June Challenge: Fitfluential’s Squat Challenge #FFSquat


I haven’t really posted much about being a Fitfluential Ambassador, but I’ve been one since about April now. They run a lot of awesome tweet chats as well as giveaways and challenges. I haven’t had a whole lot of time to participate in challenges recently, but I figured I’d give their June squat challenge a go, especially since it could help with my running and my dancing.

It’s relatively simple–they’re asking beginners to aim for 1,000 squats in the month of June (which is what I’ll be going for) and for those who are more advanced to aim for 100 a day.  I’ll try and keep a running  update weekly on the site as to how I’m doing!

You can use this guide to keep track, too and join the Facebook event here. In addition, Fitfluential is also giving away a Polar Heart Rate Monitor here.


Why I love Compression Gear: Zensah Socks and Sleeves

I love my compression socks, sleeves (and leggings too!). I have about six different pairs of compression socks and three different pairs of compression sleeves.  By far, the best pair of socks I have are the Zensah compression socks that I won in a #runchat tweet chat a few months ago. I recently bought a pair of Zensah sleeves that I love, too.

Why does compression gear work? Zensah’s got a great blog post on it, but here are some main points:

  •  Compression improves circulation and oxygenated blood flow to improve performance and enhance recovery.
  • Improved circulation reduces the buildup of lactic acid
  • Enhance athlete’s warm-up by increasing the temperature of the skin and the muscle
  • Provide an extra support to stabilize the muscle tissue, reducing inflammation and micro trauma

I mostly wear socks for recovery, but I’ll use my Zensah sleeves during ballet and sometimes while running.


Chilling in my Zensah socks in my messy room

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I’m Looking Forward to Trying X2 Performance #TeamX2

Disclaimer: I’m a #TeamX2 blogger and excited to work with X2 Performance in a paid campaign to help me achieve my fitness goals. All opinions are my own.. These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent disease.

I recently became an X2 Performance Brand ambassador and I’m excited to share with my readers and fellow #Teamx2 bloggers my experiences with the product. While a lot of the other bloggers are runners, cross-fitters and triathalon runners, I think being both a ballet dancer and a runner makes me kind of unique. Although some people may see ballet as not as intense as some of these, it definitely can be. Add in the occasional run, and I’m a super active person throughout the week.

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Tips on How to Drink Enough Water

After waking up one morning last week with terribly dry skin (after barely drinking any water the day before),  I’ve decided to get my act together and start drinking more water. I’ve tried a bunch of things from apps to flavored water, but I ultimately usually just end up resorting to the same habits.

I also usually end up super dehydrated in ballet class and tend to drink more when I get home. Then I end up having to get up and pee several times throughout the night, which makes for a grumpy Kristen in the morning when she hasn’t slept well.

Like I usually do when I need advice, I turned to the various communities I’m a part of on Twitter and Facebook for some tips for drinking water throughout the day.

Monica from http://www.runninghappilyeverafter.com/ recommended Camelbak‘s website to determine how much water I actually needed to be drinking. I love my Camelbak insulated bottle I got from Core Power, so I went to check it out.

Camelbak has an awesome Hydration Calculator on their website:

Screenshot 2014-03-30 12.37.41The calculator unfortunately didn’t have ballet (or any type of dance) in their activity list. So I went with running for 30 minutes. You answer other questions too, like how much you sweat, what color your pee currently is, the temperature, etc. I love that it tells me how much to drink of my water bottle, too:

Screenshot 2014-03-30 12.41.01(I have the podium water bottle)

They’ve got a link to a more in-depth blog post about it, too, with a more detailed calculator.

Monica also said:

“I sometimes use Crystal Light instead of the drops. another thing I do in the summer, I’ll toss in frozen grapes, berries, pineapple, mango, or citrus slices, kiwi – really whatever fruit I happen to have on hand. Or even make ice cubes out of my favorite fruit juices and toss those in. It looks more visually appealing to me so I have bigger incentive to carry it with me and drink.”

Ashley of showmeashley.com had some great advice about fruit-flavored waters, too:

“I have a couple tricks I use. It is hard for me to drink water when it is cold especially. I always have a water bottle on me. I make myself drink one glass before I eat /first wake up. Using straws helps me drink more for some reason. I used to use flavoring but didn’t like the ingredients so I used a bottle with an infuser on the bottle I can toss fruit in if I am struggling drinking regular water.”

