Thursday, December 1, 2011

Yoga/Compression Socks

Back by popular demand...a blog post!

Working out is a strange beast.  Often it's hard to get on the horse, but sometimes once you're on, it can be tough to know when to take a break. 
If you are like me, and the mere idea of a rest day can make you pouty or send your anxiety through the roof, there are some sneaky ways to make your crazy brain think you are still logging fitness time...while giving your body a much needed rest.

Enter yoga.

Obviously some yoga requires a lot of muscle work or at least makes you sweat out every drink of water you had for a week.  But yoga is low impact and generally very easy on your, it forces you to stretch your muscles and take some slow, deep breaths.  And frankly, I could always use more of both. it is: a workout for your non-workout day.  This should take roughly 15 minutes.  You don't need anything, although I would suggest a mat if you are on a hard floor surface.  (Better yet, go to the park if your weather isn't rainy or freezing.)  Hold each pose for 5-10 deep breaths.  Do each sequence all the way through on one side, then repeat on the other.

If you are not familiar with the poses below, check out Yoga Journal.  They have helpful pictures and detailed instructions.

  • Start with 5 minutes of easy walking or a few rounds of sun salutations.
  • High lunge - focus on feeling the stretch in your calf
  • High lunge with twist - focus on the stretch in your back
  • Triangle pose - focus on the stretch in your side
  • Low lunge - focus on your hamstring
  • Downward dog - keep knees slightly bent.  Remember this is a day off, so don't be pushing yourself to do anything but relax.
  • Half Lord of the Fishes pose - this one is excellent for your IT bands...which in turn fights off runner's knee
  • Cow face pose - another one for the IT band; don't worry too much about the fancy arms
  • Seated bound angle pose - focus on the stretch in your inside thighs
  • (After doing the three poses above on both sides) Seated forward bend - focus on your hamstrings, but be gentle
  • Knee to chest - I'm sure there's a fancy name for this one, but I don't know it
  • Knee across body to floor - see above. For the right side, extend right arm out to side and "glue" right shoulder to floor.  Bring right knee to the floor on the left side of your body, or as close as possible.  This will open your chest and stretch your back and IT band.
  • Corpse pose - yup, close your eyes and think of how proud you are that you took it easy and sneaked in a workout all at the same time.  Go you!

    Note: to super-speed your recovery, try a good pair of compression socks.  They can be kinda make sure they are cute!  I got mine through Running Skirts.  Also, drink some cherry juice (100% juice - no fakey stuff or added sugar!); it tastes awesome and aids in recovery


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