and RunKeeper, Withings Scale, Fitbit Aria, Withings Blood Pressure Monitor and Zeo Sleep Monitor. Set more detailed goals than the free app, including body measurements, blood pressure, blood glucose, sleep and exercise. Lastly, with Premium users, Personal Trainers and Nutritionists using Lose It Connect can monitor their clients meal plans and activity for added accountability and support. $39 $29/year (on sale!)

16. Zumba Fitness 2 for Wii – Zumba instructors always make Zumba look so easy – and so good! However, doing Zumba takes a little talent and skill to perform to actually look like you know what you are doing. So, now you can practice in your house. Whether you use it as a prep course for a live class, or you use it to get your dance and sweat on without the gym, this is a great buy for someone who loves to dance – whether they look good doing it or no! $39

17. TRX Suspension Trainer – A great gift for fitness tool collector who loves the toys that bring the pain. The TRX isn’t for beginners in my opinion, it takes a bit to learn all the moves, but the TRX is a great gift to enhance any workout routine and it was on several people’s Christmas list this year. Suspension training develops strength, balance, flexibility and core stability. A little pricey, but a fun toy and a good adjunct to any training program – especially for those who train at home. And yes, I have one in my own fitness collection! $199

18. iPhone 5 – Everyone knows the iPhone is not just a phone, but to a dieter or fit fan, the iPhone is an essential tool to help them reach their goals. That’s why the iPhone made the top 25 list of best fitness gifts – it’s truly an essential tool in the diet and fitness arsenal. The iPhone offers hundreds of helpful tools to get fit, lose weight, explore exercises, check your heart rate and so much more. With apps like iFitness, LoseIt!, Fooducate, RunKeeper, Heart Rate, Fitness Buddy, Nike+ Running and Pedometer.

19. Reebok Adjustable Speed Rope – An affordable gift that can help take your friend’s workout up a notch. Jumping rope has quickly become a staple exercise in any conditioning workout and athletic training, like CrossFit and BCx Boot Camp. It’s a simple gift, but will be an appreciated gift for anyone serious about their workouts. $18

20. Adidas MiCoach Speed Cell – A great gadget for the athlete, this performance tracking tool captures time, distance, speed, speed zones and number of sprints. The device instantly uploads it to your iphone or computer so you can see your results, like TopSpeed, Burst Speed, Total Distance and gametime stats help you improve your game. A totally cool gift for athletic training. $70

21. Bodylastics Resistance Bands – This one never goes out of date. It was on my list last year, and it stays on the list because it’s tried and true. Bodylastics bands are a great alternative to weights that are more affordable – and very portable. These bands are not only strides ahead their competitors, more durable, and heavy duty, they stand behind their product with a 100% satisfaction guarantee and a lifetime defects warranty. Since they take up less space than weights, you can throw them in your gym bag while on the road or on a vacation, and not miss a workout. The Bodylastics kit comes with a variety of strength resistance bands, door anchors, handles, ankle straps and a how-to guide (not to mention a whole list of online workout shows to follow at http://www.LiveExercise.com). You may think I’m just biased, because Steve leads a few of the online fitness shows – but we wouldn’t even work with them if we didn’t think they were a stellar company – and really love their products! $28.95

22. Yogamatic Custom Yoga Mat – This is the Yoga mat Jennifer Aniston had custom made for Oprah (of Oprah’s dogs). This is the perfect gift for any yogi and a way to make your bestie’s yoga experience even more special! Totally a fun gift that will be the talk of the class! $89+

23. Go Sport ID Bracelet – Customize one of these cool ID bracelets – perfect for running, cycling and triathlons. They not only look cool, but they are a great safety precaution in the event of an accident. Believe me, I know! Several years ago, my mom fell on dark early morning run, broke a rib and got knocked out. You can never be too careful – and with a custom engraved Go Sport ID, you can do it in style! Choose from seven different styles, including bracelets, shoe tags and necklaces. $16.95+

24. RealFlex Neoprene Workout Gloves – These are my favorite workout gloves of all time. They are comfy, washable (leather gloves can STINK in a hurry!) and they don’t bunch up like worn material or leather. The glove has a durable rubber pad (like a paw) that makes handling heavy weight much more comfortable, and adds more traction for better gripping. The velcro strap and overall style of these gloves make it super easy to take on and off. Plus they are super cheap – you gotta like that! $9

