4 comments on “Even Runners Need Yoga”

Even Runners Need Yoga

yoga for runners - yoga with adriene

I’ve spent A LOT of time running lately. Obviously “a lot” means different things to different people, but I’ve been running 40-45 miles a week for the last few months. My goal for 2018 is to run 1,700 miles, which requires a pretty consistent daily effort. I’ve tried to mix in some yoga and weight-training, but unfortunately I probably haven’t been doing enough regular non-running exercise to steer entirely clear of the injury bug. I really should know better!

Luckily I haven’t encountered any major afflictions, but a few small irritations–mainly with my feet–have reminded me that it’s not healthy if I can run 15 miles, yet can’t manage to walk normally from one side of the kitchen to the other. Hence, after I put in a few miles this morning running through the virtual Zwift world on the treadmill (more on Zwift in a later post), I decided to see if Youtube yoga sensationYoga with Adriene, had any good routines for runners. Happily, I quickly found that Adriene had a handful of runner-focused yoga practices.

If you’re looking for a great way to loosen up some of your running muscles, this 30-minute video is a perfect place to start. My hips, hamstrings, quads, and calves loved every minute of this practice…and they’ve been thanking me all day for finally giving them some much-needed yoga attention.

Yoga with Adriene also has a few more sequences for warming up and cooling down.

Here are a few pre-run routines:

And here are a couple post-run sequences:

In addition to my running goal this year, I now have a new goal to integrate yoga into my daily running routine. To keep it simple I think I’ll stick with these videos for the next month (thanks Yoga with Adriene!). I get the feeling that a little more yoga is exactly what I need. I’ll let you know how it goes. Just remember, runners need yoga too!

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7 comments on “4 Steps to Get Lean in Today’s Fattening Society”

4 Steps to Get Lean in Today’s Fattening Society

By Shannon Leavitt, M.S., R.D.

It’s no secret that modern life makes it tough to ignore popular food trends and lead a healthy lifestyle. Today, being sedentary and consuming the food industry’s addictive combinations of fat, salt, and sugar is simply easier than being active and preparing or procuring healthy food. It doesn’t help that we are continuously subjected to double messages about body image and health that are disheartening and confusing and result in either a desperation to change or passivity. The message to look like a model clashes with the fact that being out of shape is the new normal.

It’s easy to be seduced by the latest fast fitness or diet plans that are peddled in the guise of a real solution, even though, as is widely known, these programs are rarely effective and sometimes even harmful. The highest goal of a wellness plan needs to go beyond just losing pounds to learning the lifestyle that will improve your health and keep weight off for good.

Here are four steps to becoming leaner in 2017 and for life:

  1. Embrace a holistic lifestyle. A holistic lifestyle focuses on health first, weight loss second, and is the only sensible approach to lasting results. Creating health needs to be a conscious process, a lifestyle, not a short-lived program. Holism is about balanced living. It is the necessarily slower approach that works better than ‘fast fitness’ because it gradually brings more of you on board with a realistic plan and teaches you how to sustain your results.
  1. Stop living in Overdrive Mode. Rushing and multitasking are stressful and too often result in reactive and unconscious, unhealthy choices. Slowing down encourages a deeper self-connection that in the long run helps you identify problematic habits, make more conscious choices, and ultimately overcome obstacles. Take a minute to ask yourself whether how you typically spend your time is moving you towards health or in the opposite direction.
  1. Support Yourself. When it comes to reaching health goals research shows that supporting yourself with a  ‘kind to self’ approach is more effective than a ‘tough on self’ approach. So don’t make the harsh mistake of withholding self-love and acceptance until you’ve arrived at what you consider to be an acceptable body size or fitness level. There is much to be learned about your self from where you are currently, and a compassionate ear is more likely to be open to receive that important wisdom.
  1. Do Yoga. Often underestimated as a weight loss tool, yoga is the epitome of holistic living and therefore a viable path to sustainable weight loss. The ancient, yet, accessible practice offers both challenging fitness and a body-mind-spirit integration system complete with pragmatic guidelines for balanced living. As yoga strengthens, stretches and twists you into amazing shape, the “on and off the mat” practice combination aligns you with your strongest Self to provide a slow but sure pathway out of old habits toward healthier, new ones.

Most get fit quick workout and diet plans end in frustration, rebound weight gain and a compromised metabolism. Accept that there are no short cuts to true health, but that there are wise paths. Holistic living is one of them.

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Editor’s Note: This is a guest post by Shannon Leavitt, M.S., R.D.  Based in Minneapolis, Shannon is the founder of Yogalift®, a holistic wellness program, and author of Learn to be Lean: A Yoga-Based Approach to Healthy Weight Loss. She is a licensed dietitian, hatha yoga instructor, NASM-certified personal trainer, and a professional health coach with a certificate from the University of Minnesota’s Center for Spirituality and Healing.

