5 Tips to Carry Fitness Motivation Through Winter + Compression Sock #Giveaway

5 Tips to Carry Workout Motivations Through WinterIt’s only the beginning of November, but between dwindling daylight hours and cooler temperatures many are already wondering how to stick with a fitness routine when it’s time to move indoors from outdoors. Both professional and recreational athletes alike complain that seasonal weather swings, along with hectic holiday schedules, can contribute to fitness fallout. Don’t let your workouts get sidelined this fall and winter– these suggestions will keep you motivated and on task until the return of sunny skies and warm weather.  Oh, and don’t forget to enter my giveaway at the bottom of this post to win a pair of VIM & VIGR Compression socks – cute new gear is ALWAYS one of the ways I stay motivated to workout.

Rowing indoors during winter makes good running alternative.

Embrace Cardio Equipment: Take your heart-pumping workout to the treadmill, stationary bike or row machine. While logging loads of miles without physically moving forward poses a mental challenge, the monotony of machines can be overcome by incorporating intervals, hills or other challenging elements that keep you pushing buttons and pushing the pace. For example, runners can sprint a ladder of eight 400 meters intervals with each getting successively faster.

Consider Gym Alternatives: While it may be too dark or dangerous to participate in your favorite outdoor activity, look around and you can probably find an indoor comparable at the health club.  Obstacle course racers can hone skills at rock climbing gyms or CrossFit boxes while hikers can jam it out on the Jacob’s ladder machine or stationary stair climber while listening to nature-inspired music. Get creative!

Widen Workout Net: Keep your interest up by trying out new classes; the fall and winter are the perfect time to challenge yourself with new skills. Plus, working out in a group setting offers the motivation and structure many need to succeed. Mix it up and try a fitness class you’ve never done before like yoga, TRX suspension training, trampolining or even indoor surfing! A Class Pass or similar service is a great way to exercise within a large network of fitness studios without having to have a membership to each.

Build a Bootcamp: Recruit your family, friends and neighbors to join the workout fun by organizing a boot camp. You provide space in a basement, garage or den with the couch scooted to the side and attendees provide the on-the-spot comradery and encouragement needed to get the job of burpees, pushups and squat jumps done. To keep things fun and fresh, take turns writing up the workouts or start a friendly “challenge” style competition.

Reward Your Hard Work: A pat on the back for busting your butt in the gym is nice and all, but sometimes a more tangible incentive is in order! List out short and long term goals for your fall and winter fitness and then pick a few rewards – maybe something smaller for the short term rewards, like a new pair of compression socks or new music downloads and something bigger like a snazzy new GPS watch or fancy sunglasses for the season-end goals.

If you’re into compression socks like I am, then you’ll love to reward yourself with a pair or two from VIM & VIGR. If you’ve seen me running and hand-standing my way through Instagram, you’ve most likely taken note that I am partial to knee-high compression socks – and the brighter and more patterned, the better! Compression socks keep my legs feeling fresh when running fast or long, they keep me warmer when the weather cools down (cold is under 75 degrees to me), and they facilitate muscle recovery by keeping blood circulating. Compression knee-high socks also keep my shins from getting scuffed up doing dead-lifts, box jumps or rope climbs.  They are also excellent for traveling or days when I have to stand all day working at a conference or cooking demo.

Vim & Vigr Compression Sock Giveaway

VIM & VIGR has to be the most fun, most hip and most happy brand of compression socks around – for both gals and guys. This is the only brand I will wear now, and I’m not just saying that because I’m a lucky-duck ambassador. The fit is great, the “squeeze” is just right, and the styles are modern and fun and begging to be shown off!  There’s not a day that goes by when someone doesn’t tell me that “they love my socks”!  You need to enter the giveaway below – three of my readers will each win a pair of their choice!

Visit VimVigr.com and let me know which pair of compression socks you like best! Share in the comments below. And don’t forget to enter via the Rafflecopter app below for more ways to enter! XOXO, Jennifer

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Run, Workout and Yoga with Happy Legs | Compression Sock #Giveaway

Tree Yoga Pose with Cow Face Arms - TheFitFork.comIf you follow me on Instagram, you’ve probably noticed I love knee-high compression socks. Compression socks keep my legs fresh when running fast or long, they help this cold-weather wimp stay warm, they assist in muscle recovery by keeping blood moving around, and they keep my shins from getting scuffed up doing deadlifts or rope climbs.  Folks who travel frequently or have to stand all day on the job also rave about the benefits. I’ve blogged about all these wonders before and I’m giving a pair away at the bottom of the post.

