5 Ways Balance Fitness and Life + #prAnaSpringStyle

5 Ways to Balance Fitness & LifeIt’s now unofficially spring, how are those New Year’s goals progressing? Whether it’s general health and wellness, getting in bikini shape, or nailing a specific fitness goal on your list, I bet there has been hurdle or two in the road. Or, at least there has been for me!  Work obligations, family duties, a defeatist attitude and even the weather are obstacles that can get in the way of accomplishing your daily workout. Thankfully with the temperatures warming up, we can all get outside and move when and where we like and enjoy the feel-good mojo some good old-fashioned, natural vitamin D sunshine!  So, if your fitness good intentions have been waning loately (or weren’t even there at all), get back on track with these

5 Ways to Balance Fitness & Life.

1) Be Efficient: Have a game plan, don’t just show up at the gym and wander around aimlessly trying to decide what to do. I’ve seen focused people get a more solid and productive workout in 20 minutes than lollygaggers do in 2 hours.  High intensity activities like running, CrossFit, interval training, and rowing can all get you big gains with low time commitment.

 2) Be Sneaky: Use little bits of down time to fit in fitness. For example, do a few isometric exercises in the car while you wait for the light to turn green or close the office door and bust out some burpees.  Even if you pass up your after work run for a marathon of the latest television show, don’t fast-forward through the commercials – get up and move for the duration. Everything adds up and something is better than nothing!

3) Be on a Schedule – Don’t just “pencil” your workouts in, use permanent ink! While that may not be completely realistic in light of the constantly changing demands of life, it is good to have a general idea of when and where you are going to accomplish a sweat session.  When an activity is “on the books,” there is accountability and it becomes much easier to arrange other obligations around the workout or say “no” to things you deem less important.

4) But, Be Flexible – I’m not talking flexible as in bendy (although that’s good too, so try some yoga!), but as in adaptable when fate doesn’t seem to want to allow for a run or workout.  Sometimes “the schedule” gets put in total override; so view your workout as not “lost forever” but temporarily postponed and/or altered. Instead of running 5 miles in the morning, climb the stairs for 5 minutes every hour at work or knock out high-intensity intervals (like burpees, jumping jacks and air squats) while your kiddos are finishing up piano lessons.

5) Be Ready:  Because squeezing in workouts can sometimes be unpredictable, I always wear clothing that allows for a wide range of movement and is moisture-wicking. If your lifestyle doesn’t allow for wearing yoga pants or running shorts all day (haha), then keep a fully-stocked gym bag in the car at all times. Don’t forget your athletic shoes, swimsuit, sunglasses and yoga mat – you never know what opportunity will arise!

jen and lucy prana

I also wanted to share about prAna,  one of my all-time favorite brands that fits with my healthy, active, fun-loving lifestyle (and what you’ll find on my bod or in my bag to meet Tip No. 5). I feel so lucky that my “job” doesn’t require me to wear stuffy suits and high heels, another benefit of being your own boss! I’m on-the-go all day, from fitness class to famer’s market to coffee-shop client meeting and need clothes that are functional, but also fabulous and free-spirited. PrAna meets all my look-good-play-hard needs, plus all the pieces I own can be tossed right into the washer and dryer.

Kara Jean at prAna.com use discount code PSSS16TFF to save 15%For example, these Kara Jeans may just be the best pair of jeans I’ve ever owned – they fit true to size, are flattering, have a bit of stretch to accommodate the daily leaping, lounging, lifting and impromptu yoga poses in my life. Plus, they come in 11 different colors and patterns!

 

Kara Jean at prAna.com use discount code PSSS16TFF to save 15%

Another reason to love prAna is their mindfulness to where and how their beautiful clothes are made. Their creations are made with organic cotton, wools and hemp – and even recycled polyester and repurposed down feathers. They are stalwarts of sustainability, traceability, and fair trade practices and, since 2012, have partnered with bluesign® to ensure that the materials in the clothes I’m putting on my body meet the highest human safety and environmental standards.

Cali Sundress from prAna.com use discount code PSSS16TFF to save 15%I also added another prAna sundress to my spring wardrobe, I already have four or five of their dresses, they are just so very cute and versatile.  This one is the Cali Dress and it’s available in a variety of solid colors and prints (mine is Safari Guava) – I can’t wait to wear it and feel warm rays on my shoulders!