25. EatSmart Nutritional Pro Scale – I personally own this scale and love it. Although I use it mostly for weighing items to enter in my Lose It! app, it has some SUPER cool features that makes tracking calories even easier, and more accurate, like an internal database of over 1,000 foods. Simply key in a 3-digit code and weigh your food to get nutritional information, including calories, fat, protein, carbs, fiber, sodium, and several other nutrients. $69

YOUR TURN:

Is your fitness wish not on the list? Post your items below! You never know who it may help – and who’s watching (like Santa Claus!). 🙂

 

FIT Pros Favorite FIT Toys

“People want REAL products recommended by REAL people that REALLY work!”

Everyone is looking for the next cool gadget or fitness tool to buy to boost their workouts. Sure, you can click on a banner ad or buy some “As Seen on TV” fad if you want to waste your time and money, but the REAL way to find out if something works or not is to ask the pros! As you may know, between my fellow Fitness Advisors for Sears FitStudio.com and fellow Fitness Ambassadors with FitFluential, I rub shoulders with some very cool fitness leaders across the nation.  So I decided to ask some of my fit friends what their favorite fitness gadgets were and share their favs with you! Here are 25 fun fitness twitterific replies!

Fit Pros Favorite Fit Toys: 

Bob Harper
@BonniePfiester I would have to say my kettle bell
…it’s my favorite piece of equipment

Follow MyTrainerBob on Twitter: I want to #challenge you to make #SmarterChoices! Working from the #InsideOut, you can achieve your goals. No more excuses, make the change TODAY! http://www.mytrainerbob.com

Bonnie Pfiester
My Fav Fit Toy is a Pair of 15lb Dumbbells
I do walking lunges with them, shoulders, biceps, triceps, chest, abs – LOVE my 15lbers

Follow @BonniePfiester on Twitter: FITNESS: ADVISOR/WRITER @SearsFitness TRAINER@DoBCx Boot Camp at @FitStudio AMBASSADOR@FitFluential BLOGGERhttp://www.pFITblog.com WEB http://www.pfiesterpFIT.com

Kelly Olexa

LOVE TRX.

TRX is so awesome for core moves but I also love it for back. We’ll be doing it on the @FitFluential fitness tour 

Follow KellyOlexa on twitter: CEO, Founder: @FitFluential. Fitness Fanatic, Starbucks Addict, Social Media Cupcake: Ford Fiesta Agent, FitStudio Partner, Polar Ambassador. Show me the sushi.http://www.kellyolexa.com

Joyce Cherrier
the fooducate app is my fav tool & my polar HR monitor fav gadget
U scan barcode on an item, it grades it & tells u why. Also gives options in same category. My kids love it 2! Scan everything!

Follow joycecherrier  on Twitter: Misplaced Maui Girl 1st life: Health Food Store owner & Pro Windsurfer 2nd: Mom, bass player, ocean, eco & organics. Sears® Fit Studio Expert, Attune Foods Am. http://freakingfitness.com

Steve Pfiester
25lb Slam Ball

I have clients do Slam Ball, overhead walking lunges, squats, abs, thrusters & all kinds of stuff with it.
(You can see Slam Ball 36 seconds in this BCx workout)

FollowStevePfiester on Twitter: BCx Boot Camp Trainer, Sears Fitness Expert, Trainer for VH1’s Bridal Bootcamp & ABC’s Fat March, Longevity Fitness Clubs owner. CrossFit & TRX Trainer http://www.StevePfiester.com

Franklin Antoian
Oregon Scientific Strapless HRM

I love that it’s strapless and reliable!

Follow iBodyFit  on Twitter: Fitness Writer l Founder of the Online Workout site iBodyFit.com l Fitness Expert for ManageMyLife.com. If you can Get Online, you can Get in Shape! http://iBodyFit.com

Leslie Goldman
Not a big gadget girl
I love my Nalgene H20 bottle, yoga mat, padded spin shorts (tho they r hideous-looking!)
BONNIE’S NOTE: Seeeeeee people, gadgets are necessarily necessarY to get or stay fit! 🙂 

Follow LeslieGoldman on Twitter: Women’s health guru. Body image diva. Write 4 Women’s Health/O/Fitness/Self/Runner’s World/espnW. Beyoncé once touched my elbow & my grandpa invented jogging.http://www.lesliegoldmanwrites.com

Alfonso Moretti
Kettlebells
Burpees with a Kettlebell Snatch & Press

Follow AngryTrainerFit on Twitter: Sears Fitness Board Member, Mens Fitness / Discovery Fit & Health Writer, Fitness Authority, Fierce Sagittarius http://www.angrytrainerfitness.com http://www.angrytrainerfitness.com

Heather Frey
BANDS!
 love bands for shoulders and all things upper body.
BONNIE’S NOTES: Get a set of Bodylastics for $45.

