8 Ways Watermelon Sweetens Workouts and Runs #WatermelonForHealth

This post is sponsored by National Watermelon Promotion Board, and the content, opinions and enthusiasm expressed here are all my own.

watermelon hula hooping

I love all the fruits, but have BIG love for watermelon – that’s no secret!  I’ve tried to name the one single reason why I love this mega melon, but I can’t. There are just so many reasons I love watermelon — it brings back great childhood memories and has played a role in creating new ones with my kids, it’s insanely yummy enjoyed straight off the rind or used as a healthy ingredient in both sweet and savory recipes! But, other motives for my watermelon munching madness are the bumper crop of benefits for health, wellness and fitness.

For example, when it comes to fitness, the watermelon may be the only piece of workout equipment that can be eaten afterward.  While working out with a watermelon may sound crazy, it makes perfect sense – melons are available in a range of weights (from 2 pound personal-sized melon to seeded varieties tipping the scales at 30 pounds and beyond.  Watermelon isn’t expensive in a price-per-pound sense; I mean have you seen the price of a kettlebell?! And, this “two-fer” fitness fruit is really more of an amazing deal knowing you’ll slice open a melon to enjoy afterward (or even just drink the juice on the go).  Since I like to #KeepFitFun and put the “FUN” in FUNctional fitness – check out my video above that I hope inspires you to get after a watermelon workout and then refuel with the fruit for recovery!

8 Amazing Reasons Watermelon Sweetens a Run or Workout

Yes, watermelon is delicious and natural, so much better than a sugary goo when needed as a carb source for quickly sourced. The melons come by their name honestly, comprised of 92% water and loaded with potassium and other electrolytes that will help keep fluid levels in check and hopefully keep muscle cramps away. It’s also high in other vitamins and antioxidents that are beneficial for wellness and the L-citrulline in watermelon has been studied for its ability to quicken muscle recovery. Get more details on these benefits of Watermelon for Health at Watermelon.org.

watermelon-for-health

See how eating watermelon is a win-win? Discover more fitness-focused watermelon facts that can help you up your game!  Make watermelon your workout buddy today and win fabulous watermelon prizes. All you need to do is enter this easy-peasy contest from Watermelon.org. Here are the juicy details:

  1. Tag a workout buddy (or someone you’d like to inspire to be your workout buddy!) in the comments section of our National Watermelon Promotion Board’s (NWPB) weekly video post on Instagram and Facebook. (note, this week, it will be my video that you see above)
  1. Win weekly watermelon prizes. NWPB will choose one lucky workout pair each week from October 3rd through October 28th.

Have you ever had watermelon specifically for workout fuel / recovery? Better yet, have you ever worked out with a watermelon?! Give me your best exercise idea, I might use it my next video – XOXO, Jennifer

Happy, Healthy Watermelon Day Workout, Recipes & Giveaway

Many say the career advice to follow your passions is hogwash. “It’s not practical, ” they say, or “you can’t earn a decent living unless you’re extremely talented, really lucky – or, both.” “Do what you love . . . and you’ll probably starve.”  As a female Jack-of-All-Trades-Master-of-None, I’m here to say baloney to that! Well, maybe not baloney, but instead to say “WATERMELON, BEEF and SALAD DRESSING” to that!

Jennifer Fisher thefitfork. watermelon

Yup, I’m doing what I love and I’m not starving either figuratively or literally. These are just some beloved clients of mine who have supported me and given me experiences not just as a food and fitness blogger and healthy chef, but as a creative consulting professional in the health industry. Nothing makes me feel fuller as a contributing member of society than helping others on a health and fitness journey in my own special way – and that, my friends, is definitely NOT starving.

Happy National Watermelon Day from TheFitFork.comSo, in honor of National Watermelon Day (which is August 3rd), I wanted to spread a bit more watermelon love in my #LivingOnTheWedge way.  Over these several years, some might think I’ve exhausted my ideas to showcase watermelon. Oh, I always have a new recipe, workout or health tip – and today, I have all three (plus a giveaway of goodies).

First up, the watermelon recipe.  I actually posted it a couple weeks ago, but I want to make sure you don’t miss it because it’s just that good. Inspired by the funky fusion of the local food truck scene, my “Keep Austin Weird” Beef, Veggie & Watermelon Stir-fry features all my favorite ingredients from around the Central Texas area. Get the recipe HERE.Beef, Veggie & Watermelon Stir Fry

Not being one to brag or toot my own horn (hardly ever, haha), the National Watermelon Promotion Board has unofficially named me as the Inventor of the Watermelon Workout . . .it’s even better than being the creator of Prancersize or some other such thing! Well, golly, you can find a few of my watermelon workouts right there on the Watermelon for Health section of Watermelon.org and there are a few more over HERE!