Whether you are a yogi, climber, runner, traveler, suburban mom or urban warrior, you’ll discover must-have clothing that helps turns any day, every day into the BEST DAY and gears you up to fit fitness in wherever you may be! Check out the new #prAnaSpringStyle for yourself! You can use my Discount Code PSSS16TFF to save 15% at prAna.com plus Free Shipping on orders $99 or more .

Five Ways to Balance Fitness and LifeSo, how are you balancing fitness and life? What is your biggest obstacle? Have you ever found a skinny jean that is perfect? What is your favorite yoga pose? Share any or all in the comments below – XOXO, Jennifer

This post was sponsored by Fit Approach on behalf of prAna. All opinions and enthusiasm are my own.  

Better-For-You Chocolate Mint Syrup and Greek Yogurt Parfaits

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #SweetNewYear #CollectiveBiasChocolate Greek Yogurt Parfait has no added sugar and sweetened with stevia.

I have a serious sweet tooth. It’s not a secret that I like to start (and end) my day with a little bit of chocolate goodness. Studies have shown that certain flavonoids in chocolate may decrease recovery time and improve endurance in athletes and, goodness, how I hope that is true! However, munching down on chocolate candy or ice cream isn’t really going to help me achieve my 2016 health and fitness goals – there’s a lot of extra sugar and fat I don’t need in those treats.  When I eat less processed sugar, I have more room in my diet for protein, vegetables and healthy whole grains and that’s what keeps me fueled up to kick butt on a daily basis.

Variation of Side Crow with leg up

Eating for optimal performance and well-being is all about BALANCE!

However, I’ve still been enjoying my daily chocolate but living life with less sugar thanks to Truvia® Natural Sweetener Spoonable. This zero-calorie, stevia-based sweetener is ideal for my healthy lifestyle and keeps me training smart for all my fitness goals – to get on the Spartan Race podium, to nail that next yoga pose, to bring my 5k road race time back down to freaking fast.

Aside from the great taste of Truvia® Natural Sweetener Spoonable and help it gives me to reduce the unnecessary sugar in my life, I also appreciate the product’s versatility. From a spoonful in my coffee or sprinkled on grapefruit, there are so many uses.  Two favorite other uses revolve around my chocolate obsessions – the first is to stir right from the jar into unflavored, plain Greek yogurt (to avoid the added sugar that many brands have) and the second is to make a “better-for-you” chocolate syrup that can be poured on / into  everything from hot almond milk, protein pancakes, fruit slices, and yogurt.  When I stir this chocolate syrup into my Greek yogurt, it’s like eating ice cream – but with lots of protein and very few carbohydrates.Better for You Chocolate mint syrup

Today, I’m sharing the recipe for “Better-for-You” Chocolate Mint Syrup (which can easily be tweaked without the mint) and my favorite ideas for Greek Yogurt Parfaits. I could eat a chocolate Greet yogurt parfait at breakfast, post-lunch and as a bedtime snack . . . and sometimes have!

Ingredients for Truvia Chocolate Syrup

“Better For You” Mint Chocolate Syrup (Stevia)

  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint, or freeze-dried mint
  • 1 cup water
  • 6 tablespoons Truvia® Natural Sweetener Spoonable
  • 1 cup unsweetened dark cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  1. Add mint to teaball / tea infuser and drop in small saucepan with water. Bring water to a rolling boil over medium high heat for 1 minute; turn off heat and let steep for 5 minutes.  Remove and discard mint.
  2. Mix in Truvia Spoonable into hot water, stir until dissolved. Turn burner back on to medium low, whisk in cocoa powder until incorporated and smooth, cooking for about 1 to 2 minutes.
  3. Remove from heat, stir in vanilla. If needed whisk in a tiny bit more water to achieve desired consistency if too thick.
  4. To make “regular” non-mint chocolate stevia syrup, simply bring water to boil in first step – but omit mint.
  5. May store in refrigerator for up to a month. Makes about 12 ounces.