Run ATX - TheFitForkI just went in my closet and counted up 18 different pairs of knee-high compression socks – there may be more, but I’m not saying. I’ve tried a variety of brands and I really don’t have a hands-down favorite — I have more than enough love to go around. For example, Vim & Vigr makes compression stylish and sophisticated enough to wear to the offices, Pro Compression and Swiftwick both have a really nice “squeeze,” while Bondi and Zensah have some super-wow style – oh, and a shout out to the Altra Running brand that has extra room in the toe area (really great for ultra running, trust me).

bright life go logo

One-stop shopping for so many of my compression sock needs – could it be true?! BrightLifeGo.com  is a great online store that has an amazing and diverse collection of compression socks (knee-high, sleeve and low-cut) and stockings, both for athletic use and everyday wear. They have several of the brands I’m familiar with – and some new ones I’ve never tried. Looking for the adventure of a new-to-me company,

CEP Progressive + Night Run Compression Socks

CEP Progressive + Night Run Compression Socks

I ordered the CEP Progressive + Night Run Socks 2.0 and took them for a spin. CEP has been around for decades and they have some great compression technology – I loved the socks and thought they fit true to the sizing chart. After a brisk 6 mile morning and lunch workout at the gym, my legs were still fresh for home yoga in the late afternoon thanks to these socks.  The flashy neon colors (pink, green or orange) are fun and will help your friends and family spot you on the race course – and a reflective design will make you more visible while running at night.

CEP Compression Night Run Socks 2.0

Tree Yoga Pose with Cow Face Arms - TheFitFork.comYOGA: What you need to know about the yoga photo  is that I’ve combined “Tree” and “Cow Face Arms” into one pose. This is a challenge in balance and shoulder mobility!  Assume Tree pose by shifting weight to one foot and bringing sole of foot up to inner thigh, with toes pointing toward ground.  Keep pelvis in neutral position and parallel to floor while raising arms overhead. Remain in Tree pose but add Cow Face Arms by bending one arm at elbow and allowing hand to fall between shoulder blades. Reach up behind back with other arm and clasp hands. If this is too hard, try to touch finger tips or use a towel or strap to gently work your hands as close as comfortably possible. Hold for 5 breaths and then alternate leg on tree pose and arms on Cow Face arms.

Have fun practicing this yoga pose – if you are like me, you will find one side much more challenging than the other.  And, don’t forget to enter the CEP compression sock giveaway in the Rafflecopter app below.

This post and giveaway is sponsored by BrightLifeGo.com. I received product in exchange for my review, however all comments and opinions are strictly my own.

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Cute Run and Fitness Accessories #Giveaway + Sit-Up Handstand Exercise

Runner Girl Accessories Giveaway - TheFitFork.comThe holidays are a month behind us now and I’m getting a little nostalgic for giving gifts!  That’s why I’ve put together a collection of fitness-inspired accessories that any girl would enjoy for her run or workout. Several of these companies I met at The Running Event trade show in Austin this past December and they were kind enough to give me products to sample and then extra to give away to one of you!  There are five fun little treats in this giveaway (entry at bottom of post):

Vim and vigr logo Vim & Vigr Compression Socks I didn’t know about this company that makes stylish and effective compression socks until just a couple months ago. So happy to have found them! Vim & Vigr socks are cute and perfect to wear during a run or workout as well as to keep your legs alive if you’re stuck all day travelling or behind a desk. If you follow me on Instagram, you’ve probably noticed I count on compression socks for performance and muscle recovery – they help to increase oxygen delivery, decrease lactic acid, prevent cramps, and minimize muscle fatigue – especially after a hard work out (oh, and I have a fun exercise for you to add to your workouts at the bottom of this post).  Vim & Vigr is my new favorite with so many fun styles for women and men, including the Women’s Navy & Cobalt (size M) that I am giving away.

vim vigr socks

Great for the gym or CrossFit, too!

momentum designs that move youMomentum Designs That Move You – I love how this 20+ year old jewelry company was inspired to create their Momentum fitness line – while looking at a bare wrist during an extremely long and torturous plank. Words of motivation were needed (I can relate) and the Motivate Wrap was born.

live joyfully bracelet I’m giving away the “Live Joyfully” rectangle motivate wrap, but there are lots of other inspiring choices as well as other products including Foot Notes (inspirational jewelry for your exercise shoes), suede cuffs, necklaces and more.

bondi band logo

 

 

 

Bondi Band Headband this company makes a lot of fun and functional fitness accessories and I am a fan of the moisture-wicking headbands.  Why do I like them, lots of reasons!  First, these fitness headbands keep sweat from dripping down into my eyes and the thin fabric dries quickly. Second, they are wide enough to keep all the bangs, fringes and wild hairs I have from falling into my face while working out (being tickled by my own hair during times of exercise stress is one of my biggest pet peeves). Third, the come in nearly every color and fun phrase combination and you can even place custom orders.