Watermelon Challenge - Idea World - thefitfork.comNow onto the Watermelon Workout. Earlier in the month, I helped Watermelon.org  share the benefits of this fruit in a healthy lifestyle by hosting a Watermelon Workout Challenge at the largest fitness convention on the planet, IDEA World in Los Angeles. Competitors had to spin a wheel and then bust out as many reps of the selected exercise as possible in 20 seconds – there were squat jumps, alternating lunges, Russian Twists, partner passes and more. Oh, and did I mention you had to hold a watermelon the entire time!

 

 

watermelon workout ideaworld day 1 overhead tricepThe idea was created mainly in the name of wholesome good fun and to make people stop, smile and talk about watermelon (which it did)– but everyone also commented on how is was actually such a great workout concept. Uh, yeah – have you ever tried to jump squat with a 20 pound watermelon?!

Watermelon Blaster Workout a muscle-sculpting and calorie-torching workout with a personal-sized watermelon!

Today’s Watermelon Blaster Workout is designed to kick up your cardio and sculpt muscles simultaneously. There are four separate exercises in the set, each one is done as many times possible (with good form) in 90 seconds. After all four exercises are done, you get a one minute rest and then repeat everything over a few times for a total for four sets.  Go at your own pace and modify as necessary – over time you will find that you can do more reps per set. I used a 5.5 lb personal-sized watermelon, go light or heaver as needed.  You could also use a medicine ball, but then it wouldn’t be nearly as fun.

And here’s the video demo of the exercises. Enjoy and laugh if you will, I know I’m a watermelon dork.

Watermelon contains vitamin B-6 which may help the body process protein better -- this is great for muscle management!

 

And lastly, a Watermelon Health Tip from my friends at Watermelon.org.  Watermelon contains vitamin B6, which may help break down protein, another important source of workout fuel along with carbohydrates. #WatermelonForHealth

 

 

 

Watermelon Day Giveaway - thefitfork.com

Oh, yeah – and I’m having a Watermelon Day Giveaway, too!  The prize include an assortment of watermelon-themed swag including a pair of watermelon knee socks (not compression, but still awesome), watermelon ankle socks, a sweet little fold-up nylon shopping back, two single-serve packs of sprouted watermelon seeds and a $10 gift card to Fresh Market so you can get a watermelon or two! Enter in the Rafflecopter app below!

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Why Consistency is the Best “Diet”

Get my thoughts on losing weight in along with the advice from 24 other nutrition, health and fitness professionals in a recent article hitting the internet –25 Weight Loss Experts Expose Diets that Work.

Why Consistency is the Best Diet

But, in a nutshell, the sub-title the author gave my opinion was “Never Take Time Off From Your Healthy Eating Plan.” Just reading the title as-is, that sounds a little strict, however . . I’m anything but rigid in my approach to eating for optimal health. I’d title it — “Why Consistency is the Diet that Works Best.”

running jennifer 20 years between

There is 20+ years between these pictures, my weight is the same!

Check out the story, and you’ll find that I believe the most successful strategy to losing weight and keeping it off for good is to not be on any one particular “diet” or the other, but to create a day-in and day-out lifestyle that balances exercise with eating mindfully! And, I’m not alone in that opinion.

 

 

 

A plate at least half-full full of colorful fruits and vegetables paired with lean protein and a moderate intake of whole grains is the balanced approach I suggest and take myself. Also, I think saying certain foods are absolute no-no’s is a set up for failure too, if you love chocolate or bread, then enjoy in small portions every now and then — just use common sense, and balance in light of your weekly food intake and exercise expenditures.

Studies have proven that successful “dieters” (I hate to use that word) create their own personal strategies to maintain a lean body mass and don’t veer off the path much – despite weekends, holidays, vacations, or even when they are happy with their current weight. In a nutshell, success means being flexible, but never take a hard break from a healthy eating routine.