As I mentioned,  “Better For You” Mint Chocolate Syrup is the bomb drizzled over Greek yogurt, but even better STIRRED in! Check out these yummy ways, I used the chocolate syrup made with Truvia Spoonable Natural Sweetener:

Greek Yogurt Parfait with Stevia Chocolate Syrup

As a Chocolate Greek Yogurt Parfait layered with syrup, granola, nuts and fruit –  I used pomegranate and cocoa granola, but you can substitute your favorite ingredients!ingredients for truvia yogurt parfait

As Chocolate Ombre Greek Yogurt Shooters — they are so tastefully trendy and good for you. Start with a big dollop of syrup in the bottom of glass and then spoon in yogurt that has been mixed with varying amounts of chocolate syrup to achieve gradient shades of chocolate brown.Ombre Chocolate Greek Yogurt Shooters sweetened with Stevia

It’s easy to find Truvia® Natural Sweetener Spoonable on the baking aisle at Walmart – it comes in a 9.8 ounce container, so there are plenty of scoops for your beverages, snacks and recipe ideas. Save SAVE $1.50 on any ONE (1) package of Truvía Natural Sweetener (excluding 7 ct.), Truvía Baking Blend or Truvía Brown Sugar blend – get the coupon HERE.

truvia at walmart

Check out other delicious recipes using Truvia Spoonable HERE and request your free sample!

Do you have a health or fitness goal to share? OR, what would you drizzle chocolate syrup on? Please share in the comments below — XOXO, Jennifer

Your Body on Stress and How 5-HTP Helps Calm + $25 #Giveaway

Stress stinks and it really does a number on your body, from insomnia and tummy troubles to general grouchiness! Gee, I’ve never had any of these issues (cough, cough). There are some safe ways you can lessen your response to stress though, including working out, yoga, meditation and non-drug supplements.  I’m a big fan of yoga for stress relief (see this past post) and need to make more room for meditation in my life. I also take a supplement called 5-HTP to help support calm and happy mood. Natrol 5-HTP Fast Dissolve

Natrol, a respected manufacturer of vitamins and supplements since 1980, is the brand of 5-HTP I’ve been taking lately. I was familiar with this mood-enhancing supplement previously, thanks to my mom who learned about it from her own healthcare provider.  Knowing I had so many of these symptoms shown below, I immediately started taking it, fingers crossed that it was my stress-busing solution. How Stress Affects the Body

However, I found that I couldn’t keep with the routine of adding even more hard-to-swallow pills to my daily pile of vitamins (I always tend to go for the gummies, chews and quick melts when available). So, I gave up. That is, until I found the Natrol brand that comes in quick dissolve, chewable tablets in a tasty berry flavor. Natrol 5-HTP dissolves 30x faster than regular tablets, meaning your body can more quickly benefit from the bioavailabilty of the active ingredient – and no water is required to get them down the hatch!

Natrol 5-HTP - Fast Disolve

You may be wondering how this drug-free, plant-derived supplement works to boost mood.  Natrol H-5TP encourages calmness in the body by naturally increasing serotonin levels – serotonin is the chemical messenger that pulls the strings on our emotions, mood and behaviors.  Each bottle of Natrol H-5TP has 30 fast-dissolve tablets in a 100mg dose  — look for the purple bottle with UPC: 0-47469-06044-2.  Available at mass-market retailers, online retailers, natural food and supplement stores.

Download the $5 off coupon and try Natrol 5-HTP Fast Dissolve for yourself .

Engage and get in on the social action by following Natrol on Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest.

Win a $25 Visa Gift Card at TheFitFork.com

I also want to giveaway a $25 Visa Gift Card to one lucky ready, so that you can try this product out yourself – and spend the extra on something that makes you happy! To enter, follow the instructions in the Rafflecopter app below by Feb 1,2016.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Run – Workout – Roll – Recover – Repeat – ACUMOBILITY #Giveaway

ACUMOBILTY Mobility BallsOkay, cool stuff going on for this New Year!  I’m excited to announce that I am an ambassador for ACUMOBILITY, a really awesome company that provides systems and products to Assess, Correct and Unify (ACU).

Jennifer Fisher ACUMOBILITY Elite AmbassadorThe whole elite ambassador team hasn’t been announced yet, the official news is rolling out March 1st but I’ve been given the okay to blab. Apparently, I’m rubbing elbows, knees and shoulders with the likes of World Record holders and other athletes with extreme badassery –. Yup, little ole me.

If you’ve never heard of ACUMOBILITY, it’s time to get acquainted. Their sport specific assessment and corrective programs can help address your individual needs for a given sport or movement. Their goal is improving your active mobilization to unlock and maximize your performance, whether you’re a professional or a weekend warrior. Heck yeah, I’m all about getting after my sports of choice (running, obstacle course racing, CrossFit, yoga . . .blah, blah) with the highest degree of efficiency.

Of course, I’ll be sharing more about ACUMOBILITY later, but today I wanted to tell you all about some mobility tools they sell that will keep you moving and grooving and post-workout and ready you up for beast mode the next day.  Oh, yeah – and I get to GIVEAWAY the mobility products to one of you lucky readers, whoohoo!