Thanks to her, I’ll be on the hunt for a fruit-infuser bottle at Marshall’s (where she got hers) and other discount stores!

Amber also shared this great blog post on How to Increase Water Intake and told me to take it slowly and not try to increase it by too much all at one time.

Others had similar recommendations:

“I keep a water bottle next to the bed. I sip every time I wake up (which is every few hours) and then before I get out bed, I drink a cup, at least. My bottle is 4 servings, so I usual get two before getting up to shower.
I also noticed I drink more with a straw, so I always use a straw water bottle.
I keep it with me and try to sip every hour when I get up to walk or stretch. That adds up quite easily.
I’m a big diet coke girl, which I use as a water challenge. I can’t have one at dinner if I don’t have a tall glass of water first. Same for refill. If we are out somewhere, I have to have a water in between. I always drink less diet coke and get the water in….”

–Susan of www.notsosuddenlysusan.com

I loved this recommendation because I’m a huge coffee drinker and often forget to drink water when I drink a lot of coffee. Starting now, I’m going to try to drink one cup of water before every cup of coffee.

Megan of http://www.thelyonsshare.org also had some great suggestions:

“Lemon water, cucumber and strawberry water, and plain cucumber water are great! I have my clients put rubber bands around their water bottle each day (depends on the size of the water bottle, but usually 4-5 bands). Each time they finish the bottle, they can take off one rubber band, and it has to be rubber-band-free by the end of the day! Setting a calendar reminder for every hour to take a few sips also helps if you’re at a desk!”

I’m definitely going to be setting a calendar reminder for drinking water, since I use my calendar for a lot of other things, too.

Twitter had some great advice too, my favorite being to associate drinking water with an activity you do frequently (like using the bathroom!) and holding yourself accountable by sharing results on social media.

Here’s what my next steps will be:

  • Find a cheap infuser bottle
  • Drink one cup of water for every cup of coffee
  • Use calendar reminders to remind me to drink
  • Post photos on Instagram and Twitter to keep myself accountable

How do you motivate yourself to drink enough water throughout the day?

Frozen Peaz Review

Disclaimer: Frozen Peaz provided me with a discount code for 30 percent off to purchase this product for review.

As someone who has struggled with shin splints and stress fractures, I’m always constantly icing my legs after any type of activity (running, ballet, etc.) as part of my regular recovery routine. Your typical ice pack makes it difficult to target a specific area (especially on my legs) and tends to lose its cool pretty quickly.

So when I first heard of Frozen Peaz, I knew I had to try them out. They’re flexible hot and cold wraps that come in all sorts of shapes and sizes depending on what your need is. They’re a bit on the pricey side, but totally worth it.

Here’s a little bit of information about them via their website:

The secret to the performance of FrozenPeaz® packs is the unique Clear Ice™ Solution. Unlike gel based beads and pearls, the VirtualPeaz™ in FrozenPeaz packs won’t break down with frequent usage. And unlike colored gel packs, the VirtualPeaz are floating in a non-toxic Clear Ice Solution that is free of preservatives, petroleum-based products, and animal by-products. The ingredients in the Clear Ice Solution are 100% natural! So natural that they are certified by the Natural Products Association (NPA).

Frozen Peaz

My Frozen Peaz arrived super quickly (they ship via Amazon Prime, too, if you’ve got it) and I was surprised to find that they were pretty heavy–a lot heavier than I expected, and a fair amount heavier than your typical ice pack. I ordered a single large wrap for my shins/calves.

I’ve been using the Frozen Peaz ice pack for about a month now and its the only ice pack I’ll use now. It stays colder than most other packs (I can get at least 20 minutes in on each leg at a time) and conforms to my legs really well (ignore my messy bedroom, I had just gotten home from class):

photo (5)


The only cons I really have are a) they are heavy and therefore tend to fall down if I try to get up and move around and b) they don’t conform to my calves (from underneath) as much as a would like. They still work better than anything else I’ve tried.

Frozen Peaz has been nice enough to offer 15% to all my readers if they use the code “Ballet.”

How do you deal with ballet-related injuries?

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