Archive for the ‘ Yoga ’ Category

Beating the Running Blues

sadrunnerEvery so often an injury will derail me from my running goals. Because running has become so much of my identity I rely heavily on being able to run to find peace of mind emotionally, physically and mentally. When I can’t run it really affects me on my many levels. Lately I’ve been faced with this challenge and have been forced, or, thinking positively, given the opportunity, to find ways to cope with not being able to run.

So instead of getting depressed and mopey, here, after much self-reflection, are:

Runner Sami’s Tips for Beating the Running Blues

1. Use the time off to become a stronger runner – Find cross-training activities that won’t exacerbate your injury. Biking, swimming, pilates, yoga, and strength training are all great ways to build up muscles that will help keep you injury-free in the future.

2. Invest in other areas of your life – Because running is my positive outlet, it’s important to reroute those energies into other outlets while running is on the back burner. Find ways to invest your time that make you happy. Writing, catching up with friends, spending time with my family, or planning a trip are some things I have found help rejuvenate me when I’m not able to run.

3. Read about running – For some people this might be too painful, but I’ve found that reading about running helps me feel like I’m still involved in becoming a better runner. Books or articles about running help me focus on positive ways to help my recovery. There are always ways I can better myself as a runner and it’s fun to read about interesting races I can sign up for once I’m at full running capacity again!

4. Be an active participant in your recovery – You’re not alone. There are a lot of resources online through blogs, social media sites like dailymile.com, or websites like runnersworld.com for runners looking for support or providing helpful tips and strategies for those coming back from injuries. Finding answers and lending support to others are great ways to aid in recovery.

5. Eat healthy, be happy – When I can’t run my mind automatically starts to dwell on all those extra pounds that are going to fly onto my body. Even if this is not realistic, eating healthy helps me keep a happy frame of mind until I can go back to burning the calories I’m used to burning. And eating healthy is always a great habit for helping me become a stronger runner.

Happy running! πŸ˜€

Winter Cross-Training

pilates benefits women  I’ll admit it, sometimes it’s just too dark and chilly out to go for a run. And although I still get my butt into gear to run regularly, I also work in more cross-training in the winter. I hardly ever feel like going to the gym during warmer days, so the winter months make an ideal time to build up other areas that will complement and improve my running.

Pilates – I love pilates. It is one of the best ways I’ve found to strengthen my body, keep me healthy, and make me a better runner. I take a weekly class at my gym that’s an hour long and kicks my butt every time. The key is to find a teacher that you are compatible with and that can push you in areas you can’t push yourself. I found a teacher who totally rocks and mixes up each class with challenging moves and isn’t afraid to add pilates props like exercise balls, rings, or bands to increase the difficulty of the moves. Also, pilates really focuses on your core which is essential for healthy running and staying injury free.

Strength Training – This is another great way for runners to build up muscles that assist in becoming stronger and staying injury free. Also, it’s really fun for me to see the looks of the guy dominated free weight area as I bench press next to them. πŸ™‚ While there are a million things I could write about when it comes to strength training, there are two primary points to keep in mind: 1. Women who lift weights will not get huge, man-like muscles (unless they are purposefully working toward a competition or using *ahem* supplements) and 2. Please consult someone, like a trainer, who knows proper form before beginning any sort of strength training routine as bad form can lead to injury and won’t be as effective.

Yoga – Great for flexibility, yoga pairs nicely with pilates in improving your health as a runner. Once again the integral aspect is to find an instructor that can challenge you while providing good modifications to poses so you don’t over-extend your body into injury. There are several types of yoga too, so find the one that fits you best.

Spinning & Swimming – I combined these last two as cross-training areas in which I’d like to improve. I love to bike in warmer weather, but tend to set it aside during the colder months. Same with swimming. Both, however, are great ways a runner can keep fit cardiovascularly and easy to do if you belong to a gym. And if you want to make an investment, buy a bike trainer that you can hook your road bike up to and use inside your house – great cross-training without ever leaving the comfort of your home!

Happy Running! πŸ˜€

De-Stressification

  Have you ever had one of those days where you feel pulled in a thousand different directions and thus can’t fully focus on any of the tasks in front of you? Oh yeah. It’s been that kind of week for me. Ugh. As much as I love my job, family, life, etc. I need to sit back and refocus on how to find my Zen. πŸ™‚

If my brain were capable of writing more than this post, I would totally put that on my de-stress list, but, sadly, that’s not going to happen today. Here’s my top ten list of ways to unwind before tackling more of my Things To Do list:

1. Run

2. Read

3. Go to the gym

4. Pilates

5. Yoga

6. Walk the dog

7. Bake

8. Get a pedicure

9. Get a massage

10. Grab a pint with some friends

I feel less stressed just writing that list! πŸ˜‰ And none of those things require any brain power, or very little, which is a great way to recharge for the tasks that lie ahead.

Fitness Friday!

Have you ever been to a yoga class? Did it involve:

a. Chanting

b. Complicated poses that involve you looking and feeling like a pretzel

c. An instructor that seemed to think she/he was a great guru

d. Leaving with a feeling of failure and not a sense of calm and well-being

If so, I have the perfect book for you! The No Om Zone came into my library the other day with its glossy pics and it’s bright green and grey cover. I had never heard of the author – Kimberly Fowler – or of her brand of yoga. But the more I read about her approach to creating a fun, relaxing, enjoyable kind of yoga that appeals to a broader range of people, the more I wanted to try it!

I have taken yoga classes before but it was at a local gym and they were more of a hybrid of tai chi, pilates, and yoga and I loved them! For those who haven’t tried it, if you take away the chanting, the hope for enlightenment and the religious aspect of the exercise, you are left with a great way to find relaxation while becoming more flexible and balanced in the process. As a runner it’s a perfect way to stay injury-free (and since I’m currently battling an injury – I miss it even more!).

Fowler says: “No OM Yoga is Yoga everyone can relate to. It’s practical, straightforward Yoga that’s fun and energizing and not intimidating. No OM Yoga was designed to get rid of the reasons many people have for not doing Yoga.”

Sounds good to me!

If I was able to take a yoga class like that along with a pilates class every week I would be one happy lady! πŸ™‚ If you’ve never taken a yoga class before I highly recommend it. Make sure that you do your research and take a yoga class that fits your needs and personality as there is a spectrum of classes ranging from highly spiritual to not at all.

For more on Fowler and The No Om Zone – check out her sleek, new website HERE.