ACUMOBILITY Eclipse Foam Roller

ACUMOBILITY Eclipse Foam RollerThe Eclipse Roller is brand freakin’ new – it actually isn’t available for shipping until Feb. 2, 2016 – that means the winner is going to be one of the FIRST in the world to have it in hand (and on hammies, neck, back and glutes)!  Imagine a regular foam roller, meh. This bad boy totally redefines foam rollers, zeroing in on hard to reach spots and targeting multiple muscles simultaneously, to reduce rolling time

ACUMOBILITY Eclipse Foam Roller

ACUMOBILTY Mobility BallsI’m also giving away a pair of the Mobility Balls (Level 1). These seemingly innocent looking guys tackle your trigger points with gusto – of course, you control the amount of pressure, but dang, it hurts so well.   Using these neurologically retrain the muscle being worked on to move more efficiently, while enhancing range of motion and muscle elasticity. Two mobility balls can be used for vice-like compression on the spine or joints – they also are useful for stability exercise.

ACUMOBILTY Mobility Balls

Educate yourself! Follow the very detailed video tutorials to learn how to use best use these products to take your training and performance to the next level.

I am an ambassador for ACUMOBILITY, the sponsor of this giveaway. However, all opinions and enthusiasm are my own.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Running and Fitness 2015 – My Highlights, My Bloopers, My Gear 

The Events: To the best of my memory, I raced eight 5ks, one 5-miler, one 10k, four half marathons, one marathon and two obstacle course Spartan Races (the Sprint and Beast).   I also competed in the CrossFit Games Open, Austin Fittest Challenge, the Zilker Relays and a CrossFit event called “Sprint & Snatch.”   Loved them all!

Most Unexpected Race Win:  In October, I was the first OVERALL winner of the Hill Country Half Marathon in Marble Falls, Texas. Granted, the field wasn’t Rock ‘n Roll marathon kind of huge, but that being said, I beat all the women and the MEN with my scrawny legs — the hills were some of the worst I’ve ever seen (not kidding, one went upward for at least half a mile).Jennifer Fisher winner 2015 Hill Country Half Marathon

Craziest Conditions in a Race: The Spartan Beast Dallas was not what I was planning for, it was crazy! With a half marathon being in my wheelhouse, I expected to nail this Spartan Beast Dallas Sand Bag Carryrace — but unforeseen Texas flooding delayed the start for hours and created a running situation in ankle deep mud the entire distance. I was sore the next day in some pretty weird places!  Although hoping to do better, I managed to pull off a 2nd place podium finish in the Elite Master division (and it was only my 2nd Spartan, and first “beast”).

Most Unusual Prize Won in a 2015 Race: A $250 gift card for a tattoo! I am no saying if, when and where I used it! :-)

Best Pre and Post Race Festivities at a Race:  Hosted by Health and Cooking Light magazines, The Fit Foodie Run in Austin (but also in Fairfax, Chicago and San Diego) proves that a healthy lifestyle can mesh with culinary enthusiasm!  The weekend is packed with celebrity chef tasting, food and fitness interactive demos, yoga sessions, and yoga boot camps – there is so much food! Plus, the goodies and samples you get to take home from the after run are some serious healthy nom-noms – bring a big bag!

Best Running & Fitness Moments on Instagram: Of course, I blew up my @thefitfork profile with photos of my favorite yoga poses and running with friends!

Favorite Women-centric Race: I’ve been an ambassador for Zooma Race Series for 4 or 5 years now and have run that hilly Austin-area half marathon and said – “never again” at the finish line. But, after I catch my breath a few minutes later, I’m like Jennifer Fisher at Zooma Texas 2014“awesome, that was the best race ever despite the course challenges.” The Austin race is now defunct, but the other fabulous locations across the country beckon for a mini-vacation! Created and run by women, this race focuses on females supporting each other, no matter age, ability or life situation – and the weekends make great girlfriend getaways!  My mom and I have made a tradition of it! Even though I’ve been in a role to mentor and support the runners, I can’t tell you how much more energy and inspiration I’ve received from them – always so happy to see those smiles and high-fives at the half-marathon turnaround.

