Monday, July 27, 2015

Tommie Copper Women's Comfort Back Brace Review and Giveaway

Recently I reviewed a Tommie Copper Women's Compression Core Band.  I have come to really love this little garment and am wearing it a lot... even in the extremely warm weather we are having.

This past week I received another garment from my contact at Tommie Copper to test and review. It is a Women's Comfort Back Brace, the second item in Tommie Copper's 'We've Got Your Back' collection. There is nothing glamorous or even very stylish about this item but it is certainly functional!

The Women's Comfort Back Brace is meant to support lower back muscles and joints.  It has been designed to reduce muscle fatigue, improve circulation and deliver rejuvenating relief from everyday aches and pains.

I have been wearing it while I do my upper body workouts and my planks... you  know my lower back gets quite sore when I hold a plank for more than 45 - 50 seconds and this Comfort Back Brace takes care of that quite nicely. I wore it during my workout this morning, and I held a one-minute plank on two separate occasions, about 5 minutes apart with no problem at all. YAY!

And, because my lower back is well-supported, I am able to slightly increase the amount of weight I lift on overhead presses and bent over rows.  I can see this becoming a valuable tool in my gym bag as I work to get stronger and increase my muscle mass.

Another great use I have found for the Back Brace is while I am sitting for long periods of time... I tend to slouch quite badly after a few minutes, and wearing the Back Brace reminds me to sit up straight. I cannot slouch while I am wearing it!

It wraps around the natural waistline.  And because it has an adjustable, overlapping Velcro band you can customize the fit... make it as snug or as loose as you like.  It is sold based on your waist measurement.

This Back Brace is extremely comfortable to wear.  The integrated foam interior is lined with Copper Znergy fabric for both comfort and support.  It can be worn over or under your clothing.

This item can be worn for workouts, sports activities or while doing real work... lifting bales of hay, padding a canoe, ab work in the gym... or even while standing or sitting or running for long periods of time. Any time and any where your lower back needs targeted support, this is the garment for you!

And now for the best part... Tommie Copper is very generously offering the gift a Women's Comfort Back Brace to each of two winners of my giveaway.  They can reside in Canada or the U.S.A. and the prize will be shipped directly by Tommie Copper.  I will email the lucky winners and announce them on this blog post after the giveaway period has ended.

If this is something that may appeal to you, please have a look at the Tommie Copper web site to read about the Women's Back Brace and then enter the giveaway via the Rafflecopter form below.

Good Luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Do you have the same bad 'slumping' habit that I do when sitting for long periods of time?

Saturday, July 18, 2015

A to Z Survey

Kind of a silly but fun Saturday post...  I’ve been seeing these A to Z surveys all over the place so I decided to do one, too. But in all honesty, I have changed a few of the questions to suit my own tastes... that's very typical of me!

A – Activity you like best:  Tennis, golf, running, lifting weights... I just like movement of all kinds. I have never been good at sitting still.

B – Biggest Fear:  I am afraid of bats, and occasionally worry about failing health as I get older.

C – Current Obsession:  Losing 5 pounds.

D – Drink You Like Best: Coffee... I have a cup beside me now.  I like it hot or iced. Black or white... never any sugar!

E – Earliest Memory:  Going to Sunday School with my Daddy as a toddler and putting pennies in the church box on my birthday.

F – Favorite Song: I have a few oldies that I love... Unchained Melody by the Righteous Brothers, and Brown-Eyed Girl by Van Morrison come quickly to mind.

G – Grossest Memory:  When I was a very little girl I found I had stepped on my sister's pet mini frog and squashed it!  Ugh!

H – Hometown: I was born in a small town in Alberta because the even smaller town my family lived in had no hospital. We moved to Calgary when I was a toddler and I consider that my home town. I lived there till I was an adult.

I – In Love With: The Captain 

J – Jealous Of: People who travel more than I do!

K – Kindest Person You Know: My older sister is the nicest, kindest person I know. I have honestly never heard her say a mean word about anyone and she is generous and extremely patient.

L – Longest Relationship: My husband. We have been married almost 25 years.

M – Middle Name: Irene

N – Number of Siblings: 2

O – One Wish: That I remain healthy and active to the end! 

P –  Pets you have loved:  Our Springer Spaniels, Penny and Scout, both have passed on.

Q – Question You’re Always Asked: Who cuts your hair?

R – Reason To Smile: I love my life!

S – Song You Last Sang: Up town Funk (You Up)... I hear it on the radio all the time and we get a real kick out of it!