Motivational Magnet – This “I’ll be Thelma, You be Louise’ vintage-inspired magnet makes me laugh. I thought it would be a fun little accessory to stick on your fridge or front to remind you to hit the road and make a run for it. Also, did you know that there is actually a Thelma & Louise Half Marathon? It’s June 5th in Moab, Utah . . . . I may have to do this one!

Swankies Heart Tissues – You never know when you’ll need to blow your know and please don’t do it on the sleeve of your running jacket.  This small little pack of tissues easily fits in a pocket so you can wipe up (anything) on a long run – I pick hearts because I “heart” running and Valentine’s Day is just around the corner.

Looking for a way to mix up your workout — try these “Stand Up” Sit Up to Hand Stands I’m demo-ing with my friend Valerie.

“Stand Up” Sit Up to Hand Stand –  This has been a favorite exercise of mine now for quite a while, it’s just fun once you get the hang of it. It’s a moderately advanced compound move that uses core power and explosive strength for the stand-up sit-up and shoulders, core and balance for the handstand. A huge test of fitness is if you can get out of a seated position without using your arms to push off the floor, and this exercise works best with the momentum of rolling backward into the sit up– but it may take a while to get there.  Watch the video, if you are having trouble, break the exercise down into 2 parts – 1) lay on back with feet about two feet from a wall. Roll back and then sit up explosively into standing position in one fluid motion. If this is too hard, sit up and use hands as needed to push off the floor. 2) From standing position, kick or straddle jump into handstand position. Hold for 1 to 2 seconds and then kick down, sitting down immediately to begin another sit up. Try for 3 sets of 10 reps, but stop if you start feeling dizzy.
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Why I Run & Running Day Giveaway ( Compression Socks )

three women runners austin

It’s National Running Day today! Whether you plan to hit the trail or the treadmill, you can feel super awesome and inspired to know that you’ll be doing good things for your health – that’s why I celebrate running as often as I can!  As an adult, I’ve been running for more than 25 years and hope to be running at least that many or more years in the future! By the way, enter to win a free running day (everyone’s a winner, so just do it)! But, seriously, I do have a cute pair of compression socks to treat one of y’all to.

national running day

Healthy Reasons I Run:

  • Running makes me happy and wards off anxiety and depression.
  • Running keeps me at a fit weight, which has a host of other health benefits.
  • Running keeps my bones and heart strong, plus I get a daily dose of vitamin D from the sun.
  • Running will keep me looking younger than my age, or so scientists say! I hope it is true!
  • Running adds years to my life and life to my years.

national running day

2012_01 3m finish line

Running also challenges me to push my limits and, because I usually run alone, running has taught me to dig deep within myself to find that persevering motivation that usually serves me well at races.

But, running isn’t just all “eye of the tiger,” running can be meditative and calming – a great way for me to reduce stress. And, when I get to run with friends, running becomes social and silly and something to look forward to.

 

 

Here are a few running workouts that will have your feet flying today!

running workouts collage

 

womens runningLadies, if you love to keep up on the latest in running, check out this great subscription offer from Women’s Running magazine – if you subscribe or renew today, the rate is only $1 per issue.  I enjoy this monthly magazine, it features everything from running plans and recipe ideas to the latest in running fashion – plus lots more!

 

 

 

vision-pink-striped-twelve-compression-11128big

And, that’s not all! I also have a pair of Swiftwick Compression socks to give away, the Vision “Pink Stripe” Twelve. These knee-high compression socks are going to give your legs and feet a great big hug on that next long run — or wear them afterward for recovery. Just think of the fun tan lines you’ll get! Actually, I still wear compression socks in the summer; however, my runs are much earlier in the morning out of heat-beating necessity — so the tan line thing isn’t really a problem!  Find out more about why I love compression socks here and then enter the giveaway through the Rafflecopter app below:

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