Favorite Yoga Pose:  Always the Crow or some variation! Hopefully this time next year, my hamstrings and back will be more bendy and stretchy so my Instagram profile can be more well-rounded! Jennifer Fisher TheFitFork.com Yoga Crow Pose

Running / Workout Injuries: Thankfully, nothing serious this year – eg. no stitches, concussions or pulled rib muscles like last year! Only falling off a box doing the Murph CrossFit WOD and spraining ankle, numerous palm tears, one lost toenail . . . looking for some wood to knock on!   Despite the healthy year for me, I did write a helpful post on 4 Ways Sports Injuries Build Better Athletes that will keep all of us focused on end goals.

Weirdest Workout Moment: It would have to be working out with watermelons for the second summer in a row on my #LivingOnTheWedge blog series!  I CrossFitted with watermelon, ran with watermelon, and even worked out in the swimming pool with a watermelon! Oh, you don’t want to miss that watermelon pool workout video – please make sure you are wearing Depends. On behalf of the National Watermelon Promotion Board, I will be taking the show on the road at IDEA World Fitness & Nutrition Expo in L.A. in July 2016. Summer Squat Challenge -- Do 100 squats per day from this mix an match list!

Best Blooper(s):  Oh, there are a lot of bloopers and outakes, my phone is filled with them!  Practicing on the parallettes is cause for crashing on my face or rear, but still it’s fun.  There are also some awkward moments coming out of a handstand in a walkover when my old back decides “no” midway through! 

More Bloopers: Because research shows you live longer if you laugh. Yoga and Fitness Bloopers from TheFitFork.com

Favorite Running and Workout Gear / Fuel:  Vim & Vigr Compression Socks (super functional , fashionable and fun  in a variety of stripes, polka dots and fun patterns), Altra Running Shoes (I love the super lightweight, zero-drop “The Ones” ) and Nuun for my hydration needs  — I’m digging their  fairly new product called PLUS for Nunn. Unlike regular Nuun that is virtually calorie free (there are a few, but under 10), PLUS provides a boost with fast absorbing performance carbohydrates that keep me hydrated and provide quickly sourced energy for demanding endurance events.  Also, I still love my bottle of Core Power High Protein Shake in Chocolate Lite Flavor for 20g of quality protein to help my muscles recover right after a long run or intense workout. My Running and Workout Must Haves

I’m also really appreciating mobility gear from ACUMOBILITY – a great company that I connected with this year at The Running Event that not only makes rollers and other mobility products, but also assesses, corrects and unifies movement to reduce injuries and unlock improved performance.   Stay tuned because I will be having an awesome giveaway at the beginning of January! And, for “on the go” rolling, I really love The Original Worm (based right here in Austin).

Most Used Mantra: When times get tough in a race, I break out the “If you can take it, you can make it” line from Unbroken. Or, when I try to get too controlling about stuff  –  “Where are you?  Here. What time is it? Now. What are you? This moment.” – from Dan Millman’s book , “The Way of the Peaceable Warrior”  Both books are so inspirational — read them!

Favorite Kettle Bell Workout:

20 Minute Kettle Bell Blaster

My Best Way to Stay Motivated: When I start to feel burned out, I take an active fun day! And, always more crazy with my friend Valerie (by the way, she’s an internationally known running coach, not kidding — check her out at @runrx ) 

What are your fitness favorites from 2015?! Please share in the comments below — XOXO, Jennifer

Winter Workouts – 40 Fitness Hacks for the Holidays

40 Fitness Hacks for the HolidaysRaise your hand if you love the holiday season as much as me!  Now, raise the other hand and jump up and then down to the ground in a burpee – yay, now we’re exercising! Between parties, shopping, baking and volunteering, I sometimes find my self fa-la-la-ing too much and forgetting about my normally-scheduled sweat sessions. Well, I never really “forget” to run or workout, rather I just just can’t figure out how to fit a fitness session into the whirlwind of winter celebrations. Even sneaking in a quick run can be unpredictable when the weather won’t cooperate, traveling is on the agenda, or you’re hosting overnight holiday company.

But, I’ve found that just doing ANYTHING is SOMETHING – fit in a holiday fitness hack wherever you can!  As a firm believer that “all the little things” add up, I’ve made a list (and checked it twice) of exercises you can sneak in when life gets busy. Don’t worry about getting side-glances doing some of the crazy-sounding moves in public — soon you’ll be get getting ALL the attention with your super fit New Year’s body. By the way, I originally came up with these 40 Holiday Fitness Hacks for Core Power High Protein Shakes — an excellent way to power up with 20 – 26g of protein and keep your belly from shaking like jelly!