T – Time You Normally Wake Up:  6 to 6:30 a.m.  That is pretty standard for me.

U – Underwear Color: All different colors!

V – Vacation Wishlist: Have lots of places on my wish list... Ireland, Greece to name a couple. I would love to do a European River Cruise too. 

W – Worst Habit: Putting my fingers in my mouth.  Drives The Captain bonkers!

X – X-Rays You’ve Had: Feet, legs, and scans all over my body and internal organs.

Y – Your Favorite Food: Chocolate, peanut butter, frozen cherries, bananas, avocados... it's a very long list of favorites. 

Z – Zodiac Sign: Gemini - The Twins - apparently this is why I find myself seeing both sides of an argument all th time!

Have you done this survey yet?  I hope you will so I can come read it and learn more about you!

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Tommie Copper Women's Compression Core Band Review and Giveaway

I was very happy when my new contact at Tommie Copper asked me to have a look at their Women's Compression Core Band to see if I would like to test it and write a review.  The last time I ordered from Tommie Copper, this band was on my wish list, but they were out of stock.

I have it now, and I am thrilled!  I can hardly wait to tell you all about it.  Since my Compression Core Band arrived several days ago in the mail, I have been wearing it a lot.

What appears to be just a little slip of fabric is really a compression band of very special polyester and spandex moisture-wicking fabric, that is designed to reduce muscle fatigue, improve circulation, and support muscles and joints.  And it is stylish as well.  No wonder I have been wanting to try it for so long...

The Compression Core Band comes in three different colors... Black, White, and Nude.  I chose Black.  And it can be worn three different ways for upper, mid, or lower back support. It can be worn all day or even to sleep in.  I have been wearing it to work out and because it wicks away moisture, also keeping it on for recovery.  It is very comfortable, and offers a nice amount of contouring/shaping as well.  Heck, I don't like to take it off at all!

I should tell you this Compression Core Band is also very easy to care for.  I like to hand wash my Tommie Copper garments, but you can machine wash and dry them as long as you don't use fabric softeners or dryer sheets.

In these pictures I am wearing the Compression Core Band in the middle position. It is positioned from just under my bra and covers my lower back.  You cannot tell I am wearing it under my favorite pink Tommie Copper Compression Tee.

But it's, I will prove it!

In the next few pics I am wearing the Core Compression Band in the upper position and it comes down to just below my waist... tucking nicely into my jeans.  Please pardon the tan lines!

And when I add a top, in this case, my Tommer Copper Recovery Compression Tank Top, the Compression Core Band disapppears again.   This has become my favorite way to wear it.

I have not worn it the third way yet, which is to cover the lower back, and down over the hips.  

I have been wearing it to do upper body and core workouts... I have a niggly problem with my lower back.   It aches a bit when I hold planks for a minute or longer, so the Compression Comfort Band is a nice aid to relieving that nuisance, and it also offers great support when doing my lat pullovers and chest flyes and other upper body work like pushups.  I need all the help I can get with muscle support and recovery!  

Me, planking in my pink Tommie Copper Capris.

And I am looking forward to using it during golf practice, too. Chipping and bunker practice, especially, can be tough on the lower back.  

Here is a great opportunity to win one for yourself... Tommie Copper is kindly giving away a Women's Compression Core Band to each of two winners!  Enter through the Rafflecopter form below.  You can be in Canada or the U.S. to win.

I will announce the two winners here after the contest has ended, and will email the winners, too.
Good luck to you!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

If this Compression Core Band is something that you think you might like to try, check it out at and if you are in Canada,  you will now be redirected to a Canadian site to purchase online.  It comes in sizes for Men and Women.

I was given this garment to test and review, but received no other compensation. The opinions expressed are my own.

Are you a fan of compression gear for workouts and recovery, too?

Saturday, July 11, 2015

Working on My Running Speed

I have decided I want to run faster.  After all these years of not really caring, it has all of a sudden become more important to me to be a faster runner.  I think it is because I have just become somewhat bored with it and need a new focus, at least for the time being. So, yes, I am working on my running speed.

I normally use run/walk intervals on my day to day runs.  I run for 9 or 10 minutes and then I walk for one minute, and repeat those intervals throughout the course of the run.  I have been doing this for years and the only time I don't use the intervals is when I am wearing my heart rate monitor. Then I run or run/walk accordingly.

But, the last couple of times out, I have shortened the walk interval from one minute to 30 only seconds, and the run interval from 9 or 10 minutes to 3 minutes.  I can run pretty quickly for 3 minutes, then I get winded, and need that walk break to get refreshed so I can do it again.