Follow SmashFit  on Twitter: Founder of SmashFit! Fit-xpert on TV’s Miami Moms_Writer_Speaker_CPT_Artist_Figure Comp My outside’s a reflection of my inside xcept u cant see all the laughing http://SmashFit.com

Danny McLarty
I’d have to say my foam roller.
With the foam roller I like “McLarty Rollouts” (video: http://bit.ly/nlnLFg) and soft tissue work all over the body!

Follow DannyMcLarty on Twitter: Fitness writer, Fitness Coach, and Basketball Skills Coach. Illinois Basketball Hall of Fame Inductee. Sears FitStudio Partner.http://www.dannymclarty.com

Sarah Kay Hoffman
@Nikeplus!
I take it w me everywhere. Lance is motivating. Goal-oriented!  (Nike Plus review at Sears)

Follow sarahkayhoffman on Twitter: Senior Brand Manager at @singleymackie. digitally-addicted country girl w/ (gluten-free) foodie-fitness flare – Community Leader w/@TheLaughingCow (e)SKH

Shari Fitness
Stability Ball

Stability ball pushup into a knee tuck is my fave 🙂

Follow ShariFitness on Twitter: Fitness Professional | Atlanta Personal Trainer | Nutritionist | Social Media Consultant | Author | Speaker | Website http://FitTalkNews.comhttp://facebook.com/ShariFitnessFanPage


More Fitness Trainers & Enthusiasts’ Twitter Replies:

katieRUNSthis Katie M. Key
I love, love, LOVE my @garminForerunner 405! 
Really want the new 610!

SweetSoaps Ellen Cagnassola
My Nike sensor
It talks to my iPhone live it #pedometer

trainingdaiz Nick Hurst
ezy curl bar!! 
i use it for curls, rows, shoulder press, triceps…

pagandgoo david goodwin
ipod touch with nike plus trainers(sneakers)
plus you have a timer too for those minute planks and toons! X

XrsizeAnn Ann E. Fishman
Right now it’s TRX!
Love variety of planks w feet in stirrups & using Bosu, ball side down

sunkistdaisy Shelby
I love the @valslide by @ValerieWaters 
I find it increases the difficulty of my exercises & makes me work much harder than without it. Using it in plank, mountain climbers etc is killer. I really feel it in my abs.

FitChickNYC FitChickinTheCity
If I have to pick one I’d say my Garmin 405cx. 
Fav feature: tracks mileage so I don’t have to follow a specific path.

ChrisMrFitStacy Christopher Stacy
Has to be #KBs (Kettlebells) or #StabilityBalls.
Fav exercises are #Swings & Stability Ball #TwistPlanks

PBFingers Julie
The Garmin 305
Learn more on the Garmin 305 GPS with Heart rate monitor

MyFitCoach Jenn Mitchell
I love good resistance bands with a door attachment.
Great for travel. Amazing how much you can work!

Ally_Sutherland Ally Sutherland 
pro fit iron gym
I LOVE my Pull Up bar that slots nicely onto door frame

blondeponytail Blonde Ponytail
my fav fitness gadget is @GYMBOSS interval timer
Use it 4 my HIIT & Ab Blast classes! BONNNIE’S NOTES: Get your Gymboss

debroby Deb Roby
I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE BodyLastic band system.
Best in the market.

allenintulsa Allen Cook
A product called “the slingshot”.
It helps you keep a perfect form for bench press while increasing the weight u push.


THANKS TO EVERYONE FOR SHARING YOUR FAVORITE TOYS!!

I have too many favorites to list. Here are ALL my personal Favorite Fit Toys:

1. Bodylastics bands
2. Gymboss Interval Timer
3. RunKeeper iPhone app 
4. TRX (juuuust got it & can’t wait to use it!)
5. Pandora on iPhone
6. ClipE earbud clip to prevent earbud tugs
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