At home:

  • Wrapping Paper Roll High Knee: Lay out a series wrapping paper rolls on the ground about 2 feet apart. Quickly move laterally, pulling knees up to waist while moving between rolls with each step.
  • Rake Yard: Work up a sweat rounding up all those fallen fall leaves – offer to do the neighbor’s yard, too!
  • Shovel Snow: No leaves left, but have snow? Clear a path for company with this heart-pumping chore!
  • Front Box Carry: Take that heavy box of holiday decorations and hold it at your chest. Walk down the longest hall in your house and back.
  • Ladder Side Plank Dips: After putting up holiday lights, use lower rungs of ladder for a challenging side plank. Rest feet on a rung that is even with your hips and dip down and back up to a side plank.
  • Kitchen Squat Jumps: Take a break from slicing and dicing with a few sets of squat jumps. Put your knife down, lower into a squat and jump upward explosively; repeat.
  • Bar Stool Pistols: Stand side-by-side to bar stool and lower down into a pistol using bar stool for balance; repeat on opposite leg.
  • Yoga Tree Pose: Stop and admire your holiday tree with a classic yoga pose that will challenge and improve your balance. Stand with feet together; bend one leg up at the knee, resting foot anywhere between knee and crotch. Extend arms upward or to sides for balance. Hold until failure and repeat on opposite side.
  • Ab Rolling Pin Roll Outs: While on knees, use rolling pin to extend forward while keeping core engaged; roll back up and repeat. This is proof abs ARE made in the kitchen!
  • Commercial Break Cardio: When watching holiday classics with the kids, get everyone moving with jumping jacks, burpees, mountain climbers or other heart-pumping exercises until the show comes back on. No fast-forwarding with the DVR!

 

In a hotel:

  • Ice Bucket Goblet Squats: Fill ice bucket up to give more weight and hold at chest while dropping down into squats; repeat.
  • Towel Hop: Lay out a series of hand towels 5 or 6 feet apart in a line and use them as your target for standing long jumps.
  • Bed Decline Push-ups: Put feet up on bed and lower down into push-ups; repeat.’
  • Wall Sit: Find an uncluttered wall and slide back down wall until thighs parallel with ground and knees bent at 90 degree angle. Hold as long as you can.
  • Burpees: Knock out as many traditional burpees as you can before hotel room guests below start complaining.
  • Water Bottle Tricep Extension: Grab that one-liter water bottle by the mini bar and get after one-arm tricep extensions. Hold bottle overhead and bending backward at the elbow. A liter only weighs about 2.25 lbs. so ramp up your reps.
  • Bed Bridge: In a room with two beds, see how long you can hold a plank with feet on one bed, arms on the other.
  • Hallway Handstands: Practice handstands in the small hallway inside the hotel room. Kick up to a handstand and balance against the door, or place a folded towel on the ground for headstand modification.
  • Luggage Sumo High Pull: Grab a duffel or small carry-on at the handle with both hands and pull to chin moving elbows upward; lower and repeat.
  • Polar Bear Swim: Head to the hotel pool and knock out a few laps! If not heated, you’ll be motivated to swim fast!

At the mall:

  • Mall Walk: Not just for seniors, you can rack up extra daily steps by taking a couple bonus laps around the stores.
  • Stair Climb: Always choose the stairs over the escalator or elevator – it’s less crowded too!
  • Fitting Room Stretch: Loosen up before sliding into those new skinny jeans with toe touches, windmills and arms-behind-back stretching.
  • Food Court Booty Squeezes: No one will be the wiser if you are flexing and relaxing your glutes repeatedly with this isometric exercise.
  • Park in the Boonies: Leave your car in the furthest away spot from the mall entrance.
  • Shopping Sherpa: Volunteer to carry the entire family’s load of purchases. Distribute weight in bags evenly between both arms for a farmer’s carry type workout.
  • Bench Hops: Find and empty, backless bench and grab sides firmly with both hands. Starting with feet together on one side, jump legs and torso to clear bench and land on the opposing side, with hands staying in place; repeat to other side.
  • Santa Line Lunges: While waiting in the long line to see St. Nick, take every step forward with a lunge. Repeat as the line permits.
  • Ice Skate: Most malls put up rinks during the holiday season, take advantage of the fun and burn around 362 calories per hour.
  • Grand Total Jumping Jacks: When back in the parking lot, tally up your receipts and bust out the same number of jumping jacks. For example, $250 spent means 250 jumping jacks – you’ll warm up as a bonus!