Using this method on my last run which was a distance  of 4.36 km overall, I decreased the time of the overall run from my previous outing on that route by 4 whole minutes!  I was a minute faster on the outward half and 3 minutes faster on the inward half.  I was quite surprised and really very pleased as well.

The outward half is mostly a gradual downhill, which makes the inward half mostly uphill... running it in shorter, faster intervals made a big difference in the timing.

I was mentally prepared to pursue this method and keep running my day to day runs in this manner, until I read an article that appeared on the FitFluential site this past week, about increasing the speed, How to Run Faster in Just 3 Days a Week.   I made sure to Pin it for future reference, and I have included a link to it in case you are interested in reading it for yourself.

The coach that is quoted, Coach Lauren “Gracie” Updyke, clearly states that you should not do speed intervals every time you go out... but that you should vary the runs and add a recovery run and a distance run into the mix as well.  And there is some other good advice about fuelling and hydrating too.

So, I won't be doing these shorter, faster intervals every time out.  But I am definitely going to include them.  I  do LIKE doing them and so that is a good thing... who knows... maybe I really will get a bit faster!

Are you concerned about your running speed?  How do you train to get faster?

Monday, July 6, 2015

#1MillionMinutes with Sweat Pink

I am taking part in the #1MillionMinutes campaign through Sweat Pink and this week, posting my version of the MadLib in order to help promote one of the sponsors, Puritan's Pride.

I’m so STOKED to fuel my #1MillionMinutes goals with Puritan’s Pride! All summer I plan to RUN and WALK my way to a healthier, fitter me, and I’ll need help staying hydrated and fueled during all my AWESOME adventures!

I will make sure I stay on track and will rely on PROTEIN to keep me well fueled before, during and after workouts, and my WATER BOTTLE to keep me hydrated!

I’m most excited to try QUEST BARS and KIND BARS from Puritan’s Pride because they look TASTY and NUTRITIOUS.

One supplement I’ve never tried but am curious about is CHROMIUM. I think it might make me extra ENERGETIC.

Bring it, #1MillionMinutes! I’m ready to go!

Are you tracking your #1MillionMinutes with Sweat Pink, too?

Saturday, July 4, 2015

That 30 Second Walk Thing

It felt great to get out for a run this morning!

It has been pretty hot here the past few weeks and I knew if we were going to run today it would have to be early.  So, we got up, had a few sips of coffee, ate a banana on the way out the door and headed toward the water... there is always a nice little breeze coming up from the ocean.

I normally use the run/walk method for my day to day runs unless I am wearing a heart rate monitor. Sometimes I use a 9/1 interval, sometimes a 10/1. But lately I have been reading about Jeff Galloway's new run/walk philosophy which is keeping the walking breaks to 30 seconds rather than a full minute.  His reasoning is that after 30 seconds of walking we tend to slow down too much.

Now, I am not really that focused on speed because I tend to be a very slow runner anyway. But hey, I wouldn't mind improving that, even at this late stage in my running career. So, I decided to try the 30 second walk today to see if made any difference in  my speed or the way I felt.

Today I used a 9:30/:30 interval.... run for 9-1/2 minutes then walk for 1/2 minute.  Which is just long enough to snap a picture and get a sip of water, I have discovered!

I love this route along the Strait to the cruise ship terminal and back.  Well, I should say I love the outbound half because it is mostly downhill... which makes the return trip mostly uphill.  I do run that inbound half slower for sure! But it is a lovely view, and I do love an ocean breeze.

So how did my time compare to the last time I did this run, using the 30 second walk break instead of the whole minute?

The last time I did this same route, which is 4.36 km long, was 14 days ago and it was a similar warm morning.  I used a 10/1 interval and it took 15 minutes for the first half and 17 minutes and 50 seconds for the second half.  Total time 32:50.

Today I used a 9:30/:30 interval and it took only 14 minutes for the first half and 18 minutes and 30 seconds for the second half. Total time 32:30.

So I started out faster but slowed down more the second half, finishing 20 seconds faster overall.  I felt better after I finished this time, I do know that for sure.

I think that this 30 second walk is something that I will continue for a while. I can see that if I really want to improve my speed, that I should likely shorten the run interval and run faster during that time, then walk for the 30 seconds, and repeat.

How about you?  Are you concerned with speed on your day to day runs?  How do you work at getting faster? 

Do you use a run/walk interval at all? 

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Happy Canada Day!

Today is Canada's 148th birthday!

Have a wonderfu and safe celebration, wherever this joyous day takes you!