Dona Jo Fit Wear - FITFORK20 for 20% discount

Also, off topic, but not really considering the importance of daily exercise and feeling good about what you’re wearing . . . I’ve got the cutest yoga shorts to tell you about from Dona Jo fit wear! This fun company makes adorable yoga clothes, running clothes, printed cycling clothing, CrossFit active wear, barre clothes and tennis skirts that make it more motivating to get up, get dressed and get moving!

dona jo 2I picked out the Caribbean Shorts, the new print (which reminds me of a tropical fish) just launched last week! The shorts come in 2 sizes – Size 1 (0 – 8) and Size 2 (10 – 16) – I wear a size 2 normally and these fit just fine, I was worried they’d be too big. While they don’t have that tight compression feeling, they are perfect for summer running and nailing new yoga poses –plus, the wide waistband is very flattering.  If you use discount code FITFORK20 when checking out at Dona Jo, you can save 20% on your active wear purchase!

What is your mindset about “dieting”? Do you follow a stricter diet like Paleo or Vegan? How do you like your yoga pants — bright or black? Please share in the comments below — XOXO, Jennifer 

How to Make Spartan OCR Spear in 10 minutes + Spartan Fit

How to Make a Spartan Spear in Less Than 10 Mintues and Under 10 DollarsTo date, I’ve only have 3 obstacle course races under my belt, but I’m trying to nab a coin for the Spartan World Championship . . .maybe that’s a lofty goal, but I think it’s in my reach, especially if I can optimize my performance with a fast run.  However, the races I’ve done, like 2015 Spartan Beast Dallas and 2015 Spartan Spring Houston have been so flooded and muddy that I’ve had the wind knocked out of my running wheelhouse. Oh, yeah – but that spear throw is also standing in the way. I am 0 for 3 on the Spartan Spear Throw obstacle, that’s no surprise considering in I am 1 for 40 in the accuracy baseball pitch at an annual 12-event fitness competition I do (although, I do hold the female course record in the mile – whoot, whoot).

So, I gotta practice. Practice, practice, practice, so I nail the obstacle and don’t have to take the burpee penalty.  With my crazy, busy life, I don’t have time to go to any sort of obstacle course training gym – so I’m bringing some of the obstacle to my plain vanilla, suburban back yard.

Making DIY Spartan Spear

If I can make a Spartan Race Spear in less than 10 minutes, you can too. Girl power!  Here’s the supply list – it’s amazingly short and available at home improvement stores for less than $10 :

  • 1 60” replacement ash rake handle with ferrule (metal cuff on end) – $8.50
  • 1 12-inch galvanized spike or nail – $0.70
  • Duct tape or masking tape – pennies
  • Hacksaw
  • Glue, optional
  • Decorative Duct Tape, optional

Get some hay to practice the Spartan spear throw.

You will also want to get a few bales of hay from a feed supply store, out here it’s about $12 per bale. I’ve seen it quite a bit cheaper on Craigslist, if you’re willing to drive out to the boonies for your haul.How to Make a Spartan Spear in less than 10 Minutes and under 10 Dollars

So, how do you make a Spartan Spear? Easy-peasy! Follow these steps:

  1. Use hack saw to remove head off nail. You have to put some elbow grease into this, let’s see what you’ve got!
  2. Wrap a few rotations of duct tape or masking tape around bottom of nail where head was sawed off. This thickens it up so that it will fit snugly into the ferrule.
  3. If you choose, pour a bit of glue into ferrule and stick in nail head to secure. Let dry. However, I prefer to just wrap tape so that I can remove the nail tip if I want to transport my spear in the car (would hate to get impaled if I slammed on the breaks).
  4. Wrap decorative duct or grip tape around center of handle to indicate where to hold (or to just look fancy), if desired.

And, just how do you do this? Sheez, I don’t know . . .that’s why I’m practicing. I do have some tips though from my limited experience:

  • Quickly scan for a spear without a bent tip, and no blood or vomit on the handle.
  • Make sure tether is hanging on opposite side of fence from you to prevent tangling up around your legs.
  • Step into the spear launch and throw hard with a slight upward trajectory.
  • Show good sportsmanship when completing your 30 burpees and congratulate the successful competitors at this obstacle who are kicking up mud in your face. Okay, hopefully not this!

Spear ThrowThe Spartan Race Obstacle Guide says you have “One attempt to throw the spear and have it stick into the spearman (wood or hay).  The spear can’t be touching the ground.” This means it can’t stick in the hay and then fall out or brush by the hay and land on the ground. Failure to perform on your single try is 30 burpees – yay!

 


I also want to give you the heads up on Spartan Race founder Joe DeSena’s new book, Spartan Fit. Basically, it’s everything you need to know to prepare for a Spartan Sprint or just get in the best shape of your life in 31 days, without a gym or weights. You also learn how to build your fitness from one race to the next and will be motivated by stories of inspiring Spartans. There’s also diet plan in the book, I’m really interested to see what Joe’s philosophy is on eating since that’s kinda my thang. This is essential reading for the Spartan athlete, newbies or veterans! Pre-order now, it ships August 30, 2016.