To learn more about Shannon Leavitt please visit YogaLift.com.  Learn to be Lean is available on Amazon and other major online retailers.

Photo credit: lululemon on Instagram

 

17 comments on “5 Best Yoga Poses for Runners”

5 Best Yoga Poses for Runners

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Although running and yoga may seem like activities that are on opposite ends of the spectrum, they really are complementary activities that work together beautifully. Running is an excellent way to exercise your whole body aerobically at a high level of intensity. The main benefit of running includes gaining muscular strength, better cardiovascular health, and losing weight. It can also be quite meditative.

However, running can be stressful on muscles, joints, and ligaments. It’s estimated that after every mile, your feet will hit the ground around 1,000 times. This means if you run about 20 miles every week, each foot will hit the ground approximately 20,000 times.

This repetitive impact may affect your hips and legs, which can lead to stiffness and sometimes even pain. For you to get rid of these stressful effects of running, practicing yoga before and after you run will help you to stay flexible, limber, and less prone to injury.

Additionally, if you are looking for a way to not get tired when running, these five yoga poses will definitely help and improve your running.

1. Butterfly

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This yoga pose helps in adding flexibility to your groin and hips by opening up your inner thighs. Lean forward a little and the activity also aids in stretching the back. Here’s how to do it:

  • Sit tall on a mat and make sure that the soles of your feet are together, from here interlace your fingers and keep them on your toes when still sitting tall.
  • Next, turn your shoulders back and try to look at a point past the end of your nose tip.
  • Lean forward until you can feel the stretch.
  • While breathing in, imagine that your head is moving towards the wall in front of you and then breathe out, allowing your body to sink close to the floor.
  • For the best results, ensure you hold this position for about thirty seconds.

2. Thread the Needle

picture3If you need a yoga move to stretch the outside of your hips and the inner thighs, then this is it. Do the following:

  • Lie flat on your back on a mat and bring your knee towards your chest at a ninety-degree angle.
  • Position your right ankle on your left thigh and then interlock your fingers while keeping them at the back of your thighs.
  • Try to pull your left thigh towards your chest and hold in this position for about thirty seconds.
  • Allow yourself to relax when you feel the tension building and repeat the pose on the other side.

3. Bridge

bridge-pose-instagram

This move will help in opening your shoulders and front of the body as well as strengthen the core. It’s a great activity to counteract the effects of running since the longer we run, the more we tend to hunch forward. Follow these steps:

  • Lie on your back and place your feet flat on the ground, hip-width apart.
  • Lift your hips up towards the ceiling while engaging the core.
  • Clasp your hands together underneath your pelvis and roll the shoulders blades towards each other.

4. Seated Spinal Twist

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This pose not only helps to loosen the spine but also ease stiff shoulders and neck after a long run. Here’s what to do:

  • Cross one leg over the other while keeping your knees pointed to the ceiling with the sole of your feet on the ground.
  • Try to reach your opposite hand across your body while pushing it against the outside of the thigh and downwards to your knee to make the twist deep.

 5. Low Lunge

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  • From standing pose lunge the right leg forward until the back left knee touches the ground.
  • Raise the arms above the head and hold for 30 seconds.

These five poses are an excellent way to end any running session. They work the front and back of the legs, strengthen the core, and open the hips. Do them regularly and you should stay a happy and healthy runner.

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picture7Editor’s note: This is a guest post by Emily Carter, founder of GoAheadRunner, where she and her team blog about everything a runner needs, whether you are a seasoned pro or an absolute beginner. The blog provides information on training, running gear, supplements and much more. Follow Emily on Twitter.

2 comments on “Lululemon’s Yoga for (SeaWheeze) Runners = Match Made in Heaven”

Lululemon’s Yoga for (SeaWheeze) Runners = Match Made in Heaven

I’ve long been a big believer that…

yoga + running = a match made in heaven.

This smooth 30 minute yoga practice, led by official lululemon SeaWheeze ambassador Kerri Kelly, is perfect for runners who need to get a little bendy after pounding the pavement.

mzl.uzxncxao.320x480-75I won’t be able to run SeaWheeze this year, but I was really impressed by lulu’s new SeaWheeze half-marathon training app for iOS. The SeaWheeze app [Update: SeaWheeze app is no longer available; here is a link to the lululemon app] is

one part pocket sized personal trainer, one part DJ and one part Vancouver city guide. Beginner and intermediate training programs include cross training, yoga and running options designed to help you reach your running goals, regardless if you’re training for SeaWheeze or another half marathon. The app lets you track your training, share your progress and listen to incredible music to keep you motivated.

I don’t really need the Vancouver city guide (right now), but I can definitely use the personal training and DJ features. It would be an especially awesome tool if they eventually allowed users to select their own training start dates so it can be effectively used for other races. But, for what it is–the SeaWheeze Half-Marathon app–it does a pretty amazing job. Check out all the details on lululemon’s blog.

Happy running and stretchy yoga goodness, friends:)