At the market:

  • Top Shelf Calf Raises: Extend up onto your tip-toes for 10 to 20 reps as if reaching to grab a can from the top shelf.  
  • Lower Shelf Squats: Rather than bending over to get an item squat and hold for 15 seconds; repeat.
  • Cart Rows: Hold handle bar of shopping cart with both arms extended and legs shoulder. Pull cart toward you and then push away, without letting go of handle. Fill cart with big bags of dog food for an extra challenge!
  • Milk Jug Side Bends: With legs shoulder-width apart, hold milk jug by handle, hanging arm downward at side. Bend torso at side; return upright and repeat on opposing side.
  • Freezer Aisle Agility: Park cart at one end and run high knees to last freezer door. Stop, do a tuck jump, get anything you need from the freezer and side skip back to cart.
  • Shopper Wood Choppers: Grab heavier items for your holiday recipes (like 5lb. bag of sugar) and set on ground near feet. Pick up with both hands and rotate upward with arms overhead; repeat 10 to 20 times before putting in your cart.
  • Line-Wait Leg Circles: While waiting in line to check out, lift one leg about 8-inches off ground. Keep leg straight, point toe and rotate around in small, imaginary circles.
  • Chest Opener Stretch: Also good while waiting in line, stand with back straight and shoulders pulled back. Reach behind and clasp both hands together while bringing hands up towards head as far as possible. Hold for 15 seconds.
  • Bag It Bicep Curls: Bag your groceries and then hold by handles and knock out a few bicep curls on each side.
  • Homeward-Bound Quad Pulses: While driving home in car, pulse your quads alternating left and right for the duration of each stop light.

Jingle Bell 5k AUstin 2015

I woke up early this weekend to run in the Jingle Bell Dash 5k with a friend. Done by 9 am and still out and about, I was able to tackle last minute holiday shopping!

How are you sneaking in fitness this holiday season? Please share in the comments below – XOXO, Jennifer 

Wind Down & Restore with Post-Workout Yoga for Athletes

If you’re anything like me, I bet you’re a runner, a weightlifter, an obstacle course racer or some other type athlete who thrives on a tough sweat session but not so much the attention to mobility and cooling down that should follow. Over the last two years, I’ve come to realize that yoga is a fantastic and fun way to stretch out, unwind and realign the body after working out. Plus, it can be done at home in 15 minutes or less – meaning, “I have no time for that,” is a pretty lame excuse!

Post Workout Yoga For Athletes

Forget the hassle of heading to a yoga class after the last mile has been run or burpee been thrown down, Grokker, an online resource of home workout videos, has a relaxing post-workout yoga practice for athletes that really works to help ease muscles and the nervous system into cool down mode immediately following a high-intensity exercise event. Actually, Grokker has 1,500+ fitness videos for to choose from, I just thought you’d like to get a taste of this one I keep putting in my queue – Post Workout Yoga for Athletes.

What I like about this athlete-centric practice is that it gently stretches and opens the body to optimize the workout I just finished. Each pose helps my taxed muscle tissue start to repair while I’m still warm and grounds my energy after being in “beast mode” for a couple hours. Because runners, weightlifters and other athletes tend to have tighter muscles than uber-bendy yogis, I appreciate how this video provides simple modifications so that I can attempt each pose without getting injured.

Yoga Shoulder Stretch and Chest Opener for Athletes

I couldn’t reach my hands together on the other side, but the Grokker instructor showed me how to modify this pose with a yoga strap.

Jennifer Fisher - Beef Team Elite Runner

Home workouts and yoga videos from Grokker round out my fitness and keep me competing at the top of my game.

Plus, did I mention how easy it is to do a Grokker yoga workout at home?! Just log in, search the library and hit the play button – or schedule a reminder for a later date and time!  Somedays, I barely have time to fit in a quick run, let alone finding time to drive to a yoga class in crazy Austin traffic. There’s no denying the social benefits of exercising in a gym or group fitness class, but often – very often – that is not convenient, or even possible. Grokker video workouts have been a solid addition to my widely varied fitness toolbox – there are all types of workouts and even healthy cooking episodes to suit my current interests and abilities.  

 

Here are some other reasons to check out Grokker (in addition to receiving a 14-day free trial and 40 percent discount).

Variety: A library full of 1,500+ premium video classes in popular genres like yoga, fitness, meditation and healthy cooking. Videos last 10 minutes to 1+ hours and are available in beginner to advance fitness levels – you will never get bored!

Quality: Grokker’s videos, made in-house, are beautiful and inspiring to watch – the expert fitness instructors also know what they’re talking about and will wisely teach and lead you through all the steps.