If you want to run a Spartan Race – from Sprint, Super, Beast or some of the ultra endurance events like the Hurricane Heat, Hurricane Heat 12 hour, Ultra Beast, and the new Summer Agoge use the code SPARTANBLOGGER at checkout for 10% off your registration.

Also, come back next week — I’m giving away a free race registration. AROO!

So, how’s YOUR aim? Good at throwing stuff like spears, footballs, baseballs . . . or maybe just throwing fits of frustration when you miss, like me?! Have you ever run an obstacle course race? If so, what was the biggest challenge for YOU? Please share in the comments – XOXO, Jennifer 

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.  

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.

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Thai Carrot Crab Noodle Soup + #KeepingFitFun

Thai Carrot Crab Noodle Soup is a powerhouse of nutrition -- feel free to swap out the protein for chicken or shrimp , if needed.January is National Soup Month, so I’ve been busy making a new pot of healthy, hearty and warming comfort every couple days – I will share everything in a Soup Roundup soon!  Meanwhile, I hope you enjoy my latest creation – Thai Carrot Crab Noodle Soup! It’s so delicious and packed with oodles of healthy veggie ingredients along with brown rice noodles. I’ve used crab in the recipe (mainly I was looking for an excuse to eat crab), but shrimp or chicken would make perfectly acceptable and yummy substitutes.

Thai Carrot Crab Noodle Soup is a powerhouse of nutrition -- feel free to swap out the protein for chicken or shrimp , if needed.

Y’all know with my busy family, work and fitness training schedule, I’m a convenience lover – but keep in mind I stock up on HEALTHY helpers, not your typical sodium, sugar and fat-loaded convenience products.  Some of the convenience ingredients I’ve used in the soup recipe to reduce prep time include the Power Blend from Mann’s  Vegetables (a blend of Brussels sprouts, Napa cabbage, kohlrabi, broccoli, carrots and kale) and Odowalla 100% Carrot Juice. I also used Better that Bouillon Vegetable Base and  the Thai Brown Rice Pad Thai Noodles from Explore Asian (see my past recipes), as I find they taste super and the texture holds up really well!

Thai Carrot Crab Noodle Bowl

I’m also sticking to my intention to #KeepFitFun in 2016 with handstand and backbend practice – just like I was some sort of kid!

Spiced Beet & Carrot SoupLooking for another quick and unique carrot soup recipe? Try this Spiced Beet and Carrot Soup from CookingLight.com . . . its a delicious riot of root veggies!

 

 

 

 

 

So, what is in your soup pot this week? What are you doing to #KeepFitFun ? Please share in the comments below – XOXO,  Jennifer

Thai Carrot Crab Noodle Soup is a powerhouse of nutrition -- feel free to swap out the protein for chicken or shrimp , if needed.
Thai Carrot Crab Noodle Soup
Print Recipe
Enjoy the exotic taste and oodles of healthy veggies along with brown rice noodles in this easy Thai inspired soup recipe.
Servings Prep Time
6 servings 5 minutes
Cook Time
25 minutes
Servings Prep Time
6 servings 5 minutes
Cook Time
25 minutes
Thai Carrot Crab Noodle Soup is a powerhouse of nutrition -- feel free to swap out the protein for chicken or shrimp , if needed.
Thai Carrot Crab Noodle Soup
Print Recipe
Enjoy the exotic taste and oodles of healthy veggies along with brown rice noodles in this easy Thai inspired soup recipe.
Servings Prep Time
6 servings 5 minutes
Cook Time
25 minutes
Servings Prep Time
6 servings 5 minutes
Cook Time
25 minutes
Ingredients
Servings: servings
Instructions
  1. Heat olive oil over medium-high in large stock pot. Add red onions and sauté for 2 to 3 minutes until slightly softened.
  2. Add ginger, garlic and curry paste and sauté for 1 to 2 more minutes until fragrant.
  3. Toss in bag of veggie slaw (no dressing!) and stir for 30 seconds to coat with spices.
  4. Add carrot juice, coconut milk, vegetable broth, fish sauce and lime juice to stock pot. Bring to boil and then reduce heat to medium low to simmer for 5 minutes.
  5. Add brown rice noodles and simmer for an additional 15 minutes. Add crab during last 5 minutes of cooking.
  6. Remove from heat and stir in cilantro. To serve, garnish with lime wedges.
Share this Recipe
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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