Community: You can contact your fitness instructor to have questions answered and also connect with thousands of like-minded fitness enthusiasts from around the world. You’ll also find all the latest health and fitness tips at Grokker – they keep you in the know and motivated!   

Convenient: Workout as YOUR schedule permits, where, whenever and as much as you want. The Premium videos can be accessed on any device including laptop, tablet and phone.

 

Remember, for a limited time, you can get a 14-day free trial and 40 percent discount on premium memberships, so check Grokker out STAT! 

What is your favorite post-workout stretch or yoga pose?  Have you ever followed along with a video class?  Please share in the comments below – XOXO, Jennifer

This post is sponsored by FitFluential on behalf of Grokker.

5 Minute Plank Workout + Prevention R3 Summit

Planks can be compared to eating your veggies or brushing your teeth. You don’t have to like doing it, you just need to get the job done — and it only takes a few minutes per day. Just like vegetables or proper oral hygiene, planks are a great way to look good, feel good, improve your overall health — and attract new friends!  Ha ha!Jennifer Fisher plank outside

hood to coast planking with emilyHolding the plank position may look like child’s play, but don’t let the simplicity of this no-equipment, body-weight exercise give you a false sense of bravado.

Planks are hard and humbling. I’ve seen planks that can make grown men and women cry.  Recruit a friend to make the pain more fun!

Core strength, balance and flexibility are just some of the benefits you’ll gain from practicing a plank – plus, you’ll stand taller, straighter and prouder! Who am I to judge if you want to pull up your shirt to show off new found abs and obliques. In addition to the abdominals, other muscle groups used include those in the back, chest, shoulders, and neck. Getting into the plank position helps to loosen up hamstrings (lordy, I need that) as well as calves and arches of the feet. Planks also demand concentration and a focus on balance to keep from toppling over, especially in some of the advanced variations.

5 Minute Plank WorkoutBeing able to hold an abdominal plank for two minutes (with good form) is an indicator of good fitness.  Remember to tuck in rear end push belly button up, keeping a straight line from the top of your head to the back of your heels. Try my 5 Minute Plank Workout either in the morning or at the end of your next gym session. It’s just 5 minutes so no excuses, plus you’ll love the results after a few weeks! If you can’t hold the planks for the recommended amount of time, just lower into a resting position until ready to tackle the next one.

Or, try the whole five minutes at once, no variations to break it up — just go for it!

Also, I wanted to tell you to save the date! Prevention Magazine’s third annual R3 Summit is returning to Austin on Jan 15-16. I’ve been the first two years and can’t wait to go back to this health and wellness conference to learn new ways to take action when it comes to my health and happiness ((R3 = Revive, Refresh, and Reinvent).

Henna Tattoo R3 Summit AustinR3 is an award winning 1 ½-day long experiential event taking place this year at ACL Live at Moody Theater. Guests enjoy a wide scope of wellness workshops, fitness classes, tastings and health and beauty consultations – there is something for everyone and keep an open mind because you may discover something amazing that you never thought was for you – last year I was blown away by the Reiki healing and the artistry of the women doing henna tattoos.

But, you know I was also all about the clean eating demonstrations and meeting the celebrity chefs. I also “competed” in a wild tuna cook off!

TheFitFork Wild Planet Cook Off R3 Summit

Confirmed speakers for the 2016 R3 Summit in Austin on Jan 15-16 are:

  • Dr. Travis Stork -Emmy®‐nominated host of the award-winning talk show, The Doctors, and a board-certified emergency medicine physician
  • Lizzie Velasquez -motivational speaker, author and activist, A Brave Heart: The Lizzie Velasquez Story
  • Chad Sarno -culinary media spokesperson for Whole Foods Market and VP of Plant-Based Wellness of Rouxbe Online Culinary School
  • Monica Pope -James Beard nominated Houston Chef and Restauranteur, Top Chef Masters
  • Mary Joan Cunninghman – #ThrivewithMS
  • Dr. Mark Hyman – nine-time #1 New York Times bestselling author, practicing family physician and an internationally recognized leader, speaker, educator, and advocate

Save $20 on a weekend  pass by using discount code PVNR3AUFORK  at check out on the registration site.  If you’re going to be there, let me know so that we can plan a meet up!

So, do you plank? Have you ever been to Austin? Ever had a henna tattoo? Ever had your tongue read (oh, that’s a whole other post!)? Please share in the comments below – XOXO, Jennifer